Fed up with bland colour, hiding away your treasures, and the minimalist aesthetic putting you to sleep? Flip the switch and go big, go bold, go maximalist and put it all on show to tell a unique story with your liberated interior decor. Lots of bright and deep colours with plenty of patterns and layered textures is a luxe, eclectic trend that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. More is really more when it comes to maximalism and is a feast for the eyes for anyone aiming to add drama, excitement, and loads of personality to their space. Here's how to get the look.
Start With Something Small
If you're doing a home renovation and like the idea of the maximalist concept, but are a bit unsure if it will suit the changes that have been made, start with something small. Pile up the couch with a mix of cushions and throws or go ham in a small space like a powder room. Don't limit your choices or be too concerned about 'matching' anything, in fact, go ahead and clash for maximum effect (see what I did there).
If you love the look, be a bit braver and try some patterned wallpaper in your living room or dining room. Coloured paint can turn an otherwise ordinary room into something much more interesting, and hanging patterned drapes could finish the room off... almost. Lots of pictures, vases of flowers or plants, and all your favourite ornaments will be the finishing touches.
I have a love for colorful things. I'm a fashion maximalist. I come from the school of people who look at the decoration in Marie Antoinette's bedroom, and think 'Why so reserved?'
- Suzy Menkes
Keep A Balance
You could easily argue there's no rules when it comes to creating a maximalist style, and you'd be mostly right, but it does take some skill to make so many elements work in an interior - or at the very least, a lot of patience with experimentation. One main key to achieving a resolved design is to keep a balance with the colours you choose. Choose a statement shade that you really like - such as the purple or blue standout colours in the above examples - and build the rest of the room around it. Decide which item you want to be the focus in that colour - is it the walls, an artwork, or a piece of furniture? Then decorate and curate with a nod back to that colour, picking up the same shade in the pattern of a rug or pillow, or contrasting or complementing colours. Even bold patterns and hues can be executed with elegance if you balance them with an understanding of colour theory.
Old Meets New
Ever walked away from a piece of furniture or an antique item because you have nothing to match it with or went to give away an industrial lamp because your new sofa is contemporary and clean? With maximalism that does not matter - mix and match and mix again until your heart's content. Victorian meets bohemian meets tribal meets modern. Anything goes as long as you love it (and yes, there's a difference between hoarding and decorating)!
It's a fun style to work with when there's lots of personalities in one household, allowing older pieces to marry with new in punchy and re-imagined ways, and ultimately saving on shopping for all new decor.
It's a great flexible style for couples coming together with possessions from their past, and an even better lesson in expression for kids in their own rooms decorating for max enjoyment!
Every Surface is a Canvas
Maximalism is a chance for theatre, storytelling, history and playfulness in your decor, so enjoy the process of layering little moments on every surface in any of the following ways:
- Clash patterns and textures - walls, floors, furniture, furnishings and even on the ceiling
- Embellish, adorn, contrast, collect, compliment, clash, layer, lean, light up, stack, and stage
- Mix styles and eras, antique and brand new with confidence and opulence
- Create vignettes and embrace the freedom of putting everything on display
- Bring the eclectic and kitsch or elegant and sumptuous in your layers
- Think in terms of talking points and arrangements for entertainment
Have fun, be patient and create magic with more, more and more.
Got a maximalist moment to share, tag me @vp_sam and hashtag #samsstylesquad to be featured on my stories.