This Is How an Anti-Minimalist Decorates
While minimalistic rooms have a therapeutic effect with their chic, clutter-free aesthetic, there's something incredibly invigorating about a wild and carefree maximalist space. These vibrant, bold, and colorful interiors rejuvenate the soul and inspire creativity—step inside The Jungalow's bright bohemian office to see what we mean. Decorating a maxed-out space with this many layers, conflicting hues, and varying patterns takes an artful eye and a lot of attention to detail to ensure the end result feels curated rather than cluttered. If you're not sure where to begin, never fear: We've listed a few simple ideas to help you turn that style dial right up. It's time to max things out.
Bethany Nauert for Apartment Therapy
The maximalist theme is perfect for people with eclectic souls. Are you a secret (or not-so-secret) hoarder of unique trinkets, sentimental artifacts, and unusual bric-a-brac? Then this look is right up your alley. It's time to show your true colors and put these simple yet impactful details on display. To achieve this boho-inspired aesthetic swap your coffee table for a vintage trunk instead then creatively arrange your vintage ornaments and objets d'art on top. Greenery in hanging pots or macrame planters is also a great addition to this eclectic style. Sprinkle antique furniture wherever possible, just refer to Brooklyn Decker's personality-fueled living room if you need inspiration.
We get it: Color can feel daunting and incredibly intimidating if you're averse to bright hues. But it's time to be bold and dip your brush into some vivid hues. According to Australian interior designer Shannon Fricke, decorating with color is easy once you understand the color wheel and which tones sit naturally work well together.
"As a rule, pair complementary colors together (those that sit opposite each other on the color wheel),” she told MyDomaine. "This approach creates a vibrant, sometimes feisty interior. Alternatively, choose colors either side of your main color, and work within tones of that color. For example, blue and green or orange and yellow always work well together. This approach creates a serene, calming interior."
UK interiors expert Abigail Ahern is "obsessed with pushing color boundaries." The trick, she told MyDomaine, is "not to be afraid." Ahern adds, "Forget old dictums about not combining certain colors too. If Mother Nature can pair green grass with blue sky, why can't we? It’s so much more interesting to play with color than to keep things bright and white. It makes you grin with delight, adds drama and movement, and mixes beautifully with neutrals. It becomes addictive, and you actually want to linger longer in a space. Promise!"
If you're not sure about the color and not keen on testing out several samples on your wall first, download the Home Depot Project Color app and digitally find the perfect paint for any room.
If you really want to make a statement, turn on the bright lights (literally!). An eye-catching chandelier or large-scale pendant is the apple of every maximalist room's eye. This showstopping ingredient makes you stand to attention with its impressive, overpowering nature but it also highlights the layered extravagance of the room itself. Choose wisely, however: Oversize lighting has the power to really make or break a space. Just because it's big doesn't mean it has to cost you, either—these affordable IKEA lights will add a luminous glow to your maximalist space.
Unless you're going for that stripped-back industrial look devoid of warmth, every room needs texture—even minimalists agree. It's vital for that cozy, lived-in feeling you just want to sink into. This expertly curated space is a colorful example of texture at work from the Moroccan textiles and eclectic furnishings to the bright jeweled wall art that only add to the high drama layered look within. The baby-pink walls and chic glossy ceiling are the perfect feminine touch to this edgy bohemian hideaway.
There's only one way to capture that free-spirited, personality-driven appeal: with pattern. This can include a carefully edited gallery wall featuring thrifted finds from your nearby charity store or original artwork scored at the local flea market. Another way to throw in decorative prints is by layering rugs in conflicting colors and cultural references. There's a certain charm in mixing the prints together for a charming look that's easygoing yet polished. Just keep the hues within the same tonal palette and you'll always end up with a room that's chic but doesn't clash.
Layering is essential to creating visual interest in any room, but the maximalist loves to ramp up the variations in texture, color, and scale for that Alice in Wonderland appeal. Just like this bedroom with its larger-than-life pendant light, super-chunky knitted throw, and unique sculptures set off by a serious lick of deep navy paint on the walls. It appears seamless to the viewer at first glance, which is how you know it's done well, but there's an art to perfecting that effortless layered look.
You could follow our advice or simply decorate like the French and throw out the rule book entirely. Ultimately, you have to do what feels right for you, and the maximalist style is one theme that beckons you to unleash the inner creative. Nate Berkus said it best: "The bottom line is that your home needs to reflect who you are, and the way that you do that is through your things," he told MyDomaine. We couldn't agree more.
Are you convinced of changing your minimalist ways? What’s your favorite maximalist look?