Maximalism in Interior Design Explained.

AD. Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism’s simplicity – it is unapologetically bold, with outlandish patterns, excessive colours, and one-of-a-kind statement furniture.  It is about…

If you dislike minimalist interiors and crave spaces that showcase your bold personality, maximalism interior design is for you.

AD. Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism’s simplicity – it is unapologetically bold, with outlandish patterns, excessive colours, and one-of-a-kind statement furniture. 

It is about taking risks with styles and adopting a “more is more” mindset, creating excessive layers of texture and colour that work for you.

What is maximalism?

Maximalism is an interior design movement that jumbles styles from different eras and uses as many elements as possible.

You can think of maximalism as an aesthetic of excess. Excessive colours, patterns, décor, and art are all part of the fun. Rather than remove items, you add more items to balance the room and create a structured, striking space.

Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism

Maximalism takes a “more is more” approach to interior design, while minimalism takes a “less is more” approach.

To minimalists, maximalism makes no sense because balancing a space with more elements goes against the less is more approach. Minimalists remove or simplify features (such as using dual-purpose furniture) to balance areas.

Maximalists take a very different approach – they create balance with many contrasting elements that complement one another en masse. Think chintz wallpaper (early 18th century) and a crushed velvet bed frame.

Minimalism focuses on simplicity; maximalism focuses on outlandishness – but not at the expense of style and class.

Maximalism is not messy or chaotic

The most common misconception about maximalism is that it creates chaotic spaces. While throwing lots of styles and elements together can be messy, there’s a method to the madness with maximalism design.

Maximalism focuses on symmetry in spaces, how spaces feel, and how comfortable they are to spend time in.

Pictured: Symmetry interior bedroom design, with a focal point.

Start with how the room looks. Despite the contrasting eras and décor, maximalist spaces have symmetry that is pleasing to the eye with a natural flow, such as a low bed and a large painting to accentuate high ceilings.

Equally important is how the room feels. Colours, textures, and materials are critical considerations for maximalists. Every touchpoint must evoke a sense of comfort so that all areas of the space are welcoming.

All of which is to say, maximalism is not a throw-together mismatch of styles – it is planned with symmetry and carefully chosen elements.

How to decorate your bedroom in the maximalist style

Show-stopping bed frame

Get yourself a show-stopping bed frame like the Time Living Edward, Bedmr Soho, or Serene Maiden to give your bedroom a focal point. The bigger and bolder, the better – look for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that embrace being different.

Pictured: Time Living Edward 4FT 6 Double Metal Bed Frame – Chrome, Available from Bedstar.
Pictured: Bedmr Soho 4FT 6 Double Storage Bed, Available from Bedstar
Pictured: Serene Maiden 4FT 6 Double Wooden Bed Frame, Available from Bedstar

The power of three

The maximalist style rests on the rule of three – three eras, three colours, and three patterns. We use the rule of three to build balance into the space, allowing each element to shine without becoming messy. 

Three colours

Maximalist style depends on a solid colour base. We recommend two to four colours to anchor your bedroom design. Tying the same colours into your space across all eras, décor, and fabrics will bring uniformity to your room.

Three eras

While maximalism means “more is more,” three eras are enough to create an eclectic, characterful interior space. Incorporating more than three eras will dilute the others, so it makes sense to stick to three for balance. 

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Art Deco
  • Art Nouveau
  • Bauhaus
  • Mid-century modern
  • Industrial
  • Glam
  • Scandinavian

Three patterns

Minimalist interiors excel with one traditional pattern (e.g., chintz, damask), one modern pattern (e.g., geometric patterns), and a straightforward pattern (e.g., stripes). You can use these to create individual spaces in your room.

For example, you can use your traditional pattern behind your bed and your geometric pattern behind your work desk.

Eclectic furniture

Modern furniture with antique or vintage-inspired accent pieces is a fantastic way to give your bedroom a maximalist vibe. However, don’t pack your room with furniture – look for ways to save space for other elements.

Dark wooden furniture is associated with the 18th and 19th centuries, while light wood is a modern option. Metal is contemporary or traditional, depending on the style.

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