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The Norseman

The Norseman

Design dilemma

Ignore societal standards, stay true to self

Minimalism is a style or technique that is known for its extreme simplicity – less is more. On the other hand maximalism is known for its extreme excess – more is more. Both maximalism and minimalism seem to be rising to very high levels of popularity online, but what for?

Minimalism, also known as the “clean aesthetic,” was widely popularized in the late 1960’s through art and rose to popularity again through social media in late 2022. Minimalism can be seen in fashion and art. Many people joined the minimalist home style in hopes of relieving stress by only having necessities. Individuals supported the minimalist houses because they were easy to clean, therefore saving time and relieving anxiety.

Although there seem to be many pros to minimalist home decor, there are also many cons. One trending joke online has been minimalist millennials raising their kids as “sad beige babies.” Sad beige babies are the children whose parents live the minimalist lifestyle and want their kids to mirror their aesthetic, with some parents going as far as spray painting their toys into muted colors just to match their decor.

Many people went online to point out all the problems with this, one commenter asking, “Did you even read that the spray paint is toxic for babies?” Even though some of the parents did not spray paint their kids’ toys, they paid extra in order to have neutral-colored toys for their children. Research indicates that vibrant colors are good for child development, but these parents would rather focus on their personal aesthetic than what is best for their child.

Maximalism, a style that was capitalized on by Gen Z, originated in the mid 19th century, and is seen in Victorian style homes. This style has recently risen to popularity, going viral on social media and derailing the minimalist push. Many people join this style to express themselves through their room by hanging posters with bands or movies they like. There are many different versions of maximalism, with some focusing on a color scheme, while others just add whatever they enjoy! In turn, their style makes the area surrounding people cozier and pleasant to the mind, by reflecting who they are as an individual.

Of course having many items in your house comes with its problems. The excessive number of items that come with maximalism can make the house difficult to clean since people have to move so much decor just to sweep or dust. Along with the complications of cleaning, a house can become dated very quickly with social media trends changing faster than ever. Constantly changing items in your house just to appeal to the trends is expensive and wasteful.

Even though minimalism and maximalism are dynamically opposed, neither of them is better than the other. Both have disadvantages and advantages. While maximalism is trending now on social media, minimalism was also once trending before it was disregarded and no longer in fashion. Minimalism and maximalism should not be competing against each other in the court of public opinion; they are both great styles and should be looked at as a way to showcase an individual’s taste instead.

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