Maximalist Interior Design: The Ultimate Guide with Tips and Ideas

The mentality “more is more” slowly yet firmly replaces Minimalism, which reigned over the last decade. The popularity of rich color palettes, exposed collections, vivid patterns, and personalized decor in interior design sounds more appealing to homeowners and decorators than overly simplified furniture layouts, sleek silhouettes, and decluttered surfaces, which are so peculiar to Minimalism. Although simplicity doesn’t go anywhere, we are more than sure that Maximalism is having a moment. If you think this eclectic and sumptuous design style resonates with a chaotic amalgam of inexplicably excessive colors and prints, you should know that it has some ground rules that ensure everything is well-balanced and thought-out. Unlike minimalist interiors, which more or less repeat the same patterns, Maximalism is a way of expression that you can use to customize the design. Still, you cannot combine anything and call it maximalist just because it looks excessive. Read on to explore the core principles behind a genuine maximalist interior design!

What is Maximalism in Interior Design?

To define Maximalism clearly, interior designers say: “It is the opposite of Minimalism.” Maximalism represents the creative and eclectic mix of colors, patterns, objects, styles, and forms, revealed in an appealing and playful way meant to impress, inspire, and show off the owner’s personality. It focuses on saturation, consistently uses bold colors and prints, takes all the available space, and needs large rooms to host its richness. Decorators have noticed the link between the Maximalist style and the display of collections, from books to art.   

Maximalist vs. Eclectic: How to Distinguish?

Although the two interior design styles are often referred to as the same concept, they are undoubtedly two different phenomena. While Eclecticism blends various styles, periods, colors, and textures under a cohesive mix meant to deliver balance despite its diverse character, Maximalism has more freedom of excess, although well thought-out, showing off intricate pairings of colors and patterns, including artwork. 

Maximalism is like a controlled chaos that thrives in abundance. Unlike Eclectic design, which tries to avoid clutter, Maximalism requires larger spaces to generate its grandeur to the fullest. 

Maximalist Interior Design History

Maximalism has always been there, at least for the past few centuries, with various interpretations in different periods. Experts claim “Maximalism goes all the way back to the Victorian era,” if not further. Homeowners wanted to make statements and deviate from the conservative style. It was more of a way to expose rich decor as a symbol of wealth. Since Maximalism speaks through the aesthetic of excess, we can also relate it to the far-away Baroque style. It inevitably resurfaced over the years, say, the beloved Art Deco or Hollywood Regency from the early 20th century that borrowed the love for excessive color and pattern from Maximalism. 

Today, this rich and awe-inspiring design style has acquired a new meaning. The modern maximalist interior design doesn’t follow the concept of generating beautiful and enviable home decor. On the contrary, it promotes the beauty of creating courageous and cheerful interiors that make you feel content and allow you to express an emotion, display a collection, or speak through color or pattern.

Maximalist Interior Design Features

Maximalism is the thought-out chaos of bold colors, rich patterns, various styles, and contrasting elements. If there is one thing a maximalist interior cannot work without, it is catchy color and scale. It’s a must since you should be amazed and see the unexpected when entering a maximalist interior. 

Read on to explore the main principles of decorating a space in the trendy maximalist style. Recreate this surprising, expressive design concept in your home by following some key rules.

Bright Colors

Bold and vibrant shades of color are the first feature you should consider. Maximalism loves rich color palettes of fully saturated tones. Everything should be bright and catchy, be it wall paint, wallpaper, furniture, textiles, decor. Feel free to take inspiration from the current color trends, which reveal a lush collection of the boldest and most daring shades.

Mixed Prints and Patterns

Combine courageous and diverse motifs under the same roof. Think florals, animal print, or geometric forms all in one. Apply them to furniture upholstery, curtains, bedding, blankets, cushions, and other available surfaces. 

Rich-Colored and Printed Wallpaper

If you replace wall paint with wallpaper, make sure it is the boldest you can find. Maximalism doesn’t allow neutral colors and little to no patterns. The brightest the color, the catchier the prints – the better. The great news is you can opt for any design you like, especially if it expresses a personal emotion, memory, or preference.

Layered Textiles

Add richness to the decor through fabrics. Reveal your favorite colors and prints one more time by choosing combinations of textiles. Rugs, sofa and armchair upholstery, curtains, cushions, blankets, bedding, and so on. As much fabric as possible to enrich the space with texture. Even more, go with layered curtains or rugs. 

Ornate Pieces and Statement Accents

Maximalism won’t be the same without its lavish decor made of lush accessories. Statement furniture, show-stealing wall art, elegant chandeliers, unexpectedly shaped vases, wavy headboards, and more. The only limit is your imagination. At this level, you have the possibility to decorate your home with everything you feel satisfied surrounded by. 

Drama and Luxury

Maximalist spaces have a unique sense of luxury nurtured by the intriguing mix of unrepeatable color palettes, pattern combinations, and customized decor. That’s how controlled chaos works – a daring blend of diverse elements that looks expensive and thought-out up to the last detail.

Collection Display

Whether you have an endeared selection of books, collected pieces from travel destinations, or unique wall art – DIY, inherited, or meaningful to you, Maximalist is one of the best design styles to host your collectibles as home decor. 

Maximalist Living Room

The living room, where you gather with your family, spend most of your time, or host guests, is one of the best spaces to experiment with Maximalism. It has less strict styling rules, and you’ll find it pretty joyful and exciting. Consider the following maximalist interior design ideas:

  • Decorate the walls (art, wallpaper, paint); don’t leave this space blank;
  • Storytelling through mismatched decor pieces;
  • Layered fabrics with cozy textures and bold prints;
  • Choose the main focus – a coffee table, the sofa, a bookcase;
  • Eclectic mix of various design styles;
  • Layered lighting with functional and accent sources.

Maximalist Bedroom

If Maximalism is about showcasing your personality through design, then the bedroom is the best space for this purpose. More or less, the design rules don’t change much, yet here are the expert recommendations for this room:

  • Swap neutral colors for bold shades;
  • Choose wallpaper with catchy prints;
  • Borrow elements from different design styles, from Vintage to Modern;
  • Focus on a statement headboard;
  • Use floral motifs to the fullest;
  • Experiment with prints and colors for the bedding;
  • Play with geometrics;
  • Layered textiles for extra coziness.

Maximalist Kitchen

If you are a true connoisseur of this design style, you’ll most probably want to decorate all rooms. When reaching the kitchen, remember that style should keep pace with practicality. Even if you cannot decorate the walls, you can use color and pattern to the maximum.

  • Replace traditional cabinet colors with bold ones;
  • Decorate cabinets and available wall space with prints;
  • Make a statement chandelier the room’s main highlight;
  • Opt for colorful backsplashes and countertops (Terrazzo style in bold colors);
  • Add elegance through metallic hardware.

Maximalist Dining Room

If you often host guests in your dining room, you’ll love this conversation-starter design style. Add more visual appeal to the dining zone with the following ideas:

  • Statement dining table (intricate shape, unusual color, additional prints);
  • Surprisingly designed chairs;
  • Mandatory wall art in daring color;
  • Floral or geometric wallpaper;
  • Rich-patterned area rugs;
  • Ceiling wallpaper;
  • Accent lighting fixtures;
  • Exposed collectibles on open shelves.

Maximalist Bathroom

Recreate the trending maximalist style in your bathroom by integrating the following elements:

  • Animal, geometric, or floral-print wallpaper;
  • Bright-colored vanities;
  • Interestingly shaped and colored area rugs;
  • Patterned tiles;
  • Mural wallpaper;
  • Unusually shaped mirrors;
  • Vintage gold hardware.

Maximalist Interior Design: Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overloading the space with too many bright colors that don’t blend naturally;
  • Combining too many interior design styles, especially if each room has a different design concept and cohesion isn’t respected;
  • Over-accessorizing the space with tiny decor pieces that may end up looking like clutter;
  • Overdoing the decor part by using a lot of everything everywhere instead of sticking to several colors and prints and use them as a pattern;
  • Opting for too many layered textiles and turning it into clutter.
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