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What is Maximalism?

What is Maximalism?If you stay up-to-date with interior design trends, “maximalism” isn’t going to sound too foreign to you. This trend has become more and more…trendy in the past two years. It is, in many ways, a reaction to the Nordic minimalism that IKEA popularized and that blew up on social media: for a long time, interior design was dominated by shades of gray paint, light wood, and clean lines.

Maximalism shakes up the ball game. If minimalism is all about stripping down, maximalism is about blasting out. Turning up the volume, splashing around with colors, turning a blind eye to matching sets: maximalism takes energy and turns it into interior design.

It is often characterized by:

  • Use of different textures;
  • Many patterns, often contrasting;
  • Bright, saturated, bold colors;
  • Unique statement pieces of furniture;
  • Light reflection through sparkles, glitter, mirrors;
  • Sensory decadence; and
  • Generally playful atmosphere.

This may seem like a lot (because it is!) Maximalism can be hard to get right because you’re trying to harmonize things that are fundamentally not matching. But there are a couple things you can slowly do to create a maximalist space while avoiding the pitfall of just having “no style” at all.

Start by choosing a color palette that uses neutral colors in the common “connecting” spaces like hallways.

Sherwin-Williams experts suggest choosing one color for the accent wall (or walls) and then hanging artwork on those walls – it heightens the drama which is exactly what you want in a maximalist space. Because maximalism is all about personality, go with pieces that really mean something to you. Whether photos or posters picked up from your travels, take the opportunity to make the home yours.

When it comes to picking furniture, don’t be afraid to use pieces that have real glamour. Mix one or two statement pieces with toned-down ones for a balanced mix. A great way to “tone it down” while still maintaining the maximalist feel is to pick a neutral or dark piece in an unusual fabric like velvet or woven. The different textures make layers in the space that continually engages the eye.

Maximalism is not an easy style to master but rather takes time to incorporate it into your home. Start with choosing paint for your walls and continue to add in layers. We’ve included some examples of maximalist styling but don’t compare yourself too harshly to the interior designers who have structured the rooms below. Maximalism is all about YOU and your personality! But these rooms below may help inspire you with one or two details.

A way to pull off “Maximalism” is with strategically “blank” spaces.

Seating Area

This sitting room by Mark D. Sikes is a toned-down maximalism that still incorporates textures and patterns that are definitely out of the ordinary. Here, the designer manages to keep the room looking comfortable and classy by covering the walls with the same design on the couch. The room uses geometric patterns and vaguely-Eastern décor on the vase and the screen, to make the room cohesive.


Maximalism is for everyone, especially kids! This whimsical children’s room sticks to a strict color palette but does so over different mediums, from fabrics, to wood, to wallpaper. Many different patterns, one color palette and with intentional use of white, just like we saw in the first example, make this the perfect children’s room.

Feeling inspired? What colors would you put into your home? If you need help choosing a palette, as many of these designers did, make sure to schedule your free consultation today.

Our 360° Painting professionals are not only painting professionals but also have color-choice tools! Call 1-866-99-PAINT today!