Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

Get Ready for the ‘Maximalism’ Movement Entering Interior Designs

A new philosophy is taking hold in interior design, and it puts the onus on style without clutter. The recession has finally dwindled and people are yearning for all of the sumptuousness, texture, and good looks that they can get.

This exciting new movement is being called “maximalism.”

So many of us were attracted toward the bare, simplistic movement often referred to as “minimalism” in the last several years. But this new idea of maximalism looks to break that mold and go after the bright, bold, detailed accents that are connected to this new ideal.

During the recession everyone took it down a notch and gravitated toward repurposing. Many people were downsizing and reusing and recycling. People made do with as little as possible.

But are the days of repurposing and reclaiming items fading away and being replaced by maximalism?

The new maximalism means that the recession is almost over, and people are spending again. It’s the place where “more is more” and less is most definitely a bore.

As more designers and the public move toward this notion of maximalism, I'm quick to point out that this does not necessarily mean accumulating things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

Maximalism as it pertains to interior design is about having elegance and sophistication in materials but striking a delicate balance between style and keeping disorder at bay. This requires a lot of editing.

What’s important here is maximalism, yes, but not the clutter and not over decorating -- it's all about curating spaces.

It’s important that we not be afraid of bringing luxe and detail back into our lives. It’s not necessarily the opulence of the 1930s and 1940s, but opulence with restraint that truly reflects what our lives are like today. Luxe is not intimidating.

Maximalism is a term that is used to emphasize work-intensive practices and concentrate on the process of creation itself. The term was coined by historian Robert Pincus-Witten to describe a group of artists associated with the challenging start of Neo-expressionism in the late 1970s. Charlotte Rivers describes how "maximalism celebrates richness and excess in graphic design," characterized by decoration, sensuality, luxury and fantasy.

Heeding this new maximalist movement and integrating it into interior design projects is of particular importance to real estate developers. The fact that consumers are well on their way to seeking out this emerging trend proves the actual weight of this new model of interior design.

When developers are putting up a property they have to be ahead of the curve by eight or even 10 years because it all boils down to this: You have to be able to forecast beyond the trend and forget about "trendy" because by the time it is built, it is not going to be vogue anymore.

Maximalism likely will be the new wave and full future of interior design trends.

I see even more lavishness in the future of interior design, which often follows off of the heels of fashion runways. Since the recession started in 2007 we have been starved, but not anymore – real estate purchasers want a full package. They want to see color, light, detail, pattern, and they want to have fun.

Real estate developers need to realize this and adopt it over the upcoming year with a strategic focus on being ahead of the design curve. Luxe is coming and people want it. It just can’t be ignored.

About the authors: Anna Abbruzzo and Alain Courchesne are the Principal Designers of the award-winning interior design firm Igloodgn, with headquarters in Canada. The design duo successfully works with real estate developers to scale projects to the next level for both residential and commercial properties. Igloodgn’s previous clients have included the major burger restaurant Mister Steer; opulent housing development unit Roccabella Towers; exclusive men’s retailer Dom Rebel Threads; and the elegant Spa Calme. For more information, visit Igloodgn at


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