Free the spirit: How to embrace maximalist interior design at home

Minimalism has been reigning supreme over the last decade or so. Clean lines, utilitarian design, simple furnishings, neutral colour schemes and the general absence of fuss and clutter has been characterising our home styles for so long that we’ve almost forgotten that there is an alternative to the philosophy of less being more.

But no longer. Maximalism has arrived and it’s capturing the hearts of interior designers and home owners everywhere. Move over Kelly Hoppen, Queen of Taupe – we are now in the middle of a veritable rebellion against everything we’ve been told is chic and stylish in our houses. Maximalist homes are dramatic and daring, liberating and exciting, warm and welcoming and intensely personal spaces.

If you love the idea of playing with colours and patterns, ornamentation and embellishment in an effort to create an individual look in your home, here are 7 ways you can easily channel that maximalist vibe.

  1. More is more

A maximalist room decor is exciting. A feast for the eyes and pure theatre wherever you turn, it couldn’t be further removed from the tranquil zen vibe of yesteryear. Start with a few favourite anchor pieces – a funky sofa or iconic armchair design perhaps – and build the room up around it in layers until you’ve literally filled every space.

Source: Livinator

  1. Rediscover colour

It’s time to ditch the neutral colour palette and celebrate the rainbow. Neither need you be limited by the colour wheel rules of contrast, harmony and tone. Don’t be afraid to use dark, dramatic hues contrasted against bright, bold shades. Achieve unexpected combinations in furniture and furnishings, accessories and artwork to create a décor that is uniquely yours.

Source: Decorisme

  1. Mix to the max

With ‘eclectic’ and ‘bohemian’ being your watchwords, you are free to dip into any style or era for inspiration to decorate your home. Mix and match to your heart’s content. Whether you love the ancient Egyptians or Art Deco, tribal artwork or abstract expressionism, country cottage style or industrial chic, it’s all good!

Source: Apartment Therapy


  1. Patterns and textures

A good maximalist room décor is a multisensory experience. Dazzle the eye with clashing patterns including geometric prints, classic florals and ethnic designs, perhaps using a favourite multi-coloured piece as a starting point. Layer with touchy-feely materials such as sheepskin rugs, wool blankets, velvet cushions, wood clad walls or eye catching tapestries.

Source: Living Room Ideas

  1. Exciting lighting

Layered lighting design is key to any interiors scheme, and with maximalism there’s no need to hold back on your options. Choose a combination of ceiling pendants, floor lamps, table lamps and a variety of mood lighting fixtures in an array of styles, for both visual interest and to provide good levels of illumination in the room.

  1. Display your treasures

Lovers of the maximalist style often tend to be collectors of beautiful artefacts. Why not put your personal treasures on display so they can be appreciated? Whether on open shelving, ornate glass fronted display cabinets, quirky side tables or on the mantelpiece, personalise your space with both fun and meaningful pieces.

Source: House Beautiful

  1. Let your style evolve

The beauty of maximalist interiors is that they’re meant to evolve over time. Unlike their minimalist counterparts whose appeal depends on the design being kept exactly as the day it’s put together – sometimes a mere out-of-place children’s toy can be enough to upset the aesthetic – with maximalism there’s no right or wrong. It’s part of the design philosophy that the room will in fact never be ‘finished’ – it’s a living, breathing personal space that changes over time without ever getting boring!

The most stunning maximalist homes are those that seem to have grown almost organically through the years. Items picked up from junk shops and high street retailers mix with online purchases, family heirlooms and travel souvenirs. It’s the stories and memories attached to each item that make them personal to the owner and create a sense of home.

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