How to successfully style maximalism

While you may have heard the term maximalism batted around, you may not be sure exactly what it is or how to style it at home.  Set to be this summer's number-one trend, maximalism banishes minimalism, rejects magnolia and says no to simplistic in a celebration of colour and detail - but there is an art to achieving this more-is-more look without overdoing it.

Mixing Styles

This look is all about contrasting styles for a quirky decadence, no matter the period - the key is to choose pieces that are individually beautiful and that match in opulence and use of colour. Take inspiration from designer Matthew Williamson, who mixes antique fireplaces and traditional coving with baroque tables, peacock feathers and modern block art in his London home for dramatic effect - all equal in character.

Colourful Excess

Veering away from all-white show homes and magnolia palettes, maximalism calls for you to saturate your space with colour.  Colour block with shades of pink and yellow or go tonal with varying shades of blue and green. Introducing items that are intrinsically multi-coloured, like vintage kantha throws or flatweave rugs will help to tie a bright palette together.

Go Big or Go Home

With maximalism, no surface should be left uncovered. Floor to ceiling bookshelves as created in the trompe l'oeil wallpaper of Maria Brito's apartment fill the space with colour and interest. There should always be something interesting to look at in a maximalism-styled home so no need for empty shelves.

Pattern Overdose

Can't choose between your favourite patterns? Choose them all. Traditionally, style dictates that patterns should match and be complimentary to each other but maximalsim throws away this rule. Showcase your different personalities and tastes in one room with a clash of colour and texture.

Layered Luxury

Leo's Oyster Bar in San Francisco knows how to do maximalism well, layering luxurious finishes in a curated way that doesn't compromise taste levels. With a checkerboard tiled floor,  glossy wood paneling, tropical wallpaper, a cluster of mirrors, large pendants and plants upon plants, this room should be too much but it manages to make all these elements work in harmony. This is because they all come from the same style family, each imbuing an expensive retro feel.

Grand Scales

Make a big impact with grand scale furniture and art. A leaning oversized mirror in the bathroom or a large canvas addressing the living room will demand attention and shout glamour. Maximalism should celebrate lavish living with moreish spaces that invite you to relax.

Repeat, Repeat

Find something you like and then repeat, repeat, repeat! Mirrors, picture frames, vases - any accessory works. Arranging them together doesn't look odd but in fact looks curated, like an art collector's private hoard.


1. Mono Taza 45x45cm Cushion, Marine  £9.00 ACHICA £23.00 RRP; 2. Disc Pendant Light, Chrome £174.00 ACHICA £256.00 RRP; 3. Set of 2 Horse Head Bookends, Turquoise £18.00 ACHICA £23.00 RRP; 4. Mono Taza 45x45cm Cushion, Ochre £9.00 ACHICA £23.00 RRP; 5. Bowerbird Large Trinket Box £46.00 ACHICA £65.00 RRP; 6. Ostrich Sisters Cushion, 45x45cm £32.00 ACHICA £40.00 RRP; 7. Buckingham Velvet Chair, Orange £489.00 ACHICA £825.00 RRP; 8. Jazz Shelving Unit, Copper £1,159.00 ACHICA £1,329.00 RRP

[ Image Credits: Architectural Digest; Maria Brito; Matthew Williamson; My Design Agenda; The Room Edit]

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Minè Miralay

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