9 Maximalist Design Ideas for Any Space
Not everyone subscribes to the minimalist lifestyle, with sleek furnishings and a muted, uncluttered aesthetic. If you prefer a more lived-in look featuring layers of color, pattern and interest, use these design ideas to create your own maximalist refuge.
Distinctive Design Style
When done right, maximalist design is about showcasing your personality and decorating with things you love. You are free to mix colors, styles, patterns and eras to come up with your own perfect aesthetic that is uniquely you. In fact, breaking conventional design rules is a big part of what makes maximalism fun.
Bright, Bold Color Schemes
Maximalism says it’s perfectly fine to incorporate a variety of vibrant colors into one room. Lavender walls with splashes of orange, yellow and pink? Yes please. When the colors are inspired by a large piece of artwork or other statement piece in the room, it totally works.
Exciting and rather unexpected, orange is somewhat of a rockstar color for maximalist spaces. While it is attention-grabbing — especially in front of a clean white backdrop — orange also goes well with other colors found in nature, like red, yellow, green and brown.
Maximalism goes hand-in-glove with grandmillennial style, which is known for classic prints and vintage decorative elements. Parallel trends, they both encourage pattern-mixing and unconventional color combinations.
Layer Color and Texture
A key element of maximalist style is the layering of colors and textures. Whether it is a grouping of flea-market paintings that offer up hues to the rest of the room or an attractive fabric or wallpaper, furniture pieces and other furnishings can bring those colors to life. Every accent, throw pillow or swatch of lace adorning your furniture provides an additional layer of interest. Even rugs can be layered to great effect.
To develop a maximalist design that is cohesive, there must be repetition, which means echoing similar patterns, colors and motifs throughout the room. Repeating various details removes doubt that your design choices are purposeful. While maximalist rooms are overflowing with personality, they can still come across as orderly with multiple appearances of specific elements.
Neutral Color Schemes
It’s possible to have an effective maximalist design without bright colors. To jazz up a neutral space, simply layer in large quantities of pattern, texture, and fun. For example, in a room with clean white walls, wood tones and browns can layer on warmth as interesting shapes, playful prints and light-bending textures define the maximalist design style.
Speaking of neutrals, it’s also possible for a deep wall color to act as a neutral in a room bursting with vibrant colors and patterns. An example would be a dark brown on the walls anchoring a room filled with yellows, blues, greens and oranges.
While not the first color to pop into your head when it comes to maximalist design, charcoal gray actually makes a bold statement in this setting. It can come across as dramatic and elevating to colorful artwork or furniture, not only helping them stand out, but to be taken more seriously as well.
Although sizable rooms tend to get overwhelmed by large-scale wallpaper or attention-getting fabrics, small spaces can handle them quite well. Bright colors and bold patterns? No problem. For an even bigger statement, consider using multiple maximalist-style patterns. When going maximalist in a bathroom, fun and unusual choices are the way to go to bring smiles to visitors. But if making these choices more livable is necessary, you can’t go wrong with a classic black-and-white color scheme.
Cozy and thrown-together looking, the boho effect features things like beds or couches piled with various linens, blankets and pillows; collected pieces of kitschy artwork; and lots of fun colors. In other words, it’s a great match for maximalism. As you can imagine, this type of design can get out of control if not carefully coordinated. The key to a cohesive aesthetic is keeping the colors at the same intensity — whether pastel, jewel tones or darks. Also, be sure to incorporate enough of a neutral tone, like white, black, gray or taupe, so that the eye gets a rest from all the busy-ness.
Looking for a good way to bring maximalist style to a little nook? Consider shelves filled with framed artwork. Curate a mix of professional paintings, prints, family pictures and children’s art to create a fun and cheerful display. Pull accent colors from the featured artwork and try coating the rest of the room in a neutral hue (white makes colors pop) so that the details don’t overwhelm.