Game-Changing Maximalist Decor Ideas To Transform Any SpaceInterview With Expert
Maximalist decor believes that ‘more is more,’ which completely contrasts minimalism, which thinks ‘less is more.’ The maximalist style embraces bold colors, patterns, and layering to create a space that honors excess. This does not mean that maximalism is messy or cluttered. You can embrace the maximalist aesthetic without going overboard.
Image credits: Steph Wilson.
Just like minimalism helps people embrace their unique style, the maximalist design also pushes people to showcase their true selves. If you’ve ever walked into a room and thought it needed rich colors, luxurious textures, art pieces, souvenirs, and trinkets, then maybe maximalism is calling your name.
Jumping straight into maximalist interior design might be overwhelming, so we’ve created a guide and list of steps that you can take to create a maximalist space at home. We have also included expert insights from Maitreyee Patil, an interior designer, which can help guide you as you explore these maximalist decor ideas.
Let’s first take a look at how maximalism came to be.
What Is Maximalism and When Did People Start to Embrace It?
Maximalist home decor can be traced back to the Victorian era when people tried to make a statement in their homes. Maximalists have existed all across the globe for centuries. Wealthy people usually practiced it to show off their riches, though that isn’t the case now since anyone can enjoy this design style.
There used to be a maximalist practice in the 16th century called the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ where individuals would showcase artwork, goods, and personal treasures.
Image credits: Lost Orchid Interiors LLC.
The maximalist look has always been about layering accessories, colors, and patterns that feel good to you. This decor style comes with a sense of playfulness and lightness of spirit. When decorating a maximalist room, you must bring thoughtfulness to the process.
What’s the Difference Between Maximalism and Minimalism?
Minimalist decor and maximalist styles have always had a push and pull between them. They might seem like opposites, but the two have essential parallels. Here are some distinguishing characteristics of maximalist and minimalist design.
Fullness Versus Emptiness
Maximalist interiors might have more furniture, accessories, and trinkets. This is because maximalists believe that there should not be empty spaces in the home. Each room is used to showcase some memory or aspect of their personality.
Image credits: Steph Wilson.
Minimalists believe that emptiness is a sign of beauty. They only pick essential furnishings and keep a calm and serene environment.
Image credits: Sidekix Media.
Sentimentality Versus Utility
A maximalist home contains possessions of deep value and emotion. They have a story behind every item of furniture in their house. Since they add sentimental value to their articles, it can take time to curate and pick just a few.
Image credits: bedrck.
Minimalists believe more in utility than sentimentality. They might have deep connections to some items in their house, but most home decor is chosen based on functionality. They will likely get rid of things if they no longer need or use them.
Image credits: Vecislavas Popa.
Decor Versus Architecture
Maximalist decor ideas are all about highlighting and embracing the furnishings, artwork, and patterns. These items become the focal point and are celebrated. You might not even notice the room because it’s so decorated.
Image credits: Pamela Harvey.
In minimalism, the house or room’s architecture becomes the show’s star. The furnishings are kept to a minimum so that you can appreciate the space’s architectural details.
Image credits: Andrea Davis.
There Are Cohesive Ways to Embrace the Two
You can balance the two by keeping your furniture streamlined and sticking to the essentials while personalizing them with accessories and decor objects.
“To strike a balance, it’s a good idea to have some areas in the house with excessive accessories and decorative elements while reserving other areas for a more minimal approach to provide mental clarity and relaxation. Utilizing transitional spaces with a minimalist design can also help to tone down the overall sensory input and provide a mental reset,” says Maitreyee Patil.
The Difference Between Boho and Maximalist Decor Trends
While bohemian maximalist decor exists, these are two different styles. Boho interiors combine color and texture in earthy and tonal ways. In contrast, maximalist interior design is bright and bold. Both types incorporate a lot of greenery to create calming and vibrant spaces.
Both these trends are based on breaking the rules and following your taste above functionality. Maximalism is often known as curated chaos and for a reason! Below, we’ll explore some more of its features.
What are the Characteristics of Maximalist Interior Design?
These critical elements characterize the best maximalist decor:
- Rooms that have multiple patterns that follow the same theme or color palette
- Many accessories or design accents
- Bright and saturated colors
- Layered designs that are visually stimulating
- Art prints or greenery for a splash of color
- Sentimental decor pieces
How to Design Your Maximalist Space
Maximalism is not simple or understated. It stands out! These are some key steps you need to take to infuse maximalism into your home.
“Apply maximalism to one specific aspect of the design. For instance, if you’re applying maximalism to accessorizing the house, ensure that the color scheme is constant and in balance based on the color wheel. For example, you can use a combination of three colors and heavily accessorize the room in the same color scheme, or you can use multiple colors but leave the room spacious and minimal in terms of furniture and accessories. Warm tones and Dark colors make a space seem small and compact. Cool tones and lighter colors make a space look bigger,” says Maitreyee.
Image credits: Amina Mucciolo.
Since many colors and patterns are used in the maximalist decor trend, you should find a common theme to tie them together. This will help to connect and balance the vibe of all your rooms.
You can add dimension through textures if you don’t want the space overwhelmed with color. Use natural wood, stone, metal, linen, leather, and velvet in your decor pieces.
Image credits: Value Village.
Maitreyee also mentions, “Use a combination of patterns and solid finishes. You need plain and solid finishes to enhance patterns and at the same time bring a level of contrast and depth.”
Make your maximalist home shine bright by investing in some statement lighting. The right light fixtures can connect the whole room and draw focus to different elements.
Image credits: Natalia Rowe.
“Understand the effects of light layering: Light can have a major impact on a space. It can highlight as well as diminish features as you need. The reflection, shade, and texture it forms on objects is also a good way to observe and play within a space.
Know the basic rules: More vertical elements make a space feel taller, and the opposite for more horizontal elements. This can also play a big role in designing a maximal space. Color Psychology and Space psychology can help a lot in understanding what you want to interact with on a daily basis, and where you want certain elements to be in relation to the others,” states Maitreyee.
Now that you have a better idea of designing using eclectic maximalist decor, it’s time to see all the fantastic styles and choices you can choose. Let’s get started!
20 Maximalist Decor Ideas
Maximalists like to find pieces that speak of their personality and tastes. They create an eclectic interior with bold patterns, colors, and objects. Here are some ways to add a maximalist touch to your space.
1. Curate The Coffee Table
Image credits: Josh & Matt.
Your coffee table is the best place to start with maximalism. Avoid the clutter; think of all the fun accessories you can decorate it with. Stack it with your favorite coffee table books, add a bold-colored vase, place decorative candles, or create a succulent garden. It is easy to achieve a maximalist look with your coffee table because you can add anything your heart desires.
Maximalist pro tip: don’t let too many things pile up on the table. Give each object its space so that guests can admire them.
2. Layer A Bold Rug
Image credits: Miss Lolo.
Patterned rugs are the best way to weave maximalist decor into your home. Find a bold color or pattern to play with and use it as your theme. Your rug should become a piece of art that seamlessly fits in with the rest of the room. You can layer a sizable patterned rug with a small solid-colored rug or a plush one with a tight-weave carpet. A maximalist living room would be incomplete without a bold rug.
Maximalist pro tip: a unique rug can tie everything together in the room while still standing out.
3. Add Color With a Patterned Stool
Image credits: gigiandtom_.
If you ask any interior designer how to create a maximalist space easily, they’ll say you should embrace it through your furniture styles. Start with your chairs because you can easily mix and match several pieces to create a fun, engaging, and cohesive look.
Place a patterned stool next to a solid-colored couch. Your idea should be to create eye-catching patterns in the room. Check out these creative and unusual chair designs for inspiration if you need ideas.
Maximalist pro tip: when choosing a chair for your maximalist home, go for style, but don’t neglect comfort. The best stool is easy to rest on and fits your decor style.
4. Make a Statement With Your Pillows
Image credits: Daribha Lyndem.
A pillow is a small and sure way to brighten your house. Settle on a solid color palette for your sofa and chairs. Once you choose your favorite colors, buy contrasting throw pillows that stand out against the other furniture.
You can also find pillows in any of the seven complementary color schemes, such as red and green or purple and yellow. Think of pairing matching patterns, like florals with black and white stripes, to create vibrancy. Or you can go the opposite way and add funny cat pillows to your collection. Because why not?
Maximalist pro tip: don’t get more than 3–4 throw pillows for your couch. Too many bright elements might distract from your central theme and create visual chaos.
5. Set Up Eye-Catching Window Treatments
Image credits: Lost Orchid Interiors LLC.
Window treatment refers to anything you would put over your windows to cover them, such as a curtain, shades, shutters, or blinds. When done right, window coverings tend to become the room’s focal point. If you have large windows, use rich and bright shades to draw attention to the space. Use smaller patterns or opt for appealing textures if you have a small window.
Maximalist pro tip: it is better to use warm colors for your curtains or blinds to make the room feel cozy and comfortable.
6. Decorate With Unique Sculptures
Image credits: Verity Lowe.
A sculpture is a piece of art that adds character and depth to a room. You can invest in any amazing sculpture that reflects your personality or makes you smile. Maximalism encourages people to add statues and sculptures because it’s a vibrant artwork that people will appreciate.
Maximalist pro tip: if sculptures aren’t your thing, you can display figurines or toys you like. If you like Funko Pops, you can think of installing some unique shelves for Pops to show off your awesome collection.
7. Draw Attention With a Gallery Wall
Image credits: Glen Handley.
A gallery wall is a great way to fill your maximalist home with joy and color. You can add beautiful art pieces to an accent wall with patterns or wallpaper. The prints you pick should be pieces you love and can’t wait to look at every day. Combine them with family photos so that it looks decorative and homely. Get creative with all kinds of wall decor art pieces.
Maximalist pro tip: mix and match the artwork by pairing big and small pieces together for some variety.
8. Go Green and Get Houseplants
Image credits: SARAH WALSH MCINTYRE.
Maximalists love plants. Maybe it’s the flowers’ vibrant colors or the green hues’ calmness, but if you’re considering maximalism, you should consider getting houseplants.
Plants of all sizes and shapes look great when paired together, and you might create a home with a forest vibe. Plants add life and beauty to homes, so let your green thumb thrive!
Maximalist pro tip: pair plants and pots creatively so that the shades and textures match well and contribute to the color palette you’ve chosen for your home.
9. Use More Statement Lighting
Image credits: salem-marie.
The light fixtures you choose for each room can set the tone of the space. Maximalists tend to prefer bright, trendy lighting. You can add creative lamps and chandeliers based on the size and decor of the room.
Decorative lighting could also include LED mood lighting, which comes in different colors so you can switch between them during other times of the day. Play with the color of the light and the shape of the light fixtures throughout the space.
Maximalist pro tip: match the lamp trims, switches, and material colors for a cohesive look. With so much going on, you will want less visual clutter.
10. Create a Bold Color Accent Wall
Image credits: Mandy Watkins.
You already know that maximalists love bright colors, so avoid neutrals. Pick one bold color and stick to it, or combine many colors. Fabrics and textures can enhance your accent wall and create an overarching pattern. You need to remember that your walls are an untapped resource, and it’s up to you to use them well.
Maximalist pro tip: try combining many colors and textures for small rooms to make them feel more lively. Use one solid color if you are painting a large room.
11. Get Creative With Maximalist Wallpaper
Image credits: Manoir Blackswan | Mansion Studio Rental.
Once you start using wallpaper, you’ll probably not want to go back. Patterned wallpaper is best for making rooms seem jazzy and full of life. Since wallpaper is easy to apply and remove, you can keep changing it every few months. That way, your rooms will always seem lively and colorful.
This decor option works best for people living in rented homes who want to design their space creatively. You can try out floral wallpaper, geometric patterns, watercolors, and more.
Maximalist pro tip: small rooms benefit the most from wallpaper because it can make the area look more prominent and full of life. Check out these bathroom wallpaper ideas to create a relaxing guest restroom space.
12. Spice up Your Living Room
Image credits: Janine Genower.
Your living room should become a maximalist cocoon of relaxation and enjoyment. Choosing the right color trends and decor pieces can add much character to this space. This spot is suitable for a gallery wall, beautiful windows, joyful plants, and crazy couches.
Guests will spend most of their time in this room, so make sure it is beautiful, comfortable, and inviting.
Maximalist pro tip: the one spot you should not ignore is your ceiling. Add attractive light fixtures and consider using wallpaper to make it stand out.
13. Make Your Patterns Pop
Image credits: Elena Davis.
The best part about patterns is that you can add them anywhere. Experiment with this design style by getting patterned accessories like throw pillows, blankets, and rugs. Think of the permanent aspects of your house where you can implement a pattern design like the tiles, wall paintings, or room fixtures. Play with patterns like florals and stripes, which work well together and can help you create a graphic contrast.
Maximalist pro tip: limit yourself to one patterned theme in each room to easily view and enjoy each element.
14. Don’t Forget Your Ceiling
Image credits: Apartment Therapy.
If you genuinely want to embrace the maximalist lifestyle, use your ceiling. The ceiling is probably one of the most ignored spaces in a house. Start appreciating it by giving it the attention it deserves. You can add a splash of color to it, install wallpaper, or hang some decorative fixtures and plants. Get creative like these guys who designed ceiling-hanging lamps to grow plants in windowless rooms.
Maximalist pro tip: Bright lighting should be paired with subdued ceiling colors, and flashy ceiling colors will enhance dimmer lighting.
15. Mix and Match the Old and the New
Image credits: Home interiors and Reno.
If you follow maximalist design rules, you will know it involves using everything you love and enjoy to make your home beautiful. That’s why you should keep your old furniture, belongings, and favorite memories at the front and center of your home decor.
If you have traveled to places or received gifts from friends, create a curio shelf with all these objects. Set up family pictures to complement your trendy decor. Find your old stuffed toys and place them on your couch for guests to enjoy. Combine old and new pieces in a way that best tells your story. Interesting and beautiful old things will add a layer of charm to your home.
Maximalist pro tip: upcycle old furniture and accessories so you don’t waste a single thing.
16. Beautify Your Bedroom
Image credits: Geri Sammut-Alessi.
Your bedroom is your main space to relax and unwind. Curate it in a way that makes you feel happy and comfortable. Add cozy and colorful blankets, wall hangings, pillows, photos, and lamps. Use soft lighting and pleasing colors like blue, green, and yellow. Try these blackout curtains to make your maximalist bedroom feel relaxing and exciting. Get creative by installing a cool and unusual bed without sacrificing comfort.
Maximalist pro tip: calm and cool colors work best for the bedroom, making them easier on the eyes and relaxing to look at.
17. Wow People With Your Entryway
Image credits: Josh & Melanie | The Shaw Team.
The entrance of your home is the first place people will notice. Use it to create a welcoming and warm atmosphere. You can find many ways to embrace a maximalist decor style in your entryway by using plush jewel tones, striking patterns, and creative design elements. You can add an exciting hall tree as a functional statement piece. Decorate the walls with pictures or add an eye-catching mirror.
Maximalist pro tip: go bold with color for small entryways and keep the decor light and simple for spacious entrances.
18. Draw People in With Textile Textures
Image credits: Home interiors and Reno.
Maximalism of the past was all about rich and luxurious interiors. Use that same concept to infuse your space with magnificent textures and objects. Unlike patterns, you can play with multiple textures in the room.
It is all about creating a rich sensory experience for your guests. Add velvet pillows, satin sheets, lace curtains, and cotton pillows. You don’t have to stop there; you can try creating textured abstract artwork that will make people want to stop and touch.
Maximalist pro tip: when using textiles like velvet, care for them properly; otherwise, they can get damaged easily.
19. Design Small Rooms Carefully
Image credits: Evren.
When you design a small space with a maximalist style, it’s important to incorporate many focal points. Add a lot of color and details with cool floral prints, watercolor art, and patterns. It is an excellent space to add murals to the walls so that these textured elements draw attention. Check out these large glow-in-the-dark murals if you want inspiration for your bedroom.
Maximalist pro tip: zigzag shapes are the best patterns to make a space seem more significant than it is.
20. Spruce Up Your Kitchen
Image credits: prettypocketprojects.
A kitchen is a fun place to get creative. But it is also the one place where maximalists can go wrong and create a crappy kitchen design due to the visual mess. Start small and jazz up the kitchen space by displaying your favorite mugs, cooking utensils, and trinkets. Use bright colors to decorate the storage cabinets. Keep flowers or plants in the kitchen for some freshness.
Maximalist pro tip: use darker colors in the kitchen to hide cooking stains easily.
What Are the Benefits of Maximalist Interior Design?
Maximalism is all about embracing excess and making your personality shine through. Here are some benefits of this design trend.
- It is a great way to add a breath of fresh air to a dull space.
- Maximalist interiors are always stunning and attention-grabbing, which is excellent for wowing guests.
- This decor style can help you make a statement and express yourself.
- This trend is about embracing the old and new, which is why your precious mementos will never go to waste.
It’s exciting to keep a maximalist home, but the reality is that it might be tough to go all out if you are on a budget. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with some handy tips to embrace the maximalist trend sustainably and cheaply.
How to Do Maximalism on a Budget?
You want to make your home feel joyful and eye-catching throughout your maximalist journey. Whether with various artwork, photos, prints, or other pieces that speak of your passions and interests, one thing is sure: it might take a lot of work to afford them. But you don’t have to worry about that because we have maximalist budget-friendly tips:
Don’t Waste Anything
Use leftover paint to give your old furniture a fresh coat of paint or make your walls look more colorful. Upcycle accessories and layer them with your current furniture. Broken flower pots or vases can be combined with colored glue to create attractive “new” decor items.
Look For Bargain Sales
Look for old and vintage pieces to include in your maximalist home. Garage sales, thrift stores, and online bargain communities are great places to find articles you like at a lower price. You might chance upon fabulous garage sale finds like cozy rugs, attractive throw pillows, or kooky curtains for your house. Thrift stores are a wonderland of exciting and weird secondhand finds.
The only thing you might have to be careful of is online sales. Online bargain-hunting communities are a great option, but there is a reason that Facebook marketplace shaming happens.
When in Doubt, DIY
Whether you want to mix and match or find pieces that express your personality, DIYing is the easiest way to make this happen. We live in a throwaway culture, and upcycling pre-loved gems is the best way to become a maximalist. Each piece you DIY can become a story you tell and have a part of you. Who knows, you might even end up creating amazing DIY projects.
Go All Out With Maximalism
Maximalism is about the freedom to be yourself and live more fantastically. This is your chance to be bold and customize your space to fit your personality. Play with beautiful shapes, colors, patterns, and textures. Above all, make sure that this decorating process sparks joy.
Maximalist Interior Design FAQs
What Is a Maximalist and How to Be One Without Clutter?
A maximalist is a person who follows an aesthetic of excess and decorates spaces with a lot of items. You can do the same and avoid clutter by carefully considering the decor pieces you choose.
What Are Some Budget-Friendly Maximalist Tips?
You can be a maximalist on a budget by buying cheap furniture, going to garage sales, visiting thrift stores, or DIYing. Check out these budget-friendly couches that you can use to help create a maximalist living room without emptying your pockets.
How Do You Organize a Maximalist Room?
Maximalism is about curated chaos. You can bring order to a highly decorated room by choosing a color scheme and matching all the pieces. It will reduce visual clutter and help make cohesive patterns.