Acclaimed designer Corey Damen Jenkins is best known for creating classic, livable interiors with punches of color and pattern that bring a bit of unexpected to even the most traditional of spaces. He is a design council member for Stearns & Foster and on a mission to make the bedroom a more vibrant, luxurious space that is reflective of one’s personality. And there’s never been a better time to bring color, pattern, and individuality back into the bedroom after the way this decade has started off.
Jenkins says one of the biggest ways we can make an individual statement and celebrate who we are is through changing the visual motifs in our home, and especially in such a personal space like a bedroom. He says the bedroom too often gets stereotyped as this place that needs to be serene and neutral in color, but this doesn’t have to be the case if that doesn’t match your personality or style.
What is Maximalism?
“It’s important to understand what Maximalism is and what it isn’t,” says Jenkins. “Maximalism is a celebration of the emotional, the vibrant, and the lush. It is the antithesis of Minimalism, which is defined by the deliberate design of products, experiences, and spaces in their most simple, minimal forms. Being a Maximalist means you’re okay with giving yourself the permission to be a vibrant being, to run towards the noise.”
While minimalism has ruled the day for quite some time now, Jenkins says that after being confined to our homes fro so long, many people are starting to turn from the principles of minimalistic design and whatever is trending on Pinterest in order to embrace their own “free-spirited decoration.”
The term was coined in the 1970s, at a time where minimalism was still king in the art world, as many creatives began rebelling against the idea of excess in the ’60s. Acclaimed artists like Memphis Group and Kehinde Wiley began bringing vivid colors, textures, and patterns back to the scene, which were clearly welcomed as the 1980s saw a vibrant return to colorful, bold design. Jenkins says we are currently experiencing a renewed surge of maximalism as we’ve experienced our homes in a whole new light and realized that monochromatic interiors lacking personality and filled with fast furniture weren’t inspiring or comforting us when we needed our spaces to most.
How to Bring Maximalism Into Your Bedroom
“When it comes to the bedroom, start by identifying key trends of maximalism that you enjoy,” Jenkins says. “From bold wallpapers to vibrant bedding combinations, or elaborate window treatments, and statement artwork, there is an array of options for you to choose.” Here, Jenkins identifies five key concepts of maximalism that can help guide you in creating a more personalized, vibrant bedroom.
Use Nightstand Decor to Make a Bedroom Feel More Luxurious
“Pamper yourself daily by placing luxurious elements at your bedside: vintage glasses for water, simple florals, and other aromatic sources for sense of smell and ambiance,” says Jenkins. He notes that decorative trays and a good book (or two!) also add a nice touch and further personalize this space.
Your creature comforts should reside next to your bed to create a sense of ambiance and make this space feel even more inviting. Some favorite family photos in textured or colorful frames can also add a pop of personality here. This concept is also important to carry into your guest bedrooms in order for guests to feel right at home and able to carry out their own favorite rituals.
Make a Statement With Your Drapery
Colorful, layered drapery is back and better than ever, and it’s a perfect way to bring more maximalism into the bedroom as you can use a variety of colors, textures, and patterns all in one place. Jenkins also advises using fabric panels behind the bed to establish a strong focal point, especially if your bedroom has an odd layout or you don’t have much natural light.
Jenkins also advises lining your window treatments with blackout material to ensure a “cocoon-like effect” for deep, sweet sleep. You can’t live out a vibrant, maximalist life if your bedroom inhibits you from getting your eight hours!
Invest in Your Bedding
“I encourage clients to always invest in high-quality sheets and bedding,” says Jenkins. “We only get one body in this life, so it’s essential that any products that touch our skin should enhance and prolong the quality of our health.”
Your bedding is also an easy way to sneak in a little extra pattern and color. Jenkins loves to use decorative shams, bolster pillows, throws, and contrasting linens to make a small but mighty statement. The fun of this is that not everything has to match, it only needs to flow.
Jenkins also believes that wellness plays a major role in the luxuriousness of maximalism, and he says investing in bed linens that feel amazing every time you get in bed, and a fabulous mattress that supports a heavenly night’s sleep are essential for creating the bedroom of your dreams.
“Above all areas of decorating your bedroom, this is one category where it’s best to splurge first and foremost,” says Jenkins. So please be judicious in your selection of the mattress because it will play a pivotal role in your future wellness and quality of lifestyle.” One of his top picks for himself, clients, and his guests is the Stearns & Foster Reserve Hepburn which features HD Memory Foam, creating a responsive feel that he says is easy to melt into and instantly turns your bedroom into a true retreat.
Don’t Forget to Look Up
“Since we all look up from our beds, pay careful attention to decorating the ceiling by enhancing it with either architectural statements, patterned wallpaper, or a striking paint color,” says Jenkins. “You can also choose to layer in oversized light fixtures for visual weight.”
The ceiling is a fun place to get creative and play with color so that the whole room doesn’t have to be swathed in teal or orange. For those afraid of adding color or pattern, simply upgrading your overhead light fixture or adding architectural statements like beams or crown molding, will elevate your bedroom more than you’d expect.
Make Secondary Bedrooms Your Laboratory
“If you are ambivalent about using a lot of pattern and color in your principal bedroom, why not use the guest bedroom as ground zero for experimenting?” Jenkins says.
“Remember, a fully furnished guest bedroom suggests to friends and family that you’ve given serious thought to showing them the best hospitality possible.”
This display of true consideration for a loved one’s comfort, wellbeing, and experience at your home is more important than ever as we are emerging from a pandemic-ridden world. And who knows, maybe that wallpaper you tested out in the guest room will make its way into your own.
Ensuring Your Maximalist Bedroom Is Also Soothing
Visions of pattern play, jewel tones, and bold light fixtures may be dancing in your head, and if you’re excited about that, great. However, if all of those elements feel like too much for your own haven, think about adding personality to your bedroom in smaller ways.
“Don’t underestimate the visual gravity of bedside lamps or sconces,” says Jenkins. “These items can play like jewelry in the space and really communicate your sense of individual style.” Bringing art into the bedroom is also an excellent way to boost the color and texture of your space without changing it entirely.
“Some people love a lot of patterns play on pillows, wallcoverings, and rugs, while others need everything in solidarity because the visual movement inhibits them from winding down,” says Jenkins. “Every human is different, so it’s important to know your tolerances to certain visuals.”
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