Login / Register Sellers Clients
Maximalism interior design style - a living room decorated with vibrant colours and patterns

Bold, bright, and playful – just a few of the words used to describe ‘maximalism', the interior design style enjoying a resurgence among decorators. This isn’t a new way of styling our homes; it’s a centuries-old concept that hinges on celebrating the things we love.

In this blog, we examine maximalism and how you can incorporate it into your interior design. 


What does maximalism mean? 

There is nothing conservative about maximalism - it's the very opposite of minimalism. This is an interior design style rooted in the belief that more is more! It combines eclectic layers of bold colours, patterns, textures, and ornate accents. 

But it isn’t about just throwing stuff together. It’s as carefully managed and curated as any other interior design style (we’ll come back to how to achieve this later, but first, let’s look at the history of maximalism). 


The history of maximalism explored

Maximalism is a centuries-old concept that cuts across various other art forms, notably painting, architecture and music. 

Perhaps the most famous example of what might be considered maximalism today is the 16th-century “cabinet of curiosities”. These cabinets (a historical precursor to the modern museum) would display a diverse array of objects and artefacts.

The objects were typically eclectic, encompassing natural specimens, rare artefacts, objets d'art, antiquities, oddities, and curiosities from different cultures and periods.

The purpose was to showcase the owner's wealth and social status and inspire wonder, curiosity, and exploration. The Victorians decorated their homes in a similar way to this by showcasing their personality in their design. 

These concepts underpin the maximalism we see today. 


How to achieve modern maximalism 

Maximalism is a difficult style to achieve without help from a designer. The combination of the different elements can quickly end up looking messy and chaotic – finding the balance is key! 

Colour is the most crucial element, so start here.

Choose a playful palette in bold, saturated shades that you can use to bind together the different parts of your room. Patterned wallpaper, soft furnishings, and painted furniture can all be used to showcase the colours in your chosen room. 

In an interview with Architectural Digest, US-based interior designer Ashley DeLapp suggests customising a few pieces of vintage furniture using brightly coloured lacquer.  

Above all else, remember that this design style is about personality, so make sure you’re showcasing the things you love, from furniture to artwork and trinkets from your travels. 

Maximalism is no longer about displaying your wealth. So long as these objects are meaningful, they don’t need to be expensive.  


The key takeaway 

Maximalism opposes minimalism by embracing bold colours, patterns, and textures. Rooted in history, it draws inspiration from the 16th-century "cabinet of curiosities," displaying diverse objects.

Achieving modern maximalism requires a balanced approach, focusing on a vibrant colour palette and personal touches. It's a celebration of personality and meaningful objects, departing from mere displays of wealth.