How to Master Maximalism
From the ’80s until the 2010s, minimalism reigned supreme in fashion, interior design, and art. Runways were full of fashion models wearing monochromatic looks, while interior design magazines featured simple living rooms with plenty of negative space. Today, there’s a new trend reemerging in response to minimalism. It’s eclectic, comfortable, and colorful—say hello to maximalism!
With contrasting colors, crowded yet cozy living rooms, and walls covered in artwork—maximalism is all about expression. For many, the spaces once left empty by minimalism are now filled with maximalist pieces that exude creativity and comfort. While the concept of maximalism has been around for centuries, it comes back into the spotlight every few decades in a new, more indulgent form.
But, what exactly is it? And how can the average person accomplish the look? We’re here to give you the rundown on how you can master maximalism in your own home.
What is Maximalism?
In art, maximalism is a direct reaction to minimalism’s motto of “less is more”. Instead, maximalists believe that “more is more”. Maximalism is the use of physical space to express your unique personality through excess. Although there aren’t specific rules for maximalism, you’ll likely find the following features in a maximalist home:
- Mixed patterns with a common color palette
- Unique silhouettes, especially in regards to furniture
- Excess accessories and accents that add character to the room, not just randomly placed items
- Layering that brings patterns and solid colors together
- Bold, bright colors
As you can see, maximalism is no accident—true maximalists strategically place items where they feel they belong in their home. With such a wide range of maximalist styles, it can be difficult to ensure you’re showcasing your personality to its fullest. Fortunately, you can find your niche in the world of maximalism by breaking away from conventional interior design methods and looking at your living room from a new perspective.
How to Incorporate Maximalist Style into Your Home
The great thing about maximalism is that there are no strict guidelines—it’s a movement made for expressing yourself and your unique taste. With that being said, there are a few pointers that could help you develop the aesthetic that you’re looking for. These include:
Playing With Color and Patterns
At the foundation of maximalism is fun, excessive, bright colors. Don’t be afraid to express yourself through your favorite colors, patterns, and textures! A great way to start is by choosing your favorite few colors and building off of that color scheme with matching patterns and similar hues. If there’s one specific color that you love, you can also start by finding a bold piece of furniture in that color or painting an accent wall to get the room started.
Surrounding Yourself With What You Love
At the end of the day, maximalism is all about expressing yourself. Surround yourself with everything you love, including your favorite colors, art, hobbies, and interests. Have you ever found a piece of furniture or art that you absolutely loved, but felt like it didn’t fit in with your current home decor? With maximalism, you can incorporate all your funky finds into your home without worrying about cohesion. Use your bold pieces as the focal point of the room and build off of them!
Making an Art Wall
A great way to add a fun dimension to a room is by creating an art wall featuring your favorite colors, patterns, and pieces of art. Don’t be afraid to mix contemporary, original art pieces with simple prints or even your own artwork!
If you want the wall to especially pop, consider painting the wall a bold color or even putting up printed wallpaper.
Adding a Vintage Touch
Just as maximalism encourages mixing colors and patterns, it also mixes past and present trends throughout decades and even centuries. For example, mixing a contemporary area rug with a bold-colored, vintage couch beautifully blends old with new.
If you have older furniture that needs a fine-tuning, try covering it in newer textiles—it’s all about familiarity and aesthetics.
While minimalism may be visually appealing, it isn’t the most comfortable style of interior design. Its foundation calls for empty spaces and bare seating areas.
With maximalism, however, you can fill the space with creative and comfortable items like colorful rugs, comfy blankets, and decorative pillows. Layering is important to add depth to the room which can be done by layering different patterns, textures, and colors of fabric.
Straying From Perfection
Perfection has no place in the maximalist movement! Your home should be a reflection of you—flaws and all. Nothing needs to be straight, color-coordinated, or even orderly. Unlike minimalism, maximalism doesn’t require any type of symmetry to be visually appealing. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with when you’re not aiming for perfection!
The beauty of maximalism is that it’s accessible to all of us if we take the time to find what styles and colors appeal to us. If you’re struggling to get started with maximalism design, try starting by simply choosing a few furniture pieces and accessories in your favorite colors.
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