Style debates: Minimalism vs Maximilism

I've been a serious lover of style for about ten years now.  I am drawn to such a variety of things.  I envy those people whose vision of what they love is so crisply defined. I've struggled to decide between extremes, and in that uncertainty I've been frozen.  My fence-sitting left me with nothing that thrills me and makes my heart flutter.

I was originally going to do one post on this, but realized I have several different style debates going on in my head and decided to make it a series.

So here's #1...
Minimalism vs maximalism

This style debate has been raging for years in my mind.  Perhaps it always will.

I love the calm serenity of minimalism.  It is not about the room, it is about the life lived in it, and the room is merely the backdrop.

Minimalism that inspires me:
Book review - Simple Style by Julia Bird on The City Sage (I have this book and love it!)
Interiors Inspiration: Atlanta Bartlett on Little Bits of Lovely (I have both of Atlanta Bartlett's books)
Amy Neunsinger on Space for Inspiration

I love the bold, playfulness of maximalism.  It demands attention.  It will not be ignored.  Maximalism IS about the room, and the room makes a statement about the person who lives there - what they like and what they love.

Maximalism that inspires me:
Atelier Abigail Ahern
Give me Libertine or give me death on Habitually Chic
Sam Robinson on Boatshed Chic
Home tour of Cindy Greene at the Selby
Interview - Sibella Court by The Design Files
interior designer kelly wearstler on the daily imprint
The 40 winks hotel
India Knight on Poppytalk

So which one is winning in my personal tug of war?

Well, you may notice as I was listing my personal inspirations in each category that I had two maximalist examples for every minimalist one. I am gravitating to Maximilism.

Lately I've been more willing to take a step, make a statement, make a definitive move. I've decided to move towards the eccentric, bohemian maximalist look and let the chips fall where they may. My recent art wall is a good example of that.  It fills me with joy seeing it.

Am I a little nervous about making a commitment in one direction or another? Yes. But it already feels good - much better than sitting on the fence.

So which direction do you lean?


  1. I'm a maximalist, all the way--but you can probably tell that just by seeing my blog! It has never been a conscious choice; I just love having lots of eye candy around me, and it's important to me that my home says a lot about me and my family--what we like and where we've traveled.

    I'll be checking out all your maximalism links--thanks!

  2. I love the calmness of the minimalism, so clean and uncluttered. But I really like color and patterns. So I definetly live a maximalist life.

  3. I am totally a maximalist for sure!! I love color and stuff and cozy. LOVE IT, Although I really do enjoy seeing a simple clean space in a minimalist way too! Lovely post.

  4. Thanks for sharing, I'm glad I've got some fellow maximalists to cheer me on.

  5. Minimalist all the way - even your maximalist sample photos make me wince. It's just too overwhelming!

  6. Oh my goodness, I have had this debate with myself for YEARS and I still have no idea. It really just depends on the day. Some days, I want to throw out everything and others, I can't have enough pretty things. I don't think I'll ever settle on just one! :)

  7. I linked here from Allison's blog... this post is just screaming to me how I feel right now. Hubbie is an architect and we moved into our newly built home that he designed 6 months ago. Like so many architects he leans on a minimal aesthetic and myself? I am a total maximalist girl! The more eye candy the better. But its a constant battle between having too much eye candy and it just being clutter.
    Perhaps you could do a post on that: how do you define clutter v. eye candy. When is too much too much? When is something junk from goodwill and when is it treasure? I struggle with this daily as I'm trying to decorate my home and make it home.

  8. That's a great suggestion Helen! Because I actually think there is a place where minimalism and maximalism meet - a way to do maximalism using cues from minimalism. I will write a post on it - hopefully next week! :-)

  9. My art studio and biz in MAX
    and my home is MIN

  10. Wonderful! I can't wait to read your new post..I am very interested in your views on this ;-)