Over the last decade, minimalism has vastly dominated the interior design realm, making rooms feel like blank slates with dots of decor sprinkled throughout. And while that's all well and good depending on your style, the gaze of many is being drawn elsewhere ... towards something more—literally.
Recently, thanks to a variety of edgy, trendsetting designers and TikTok videos, maximalism is taking center stage once more. Intrigued? Keep reading to learn why it's gaining in popularity and for some tips for bringing this trend into your own space.
Ever walk into a space and notice it feels a bit, well ... cold? Sterile? Empty? Like there's no possible way anyone could actually live there? Maximalism, which is not a new idea by any means, tries to counteract that vibe by adding more "life" and personality to a space through thoughtfully placed furnishings and vibrant accents.
More than ever, people are craving joy and adventure. What better way to embrace your individuality by saying "too-da-loo" to the traditional in your home?
THE SECRET IS ...
There is no secret. First off, if you're asking what the rules are to maximalism, know there aren't many. It's all about having fun and not worrying about what the status quo thinks. That's not to say achieving this look doesn't require intention, but you don't have to have a degree in design to feel like you can pull it off.
MORE DOESN'T MEAN CLUTTERED.
Maximalism doesn't mean chucking everything you own into one room and calling it good. Rather, it's all about taking your favorite things and having them work together in close-quarter harmony.
Your grandmother's ornate brass lamp that hung in the entryway for the entirety of the '70s? Light that sucker up. That obscure (and slightly unsettling) painting you found at a garage sale? Hang it front and center. All your favorite broken-in books you can't help but pick up again and again? Display them with pride amongst your other favorite found treasures.
The goal here is to make a place feel "lived in" and evoke a feeling of familiarity.
COLOR AND TEXTURE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.
What's so special about adding color, texture and layering to a space? In short, other than being visually appealing, it's all about the energy you want a room to embody. Picture a model home staged for purchase ... then picture the absolute, highly-personalized opposite.
For a maximalist look, choose bold and expressive colors that feel like "you" and pair them with interesting patterned wallpaper that perhaps also covers the ceiling (there are no rules here, remember?).
When placing your decor, don't be afraid to layer and play around with varying materials to see what feels right. No need to be matchy-matchy or overly symmetrical.
YOU CAN TRULY HAVE IT ALL!
If you've ever found yourself struggling to determine or narrow down your home decor and design style, maximalism might be your perfect match. Thankfully, with this look you need not be overcommitted to one style or the other. If you love your furnishings to feel modern and cozy but prefer your art and accents to evoke the vibe and colors of Palm Springs' golden age, nobody says you can't meld the two! With maximalism, think of the word "grandeur" and what it personally means to you—not what someone else's definition would be—and go from there.
Ultimately, what makes your space feel like yours is completely up to you—don't be afraid to step outside the box and own it. Of course, if you feel a little lost, there's plenty of inspiration online, and many interior design professionals can help you cross the finish line.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor of West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Oct/Nov '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.