How to do 'maximalist decor' without looking like a hoarder

Maximalism may be an electric look but without the right know-how it can soon feel like chaotic clutter rather than careful curation

compilation image showing colorful decorating ideas to support the maximalist decor trend
(Image credit: BHDM Design/Adam Kane Macchia| Future | Wayfair)

The maximalist decor trend is an unapologetically bold look that celebrates color and pattern to the extreme. 

With over 231.9 million views on TikTok and over 37k searches on Google, #maximalistdecor is most definitely making an impression the world over.

This expressive interior design trend is all about celebrating color and pattern in all its glorious forms to create an exuberantly vibrant scheme. Unlike the understated 'Quiet Luxury trend' this look is all about embracing excess – be it pattern, color, or statement design pieces, more is generally more. 

And while there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the maximalist trend there are recommended ways to finesse the look, to avoid your home feeling like a complete mishmash.

Maximalist decor trend: 7 essential style secrets

"It's important to consider the risk versus reward factor when combining design elements," says award-winning interior designer Dan Mazzarini, principal and creative director at BHDM Design

"You can be more subtle by playing with your bedding and pillows or, on the riskier side, you can mix different wallpaper patterns."

Here's how to do maximalist decor like an interior designer, with top tips and styling ideas for creating a pleasing maximalist scheme that feels curated rather than cluttered and chaotic.

1. Start with soft furnishings and accessories

Bedroom with patterned headboard, lots of colorful cushions and matching bedside lamps to support the maximalist decor trend

Maximalist-style Emma Headboard in Oak Leaves in Raspberry by Kelling Home

(Image credit: Kelling Design | Kelling Home)

Make a statement without having to make too much of a commitment by choosing maximalist accessories, from colorful lamps and lampshades to cushions and rugs in gorgeous patterns and bold tones.

"The biggest thing to consider is your personal tolerance for risk," says Dan. "Smaller touches are a great way to start. Try mixing bold colors and patterns with drapes for the cooler months, which you can take down for the summer to keep it easy-breezy."

"But if you’re longing for more of a David Hicks or Yves Klein-esque space, go for it! As a general rule, if you can do it in fashion you can do it in your room," says Dan with confidence.

 "Accessories are a cost-effective way of adding color and pattern and can be changed up with ease when you get bored," adds Emma Deterding, creative director and founder of interior design specialists Kelling Designs and Kelling Home

"Using colorful accessories is a great way to add a burst of color and can add a new lease of life to an existing sofa or armchair. For that maximalist feeling, remember to mix it up by layering different shades and patterns to get that dramatic, bold look."

Dan Mazzarini interior designer
Dan Mazzarini

Dan Mazzarini is an award-winning, bi-coastal interior designer. With a background in branding and retail design, for 10 years his designs helped define such brands as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. The breadth and depth of Dan’s work has been recognized with: Hospitality Design’s “Wave of the Future,” Traditional Home’s “New Trad,”, and “Designer of the Year” by Wayfair. 

2. Choose a cohesive color palette

maximalist decor style living room in an earthy tonal colour palette with layers of pattern

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

Not to say everything has to be one color but ensure there’s a common thread running throughout the entire room so nothing feels too jarring and out of place. For example, if you have a bold wallpaper with yellow in the pattern look to incorporate touches of yellow with accessories to extenuate the tone. 

"Using color, pattern, and texture in a bold and balanced way can not only transform a space, but it can also help to bring mood and atmosphere," says Emma.

"Using color can really help lift your mood and make you feel happier, after all, is there anything more joyous than a bright and zesty orange or green? While deep and darker colors will evoke a moodier, cozy, and intimate feeling that is often what clients look to create in a snug or dining room," says Emma. 

Speaking about the best bedroom paint colors and the best living room paint colors Emma explains: "Bedrooms and living rooms often want to be relaxing yet energizing, so brighter shades that help to uplift is what we'd opt for here." You could even try the latest trend for adding color to ceilings for a fully immersive scheme.

Interior designer Emma Deterding
Emma Deterding

Recently named among the Top 100 Interior Designers in the World, Emma's ability to offer a well-thought-out scheme for private clients has been honed over twenty-five years in the market. She has worked on numerous projects across the length and breadth of the country and abroad, from France to India. She enthusiastically embraces color and uses it to maximum effect, while always careful to be guided by her clients.

3. Make a style statement with walls

maximalist decor dining rom with blue patterned wallpaper and orange chairs

Westfield Residence by BHDM Design, Photography by Adam Kane Macchia

(Image credit: BHDM Design | Adam Kane Macchia)

An easy way to introduce an intentional touch of the maximalist trend to any room is to go bold with your walls. Choose from one of the latest wallpaper trends to indulge in a bold look to set the scene with confidence.  

"Whether you opt for a beautiful, bright paint color, or choose a wallpaper in a vivid tone and print, you can really transform a room quickly and easily. The key is to choose colors and patterns that you love and introduce it to all the walls as opposed to just a 'feature wall'," suggests Emma. 

To maintain a sense of cohesion, as already discussed, experts recommend choosing shades that complement your existing furniture and accessories but to take a more maximalist approach be a little braver with your color choices.

"To bring in that maximalist look, be sure to also use colors that clash. This way you'll ensure that even the most maximalist of schemes will remain balanced and feel harmonious."

4. Unapologetically layer pattern

Close up shot of pink patterned curtains hanging in front of a pink patterned wallpaper with a blue patterned vase on a woven side table to show maximalist decor

(Image credit: Future | Jan Baldwin)

When it comes to adding patterns, more is most definitely more to emulate this characterful trend – it's not one for the faint-hearted. "For me, a home is not a home without color and pattern," says Emma, who is clearly a devout fan of maximalist decor. 

To prevent the layered pattern from feeling too chaotic try to keep the color palette cohesive so that at least one main color is the thread that runs throughout every design aspect. From window treatments to bedding, cushions to rugs look to inject patterns wherever the opportunity arises. 

When it comes to soft furnishings look to choose traditional prints and patterns like stripes, chintzy florals, and animal prints but choose them in unexpected colors to give them an edge and make them feel fresh.

5. Add statement accent furniture pieces

colorful living room with colored furniture to chanel the maximalist decor trend. in style

Westfield Residence by BHDM Design, Photography by Adam Kane Macchia

(Image credit: BHDM Design | Adam Kane Macchia)

Look to add on-trend furniture pieces to enliven your decorating scheme and achieve a maximalist look in style. Just keep in mind that buying furniture is always an investment, so don't simply buy a color because it happens to be a trending color, choose a color that you will love for years to come – just allow the maximalist trend to embolden your confidence to commit. 

"When it comes to your furniture pieces, these will live with you for a long time, if not a lifetime, so it's important to pick pieces that you truly love," advises Emma. 

"Accent chairs are a great way to not only create extra seating but to introduce color and pattern. Choose a style and print that will complement any existing upholstery, and opt for contrasting piping to help tie your color scheme together."

6. Balance old with new

Living room with pink eclectic maximalist decor

(Image credit: Wayfair)

The best way to embrace the trend without your home looking like a house that has merely hoarded furniture and trinkets from a bygone era you should incorporate modern and contemporary pieces too, to break up the vintage pieces that are so highly favored for the look.

A vintage furniture piece nestled on top of a maximalist print rug signifies that the scheme is intentional, not merely a hangover from days gone by. 

A contemporary, abstract table lamp placed on a second-hand sideboard again shows that you have curated your choices to blend old and new, vintage with contemporary – and to great effect.

7. Create a feature of your joinery

living area with a wall of bespoke shelving used a home office with the joinery painted in blue to support a maximalist decor approach to decorating

(Image credit: Future | Alecia Neo)

Makeover a piece of existing joinery, whether your best-sourced second hand furniture or your IKEA Billy bookcase hack by doing a spot of upcycling to give it a new lease of life to suit the maximalist vibe. 

"If you have any built-in joinery, then try livening them up by adding paint or wallpaper to the backs of the shelving" suggests Emma. "You could use the same paint or paper as your walls or choose different shades and prints for added interest."

"If you have storage cabinets or are lucky enough to have a full-sized drinks cabinet, paint a mural on the insides of the doors to create a focal point when you're entertaining," suggests Emma. "You could get an artist in to do this, or create your own with your family for that extra, personal touch."

Tamara Kelly
Lifestyle Editor

Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 19 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of, she has spent the last 16 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.

With a keen eye for the latest interior trends, there's not a lot she doesn't know about home decor – whether it’s what colour we should be painting our living rooms next season, or if the latest 'must-have' buys are actually worth investing in.

A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interiors trend events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.