Maximalism: What is it and why is it so popular?

Maximalism: What is it and why is it so popular?

For the past few years, the word ‘maximalism’ has been popping up left, right, and centre in regards to home decor. But just what does it mean? In this blog, we’ll explore the origin of the maximalist trend along with how you can apply this funky way of decorating to your own home.

Image from Instagram: @moreismore__

Where did it come from?

Maximalism was previously regarded as a way of expressing music and visual art. In the late 1970s, Neo-expressionist art was made and explored the use of combining different textures, shapes, and colours to create a whole. 

However, in recent years, this trend has been introduced to interior design and works by creating bold, expressive rooms full of character and points of interest. 

Some might see maximalist design as busy and distracting, but when done correctly, this vibrant way of decorating can apply personality and uniqueness to any type of home.

Why is it so popular now?

Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, maximalism home decor is regularly being shared and displayed, encouraging those who would typically opt for a magnolia wall to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. 

The coronavirus pandemic and staying at home has encouraged many to challenge their dull, tired walls and furniture and give their homes a new lease of life by following the ways of the maximalist home. 

Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at Contura says: ‘Whilst many of us strive for an ordered, neutral-toned home with Marie Kondo levels of organisation and minimalism, the reality is that our homes are a collection of old and new, mismatched furniture and quirky knick-knacks representing lives lived to the fullest.”

 “We may relish the opportunity to start afresh, buying all new matching furniture, wallpaper, and decorative items, but it’s important to embrace, enjoy and make the most of what we already have.”

How can I apply maximalist styles to my home?

Think of maximalism as the complete opposite of minimalist styles. Where minimalism praises little to no decorative items, clear countertops, and just one or two distinct colours, maximalism encourages you to experiment with layering objects and varying the ‘height’ of the room – for example, not having everything sat at the same eye level. Try using these simple techniques to introduce maximalism to your home.

Play around with patterns

Whether it’s your wallpaper, throws, or rugs, start by introducing some patterns to your home. Think about the overall style you wish to portray and include this in your key elements. Florals can help to add a feminine touch to your rooms, whereas abstract patterns can work well in kitchens and dining rooms as they create a great talking point. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try incorporating bold animal prints – these look great in a bathroom or teenage child’s room when combined with bold pops of colour and plants.

Our Think Rugs Sunrise Hand Carved Rug is the perfect addition to include both pattern and colour into your home. 


Mix up your colour palette

Think about the colour wheel and what shades compliment each other, as well as contrasting shades that will really help your room pop. Go all out and apply this rule to your furniture and wall paint, or use colour-clashing decorations to your advantage. 

If your home has quite dark walls and you want to keep it this way, try adding brighter pops of colour to bring dimension and encourage light into the room.

The multi-tonal Furn Cedri Abstract Print cushion cover uses complementary colours to unearth warm tones in your home.  

Add texture

Use textures to break up areas of your room and create a visually appealing environment with layers to it. 

Think about how you can incorporate the rough with the smooth; things like sheepskin rugs, velvet cushions, and sleek silk curtains can all add this extra level of dimension and vibrancy to your home. You can even add texture to your walls by using macrame hangers, hanging textured oil paintings, or even swapping that magnolia wall for embossed wallpaper. 

These Catherine Lansfield Crushed Velvet Lined Eyelet Curtains add a multidimensional feel to your home.

Show off your personality

If you have belongings that mean a lot to you, such as books, artwork, records and trinkets, be sure to display them on shelves and walls. 

Catharina Björkman explains “The maximalist interior trend is about just this – embracing the visually interesting and eye-catching items that you love, and not hiding them away because they don’t perfectly match the décor of your home. Meaningful pops of colour and patterns, funky furniture, and travel mementos, these things should all have a place in your home.”

Have patience and switch things up 

It’s important to remember that maximalism can’t be achieved overnight. This is a style that you must build on and collate over a number of months or even years. The more character your home has the better. Your home should be able to tell a story by the time it’s ready to be considered maximalist. 

Build on your home design with items that can be used to layer, such as our Belledorm Crompton Quilted Jersey Throw.

For more design ideas and beautiful soft furnishings to compliment your maximalist home, visit our main website here.

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