If minimalism doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps maximalism will. Defined as a reaction against minimalism, this postmodernist “more is more” approach to art, design, interiors and life (let’s be a bit dramatic), celebrates the beauty of colour, texture, prints and patterns that provide a stylish look and feel.

DNX Interior Design

We chat to interior design experts Donald Nxumalo of DNX Interior Design and Kim Slabbert of The Collection Studio to find out exactly how to achieve this look (without it going horribly wrong).

Known as a lifestyle brand and interior design studio in the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth, The Collection Studio specialises in all design styles from modern to Afro-futurism. Interior designer Slabbert believes that “maximalism is an inclusive design movement and can be expressed by absolutely anyone, no matter their personal taste or budget. All you really have to do is put your personality on display through your choice of design”.

“There aren’t any definitive rules, which allows you to channel your inner child by letting your imagination run wild. Instead of looking outwards to the world around you, you are encouraged to become introspective about yourself and what your design choices say about you. And what you want them to be saying. Rather than blindly following whatever trend happens to be big right now, maximalism lends itself to a deeper exploration of who you are, and that’s never a bad thing,” she says.

The Collection Studio

Eight style tips from Slabbert:

1. Don’t buy things just to fill the space. Only buy things you really love and stick with them, even if it takes you a while to put your look together.
2. Introduce bold colours like royal blue, magenta, saffron and bottle green.
3. Embellish your walls with wallpaper, patterns and hand-painted decorations.
4. Mix different-sized prints in the same colour family and use them throughout your space for cushions and curtains.
5. Mix man-made highly synthetic textures with rustic and natural ones. Think velvets and mohair, leather and wool, Perspex and greenery.
6. Don’t be afraid of layering. Choose a few key pieces that you love and then begin by adding small pops of colour and texture.
7. Re-use and recycle. Take a stand on what you really like. Keep the pieces that you love, whether they are “fashionable” or not, and find fun and interesting ways to update them. We have been in the throes of the age of disposable and replaceable consumerism for too long and it needs to stop.
8. Let your personality be a conversation piece. If you are an avid teacup collector or have an interest in antique crafts, put them on display and enjoy them. Put together a collection of all the things you love and have them on display all at once, whether they “go” together or not.

The Collection Studio

Donald Nxumalo is loved for his luxe design approach to interiors, and DNX Interior Design is the epitome of the maximalism décor style. Donald believes that the secret to this design style is undoubtedly the art of layering. “It’s all about the use of layers and layers of design elements in one space to achieve a more ‘filled’ look, without necessarily cluttering the space.”

DNX Interior Design

Explaining the art of layering further, Donald advises: “When dressing up a wall, we would have wallpaper to start with, then artwork and mirrors; sculptures and a pedestal or server in front of the wall with other design elements like picture frames, vases and other complementary elements in line with the design brief. A great tip would be to go for a bold striking wallpaper or wall covering, then break it off with a large-format mirror, a solid fall feature or artwork and mirror the look. This way, the [area] is well balanced and will create a harmonious space.”

To ensure a beautifully curated look, Donald advises against cluttering when adopting maximalism. He adds: “Usually we like a lot of different elements, but the idea is to stick to a theme. For example, if you are using bird sculptures on the wall, you might need to adopt wallpaper that would be in line with a ‘flight’ or nature theme, so you could look at using botanical, cloud, or tree wall-covering prints. In the same breath, make sure your colours tie in at some point in the space. If you have a particular accent colour on the wall, try to mimic that on a scatter cushion, throw or a piece of furniture.”

DNX Interior Design