What Is Maximalist Interior Design?

What Is Maximalist Interior Design?

Interior Design
Decoration and Design
By Alex Mikayelyan November 30, 2021

Modern design trends focus on making the most of as little as possible. Minimalism is a major element of contemporary interiors. But this does not mean that all modern interiors should be minimal. There is such a thing as Maximalist design which takes advantage of many interior elements and incorporates plenty of shapes, forms, and colors.

If you’ve gotten tired of the minimal design trends and want to give your eyes some visual variety, then Maximalist design may be just the thing for you. Our eyes are naturally very skilled at picking apart what we see and there is an innate satisfaction in seeing a bit of chaos and disorder. But this does not mean that you can simply pile your interior with all manner of items, decor, and design elements. There is a formula to Maximalist design that you should understand lest you turn your interior into a convoluted mess of ideas.

The Roots of Maximalist Interior Design

A Brief History of Maximalist Design and Its Roots

A Brief History of Maximalist Design and Its Roots

Maximalism encompasses several designs and movements, specifically the ones that incorporate plenty of detail and design elements into the interior. So, it does not belong to a single genre but is an over-encompassing trend that has been around for quite a while. You can find examples of vintage Maximalism as far back as the 60s with Eclectic and even the 30s with Hollywood Regency. Also, let’s not forget how certain Victorian or Gothic interiors also incorporated plenty of design features and Maximalist decor ideas.

But Maximalist elements in the world of interior design began to take off in the 70s with the introduction of the Pattern and Decoration movement. This artistic movement prioritized vibrant colors, chaotic forms, and repeating patterns. So, it was a natural progression into Maximalism after this point, as homeowners hung complex and colorful paintings from their walls, covered surfaces in various kinds of materials and textures, as well as utilized zany patterns that made the room look visually busy. Use as much Maximalism art to drive home that eclectic vibe.

Today, with the rise of more minimal, practical, and ergonomic modern designs, such as the Scandinavian, Contemporary, and Bohemian, it seems as though there is no longer as much room for Maximalist elements. However, this is not the case. Maximalist designs are still around and while they may not be as popular as their minimal counterparts, they still hold their place as unique interiors. Memphis design, for example, is a modern take on Maximalist interior and it combines plenty of colors, patterns, and decor with modern materials and other elements. 

How to Recognize Maximalist Aesthetic?

How to Spot Maximalist Design

How to Spot Maximalist Design

Order and chaos are major aspects of interior design. One is not more important than the other, but it is important to find a balance or ratio between the two when working with any kind of interior design. This ratio will vary depending on the kinds of interiors you’re working with. For example, in Eclectic or Behomian interiors, which incorporate a myriad of design elements and details, the focus is more on chaos. Whereas if you take Contemporary interior design, with the minimalistic details, the smooth surfaces, and the lack of any chaotic elements, there is a far greater focus on order.

Maximalist interior design favors chaos more than order. Again, this isn’t to imply that Maximalism is messy, but it does have a lot more visual elements, such as a variety of forms, decor, and of course, plenty of colors. One of the best ways to recognize Maximalist interior design is through its liberal use of color. Looking through some Maximalist interiors, what should immediately strike you is the slew of colors that are used, from colorful decor like paintings and sculptures to the vibrant walls and furniture.

Elements of Maximalist Interior Design

As with any other interior design or design style in general, Maximalism can be incorporated using several key elements that are indicative of its motifs. 

Repetitive Patterns

How Patterns Can Bring More Vibrancy Into the Room

How Patterns Can Bring More Vibrancy Into the Room

Patterns play a huge role in keeping your eyes busy. Even Contemporary interiors, which tend to avoid chaotic design elements, will incorporate some kind of pattern to add a bit of visual flair to the interior. Maximalist interiors take this to an extreme, with tons of repetitive patterns that line the walls, sofa cushions, table cloths, and many other surfaces.

If you want to incorporate these patterns into your interior, you should be careful. Don’t go with some tacky-looking wallpaper just because it has a repetitive pattern as this will sabotage your design altogether. You want to have that chaotic repetition and tons of patterns, but the patterns still have to look good. Avoid tacky wallpapers and fabrics, as all eyes will be on the patterns so you don’t want to skimp on those by purchasing the most basic ones you find.

Vibrant Colors

How to Implement Vibrant Colors Into Maximalist Interior

How to Implement Vibrant Colors Into Maximalist Interior

Color is hugely important as this is what’s going to breathe life into your Maximalist room. Imagine all those patterns and textures that line the room and now consider how unattractive, boring, and tiresome they would look if they were all different shades, tints, and tones of the same colors.

Bring out as many vibrant and bright colors as you can. If your wallpaper has a lot of darker shades, consider investing in brighter furniture, such as a vibrant green sofa or brightly colored sculptures. Also, you can line the walls with colorful collages, paintings, and other bits of Maximalism home decor that will maximize the color in your interior. Don’t use any colors, however. As chaotic as eclectic Maximalist interiors may be, they still have a specific set of colors that work wonderfully in busy interiors. For example, you have emerald, navy, and violet, all of which are vibrant, but also slightly darker colors. They will saturate your room with color, but not to the point of causing your head to spin.

Varied Textures

Working With Different Textures and Materials

Working With Different Textures and Materials

Textures also play a huge role in the chaos that is modern Maximalist design. Use plenty of plush for the soft textures that work wonderfully with the more eccentric design of Maximalist interiors. They are capable of softening up the interior to make it look cozier, as opposed to purely chaotic and eclectic.

Velvet is also a great texture and material to use in Maximalist home design. It has the advantage of being both a very elegant material and also being able to fit in more chaotic environments, complementing the vibrant colors and patterns. You’ll notice how the colors will slightly reflect off the glossy surface of velvet, creating even more visual variety. For additional glossy surfaces and reflective textures, you can also incorporate gold accents around the room, such as a golden lamp post, which adds a bit of regency to the room.

Sizes and Shapes 

Incorporating Different Sizes and Shapes Along With Gorgeous Colors and Textures

Incorporating Different Sizes and Shapes Along With Gorgeous Colors and Textures

Chaos refers to more than colors and textures. There is also the matter of shapes and sizes, which you can make use of by utilizing various sizes of decor to create more visual complexity. For example, you can use a vase as table decor and next to it you can put a smaller one that is a different color. This way you’re not only playing around with colors but also sizes and forms.

You also have a lot of freedom with shapes and forms. You can have a rectangular coffee table in your living room surrounded by armchairs and sofas that don’t necessarily conform to the same shapes. As long as they add to the color and visual flair of the room, they can work quite well, regardless of their form.

AM

Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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