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Embrace the Busy When You Decorate with Maximalist Décor

Updated: Mar 28

Gold elaborate candlesticks

Proudly show off your curated collections, colorful artwork, and stylish home décor all at once by embracing extravagant maximalist style. After all, when it comes to decorating your home, why should you store all your favorite belongings in hidden cabinets and closed drawers instead of letting them shine?

At first glance, this aesthetic may seem impossible to execute on your own—but that couldn't be further from the truth. Discover the history of maximalist interior design, learn the main décor elements, and find inspiration to help you make your home a bohemian maximalist's dream!

What is Maximalism?

Sometimes referred to as the "more is more" style, maximalist décor uses colors, bold patterns, and eccentric textures to create an over-the-top space. When curating a maximalist style, everything revolves around careful placement, intentional layering, and larger-than-life choices to create a room that is uniquely you. If done incorrectly, a room can look cluttered and overwhelming. But, when done right, there’s nothing quite like it. 

Types of Maximalist Design:

  • Maximalist fashion

  • Interior design

  • Wall art

  • Jewelry

  • Dinnerware

Why People Love Maximalist Design

Colorful Blue Bottles with White Floral Painted Detail

Above all else, people love maximalist style because it sparks joy! In a world where things may feel grey, why not embrace your inner child and choose bold and beautiful colors? From painting your kitchen cabinets to match the backsplash to creating a gallery wall that fills up a wall from floor to ceiling, maximalist décor is more than a trend—it's a way to appreciate the things you love.  

Minimalist VS Maximalist 

As two of the most popular design styles in this day and age, minimalism vs maximalism is highly debated. Minimalist style praises neutral colors, empty surfaces, and simple décor, while maximalist décor is vibrant, complex, and celebrates excess. There will always be a time and place for minimalism, but maximalist interior design is the way to go if you want to be surrounded by all the items you love. 

Maximalism is a direct response to minimalism. While bare walls and neutrals were in the spotlight, it's not everyone's cup of tea. If you've asked yourself the classic Marie Kondo question, "Does this spark joy?" and the answer is yes more than no, you may love stuff—and that's okay! Maximalist décor allows everyone to show off their favorite things fashionably and uniquely. 

The History Behind Maximalist Design

Stained Glass Fireplace Screen

While other design eras like Art Deco or Mid-Century Modern have a traceable backstory, maximalist décor can be seen in different moments throughout history. From the upper crust of Victorian England showing off their worldly portraits and complex color schemes to the groovy and patterned maximalist living rooms of the ‘70s, maximalist interior design has popped up for hundreds of years. 

Famous Examples of Maximalist Décor:

From celebrity homes to royal castles, there are examples of maximalist interior design everywhere:

5 Elements of Maximalist Design

Whether you're looking for a maximalist bedroom revamp or are interested in switching from minimalism, there are five key elements to maximalist design. Shop the aisles of your favorite Highland antique store or your storage units for pieces that exude the maximalist décor characteristics: 

1. Bold Color Combinations

Dancing Lady Cookie Jars in Three Colors

In maximalist décor, the color palette is bold, vibrant, and saturated. Loud primaries, rich jewel tones, and bright hues are all popular choices, but there's no one-hue-fits-all rule. When you're designing and shopping, experiment with unexpected color combinations. With a little confidence and styling, you can create a maximalist look with a stunning color palette.

2. Multiple Contrasting Patterns

From maximalist fashion to maximalist interior design, you cannot overlook the importance of patterns. The idea of clashing rarely exists in this style—in fact, using multiple patterns in one room is encouraged! Florals, animal prints, geometric designs, and more are all seen in different room furnishings, as they help create that larger-than-life aesthetic. If you lean into the multi-patterned vibe and pay attention to the colors within each design, your maximalist décor will work harmoniously.

3. Mixing Interior Design Eras

Use furniture from multiple design eras to achieve a timeless yet eclectic look in your bohemia maximalist home. A matching furniture set is too subdued for maximalist décor—shop for mismatched, vintage furniture in Florida instead! With the right styling, a mid-century modern coffee table, Art Nouveau collectibles, and a Victorian loveseat can look beautiful together. 

4. Layer Fun Textures

Basket of Blankets

Add depth, complexity, and a tactile feel to your maximalist design by including textures. Your rooms should feel as inviting as they look—texture plays a huge part. Consider searching for vintage sofas, blankets, and rugs that use luxurious fabrics like velvet, silk, or cashmere. When it comes to finding standout maximalist décor for a room, look for intriguing textures, such as thick paint, embroidery, tapestries, or crochet.

5. Whimsical Collections and Details

Maximalist décor is all about curated chaos—starting with your personal collections! From collections of candles and books on your coffee table to setting up your entire antique doll collection on the mantle, both big and little details add to a whimsical, bohemia maximalist style. Embrace the busy look and fill any surfaces with your favorite knickknacks, figurines, and valuable home items.

Shopping Antique Malls for Maximalist Décor 

The key to maximalist interior design is shopping slow. Instead of buying an entire dime-a-dozen set from a retailer, shop piece by piece over time. What's the best way to do that? Periodically stopping by your local antique mall locations, flea markets, and thrift stores!

With thousands of pieces from different eras, countries, and styles, the curated collections our vendors offer make our antique mall the best. Whether you're looking for inspiration or the perfect furniture piece to pull your maximalist living room together, browsing the expansive aisles of an Indiana vendor mall is a one-stop shop for all your maximalist décor needs. 

How to Use Maximalist Décor in Each Room of the House

Colorful Tea Serving Set

Whether you're redecorating a maximalist bedroom or interested in selling vintage items to maximalists, there are endless ways to add special flair to each room in your home: 

Create a Bohemian Maximalist Bathroom

Bathrooms may be one of the smaller rooms in the house, but that's no excuse to leave it plain! From your guest half bath to the master ensuite, details are key for maximalist interior design. Your soap dispenser, trinket dish, planters, and hand towels can all be swapped for something extravagant to show off your personal style in this high-traffic room of the house.  

First, look at the features of your bathroom. Everything from your cabinet mirror to the sink basin provides an opportunity for maximalist design. Invest in pieces with unique textures and materials like glass, patterned ceramic, or abalone to give your bathroom a special focal point. 

Pro tip: Use a patterned wallpaper to make an immediate maximalist décor switch. Not only will this make the space look bigger, but it's also an easy way to make a bold statement in a small place.

Embrace a Maximalist Bedroom

Antique Chair with Floral Cushion Design

The secret to designing a maximalist bedroom is blending extravagant style with comfort. You want to crawl into your cozy bed and love your bedroom's laid-back, bohemian maximalist look.

Start by choosing your color scheme. Do darker jewel tones lull you to sleep? Do you want to wake up to bright yellows and oranges in the morning? Designing an initial color palette will dictate the main furniture pieces in your bedroom and influence the minuscule details you add to enhance the busyness of the space.  

The bed and the walls are the two biggest attention grabbers in a bedroom, so go bold! Consider painting a vibrant accent wall behind your headboard. Use your bedding, pillows, and artwork as an excuse to show off contrasting colors, unique patterns, and plush textures to tie the maximalist décor together. 

Plan a Maximalist Living Room

Trunk Full of Bold Pillows in Jewel Tones

The living room is the main entertaining space in any home, so you may as well be loud and proud with the maximalist décor! Play with adding oversized statement furniture, your favorite plants, family portraits, and more to make your maximalist living room your own.

Try designing from the ground up and start with the rug! Find one to determine a color scheme, whether a multi-colored Turkish rug, a black and white cow pattern, or something else. Once that is set, choosing complementary colors for your artwork, sofas, chairs, and side tables is easy.

Light fixtures instantly transform the family room—the more, the merrier! Don't be afraid to experiment with vintage light fixtures. Add multiple floor, ceiling, and table lamps to create the perfect atmosphere in your maximalist living room.  

Design a Maximalist Dining Room

While minimalists always strive for a bare table, maximalists enjoy keeping their table dressed to the nines. Embrace the lived-in look by decorating your dining room with maximalist décor.

Leaving the table set 24/7 is a small yet powerful step to maximalist interior design. Feature a pop of pattern using a tablecloth or table runner, and place candleholders or fresh flowers in the centerpiece for an inviting style. 

When it comes to the entire room, every detail counts. Hang billowing curtains, show off your grandmother's serveware in the China cabinet, and swap out typical wooden chairs for plush seats or benches for a one-of-a-kind look. Don't forget to choose a statement chandelier light to illuminate the room!

Keep a Maximalist Kitchen

Contrary to popular belief, having a maximalist kitchen without it looking cluttered is possible. Whether in a studio apartment or a house, the key is to include fun pops of personality in unexpected areas. Choose a daring backsplash above your stovetop, line the insides of your cabinets with a patterned wallpaper, or keep all of your cookbooks on a wall shelf. Add your favorite dinnerware, salt and pepper shaker collectibles, and other trinkets to the countertops and shelves, and voila!

Pro tip: Consider the open shelves look and take the doors off your cabinet. Not only will you be able to easily grab the dishes and glasses you need, but your dining essentials become part of the maximalist décor!  

Invite Your Guests in with a Maximalist Entryway

As the first room in the house, making a great first impression with your entryway is a must. Set the tone for the rest of your home by intentionally choosing every item in the foyer to fit a color palette, from the key ring to the coat rack. Look for narrow, patterned rugs, gaudy mirrors, or daring wall art pieces at antique mall events to welcome visitors.  

7 Tips for Maximalist Design

Antique Mall Booth with Unique Vintage Finds

As you shop for pieces of your own at a Chicago antique mall, use these seven tips to guide you to becoming a maximalist: 

1. Consult a color wheel to create a color palette that is both contrasting and complementary. If you're stuck, find your main color on the wheel and look at the ones directly opposite it for your possible accent shades. 

2. Pairing patterns works best when you play with the scale. Avoid pattern clashing by using smaller intricate patterns and larger, oversized patterns in one room rather than two of the same size. 

3. An easy way to get the busy look maximalist design demands is grouping items. Place like with like, whether it be a stack of 10 books near the fireplace or multiple candelabras on a shelf.  

4. A gallery wall is a simple and effective way to bring maximalism into any room in the house. Bring in your color scheme, show off different art styles, and use pieces of any shape and size to make it your own. 

5. There's no need to buy all new things! Look at what you already own to understand what colors, textures, and furniture could work well. Then, hit the Melbourne Antique Mall to find vintage gems!

6. When in doubt, make a statement with an oversized piece and feature smaller items around it. Lamps, sofas, wall art, and bedframes can all be great starting points for maximalist interior design. 

7. Above all else—be bold! 

With a trend that will never go out of style, anyone can try maximalist design! Put your precious treasures on display, play with whimsical and bright color combinations, and shop an Illinois antique mall for one-of-a-kind gems. Put it all together, and you’ve created beautiful maximalist interior design.

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