Minimalism vs Maximalism in Hotel Interior Design

In the dynamic sphere of hotel interior design, two distinct philosophies stand out: minimalism and maximalism. This juxtaposition offers a fascinating lens through which to explore the aesthetic and functional choices shaping our spaces of retreat and relaxation.

Minimalism, with its clean lines and pared-down simplicity, advocates for a clutter-free and serene environment. It whispers of calm and order, making a compelling case for the beauty found in less. Conversely, maximalism celebrates abundance and sensory richness, creating immersive environments brimming with patterns, textures, and colours. Each approach presents a unique narrative on space, luxury, and comfort, inviting us to reconsider what truly makes a hotel space welcoming.

As we delve into this widely discussed topic, remember, the debate between minimalism and maximalism isn’t about declaring a victor. Instead, it’s about understanding how each style fulfils different desires and needs.

Understanding Minimalism

Minimalism is built on the philosophy that ‘less is more’.

It combines simple design with functional elements and features, removing any unnecessary elements of the space so as to present a finish which is neat and succinct.

One of the overriding benefits of minimalist design is that it can make a smaller space feel larger by minimising the reliance on decorative accessories and extra features. This puts a spotlight on any features which are there, underlying their importance while delivering the overall effect of a relaxing and “zen” setting.

In terms of colour, minimalism is again all about simplicity – sometimes using neutrals and sometimes juxtaposing light and dark colours to create contrast. The amount of natural light is a fundamental principle of minimalism, with large windows and light colours all optimising the flow of light to make a space feel as natural as possible.

Minimalism in Hotel Design

So, does minimalism work in a hotel?

To answer this question, we urge you to consider spa hotels in particular. Have you ever noticed that these kinds of luxurious and relaxing spaces have very little in the way of décor and instead rely on shapes and functional features to balance the space?

In a hotel, minimalism  can be an ideal approach for a property or space with a limited footprint – not to mention, it can make maintenance easier when compared with a hotel that’s bursting with design features and decorative accessories.

Understanding Maximalism

In contrast, maximalism is all about an abundance of detail and the injection of bold colours, eclectic patterns, and decorative accessories that tell a story.

This doesn’t just come from visual colours and patterns but also from the use of textures and layering different elements together to create finishes which clash, or which highlight juxtaposing features. Where minimalism is all about relaxation, maximalism is more passionate and strikes a balance between energy and emotion.

Maximalism in Hotel Design

Through maximalism, hotels can add personality to their design and create areas which are rich with sensory experiences. You will often find that family friendly hotels use maximalism as a leading principle in their design, whereas adult only hotels will often lean on a more minimalist approach.

One way of bringing maximalism into a hotel design is by creating a theme and working it into different areas of the hotel in varying ways. Furnishings are an effortless way to add contrasting colours to the design of a room or space, while also filling the space and making it feel busy and inviting.

Similarly, if you want to experiment with some maximalist finishes then artwork and decorative features allow you to integrate little details which fall outside of the “functional” category. Or, you can make your hotel completely immersive by picking a specific feature from your local area or hotel theme and bringing that to life in the design.

Which design style is best for your hotel?

Deciding whether you want your hotel to be minimalist or maximalist in design is something that will be connected with the overall vision and may be framed by everything from personal preference to location and your target demographic.

To make the right decision for your hotel, we urge you to consider space and layout and whether you have the footprint to experiment with maximalism or whether minimalism is a safer option.

While minimalism may be easier to maintain and clean and allows for less furniture to streamline the guest journey, maximalism can be more immersive and exciting for guests – provided you get the balance right.

Suffice to say, there are advantages and considerations for both options – what matters most is the style that best suits your hotel and (most importantly) your target demographic and ideal guest.

Here at Carroll Design, we help hoteliers to combine their vision with guest preference, demographic, location, and the role of practical maintenance to ensure they make the best use of their hotel space.

Get in touch today to find out how we can bring your hotel project to life.

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