top of page

What is Maximalist Decor? A Beginner's Guide to This Bold Style

what is maximalist decor
Project Image: West Buttermilk Road, Aspen

Table of Contents:

Imagine this: You step into a room alive with color and energy, where each wall tells a different story.. The furniture reflects bold patterns - a plush velvet sofa in deep emerald, an intricately carved antique coffee table, and chairs in rustic flavors. 

Beneath your feet, textured rugs layer upon each other, their patterns mingling in harmonious chaos.

Overhead, a crystal chandelier casts a warm glow, illuminating the space and the vibrant, mismatched throw pillows that add pops of color and comfort. Around the room, indoor plants in decorative pots bring a slice of the outdoors in, their greenery a vibrant nod to nature.

This is the essence of maximalism—a celebration of abundance where every element, from the furniture to the decor, invites you to revel in a space that's as dynamic and vibrant as your own thoughts.

Let’s understand in detail what maximalist decor is, the history behind it, and how to incorporate it into your homes with our beginner’s guide.

A Brief History of Maximalist Decor

maximalist decor ideas

Everyone possesses unique tastes – some gravitate toward old-world charm, while others lean into new-age, clean, personalized decor. Whether maximalist or minimalist interior design, understanding the origins of interior design styles aids in making thoughtful choices.

Diving into the history of maximalist decor reveals a bold approach that encompasses the luxurious depth of the Victorian era to the expressive vibes of the 1960s and 1970s. In a world dominated by minimalism, maximalism emerges as a refreshing counterpoint, celebrating an "aesthetic of joy" over the pared-down look.

So, let’s explore the history of maximalist decor!

The history of maximalist interior design stretches back centuries, beginning in the Victorian era when interiors were a canvas for displaying wealth and status through dense, elaborate decor. This concept of maximalism as an art form for showcasing one's treasures has evolved through various periods, including the ornate Art Deco era and the glamorous Hollywood Regency style. Maximalism's roots can even be traced back to the Baroque period and the Gilded Age, where excess and opulence were celebrated in every form.

Yet, the essence of maximalism has shifted over the years. Post-World War II, as America entered a period of celebration, fashion and design took on exaggerated styles and colors, signaling a move towards joy and away from merely showing off wealth. This modern take on maximalism focuses less on impressing others and more on creating spaces that are fun, fearless, and joyful to be in.

Today, the principles of maximalism are accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy. Bright colors, bold patterns, and the freedom to mix and match styles have made maximalism an approachable, fulfilling way to decorate. It's now seen as a way to express individuality and bring happiness into our homes, proving that in the world of design, sometimes more really can be more.

Defining Maximalist Decor

maximalist decor style

Maximalism is about creating a space that's a feast for the senses. It's a design philosophy that encourages us to revel in life's richness, allowing our living spaces to reflect our personalities through an eclectic mix of colors, textures, and unique finds. 

Consider incorporating numerous layers and personal details. An ornate furniture piece, oversized mirrors with frames, antiques that catch the eye, or decor elements from around the world, go crazy with your choices to create a harmony that reflects your honest tastes. However, be mindful that an excess of possessions can result in a cluttered space, so make a conscious effort to be intentional with your choices.

Don't hold back––maximalism is all about making a bold statement! So go for it and fully embrace the confidence it brings. From decor elements with animal prints to bold art pieces adorning your walls, let your unique personality radiate in every inch of your living space!

Key Elements of Maximalist Decor

maximalist style interior design
Project Image: West Buttermilk Road, Aspen

Here’s a look at some maximalist decor ideas that define this bold but inviting look - 

  • Embrace the Vibrant Color: The use of vivid and unusual color combinations is celebrated in maximalist design. So feel free to experiment with strong, saturated colors to achieve visually striking effects.

  • Incorporate Diverse Patterns: Patterns and motifs are highlighted in maximalist décor, which promotes boldness and diversity. A harmonious and cohesive aesthetic can be produced even though there may be conflicts if the color scheme or pattern palette is kept consistent throughout.

  • Indulge in Abundance: The lavishness of maximalist design is what makes it so beautiful; layers of color, texture, and personality come together to create an aesthetically pleasing and enthralling space.

  • Create Optical Illusions: Playful optical illusions, which captivate the senses and spark the imagination, give maximalist interiors vitality. Rugs, artwork, and decor can be skillfully adorned with these illusions for a captivating effect, whether through vivid colors or striking black-and-white patterns.

  • Maximize Every Nook & Corner: While minimalism promotes simplicity, maximalism celebrates the utilization of every inch and corner to its utmost potential. This approach prioritizes a cohesive and well-integrated design rather than clutter.

  • Indulge in Fantasy: A maximalist aesthetic encourages people to express their imagination and creativity by bringing them into a world of striking patterns, vibrant colors, and endearing imagery.

  • Adopt Postmodernism: Maximalism, which draws inspiration from postmodern movement, defies conventions head-on and embraces a spirit of playfulness and a wide range of cultural influences, creating a dynamic and genuinely unique style.

Practical Tips for Creating Maximalist Spaces

modern maximalist interior design
Project Image: West Buttermilk Road, Aspen

Here are a few tips; if you incorporate these while decorating your space, you can create something truly magical!

  • Let Your Passions Shine: Infuse your maximalist design with personal touches that showcase your unique style and treasured possessions. From cherished colors and fabrics to beloved accessories, let your space truly reflect who you are. 

  • Establish a Unifying Thread: Find a unifying theme to bring harmony and balance to your maximalist house. Whether it's a recurring pattern, color scheme, or texture, it will unify the disparate components in your room and give them coherence.

  • Make it Cozy, Comfortable: Make sure your design prioritizes comfort when using maximalism by selecting cozy furniture like couches made out of boucle fabric and eye-catching accent pillows. Creating a welcoming and cozy atmosphere will balance the boldness of your maximalist style in interior design.

  • Deliberately Curate: While maximalism embraces a lavish abundance, it's important to avoid overwhelming clutter by thoughtfully curating your space. By carefully choosing and planning each piece of the design, you can make it harmonious and cohesive.

  • Elevate with Bold Wallpaper: Adopting bold wallpaper will help you turn your space into a colorful, unique haven. Whether you apply it to one wall or the entire space, this design decision will undoubtedly improve your maximalist style.

  • Add Dimension with Layered Lighting: Layered lighting will elevate your maximalist paradise to new heights. This method adds depth and ambiance to your space through carefully placed lamps and sconces, as well as eye-catching ceiling lights.

  • Showcase Collections: Put your unique items and collections front and center. Whether you want to use statement pieces, gallery walls, or bookshelves to display them, these original displays will bring personality and eye-catching visual appeal to your maximalist home.

Maximalist Decor in Modern Homes

eclectic maximalist interior design
Project Image: West Buttermilk Road, Aspen

The clean lines of modern maximalist interior design are effortlessly contrasted with maximalist decor that is seamlessly integrated into modern living spaces. Here’s how you can incorporate maximalism across various parts of your home. 

  • Living Rooms: Today's living rooms are characterized by a captivating and lively atmosphere thanks to the maximalist design, which embraces bold and vibrant elements. A combination of vibrant couches, plush cushions, and other modern pieces can be incorporated into a maximalist living room. On the other hand, you can cover walls with a unique collection of eclectic artwork that adds a personal touch and a distinctive aesthetic appeal.

  • Bedroom: Contemporary maximalist designs are all about indulgent textures and striking color combinations. Therefore, you can install a lavish canopy bed covered in sumptuous textiles, a charming collection of accent pillows, and soft throws. Glamorous statement lighting can also improve the overall look of the space by adding an air of grandeur, such as large pendant lights or elaborate chandeliers.

  • Bathroom: Transform your bathroom into a lavish retreat by incorporating maximalist decor elements. From striking wallpaper designs to ornate mirrors and a mix of eclectic maximalist interior design, let luxury take center stage. Imagine a contemporary maximalist bathroom adorned with vibrant mosaic tiles, a clawfoot tub inspired by vintage charm, and many elegant details such as gilded trays and fragrant candles. It's the perfect blend of indulgence and creative style!

Celebrate Life and Identity With Maximalism

Maximalist interior design is more than just a fashion statement; it captures the vitality of life and the nuanced aspects of individuality. It challenges us to rethink interior design boundaries and embrace our spaces as canvases for self-expression. 

For those looking to dive deeper into the enchanting world of maximalist home decor, experts at ali & shea are ready to offer full design services that can help transform your home into a maximalist masterpiece!

Contact us now to get started!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page