Maximalism is where it's at! This doesn’t mean I am opposed to the qualities of minimalism. Minimalism at its heart is calling for people to find freedom – freedom from ‘things.’ I whole heartedly believe in this; nothing should ever be so dear that we can’t part with it. While decluttering, a minimalist advocates, “does this item bring you joy? If the answer is ‘no’ then let it go.” Again, I agree!...but what if MANY things bring you joy? What if colour brings you joy? What if the story behind an item brings you joy?
Where minimalism introduces freedom in one area, it can also bring constriction in another. In interior design, minimalism requires a restrained colour palette, and this is where I diverge from the minimalists. I am a maximalist because I want an explosion of colour. Miles Redd has said, “if you see it in nature, then you can do it inside.” Why not?! Let’s bring nature indoors – and I don’t just mean plants and flowers (although that too!)
Nature has an abundance of colour on which we thrive. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada where it is fairly standard to have white, grey, and brown most of the year. Our autumn is far too short because the prairie wind sweeps through and blows those beautiful fire leaves right off their branches, leaving our trees bare; hence the brown. The snow shows up in about October or November and stays until February, sometimes even April!!! So there’s your white. Finally, our skies are often overcast due to the cold winter weather and regular snow flurries. And that’s where our grey comes in. So we have three general neutrals that we live in most of our year.
But oooooh summer. Sweet, sweet summer. As a farm girl, I know its riot of colour that is unparalleled in beauty. Purple flax fields, green trees, regular rainbows after a summer storm that freshens the ground and leaves the air with the most amazing smell that you’ll never find in any city. And let’s not forget the sunsets – they’re why we’re known as the ‘Land of Living Skies.’ The orange, red, pink, and blue come in every shade. At night we are regaled by the dance of the Aurora Borealis in a hint of green. And any given day can be anchored by the brightest blue with clouds that are so massive that I’ve always called them the mountains of the prairies.
Can you tell that Summer is my favourite season?!
So if summer is the best, but we live mostly in neutrals the rest of the year, what choice do we have but to bring nature indoors with a riot of colour all our own? This is why I advocate for colour and lots of it in interior décor. Plus after years of minimalism dominating interior design it's time for the pendulum to swing the other direction. People are tired of looking at nothing - it's time to have fun!
Beyond this, every antique piece has a story to tell. Who owned it? What was their life like? Where did they acquire it? Under what circumstances?
I once bought a large art print of a renaissance philosopher. It had been given as a wedding gift to a couple 50 years ago and remained in their living room until the day I came to take it and cherish it. Think of the secrets he holds.
Often we look at immaculate homes and think we will never afford that, so why try? We already have a long enough task list, right? But we don’t need to spend a million dollars on our home. Neither should we buy stuff to fill the holes in our lives left by the people we’ve lost or hurts we carry. What we can do is create space for our creative juices to flow; try doing things a little different; gain a new perspective on stuff.
We should be intentional. Get pieces that are sensational. Choose pieces that bring joy. Invest in pieces that will last. Gather pieces that reflect how unique you really are.
Be a maximalist...living life to the max. Full of creativity. Full of fun. Full of love.