What is maximalist design?

What is maximalist design?

Heard of minimalism? What about maximalism?

Minimalism has been a big trend in the past several years - decluttering and reducing the amount of “stuff” on our walls and in our rooms (maybe even in our closets…), choosing neutral and monochromatic white or gray color schemes - I’m not sure that’s going away just yet, but it looks like designers are starting to pick up on the rise of maximalism.

So what does maximalism look like? Well, it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum from minimalism, I’ll show you more with examples in this post.

What is maximalism?

When it comes to maximalism there’s no such thing as “less is more”, to achieve a maximalist aesthetic you’ve got to believe that the real truth is “more is more”. It’s an aesthetic that relies on excess, repetition, and bold colors, perfect for people who love layering, patterns, and statement pieces. 

Maximalism is going to be a really great interior design option for people who love to collect things and who love to share a good story. 

If you’re a Disney fan, this will give you the opportunity to channel your inner Arial and showcase your favorite “thingamabobs”. 

If you’re a mathematician or architect you might be inspired by work from M.C. Escher(↗) or Antoni Gaudí(↗).

“Eight Heads” by M.C. Escher, via Cornell Math Department(↗)

By ChristianSchd - This file was derived from: Casa Batllo Overview Barcelona Spain.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0(↗)

OR maybe, you’ll finally have an excuse to recreate a little bit of Versailles in your own home.

Palace of Versaille via Discoverwalks.com(↗)

Beware: Maximalism for the sake of maximalism is a mess

I’m going to share five maximalism interior design tips with you BUT FIRST, here are a couple of quotes to guide you.

“When it comes to maximalist design, it’s all about decadence, excess, and extravagance, so be courageous with color, play with pattern, and create mesmerizing motifs” (Rebecca Gross, Canva.com(↗))

Achieving a good maximalist aesthetic is all about telling a good story so remember, “don’t strive for perfection, strive for personalization” (Diana Hatheway, Freshome.com(↗)).

5 ways to create a maximalist space

Here are 5 great tips Olivia Heath shared with her readers at House Beautiful, you can learn more from her post “How to embrace maximalism in the home (even in the smallest of spaces(↗))”.

  1. Try it in small doses
  2. Connect the dots
  3. Juxtapose your materials
  4. Tell a story
  5. Stay true to you

Remember, maximalism is over the top so if you’re interested in transforming your home into a maximalist one it’s OK to start with small doses.

Start with one room and add some color. Bring in small colorful decorative pieces like small figurines, books and magazines, or wall art.

Then experiment with some textures and layering by adding rugs, pillows, and curtains. Try to find a happy balance that keeps the eye interested and moving from each piece in your room. 

Photo Credit: West Elm Pinterest(↗)

Photo Credit: GCAN.net(↗)

Photo Credit: GCAN.net(↗)

Photo Credit: Wendy Morrison, Pinterest(↗)

Photo Credit: Black Southern Belle featuring design by Houston interior designer, Veronica Solomon(↗)

For some help from designers here in the Dallas area check out the work from these local teams:

Kim Armstrong Interior Design(↗)

Chambers Interiors & Associates(↗)

Paxton Place Design(↗)


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