There’s a thin line between exciting and overwhelming when it comes to maximalism, so here’s how to do it right
For years, minimalism dominated the world of interior design. We were all being encouraged to strip back our décor to the bare minimum, celebrating clean lines, neutral tones and sleek surfaces. However, recently, more and more people are choosing to go against the grain and opt for a maximalist look in their home.
For those who don’t know, maximalism is basically the celebration of stuff. Unlike minimalism, maximalism encourages you to mix patterns, colours and styles in order to create unique and exciting spaces that offer plenty to look at. It’s the opposite of everything minimalism stands for, and it can create some stunning living spaces.
However, it’s important to hit the right note with maximalism, in order to make sure that your busy design looks intentional. With that in mind, here are four ways to make sure your maximalist living room feels curated instead of cluttered.
A big part of maximalism is mixing different colours, designs and prints, but it’s easy for this to become overwhelming if you don’t put some limitations in place. A good way to get round this is to start with a neutral base and bring in colour through items like scatter cushions, rugs, wall art and plants.
This gives your eyes a break from the playfulness of your more colourful elements, avoiding the risk of clashing patterns and jarring visual effects.
Try to look at your living space with a designer eye. This means noticing factors like silhouettes, shapes, textures and materials, and how they work together. Maximalist design schemes work best when there is a balance between light and heavy pieces. For example, a bulky coffee table can be counterbalanced with a slim lamp or light table runner. This stops your living room feeling closed off or too uniform.
You’d be forgiven for thinking maximalism means putting everything on display, but in reality there is still a lot of curation involved. Make sure your maximalism allows you to showcase the items you love, such as plants, books, ornaments and art. The trick is to be playful in your display techniques by using different heights and depths of field.
Piling books at different heights, staggering items on the coffee table or moving certain pieces off centre can give your living space a more dynamic edge.
While maximalism does give you the freedom to put a lot into your décor, you should still go into your interior design challenge with a vision in mind. Every room needs a story, so ask yourself what the mood or theme of the space should be? What do you want people to think or feel when they step inside? Does everything in the room add to this story? If not, consider whether it needs to be there.
By having a theme in mind, you’ll be able to create a sense of cohesion in even the most maximalist room. Remember, this is your room and your aesthetic, so make sure it reflects what’s important to you.