First off, what you need to know about maximalism is that it is the epitome of statement interior design. What you’re about to experience is in no way a run-of-the-mill, nondescript look – it’s a movement. When it comes to the nonconformist interior style, nothing is simply there for the sake of being there – every element has a purpose and is impressive in its own right.
This is an idea well-understood by Kelly Wearstler – the LA-based interior designer to the stars which has us renouncing the minimalist life for one that’s colourful, surprising and larger than life. The South Carolinian tells us, “I view my interiors as sculptures. I want to create a sense of adventure with artful pieces that tell a story.” An adventure is just what you’ll get when you experience the interiors of this maximalist mastermind – a full-on, sensory one which inspires in a way that minimalism can’t.
And whilst Kelly’s style is practically inimitable, her style is just too damn lust-worthy to not try to grasp the basics. Here are four tips for achieving the Kelly Wearstler look.
1. Colour is Currency
They say that colour is the easiest way to instantly update a room, as maximalism knows all too well. Whilst minimalism is subtly confident, maximalism is unabashedly so; where minimalism favours a blank canvas, maximalism takes that canvas and paints on it. And very colourfully, might we add. Whilst Kelly has old Hollywood glamour palettes perfected down to a fine art, her boundary-pushing use of vibrant tones shows a comfortability with this maximalist calling card.
2. Accessories Aren’t Accessories
Maximalism laughs at the prospect of accessories because it is accessories – a maximalist room is the sum of its outstanding pieces and is built around its smorgasbord of individual components. As the antithesis of clean and clutter-free minimalism, rooms are chock-full of eclectic, oversized and sculptural shapes, objets and artwork which are as influential as its furniture. These ornamental table lamps, a sculptural suspension light and a colour-scheme-determining objet transcend the pigeonhole of accessories and become some of this dining room’s key players.
3. Bigger Is Better
If maximalism had a catch phrase it would be “go big or go home”. Kelly’s known for using oversized designs which act as focal points for a room or create a buzzy vibe without being too busy. Her tabletop vignettes aren’t full of delicate trinkets but, instead, treasures which can hold their own. Colossal wooden heads, metal spiked spheres and life-sized anatomical casts are recognisably Kelly.
4. Patterns Are Everywhere
There’s hardly a surface untouched by pattern in a maximalist interior and Kelly is the master of pattern play. The living room of this New York apartment proves that unconventional moves pay off big time in the style stakes. By combining contrasting motifs which are less eclectic, more cohesive, her rooms are always alive without being overbearing. Geometrics, gestural paint strokes and natural patterns – think veined marble and wood grain – are some of Kelly’s go-tos for creating a sensory experience.