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How to go maximalist in your interior design - without the clutter

Maximalism is a fabulous interior design trend that is going from strength to strength, and as you might have guessed from previous posts, we’re loving it.

In this blog post, we will be looking at what maximalism really is, how it’s not the opposite of minimalist interior design, and how to make it work for you.

Ready for some serious eye candy?

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Adding a playful touch of maximalism, from Haus Witch on Instagram

What is maximalist interior design?

Maximalism is a trend that started in fashion, literature and music. In recent years it’s really taking off in other areas such as architectural design and interior design. But what is it, exactly?

With maximalism, more really is more. More colour, more texture, more personality, and more playfulness.

There are no rules here, as opposed to minimalist interior design, where rules abound.

The defining fundamental idea of maximalism is that it defies compromise: you either go all-in with it (go big or go home) or often it won’t work.

Elements that define maximalism include:

  • The layering of patterns and textures
  • Rich jewel tones
  • Luxe textures like velvet
  • Vast collections (of books, souvenirs, you name it)
  • The blending of multiple interior design styles
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From Beata Heuman in the House Beautiful Magazine on Pinterest

Maximalism doesn’t have to be completely over the top

A common criticism about maximalism in interior design is that it is too much: too cluttered, too chaotic. It’s not for everyone, but it can be used as a weapon in your design arsenal if you use it cleverly.

Making sure your décor hits all the right notes in the right places is basically the main core job of the interior designer. But what if you want to do it yourself?

Let’s have a look at how you can do this.

Decluttering your maximalist interiors

Decorating your interiors with this design style doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to fill it with any piece of bric-a-brac you take a passing fancy at.

Instead, think like a minimalist.

Minimalists fill their homes very carefully with select pieces, and even though you’re thinking like a maximalist interior designer here, so can you.

In the words of the famous Marie Kondo, you should ask yourself: does this interior piece (of art, or plant, or colour, for example) spark joy?

If not, throw it out.

Layer colour and pattern to get the fun flowing

Patterns become all the bolder when you take the colours that surround them into account. You can really make your interiors pop if you use them right. Use a colour wheel if you’re not sure about shades! Here are our favourite books about colour in interior design, curated specially for you.

Check out this example to get a grip on what we mean:

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From the House Beautiful Magazine on Pinterest

fibreguard determination fabrics collection

Photo by Harper Sunday on Unsplash

Jewel tones always light up a space

Jewel-like colour tones are massively popular in maximalist interiors because they convey such a sense of richness and opulence without going to too much effort.

Jewel tone colours are richly saturated hues named for gems. Think sapphire, ruby, emerald, and so on. Whether colour-blocked or paired with neutral shades, the trend towards jewel tones in interior décor will always pack a visual punch.

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fibreguard determination fabrics collection

How do you do it?

Start with a single colour, like a thread that will hold everything together, and build from there.

You can find colour inspiration everywhere, from the colour wheel we shared above to natural objects and textures like the intensely rich, multifaceted colours of a peacock feather.

Layering these lush colours with patterns you’ve chosen is definitely the fun part of this whole process!

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From Floriane Lemarié on Pinterest

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From Paper and Stitch on Pinterest

Interiors with a personal touch

In a large part, maximalist design is about celebrating the space and its creator. With that in mind, have a look at displaying collections of objects based on one theme.

This will inject the space with a personality all of its own.

Here are some ideas:

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Quirky decor, from Cornelia Sabill on Pinterest

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Vibrant rainbow seashell colours, as found on Pinterest

Using texture in interior design

Playing with texture gives a space depth, no matter what interior style you’re going with.

Maximalist interiors are usually dripping with sumptuous textures like velvet, satin, or even corduroy. Get an injection of modern glam!

Paired with patterned wall finishes, you’ll have more texture than you can shake a stick at. Don't be afraid to see texture where there isn't any, and upcycle your existing pieces accordingly!

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From The Cottage Market on Pinterest

What elements of style are you really into right now in your interiors? Let us know over on Instagram!

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