Saskatchewan

Embracing maximalism: This Regina home is an ode to 'more is more'

Forget clean lines and austerity. This Regina woman has plunged into the trend of maximalism with her own unique take on the fashion.

Throwing caution to the wind made one woman feel more at home in her home

Brittany Gogel says bright, bold colours help her combat the more dreary days of winter in Saskatchewan. (Submitted by Brittany Gogel)

Forget clean lines and austerity.

Regina's Brittany Gogel has plunged into the maximalism trend with her own unique take on the fashion.

Gogel takes inspiration from American businesswoman Iris Apfel, the designer and fashion icon who famously proclaimed: "More is more and less is a bore."

Maximalism invites bold mixing and matching and glorious excess.

"I like to have lots of colours and patterns, and I think you'll probably see, even in the next couple of years, a further push toward that," Gogel said.

While Gogel loves the esthetic of historic homes, she and her husband purchased a newer house in the city's Harbour Landing area to avoid having to do constant repairs.

Antique furniture and unique finds have been part of Brittany Gogel's work to redecorate her Regina home. (Submitted by Brittany Gogel)

Initially, Gogel worried about being bold or putting her own stamp on the place.

"Then I kind of just threw caution to the wind and I said, 'Screw it, that's not me living out my passionate lifestyle,' " she said.

The couple reasoned they could always repaint or redecorate if they decided to sell the house.

Gogel, who runs interior styling and fashion company Brit & Barclay, launched into her personal redesign in the spring.

The end result is anything but cookie-cutter, with eye-popping colour and eclectic collections of everything from a birdcage to a ceramic cat to an old-fashioned rotary dial phone.  

This fireplace depicts the eclectic mix and matching that is a cornerstone of maximalism. (britandbarclaydesigns/Instagram)

"I feel like when we have such long winters most of the time I feel like I'm living in grey," she explained. "I don't want my home to feel that way."

Gogel's picked up antique furniture, found deals on chinoiserie-like fancy wallpaper, and transformed a hallway using simple doors.

Doors in a hallway have been transformed to maximum effect. (Submitted by Brittany Gogel)

"It's not a big hallway and but every single time I walk through it, I just feel me like I feel like I'm personified in my home," she said. "I feel really happy to be there."

Gogel said maximalism doesn't have to cost a lot of money. For instance, she's taken items like her mother's old, hated kitchen table and transformed it by painting it.

This table was made in the 1980s, and came from Gogel's parents' home. She transformed it by painting it. (Submitted by Brittany Gogel)

A home as a 'library of goods'

Amanda Hamilton, of Calgary-based Amanda Hamilton Interior Design, says maximalism has traditionally been seen as inviting chaos and clutter, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

"I look it as an opportunity to be a collector or create a library of goods," she said, adding, "If you had a beautiful collection of your grandmother's old tea cups that are all sorts of different colours and [have] character, you might decide to display that on a shelf where everybody could enjoy them."

One question Gogel often hears is how she manages to raise a child in a home with so many fine details, ceramics and other breakable objects.

Gogel said her two-year-old daughter is learning how to respect and take care of the design elements around her. Her daughter shares kisses with a ceramic cat that lives by the fireplace and enjoys her water and hot chocolate in porcelain-like espresso cups.

Gogel says she's helping to teach her daughter how to take care of delicate items, with her daughter using and caring for her own special espresso cups. (Submitted by Brittany Gogel)

Gogel's next plan is to create the face of a wardrobe on a cubby under the stairs and fill it with fur coats, moss and leaves, her own whimsical version of the entrance to Narnia.

"To me, that's my perfect way of inviting my kids in to dreaming with me and using your imagination and having fun with the spaces that you live in," she said.

Hamilton said that while she doesn't believe it's as simple as dubbing maximalism a hot new trend, she does believe people seem to be increasingly open to displaying or curating beloved objects to be seen and enjoyed. 

"People are much more interested now in having character in their homes, and I think that's where the maximalist trend really finds its footing."

About the Author

Janani Whitfield spent 10 years working in the newspaper industry in Alberta before joining CBC Saskatchewan as a web writer in 2017. Contact her at janani.whitfield@cbc.ca on on Twitter, @WhitfieldJanani.

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