3 Ways to Infuse Maximalism Into Your Space

by Andrea Reynolds

After nearly a decade of austere minimalist schemes and overtly industrial styles, we welcome maximalism with open, gold lamé arms. Maximalism is a lot like it sounds: a style (re: movement) where the elements find comfort in the abundance of material, color, and pattern.

More importantly, maximalism provides ample opportunity for play and self-expression—something that was unintentionally squandered in minimalism’s simple yet easily replicated designs. In contrast, maximalism begs you to explore your own version of glamour, juxtaposition, and grandeur. So, to honor this equally freeing and fun style, here are three ways to incorporate maximalism into your next space.

maximalism-interior-designLeft: Casa Decor  Right: Gucci SS17 Womenswear

1. Color

Like millennial pink is to avocado toast, bold saturated colors are intrinsically synced to maximalism. And unsurprisingly, it’s one of our favorite aspects of this style. For brands big and small, color is also one of the easiest and most effective ways to make an impact. But instead of an accent wall, maximalism suggests you place color on multiple surfaces (think floor, ceiling, tiles, tabletops, chairs, anywhere you’d like) – and place with gusto. Think multiple primary colors infused throughout one space. Or, play with unexpected color palettes like bubblegum pink and deep green or a deep burgundy and a blush pink (a personal favorite). For more maximalist color inspiration, see how this insanely colorful café in Boston fused the seven Chakra colors in their space.

2. Pattern Play

Patterns are a must for the maximalist style. We’re swooning over the Kelly Wearstler designed hotel The Proper's use of oversized florals and prominent black and white check. Other classic maximalism patterns include tropical banana leaf motifs, geometric shapes, and graphic prints. Nearly any patterns are fair game – and, if done right, are fair game to be used together. However, it is important to consider scale and color when selecting patterns. As the queen of cabbage rose chintz and modern Baroque style, Dorothy Draper, once said, “Too much of anything is the beginning of a mess.” 

kelly-wearstler-hotel-design-maximalismProper Hotel in San Francisco. Designed by Kelly Wearstler.

maximalism-decor-inspirationRight: The Dwell Hotel

kelly-wearstler-design-inspoProper Hotel in San Francisco. Designed by Kelly Wearstler.

Here are some of our favorite maximalist-inspired commercial fabrics

- Bavaria by Maharam 

- Edin by Hella by Maharam

- Deconstructed Rose by Maharam

- Sula by Mayer Fabrics

- Big Sur by CF Stinson

glamour-inspoLeft: Palazzo Versace at Salone del Mobile 2019 Right: Image via

3. Layered Opulence

Perhaps one of the best parts of maximalism is that it connotes a sense of luxury. After so many years of wood walls and raw steel designs, refined and sophisticated materials and details feel like a welcomed pivot. Immediately I think of gold and brass light fixtures, marble surfaces, and plush fabrics. As glorious as these materials may be, it’s all about layering. Maximalist designer Kelly Wearstler points out, “Rawness and refinement are not opposite ends of a luxurious spectrum...they are two complementary features with which to populate a luxe environment.”

While this trend wouldn’t be considered soothing, maximalism highlights something that we tend to forget; design is personal. So, contrast those colors, choose that cheeky wallpaper, and layer in multiple materials. More really is more.

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