How to nail the ‘maximalism’ trend in your home

An essential guide to embracing clashing patterns, mixed textures and quirky accessories to make your home as individual as you are.
Loading the player...

While minimalism involves paring back your home décor, the rising trend of maximalism is the complete opposite – instead you’re encouraged to embrace an explosion of colour, prints and layering.

But there’s an art to creating this over-the-top style. Award-winning interior designer Greg Natale (gregnatale.com) shares his top tips for nailing your own lavish look.

Layer upon layer

Take your room apart before putting it together, says interior Greg. “The first layer is your shell – walls, floor and ceiling – so it’s important to consider the right treatments, carpet, tiles, wallpaper or paint colour. The next layer would be curtains. That’s followed by sofas, rugs and lounge chairs. Then do your smaller pieces before the final layer of accessories such as flowers and books.”

Start small

Begin by choosing a favourite piece of art or furniture, then use that to base your concept around. “This tells you what to do with the whole process,” says Greg. “Create a mood board with a theme to which you can always come back. It’s important you don’t try to over complicate or try to reinvent the wheel, but look back here for inspiration instead.

Look up

“It’s a fifth wall and is so underutilised, people forget about the potential their ceiling has – it’s a blank canvas,” says Greg. “We use CSR Gyprock to create interesting recesses, bulkheads, mouldings and cornices. These can be painted to make the ceiling pop.”

The power of three

“I always suggest incorporating three patterns, as three looks better than two,” advises Greg. “The third thing balances out the others. The same goes for textures. For example, I love velvet so if you wanted to combine textures, start with velvet, adding clay and then silk.”

Rule of the ages

Want to mix and match trends? “Stick to three different eras,” says Greg. “In my apartment I’ve stuck to the 1970s, contemporary and custom. I’ve got some vintage ’70s pieces as well as beautiful contemporary pieces and some custom pieces to round it out.

Building blocks

To avoid clashing rather than complimenting, start with a solid foundation. “I’m a huge advocate for mixing different styles of patterns,” says Greg. “For example, if I’m designing a collection, I’d start with a foundation, usually a geometric, I’d mix it with an organic pattern and then finish off with a plain or block colour. You want things to complement each other and opposites attract.”

Related stories