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Style Spotlight: Maximalism

The Maximalism design style is dedicated to celebrating color, texture, and “more is more”... all in one space.

Amanda Scott
Amanda Scott

Maximalism has its roots in many forms of art. Its namesake decor style, however, seems to have become popular in recent years as response to Minimalism. In fact, it may be described in comparison to its opposite: Minimalists prefer clean lines, open spaces, and neutral colors. Maximalists prefer to express their eclectic tastes through artful displays, bold prints, and jewel tones. 

Maximalism takes cues from Victiorian, Baroque, Bohemian, and even 1980s styles. If Minimalism made you feel suppressed and bored, it’s time to free your inner interior designer with Maximalism!

Hoarding vs Maximalism

Maximalist living room, Kovacs Chandelier. Yellow and green bathroom.
Maximalism is not simply stuffing a space full of things. It is a distinct design style.

Maximalist designers may use the motto “more is more,” but there is a definite style to this decor—and it goes further than simply filling a space with ornamentation and furnishings. While it’s easy to let things get away from you with this style, it can be contained if you keep a few guidelines (or ideas!) in mind.

  • Symmetry and Balance are Always Good. Keep this in mind whether you’re using patterns, furniture, or wall hangings. Establish a focal point and build out from there. Table lamps or sconces on either side of a focal point or large furniture piece, for example, is a great way to keep things looking symmetrical.
  • Express Yourself. Use something (or a collection or somethings) for inspiration and stay true to that theme throughout. Make it something you love.
  • Choose a Color Family. Or a monotone palette like black and white. Of course you can branch out, but choosing a dominant color family will help your space feel anchored.
  • Tell a Story. Use your space to describe yourself, something you have a passion for, a purpose for the room, anything you’d like. Be strict with the theme and your space won’t feel cluttered.

If you’re loving the idea, but still not sure Maximalism is for you, try incorporating it into one area of your home to see how it makes you feel. Here are some ideas for creating a Maximalist space in your home.

Living Room

Zuo Modern framed velvet chair. Feiss Chauvet Chandelier.
Bring Maximalism to your living room with bold wall prints and brilliantly-colored statement pieces.

Begin with your walls. They are your blank canvas to fill with colors, textures, and patterns. Use wallcoverings, wallpaper, murals, tapestries, and even paint. For an interesting twist and to add texture, try paintable wallpaper, which allows you to add a customized pattern.

Tip: Don’t ignore your ceiling! The so-called “fifth wall” is an amazing place to introduce color through paint, murals, or wallpaper. A ceiling medallion makes a lovely center starting point.

Next, turn to your floors. Having a blank canvas here is always ideal, but there are ways to achieve the Maximalist look without it. Afterall, more is more, right? 

If tile isn’t feasible, look into area rugs. Every style can work, depending on how bold you’d like to go with pattern and color combinations. A few favorites, which provide many hues to pull from, are Traditional, Vintage, Moroccan, and Botanical

Choose larger furniture which complements the colors used in the patterns you’ve chosen thus far. Accent furniture is an opportunity to really go for the Maximalist style. Find unique pieces that express you and show your ownership over the space.

When choosing your decor, be careful not to clutter. Turn to the Victorian design style for inspiration, and expand from there.  Be selective in the items you display. They should be things that are of significance to you. Consider a photo gallery wall with varying frame sizes and colors. 


Viking Range, Vent Hood and Refrigerator in Burgundy Finish.
Mixed metal finishes, ornate lighting, and statement appliances are perfect details in a Maximalist kitchen.

You don’t need to add a lot of items to make the Maximalist look work in your kitchen—you just need to add the right items.

At eye level, add cabinet hardware in a Baroque, Vintage, or floral theme. Backsplash tile is a great way to add color to this space as well.

If you want to keep a white kitchen but add color in other ways, brightly-colored appliances really pop accompanied by patterned throw rugs, counter appliances, and decor

If you’ve got an island, consider pendant lighting or an ornate chandelier. A range hood would also draw the eye upward and provide color in an unexpected place. 

A bold display of dishes on a brilliantly-colored buffet would make a great start to a Maximalist dining area.


Kichler Alden wall sconce. Hinkley Cambridge Chandelier in burnished brass.
Go bold, ornate, big, or small with lighting... just as long as it makes a statement.

Maximalist lighting can be many things: colorful, eclectic, funky, vintage—just as long as it’s not boring! Small or large (but usually tending toward large) lighting is often a statement piece in this decor style. 

Have a look at brass tones or matte black to help your lighting really stand out. Place sconces in pairs on either side of large furniture or entryways, as in the Baroque style. 

Place a large Victorian chandelier in an unexpected place, such as a living room or bedroom, to emphasize the “more is more,” over-the-top approach.


Anzzi Schnell vessel sink in red and black. Signature Hardware Arabella tub
Allow your bathroom to stimulate and inspire you with elaborate fixtures, colorful flooring, and patterned walls.

If you can start with tile flooring here, do it! An interesting flooring choice will set the tone for an amazing Maximalist oasis. Finish them off with throw rugs in colorful styles, maybe a Moroccan pattern, depending on your wallcoverings.

Next, the walls. Go floral with botanical wallpaper, or commit to a brilliant color for all four walls and let that guide your theme. 

When it comes to lighting, don’t be afraid to mix and match tones, decor styles, and fixture types. Hang a chandelier over a clawfoot tub with adorning tub filler. Or consider placing a vanity light above a tub that is closer to a wall. Choose sconces to anchor a gilded mirror above the vanity. 

Your plumbing fixtures can add flair to your decor. Consider faucets and tub fillers in classic to more broad styles like industrial and transitional

Your vanity can add a beautiful focal point, especially when it includes an elaborate sink and faucet.

Max Out The Maximalist In You

Kitchen with blue range, blue and white backsplash. Bold colorful bathroom.
Maximalism can add life to every space...from the kitchen to the bathroom.

If you look at a white wall and see an opportunity for creativity, and your favorite color is, well, every color...this might just be the style for you. If tastefully surrounding yourself with beauty speaks to your heart and you’re ready for a change, Maximalism is the right energy for you.

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