Article by Swarna Gowtham
In design, art, and fashion, maximalism relates to the aesthetic of excessiveness. A “more is more” kind of philosophy. For some people, maximalism is for the impulsive, or for the hoarders or shopaholics who can’t seem to limit their need for belongings. However, it is time that we appreciate the benefits of maximalist interior design and address how minimalism isn’t for everyone. When we think of minimalism, we think of Kim Kardashian West’s current house. It's clean, simple, monochromatic, and gives off a zen vibe. However what about Maximalist Celebrity homes, does anyone come to mind? Well, we have Gigi Hadid’s new abode, for example, which has gotten backlash on social media for being gaudy. We also have Cara and Poppy Delevigne’s Los Angeles home which to some may seem outlandish. Modern interior design values sleekness and muted tones rather than loud designs. This is the exact reason why the 60’s and 70’s inspired interior decoration, which valued maximalism, are seen as “outdated”. So when someone decorates their house in a maximalist way, it’s not understood by everyone. But it should be understood and here is why.
One thing that we need to understand about maximalism is that it is less general and more individualistic. Jenelle Porter mentions this in an article for Curbed. “ ‘Maximalism is this attitude of pouring on, not editing out, but adding in,’... ‘It’s an attitude and an approach that welcomes things in.’”. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that minimalism can sometimes lack the personability that a person is looking for in their abode. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Cara Delevigne explains how L.A can be lonely and isolating for her and her sister and for this reason she further goes into how she wanted their home to reflect their swanky mid-century style while adding in elements of their Britishness in order to achieve the hominess that they are looking for. In an article for Glamour, journalist Natasha Reda explains how Gigi Hadid valued eclecticism & individualism as well while redecorating her New York City apartment. In fact, her love for pasta prompted her to create these “dream pasta-facade cabinets”.
So while minimalism can be mentally beneficial and peaceful for celebs such as Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, maximalism can be beneficial to the Delevinges and Hadid who need a sense of familiarity and personal eccentricity in order to feel balanced and happy.
However, there is the argument that maximalism is for the wealthy that overzealously spends money on things like artwork and sculptures for the sake of spending. It should be noted that maximalism is less about having stuff for the sake of having stuff and more showcasing your space through the many things that you have. While minimalism encourages you to eliminate items, maximalism encourages you to showcase items. Any sort of item, no need for it to be an expensive Andy Warhol painting or a rare sculpture. The items showcased in your residence can be sentimental; it can very well include your grandmother’s old collection of perfume bottles, your parent’s collection of books that they read in high school, your favorite childhood blanket used as a throw blanket, or maybe old magazines that you have lying around can be used as wallpaper (Gigi actually did this with old covers of The New Yorker). If you are in need of acquiring items in order to achieve maximalism, you can find inexpensive posters and nick nacks on Etsy, thrift stores, garage sales, or church sales. Make sure whatever you do buy and showcase fits your aesthetic though because that’s part of what maximalism achieves.
With this in mind, it’s time we appreciate how maximalism works in other people’s favor. Individualism, whether expressed through owning a little or a lot, should be celebrated and admired. So for those who love to personify themselves in their living quarters, maximalism may definitely be the move.