The Rise of Maximalism
The mantra ‘less is more’ has long been celebrated in interior design, emphasizing the beauty of simplicity and minimalism. However, a different design philosophy is taking over, known as maximalism. This vibrant style stands in contrast to the minimalist trends that have dominated the interior design market in recent years. VOCAST had a conversation with the renewed interior influencer Judith de Graaff to explore maximalism and its impact on the interior design landscape.
Meet Judith de Graaff
Judith de Graaff (1980) is a Dutch designer living in the South of France. She has been blogging since 2006 on her interior & lifestyle blog JOELIX.com and is the co-founder of Urban Jungle Bloggers, the largest community of houseplant and interior fanatics, founded in 2013. Together with her friend Igor Josifovic-Kemper, Judith is the author of the two best-selling books “Urban Jungle – Living and Styling with Plants” and “Plant Tribe, Living Happily Ever After with Plants“.
More is More
Today, maximalism stands as a testament to the evolution of design, skillfully combining historical influences with modern sensibilities. While the opulence of the Victorian era is echoed in maximalism’s love for abundance, the vibrant aesthetics of the 1960s and 1970s infuse it with a contemporary spirit. Maximalism champions the idea that more is indeed more, embracing an abundance of color, patterns, textures, and objects. In a landscape dominated by the prevailing ethos of minimalist elegance exemplified by the Instagram aesthetic, the restrained sophistication of Scandinavian design, and the pervasive decluttering philosophy championed by Marie Kondo – maximalism emerges as a refreshing divergence. It extends an open invitation to individuals, encouraging them to wholeheartedly embrace what has been eloquently termed the “aesthetic of joy.” As such, the shift from minimalism to maximalism reflects the changing attitudes towards design and lifestyle.
Maximalism is not solely about accumulating an excessive amount of things, rather, it’s an artistic movement that invites us to revel in the richness of life itself. For Judith de Graaff, maximalism gives her the opportunity to express her vibrant personality within her living space. She achieves this by skillfully incorporating colors, textures, materials, colorful accents, dozens of plants, and unique thrift store finds. The result is a visually stimulating, and dynamically engaging environment in her personal home.
“In my mind I am actually rather minimalistic, but when decorating a space it easily becomes more maximalistic. It gives me the opportunity to express my vibrant personality through my living space”.
Maximizing Maximalism on Social Media
Social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, have become important in shaping home interior trends and fostering a sense of community. With maximalism, this influence has been evident, as phrases like “dopamine decor,” “cluttercore” and “cozy maximalism” have become viral sensations, further solidifying maximalism’s position in contemporary design (source). Judith sheds light on the profound impact of these media platforms; “You easily feel a sense of community and meet with like-minded folks while connecting through hashtags and curated feeds to exchange ideas and inspiring content.” As such, social media has not only provided a platform for sharing but has also cultivated a community of design enthusiasts. Content creators themselves are also captivated by the allure of maximalism:
“Content creators are drawn to maximalist elements as they amplify the visual appeal and evoke a strong emotional response from their audience.”
Maximalism’s embrace of abundance and opulence resonates deeply with viewers, making it a trend that effortlessly captures attention and creates fascination. In this context, it becomes clear that influencers play a central role in driving the maximalist trend forward. Judith believes that influencers are instrumental in this movement. They share engaging and visually appealing content and introduce their followers to new design concepts and products. Thus, influencers not only inspire their audience but also act as guides and teach them about the creative potential of maximalism
“As maximalism gains more traction and recognition on social media, it continues to reshape contemporary design trends and foster a more inclusive approach to interior design and lifestyle choices.”
When discussing brand partnerships, Judith mentions how content creators seek to establish long-term partnerships, characterized by creative freedom. They pursue collaborations where brands allow them to infuse their unique style and personality into the content they create. Simultaneously, content creators desire a sense of involvement and connection with the brands they work with. This connection extends to in-person meetings, behind-the-scenes visits, sneak previews, and some even directly influence new collections.
“A tight-knit relationship that feels (and is!) authentic, with mutual respect that fosters trust and credibility amongst our audiences.”
Current and Future Trends of Maximalism
Discussing the current trends within maximalism, Judith mentions some of the key elements that are currently captivating the fans of this particular interior style. At the moment, vibrant color palettes are enjoying the spotlight, characterized by the use of rich, contrasting hues and elaborate patterns in various elements such as wallpapers, textiles, and furnishings. Moreover, Judith has observed a growing fascination with the integration of an eclectic mix of furniture styles, eras, and cultural influences within maximalist interiors. This harmonious fusion combines vintage or thrifted pieces with contemporary design elements, creating a layered and visually stimulating environment.
“I suppose people are simply drawn to the creative balance achieved by combining the boldness and abundance of maximalist aesthetics with the simplicity and functionality of minimalist design, resulting in visually compelling and harmonious spaces.”
In addition to these trends, maximalist minimalism has also been identified as one of the latest key trends. As the name suggests, maximalist minimalism is a fusion of minimalistic and maximalist interior choices seamlessly blended. When exploring the mixing of these design philosophies, Judith emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between simplicity and opulence. Her recommendations to achieve such a blend involve the combination of clean lines, maximalist accents, rich and plush textiles, eye-catching lighting, and a mix of minimalist and maximalist elements which creates a harmonious, trend-setting interior.
Looking at the future of maximalism, Judith envisions a dynamic and multifaceted trend. She anticipates a remaining focus on sustainability, which may be seen either in the form of repurposing or upcycling items, or furniture made from recycled or second-hand materials. Additionally, she believes that there will be an increased emphasis on creating spaces that promote relaxation, mindfulness, and emotional well-being. The integration of natural elements, soothing color palettes, and ergonomic furniture could contribute to the development of calming and rejuvenating maximalist environments.
Meet the maximalist content creators
Browse through a selection of some of the top influencers profiles with maximalist home interior style, available through VOCAST’S curated lists:
The stockholm based furniture designer Gustaf Westman has taken the design world by storm with his unique designs, soft shapes, and colorful expressions. His interior style can be described as playful, yet pragmatic.
Kine Vinje is a Norwegian home interior enthusiast and entrepreneur, known for playing with bright and eccentric colors in her bold home. On her account, you are guaranteed to find inspiration for how you can spice up your living space with colorful furniture, decoration, and art.
Angelique is a Dutch blogger with a passion for interior design. She loves working with interior challenges such as big bright colors and combines both cheap, expensive, and DIY items in her home.
Cristina Celestino is an Italian Interior Designer and Architect based in Milan. After graduating from the Higher Institute of Architecture of Venice, she began to work with several prestigious firms and founded her brand and studio named Attico Design.
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