Maximalist Design Tricks Anyone Can Try

Maximalism in interior design is making a comeback! And whether you're a pro at going bold or need an extra push when it comes to adding color to your space, these easy tips from maximalist design professionals will definitely get you going.

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April 04, 2019

Photo By: Artistic Tile

Photo By: Virginia Macdonald Photographer Inc.

Photo By: Virginia Macdonald Photographer Inc.

Photo By: Virginia Macdonald Photographer Inc.

Photo By: Virginia Macdonald Photographer Inc.

Photo By: Brittany Ambridge

Photo By: Brittany Ambridge

Photo By: Brittany Ambridge

Photo By: Brittany Ambridge

Photo By: The Inside

Photo By: The Inside

Add Glamour In Unexpected Places

We all know using wallpaper or mixing patterns is one of the easiest ways to give your space a bold pop, but you can also glam it up using unexpected elements such as tile. Colored tile is making a comeback this year, particularly art deco styles (as seen in the Artistic Tile above).

Layer Up

Adding art and photography is an easy way Anne Hepfer, owner of Anne Hepfer Designs, adds maximalist touches to the spaces she creates.

If you’re looking for another way to bring color and texture, Anne suggests layering your dining table with a tablecloth, placemats, embroidered linens and fresh flowers. "Lamp shades are often forgotten as a fun way to add another pattern or trimming," she says.

Use Wallpaper In Unconventional Places

"Wallpaper is a great maximalist opportunity for high impact in a space," says Anne. She suggests using wallpaper on walls, of course, but also on the back of a bookcase or on the ceiling.

Need help getting creative? We’re here for you.

Avoid Over Accessorizing

Because maximalism can look cluttered, Anne recommends starting small with books, throw cushions and fresh flowers in special vases or potted plants. Select your favorite object to place on top of a stack of books or on an end table. If you’ve got lots of leftover accessories, bookcases are a great place to show them off—once all the books have been installed, of course.

Embrace Trial and Error

Patterns and colors are what make maximalist designs so appealing, but it can be hard to determine which ones will look good in your space. Anne recommends trying accessories out before committing to anything. "You can return almost anything these days. Shop and ask retailers what their return policy is," she explains.

Once the accessories are set up in your home, photograph your newly decorated room in different lighting or at various times during the day to see what looks best—you don't have to rush into a decision. Don’t be afraid of mixing and layering!

Gallery Walls Galore

Gallery walls are a fun way to incorporate various colors and prints into a stairwell, powder room or hallway. Designers Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez of Dekar Design recommend using art and photo prints with bright colored frames like forest green or crimson.

Go Big In Small Spaces

If you like bold but not all the time, Caroline and Dolores recommend using maximalist designs in smaller spaces.

"Powder rooms, entry foyers and hallways are great places to explore with bold patterns and colors," they say. "Since people don’t spend a lot of time there, you can go really maximalist with the design, unlike in your master bedroom or dining room which you might want to keep, calmer."

Mix Bold With Bold

Don’t be afraid to mix bold prints. "We love to do throw pillows in one pattern and the trim in another and throw blankets with multi-colored fringe," say Caroline and Dolores.

Need inspo? Here you go.

Start With Your Favorite Color

If you’re unsure where to start, choose one color you love (or that you’d love to look at in your home). Once you’ve nailed down the right hue, bring in different patterns and tones from the same color family.

"When the room is tonal, whichever color you choose ends up acting like a neutral but still keeps the room vibrant," explain Caroline and Dolores.

Grab Some Books

Danielle Walish, Creative Director for The Inside, revealed that her number one tip when it comes to decorating with a maximalism design is to incorporate books. She suggests stacking books on a side table or on a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf.

"This is an easy way to add multiple shades of color and debut your beloved book collection," she explains.

Embrace Your Own Style

Maximalism design may seem daunting, but it’s important to have fun, embrace your own personal style and just go for it. Design is a form of self-expression, so it’s important to keep this in mind when decorating.

"Never force anything just because it's a trend," says Danielle. "You want to fall in love with your space and be proud of how you’ve designed it."

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