Minimalism, and maximalism, sometimes in the same room

  • In 2020, architecture and interior designs are drastically more minimal than in the past.

    In 2020, architecture and interior designs are drastically more minimal than in the past. Creators Syndicate

By Joseph Pubillones
Posted1/12/2020 7:00 AM

Wow, 2020 is here. As a kid, I always thought that by now we'd all be living in pristine high-rises with flying-saucer cars and robot maids named Rosie, a la "The Jetsons" comic.

The future always seems distant and full of uncertainties, but when we look at where we are, we see how close we have come to our visions of the future.


In 2020, we have daring high-rises such as Zaha Hadid's One Thousand Museum tower in Miami, which features an exoskeletal structure, or Oma's Norra Tornen in Stockholm, which feature a modular precast stacked structure with wide spans of plate glass and terraces with heart-stopping views. Not to mention the self-driving cars and buses and the convenience of programmable sweeping devices named Roomba. We are well on our way to the future.

Just as art deco of the Roaring Twenties was aesthetically impacted by the development of cars, cruise ships and industrialization, we can see how technology and computerization has begun to impact design in function and style. Now we can program lights to turn on and off, adjust air conditioning temperatures, get recipes from our smart devices, raise and lower window coverings and even draw a hot bath so it's at the perfect temperature when you get home.

Aesthetically, influenced by the designs of our phones and tablets, architecture and interior designs are drastically more minimal than in the past. Whenever possible, people have started to prefer things that are less cluttered. I will be interested to see how this evolves and makes for comfortable or warm home environments.

Here are some tips to keep your interiors up to date:

• The 2020 Pantone shade is Classic Blue, which is soft and alludes to the color of the sky on a clear day. Inoffensive and people-pleasing.

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• Another color to be seen this year is green in all hues, including hunter green, bottle green, forest green, gray-green, bronze-green and the very bright emerald green.

• Although gray is elegant and has been the preferred neutral for interiors for the last five years, 2020 brings a shift to earthier tones and all shades of browns and beiges. These tried-and-true colors of the past are lurking to make a comeback as the new neutrals.

• As a counterpoint to our futuristic preferences, antiques are slowly making a comeback. Millennials, tired of seeing the same IKEA furnishings everywhere they go, are making a turn to unique handmade furniture and are seeing the value of investing in now-affordable antiques.

• Black and white is a classic color combination that has strength based on opposition and contrast. The trick to this yin-yang approach is to allow one color to be predominant over the other. Trying to balance both as equals leads to disaster.


• Maximalism makes a comeback in a fresh way. Unlike a cluttered room from the Victorian era, maximalism creates a dialogue against stark backgrounds. An example: Think of an over-the-top collection of art juxtaposed with a minimalist couch and cocktail table.

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.

2019, Creators Syndicate

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