Room Decor

Live life to the maximalism! Decor for the bold


What is maximalism?

There are many people in the world who adore minimalist interior design. But there are just as many that find it bland and lacking in personality. Enter maximalism.

Maximalism is an all out celebration of as many eclectic styles as possible in one room. It offers a whirlwind of colour, personality and patterns and is all about excess. Think gilding, wallpaper, bright artwork, crazy carpet, clashing chintzes, unexpected vibes and vintage inspired collectibles. And it’s motto? ‘More is more.’

Spurred by the visual culture of the seventies, it’s part revolt against minimalism and part deep expression of a creative identity. It’s even been dubbed the ‘expression of nihilism’ and can be found in all areas of design including film, art, fashion and more.

maximalism decor
Image credit: Livinator

Given its borderline philosophical approach, it’s not surprising that individuals who are drawn to this style often have the personality and passions to match.

For those who have adopted maximalism, it’s like a little secret waiting to be discovered inside the Narnia-esque world of their home, the external façade of the house not giving away any hints.

Although a very individualised décor, it’s important to remember that maximalism is not hoarding, messiness or chaos, despite first perceptions. Instead, it’s a carefully considered visual excess that stimulates the imagination and creates a sense of wonder. But without intention or careful planning, maximalism can just as easily become a big muddle.

Want to get it right? Step into the quaint and intriguing world of maximalism…

Clashing patterns and textures: It’s a zoo in here

maximalism patterns
Image credit: Pinterest

Although this may go against everything you know to be true, it’s time to turn those preconceptions on their head. Layer patterns with more patterns. And then, when you think that’s enough, add another clashing pattern!

Looks we love: Animal prints paired with chevron and gold are a fundamental clashing pattern set in the maximalist’s toolkit.

maximalism with pop art
PARTY TIME: ‘Should I Disco?’ The answer is “yes” in a maximalist home

But mixing patterns isn’t enough. It’s time to take it up a notch by hurling together a bunch of different textures. The textures need to be varied and wild: think velvet fur, rich timbers, wool, rattan and metal. Yes, all of them and yes, all in the same room.

maximalism ideas for the home
BE BRAVE: experiment with different patterns, styles and textures

Your next adventure is to add a mixture of sharp angles, fluffy fabrics and spiky plants.

Furniture: Ms Haversham meets Coco Chanel

When it comes to maximalism, furniture can be fun.

Try to steer away from ‘I’ve just moved out of home and using whatever furniture I found at a garage sale’ and move towards ‘I’ve artfully selected each and every piece of furniture to tell a story.’

maximalism decor in the living room
Image credit: Freshome

If you can avoid it, none of your furniture should match. So, if you have a matching couch set, break it up and add a funky reading chair and a sinful ottoman in an eye catching shade.

Another fun décor rule to break when it comes to selecting furniture is to combine decades or eras of styles. Think 1920s art deco furniture won’t go with 1950s? Think again!

extreme maximalism
Image credit: Exquisite Concierge

Pop art vibes: neon your world

Maximalism thrives on bright vibrant colours and pop art vibes. Think of it like an eclectic sci-fi movie with a surrealist component.

maximalism decor ideas
EXPRESS YOURSELF: bring personality into the room with colourful art

Maximalism is, without a doubt, a reaction. An expression of your colourful inner psyche. But it’s not without its glamour or flamboyance.

maximalism art
SECOND GLANCE: make a statement with ‘Something Fishy’

Just as pop art is a reaction to mass culture – the transformation of media influx into something beautiful – so too is maximalism. The overly chintzed up and hyper glitzy version of commercialism is a firm, but stunning, statement.

For entry-level maximalism a great way to get started is with an eye-catching retro art print.

maximalism artwork
CLASH OF THE TITANS: heat up the max vibe a hot pink couch and retro art

Colour palette: an all you can eat candy buffet

maximalism furniture
BUTTERFLY RAINBOW: incite transformation with ‘Retro Wings’

Here comes the really fun part…

Colour is the core component of the wild ride that is maximalism. It features bold wall colours in lime greens and fuchsias. Or even black. Mixed together with highlighter yellow couches and touches of bubblegum pink and peacock blues. The colour scheme you opt for should be extravagant almost to the point of discomfort.

maximalism colour
CONVERSATION STARTER: ‘The Girl With Parrots’ is perfect for storytelling

If this is too overwhelming for you to live with in your own home, start with a common theme: pick one bright colour and work around it. It’s often easiest to begin with the most outrageous colour or pattern first and work backwards.

maximalism bedroom
DREAMY ESCAPE: create the bedroom of your dreams with maximalist vibes

Ornate fixtures: Time to call the taxidermist

Once you’ve got your base of colour, furniture and patterns covered then it’s time to add the finishing touches to symbolise lavishness and opulence.

maximalism styles
Image credit: Livingetc

Chandeliers, wall sconces, oversized vases, an abundance of plants, animal heads, busts, floral art and vintage inspired pieces all make noble additions. One of each, if you like.

Furthermore, exposed wooden beams painted in a vibrant hue, neon signs, feathers, fruit bowls and bell jars will set this style off. Think glitzy showgirl glamour to the max!

neon maximalism
Image credit: Spectrum Bar and Cafe, London

Not quite ready to go all in? Start your maximalism journey with small steps and a pattern art print to add depth and colour to your décor.

You Might Also Like