For many years, almost all interior design talk was about minimalism. Designers waxed lyrical about the many benefits and style advantages of the movement, encouraging millions of us to opt for white walls, white sofas and clutter-free homes in the process.
However, things are about to change. Although there will always be a place for minimalism in interior design, more and more people are forgoing neutral tones and clear, white walls and choosing maximalism instead.
Bursting with colours, patterns and textures, maximalist décor has taken the world of design by storm. If you’re thinking of lavishing bright, bold tones and tactile textiles on your interior, take a look at some of our favourite maximalist ideas for inspiration.
What Is Maximalism?
Maximalism came about as a direct response to the neutral tones and clutter-free interiors espoused by minimalist designers. Essentially, the two movements are polar opposites. Where a minimalist home might have light walls, white or grey sofas and few photos or personal items on display, a maximalist interior will be packed full of different colours, patterns, pictures and accessories.
If you’re still struggling to visualise maximalist décor, think Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in the heyday of Changing Rooms. Basically, the more colour, texture and personality you can squeeze into the space, the better.
However, while maximalist interiors generally contain a lot of different colours, patterns and pieces of furniture, they still shouldn’t feel cluttered. Instead, the various elements, layers and ideas should meld together to create a space that feels warm, personal and stylish.
To help inspire your colourful interior design, we’ve put together some of our favourite bright and bold maximalist décor ideas.
1. Big, Bright and Bold
When it comes to maximalism, more is most definitely more. Instead of having just one colour or colour theme, maximalist décor calls for layers of different tones, each one adding vibrancy and character to the space.
Although you probably won’t want to choose colours that clash violently with each other, you can definitely incorporate tones that wouldn’t normally sit together. In fact, when it comes to choosing shades for your maximalist home, traditional colour rules more or less go out of the window.
Using strong, bold colour in the space will emphasise your maximalist theme. While not all tones you choose need to be bright or bold, having some rich, eye-catching shades in your interior will help to make your theme a success.
2. Colour From Top to Bottom
In maximalist décor, you need to take full decorative advantage of every surface, nook and cranny your home has to offer. A great way to do this is to paint your ceiling.
If you’re the sort of person who normally baulks at the idea of painting a ceiling anything other than white or magnolia, this may be difficult to get on board with. However, if you fully commit to your new design theme and turn your ceiling into a sea of bright, bold colour, you’ll be rewarded with a striking aesthetic, a unique look and a room that really lives up to its maximalist credentials.
Go one step further by using stencils to create patterns or images on the ceiling, or use a paint effect to add even more visual interest to the space.
3. Mismatched Furniture
Mixing and matching your furniture will help the room to feel fuller, more eclectic and more colourful. Pair your 2 or 3-seater sofa with some mismatched armchairs to introduce more colour and style to the design. If you have the space, you could also invest in some stools and ottomans for your living room.
As well as plenty of seating, your maximalist room should have a number of other furnishings. Think sideboards, drinks trolleys and coffee tables. Adding standing lamps, and other attractive lighting, to the space, will further help to make your room feel cosy and welcoming.
4. Colourful Wall Art
Like your ceiling, the walls in your maximalist home offer a huge amount of scope for decoration. If you have a number of family photos you want to display, consider placing them in mismatched frames and displaying them across your walls. Choosing ornate metallic frames will add to your theme and turn your photo gallery into a real feature.
Alternatively, if you have a little creative flair, you can create original artworks for your walls using paints, pens or collage. If you’d rather not get your hands dirty, trawl your local second-hand shops for attractive pieces and place these in your new opulent interior.
Mirrors can also look fantastic in maximalist homes. Choose a large mirror so that it reflects as much colour and light as possible and creates a focal point in the space.
5. Retro Features
Although you can use contemporary design themes to create a maximalist interior, the look often works best with retro or vintage features. Using Art Deco shelving units, vintage lamps and period sideboards will help to populate your maximalist home with interesting accessories and give your design depth and personality.
Second-hand shops and markets are often great places to pick up these types of retro furnishings. However, if you’d rather buy new items, there are plenty of companies offering high-quality pieces in vintage styles and colours.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces from different design movements or eras. In fact, taking inspiration from a range of different styles will add to your maximalist décor and help your interior look even better.
Maximalist design is all about layering. Layering colour, layering patterns and layering furniture. To create a layered look, start with a bright, bold paint colour and build your interior from there.
Add photos, paintings, mirrors, shelves and plants to your walls, throws and cushions to your seating areas and ornaments to your flat surfaces. Remember, the more you add to the space, the more pronounced – and successful – your maximalist design will be.
The mirror of your ceiling, rugs are an integral part of maximalist design. In fact, if you use a rug with a strong colour or graphic pattern, it’s likely to be one of the main focal points of the space.
As maximalist design doesn’t require you to reference other patterns or colours in the space when choosing a rug, you’re free to simply select the style and shade you like the best. Place your rug in front of – or underneath – your sofa to help draw the eye to your seating area and bring the room together.
Using a range of textures in your living space will help to make your interior tactile, opulent and irresistible. Smooth wooden surfaces, fluffy rugs, sumptuous throws and cool metallic accessories will all add variety and depth to your design.
One of the best ways to add some texture to your living area is to invest in a velvet sofa. Choose a sofa in a rich green, dark blue or deep red to maximise its impact. Sumptuous and stylish, a velvet sofa will bring a touch of luxury to your interior.
The complete opposite of empty, minimalist interiors, maximalist homes are a riot of colours, textures and styles. Ideal for families that want to stamp their personality on their homes and really go to town with their interior décor, this style is a great choice for properties from all periods.Find out more about maximalism vs minimalism, shop Swyft sofas and start building the interior of your dreams, by exploring our collection today.