If you go wild for bold colors, funky prints, and live by the concept that more is more, you'll want to keep reading. It's most likely that you're all about embracing maximalist style and love showing off your favorite hues, collections, and patterns.
What is Maximalism?
Maximalism follows a more-is-more approach and is all about mixing styles with color pattern and texture to create an over-the-top look.
"Maximalism is a highly curatorial approach to interior story telling," designer Andrea May shares with us. "It allows you to build on one subject, or idea and go deep."
If you're not exactly sure how to ensure that your maximalist home looks well-curated and not cluttered, we're here to help. We've rounded up nine key steps to take into account to ensure that your maximalist home looks ultra stylish. Ready for bold design? Keep reading for everything you need to know to bring maximalism to your home.
Meet the Expert
- Andrea May is the founder and principal designer of Andrea May Interiors, based in California.
- Emilie Munroe is the founder of Studio Munroe in San Francisco.
- Grey Joyner is the founder of Grey Joyner Interiors in Wilson, NC.
Be Confident and Go Bold
Don't be afraid to go bold, notes designer Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe. "The key to maximalist design is embracing the trend with wild abandon, no fear of being over the top," she says. "One overscale, bold, wild, colorful item will throw the balance off in a space and not exude the confidence that is so appealing about the maximalist look."
Rather, Munroe suggests layering at least four fabulous maximalist elements into a space. For example, try patterned wallpaper with jewel-toned casework, a vintage rug, and a large-scale crystal chandelier. "You can always add more, but a baseline of four will be enough to set the desired tone," she says.
Bust Out the Paint
Working on a limited budget? Fear not—in this case, paint is the answer, says designer Grey Joyner of Grey Joyner Interiors. "The best way to create a wow factor in a room is colored paint," the designer explains, and her suggestion doesn't stop at walls.
"Paint your grandmother's chest a high-gloss plum and pair it with an animal print rug," she suggests. "Or, paint the walls of a room teal and hang colorful pieces of artwork or framed pictures from your recent travels."
Show Off a Collection
Don't have a collection to display? Go ahead and start one! "Book collecting is easy, and there are so many options available," Joyner says. "I love decorating with books. It often allows me to put different colors together as well as different materials—leather, linen, paper."
This setup is both maximalist and welcoming. "When you use a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures, it makes a room cozy," Joyner adds.
Mix Plenty of Patterns
Don't worry about the juxtaposition of different elements that are from various time periods and feature various colors and prints, Joyner notes.
"I like to have fun with maximalism decorating, so I mix the old with the new, the stripe with the plaid, the blue with the purple so that it expresses a personal style unlike anyone else's," she says.
Wallpaper the Ceiling
The ceiling is the fifth wall of any room, after all! According to designer Lilse McKenna, "It can be a detail that you might not notice at first, but in the end, those small details are what really count when designing a space that is layered."
Don't Worry About Being Too Curated
Instead, simply buy the things you love. As designer Mally Skok puts it, "Are you just meant to look and not buy that adorable little watercolor by some really good amateur watercolorist from the 1940s?" she says. "I just don’t have the restraint to live in a highly curated world. I need that little painting wrapped up, and I will find a place for it when I get home."
I just don’t have the restraint to live in a highly curated world. I need that little painting wrapped up, and I will find a place for it when I get home.
Shop Your Own Home
Shop your own house in order to find pieces that deserve a little extra love, and then let them shine. "Pull out your favorite accessories and try arranging them in vignettes around your home, using vases, pitchers, boxes and books to curate beautiful, personal moments," Kevin O'Gara of Kevin Francis Design suggests.
Embrace Neutrals, Too
"Sometimes, it seems maximalist design can get confused in people’s minds, and they begin to think it means 'cluttered' or 'busy' looking interiors," designer Anne Hulcher Tollett of Hanover Avenue says. "But, even those with a leaner aesthetic can embrace the beauty of maximalism." Here, a collection of white ceramics steals the show in the dining room.
Don't be afraid to think big when it comes to accessories, artwork, and more. "Maximalism really works when you go overscale," May says. "A huge scaled pattern in a small space can make an incredible statement."