This OTT Decor Trend Is Making a Comeback—and I Don't Hate It

Updated 04/19/19

If you prefer the crisp white walls, muted color palates, and understated décor of minimalist interior design, avert your eyes. Those with a penchant for experimental colors, bold patterns, and unexpected textures are breathing new life into the OTT (over the top) maximalism trend. While it's never clear which styles will stand the test of time and which will change with the seasons, Jessica McCarthy, creative director of Decorist, predicts that maximalism is just getting started (and I'm all for it).

"Minimalism has been all the rage for the past decade, so naturally I think everyone is ready for something new," the interior design expert says. A far cry from minimalism, maximalist décor follows a more-is-more approach to design, according to McCarthy. Although similar to the popular eclectic design style, which calls for the mixing of different design styles, maximalism is about how you mix the décor. "You can be eclectic but still have a minimalistic way of styling your space," she explains. "Maximalism is all about mixing styles with colors, patterns, and textures to create something over the top and a bit eccentric."

Ready to break all the rules you thought you knew about interior design? Here are five ways to incorporate maximalist décor into your home, according to McCarthy.

Mix colors, patterns, and textures

Colorful Living Room
Katherine Carter

"There are no set rules or guidelines," McCarthy explains. Instead of perfectly matching styles and décor elements, maximalism gives you the freedom to mix and match as you see fit. "It’s truly a mix of fabrics, different patterns, lots of textures, [a] variety of materials and unlikely color combinations, and furniture styles," she says.

Lush Velvet Pillow Cover
West Elm Lush Velvet Pillow Cover $29 $23
Charm Wool Rug
West Elm Charm Wool Rug $319
PCP Collection Circles $30

Keep it cohesive

Maximalist Dining Room
Alyssa Rosenheck DESIGN: Elsie Larson for Domino Magazine

Just because maximalist décor often includes a wide range of styles doesn't mean your space has to look cluttered or over the top. McCarthy recommends finding ways to connect pieces throughout your home. Consider tying a room together by coordinating a bold wallpaper with similarly colored throw pillows, for example. "No matter how many different styles, items, or patterns you include in your space if you find a way to connect them to one another your space will always look cohesive," she says. 

Studio: PGRB Priti Pendant $975
Souk Wool Rug
West Elm Souk Wool Rug $399
Article Svelti Dining Chair $49

Play with furniture from different time periods

Neon Living Room
Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

According to McCarthy any and all styles of furniture can work in a maximalist space. In fact, she believes that sticking to just one furniture style is the worst thing you can do when creating a maximalist environment. "Try combining furniture from at least three different time periods to create a really interesting and maximalist space," she suggests.

CB2 Curvo Velvet Sofa $1999
Consort Home Beefcake Ottoman $1800
Article Daisy Lounge Chair $159

Display an over-the-top gallery wall

Gallery Wall
Max Humphrey

When it comes to hanging art in a maximalist space, McCarthy says the more styles, the better. That's why a gallery wall is the perfect way to express your artistic style and feature all the various kinds of art that speak to you, rather than selecting one or two works that seem to go together. "I suggest creating a gallery wall using different styles of art, a mix of frames, and a range of sizes," she says.

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Edelman Leather Zebra Cowhide Rug $2395
Marc Gabor Mood Indigo $160

Think outside the box with paint

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

As with every other aspect of maximalist décor, there are no rules for which paints to use or avoid (although McCarthy does recommend to be daring with color). If you're still wrapping your head around the bold design style, you may want to stick with a neutral paint color and let your furniture and décor speak for themselves. However, if you're comfortable experimenting, McCarthy suggests thinking outside the box. "Try painting your ceiling or using high pigmented colors and different finishes," she says. She also recommends utilizing a statement wallpaper along with your bold paint choices.

Behr Edgy Red $37
Behr White Satin $40
Glidden Colorado Avalanche Burgundy $22

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