How to Enjoy Maximalism at Home

while keeping it from looking overwhelming or cluttered

Tip #1: Go maximalist with your plants

Layering and stacking plants of various shapes, shades, and sizes can create visual interest that’s striking, but not at all overwhelming.

The various shades of green that are found in different plants harmonize naturally with one another, while each plant’s unique characteristics combined create a textured, jungle-like effect that really dials up the depth.

Play with your pots! Keep your maximalist plant game in check by balancing exotic-looking leaves like on a ZZ plant with an earthy, stone-made vessel and by pairing smooth-lined leaves like on a snake-leaf plant with bold-toned, geometric shapes.

Tip #2: Curate some chaos

Curated chaos might sound counterintuitive to avoiding clutter, but for the mess-minded maximalist, finding the sweet spot between organized and cluttered can bring through some real magic.

Stack your books and magazines in a few different piles on your coffee table or a floating shelf. Organize each pile symmetrically and by colour for cohesiveness, but then mix the pile heights and placements at random to create a statement. For an added touch of boldness, weight your stacks with a potted plant or sculpted candle for height and a vintage magnifying glass or weighted beads for texture.

An additional trick for bringing clean lines to quirky paper piles is to connect the colour schemes to other elements in the space. This could be the colour or texture of the frame around a piece of art or the detailing on a light fixture.

Tip #3: Do mixy matchy, but not matchy matchy

Large-scale, graphic-printed wallpaper can be super fun for a home office or spare room, but it doesn’t mean that every other detail needs to be perfectly matched or muted entirely to work.

It’s totally okay to bring in more than one bold pattern or colour scheme to the same space if you want to. When it’s done right, mixing your maximalism can actually create an environment that’s inspiring and joyful for work, play, or just relaxing.

The key to maximalist mixing is to choose a colour from your boldest pattern, and tweak the tone ever-so-slightly and include it in other areas of the space. This could mean that it’s the paint colour of an accent wall, a detail on a throw blanket, or a shade in an oversized piece of art. Doing maxy-matchy colour lines instead of matchy-matchy will bridge the boldness of your space in a cool, calming way while making the colours pop in all the right places.

So go ahead and let your citrine-coloured wall fly freely! And bring in those brass-armed sconces and swivel chair in black bouclé while you’re at it.

Tip #4: Bring on the layers

Layering different textures, colours, and materials is a unique way to bring maximalism into a space without it feeling cluttered, and an easy place to test this is in bed.

Start with smooth, crisp cotton sheets and fold them overtop a sateen-quilted or linen-woven coverlet. Layer this with a turkish-style blanket and a thin-striped patterned or plain-coloured duvet. For a clean, uncluttered look, keep your colour scheme similar here, but play around with textures.

Finish with a waffle-comb throw blanket and long, lumbar velvet throw pillow in a dark, contrasting colour. Velvet is luxurious, and has a weightiness to it that makes a bed feel cozy while tying everything together. Shag and fur-textured pillows also work, but I personally love velvet because its soft, rich texture is perfect for bedtime vibes.

Stack your sleeping and top pillows two-by-two, and add one oversized or two decorative pillows to make a bold but clean statement. No 50 pillows on the bed needed!

Joanna Smeeth, Founder & Principal Designer

photo credits:  Jules Lee