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Minimalist vs. Maximalist

The way we live in our homes should be a reflection of the dweller and what they are comfortable with because it is their space. Since I was a teenager, my interior design style favorites included Victorian and “country” varieties, particularly French and English country. Today they’re many people leaning toward a more minimalist design for their spaces, drawn to the simplicity of the style. I wanted to discuss both design esthetics, what they are and consider some cons in each style language. Think about how you like to live and give me your opinion down below in the comments. I would to see what people are drawn too.


Less is more. The simpler the better. Bare walls and surfaces. Little decor and more open space. Clean, angular lines.

This design esthetic works for many people because it frees up time and space for living. Those who ascribe to this style love the simplicity of having less things around them. And there is less to clean. It takes time and effort to keep decorative items clean and looking well presented. They don’t necessarily want to do these things with their time.

Minimalist kitchen

I have noticed that many of those drawn to this esthetic are younger and more career minded and the desire to get away from their parents and grandparents use of what they may see as frivolous decorative items. I see it in my own kids. The 20-something’s focus is elsewhere than filling their spaces with “stuff”. Today there is less expendable income and there is a desire to travel and focus on their careers, not worry about taking care of these things. Often people can’t do both.

Younger people are less likely to stay in one place for years and keeping things simple is easier to move. People don’t want to stay still for too long and so the want to find a new place to live for work or want to experience a different area or culture. It takes a lot of money and energy moving things from one place to an other. Keeping things simple is easier to work with when you are highly mobile individual(s).

Cons: You can’t avoid clutter all together so you need to be very well organized. No matter your desire to keep things simple, you deal with the reality of mail and a variety paperwork which can pile up. Make a plan for organizing and stick with it.


More is more. Collecting decorative items. Few empty spaces and walls. Variety of patterns all mixed together, fabric everywhere and lots of furniture with wood trim.

One of the principles particular to the Victorian era (1820 – 1914) was the display of all your collections from your world travels, especially those who were wealthy and the middle-class economic groups. Their homes would express their personality through what was collected and it was a way to brag to friends, family and others who visited their homes for social events. This design style introduced the the term “what not”. This was a reference to a small wall shelf that holds random little Knick knacks that was collected by the homeowner that didn’t fit anywhere else in a room. The overflow you could say. Other traditional design styles have their esthetic that includes collections of some type or other. The type of items collected will change depending on the style.

Cons: When you own many things it can become overwhelming so use discretion. There is the challenge of styling and arranging the collections (curating) so it looks nicely displayed. Cleaning and dusting is also more time intensive so schedule the time to do a nice cleaning of your collections so they stay beautiful.

There are no right or wrong way in designing your personal space. Know yourself, what you like, how you live and your priorities in life. The whole point in interior design is to make the person living in the space happy and content. It is an expression of the homeowner’s personality and there’s no shame in surrounding yourself with things you love or keeping things simple.

Peace to you and your family.