5 Myths About Maximalist Interiors - Busted

It's not difficult to spot a bold, maximalist room on home decor programmes or social media these days. The 'more is more' style is fighting back and gaining quite a bit of momentum. Loving bold interiors as I am, the idea of layering and creative use of different design elements sounds heaven. But for those who are more used to their beige homes, however, the concept might sound intimidating. You might admire what your friends / favourite bloggers did to their homes and secretly wish you have the balls to take the plunge. Well, don't give up just yet - if you are still sitting on the fence or afraid to ask those burning questions, this myth busting guide might be a good starting point.

Maximalist = Disorganised & Cluttered

Living Room design by Alex Papchristidis. Image by Tria Giovan.  via

Living Room design by Alex Papchristidis. Image by Tria Giovan. via

Embracing the maximalist or eclectic style has nothing to do with being messy or hoarding (fact!) In fact, it requires quite a bit of thought - there's a subtle difference between our general idea of clutter and a curated collection (things that you treasure and are orderly displayed). This room for example is visually busy, but there is strong sense of cohesion from the choice of colour scheme to the collection of books and ceramics. Everything looks it's there intentionally. (Tip: Placing the chairs and lamps symmetrically balances the playfulness of the colours and patterns to make the space more grown-up and formal.)

IT's too Feminine

Dramatic Entryway by  Kelly Wearstler

Dramatic Entryway by Kelly Wearstler

Now don't judge the previous example and think maximalist is only for glamorous ladies who don't pare back. There's so much more than mixing floral patterns, animal prints and velvet drapes the girly way. Consider a monochromatic scheme (meaning different shades of the same colour, don't mix it up with black and white) and use bold graphics, angular patterns and geometric shapes as freely. The gold details here added a bit of anchor and warmth to this geometric kaleidoscope. Masculine? Sure. Sophisticated? Hell yea.

A Mishmash of Colours

Mixing bright colours is often the first thing that you'd notice in maximalist designs but it's not always the case. There is no need to use everything from your Farrow & Ball colour chart AT THE SAME TIME. If the deep burgundy or bright turquoise tend to put you off, try pastel colours (work here like a neutral base) and have fun with other quirky elements in the room. Contrasting artwork, oversize chair, modern and antique furniture work together harmoniously under the same roof but everywhere you look there's always something interesting.

Not For The Small Space

A script-reading room for a celebrity home in Hyde Park, designed by  Daniel Hopwood

A script-reading room for a celebrity home in Hyde Park, designed by Daniel Hopwood

Although the maximalist style is not for the faint-hearted, it's certainly not exclusive to the big mansions. Imagine a nicely designed jewellery box with individual compartments and beautiful lining where you can safely keep and display your treasured collection. This cozy, inviting script-reading room (or the only living room for most of us) demonstrates the idea perfectly. Display unit with sliding doors, parquet floor / wall panel, bold wallpaper and neon lights. You might just have to fight with your partner over the possession of this man-cave / femme den...

It's Gonna Break The Bank

A colourful, cozy bedroom designed by Great Interior Design Challenge Finalist  Oliver Thomas

A colourful, cozy bedroom designed by Great Interior Design Challenge Finalist Oliver Thomas

A tight budget should not stand between you and your love for maximalism. There's really no excuse these days, when there are so many fantastic products available from high end to high street, from brand new to second hand or even freecycle. I think we have long suffered from 'going for the safe side' when it comes to choosing home products. Enjoy taking risks and build up your maxi style gradually. If you can only tackle / afford one thing at a time, prioritise and think what you wanted to change the most - Wall covering? Statement pendant lamp Remember, even one small change could make a huge impact.

 
 

Have you read or heard other myths about maximalism that you would like to do justice as well? I would love to hear your thoughts and start a conversation. Share your thoughts and comments below!

 

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