Image: Donna Griffith | Story: Feminine Glam Home
How to get that more-is-definitely-more style
Minimalism is great and all, but there comes a time in your life — and definitely on your Instagram feed — when you need to bust out of that tasteful beige box. Enter maximalism, a design trend that is the antithesis of Scandi-approved monochrome chic.
It's colour, it's eccentricity, it's cheekiness, it's an OTT nod to the kind of decor you'd see in a British stately home mixed with an eye for unusual objects and juxtapositions. In the words of interior designer Melissa Rufty, "Maximalism in design is much like that friend who is spirited and daring, who likes to make an entrance and doesn't apologize for it. The friend that's a bit outspoken but you appreciate her/him for it!"
We tasked the New Orleans-based designer (who has basically trademarked this trend, with a Southern twist, of course) for her top tips on achieving this look in your own home.
1. Be brave.
"Check your intimidation at the door. Successful maximalism is not for the faint of heart. But don't go overboard — knowing when to stop is equally important. Be careful not to sing every note you know. Pick your moments. It's a harmony!"
Image: Kerri McCaffety
2. Start small.
"Powder rooms are a great place to experiment with maximalism. They are like a little jewelry box for the home. You can use that pricey wallpaper since you have less ground to cover. You can pack a punch more cost effectively!"
3. Think in layers.
"For me, maximalism is more about the layering process — using wallpaper, pattern, texture and a mix of eras all in perfect harmony. For example, I love to use Louisiana-based Becky Vizard antique pillows peppered in to achieve that more is more "acquired" feel. I find that colour and pattern become less trendy when surrounded by timeless pieces, oriental rugs, old moody portraits, wood patina… providing a counter balance to the over the top moments. They help make those moments feel deliberate and conscious rather than trendy and garish."
Image: Megan Thompson
4. Amp it up.
"If you're looking for some baby steps, try one of these: Take a mix of artworks and create a gallery wall on a patterned wallpaper; drape an entrance with fabric to create drama; use nailheads and trim wherever possible; consider lacquered paints to rev up an already impactful colour. I like to use Fine Paints of Europe for that."
Image: Megan Thompson
5. Start with what you've got.
"Almost any colour palette works for maximalism. My advice would be to find the palette already existing (in an old rug, art or even in nature) and build off of it. If you see it already works together somewhere else, you'll be less intimidated by applying it to your space."