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Which design style works for you?

Minimal vs maximal

For a long time, certainly in recent memory, the interior design space has been dominated by the minimalism movement and the idea that "less is more". The first recognised mainstream appearance of this idea started in the art world, as you would guess. In the 60s, groups of young creatives coined the term. Over time, the style was adapted and reinterpreted in all forms of art, including fashion, tech, architecture and interior design. Still, the concept has existed for way longer than that, dating back to ancient Japanese traditions with the idea of "Ma ma", meaning empty space. But this is a new era, a new generation, and a change has been coming.

This new wave of creatives has gone against the last few decades' traditional design norms, creating a new movement for the modern era, the idea of maximalism. Blame it on their rebellious nature or just a craving for some new ideas in the creative space, but the maximalism movement has turned heads, but is this counter-culture as "new" as we thought? The concept of displaying ones luxury items as a show of wealth in a room at the expense of space and colour pallet has been a tradition of the wealthy, backdating to kings, pharaohs and emperors but now the trend has come back to the forefront of modern design.

So how would you get involved in this trend? As opposed to what you would expect, you don't need to be particularly wealthy to participate; two fundamental principles characterise the design style. Theme and space, as in, you still want to have some left after you're done. Consider expanding your colour pallet, thinking about the general 'look' of the room instead of fixating on one or two items as your centrepieces and the others as functional; this is your chance to bring out your braggadocious side. Juxtapose objects and colours for a more striking look, then tie them together with bridging items like plant life and raw material decors; these are very popular in the movement and give a room a more cosy feel, not just cluttered.

Ideas are never hard to find if you ever need inspiration for your own room. A quick search on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest will bring up a world of ideas from designers leading the charge, using the unique nature of their design to their advantage, e.g. Kim Baeten, who's grown an empire out of her Colorful Kimmes brand, and Couthyhome a venue that showcases Maximalist design in the highlands of Scotland. So however you want to interpret the style, maximalism truly is a movement of subverting norms and bending the rules we once had, and it's always worth trying something new.

Simple and elegant

Minimal design

An example of minimal design

A burst of personality


An example of maximal design

Designs that excite

Maximal decors

By Swiss Krono
by XyloCleaf
Porcelain Gold 2
By Alvic
Chilli Red
By Egger