Maximalism for the Minimalist…

So what to do with this “maximalist trend” if you are a minimalist at heart?  Well, nothing if you don’t want to – for trends are simply for you to play with!  But if there’s something about maximalism that pulls you, let’s talk about why.

The minimalists in our lives are “modern” soul style personalities (get your Soul Style Compass here if you need to catch up). They are interested in “openness and innovation”; they are creators and innovators. They may also be “practicalists,” thus are very purpose driven. This leads them to be very intentional about their use of space – paring things down to their very essence.

By contrast, maximalists tend to be “traditional” (they value roots) and “sensual” (nurturing of self and others). So the minimalists and the maximalists are opposites of one another on the Soul Style Compass. However, opposites do attract – and we often feel pulled to get balance in our lives.  Practicalists do need comfort (sensuality) in their lives. Modernists need to make room for family and community (roots). 

So what is it that the maximalist trend has to offer the minimalist?  I asked my husband and architect David Baird, who just happened to have completed a very “maximalist-minimalist” project:  Luster Nail Parlour, located in Nashville’s The Nations.  A retail/hospitality space like this is a perfect place to suffuse sensual drama with a bold stroke.  Here are a few snapshots from their grand opening party.

(Above) “We minimized the architectural colors to white and gold.  It’s basically a stage set; the raised platform for the dark royal blue pedicure chairs makes it more like theater.  The pedicure chairs are almost like thrones and every accent in there is gold or black,” said David.  This takes the boldness of minimalism to a sensual high.  I think that is something that happens in every moment of maximalist-minimalism.  You take a bold accent wall or furniture piece, and add a level of excitement to the materiality of it – whether it is a velvet, a mirror, or an enveloping, satiny black wall tile.   My interiors team helped David’s architecture team with the faux finish – a stenciled gold metallic on a creamy white wash (provided by Jennifer Walls of Walls to Walls).  The gold lumbar pillows on the pedicure chairs, sconces and chandelier echo the shimmer in the wallpaper. 

On Furniture…

Maximalist minimalist doesn’t have to occur on a feature wall;  it could also happen in a minimalist piece of furniture, such as these lush blush velvet dining chairs. Or you can add yet another layer of drama: Some dark wood paneling behind plush modern furniture:

(via The Mansion On The Hill/Tumblr)

And it doesn’t have to be dressy – so long as it’s boldly sensual– such as this oversized hide booth at a café in Asheville we stopped in over the summer:

(via Marcelle’s iPhone

And finally, maximalist minimalism doesn’t have to be “modern” in any literal fashion. 

(both images via Joanna Gaines/Magnolia Shop)

This set of rich antique double doors and cabinetry set within a simple, soft white kitchen just steals the show.  What are your thoughts on maximalist minimalism?

Check out my Pinterest board for more inspirations on Maximalist Minimalism here:

Up next:  Trends in Sustainability

– Marcelle Guilbeau, 

Nashville Interior Designer
Soulful Living By Design

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