MAXIMALISM [all you need to know]

[ MAXIMALISM ] More is moree is moreee!  If you’re the type to flip through design mags on the regular, you’re sure to have noticed that bold colors and patterns are having a huge moment. This is the polar opposite of restraining yourself in that minimalism style and dare I say boring realm. Not to worry, 50 shades of gray is still a much sought-after look and not going anywhere however for the brave-at-heart there is a light at the end of the tunnel. History will show that this is not a breakthrough in design. It is a movement that was popular in the early 1900s and late 1970s.

 Kelly Wearstler is the Queen of Maximalism and she brilliantly plays with the scale of pieces to create a flawless composition

Kelly Wearstler is the Queen of Maximalism and she brilliantly plays with the scale of pieces to create a flawless composition

So what is it?

The design trend embodies the idea of melting all the things you love into one space no matter the style, scale or era. In the Maximalism world anything goes; well, almost anything. There’s a blurry line between done right and looking like a hot mess. The fundamentals of designing a room all at once does not apply here. This is all about layering bold patterns, vivid colors, rich fabrics,  textures and periods, while keeping the room balanced. One self-proclaimed Maximalist designer, Sasha Bikoff states “Maximalism has such an emotional quality to it because you’re drawing upon things you love.” .

 Sasha Bikoff utilizes a wide variety of materials and textures to make the pastel hues pop and add character to this dreamy space.

Sasha Bikoff utilizes a wide variety of materials and textures to make the pastel hues pop and add character to this dreamy space.

How is IT done?  

Firstly you want to TELL A STORY. Design is a sensory experience, not just pretty things spread appropriately in a room. Think about the message you want to convey and the feeling you want to provoke from a person experiencing the space. From there, let your imagination unravel.

 Pink overload for this #holidayhousesoho by Sasha Bikoff

Pink overload for this #holidayhousesoho by Sasha Bikoff

Once you have this idea, you can get to work on the bones of the room. People often ignore the ceiling, however a Maximalist sees this as a huge opportunity for a statement. Treat the walls, ceiling and floor first as they will be the background of your “painting”. Choose a bold pattern wallpaper, a contrasting color for the ceiling, and a geometric tile or rug. Black and white is always a great addition not to be missed.

 The powerful black and white patterns are perfectly balanced with metallic pieces

The powerful black and white patterns are perfectly balanced with metallic pieces

When choosing the furniture, a Maximalist will be drawn to various periods, eras and opposing styles. It is typical to mix your materials, so if you’re doing a Hollywood Glam brass & glass coffee table, then your sofa could very well be an antique reupholstered in a modern lux fabric, next to a green onyx side table with a crystal lamp, all grounded on an ethnic vintage Moroccan rug.

 The mix of these elements flowing seamlesly through the space

The mix of these elements flowing seamlesly through the space

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Maintaining a balance will save this room from turning chaotic real quick. This is a 3D puzzle and the volume of your pieces should be considered initially. You can achieve balance by creating symmetry. Ironically, this does not mean that half the room should mirror the other half. It means if you have a large mass (sofa) on one side then balance the opposite side with two different chairs, side table and floor lamp. You want the ability to stand anywhere in the room and feel like one side is not toppling over the other.

 Wearstler playfully combines a rainbow of furnishings to  make this beautiful composition

Wearstler playfully combines a rainbow of furnishings to  make this beautiful composition

One rule to consider is [connecting the dots]. You want there to be connections from one piece to the next, so the eye can get carried away from one thing to the next seamlessly. For example, the rug that hold the green onyx table could have bits of green in it, and the sofa may have a pattern to it with similar colors. “Connect the dots through color and pattern” Bikoff says.

Lastly, don’t forget Maximalism design is a collection of pieces you love, that represent you or your message. It is common to see a collection of antique trinkets or glass sculptures displayed in an unexpected way. Take risks and experiment with the pieces that draw you in.

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