Towards a new Maximalism

27 April, 2018

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.

In this immeasurable darkness, be the power

That rounds your senses in their magic ring,

The sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,

Whisper to the silent earth: I'm flowing.

To the flashing water say: I am."

Rainer Maria Rilke, Poet



Maximalism is overhauling minimalism in our Workshop.  Creating mood and atmospheres with textures and patterns is something we've always aspired after, but we are now doing it in different ways.  Think Grayson Perry, Dimore and Soho House.  Think Baroque not Renaissance.  I've just returned from the Milan Design Fair, and it became apparent.  It is a very English thing maximalism.  Cosy country pubs and stone cottages with roaring fires fire our imagination and genetic memories.  In the Workshop, we are talking to clients about onyx slabs, wattle and daub walls and blue velvet curtains.  When I conceived the Workshop, I was talking to clients about birch plywood, in situ concrete and limestone slabs.  Of course changes in trends and styles are not new, trips to Leighton House or the John Soane museum will confirm that maximalism has already been.  Why is this happening now?  I think it has multiple reasons.  The white box architecture and generic developer interiors seem so far away now from what people want.  People actually tell us they like our paired back style but feel it isn't warm enough for them.  The information we are fed through about the outside world makes people feel uneasy and they need a safe place to retreat to - a home.  They want this to be warm and atmospheric and secure for their families.  The other reason, I get a sense, is that there was no where else to go.  If you sit at the pure architectural spectrum, the only way is to move towards a new Maximalism.