What is it to be a maximalist? Interior designers respond

Previously obsolete, maximalism in decoration has indeed been brought up to date. Experts give you tips on how to appropriate this exuberant trend.

Previously obsolete, maximalism in decoration has indeed been brought up to date. Experts give you tips on how to appropriate this exuberant trend.

Frieda Gormley and Jaavy M. Royle believe that maximalism is often mistaken, that it would always imply an accumulation of objects. According to them, this is not true. A plethora of colors, pictorial impressions, rich materials … Maximalism also means surrounding yourself with art objects, souvenirs, and other trinkets that we love above all. As they have decorated Kate Moss’ guest bedroom with palm tree prints in palm prints or upholstered the chairs by Cara Delevingne, Frieda Gormley and Jaavy M. Royle stand together – and have done so since the founding of their company, House of Hackney – in the words of William Morris which directs its aesthetic: “ Do not have anything in your house that you think is unnecessary or that you believe to be ugly ”.

Thanks to Frieda Gormley and Jaavy M. Royle but also other famous decorators like Martin Brudnizki or Ken Fulk, maximalism has been brought up to date. How and why? Vogue takes stock.

Bet on comforting maximalism

After having reached its peak in the 60s thanks to Dorothy Draper, the trend of maximalism suffered a decline for several decades because of minimalist or even modern styles. To better make its great triumphant return while excessively. Nowadays, decorators seem to be inspired, among other things, by the work of Martin Brudnizki, the interior designer to whom we owe in particular the new decor of the Annabel nightclub in London. Colors joyful jewelry reflections ceilings statement, Chinese-inspired wallpaper … ” Be bold and decorate with conviction,” said Kathryn M. Ireland to Vogue in December 2020.

However, this style continues to have a bad reputation since it is mainly associated with the old-fashioned decoration of a great-aunt or other ancestors, too often composed of heterogeneous objects and printed tapestries to hurt the eyes. If maximalism isn’t just about objects, what exactly are we talking about? A little guide to better understands this flashy approach.

What is maximalism?

“Maximalism is the art of“ more-is-more ”, superimposed patterns, ultra-saturated colors, accessories and works of art of all kinds (hung like in a boudoir), a playfulness and bold choices, ” Keren Richter, interior designer at White Arrow, told Vogue. Maximalism extends to all movements, “ Maximalism could be found in an eclectic British home, itself decorated with patterned wallpapers and curtains creating a slightly chaotic atmosphere”, attests Keren Richter. “I also consider that the Memphis Design movement, with its cheerful colors, patterns, and geometric and fuzzy silhouettes, came from that same exuberant spirit. ” A dark Victorian-style room and quirky 1980s decor can both be called maximalist.

What are the Iconic examples of this current?

According to specialist Keren Richter, Diana Vreeland’s apartment called “ Hell’s Garden ” and designed by Bill Baldwin as well as Baby Jane Holzer’s bohemian 1960s apartment are two iconic examples of the maximalist movement.

Frieda Gormley and Jaavy Mr. Royle also like to take for example the famous store Biba of Barbara Hulanicki in Kensington, shop the sixties ” full of Victorian furniture and antiques, peacock feathers and mirrored pillars”.

For Tina Schnabel, interior designer at BarlisWeldlick, Tory Burch’s apartment at the Pierre Hotel, designed by Daniel Romualdez, is also an ode to maximalism.

How can I incorporate this style into my own life?

Maximalism is about doing things big. Here are some tips from Tina Schnabel: “ Maximalist interiors are successful when a cohesive decoration is created with a match between patterns and textures associated with a harmonious color or color palette. The chosen color (s) can be added to walls, ceilings, window frames and joinery, and even to the coating of furniture ”, she sums up. “ If you want to capture the attention, the finishes of the coffee tables and side tables in wood or marble must contrast with the patterns and colors of the room. In short, to be maximalist, make sure that as many places in the room as possible are not left bare. ”

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