When it comes to my design aesthetic, I like to say my heart wants maximalism and my mind craves minimalism. I love the idea of everything being organized and in its place and a minimalist space done well can look so serene. I also love patterns and prints and color and feel you can never quite have enough throws, pillows, plants, candles, and beautiful trinkets. Last year I moved in with my boyfriend after living alone for quite some time. I’ve tried to take his design preferences into account and while he doesn’t have many opinions on the matter, he does make it clear he prefers minimalism. This got me thinking that other people must have run into this: how to design your home to please both a minimalist and maximalist? I’m going to share 5 ways to merge and make the best of both these design worlds!
If you aren’t familiar with the terms maximalism and minimalism as they relate to interior design, you might have already guessed that they’re opposites. Maximalism is a growing trend and is characterized by rooms full of color and patterns and often features playful elements like floor to ceiling gallery walls or collections on display. Minimalism follows a less is more approach, items serve a function and decor and color are usually kept to a minimum. In all honesty it is pretty challenging to completely merge these two ideas because they are so different!
For the tips below I’m focusing more on the feelings each aesthetic hopes to inspire, maximalist spaces are full of stimulation and escape from the mundane and minimalism inspires order, peace and rest. While you aren’t going to be able to create one room that perfectly satisfies minimalist and maximalist style at the same time, the tips I cover below are helpful ways to find balance between the two. Whether you live in an amazing city with many roommates full of different design desires, or you’re like me and paired with a partner with a different preferred aesthetic, I hope you find them helpful!
Group Items Together
I live in a town home and all the windows are on the front wall so I did this with my plants to get sunlight but I love the effect! It makes a big statement which is key in maximalist style but it looks organized, contained, and tidy, ideal for minimalism.
Style with a Cart
A bar cart is perfect for styling your heart out and arranging and rearranging little trinkets and pretty glasses. You can add books and candles and antique trays and because it’s on wheels, move it from room to room when you feel like it. It’s pretty much the perfect item for maximalist styling in a contained minimalist way.
Use Statement Pieces
This is sure to please a minimalist because less is more. The image below shows how one well chosen piece can make a big statement! It looks clean and crisp and clutter free AND the fact that the mirror is massive is a fun way to incorporate maximalist style.
Play with Color
Painting an accent wall or incorporating color in a necessary piece like the fridge below is a great way to create a unique look and give a space life! Even with just a few decor items the space below looks styled and quirky but crisp and clean at the same time.
Add a Touch of the Unexpected
In the living room below, initially your line of sight is drawn to the simple sofa (no throw pillows!) and artwork. The unexpected touch is the clever use of wall space to display books and art on high shelves. The decor in the living area is mostly minimal but the shelf style is playful and fun.