Pick your colours carefully
A common mistake to make with maximalism is thinking there’s no method to the madness.
In reality, in order to bring some order to your interior collection, there are some basic rules you can follow. The first comes down to your colour choices. Rather than throw a lot of colours together, willy nilly, we recommend limiting yourself to 3-4 in each room. This will give the space a loose theme and stop the space from becoming too jarring to the eyes.
Also, don’t think you have to go bold on colour. While some start with a bold base of bright yellow or red, you could easily stick to white walls. Colour is merely a starting point, one that you’ll expand on with layer upon layer of carefully curated items and furnishings.
Play with expectations
One of the fun things about maximalism is how it confronts your expectations. You want people to be a little taken back by your work, keeping things playful.
Scale is one way you might accomplish this. Make the big small and the small big. You might bring in an oversized lampshade or a small chair. Hang a mirror that’s just a little too big on your walls. You want people to feel a little like Alice when she’s entered Wonderland, creating a space where anything is possible.
Two key features to play with are texture and pattern.
These two elements work best in maximalism when you choose to bring opposites together. Have a smooth surface? Pair it with something rough and raw. Put soft furnishings next to hard. Pokka dots next to stripes.
You want to both break the rules while still obeying some sense of logic. Strangely, our eyes are drawn to conflicting surfaces and it helps bring depth to the space. A lot of maximalist followers favour items like velvet couches or leather chairs.
For a quick fix, experiment with the throws on your couches, alongside your cushions. Bring in big fluffy cushions next to velvet or woollen blankets. This is a good starting point for any maximalism novice.
But don’t forget to have dots to connect
While opposites help bring the room to life, you still want people to be able to join the dots.
By this we mean you’ll have key anchors in the space. Items which compliment the other and help guide the eyes around the room. For instance, I might have two matching chairs, only in two separate colours. I might also have my lampshade match the pattern in a cushion, or even just two symmetrical picture frames.
While maximalism resists the idea of matching, making subtle connections will help bring order to the chaos.
Take your time
It can be tempting, when you start out, to want to rush out and go on a shopping spree. However, this isn’t in keeping with the true nature of the style.
Maximalism is all about collecting and displaying items you truly love. Unique items you’ve found on your travels or on a whim that have instantly called to you. What you fill your space with should be personal and bring joy every time it catches your eye, so in this sense, you should see maximalism as a long term goal.
This might take some time but the end result will be one that’s deeply personal - a truly rewarding end product.
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