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Design Trends

Maximalism: Embracing the Eclectic

The recent trend of eclectic “maximalism” during the last few years has provided us insight into and proof of consumers’ interest in a more robust design aesthetic. This idea of “more is more” and as a reaction to minimalism, maximalism is a key trend to watch. With the recession slowly receding, design professionals can break free from the restraints of years of a limited design aesthetic and pursue more complicated and layered designs. In our 2012 through 2017 trends reports, we’ve highlighted this trend in its various incarnations, discussing interests in pursuing lush, exotic designs with an air of romance; paying homage to recent travel destinations; and showing off treasured collections.

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Sofitel Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA. Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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A model walks the runway at the Dolce And Gabbana show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 on September 25, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo Credit: Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

Historically, maximalism as a term has been used in music, writing and art to describe a variety of artists and periods of time in history. Today, it highlights the creativity and work of the interior design and fashion industries, featuring work from Dolce & Gabbana to Kelly Wearstler. Maximalists embrace bold color, intricate styling and multiple patterns to achieve the desired look — there is no one favorite color as all color is equally beautiful; multiple collections are shown through the space, from artwork to ceramics; all patterns are embraced with glee; walls are filled with art and treasured pieces; and wallcovering is everywhere.

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Exterior Set Design for Dunn-Edwards 2017 Trends Story Creative Ingenuity. Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography.

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Exterior Set Design for Dunn-Edwards 2017 Trends Story Creative Ingenuity. Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography

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A general view at the launch of Regime des Fleurs perfume at Kelly Wearstler Flagship Boutique in Los Angeles with Perrier-Jouet and Compartes Chocolate on April 29, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. Photo Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Kelly Wearstler, Inc.

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A general view at the launch of Regime des Fleurs perfume at Kelly Wearstler Flagship Boutique in Los Angeles with Perrier-Jouet and Compartes Chocolate on April 29, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. Photo Credit: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Kelly Wearstler, Inc.

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Accessories shoe detail on the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana Autumn Winter 2016 fashion show during Milan Fashion Week on February 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy. Photo Credit: Catwalking/Getty Images.

To achieve the best of maximalism, the key is to know your client’s style — whether bohemian or glam or nostalgic for an architectural time period such as Mid-century modern — the unifying design elements will
create a controlled, not chaotic, design. Layering is key though perfectly coordinated spaces are not a priority. A great way to layer is to use various shades of the same color family, while designing with curation, not clutter, is key. Maximalism also doesn’t mean you need to paint with every color — even white painted spaces can infuse maximalism through art and object collections. Creating with the idea of maximalism in mind can be a liberating process of pushing the boundaries of your designs. Be inspired to overdo it!

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London Belgravia home decorated with bright colors inspired by theater and tragedy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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Brightly colored eclectic room. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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Sofitel Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA. Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography

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Interior set design for Dunn-Edwards 2017 Trends Story Creative Ingenuity. Photo Credit: Bethany Nauert Photography.