While minimalism still has its place in the design world—after all, there is such a thing as having too much stuff in one space—there is a design approach that’s all about curating and collecting and knowing when to rein it in. It’s called maximalism, and as its name suggests, it’s about taking your decor to the max.
As minimalism’s polar opposite, maximalist interior design is having a moment right now. And we’ll show you how to achieve this look in your bedroom.
What is maximalist interior design?
“Maximalism is a style that embodies a ‘more is more’ approach,” says Kristina Phillips, principal designer and owner of Kristina Phillips Interior Design. “This trend has been around since before the Victorian age, usually coinciding with upturns in the economy. Displaying collections, layering patterns, and mixing finishes are all examples of maximalism.”
As Phillips explains, in the early 16th century, wealthy homeowners would fill curio cabinets with collectibles and valuables to show off their wealth. During the Victorian times, affluent homes were filled with all sorts of objects and furniture.
“Think about the lavishness of Versailles, the over-the-top glamour of Hollywood Regency, and the vibrant designs of Dorothy Draper,” Phillips says. “This decor style has always been around, depending on the era and what is happening socially and economically.”
Since modern maximalist interior design tends to be associated with happy feelings, Phillips believes the design style is having a resurgence once again as a response to the doom and gloom of the pandemic.
“As people began traveling and entertaining again, displaying collections and decorating with plenty of color give spaces character and emotion,” Phillips observes.
She adds that maximalism isn’t for someone who tires of bold, vibrant colors and patterns easily, and designing a layered, collected look takes time and restraint.
That’s why she suggests hiring a professional to streamline the process so you can avoid costly mistakes. “There is such a thing as too much,” she notes.
How to bring maximalist interior design into the bedroom
Start with the walls
When giving your bedroom a maximalist makeover, Phillips recommends starting with a vibrant solid grasscloth wallcovering, which can include a coordinating paper or paint for the ceiling along with painted trim.
Go bold with fabrics
When it comes to the fabrics used throughout your maximalist bedroom, Phillips says you can install multi-hued, patterned window treatments with passementerie (decorative trim such as tassels or fringe), along with a
A statement-making bed frame, with a timeless feel
Don’t be shy with finishes
To accomplish eclectic maximalist interior design in your bedroom, it’s best to go with myriad finishes for your furniture and lighting instead of trying to be matchy-matchy. That’s why Phillips advises flanking lacquered bedside tables with a statement chandelier overhead, preferably in brass or another finish that shines.
Weave in a luxe feel
To make your maximalist bedroom also feel like a self-care oasis, don’t skimp on luxurious touches throughout. For instance, Philips says to achieve this look, you can place a
An elegant ottoman with a decadent plushness
Spotlight your floor
And since you’re trying to “max” out the style in your bedroom, take those bold visuals to your floor too. For this, Phillips recommends using a
Versatile with a timelessly stylish pattern
Try the maximalist design trend in your bedroom with these pieces from Saatva
What are the principles of maximalism?
Phillips says that in maximalism, each surface and item in the space should be considered, taking a multi-layered approach. For colorful maximalist interior design, different colors, patterns, textures, and finishes should all be incorporated—but in a thoughtful, cohesive way. “Make sure there is a common thread like a color or pattern,” Phillips says.
What’s the difference between maximalism and clutter?
“Maximalism has a very distinct approach, where scale and cohesion are still very much considered,” Phillips says. “Clutter is more of a random display of objects and haphazard usage of color and pattern.”
What’s the difference between a maximalist room and a minimalist room?
Phillips says that while a maximalist room incorporates bold color, pattern, and style in a very saturated way, usually evoking a feeling of joy, a minimalist space often is monochromatic, with little to no ornamentation. “While there may be a variety of textures, patterns and colors are limited to neutrals and solids,” Phillips concludes.
What’s the best way to pair bedroom furniture pieces of different styles? Here’s how to mix and match bedroom furniture like a pro.