5 WAYS TO EMBRACE A MORE IS MORE LIFESTYLE
In times of crisis, our decisions tend to take on a more conservative quality. Suddenly, our blue velvet jackets and pointed patent leather dress shoes relocate to the deeper recesses of our wardrobes, making way for varying shades of grey, black and navy to dominate our choices of outfit. It happened after the 2008 financial crisis too, but instead of opposing those neutral tones with equally neutral but complementary ones, we are now opting for bolder, sunnier, more vibrant colours, as though tired of living without hope. After a decade of trying to hack minimalism, we’ve become maximalists! But the line between maximalism and hoarding is a blurred one, and to avoid tipping the scales to the side of crazy cat lady, take heed of these 5 rules of thumb.
CHOOSE WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
If this sounds familiar, you’re right, it’s one of Marie Kondo’s key philosophies to achieving a successful state of minimalism. Only, it applies to maximalism too, but as the name suggests, in greater doses. Instead of placing a single object from your trip to Thailand on the table in the foyer, build a shrine of stuff! Only, omit the Buddha statue you thought was made of stone but turned out to be plastic – unless it still makes you happy. Who’s judging? And if they are, the door is still within arm’s reach.
PRISTINE IS OVERRATED
If we’ve learnt anything from lockdown it’s that he corner of a dining table can just as easily double up as an office, that bit between the living room sofa and the sliding door (where the standing lamp used to be) can be turned into a playroom, and if the cars find a permanent home outside, the garage can become your new gym. The point is, we’ve started to use our homes in multifaceted ways, well beyond their intended purpose. And you know what, apart from the odd spell of cabin fever, it’s not so bad. It certainly doesn’t need to read as chaos but rather a well-deserved pat on the shoulder.
PUT YOUR STAMP ON… EVERYTHING
You know those people you knew at school who couldn’t just buy a new pencil case and leave it be, they had to paint band logos on it and coat it in a layer of cool stickers they never disclosed the source of but it wasn’t CNA? Well, it turns out they were onto something. Not everything you acquire needs to remain in showroom condition. Oftentimes, putting your personal spin on something creates a talking point, and once again, like Sheryl Crow sang away huskily in the 90s, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. And if we’re happy, we want to scream it to the world.
BE A BIT WEIRD, IT’S OK
The cabinet-of-curiosities notion was de rigueur in Victorian times, with the various expositions, exhibitions and circus acts of the 19th century ranging from infinitely fascinating to downright morbid. But there’s no denying that when your home tells a very personal story, the entire space becomes more fulfilling, meaningful and memorable. You’re essentially creating a fantasy you’ve been suppressing for years – possibly even decades – because you were too scared of offending someone with your Tretchikoff shower curtain and mauve-tinted glass coffee cups. Well, guess who can book themselves into an Airbnb the next time they pass through town?
GO CRAZY, BUT DON’T DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY
There’s no limit to how far you can go in turning a simple room into another world, but if you’re not quite ready to give your living room the full 1001-Arabian-Nights treatment, opt for a white, off-white or grey space to frame your creativity. Keep the space neutral and create focal points selectively where you let your imagination take flight, but not without enough calmness to anchor the chaos.