5 Times When Maximalism Was Calming

5 Times When Maximalism Was Calming

Carolyn Purnell
Aug 13, 2015
(Image credit: Rue Magazine)

Jason Grant's Sunny Australian Abode in Rue Magazine

Minimal and uncluttered spaces tend to get all the credit for being calming, but some people just don't have minimalism in their genes. In fact, for certain people, having lots of things is actually quite comforting and relaxing and not overwhelming at all. Obviously, "overwhelming" is going to be a different threshold for everyone, so you may not love all these spaces, but hopefully they can be an inspiration for how a home can be full while still being cozy and calm.

In Jason Grant's home (above), even the ceilings are fair game for display. Macrame mixes freely with oars, a yellow chair is friendly with a pink flamingo, and items from different time periods mingle with ease. Because the room is so filled with light and open floor space, it feels like a comfortable space rather than a cramped one.

In this London loft, neutral colors keep the walls, floors, and ceiling cohesive, and many of the objects have similar creamy hues, helping the space feel united rather than cluttered. Objects are collected in glass cases, and plants, which are evenly distributed around the room, add the main doses of color.

Many people may not find red to be calming or relaxed, but to me, nothing could be more enticing than the prospect of attending a dinner party in this vibrant room. In the day, it's invigorating, and at night, I imagine it would feel like a warm hug. The eclecticism of the space actually helps temper the fiery hue: turquoise and blue chairs add a bit of cooling, the leopard sculpture and wood furniture make the space seem more organic, and the artwork helps break up what might otherwise be an overwhelming color.

These similar sitting rooms seem to me like a really modern version of a Victorian home. They are filled with treasured objects and curiosities that could spark conversation. Visually, they may be busy, but when it comes to use, I would imagine that they are quite comfortable spaces. The furniture looks plush, with plump pillows and soft velvet. Envision yourself sitting in front of the fire with a book or gazing at the sculptures and art. The walls are deep, soothing blues, which, in the first example, strikes a nice contrast to the bright walls in the neighboring room.

This room has certainly made the rounds on the internet, and with good reason. I still love how beautifully and fearlessly Bauer mixes colorful stripes with zebra print. Pink, turquoise, gold, and lime come together in a classic, classy way rather than a brash way, thanks to the fact that the furnishings are appropriate to the small space. Bauer's maximalism comes in the form of visual punch, not in a multitude of objects. The space seems cozy and dramatic all at the same time.

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