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. In this blog post, we will be looking at what maximalism really is, and how to make it work without being overwhelmed by junk. Ready for some serious eye candy?
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.
It's all about boldness, abundance, and unapologetic extravagance, throwing decor principles out the window while creating a kind of harmonious chaos through a riot of patterns, colours, and textures.
Maximalist decor is "an eclectic look that can feed a bold soul... Embellishments, flea market finds, family heirlooms, and luxe furnishings can all co-exist beautifully if you are mindful of a few guidelines." Carrie Leskowitz, designer and author of Om for the Home, in The Spruce.
Key elements that define maximalist decor include:
- Layering ostentatious patterns together with plush textural elements and materials, in combination with rich jewel tones
- The presence of vast, deeply personal and often quite quirky collections of eye-catching furniture, sculptures, or art that make a bold statement.
- A sense of extravagant style that celebrates over-indulgence.
- The defining fundamental idea of maximalism is that it defies compromise: you either go all-in with it (go big or go home) or you don't try.
Use jewel tones: the secret to maximalist style decor
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 and semi-precious stones. 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.
How do you start working with jewel tones in your interior?
Start with a single colour, like a thread that will hold everything together, and build from there. You can find colour inspiration everywhere, from books on colour in design to natural combinations 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! 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.
- Incorporate velvet, silk, or faux fur for a sumptuous feel. Get the full crash course in our Case study: FibreGuard fabrics in a beacon of luxurious living
- Layer patterns through textiles, wallpapers, and upholstery. Feeling the freedom already? Learn about layering in: Boho room decor ideas for a carefree home
- Mix different interior design styles for an eclectic yet cohesive look. Want to find more styles to combine? Here's some! The 4 Best Interior Decor Styles with Easy-Clean Furnishing Fabrics for Your Home
Add personal touches to your maximalist home
In a large part, embracing “more is more,” is about celebrating the space and its creator, making the most of the space you have and celebrating the person who made it. It’s about filling your home with objects you love, whether they be things that belonged to family members or were purchased on your last vacation.
"Use some spare shelf space to highlight travel souvenirs, family heirlooms, or whatever you find joy in collecting." - Interior designer Courtney Sempliner told Insider.
Adding texture to your maxmalist paradise
Playing with texture gives a space depth, no matter what interior style you’re going with.
“The layering of materials, colours and shapes all amount to give your interiors an overall texture which can define the look and feel of a space. Glossy surfaces like polished chrome, shiny marble and smooth leather all in tonal shades give a room a sleek, modern texture. For a more multi-layered look, tactile weaves like bouclé look amazing when layered against the luxurious feel of faux shagreen or rough-hewn timber to give a room some depth and sense of history.” – Martin Waller, co-founder of wallpaper brand Andrew Martin. Keep reading: Transforming hospitality spaces: the role of texture in bar and restaurant design
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.
Bringing it all together for a clutter-free finish
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. How?
Start Small: Begin experimenting with maximalism in a small area of your home, such as a bathroom, breakfast nook, guest room, or hallway. "This prevents you from going overboard and forces smarter choices about which items to include." - Insider.
Organize Surfaces: Keep surfaces organized and spare. Straighten piles of books, display one large object rather than a collection of small ones, and ensure some of the table or shelf surface is visible. "This approach makes the room look less cluttered and more restful." - The Spruce
Curate, Don’t Collect Clutter: Instead of filling every inch of your space, focus on curating standout pieces that complement each other. "Maximalism is about making a bold statement with a few key items, not overwhelming the senses with an abundance of stuff." - Insider. Hang a single large piece of art on the wall rather than several smaller ones. Opt for one large vase on a coffee table instead of multiple smaller decorations.
Maximalist home design without clutter: a recap
Today we looked at what maximalism really is, and how to make it work without being overwhelmed by junk. We covered a lot of ground, from jewel tone colours to working with textures and incorporating decorative elements. Remember, a well-planned maximalist space can be both visually stunning and comfortable to live in.
How did you find our decluttering tips at the end? Let us know over on Instagram!