If your crave a home that bursts with color, texture, and personality, then maximalist interior design could be for you. A maximalist approach to your interiors can create a bold and beautiful space that's uniquely yours.
“Maximalist design is the boldest design style out there, where more is better and instead of taking one thing away, you add three more,” says Interior and Event Designer, Jove Meyer.
In this guide, we'll dive into the principles of maximalist design and show you how to incorporate this style into your home with some advice and design tips from expert interior designer pros.
Understanding maximalist interior design
At its core, maximalism is all about the idea that more-is-more.
According to interior designer, Lauren Brantley of Lauren Ashley Design Studio, "maximalism embraces boldness, abundance, and extravagance." But it isn't just about stuffing a room with all the decorative elements you can lay your hands on. It's about creating a carefully crafted mix of patterns, textures, colors, and decorative elements that all come together to create a visually rich and opulent space.
Robin DeCapua, founder of Madison Modern Home adds, “Maximalist interior design is all about embracing bold and vibrant patterns, colors, textures and accessories to create a space that is rich in personality and visual interest. The result is a playful and eclectic environment that's anything but boring.”
Maximalist interior design is all about embracing bold and vibrant patterns, colors, textures and accessories to create a space that is rich in personality and visual interest.
This design philosophy embraces a rich and eclectic mix of patterns, textures, and colors. Maximalist interiors are the polar opposite of minimalism, which favors a restrained and pared-down aesthetic.
According to DeCapua, “Maximalist interior design is currently gaining popularity among homeowners and designers. This rule-breaking trend — characterized by bold colors, mixed patterns and an abundance of decorative elements — exists in response to overly pared-down minimalism and recently favored Scandinavian modernism.”
Though it’s gaining popularity, maximalism is not for the faint of heart - it's a bold and unapologetic approach to design. But if you're willing to take the leap, the results can be truly stunning.
Key principles of maximalist design
While maximalism is all about breaking the rules, there are some key principles that guide this approach to interior design. Here’s everything you need to know about maximalism’s key aspects:
“Maximalist interior design is known for its rich and vibrant color palette,” says Lauren Brantley. “Bold hues such as jewel tones, deep blues, lush greens, and fiery reds are often used to create a sense of drama and excitement in a maximalist space."
Bold hues such as jewel tones, deep blues, lush greens, and fiery reds are often used to create a sense of drama and excitement in a maximalist space.
Don't be afraid to mix and match colors that clash - the goal is to create a sense of energy and excitement in your home. For example, a bright red couch paired with a turquoise rug can create a stunning and unexpected color combination.
Patterns and textures
Maximalist interiors are filled with an eclectic mix of patterns, from florals to stripes and animal print to polka dots. When it comes to mixing patters, the key is balance, so opt for patterns that complement each other, rather than compete. For example, you could cnsider using a large floral print on your curtains, and then incorporating smaller floral prints in your throw pillows or upholstery.
You’ll also often find mixed textures in maximalist spaces. Think plush velvet, nubby wool, and rough-hewn wood.
“Maximalism is all about layering different patterns and textures to create a visually dynamic and textured space,” adds Lauren Brantley. Mixing patterns such as florals, stripes, and geometrics, and combining different textures such as velvet, silk, and fur can add depth and interest to the room.”
Maximalism is the perfect interior design style for collectors and hoarders. Embrace your love of objects, and fill your home with art, books, and other maximalist decor items. Consider displaying your collections on open shelves or in glass cabinets, so that they become a focal point of your space.
“Maximalist interiors are characterized by an abundance of decorative objects, such as art, sculptures, collectibles, and curiosities. These objects are often displayed in a curated and eclectic manner, creating a visually intriguing and personalized space,” adds Mike Semegen owner and project manager for Hello Home Studios.
Maximalism vs. minimalism
While maximalism and minimalism are often seen as opposing design philosophies, they can actually complement each other. For example, a minimalist room with a neutral color palette can be warmed up with maximalist accents, such as a colorful rug or a collection of art prints. Similarly, a maximalist room can benefit from some negative space to let the eye rest. The key is to find the right balance for your personal style. Remember, design is all about expressing yourself and creating a space that makes you happy.
So, are you ready to embrace maximalism? It's time to let your creativity run wild and create a space that truly reflects your personality and style.
Finding Your Maximalist Style
Here are some tips for discovering your maximalist aesthetic:
Identify your color palette
Maximalism is all about color, so start by figuring out what hues speak to you. Do you gravitate towards bold primaries, or softer pastels? Do you love jewel tones, or earthy neutrals? Use your favorite colors as a starting point for building your maximalist space.
“Don't be afraid to go bold with your color choices, patterns, and textures. Maximalism is about making a statement, so don't shy away from using vibrant colors and intricate patterns to create a visually rich and expressive space,” says Lauren Brantley.
For example, if you love jewel tones, consider incorporating rich emeralds, deep sapphires, and vibrant rubies into your decor. If you prefer earthy neutrals, try layering different shades of brown and beige for a cozy, inviting feel.
Experiment with patterns and textures
One of the hallmarks of maximalism is mixing patterns. To avoid going overboard, try to stick to a cohesive palette - for example, mixing different shades of green in a botanical-inspired room. Texture is also key - try combining smooth and rough textures, or glossy and matte finishes.
For a boho-inspired space, consider layering a colorful kilim rug over a jute or sisal rug for a cozy, eclectic feel. Add in some plush velvet pillows and a woven throw for a touch of texture.
“To successfully achieve a cohesive and harmonious space, it is important to consider scale, materials and hue,” adds Kristina Phillips, founder Kristina Phillips Interior Design.
“In this space, the neutral grasscloth walls ground the ikat upholstered sofa, frette patterned chairs, and peacock blue drapery. Lucite and black glass tables add shine and dimension, while the wool rug and layered zebra hide add softness and depth.”
It’s important to be very intentional about layering when designing a maximalist space. “You cannot simply layer this with that and hope for it to work, if it is not thoughtful it will look chaotic, but not in a good way,” says Jove Meyer. “I suggest laying the pieces down together, look at them with all of the colors, fabrics and material, be sure there is a balance in it all, a through-line that connects them to work together.”
According to Lauren Brantley, “Layering is key to achieving a maximalist look.” Brantley recommends that you “play with different textures, patterns, and colors to create depth and visual interest in your space. Mix and match textiles, rugs, and decor to add layers of visual richness.”
When it comes to layering, think beyond just textiles. “Maximalism is all about layering, from rugs to artwork to pillows. Mix and match different textures, patterns and styles to create a dynamic and visually interesting space,” says Robin DeCapua.
“Mix and Match: Maximalism embraces mixing and matching styles and eras. Don't be afraid to pair a vintage rug with a modern sofa, or mix Mid Century pieces with Bohemian accents,” adds DeCapua.
Incorporating art and accessories
“When it comes to maximalism, more is definitely more. Don't hesitate to fill your space with a plethora of decorative objects, books and plants to create a lush and lived-in look,” Robin DeCapua.
Art or a gallery wall is a great way to add interest to your walls, while decorative accessories and trinkets can provide pops of color and texture throughout the room. Don't be afraid to mix high and low - a thrifted find can look just as good as a designer piece when styled with intention. Try to make space for your favorite things.
When it comes to finding art and accesories for your space, DeCapua advises you “Check online vintage sources like Etsy.com and haunt your local estate sales. Don't rule out your own home (and attic) when searching for unique pieces. You'd be surprised how successful a shop-your-own-home excursion can be.”
“Maximalism embraces an eclectic mix of decor items from various eras, styles, and cultures. Vintage finds, statement art pieces, unique collectibles, and decorative accessories in different shapes and sizes are combined to create a visually stimulating and curated look,” adds Lauren Brantley
Bold furniture choices
Maximalist interiors are all about statement pieces. Consider investing in a bold sofa or armchair in a vibrant hue or an unexpected shape. Mixing and matching different styles of furniture can also add interest - try pairing a sleek modern coffee table with a vintage-inspired sofa.
“Eye-catching furniture can add a touch of drama and personality to your maximalist space,” adds Lauren Brantley.
When it comes to maximalist design, there's no such thing as too much. Don't be afraid to add extra seating or even a statement piece like a chaise lounge or a daybed. These pieces not only add visual interest to your space, but also provide a comfortable spot to relax and unwind.
“Experiment with different styles, eras, and cultures when selecting furniture, decor, and accessories. Embrace an eclectic mix of items to create a curated and personalized look,” adds Brantley.
When it comes to maximalist design, the bedroom and living room are the perfect places. Invest in high-quality bedding or throws in a variety of textures and colors. Consider layering throws and pillows for added depth and interest. Mix and match patterns and colors to create a vibrant and dynamic look.
As Lauren Brantley explains, “Maximalist interior design often includes the use of luxurious fabrics such as velvet, silk, and brocade. These sumptuous textiles add a touch of opulence and elegance to the space, creating a sense of indulgence.”
Expressive wall decor
Maximalist bedrooms are all about making a statement, and the walls are the perfect canvas for your personality. Consider hanging a gallery wall of art prints, photographs, and other decorative elements. Mix and match different styles and colors to create a unique and eclectic look.
If you want to create a bold focal point, consider using a patterned wallpaper. There are so many different patterns and textures available, from bold florals to graphic prints. Use wallpaper on a single accent wall to create a dramatic effect.
Ready to create a maximalist home?
Maximalist interior design is a bold and exciting approach to home decor. By embracing an eclectic mix of patterns, colors, and textures, you can create a space that's uniquely your own.
“Remember, maximalism is about expressing your personal style and creating a space that makes a bold statement. Don't be afraid to take risks, experiment, and have fun with your design,” Lauren Brantley.
If you put the tips and principles outlined in this article to action, you'll be well on your way to creating an eclectic interior that's anything but boring.
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