Morris meets Fresh Maximalism

The new Simply Morris collection is the perfect starting point for the Fresh Maximalist trend.

When William Morris was sketching patterns back in the 1860s, he probably didn’t imagine for a moment that his designs would be revered by generations of decorators to come. Nor that over 160 years later, those patterns would be interpreted into a sunshine-y, optimistic palette of hyacinth blues, lemony yellows and botanical greens that would capture the mood of the moment and form the bedrock of the new Fresh Maximalism trend.

For this Morris & Co collection, Simply Morris, taps into the interiors’ zeitgeist of today, just as Morris’s original, naturally-dyed palette reflected the Victorian love of deep, rich shades. Simply Morris, with its fresh backgrounds and highly saturated colour, brings yet another reading of those original, intricate patterns. The clean white backdrops ensure the rhythms of swirling pinks, blues and greens sing out in joyous relief. The vibrant shades of leaf green, annatto orange and madder red, across the six new colour sets, stay true to Morris’ respect for the natural world, but introduce a modern, sunny adaptation of the classics. 

From the refreshing clarity of Acanthus, painted in shades of lightest to darkest woad against glimpses of bright white, to the gentle colouration of Strawberry Thief in soft cochineal pink and sage green, the new collection experiments with natural shades in their purest forms.

The collection also complements the growing Fresh Maximalism decorating trend seen in projects around the world from Claridges’s new Painters Room bar in London - where loose-hand murals dance across the walls and a vibrant stained glass window takes centre stage - to Miami’s latest hotel hotspot, The Goodtime Hotel, with its pink-striped swimming pool and palm-leafed upholstery.

Fresh Maximalism is a look that combines the romance of pattern with the optimism of sunny colour; patterns blended and layered to create room schemes that are timeless, joyous and memorable - and an uplifting antidote to the gravity of the last 18 months.

Simply Morris’s prints and papers meld effortlessly into this life-affirming look; William Morris’s ingenious pattern repeats and fluid, coiling lines ensure the intricacies of the designs feel soothing rather than chaotic on the eye. While the new colourations lend a fresh take on the traditional Arts & Crafts style. It means that rather than maximalist decors which envelope a space, Fresh Maximalism, using the Simple Morris collection, creates the feeling of opening out, expanding into the sunshine and garden.

When it comes to using the fabrics and paints, the classic maximalist formula still applies - multiples and repetitions; interwoven textures; layering of patterns and a few daring, flourishes. Pull such a complex scheme together with a cohesive colour palette and ground it with some solid surfaces in wood, plaster or maybe marble.

Maximalism doesn’t allow for much empty space; so upholster a sofa in the bold scale Acanthus fabric in verdant Leaf Green and set it again walls papered in Fruit or Willowboughs from the same colour group. Add in cushions covered in delicate Mallow in the yellowy-toned Weld colourway and maybe a white painted floor and wood trims. Or try the more structured St James Ceiling design in Willow on the walls, with drapes in climbing Pimpernel, recoloured now in Bayleaf and Manilla, with the gentle swaying pattern of Willowboughs-covered cushions in Russet and Ochre. For this is about a decorating trend that is always elegant and considered but is now also joyful and optimistic.



posted on 11 Apr 2022 in Interiors

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