While 2021 was centered around livable luxury, 2022’s interior design goal is to tell a personal and welcoming story that reflects where we’ve been through maximalism. Unlike minimalism, maximalism creates a story of interest, visual appeal and self expression with the help of a variety of patterns, colors, textures, layers and focal points. However, this age of maximalism is not about cluttering and filling our spaces, but rather repurposing the old and damaged into something new; emphasizing comfort and quirkiness; and having the vintage meet the contemporary with a nomadic adventurous flare.
Our color wheel this year is multidirectional, one path towards hues you’d find in nature, especially browns, like chocolate, camel, terracotta, caramel, cognac and burnt umber to invoke feelings of warmth, comfort, airiness and coziness. These shades of brown will forge a rich and elegant space and serve as a neutral to our other color path: rich, bold and vibrant colors reminiscent of the 60s and 70s and even the Pantone color of the year, “Very Peri”- a bold blue with a violet-red undertone. Experts recommend selecting two to three colors that coordinate and are at the same saturation level to use primarily, and then add pops of color via plants, curtains, rugs, pillows, wallpaper, furniture and even floors. These colors will also be combined and mixed to generate dynamic maximalism-like patterns, particularly damask prints or floral patterns- in a contemporary palette rather than chintz print. Don’t be afraid to repeat the patterns in different pieces for cohesiveness. The all-white minimalistic look is slowly declining because while sleek and crisp, it does not possess a cozy, comforting feeling visually or mentally.
Textures also engage and stimulate the senses tactilely, another pillar of maximalism. Organic materials add soul and depth which is why when it comes to our surfaces and accents, nature is going to be our inspiration with marble, stone, wood, clay, terracotta and travertine pieces. To mimic the calming ambiance of the outdoors, opt for pieces that look textured, raw and natural, like patterned jute, rush and abaca rugs, especially ones with exotic flora and fauna designs. However, we also see a desire for soft materials that feel nice and plush to the touch like linens, mohair and velvet. Combine the two to yield maximal textural and visual intrigue; the glamor and grandeur of the luxurious looking textures serves as a striking juxtaposition to the natural, earthy materials. Think leather couches with soft throw pillows, wooden or metal tables over plush rugs or decorative glass or ceramic pieces on thick wooden shelves. Tie in the vintage and bring in a sense of nostalgia, timelessness and sentimentality with traditional antique mementoes with patina to further contrast contemporary pieces.
Amidst all the colors and textures, it’s necessary to establish a focal point in maximalism so that there’s a clear flow of the room. There is a push towards gallery walls with abstract 3D art because it adds whimsy and curiosity; or a wall of plants to cultivate the natural feel; or bookcases full of our books and treasures for a sense of history. Guide the eye to the focal point with furniture, whose lines are softening and curving. Subconsciously, curved forms such as mushroom silhouettes, banquettes, roll arm sofas, skirted or flanged chairs or sofas and wingback chairs are regarded as safe, friendly and welcoming. Additionally, vintage, mid-century trademarks like peg legs on cabinets and tables are expected to grow in popularity as well as teak wood tones. Leather will dominate furniture, especially in rich tones to offset cooler metals.
To give the maximalism style justice, each room’s purpose needs to be considered and have the right balance of color and texture. As our world advances technologically, we have become more drawn to the traditional; but as we continue to use our homes non-traditionally (as offices, schools, gyms, etc.), we are drawn to constructing spaces that stimulate us. So, in 2022 we don’t have to choose between vintage or contemporary, we can (and should) have both.