MINIMALISM vs. MAXIMALISM – THE YING AND YANG OF INTERIOR DESIGN

Our choices in interior design reflect who we are and how we visually interpret the feeling of “homeliness.” Over the past years, two design directions have been in the spotlight of many interior designers and home décor professionals. While being polar – Minimalism and Maximalism –   speak loudly about our personalities. “Less is more” against…well, “more is more.”

Simplicity at Its Finest

Some of us prefer open spaces, neutral-colored walls, and less furniture to feel at home, achieve inner peace, and maintain calmness. But minimalism is not simply an interior design aesthetic – it’s also a philosophy of living.

Minimalism is about simplicity, order, and harmony. It’s a way of living where one is not only able to fully enjoy life with just the possessions they have but also coming to the realization that they don’t need more than they already have. Living in a minimalistic way means that all choices connected to purchasing products are taken with great care. Whether it has to do with the origin of the materials or their durability.

Many people consider the minimalistic way of life very liberating since they don’t feel the weight of attachment to the objects they possess, allowing them to make wiser decisions on what they actually need. Minimalism is a life philosophy that looks into how to lead a more intentional life where everything serves its purpose.

Minimalism was first introduced as an artistic term during the late 1950s as a reaction to abstract expressionists. Back then, supporters of the minimalist movement thought that abstract expressionism was pretentious and sentimental. They claimed that art should only refer to the emotional state of the artists while the artwork should be free of external motives so it could be seen only as an autonomous object.

Nowadays, minimalism takes many forms. It can be a stylistic approach in interior design and art but also a whole category of fashion design. There are many environmentalists and social activists describing themselves as minimalists because of their conscious choices of buying and recycling.

Design in the Style of Minimalism

If you are looking into designing your interior with some of the principles of minimalism – here are a few ideas that we, from Cottoned, would love to share with you.

  • Go for natural materials. Leaving your walls white or in a neutral light color will create a cooler feeling in your interior. Warm up the room with a few natural textures: think wood, hemp, handwoven textiles, or plants – all contribute to creating a cozier environment without the need of adding much.
  • Rely on timeless pieces. Invest in products that are better quality and that will last longer. Such a product, for instance, is our tufted seat cushion, customized in a color that suits your interior best. Not only our handmade cushions will be a life-long investment due to their timeless design and multifunctionality, but they are the perfect accent to any interior.
  • Declutter. Getting rid of unnecessary clutter should be one of the first tasks on your list. If something hasn’t been used in several years, this usually means that you won’t need it in the near or further future. Providing breathing space in your room is the cornerstone of minimalistic interior design.
  • Find a new purpose for your objects. Often old pieces and items have sentimental value or are too good to be removed. Reusing and repurposing is a fitting strategy for the minimalist way of living because it allows you to be creative with your possessions, while also giving you the chance to save up on needless products.

The More, The Merrier

In complete contrast with Minimalism, Maximalism is an interior design aesthetic that celebrates abundance and variety.  More is better, bigger, and louder. The visual representation of maximalism is usually rich with colors, shapes, and textures. Maximalism emphasizes that every little detail in our interior contains memories and special sentimental moments that deserve to be shared and valued.

Maximalism doesn’t mean overcrowding your space with objects. Especially if decorated well, a space inspired by maximalism can become quite elegant. Limiting the color palette to just two or three shades will create a framework of calming abundance.

The best examples of maximalist interiors have a clear purpose and feeling without falling into a chaotic cacophony of colors and shapes. Although they might use a mixture of complicated, even opposing elements, the interiors are sophisticated and beautiful.

By observing the development of these two interior design trends, it becomes clear that maximalism has gained more popularity in the past years. As a generation that grew up with the internet being actively present in their daily lives, Gen Z people have the rising urge to express themselves and this happens the easiest through the aesthetics of maximalism.

Be it in fashion or in interior design, maximalism is the go-to design aesthetic if one wants to show the world their true selves. And that is what makes this style so preferred – here the sentimental attachment towards objects plays a key role and the more objects we put on display, the richer our identity’s expression.

Looking For That Maximalist Aesthetic

If you feel that maximalism is the design that makes you feel ‘at home’, then here are a few ideas on how to decorate your interior in this aesthetic:

  • It all starts with the walls. Choose a vivid color you enjoy the most, but don’t be afraid to make it more dramatic and cover more than just one of the walls with it. Wallpapers with patterns are also a great choice, especially if you match them with a big statement piece of furniture. If you are looking to design your bedroom in the style of maximalism, our headboard cushions are what will create a fantastic accent to the bed. Add some colorful throw cushions and your bedroom is already loudly saying “YOU”.
  • Shapes, shapes, shapes. Play around with various shapes and sizes. Curvy furniture, such as our ottoman cushion, could make the space very welcoming and extra cozy. Choose pieces of furniture with shades that go well together so the room won’t feel too overcrowded.
  • Decorate with your memories. Maximalism is all about self-expression, and nothing says more about you than your own experiences. Putting on display accessories and decorations that you have gathered over time adds a personal touch to your interior.
  • Plants are always welcome. If you are worried that your room will end up being too overwhelming and crowded, adding plants will create a breathing space. A bit of green every here and there breaks up the colorfulness and makes the room feel a bit calmer.

Colorful, loud, and expressive or simple, calm, and harmonious – Maximalism and Minimalism are two design paths fundamental to many interior design trends. Although complete opposites, both say a lot about who we are. We find ourselves and our design choices between the Ying and Yang. Both movements are just another way of making our interiors indeed ours.

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