These curated, colourful and art-filled homes prove that sometimes, more is more.
When it comes to interior design, minimalism is often embraced above all else. Though, a contrasting approach that looks to the past seems to be a trend on the rise. Some of our favourite homes over the years have showcased a multitude of objects, collections and tchotchkes among ample furniture and other hallmarks of maximalist decor. And even in Toronto’s smaller spaces, the maximalist look works — when it’s done right. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite interiors that embrace maximalist decor.
“I’ve come around to the green,” says Kenneth Montague about the striking hue of his home, which is defined in part by its open-air walkways painted a brilliant chartreuse – a detail that architect David Peterson insisted upon. “Peterson thinks Toronto is afraid of colour, and I love the strategic injection of it,” Montague says. Looking around his living room at the mix of mid-century furniture, high-octane paintings and throw pillows made from African textiles, you see what he means.
Open shelving, vibrant colour pops and lush green paired with an eclectic mix of potted plants and metal accents make up Andrea Kantelberg’s pilot project for Evolved Living. The Wellington condo showcases the best of biophilic interior design with an inspiring collection of energizing elements.
For almost a decade, Catherine Osborne (former editor of our sister magazine, Azure) and her husband, creative director Kaspar deLine, went without bookshelves. Their glossy art tomes, yellowed vintage cookbooks and sailing guides sat in neatly stacked piles on the floors of their south Cabbagetown home. “We’re maximalists,” jokes Osborne. “Azure is all about minimalism, but I’m not living that way.”
As medical professionals, Lesley and Matthew work in clean, clinical settings. So, at home, they wanted light, colour and rooms bursting with playful personality. In the home office, loungers from DWR sit in front of a wall tiled with photos by Cindy Blaževic.
When Heather Asquith, principal of Asquith Architecture, and Julie Reinhart, owner of Julie Reinhart Interior Design, were tasked to re-imagine a dimly lit, century-old Edwardian, they were provided with a simple brief: make it the opposite of what it is now. The result is a bright and playful family home with a collection of maximalist decor.
“A lot of people mistakenly associate modern architecture with coldness,” says Todd McMillan, co-founder of the Burlington design and construction firm Ben Homes. Granted, some contemporary houses with boxy interiors, high ceilings and slick finishes can feel soulless, but traditional mid-century modernism is anything but. The much-loved style walks the line between minimal and maximalist decor, which is what Mcmillan’s home embodies.
“A sense of enough,” is the way designer Andrew Jones describes what drew him to the south Roncesvalles Victorian that has been his home and personal design playground for the last eight years. Jones saw through layers of peeling wallpaper to good bones: plenty of south-facing light to counter the deep, dark spaces that are characteristic of these houses; a sufficient amount of original features to telegraph history; and ample raw potential for maximalist decor.
Maximalist decor elements like gallery walls, busy bookshelves and eccentric colour pops have turned an old Riverdale house into a stylish and sophisticated home. Skylights throughout the home bring every design element to new heights.
Feeling like adding to your own maximalist decor collection? Check out our Where to Shop page for the best selection of local stores.