The Rise of Maximalism

“I like to work on designs that will draw the eye or be the focal points of the interiors rather than designing barely noticeable pieces.” says Topfloor co-founder and designer Esti Barnes, The reason is also to show that we can push the limits of design and what we can do in the manufacturing process. If we can do the most challenging, we can certainly make the matching ones.” During 2019’s Salone del Mobile and Milan Design Week celebrations, the rise of Maximilamism was championed by everyone from the likes of design giants Versace, Gucci and Paola Navone, to up-and-coming designers from Europe and beyond.

Dimore Milano at Milan Design Week 2019

Commenting the resurgence of bold style and rug designer’s role within maximalist interior designer, Esti explains, “I think, as much as it was safe and easy, it started to become a bit boring. Colour is back, with maximalism alongside it, to bring excitement, life and energy with it. Beiges, mushrooms, oysters and taupes will never die as it has its functions too.”

‘Valentino’ rug by Esti Barnes for Topfloor

Some of the most striking examples of contemporary maximalist interiors come from the world of hospitality, where flamboyance is celebrated and luxury is a given. Described by The New York Times as “a celebratory rebuke to a dreary age”, Martin Brudnizki’s 2018 revival of 1960s-era disco-cum-supper club Annabel’s captured the hearts and minds of those starved of vibrancy during the reign of minimalism. The Swedish designer’s rococo reinvention is now instantly recognisable and has become the main event for most club members.

‘Annabel’s’ Mayfair, London

Meanwhile, seminal hotel designer Jacques Garcia–who according to Conde Nast Traveler has been traveling almost constantly for 53 years–recently celebrated the opening of his debut London hotel, L’Oscar, in Holborn. The seductive interiors were supposedly inspired by the lavishness and eccentricities of Victorian England, with a few contemporary twists.

‘Envelope’ rug by Esti Barnes for Topfloor / Interior design by Rebecca James

While it might be daunting to consider these specific breeds of elaborate decor and opulence for residential and smaller projects, Esti believes that it is just a case of careful collaboration between suppliers and designers, and keeping a keen eye on cohesion. “When we work with designers, we mostly make rugs and carpets matching the schemes with more texture rather than bold designs that bring out the other elements in their interior projects.” she explains. “So it is a balancing act. My mantra is let the rug fit its surroundings and not fight with it. We use this in all cases, including maximalism.”

‘Esquire Evolution’ rug by Esti Barnes for Topfloor

For more bold design and rug inspiration, explore our collections.