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Minimalism home decor

For the past few years, minimalism has been the popular trend. It's classic, timeless and we don't think it will ever overstay its welcome. But there's a new decor trend popping up that celebrates having more.

It's called maximalism and it's exactly like it sounds—maximizing your decor, but in a beautiful, colorful, organized manner.

I'm currently in the throes of preparing for major spring decluttering so maximalism speaks to me on many levels. I have a toddler and a 9 month old so there is stuff all over my house. Instead of discarding everything Marie Kondo style, it might behoove me to mix and match patterns I already have on hand and personalize the space so it feels special and unique to my family.

The maximalism trend is a cool respite from having to organize and make every square inch of my home flow together. Instead, designers are encouraging people to break the traditional design rules, like the use of repetition, minimal colors and consistent patterns and use this as an opportunity to be more diverse. If you love colors and patterns, maximalism is probably your style.

The best part of this trend is that you can't mess it up. Maximalism is all about making stuff look beautifully yours. Here's what you need to know:

What exactly is maximalism?

To truly understand maximalism you have to understand that the trend focuses on personalization, not perfection. Combine various colors, patterns and aesthetics that you love to create a bold, almost eccentric vibe, says Mikayla Keating a Decorist designer.

Hannah Miller, another Decorist designer agrees. "To me, maximalism is the exact opposite of minimalism, it's a balance of intertwining patterns and decor, not styles," she says. "With maximalism, we get to break traditional design formulas and etiquette—the process can be quite intriguing and electrifying."

Credit: instagram/regency_revival

What's the difference between maximalism + minimalism?

The key difference between these two trends is that maximalism offers more variety for a personalized style. While minimalist designs tend to all look similar (think: light aesthetic, neutral tones, natural woods), maximalism gives you the freedom to make each space your own and use what you love. It's especially fun for mamas because with so much color and mixed prints, paint and food stains from little hands easily blend in. Think of it as the decor you love mixed with your favorite colors and home accessories, says Keating.

What's the easiest way for mamas to follow the maximalism trend?

Teaching my child to tie their shoes was overwhelming enough, says Miller. "To try to figure out my aesthetic would have been mind boggling, but maximalism offers mamas the ability to put a design together without trying too hard," she says. "By mixing patterns, colors and shapes, this can be a very enjoyable process. Stick with two or three shapes, one pattern and repeat similar colors."

"It is easy to create a maximalist look with fun items full of memories and things that they love," says Keating. "Things do not need to be perfect or match. The more color and pattern, the better."

Remember this is a fun process, don't overthink it. This is an atmosphere where you, mama, are relaxed and organized, yet ready for your kids to be kids, says miller. Maximalism design equals a kid-friendly design.

Credit: instagram.com/saldanhamario

Not sure where to get started? Here are a few of our favorite pieces, mama:

1. Ubabub framed canvas wall art

2. Imagine Fun jungle mania wallpaper

3. Marmalade alice area rug

4. Crate & Barrel large woven pendant light

5.

Crate & Barrel round bookcase

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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