From minimalism to maximalism

Design extremes that determine the way your home looks

Updated - February 03, 2024 11:37 am IST

Published - January 05, 2024 03:26 pm IST

As we bid farewell to another year, it’s time to reflect on the design trends that have shaped our living spaces. This year, the interior design scene witnessed a fascinating tug-of-war between two extremes: minimalism and maximalism. Both styles, with their contrasting aesthetics, have not only dominated homes but have also inspired designers to push boundaries and create spaces that are both unique and deeply personal.

Minimalism: less is more

Minimalism, characterised by simplicity and functionality, has been a reigning trend for quite some time. Homeowners and designers continued to embrace the “less is more” philosophy, creating spaces that exude calm and sophistication.


The cornerstone of minimalism is decluttering. Homeowners have increasingly focused on keeping only the essentials, eliminating unnecessary items that can disrupt the visual harmony of a space. As we enter a new year, consider decluttering your living spaces to create a serene and stress-free environment.

Neutral colour palettes

Minimalism often favours neutral colour palettes, such as whites, greys, and earth tones. These hues create a timeless and soothing atmosphere. If you’re looking to adopt a minimalist approach, opt for a neutral colour scheme and let a few carefully chosen accent pieces add interest to the space.

Clean lines and neat flooring

For an uncluttered look of minimalist spaces, clean lines in furniture and architecture contribute a big deal. Choose furniture with simple shapes and straight lines. Additionally, maintain neat and clean flooring — whether it’s hardwood, tiles, or concrete — to enhance the overall minimalist aesthetic.

Maximalism: embrace the bold

On the flip side, maximalism emerged as a powerful counter-trend, encouraging individuals to embrace boldness, colour, and eclectic combinations. This design philosophy is all about celebrating individuality and creating spaces that tell a rich, vibrant story.

Loud and bold colours

Maximalism is not afraid to make a statement with colour. Go beyond the neutrals and introduce vibrant hues into your decor. Whether it’s a bold red accent wall, jewel-toned furniture, or vibrant accessories, let your personality shine through bold colour choices.

Vintage and family heirlooms

Maximalism encourages the incorporation of vintage finds and family heirlooms. Hunt for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that add character to your space. Mixing old and new creates a rich tapestry of memories and stories.

Gallery walls and colourful wallpapers

Transform your walls into a canvas of expression. Maximalist spaces often feature gallery walls filled with an eclectic mix of artwork and colourful wallpapers that add depth and interest. Don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns and textures to create a visually stimulating environment.

Plants and statement pieces

Bring the outdoors in with an abundance of plants. Maximalist spaces often feature lush greenery that adds life and vitality. Additionally, invest in statement pieces that become focal points in a room, expressing your unique style.

Showcasing everything

Unlike minimalism, maximalism is about showcasing everything you love. It’s an opportunity to display your collection of art, books, and unique finds. Embrace the idea of organised chaos, where every piece tells a story and contributes to the overall narrative of your space.

Both minimalism and maximalism are different approaches to interiors and are a mirror to the diversity of design preferences.

Balance is key

Whether you’re leaning towards minimalism or maximalism, finding a balance is crucial. Minimalist spaces can benefit from a carefully chosen statement piece, while maximalist spaces can benefit from moments of simplicity to avoid overwhelming the senses.

Regardless of the design extreme you choose, make sure your space reflects your personality and interests. Incorporate elements that hold sentimental value, ensuring that your home is a true reflection of who you are.

While aesthetics is important, don’t compromise on functionality. Ensure that your space is practical and serves your needs, whether it’s creating a serene minimalist retreat or a vibrant and lively maximalist haven.

The writer is Director, Embassy Interiors.

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