Last edited 17 Aug 2021




[edit] Introduction

Maximalism is a design philosophy that is based on the idea of abundance. In design and decor, maximalism is expressed in mixed patterns, saturated colours, multiple fabrics and numerous accessories.

To avoid clutter, maximalist design should include an underlying theme. The theme is repeated throughout in patterns, eclectic components and graphic elements. In this way, it creates the impression of a cohesive space rather than an excessive collection of unrelated objects.

[edit] Background

Maximalism developed as a reaction against minimalism, which involves the use of simple design elements, without ornamentation or decoration. In contrast to the minimalist theme, ‘less is more’, the maximalist theme embraces the playful approach that ‘more is more’.

In some ways, maximalism appears to revive certain styles associated with the past, but it is a relatively new aesthetic approach. As a cultural philosophy, maximalism originated in literature, music, fashion and visual arts.

With the growing popularity of social media design outlets Pinterest and Instagram, maximalism spread into the field of interior design. Do-it-yourself maximalist designers regularly formulate ideas based on this method of curation. As a result, some critics feel maximalism is a fad rather than an authentic, original design concept.

[edit] Maximalism basics

The basics of maximalism incorporate elements including:

  • Layering.
  • Natural and abstract patterns (including animal prints, feathers and flowers).
  • Rich accent colours.
  • Unusual objects.
  • Mixed and matched textures.
  • Repeated visual themes.
  • Blended motifs.

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