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How to Successfully Embrace Maximalism

Maximalism is a design trend that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is characterised by the use of bold and vibrant colours, eclectic patterns, and an abundance of textures and embellishments. Essentially its the interior design equivalent of going to a buffet and taking one of everything.

Unlike minimalist designs, maximalist designs are bold and expressive, with no detail left unnoticed.

Maximalism is a reaction to the minimalist trend that has dominated design for many years. Many see maximalism as a way to express individuality and creativity, and to break free from the constraints of minimalist design. It is also about breaking the rules and embracing chaos. Designers are using different materials, textures, and patterns to create a sense of energy and movement, and to bring a sense of playfulness to design.

Luke Edward Hall: Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Guardian

According to Luke Edward Hall, one of today's maximalist stars, his style can be described as “It’s very romantic, a bit nostalgic and very optimistic," In a 2018 interview, he stated, “I think you should be able to live with beautiful things every day – I like an element of the handcrafted in everything I do.”

Whilst maximalism is a great way to create spaces that are full of life and character it can also make a room feel like a hoarder's paradise if not executed properly. There is a fine line between beautiful maximalism and Channel 4’s documentary about people buried under clutter. So, here are some top tips to creating a beautiful maximalist space:

Frieda Gormley of House of Hackney Kitchen. Image: Benedicte Drummond

Invest in quality pieces: “The biggest misconception is that maximalism is about acquiring a lot of possessions or disposable things, when really the ‘new maximalism’ advocates investing in timeless furniture and accessories that you can treasure forever,” says Frieda Gormley of House of Hackney.

Have a clear colour palette: In the process of creating a maximalist design, it's crucial to establish a cohesive colour scheme. Start by selecting a palette that reflects the desired atmosphere and stick to it. Maximalism is about layering but it needs some consistency to be successful.

Consider scale: Mixing patterns is an essential aspect of maximalist style, but finding the right balance can be challenging. Experimenting with different pattern combinations and evaluating the size of the patterns is crucial. To avoid conflicting scales, assign some patterns to smaller areas and others to larger spaces. This way, the sizes complement each other instead of competing.

Maximalist room designed by house of hackney
A room designed by House of Hackney in Termaton Castle. Photo: By Mark Cocksedge/Courtesy of House of Hackney

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