The Maximalist Movement

Nov 29, 2023

Minimalism had its moment and will always be a welcome option for fostering a calm and clean environment, but now, it’s time for maximalism to shine.

From the runway to the showroom, maximalism reminds us that bold and bright styles can be fun and sophisticated. This is the perfect opportunity to shake things up and bring some new inspiration to the forefront.

The downside? Maximalism can be tough to pull off. It doesn’t take a lot of expertise to implement an all-white aesthetic, but when bolder colors and patterns enter the picture, finesse is a must. Get it wrong and the look goes from dynamic to chaotic and cluttered – and not in a good way.

Maximalism is the ultimate in high risk, high reward style but it is definitely worth exploring. Guidance from interior design experts can make all the difference, as today’s maximalist enthusiasts have a seemingly intuitive understanding of what works and what doesn’t. 

To help you determine whether you’re a candidate for maximalist interior design, we’ve provided a basic overview, complete with style recommendations that run the gamut from dark interior design to playful palettes.


Trademarks of Maximalism

Maximalism feels fresh right now, but it’s far from new. While confident 80s styles automatically come to mind among nostalgic types, maximalist qualities were dominant in European architecture centuries ago.

The historic underpinnings of maximalism emerged during the Baroque period. The 17th century ushered in bold, yet ornate architecture, with the era’s top paintings portraying lavish interiors. These ornate spaces were chock full of intricate tapestries, painted ceilings, and gilded features.

Maximalism also dominated the Art Deco interiors of the 1920s, which offered an updated take on the concept with rich colors and bold geometric designs. Since then, maximalism has continually returned to the forefront, often in reaction to minimalist design movements.

Although often defined in contrast to minimalism, maximalism represents more than a defiant response to simple, streamlined styles. This concept can be summed up as “more is more,” with every moment and detail framed as an opportunity to make a statement.

It would be a mistake to assume that maximalist styles are random or haphazard. For maximalism to work, every detail must be curated to create a distinct big-picture effect that, although loud, remains pleasing to the eye.


Why Work With a Pro?

As we’ve touched on, maximalism is incredibly difficult to implement. It takes a strong understanding of color theory, patterns, and textures to pull off this complex concept. Get one detail wrong, and the entire design goes from feeling fun and vibrant to disorganized and downright unpleasant.

Talented interior designers know how to navigate this fine line without going to excess. They bring an intentional approach to maximalist design, driving the perfect balance between juxtaposition and coordination. This is the best antidote to over-decorating, which can be a huge risk for less-skilled maximalist enthusiasts.

Maximalist Tile Recommendations

Tile selection plays heavily into maximalist style. From statement backsplashes to vibrant flooring, the right tile can form the basis for a maximalist space that is visually impactful without feeling like it’s “too much.” 

There is no one way to make a maximalist splash. Many concepts are fair game, including Art Deco aesthetics and even moody maximalism. When in doubt, look to these tile concepts to achieve the best of maximalism without falling victim to its excesses:

Custom Mosaics

Tailored tile is crucial in creating a seamless maximalist space, whether the focus is on color matching or creating a completely custom design. The beauty of tailored tile lies in its ability to perfectly blend with any space, while still standing out.

Prominent Pattern

Mimicking the bold beauty of wallpaper, intricate patterns can bring an element of Baroque maximalism to any space. The goal: to reflect the artistic appeal of the world’s most iconic mosaics.

On the hunt for real-world examples? Look to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Shah Mosque in Ifsahan, Iran, or the Chicago Cultural Center for inspiration. These stunning mosaics, and painted ceramics are intricate, yet cohesive. They reveal why there is no need to shy away from “more” when striving for sophisticated designs.

Bold Colors

If you love to play with color, you’re in luck: with maximalism, bolder is better. This is your chance to take a break from neutrals and expand your palette to include richer hues. When in doubt, bright backsplash should do the trick, especially if coordinated with similarly bright fabrics.

Statement Stones

If you’re new to maximalism and struggling to find the right balance, statement stones may offer a safer path forward. With this approach, simple, hard surfaces form the basis of an otherwise vibrant space, in which changeable design elements (like fabrics or décor) are allowed to shine.

Achieve Your Maximalist Dreams With Decorative Materials

Whether you’re drawn to minimalist or maximalist designs, you can bring your vision to life with help from our experts at Decorative Materials.

We’re happy to help you navigate the complex, but exciting world of maximalism so you can make a statement with a space you’re eager to show off.

You’ll find a variety of compelling kitchen and bathroom décor ideas within our inspiring showrooms, where we demonstrate how trendy and classic design concepts can coincide to create a dynamic space. Schedule an appointment today and take the next step on your maximalist journey!