Maximalism, Minimalism, and Creating Personal Space

I am moving soon, to return to the city of my birth, after nearly three years living in Vancouver, British Columbia. For the last two years, I have rented a room in a truly unique and wonderful house. Varouj, the man whose house it is, has been gracious in allowing me to decorate in ways few others would allow their tenant. As a result, my space has truly felt like home for the first time since I moved away. That sense of home is such that its importance cannot be overstated. Home is not where the heart is; home is where the heart feels at peace.

Decorating our houses is only one way that we help to create a home, but it is an important part. If we are uncomfortable with our surroundings, how then can we be at home within them? Decor can, however, be a difficult thing to create. Our tastes change as we do and an ever changing person means and ever changing ideal. That inner ideal is what we strive to manifest around ourselves in the form of decor. That which is within is shown without to create a personalized space. The room which I have spent the last two years creating is a reflection of that past ideal. Heavy colours, dark wood, and shaded lighting creates a cozy, dark atmosphere. I have always loved baroque and elizabethan interiors, as well as creating my own pieces (see the tv cabinet, hat rack, bookshelves, and bedside shelf below).

Recently, I find myself more and more drawn towards a more minimalist lifestyle and this change in mindset has created a change in how I view my surroundings. Superfluous ornamentations now seem more like clutter than decoration and what once felt cozy now feels overpowering and draining. Minimalism draws to mind images of bare, white, modern rooms with little character, a style I feel no attraction towards. I am not so much a fan of minimalism in design, as I am in decoration. Heavy patterns are still something I enjoy deeply, however, I plan on reducing the amount of items which utilize them in my new space. If I can create a space using lighter, brighter colours, with less furniture and ornamentation, then the patterned pieces will no longer feel overpowering. Such a space should feel more clear and promote more positive feelings.

The manner in which our surroundings effect our emotions is one which I am only just beginning to understand. There is much more to learn and I welcome your thoughts and opinions on the matter. For now, I want to leave you with a gallery of my current, maximalist, space and a quote attributed to Oscar Wilde:

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

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