When it comes to maximalist patterns in decor, more is more. Maximalist design refers to using big, bold patterns and layering tons of color combinations, textures, and eclectic energy. In other words, the bigger the better. It’s all about breaking rules and mixing prints, colors, and styles that typically don’t “go together.”

After spending way too much time in our homes over the past few years, maximalist design is exactly what’s needed to bring energy, excitement, and inspiration into a home. So let’s have some fun with it and dive into ways you can incorporate maximalist patterns into your space.

1. Start with One Corner of Your Home

It can be overwhelming to think about incorporating maximalism into an entire room, let alone an apartment. It’s best to start with one corner of your home and then work your way out from there. Have an area that’s feeling a bit dull and underutilized? Make that your focal point and build around it.

For example, if you have a neutral chair that needs a bit of life, pair it with a bright throw blanket, mismatching pillows, and an end table with bright books and a vintage-style lamp.

2. Build off of a Neutral Foundation 

While maximalism is everything but neutral, it’s important to start with a simple base and build a colorful canvas around that piece. If you have a beige chair, light rug, or an end table that’s a neutral color, use that as your base. From there, add color, pattern, and texture with pillows, lamps, art, and throws.

If you want to incorporate maximalism into an entire room, the eye needs to have a focal point to keep the room from appearing cluttered and disorganized. Pick a statement piece—such as a bright-colored sofa, a wall of artwork, an array of plants, or a colorful bookcase—and build decor and furnishings around that centerpiece without detracting from the room’s primary focus.

3. Weave in Funky Lighting

Lighting can be rather boring sometimes, but maximalist style offers a great opportunity to incorporate some fun pieces that bring personality into a space. Visit your local thrift shop and look for vintage lamps or anything that appears out of the ordinary. Pair it with something bright and cheerful such as this hot pink lamp shade or this cheetah print shade from Etsy, or check out this flower-shaped lamp in lime or this cheerful table lamp from Urban Outfitters. Other options include this asymmetrical lamp from Anthropologie or this brushed brass lamp from Article.

4. Opt for Creative vs. Cluttered

As with any decor style, it can be easy to get carried away. If you feel your space is beginning to feel a bit too cluttered with contrasting colors and textures, move some items around to bring in some negative space. Rather than filling a coffee table with items or sofa with pillows and throws, move some items around to give the brightest items some breathing room. If you have a lot of colorful pillows in a variety of patterns, arrange them throughout your apartment—such as on barstools, beds, and chairs—rather than cluttering them together on the couch. This will help lift the room and make it feel lighter and more comfortable rather than cluttered and dense.A living living with an orange sectional couch against the far wall, which has a series of pictures hanging on it. To the right is a house plant and ottoman, and to the left, a stool, smaller ottoman and a bookshelf with plants on it partially in view. A quote reads: "If you want to incorporate maximalism into an entire room, the eye needs to have a focal point to keep the room from appearing cluttered and disorganized."

5. Be Generous with Color

Don’t be afraid to mix contrasting colors such as purple and red or black and navy blue. Maximalism is all about breaking barriers, so if it feels right, who cares if the colors don’t typically “go together?” If the colors begin to feel overwhelming, pare them back with light-colored accessories or artwork to break up contrasting color schemes.

Additionally, the maximalism style tends to bring in darker colors and patterns such as cheetah print, dark gold, mahogany, black, and rich green. Maximalist design works best when a balance exists between light and dark, so remember to balance out the colors so the room doesn’t feel too uniform.

6. Create a Wall of Art

The best way to create a gallery wall with maximalism patterns is by mixing frame sizes, subjects, and color schemes. Etsy is a great place to start, with wall decor such as these Matisse prints and or these vintage botanical prints. Consider pairing artwork with geometric wall panels from Target or these hanging ceramic balloons from Sage and Sill.

7. Books are a Must Have

If you own a lot of books, especially books in a range of colors, this is their time to shine. Colorful books are a great addition to end tables and can be paired with lamps and other items on bookshelves. If you’re not a book owner but want to weave them into your decor, consider brightly colored books such as these “Real Books by Color” on Etsy.

8. Incorporate Tons of Texture 

Weaving a wide range of textured materials into a space is one of the best ways to bring warmth and comfort into a home. Experiment with a wide range of textures you wouldn’t normally pair together, such as velvet pillows on a leather couch and wooden tables over plush rugs. Mixing materials helps make the space more interesting and inviting, so don’t be afraid to explore mixing textiles.

To add some extra flavor, consider throw blankets such as this Tisha throw blanket from Anthropologie, this orange Arllow Abstract throw blaket from YAYA & CO, or this Somerton cotton throw from Wayfair. For pillows, check out this green cheetah pillow from Overstock, this sun-shaped pillow from Target, this exotic leopard pillow from Etsy, this pleated pillow, or this brightly-colored Darby pillow from Anthropologie.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Bring in Your Personality 

Always remember: when designing a room, come from a personality-driven perspective. Bring in spice and character to tell the story of your life, but make it authentic. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, more texture, funky lighting, and unique pieces. Be daring, break boundaries, and have some fun with it!

Things to Consider

If you’re in the market for a new apartment, Draper and Kramer’s spacious and luxurious apartments offer the perfect canvas to try out maximalist design patterns. Visit our website to browse our full selection of apartment properties today.

Looking at the corner of a living room. On the right is a white panel wall with pictures hanging over a navy chair and brass lamp. On the left is a nearly full bookcase atop a white dresser.

After spending way too much time in our homes over the past few years, maximalist design is exactly what’s needed to bring energy, excitement, and inspiration into a home.

Keep Tabs on Us

Industry updates, insights, and Draper and Kramer news—all delivered straight to your inbox.