A different way of looking at the maximalist style – circumventing the minimalist trend by bringing MORE IS MORE into our place, explored by Summer Thornton!
With a studio based in Chicago, Summer Thornton is an interior designer with a reputation for her bold and dynamic creations. She leads projects across North America, where Summer recurrently uses a maximalist style. She fits her bold style with the belief that each space should be unique, and each house should be like a mirror of each one’s particular style, meeting their passions and personalities.
Summer Thornton carries her artistry beyond interior design projects, earning a Fine Arts degree from the University of Arts, Norwich. He worked as a scenographer for theater before starting his career as a designer. She also released a book “Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating” which is an Amazon bestseller.
The ebb and flow of the maximalist style
Like the waves in the sea, this style bounces back and forth in the fashion and trend of the moment.
Appearing in the early 80s with the start of the bold and unconventional design work of Ettore Sottsass, the maximalist style is something we know that, however much it is off the radar of use by interior designers, it always comes back to the limelight. And this is precisely what we have been witnessing recently, with new designers coming up with innovative and risky ideas, but carrying ideas already explored at other times, something that can be explained by the saturation of the minimalist style that has governed interior design over the last few years.
The maximalist style goes far beyond filling a room with too many things
Sometimes misinterpreted, the maximalist style is associated with something negative, mainly as a result of the minimalist trend. The maximalist style got a very upset image with the arrival of the minimalist style, and for obvious reasons, as they are the complete opposite. However, just as the minimalist style can be applied well, so can the other, as Summer Thornton demonstrates in her projects. Here are examples of these good practices:
• Environments that play with various color patterns, based on a common color palette;
• Use of multiple layers to help link the different colors and patterns in the space;
• Objects or elements that provide the “WOW” feeling;
• Excessive use of accessories and detailed elements, but all well planned in terms of the space they will occupy, to bring a visually stimulating result;
• Application of strong colors to energize the space;
• Incorporate unique items, preferably with a personal and emotional connection, such as family heirlooms or travel souvenirs;
• Explore Memphis style pieces, which usually fit well in these spaces;
The maximalist style challenges any interior designer who tries to use it. Unlike minimalism, this one has to keep the space harmonious and welcoming, but it also has to combine all the elements and expressions that will be arranged in the environment. Something that becomes challenging because, as much as it is intended to make a vivacious and expressive space, the final purpose of a house is to bring the comfort and well-being of those who live there. For these reasons, the minimalist style gained so much strength to the maximalist.
Over time, families ended up preferring an open and clean space, which brought a feeling of rest and peace. However, in recent years, the opposite trend has been observed, as reported by several interior designers. Families began to realize that the minimalist style, in its saturated use, brought monotony to homes, leaving the impression that all houses were the same in today’s times. In this way, the intention on the part of the families to have a space that is unique, different from all the others, and that at the same time brings life, being a welcoming and passionate space, began to emerge.
For these reasons, the maximalist style has been rejuvenating in interior design, with the desire for a space full of elements that connect emotionally and personally.
As we have seen through Summer Thornton’s designs, it is possible to create a wonderful and welcoming space through the maximalist style, something that is sometimes seen by people as unthinkable. The challenges of this style are enormous, no doubt, but when applied well, we can create a space we will be proud of! If you want to add a maximalist element to your space, check out our shaped collection by TAPIS STUDIO.
Photos: Summer Thornton Design