In stark contrast to minimalism in interior design is what's being called maximalist. If you haven't heard of it, it's one of the biggest trends right now regarding home design, and it's having its moment. The idea of maximalism isn't necessarily new, but how people incorporate it into their homes has changed.
Maximalists have existed for centuries. It was historically a way for the wealthy to showcase their collections and expensive items. It was seen in the Victorian era, with every inch of space covered with something decorative, but prior to that period as well.
The current iteration of maximalism does hold true to some of the original concepts. It's a way to curate your space and showcase what you love. You can also design a home that reflects who you are and your personality.
Interestingly, some design experts feel like the popularity of maximalism has grown along with the economy. Following the Great Recession in 2008, there was more interest in minimalism, and as the economy recovered, so did the love of maximalism. Now that we're perhaps nearing another economic downturn, who knows if people will continue to embrace maximalism, but for now, they certainly are.
So why does it seem to be linked to the economy? It could be due to the fact that when people have more disposable income, they can collect things that interest them, and they can also travel more and gather items along the way that they find compelling. Then, they want to be able to showcase those items front and center.
It's also the perfect design style for the social media era because it creates a lot of color and visual interest that's sharable and appealing on social platforms.
So what are the key features of maximalism?
While it's ultimately about making a space your own, the main characteristics are bold patterns and vibrant colors.
You can't have too many accessories in a maximalist design or too much color saturation.
The things that bring you joy are the things that you should make a focal point of your design. Some say that you're cultivating your own sense of happiness in your space, and how you design your home is within your control, as opposed to so many other things in life.
Striking a nice balance in maximalism is actually tough to achieve. If you're thinking about maximalism, you might love so many different design styles and eras.
You still should aim to have a focal point or maybe two in each room. You want the eye to be drawn to one amazing piece, even in maximalism.
Another way to make this design concept your own is to use your ceiling as a wall, and you might add wallpaper or texture, for example.
Layering is also a critical element. You're layering surfaces with things that bring you joy and happiness. That doesn't mean you should let your design get chaotic, though—you still want to feel balance when you walk into a room. Getting that balance is what makes maximalism such a challenging design style.
Finally, one way to get balance while cultivating a maximalist design style is by choosing a consistent color family or a single color and tying your patterns and textures in with that. You can also ground a space with consistency in your hard finishes. For example, you might use wood accent furniture that gives balance to the patterns and colors you're using.