Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

20 Maximalist Artists That Are Way Too Much Reading Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design 9 minutes Next Maximalism Defined — Art, Aesthetics and Interior Design

Blending Minimalism and Maximalism For A Refined, Magical Aesthetic...

Minimalist maximalist design is an intriguing blend of simplicity and grandeur. It's become synonymous with contemporary luxury because it can incorporate such a breadth of bold and vibrant references without overstuffing. Allowing each piece in a room to have their moment in the spotlight. Meaning every piece matters in this decor style, because it's a curious blend of less is more... but make it all spectacular. No wonder it's so many celebrity interior designers' favorite. Minimalist maximalism is just another way of saying editorial excess. So if you've ever wanted to live in a bold but tasteful magazine spread, you've just found your new favourite design style.

This blog post will guide you on how to achieve this distinctive style while unpacking its aesthetic principles. Read on to find out how mixing minimalism and maximalism could revolutionize your living space... and make your everydaydreams an unmissable event that you'll be dying to stay at home for.

Key Takeaways 

  • The maximalism aesthetic embraces qualities like intentional curations, bold use of color and pattern, layered fabrics, ornate accents, and creating a "wow" reaction through surprising designs or scales.

  • The minimalist maximalist aesthetic is a unique blend of simplicity and grandeur, combining the clean lines of minimalism with the boldness and abundance of maximalism.

  • Achieving minimalist maximalist design involves embracing bold colors, incorporating bright wallpaper and mixed patterns, adding ornate accents like chandeliers, layering fabrics creatively, showcasing statement pieces as focal points, creating contrast with neutral walls, and striving for balance and harmony throughout the space.

  • Blending minimalism and maximalism offers versatility in any space regardless of size or class status. It allows for personal expression by incorporating vibrant colors and patterns. And it can achieve a sense of balance and harmony despite its excesses.



Overview of Minimalism and Maximalism

Minimalism and maximalism are diametrically opposed — two contrasting design styles that could be put at either end of a spectrum. With both styles having their own distinct aesthetic principles that inform their approach to design — from crisp and clean to OTT

Minimalism focuses on simplicity, clean lines, and a lack of unnecessary clutter. Maximalism embraces bold colors, patterns and an abundance of decorative elements. 

Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

Quincy Jones home delicately updated by Studio Shamshiri. Via Architectural Digest.


Definition and History of Maximalism

Maximalist interior design, with its roots set deeply in the Victorian era, is a unique style that celebrates excess. It's not just a "more-is-more" mentality playing out through idiosyncratic design choices; it's about strategic use of bold colors, luscious textures and flamboyant patterns.

This well-curated approach to interior design further gained traction during other historical periods like Art Deco and Hollywood Regency, where displays of wealth were prominent through ornate decor.

Unlike Minimalism, which values simplicity and functionality above all else, Maximalism thrives on complexity and abundance making every nook and corner of a room buzz with visual interest.

Maximalist Aesthetic Principles

Maximalist interior design blossoms with aesthetic principles rooted in the bold use of color, pattern, and layering. The style is intentional and curated - far from a cluttered look- it's an adventurous exploration of excess in design.

Maximalism allows the brave freedom to exhibit joy through intense scale of rooms which spark 'wow reactions'. There's room for large-scale art, geometric shapes, bright wallpaper with mixed patterns or even contrasting motifs like animal prints against florals. Layered fabrics and statement pieces are fundamental to this celebration of abundance. But it’s not just about displaying wealth. Maximalism is all about fearless personal expression within your living space. 



The Fusion: Minimalist Maximalist Design

Minimalist maximalist design is a unique style that blends the simplicity and clean lines of minimalism with the boldness and abundance of maximalism, creating a harmonious fusion of contrasting elements.

Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

Designed by Vaishali Kamdar for the Jaipur Rugs gallery. Photo by Ishi Sitwala. Styled by Samir Wadekar.


Characteristics and Defining Elements

Maximalist design is a bold style that celebrates creativity and individualism through its distinctive elements. Here are some of the defining characteristics that set it apart:


  1. A more-is-more mentality: Embodying an "anything goes" attitude, maximalism embraces various colors, patterns, and textures. To make it minimalist maximalist, be more selective about the amount and type of colors, patterns and textures. The quickest and most effective route is to go BIGGER. Using larger statement pieces as your maximalist anchor points and the using textured or brightly colored minimalist pieces to accent that statement without overcrowding the room.
  2. Bold use of color: From neon hues to deep jewel tones, vibrant and diverse colors play a significant role in maximalist design.
  3. Pattern and layering: Maximalism encourages mixing different patterns, motifs, and materials to create depth and visual interest.
  4. Intentional yet curated design: Despite the abundance of elements, every piece in a maximalist room serves a purpose — whether emotional or aesthetic.
  5. Wow reaction: The aim is to invoke an immediate reaction from guests through intentionally surprising designs or scales.
  6. Bright wallpaper and mixed patterns: Contrast is key in maximalist design; hence it's common to see bold wallpapers teamed with an array of contrasting motifs.
  7. Ornate accents: Chandeliers, large artworks, statement pieces—each one carefully chosen not just for impact but also for their story.
  8. Layered fabrics: Mixing fabric types adds texture and warmth; velvet sofas might be partnered with silk pillows or woolen throws.
  9. Showcase statement pieces: Invest in eye-catching furniture or artwork that serves as the focal point of your room.
  10. Create contrast with neutral walls: Opt for white or other neutral-colored walls to provide a backdrop that allows your colorful decor elements to stand out.
  11. Strive for balance and harmony: Despite the abundance of colors and patterns, ensure that there is still a sense of cohesion in your design by carefully curating each element.



    Benefits of Blending Minimalism and Maximalism

    Blending minimalism and maximalism offers versatility, personal expression, and a sense of balance and harmony in your design.

    Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

    Woven wall by Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou. Photo Julie Soefer.



    Maximalist design is incredibly versatile. It can be incorporated into any space, whether it's a small apartment or a large mansion. Embracing a wide range of elements and aesthetics with ease.

    Not only is maximalism seen in homes and architecture, but it can also be found across various art forms such as painting and sculpture. Demonstrating its versatility in showcasing boldness and vibrancy through different mediums.

    Furthermore, when done correctly, maximalist design can still create a calming and serene atmosphere, highlighting its versatility in setting different moods and creating unique spaces.

    Personal Expression

    Maximalist interior design provides a platform for personal expression through the use of bold colors and patterns. It allows individuals to showcase their unique style and preferences by incorporating vibrant hues, intricate motifs, and ornate accents in their space.

    Whether it's through statement pieces or displaying collections of cherished objects, personal expression can be easily achieved in maximalist design. The abundance of choices in color palettes, furniture styles, and decorative elements allows homeowners to create a truly one-of-a-kind look that reflects their personality and taste.

    Balance and Harmony

    Maximalism may celebrate excess, but that doesn't mean it can't achieve balance and harmony. In fact, when done correctly, a maximalist design can still create a sense of equilibrium.

    By incorporating accent pillows, rugs, and customized vintage furniture, you can bring a sense of order to the space. Highlighting collections of objects or artwork also helps to create unity within the chaotic aesthetic.

    Additionally, using wallpaper with bold and bright patterns and opting for glossy finished furniture can contribute to a balanced and harmonious maximalist design. Don't be afraid to layer fabrics and incorporate statement pieces - these elements help establish visual harmony as well.



    Examples of Minimalist Maximalist Design

    Opposites Attract: Minimalist Maximalist Interior Design

    French Quarter townhouse in New Orleans, Louisiana. Designed by Shawn Henderson. Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson via Shawn Henderson.


    Minimalist maximalist design can take on many different forms and styles. Here are some examples:

    1. Brightly colored living room: A minimalist maximalist living room may feature white walls as a clean backdrop, but it's offset by vibrant furniture in bold primary colors, like a bright yellow couch or blush pink reading chairs.
    2. Gallery-inspired dining room: In a minimalist maximalist dining room, the focus is on large-scale art pieces that make a statement. Neutral colors provide a clean canvas, and accent walls can display a collection of mementos or collectibles.
    3. Eclectic bedroom: A minimalist maximalist bedroom often combines elements from different eras and styles to create a unique look for your palace of dreams. This could include mixing sleek modern furniture with vintage pieces, as well as using bold wallpaper with bright patterns.
    4. Ornate home office: A minimalist maximalist co-working space or home office can feature ornate accents and layered fabrics for visual interest. Statement pieces like chandeliers and high-gloss furniture add an element of luxury to your workaday world.
    5. Playful kitchen: For a minimalist maximalist kitchen, think about incorporating bright, patterned backsplashes and interesting-shaped furniture. Mixing and matching different motifs like animal prints or geometric shapes can create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.


    Minimalist maximalist design offers a unique blend of simplicity and boldness, creating a truly captivating aesthetic. By incorporating elements such as bright colors, mixed patterns, and ornate accents, you can achieve a visually stunning space that reflects your personal style.

    So embrace the fusion of minimalism and maximalism, be fearless in your choices, and create a home that is both sophisticated and joyously expressive.


    Main image: Dining room. Designed by Michelle Gerson Interiors. Photo by Marco Ricca.

    Your Minimalist Maximalist Cheat Sheet

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Minimalist maximalist design is a unique design style that combines elements of both minimalism and maximalism. It blends the simplicity and clean lines of minimalism with the boldness, patterns, and textures of maximalism to create a visually striking and balanced aesthetic.

    To achieve a minimalist maximalist design, you can start by selecting a neutral color palette as your base and then layering on vibrant colors, patterns, and textures through accessories such as pillows, rugs, or artwork. Combining sleek modern furniture with statement pieces can also help create the desired balance between minimalism and maximalism.

    The aesthetic principles behind minimalist maximalist design include contrast, balance, and harmony. The contrast between minimalistic elements and more ornate or decorative elements creates visual interest. Balance ensures that neither minimalistic nor maximalistic elements overpower each other. Harmony is achieved by carefully curating the mix of styles to create a cohesive overall look.

    Yes! Minimalist maximalist design can be successfully incorporated into small spaces by focusing on strategic placement of bold accents while maintaining an overall sense of simplicity and clutter-free environment. Choose statement pieces that will have maximum impact without overwhelming the space.

    A maximalist lifestyle is a way of living that embraces excess, extravagance, and abundance. It is the opposite of minimalism, which focuses on living with only the essentials and rejecting excessive consumerism 3. Maximalists believe that more is more and surround themselves with as many things as possible. They want to have everything they desire, and they want it to be loud, colorful, and sometimes chaotic 2. Maximalists buy things that assist them in expressing their personalities, decorating their spaces, and creating something truly unique to them 1. They tend to find comfort within chaos and excess, finding it both exciting and motivating 3. A maximalist person can be defined by many different things, going beyond how they decorate their home. This is a person who may have strong views about something, and they’re usually unwilling to compromise those views. It can also be someone who takes large or revolutionary-style action to get their point across or achieve a goal 1. Maximalism is about displaying your lifestyle, bright and bold colors and contrasting patterns, comfort and décor, and personalized everything 1.