Maximalist Decor: Where Chinoiserie Patterns Take Center Stage
What Is Maximalist Decor?
Maximalism is all about the celebration of excess! Think bold, artistic patterns eclectically mixed with layers of colours, textures, and meaningful objects that all come together to create a beautifully curated expression of your tastes and personality.
My maximalist turquoise chinoiserie bedroom
What I love most about maximalist interior designs is how unique and personal they are! This decor trend is perfect for those who really want their homes to be an extension of themselves and have some fun with their interiors!
Where Did Maximalism Begin?
Maximalist interiors can be found throughout history, with the 18th Century experiencing a huge surge in this type of decor along with the rise of Chinoiserie wallpapers! Toward the end of the 1800’s, the Victorians wanted to show off their wealth by displaying their luxurious treasures, decors, and collections, and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is a perfect example of this.
Maximalist interior inside of Brighton Pavilion
Full of beautiful Chinoiserie wallpapers, ornate artworks and furniture, and even an entirely pink hallway and Grand Staircase, Brighton Pavilion is truly a maximalist heaven! I was lucky enough to go on a private tour earlier this year; you can read all about the amazing experience here!
The Grand Staircase featuring pink chinoiserie wallpaper at Brighton Pavilion
This era is one of the main sources of inspiration for modern-day maximalism but it can be found even further back during the Baroque and Rococo periods with their elaborate and ornate styles of architecture, art, and design.
French-Baroque interior of 'The Gold Room' inside Marie Antoinette's private chambers at the Palace of Versaille - Image credit Chateau de Versaille
How You Can Get The Look
Maximalist interiors are full of fun, colour, and really bring the ‘wow factor’, but it's essential to distinguish maximalist decor from clutter.
A true maximalist space should be an organised chaos, where every item, though decorative, serves a purpose. Nothing is there by accident, making it a well-thought-out design choice.
Some of the key elements that go into a maximalist decor style are…
- Mixed and contrasting patterns
- Bright, bold colours
- Eye-catching wallpaper
- Layered fabrics and soft furnishings
- Ornate accents (like chandeliers or tasseled lamps)
- Statement pieces
I am a colour and pattern lover through and through, I even created a pink and green maximalist bedroom for my daughter Bonnie!
Bonnie's pink and green maximalist bedroom
I combined some beautiful contrasting floral patterned wallpapers from my Harlequin collection with some layered fabrics and tasseled lamps to bring her vision to life. You can take a look at the room in full here.
An easy way to ensure your design is cohesive whilst using layers of colours, patterns, and textures is to echo the main colours from the boldest statement in the room and use them on the soft furnishings.
Sophie Robinson's set for the Ideal Home Show is a perfect example of this! She used my Florence wallpaper and incorporated the darker blue, peachy orange, and blossom pink colours to use on the seating, soft furnishings, and lamp shades to create a vibrant and bright maximalist room without causing any clashes!
Spreading Joy Through Pattern And Colour
Maximalist wallpaper, fabrics, and homewares from the Sophie Robinson x Harlequin Collection
I love this new collection so much as it not only matches my ethos of using colour and patterns to spread joy and happiness but it's also a collaboration with Harlequin! One of my favourite designs from the collection has to be Woodland Floral, and it looks absolutely gorgeous in Sophie's kitchen!
Image by Sophie Robinson of her maximalist kitchen
If you’re not quite ready to give up your minimalist-style home just yet, you can always start small with some colourful prints or a cushion covered in patterned fabric and work your way up to bigger and bolder visions. You may even end up transforming your entire home!
No matter how you decide to pursue this beautifully bold decor trend, the most important thing is to have fun with it!