Maximalist – The Joys of Complexity and Having More

Maximalists like to pursue a life of opulence, collecting items, and the ultimate creature comforts.  Maximalism applies to aesthetics, function, design, accessories and décor, and really anything you can think of that would be the opposite of minimalism.  Let’s learn more about maximalist life.

Maximalists, who are the opposite of minimalists, practice excess in many things.  Maximalists like collections, bold colors, busy prints, fabrics, accessories and décor that tell their story and show their personalities.  This applies to furniture, interiors, bedrooms, and even clothing.

Minimalism isn’t for everyone, but have you ever thought about maximalist living?  If you don’t think minimalism is for you, why not try being a maximalist?

What Is a Maximalist?

You’ve probably heard of minimalists, who focus on “less is more”.  To be succinct, the opposite of minimalists are maximalists, who focus on “more is more”, or excess.  Maximalists like to collect things, use multiple colors and prints and textures, and be bold. 

Maximalist wall art hanging - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Maximalist wall art hanging

What Is Maximalist Design?

Maximalist design is the practice of using as much color, busy prints, layering, collecting items, and using a mix of everything you could think of.  Whether it’s the living room or the bedroom, or even the wardrobe-maximalist design is about incorporating everything and anything into decorating and styling. 

Maximalist Aesthetic

Whether it’s your home or office, your décor or your wardrobe, the maximalist aesthetic is all about being bold.  The bolder the better, and it works every time.  There are of course some variations of this, and we’re going to break it down for you here.

Maximalist Interiors

Maximalist interiors are all about more of everything from color and patterns to furniture and fabrics.  There are many things to draw in the eye in maximalist interiors-brightly colored walls and furniture, layers of patterns and fabrics, multiple designs on chairs and artwork and pillows for a loud look that’s truly comfortable. 

Living room with assorted decor - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Living room with assorted decor

Maximalist Furniture

Maximalist furniture goes way beyond just function-it’s created to be bold and unique.  Brightly colored fabrics, intricate designs and carvings, larger than standard furniture can help create a comfortable and colorful interior in any room.

Maximalist Art

In the maximalists’ world, absolutely anything and everything can be considered art!  It’s not just about paintings, sculptures, and wall hangings-but what you can incorporate that adds your personality to a room.  Here are a couple of examples:

Maximalist Wallpaper

Wallpaper as art?  Yes, absolutely!  Maximalist wallpaper is the perfect complement to any maximalist room.  It’s full of colors, patterns, and interest.  Maximalist wallpaper is busy with patterns like multicolored flowers or flower arrangements, murals, and geometric designs and is very eye-catching. 

Wallpaper with green plants - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Wallpaper with green plants

Maximalist Décor

Maximalist décor is about bringing your personality into your home.  Using your favorites and your tastes it’s using color, patterns, collectibles, books, and whatever décor that you would use to tell your own story.  Maximalism in décor is using lots of art, comfortable furniture and fabrics, pieces you love, and filling just about every space available.

Eclectic Minimalist

Eclectic style is one of having a variety of different types of things, so it seems eclectic minimalist might mean opposite things-but they can coexist!  You can take a minimalist-style room and rather than adding things to it, find ways to add color and interest as well as texture.  This can be achieved with fabrics, pillows, rugs, and any décor that fits your personality and helps tie the space together without a lot of stuff.

Minimalist Maximalist

This totally sounds like an oxymoron, but minimalist maximalist is the perfect blend of both worlds.  This aesthetic is about maximizing your personalized space with bright colors and cheery accents rather than sticking with bare, neutral walls and minimal furniture.  Don’t want to paint?  Just put up some bold paintings or artwork to fill the space and bring in some color.

A minimalist maximalist may seem contradictory, as minimalist and maximalist design styles are opposites. However, it can be used to describe a unique way of combining elements from both esthetics. A minimalist maximalist approach involves incorporating certain minimalist principles, such as simplicity, clean lines, and a focus on functionality, while also incorporating bold and eclectic elements. A minimalist maximalist design approach is about finding a harmonious balance between the two styles.

Maximalist office - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Maximalist office

Maximalist Rooms

Any room in a home can be a maximalist room, it’s all about how you incorporate color, furniture, fabric, décor, and accessories.  It truly is “more is more” in maximalist décor, but let’s look at some specific examples of rooms to give you a better idea.

Maximalist Bedroom

A maximalist bedroom is maximized for personalized comfort and design.  It will incorporate favorite colors and prints, fabrics, and anything loved and comfortable.  This style of bedroom will express personality, character, and have the resident’s favorite things and collectibles.  Every space will be filled, but in a way that it provides a haven as well as comfort and relaxation.

Maximalist Living Room

The maximalist living room is the ultimate in relaxation, family gathering, hosting, and entertainment.  There’s big, comfortable couches and chairs with built-in cup holders and reclining seats.  There’s storage ottomans with both a footrest and a table.  There’s an entertainment center with surround sound, smart tv, gaming console, and movie collection.  It’s perfect for relaxing, vegging out with a movie, or hosting a party.

Maximalist living room - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Maximalist living room

Maximalist Bathroom

They say that bathrooms help sell houses quickly, and in the case of a maximalist bathroom this is very true.  The maximalist bathroom will have all the latest designs in sinks and faucets, a high-end shower with multi-mode shower head and shower bench, a jetted tub, heated tile floors, bidet, and heated toilet seat.  It’s the ultimate in relaxation while completing your personal care routine.

Maximalist Clothing

Fashion is no exception when it comes to the maximalist aesthetic.  From clothing to shoes, there have been many movements in the fashion industry and it is ever-changing.  Researcher George Sproles from Purdue University called fashion an object, a process, and even a behavioral phenomenon and we can see the effects of this to this day. 

Maximalist Running Shoes

Maximalist running shoes tend to have more cushion, thicker soles, and higher heels than minimalist and standard running shoes.  This, according to researchers Wilhoite, Mutchler, Barry, and Li from Georgia Southern University, can actually reduce the force with which runners’ feet hit the ground and reduce the impact to knee and ankle joints.  There are also slight changes in joint angles, which can minimize joint injury from running and overuse.

Maximalist Clothing for Men

Maximalist clothing for men is definitely not your capsule wardrobe.  This aesthetic is for the fashion-oriented man, with layers of colors and patterns many would not be brave enough to wear.  Maximalist clothing for men is bold, edgy, and extravagant.

Get a visual look at the difference between minimalist and maximalist clothing in this informative video.

Maximalist Clothing for Women

Maximalist clothing for women is fast fashion, bold prints and colors, statement pieces, and lots of accessories.  It’s combining prints with prints, using clashing or matching colors, putting pieces together that are artsy and sophisticated.  Maximalist clothing for women includes high fashion, handmade, and custom pieces to create a look that’s just her.

Related Insights

What Is Between Maximalist and Minimalist?

A maximalist focuses on “more is more”, while a minimalist practices “less is more”.  Maximalists like collecting items while minimalists collect experiences.  In terms of colors, minimalists are neutral and maximalists are bold and bright.

What Is an Example of a Maximalist?

A maximalist is someone who lives a fancy life, owns a big place and drives an expensive car.  They have all the latest fashion, several pairs of shoes, and lots of accessories and jewelry.  Maximalists will have complete collections of items, memorabilia, and more.

Maximalist closet - Maximalist - Gone Minimal
Maximalist closet

Areas People Use And/or Would Like to Use Maximalism

I asked several friends/family, to list 3 areas of life they would like to or currently use maximalism. Here’s what I found out: 

Area of LifeTally of Family/Friends
Flower garden3
Vegetable garden2
Kitchen pantry3
Refrigerator (food)4

Other Resources:

The maximalist way of life has been around a very long time and is making its way back in opposition to minimalism.  From furniture to décor, collections to accessories, and even clothing, the maximalist practice is an interesting way to flaunt your creative side.  The only rule for maximalists is more is better.  Are you bold enough to give it a try?

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