HYDERABAD: Clean lines, neutral walls and clutter-free design are hallmarks of contemporary/minimalist interiors. Perfection is in its essence. But in the end, like Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro says, perfection is just a concept an impossibility we use to torture ourselves that contradicts nature.
Organised mess, however, can adore your dwelling and open up your mind. A home can still be beautiful if filled with objects of interests and quirks through mismatched belongings. Rooms like these are not a distraction but can evoke wonder and curiosity. That’s maximalism for you.
On the other hand, minimalism is a philosophy with holistic benefits, as showcased by Ryan Nicodemus in Netflix docuseries Less Is Now. But, only if it is just about keeping your mind clear. Consider the contrary for instance, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s couch surrounded by a collection of obscure objects. The study hall evoked an aura that opened and cleared many genius minds.
According to architects, minimalistic designs are for office spaces where employers do not want their employees to be distracted, to have a clear mind to work effectively. However, for many interior designers in Hyderabad, minimalism has become a norm even for homes. “Earlier, people preferred maximalism. But due to the availability of a wide range of materials for minimalist, contemporary designs, designers are lured to choose minimalistic interiors,” says Yeshwant Ramamurthy, principal designer at Studio One Architects.
According to him, in maximalist spaces, objects have a multitude of curvatures that are difficult to visualise in 3d imaging, which most clients prefer. It also requires the use of a lot of wood; preferably rosewood and teak which are hard to find and work with.
Maximalist designs are better suited for spacious spaces, and in a growing city like Hyderabad, large living spaces are uncommon. “One of the ideas of minimalistic designs is to highlight space,” Ramamurthy says. “Very few architects and interior designers take up maximalist interior projects because it is a challenge,” says Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) vice-chancellor Dr Kavita Daryani Rao.
On the other hand, minimalist interiors are clean but not interesting. Sona Chatwani, principal interior designer at SC Design Studio, designs all kinds of interiors including the most common contemporary. But she has decided to decorate her home with unusual objects which she has collected from around the world. “I am an innate maximalist. I live in a maximalist space and I adore these spaces,” she says. Old antique furniture makes her nostalgic of all the places she has visited.
“All these accessories and collection around me defines me as a person and my taste,” she says.
One can express maximalism with graphics, bold colours, paintings, photo frames, chandeliers, Chor Bazaar articles or an heirloom along with plants. It all blends in as long as certain principles of design are followed, she says.
Embrace your mess
Forget the designer because there are no rules to maximalist decorating. It’s all about you, your house and your personality. Ditch perfection and personalise your space as per your needs
Don’t hesitate with colours, use them liberally. Use the colours that come to your mind. Let there be a mismatch, an imperfection in the synchronicity of hues and saturation
Fill the space with artwork, new and old. You have an old piece of broken crockery, perhaps a painting that’s lying around, a piece of paper with a drawing on it or a note that you made when you were a child. Hang them all up
Show off your books. The maximalist style is a book lover’s dream, while others usually force you to shrink the number of books in the display
Go maximalist! In this style of interior decor, objects have a multitude of curvatures that are difficult to visualise in 3D imaging. It also requires the use of rosewood and teak which are difficult to find and work with