A few weeks ago I covered minimalism. Finding out that it gets a lot of slack from the average person. Through my research, I found out the movement had a sibling known as maximalism!
Today I will explore what maximalism is, how it’s better or worse than minimalism and how you can achieve your best maximalist life!
What is maximalism?
Maximalism is an art movement made in reaction to minimalism. It argues the opposite of minimalism. So the idea is that more is more. Ultimately live in excess.
Much like minimalism, it is a part of everyday life, from art to literature. It’s there! You can tell something is maximalist when the colours are bold and bright, and patterns are repeated and changed a lot and possessions? You are allowed as much as you like.
On top of that, furniture or paintings can be made of luxury materials and look elegant. Again think excess!
How is it different?
There is one noticeable difference between maximalism and minimalism (in fact, the clue is in the name!)
Maximalism focuses on having a lot of stuff in your belonging—most of it with bold colours or patterns. They are arranged elegantly.
Whereas minimalism forces you to prioritise what your necessary furniture and needs in your home are. So you don’t live with excesses amount of stuff or fill up the house with things to make decorations work. Now typically, this is the part of the article where someone says minimalism doesn’t allow for a bold colour as minimalism does! And whilst yes, minimalism is spare and more muted, this isn’t always true!
See, minimalism doesn’t tell you what colour to paint the walls. It means you get rid of the things that aren’t necessary for your day to day life. And so, you could be a minimalist with pastel blue walls or a bright yellow wall. Your furniture might not fit the colour scheme or be as extravagant or as elegant as it would if you followed the other movement!
Or you could’ve joined the minimalist movement later in life and so are stuck with multicoloured walls till you can decorate!
With minimalism, there are apparent benefits to following that type of interior decorating, from having less clutter to doing more with your space. And it is a decorating type that fits with small apartments.
With all that in mind, what are the benefits of maximalism? It doesn’t help in small spaces? And you have a lot of furniture you never use, so what’s the point?
1. You stop dumping stuff, and that helps others!
When you live a minimalist lifestyle, you are asked to get rid of the things ‘that don’t spark joy.’ And when that happens sometimes, you’ll give it away or sell it. However, you are more likely to throw it in the bin or dump it in this day and age.
And when you throw it away, it will get sent to another country, and they’ll have to deal with the mess, or it’ll go to a landfill, which is terrible for the environment. And if you dump it on the street, then your littering and making the place where you live an eyesore. Ultimately you not leaving your stuff or throwing it away helps the environment and others!
2. You’ll never run out.
When you live a maximalist lifestyle, you’ll have extra supplies. So, for example, notebooks. We’d have three at most if we were minimalist, whereas maximalism would make us have like ten, considering how busy we get and how vital specific details are. Let’s pretend you need to write a new phone number quickly because you’ve accumulated/bought many of them. You’ll always have something to write about emergency or essential information.
3. More choice
Because maximalism requires living in excess (or at least admitting it), you’ll have more choice when you need something or want to try something. An example would be video games ( I know it’s a weird one). Because you’ve not given any of the ones you don’t like to a store or sold them on eBay, you’ll have an extensive collection to choose from, and so if you are stuck in a rut, you’ll have more variety of types of things to choose from, and choice is sometimes needed.
4. More stimulating
We’ve all heard the line that minimalism can ‘improve your mental health.’ Because there’s less clutter ‘makes you concentrate more, however, because of the colourful nature of colours and patterns that maximalism involves. It can help stimulate you and help you be more creative because of the type of furniture or colours in your surroundings. It can help generate ideas and motivate you because the room isn’t bare and depressing.
5. You can still be cheap about it.
Now I can hear people say, ‘But Minimalism is cheaper,’ and I agree on the surface. But maximalism says to live in excess. It doesn’t mean it has to be super expensive. Say you want to buy thirty chairs. You don’t have to buy them from a fancy furniture store. You could get them second hand and upcycle them. Find a bold colour you like? Get the paint cheaper somewhere else. You can still be maximalist on a budget even if the movement’s title makes it seem like you can’t.
6. You can make it look good.
Now because maximalism requires excess, everyone believes those types of lifestyles are cluttered and less spacious. However, those with maximalist furniture and decorating can still design an interior that looks just as amazing as a minimalist one!
Maximalism, like minimalism, has its stereotypes to conquer. And it may not have as many pros as its counterpart, but many people enjoy the process? Maybe you’ll pick it up too!
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