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Maximalism is a design trend that has gained traction with consumers and gone from niche to mainstream. We look at why this is happening now

The sleek Minimalist aesthetic, which arrived on the design scene with open-plan living and has held us in its sway ever since, has suffered a serious backlash.

It seems that the pale, pared-back interiors that were by default handleless and complete with pocket doors to conceal every last bit of clutter, have lost their allure.

While consumers were cautious at first, there has been a reactionary eruption of colour and texture, with the Maximalism hashtag now garnering around 170,000 posts on Instagram, and a host of influencers incorporating the word Maximalist into their Insta handles.

The reasons for the new love of exuberance are manifold, but one of its key drivers is the personalisation trend. While the Minimalist look was in essence uniform, Maximalism is characterised by unique touches to interiors to express and reflect the homeowner’s character and taste.

One of the key drivers for our new love of Maximalism is the trend for Personalisation, allowing us to create a home that reflects our character and taste #maximalism #interiordesigntrends Click To Tweet

In kitchens this may come in the form of brightly painted cabinetry, such as the designs by Plain English, and a striking mix of worktop materials.

Plain English maximalism
Plain English Colour Collection No.3

And in the bathroom, coloured sanitaryware is back in favour and featured heavily at trade shows such as ISH and Cersaie , with many KBB brands offering colour-matching services that can recreate any RAL tone.

Victoria + Albert Baths RAL Colours
Victoria + Albert Baths RAL colours

Because colour has been shown to have a positive impact on our moods, incorporating more of it in our homes makes complete sense, and bold wallpapers have become increasingly popular.

Arte International textured wallpaper

But a Maximalist interior also features an abundance of texture in the form of materials and furnishings, with items on display rather than hidden from view.

Lily Sawyer Interior Design maximalism
Image courtesy of Lily Sawyer Interior Design

And while more is definitely more, as a philosophy it is not as contrary to the Marie Kondo school of thought as it might seem – displays of artefacts are carefully curated and all certainly bring an element of joy to the owner. Maximalism does not equate to ‘mess’.

As a design trend, it has gained huge traction in the hospitality sector as a way of creating an ambience that conveys both style and luxury. (See our Sleep & Eat trade show guide highlighting the hospitality interior design trends)

Martin Brudnizki’s award-winning revamp of Annabel’s in London is a Maximalist’s haven, and boasts a ceiling of silk flowers in the ladies toilet, and a sculpture of a unicorn suspended from a glass atrium over the staircase.

Design trend Maximalism
The revamped Annabel’s by Martin Brudnizki

Ken Fulk’s design for Leo’s Oyster Bar in San Francisco, is equally as exuberant, as is his design for Uncle Harry’s at The Harrison in San Francisco, which features a crocodile-embossed leather bar.

Design trend: Maximalism
Leo’s Oyster Bar, San Francisco

Why does this matter? As a movement, Maximalism isn’t just a reaction against Minimalism, but a move away from other trends too. It’s a rejection of both Hygge and Wabi Sabi, and now that we’re spending more time in our homes than ever before, it represents a conscious celebration of our immediate surroundings.

Now that we are spending more time in our homes than ever before, Maximalism represents a conscious celebration of our immediate surroundings #maximalism #interiordesigntrends Click To Tweet

And at a time of political uncertainty, climate change and anxiety about the future, transforming our homes into places to escape to, while at the same time being unapologetically individual, has its appeal.

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