Maximalist Interior Design: How to Achieve the More is More Style

Maximalist interior design allows you to display your favorite things without worrying about breaking design rules.

Maximalism is a trending interior design that fuses many styles and favors bold color and the mixing of patterns and prints. Here’s a look into the history of maximalism and how to work it into your home.

The History of Maximalist Interior Design

Maximalist decor

While popular, maximalist interior design is nothing new. Historians have traced it back to the 16th century when the wealthy displayed collections in what they called “a cabinet of curiosities.” In the 17th century maximalism showed up in graphic design in the form of trade cards.

A recent stint of maximalism was in the Victorian era, from about 1837 – 1901. During this time, heavy design styles featuring intricate woodwork, ornate furniture, dramatic curtains, and the use of knickknacks and other decor came into fashion. While there wasn’t a mixing of interior design styles like today’s maximalism movement, the Victorian era favored a “more is more” look.

Maximalism reappeared in the mid-1900s through the glam Hollywood regency style and then in the 1980s through Memphis interior design, which embodied bold geometric shapes and colors.

Today’s Maximalism features a meshing of interior design styles and period pieces. Maximalism is a layered, collected look that, while often modern, takes on many styles. For example, some people use a modern maximalist interior design or boho maximalist interior design, letting one dominant style guide their decisions.

Eclectic Interior Design vs. Maximalist Interior Design

Eclectic and maximalist interior design share many principles, such as mixing patterns, colors, and design styles. But, eclectic style often has one or two overarching themes, such as glam-boho or coastal-grandmillennial.

Furniture and decor in eclectic-style homes are curated to go together. In a maximalist design, the designer chooses pieces based on what they love or what speaks to them.

Minimalist vs. Maximalist Interior Design: What’s the Difference?

Minimal and maximal interior design are opposites. Minimalism focuses on keeping only the items you need, use, or love. Minimal interior designs often feature white walls, sparse furniture, and minor decor. The principles of minimalism are intentional living and practicality and the interior design is calming and clean.

Maximal interior design is about collecting things you love and enjoy, regardless of whether or not they’re practical. Maximalist interiors feature bright colors, lots of decor, and mixed furniture pieces.

Principles of Maximalism: How to Get the Look

Maximalism is about finding pieces you love and layering them together. Here are some tips for achieving a maximal interior design.

Use Bold Colors

Maximalist design encompasses the use of bold colors, even if only as an accent. Many designers mix and match several bold colors, while others keep a neutral background using colors for accent pieces.

Layer Patterns and Rugs

In maximalist interior design, feel free to layer patterns. Try a patterned wallpaper, rug, and furniture with patterned upholstery.

You can play it safe, layering a patterned rug over a jute, or go bold by layering more complex patterns on each other.

Collect Furniture from Different Periods

In maximalist design, furniture and decor comes from various interior design styles and periods. For example, your living room could feature a wooden rocking chair, a green velvet sofa, and a rattan footrest.

Never use matching furniture sets for a maximalist design. Instead, find pieces you love that work well together.

Maximize Decor

While minimalism focuses on sparse, edited decor, maximalism is the opposite.

Maximalist decor often includes colorful and glossy pieces, gallery walls, trinkets, heavily decorated mantels, books, and vining plants. But since there are no rules, your maximalist decor should be items that bring you joy, draw your interest, or are pleasing to the eye.

Go Slow

The point of maximalist decor is to decorate to your tastes, showcasing items you love. So go slow, and add to your decor collection when something truly sparks your interest.

Examples of Maximalist Interior Design

Here are some examples if you’re ready to give your home a maximalist makeover.

Maximalist Style Living Room

Maximalist Style Living Room

A maximalist-style living room encompasses the owners’ tastes, working with many styles and patterns. Famous designer, Corey Damen Jenkins, designed this room, taking advantage of every square inch from the wallpapered ceiling to the rugs on the floor.

Maximalist Style Kitchen

Maximalist Style Kitchen

Rather than being full of knickknacks and decor, a maximalist style kitchen can be a meshing of multiple styles. In this kitchen, the countertop, flooring, walls, and cabinets work together even though they’re from different types of interior design.

Maximalist Bedroom

Maximalist Bedroom

In this maximalist-style bedroom, the wall sets the stage for a magical girls’ room. The pinks, rattan, wicker, and patterns work together, making the room feel cozy but modern.