The Blog

Minimal vs. Maximal*

I’m still working away at the redesign, and I will be launching it February 1 as scheduled. I’m waffling between a clean, white minimal (well, minimal by my standards) look vs. my usual mix of patterns. Below is a little peek.

Any preferences?

* I’ve decided that’s a word, by the way. The opposite of minimal shall henceforth be maximal (e.g. my usual approach to mixing patterns).

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205 Comments

  • Reply
    Rebecca S.
    January 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I think I prefer the minimal, but I think the maximal is more you! So that’s no help at all!

  • Reply
    Elisa @ What the Vita
    January 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I like the minimal, but with the bee hive thingy from the maximal design.

  • Reply
    my honest answer
    January 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I vote minimal! But it’s really up to you :)

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’d have a hard time choosing one over the other. I love the Maximal(ish) – but, ah!, your content is divine! Always.

  • Reply
    Amy Kelly
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I’m surprised to say, but I think I like the minimal better.

  • Reply
    Danita
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I absolutely adjore your work!

    I vote for Minimal(ish)! It looks so fresh; plus you’re already providing SO MUCH goodness, it’ll look great from this platform :) (Well, it’ll look great regardless, but …)

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ beautiful square feet
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I really like the maximal actually – love the colours too!

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Another minimal vote! The things you share are always so darling/fun/interesting, I love the idea of being able to focus on those more fully.

  • Reply
    Katie C.
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I think the maximal looks more like you. It’s beautiful – not too “busy” at all.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Ooo, that’s a toughie! I tend to be a maximalist, but I’m trying to minimize a bit more in my current design work.

    I like how you’ve used some of your old elements like the honeycomb in the second one, but it might be a bit busy?

    I think it might be cool to do the honeycomb sidebar & a plain white background. Or just make the floral repeat on the background like a very faint butterscotch.

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out!!

  • Reply
    Steph
    January 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I love the maximal!!!!!!

  • Reply
    They Call Me J.
    January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I am usually all about the minimal but I have to say my vote this times goes to the maximal! Have fun on your redesign journey.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Ooo, that’s a toughie! I tend to be a maximalist, but I’m trying to minimize a bit more in my current design work.

    I like how you’ve used some of your old elements like the honeycomb in the second one, but it might be a bit busy?

    I think it might be cool to do the honeycomb sidebar & a plain white background. Or just make the floral repeat on the background like a very faint butterscotch.

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out!! Love your work.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Maximal!!!!

  • Reply
    capitol jams
    January 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Minimal!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Sorry for the repeat comment. Internet is being buggy on my end.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I vote maximal! You should do the one that makes you happy…it’s easy enough to change it later. Or just mess with everybody and change it every other day ;o) Excited to see the new look!

  • Reply
    Donaville
    January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I like minimal with the hexagon/circular pattern, too. Loving the flowers up at the top, reminds me of Rifle Paper Co.

  • Reply
    Kati
    January 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Maximal!

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Oh boy! That is a tough decision! I am waffling right with you. I love them both! (Sorry I am no help!)

  • Reply
    Jenna
    January 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I vote for maximal!

  • Reply
    Giulia
    January 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    maximal! But I do like both versions.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Lovely Nest
    January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    From what I can see, I vote minimal, but that’s not to say the maximal won’t look great too! Go with your gut! It’s your blog!

  • Reply
    Mara
    January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Maximal! It’s lovely, hence you have made it lovely and must incorporate it onto Making It Lovely.

  • Reply
    Katie
    January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    My vote is for minimal

  • Reply
    Kelley
    January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    minimal(ish), for sure!

  • Reply
    Kathy in Michigan
    January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I like the minimal but you seem more like a maximal girl to me!! : )

  • Reply
    Ashley
    January 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Maximal!

  • Reply
    laura
    January 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Maximal! As much as I am a minimal girl, I think there is too much minimal out there. The maximal has so much more personality and uniqueness! Don’t be a minimal drone! Be a flower!

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Tough choice! I like them both. I am usually a minimalist fan but I love the floral pattern on the maximal design. Maybe a combo of both? The white background on the blog post and the floral background on the page.
    It is going to look fantastic any way you go!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Adorning Alabama
    January 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Maximal! I love it. Your blog is about you, do what makes you happiest when you pull up the site.

  • Reply
    Alicia
    January 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    maximal!

  • Reply
    Kerry {Super Swoon}
    January 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    MINIMAL!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I think maximal, yet I would perhaps zoom in on the image background a bit, and sort of diffuse it. . . Too many lines, but lovely none the less.

  • Reply
    katie
    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    i’m pretty sure maximal actually *is* a word. at least, it may not be proper, but you didn’t make it up. =)

    i like the minimal look better — but honestly, i read your posts in a reader, and only come to the actual blog to comment occasionally.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      January 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      It is a word, but it doesn’t mean the opposite of minimal!

      of or constituting a maximum; the highest or greatest possible : the maximal speed.

  • Reply
    Lauren L.
    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Minimal(ish)

  • Reply
    Tara
    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I love the white space of the minimal version.

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Minimal. But I’m a minimalist myself.

  • Reply
    sassygirl
    January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Maximal!!!

  • Reply
    mandy hough
    January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Maximal for sure!

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Maximal!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Love the maximal!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I love, love, love the minimalist! But, the honeycomb is pretty. Maybe, try that in the gold-tone you pictured instead of the gray-tone it currently is on your page for the background?

  • Reply
    Loren
    January 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    They are both really lovely. I’m a maximal girly myself though. I really love the floral background, it’s my favorite part.

  • Reply
    lala
    January 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    yah – agreed with the comment by donaville. flowers on the left look very “rifle-ish”… i’m loving the minimal.

  • Reply
    DENISE.
    January 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hi! I’m a new follower after loving what you said at Alt. Like you, I think I’m drawn to the maximist. (Wait, maximal?) But for blogs, I think I like clean and minimal. It makes each post stand out more. This is my exact dilemma as I redesign my blog. Look forward to seeing what you do!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    January 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Minimal

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    minimal. so pretty!

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Maximal! I think the colors / patterns really resonate. :)

  • Reply
    LMF
    January 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’m definitely a fan of the minimal!

  • Reply
    Amanda B
    January 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Maximal. It’s so…zazzy. ;)

  • Reply
    Emily M
    January 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I like the minial

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    January 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Minimal all the way, because it’s not actually that minimal – there’s plenty going on and it’ll make your content pop more.

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    January 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I love the patterns you used in the maximal, but feel that the minimal lets the content “shine” more. they are both awesome though!

  • Reply
    erin
    January 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    minimal, looks so good!

  • Reply
    Caroline
    January 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Minimal.

  • Reply
    Darcy
    January 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Maximal! Love the word, and love the texture that pattern gives it. kudos!

  • Reply
    Alison
    January 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Put me down for minimal too, it just looks so good and pretty.

    Can’t wait to see this thang!

  • Reply
    Heather B
    January 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I like the minimal just slightly more than the maximal, but both are lovely and the illustration is divine!

  • Reply
    Benzie
    January 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Making it Lovely’s minimal please. It will love lovely whichever you choose though!

  • Reply
    Mercedes
    January 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    MAXIMAL!!!

  • Reply
    Holly
    January 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I’m more drawn to the minimal because your content is always so pretty on its own and the painted floral graphic stands out more, but I also like the maximal’s tile pattern. Maybe you could just add one of the maximal patterns to the minimal as a compromise? :)

    • Reply
      julie s
      January 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      This is my vote too! Maximal minus one of the patterns!

  • Reply
    Sarah Jane
    January 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I say if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Maximal!!

  • Reply
    chole
    January 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    minimal. so pretty, and lets the important stuff take stage.

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I love them both but i’m feeling minimal right now. :) LOVE the floral graphic, looks very “rifle paper”!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I think they are both beautiful and that you should go with whatever one you feel is most representative of your stylistic direction at the moment. Are you pushing yourself to edit more these days? Or are you continuing to embrace your talent for mixing color and pattern?

  • Reply
    raya
    January 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I like the minimal. Fresh & clean. I’m catching up on blogs and wanted to send my condolences to you & Brandon on the job thing. Must be so scary, but I hope it ends up being one of those “best thing that ever happened” situations and it pushes you both onto better & amazing things. Keep ya heads up! xoxo

  • Reply
    Miranda
    January 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I really, really, really, like the minimal. Of course whatever you choose with be lovely!

  • Reply
    ami
    January 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I like the minimal :) Very pretty and simple(r).

  • Reply
    Juliette
    January 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I like both, but I think I prefer ‘maximal’ more. I think it looks more ‘you’ somehow. I also like how ‘maximal’ shows off what you can do (thinking of your shop).

    That allover background really looks sophisticated and fresh without being obnoxious in any way. Nice work!

  • Reply
    Polina
    January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Nicole, i have an off the topic question. I love your style posts and look forward to them every month. Are you doing one for January?

  • Reply
    jessica
    January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    You could have a modern take on ye olde ‘theme switcher’ WordPress blogs used to have that allows readers to turn on all the pattern and panache or tone things down for the minimal view.

    I do like the maximal, it screams YOU, which is great, I think.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I was going to vote minimal, but I think maximal is you!

  • Reply
    paige
    January 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Nicole!
    I only found your blog a few weeks ago so I don’t know what “you” is but my vote is with the folks that are saying “Maximal rocks but minimal would let you shine”. Have fun designing either way!

  • Reply
    Janine
    January 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Love the ‘Maximal’ look.

  • Reply
    Carla
    January 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I vote minimal(ish)

  • Reply
    emily
    January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    love them both, but maximal fits your personality more and you do it so well!

  • Reply
    Jessica R.
    January 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Love Maximal!

  • Reply
    meg w.
    January 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I love the minimal but because I am a minimalist… You are so “maximal”! I just think the second one screams Making It Lovely and you have got to stay true to you! It is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Molly the Waffler
    January 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    As you know, waffling is my specialty! I think I’m leaning towards minimal so the content can really pop…but I see the appeal of maximal, too. Okay, I’m hopeless: they’re both great, so either way you can’t lose.

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Maximal! I think it matches your house/style more than the minimal.
    Also, I read your blog all the time, but never comment- sorry! Just wanted to say I enjoy what you do!

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I adore white. Truly, I do. And stark, white blogs can be exceptionally pretty. BUT — they are everywhere. The easy way to do pretty is to do a minimalist, white design. The color palette of the maximal with the pink illustrations and gold pattern in the background is unique and stunning. It makes you stand out in a sea of pretty, white blogs. I say go for the gusto!

  • Reply
    valerie ryan
    January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    maximal!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    January 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Minimal. I think it fits your style

  • Reply
    Sara
    January 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Maximal! So many people have the minimal look now, I think it’d be nice to have a little something extra.

  • Reply
    Crystal
    January 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    You have a chair with a floral pattern the size of my head, topped with an orange brick textured pillow siting on top of a pink zig-zag rug! You, my dear, are maximul in the very best possible way!

  • Reply
    Little Gray Pixel
    January 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Call me crazy, but what if you do the minimal lefthand side (I really like the white space there with the pink lines) and the honeycomb section on the righthand side from your maximal design?

    That idea aside, I like each design on their own merits. :-)

  • Reply
    JM
    January 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    MAXIMAL!

  • Reply
    MEP
    January 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    minimal!

  • Reply
    Caitlin Wallace
    January 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Maximal! I love the patterns!! :)

  • Reply
    JayEssJay
    January 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I, too, am digging the minimal.

  • Reply
    Lorrie
    January 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I prefer the minimal version because it lets those cute and colorful graphics at the top shine through. I do like the pattern from the second option, but not as a background, maybe for something small.

    Either way, it looks great!

  • Reply
    Deborah Wall
    January 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    minimal feels more soothing to me.

  • Reply
    Megan
    January 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I prefer the maximal – it’s got more ‘zazz’, although the minimal version has its own charm. I personally would go for the zazz.

  • Reply
    powwlita
    January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    the maximal is very pretty, but you could tone down the background, so that it’s there, but a very faint gold.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Moon
    January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Maximal! I like the idea of toning down the background a bit. Everyone in the world does the minimal thing these days. It’s great too, but maximal feels a little unique.

  • Reply
    Tracy
    January 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Just comparing the minimal with the maximal, I have to say the minimal is more my style. I love the illustration, as well as the sparseness. I would think that your images would “pop” more against the plain background.

    However, when I look at the photo of your dining room table, I think it actually stands out better against the maximal. Why is that??

    So, in the end, I vote MAX!!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Maximal!

  • Reply
    TieDye64
    January 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I really like the maximal, as I’m a color/pattern lover, BUT when it comes to a website I frequent I tend to like the minimal. It seems more pleasing to the eye.

  • Reply
    AnnW
    January 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I like the maximal. It seems to complete the whole design. The other one seems to be missing something. Ann

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