17 Feb Why You Need to Break Up With Minimalism
I get it—you see clutter-free, beautifully bare living spaces and think, “yeah, that could be me.” From capsule wardrobes to “life cleanses,” minimalist propaganda is everywhere.
Don’t buy the hype.
White walls, sparse furnishings, rug-less floors, perfect rows of wine glasses perched on delicate shelves—the allure of minimalism is tempting because the “less is more” lifestyle appeals to the fantasy that (you and) your home can be perfect.
Your home will never be perfect, but it can be just right for your real—messy, yummy, busy—life. These spaces look beautiful in photographs, but let’s be honest, they aren’t realistic for anyone with pets, kids or a lease on life.
Following your intuition is much more fulfilling.
Paint those white walls. Add some flair with fluffy, colorful rugs and pillows. Bring in personality with original artwork and witty accessories. Life is meant to be lived with texture and a dash of crazy.
Embrace the imperfect, the rumpled and the funky. It will transform your outlook on life.
What’s Trending in Design for 2016?
Here are my favorite ways to approach this much-needed return to real life.
Credit bohemian style blogger Justina Blakeney and her book “The New Bohemians,” for this return to lush, sexy design. The owners of these spaces “embrace free-spirited, no-rules lifestyle, and apply that attitude to all areas of their existence, including their homes.”
This kind of style is full of ethnic artifacts, Persian rugs, bright colors, intricate accessories, funky artwork, and layers upon layers of texture and pattern. Bohemian rooms are supremely comfortable. They are kid friendly, pet friendly and, most of all, give you permission to be more playful and spontaneous with your design.
“I love the beautiful. I’m not a minimalist. I love living and minimalism is for people who don’t know how to live. I’m a maximalist.” —Antonello Radi
Maximalism is not for the faint of heart. It’s dramatic and a little overwhelming, but sometimes more is more. This style is characterized by rich colors, playful layers of texture and pattern, and an fusion of time periods, styles and ambiance.
No surface or corner is safe. Walls, furnishings, pillows, drapes, floors are all covered in lush fabrics, colors and patterns. Maximalism is perfect for those who love to collect objects, books and mementos from world travels; rule breakers who like to blend a little irreverence with their traditionalism.
The most important aspect of maximalism is NOT filling your home with cheap, mass market pieces. It is about filling your home with things you love, artwork that makes you ponder, colors that make you happy, and textures that make your home comfortable.
A lot of you are afraid of pattern. I get it. It’s hard to mix patterns when you don’t know the rules. But the payoff is worth the pain. When you bring pattern into a space, you are injecting it with some life, some color and a whole pile of personality.
Here are a few basic “rules” to get you started. As always, once you know the rules you can break them, so feel free to play around.
If you are completely pattern-phobic, start small with pillows and throws. Then you can move into upholstery and walls.
- Use different scales. You don’t want a bunch of small tight patterns mixed together. Blend big, medium and small together so your eye doesn’t get confused.
- Add some white space, neutrals or calming colors (dark or light) to break up the pattern. This gives the eye time to rest.
- Always use complementary colors. You can either go with the same hue—i.e. several different patterns in blue and white, or colors that make sense together—mustard and plum, red and orange, turquoise and green.
- Choose something you love and build a room off of it. I love to start with a great piece of fabric or wallpaper and then find other colors and patterns to complement. Some of the best rooms start with a great print.
- Put it in unexpected places like wrapping closet door fronts, a mudroom ceiling, the top of a table with lacquer it to protect it.
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