Maximalist vs. Minimalist Design

Over the years, the fad of minimalism has taken North America by storm. The open aesthetic gives a space that clean look and feel. Recently, however, maximalism has started to pick up steam. These opposing styles appeal to different people and both have their pros and cons.

Minimalism is about only having what you need: a small closet, few personal belongings and generally a smaller living space. Minimalists believe that the amount doesn’t matter, like how much you own or how many square feet your apartment is. Here’s what being a minimalist could look like:

  • You take better care of your fewer belongings, but when something breaks, it hurts.
  • You get to spend more time shopping trying to find that perfect item that you know is going to last a long time, but you buy less, therefore saving money.
  • You learn to do without. Everything ends up having more than one purpose, so you don’t buy anything that only has one function.
  • You use items until they are worn out. No replacing things just for the sake of it.
  • You don’t let messes pile up because you don’t a lot of possessions. Ex. Clothes, dishes, etc.
  • You spend way less time cleaning since you don’t have many items to clean. Perhaps you only need to do one single load of laundry and you’re forced to do your dishes after eating since you’ll need them for your next meal.
  • You only get things that you can’t live without. Everything has a purpose, and everything is significant.

On the other hand, maximalism is the exact opposite. This design fad is all about filling up your space and making it uniquely you! Maximalists try to create a space that has an emotional quality. If you’re ready to try this idea out, here are a few tips to start on your maximalist journey:

  • Start with a base. Find that special something that grabs you and build around that, whether it is a paint colour, a side table or a piece of art.
  • Find your flow. Don’t just throw things into a room and hope for the best; link pieces together through colours and patterns.
  • Use juxtaposition to give your space an interesting look.
  • Control the chaos by using shelves to organize your items.
  • Collect anything that is inherently you.

These two very different styles both have their separate appeals. No one really likes to change, but who wouldn’t want their living space to be a direct reflection of their personality? There really isn’t a wrong answer when trying to decide how you want to live; different people have different priorities. Does a 200 square foot apartment sound great or terrible? Does the idea of a lavish living area full of knick-knacks and collectables sound cute or cluttering? These decisions are up to you and your personal design tastes.


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