Castillo, Encarna. MXM: Maximalist Interiors. New York: Harper Design, 2003. Summary
: A reaction against the late 20th century trend toward minimalism in interior design. Eclectic and excessive, maximalism borrows from multiple previous style trends and then decontextualizes and repurposes them. Comments
: The ongoing, long-term process of decorating my new bedroom has sparked in me an interest in interior design books--particularly those books that aspire to be artbooks as opposed to self-help guides. As far as I'm concerned, interior design, like cooking, is more entertaining as a spectator sport than as an involved do-it-yourself project. Fortunately, this lovely tome is pure artbook, and its various exhibitions push all the right buttons. Despite my interest in manga, I am not a fan of the (pseudo)Japanese-inspired minimalist aesthetic that has recently become so popular here. Give me lots of color and clutter; perhaps because I'm so naturally inward-centered, there has to be a very significant amount of external stimuli on hand for design to make much of an impression on me. Though not all of the residences (most of which for unexplained reasons are located in either the UK or Brazil) appeal to me on a personal level, they are all endlessly fascinating, and each of the hundreds of lush photographs here are worth contemplating at a leisurely pace. In general, the rooms that most appealed to me were the most traditional; I especially liked Virginia Bates' lavish Victorian house and the house with the many stencils on the walls. Even amidst all this complexity, there is an underlying, transcendent sense of order--an idiosyncratic, individualistic one, but order nonetheless. Notes
: hardcover, 1st edition Rating
- More intriguing than it is inspiring...but that's exactly the point.