Above, the dining area of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island home (as featured in Dwell) goes maximalist with its eclectic combination of color, shape, and juxtaposition of vintage and modern décor.
Unlike preferences for other décor styles, a love for maximalism seems to be something that you’re born with. A person who gets inspired from clear, open spaces would find the bold colors, opulent materials, and fanciful silhouettes most commonly associated with this style to be chaotic. Even if you’re a strong type-A minimalist, you might be surprised at how maximalism can still work with your décor without feeling overwhelming. Instead of thinking of it as an over-the-top complete look, try incorporating a statement accessory. Against a stylishly bare wall, a single fanciful decorative flourish will draw the eye — and, in the process, enhance the “white space” effect of the aforementioned wall. Love traditional décor? A maximalist accent makes classic elements feel a little less stuffy.
Whether you’re curious about this whimsical style or are a born-and-bred maximalist, here are a few of our favorite pieces that make a statement in any space:
Stylized Asian-inspired motifs were a favorite of Hollywood Regency-era maximalists, but they’re also appropriate in traditional décor schemes. In shining white bronze, this look is a low-risk way to incorporate a maximalist touch.
Can’t quite commit to a bold new color (or wallpaper) on your walls? Go big with a richly hued rug in a pattern that pops. This 100% silk rug has a brilliant mix of purple, orange, and green in a stunning Ikat pattern.
Whether you opt for a glamorous chandelier or dazzling table lamps, Murano glass always adds a touch of maximalist whimsy to a room. You can focus strictly on form by choosing all-white or clear Murano glass, or go big with a design that has a rainbow of hues (like this gorgeous set).
Similarly, colorful glass accents also get the maximalist message across — as does the unique classical etching on this antique mirror. Like the andirons, this is another piece that bridges the gap of traditional and maximalism.
It’s not just color and pattern that convey a maximalist feel. Luxe textures also do the trick, like in the rich chenille teal upholstery that covers each seat in this vintage chair set (which also features lacquer, another maximalist touch).
Maximalist interiors usually have extensive art collections, but you don’t have to limit the artful elements to the wall. Look for large screens that have bold motifs, like this elegant vintage screen.