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Maximalist Design: What to Know About This More-Is-More Style

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For the past few years, it’s been quiet luxury this and minimalist that — and honestly? We’re in the market for something new. While maximalist design isn’t a new concept per se, it has been making a resurgence in the design world as of late. Call it “the origins of dopamine decor” if you will — maximalism truly embodies the idea of more is more. From the era of the French bourgeois to Barbiecore, maximalism takes the opulent and ornate and makes it otherworldly. If you’re looking to infuse some personality into your space, read our deep-dive into all things maximalist.


Related: The Best Gifts to Give the Home Decor Lover in Your Life

A split screen image of a bold living room next to a bare living room
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What Is Maximalist vs. Minimalist Design?

The interesting thing about both design concepts is that neither is exclusively limited to budget. Both maximalist and minimalist design can be expressed through wealth and modesty. Maximalism is rooted in the idea that the more textures, colours and patterns you have in a given space — you’re maximizing its appeal. Whereas minimalism focuses on the reducing of excess furniture, hardware and colour for a more “approachable” palette. Though often looked at as trends, these two design styles have been around for years and continue to be at the epicentre of the design world.

How Do You Create a Maximalist Design?

There isn’t a “hard science” to integrating maximalist motifs into your home — but rather a few benchmarks to help you along the way. We typically look for intense colours that steer away from muted palettes you’d typically find in Japandi design. Contrasting textiles and patterns aid in creating more dynamic visuals. Adding bold wallpaper alongside unique accent pieces, for example, can further illustrate your personality into a given space.

Some common maximalist integrations include: expansive photo walls, a surplus of ambient lighting, contrasting patterns and rich paint hues. A misconception is that maximalism needs to be bright as much as it is bold — which couldn’t be further from the truth. Gothic-style decor can be maximalist in its own right by allowing for a singular colour to be the dominant palette. Maximalism more so pertains to the limitless inclusion of anything and everything that speaks to you.


Related: Nate Berkus Reveals His Secret for Curating Your Own Personal Style

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How to Make Maximalist Design Not Look Cluttered

Ideally your space should feel busy, but not cluttered. Layering is a perfect technique to integrating more without overwhelming a room with too much “stuff.” While maximalism can be viewed as chaotic, it is also intentional. We recommend a multitude of layering styles from throw blankets to art and book storage.

Pro tip: Always prioritize your favourite piece from a collection — that way, you’ll still be able to enjoy the benefits of maximalist style while showcasing your best piece.

Listen, maximalism isn’t for everyone and while it is something we love to see — there are so many design styles out there that this doesn’t have to be your only option to achieve a “more is more” approach. What we can say is that whether you choose a design that’s bold or understated, it should always be a representation of you and your evolving identity.

Related: These Celebrity Homes Deliver Fresh New Design Trends for 2024

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