“Things should look collected but never unnecessary.”
Far too many interior designers bow down at the ‘less is more’ minimalism altar. Spartan rooms, razor-sharp, clean-cut lines, and strict adherence to a narrow color scheme. Sure, it looks great, but you could argue that it’s been overdone and is now not particularly “out there” or provoking. This week we take a look at the other end of the spectrum – maximalism. This ‘more is more’ movement was a reaction against minimalism and is an aesthetic of excess. White walls, subtle décor, and muted color palettes go out the window. Maximalism is all about being big, bright, and displaying everything you want to, rather than just choosing one or two key pieces and designing around them. Think precious photographs, prized collections, and eclectic furniture typically in a rainbow of colors, textures, and styles. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but it’s a trend that is growing in popularity and one we’re keen to explore.
Houston-based designer Dennis Brackeen is unarguably a maximalist, and here we take a look at one of his more daring projects, an estate in Texas. The homeowner shared Brackeen’s philosophy. “We actually met when the lady of the house visited our retail shop,” Dennis says. “She and I felt immediately that we were the perfect fit and we hit the ground running.” The owner had a rough idea that needed a little polish. “She loved the color and just needed someone to give her a little push, or permission, and guidance on how to use it.”
Brackeen got to work and set about transforming the home in his inimitable style. The primary living room is the jewel in the crown. It’s an intense blend of texture and layers, old and new, bright and dark. A 60s deep shag rug in bright oranges and neon pinks is layered over a traditional rug. Modern art hangs above Louis-style chairs. It’s certainly a lot to take in, and you could never say it’s boring!
Maximalism is willfully ignored adhering to eras and styles. Brackeen intentionally created a smorgasbord of color, texture, and pattern to keep the eye engaged and to keep the room fun and vibrant. The main living room is a concoction of texture and style.
The kitchen, believe it or not, didn’t require much change at all. The shiny silver repoussé cabinetry has a beautiful floral design, and was actually left by the previous owner! All Brackeen needed to do was repaint the cabinets to freshen them up, and add a multihued backsplash made from marble. This creates a stark contrast to the solid blue cabinets below and the shimmering silver above.
In the master bedroom, it’s not the bed but the large seating area which takes center stage. The entire back wall is covered by a huge 12-panel chinoiserie screen. The bright cream sofa and Scalamandre print cushion jump out from the dark background. Brackeen adds further traditional elements like the Greek key pattern on the sofa.
The dining room doesn’t pull any punches, either. It combines old and new in a way that makes the room feel neither. The beautiful de Gournay wallpaper is paired with an almost-psychedelic looking rug. A Lucite table stands across an antique console table.
Do you have a vision that needs a push in the right direction? Contact Austin Home Interiors today and arrange an appointment with one of our talented designers. Contact our designers at [email protected] to find out how we can accommodate your design needs.
We drew inspiration for this article from one kings lane NY, written by Anna Logan (photography from Pär Bengtsson). Find the original article here.