A far cry from hiding everything away, maximalism celebrates what sparks joy for you – intentionally mixed and matched to your heart’s content.

Described as a reaction against minimalism and an aesthetic of excess, the philosophy of maximalism is simply ‘more is more! While it certainly is a contrast, it can’t exactly be pegged as the opposite of minimalism.

Minimalism embraces the philosophy of less in terms of quantity, hinging heavily on concealed storage, stylish functionality and negative space – maximalism could, however, very well be a similar amount of objects loudly adorned, differently proportioned and placed in a more organic, sensory fashion.

The use of brighter, bolder, more patterned and eclectic colours against more textured whites and bolder colour-blocked backgrounds epitomise the trend. For those who crave empty space, tranquillity and uniformity with few colours, maximalism may feel like a hot, exotic jungle of intricacy and obstacles. For maximalists, it feels like a natural extension of their lives, personalities and need to fully embrace their love for the objects they own in a very simple way: by showing it.

In an article for Curb, unpacking an art exhibition, Diana Budd expresses maximalism as a decorative and cultural statement and not something to be confused with accumulating stuff for stuff’s sake, especially since consumerism fuels the environmental crisis. It is more than just visual excitement and displaying the eclectic objects you love – it’s about the power of tapping into what makes many of us human.

Fundamentals of maximalism


Maximalism is a celebration of colour and loved objects – so tell your story. Sort and group similar objects you wish to display together. Keep in mind colours and shapes that work together and elevate each other before displaying in a way that best tells each groupings story.

Intentional colour

A mad mess of colour could potentially turn your interior into an overstimulating Pollock painting. Avoid this by using colour intentionally, with one or two base colours as a thread running through pieces, fashioning creative cohesion. Don’t forget that your ceiling is your fifth wall and makes for a great colour anchor too.


Maximalism should not breed chaos and constant stimulation. There should still be visual symmetry and balance. Limit your larger wow-factor pieces in each room and layer the rest around them to create a scaled curation of objects that leaves room for practical functionality and comfortable enjoyment.

Words: Stefanie Titus-Petersen

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