The roaring twenties are back in a bold way


I’m not a historian, but the parallels of the Roaring Twenties and the 2020s are not lost on me. Both involved reactions to a pandemic that held people back for months. In the 1920s, the Western world responded with an era known for excess, luxury, and Great Gatsby-style parties.

Today, a similar explosion is happening in our homes, say top designers. We may have no shortage of speakeasies or flapper dresses, but interior design trends are far from tamed.

“Having fun is back on the agenda in all aspects of our life, including at home,” said British interior designer Benji Lewis.

“Restraint is the permission to live taller and not play safe all the time,” said Courtney Sempliner, a designer based in Port Washington, NY. “People want to go on living and live fully. Everyone is ready to push a little.”

Hello, maximalism. Goodbye minimalism. We are ready to show “less is more” the door.

After a long dull period, where gray and minimalist interiors dominated the interior design, this explosion of color and abundance makes me feel like it’s raining on the desert. But, before you go wild, know the rules. Lewis and Sempliner answer questions about moving towards more here and share their top tips on how to get the most out of maximalism:

What drives the tendency towards maximalism?

Lewis: It’s a reaction to the events of the last 18 months. People got stuck in their homes and wanted to find joy in their living spaces, so they started to afford more colors, patterns and textures. While we still have a place for gray over gray, maximalism has put it aside.

What defines the maximalist look?

Sempliner: Maximalism means more of everything. More of your favorite colors, fabrics and accessories. The pendulum has moved away from minimalist looks. Now everyone is open to color, pattern and ornament. They layer pillows, blankets and rugs. These are complete draperies and sofas with upholstery.

Lewis: The more is more approach gives us the freedom to be loud, chaotic and colorful and to create a collision of styles. Think traditional floral wallpaper with an oversized photograph of Jimi Hendrix performing live in Woodstock. He uses heritage objects and period pieces and reinvents old objects in new ways, so not everything is new. It’s the gallery walls and a drinks cart. We’ve moved past rooms so dark and spooky you’re afraid to sit down.

What is the difference between maximalism and clutter?

Lewis: Maximalism doesn’t happen by accident. It is not chaos or disorder, but rather controlled and organized chaos that incorporates balance.

Sempliner: Maximalism is tailor-made and tied together. It’s not about releasing everything you love. To keep your decor from looking too haphazard, find a few common colors or patterns to repeat throughout the room.

How is or is maximalism different from traditionalism?

Sempliner: Maximalism is more about pushing the boundaries and being a little over the top.

Lewis: You can incorporate maximalism into any style, traditional, contemporary, or even modern interiors. To mix together. Put old French armchairs with a modern glass cube table. If I were doing a modern maximum space, I would think in terms of layering textures and tones.

How can decorators introduce Maximalism into their spaces?

Lewis: Don’t fly away. Build a room plan with a well-planned furniture layout. Once the furniture is in place, add a pattern, perhaps a flowery chair or striped wallpaper. Then look to see which of your existing assets you could add to dress up the space. Edit what doesn’t make sense. Don’t just match everything. Be prepared to challenge yourself a bit. Do not be shy. Think floral chintz, geometric woven patterns, ingot fringes.

What are the five decor movements that tell you maximalism?

Lewis: A key element in a maximalist interior is a drinks cart to give the illusion of entertaining in grandeur. Layers. Prints and patterns, in particular an animal print. The leopard is so much fun. Strong jewelry tones, such as garnet, sapphire, turquoise, emerald. Portrait of an ancestor. If you don’t have one, buy one. Who will know ?

Sempliner: groups of three elements in a thumbnail, instead of one. A transition from gray to a colorful palette. More fantasy, less restraint. Everything on a larger scale. Collections of plates or works of art hung on a massive wall in the gallery.

How do you know you’ve created a successful interior?

Lewis: You know, when you step into space and all of these elements that we’ve been discussing are in place, the emerald and the garnet, and that fantastic feeling surrounds you, and the room is so dramatic, you say, “ I like this ! I’m gonna have a great time here. “

It sounds like the roaring twenties to me.

Marni Jameson is the author of six books on Home and Lifestyle, including “What To Do With Everything You Have To Leave The Legacy You Want.”

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