When Minimalism Gets Boring: How To Decorate To The Max

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colorful patterned pillowes sofa close up

Sometimes minimalism is just too… minimal. Go bold with maximum design ideas meant to inject life in your decor!


A big thing in decoration these days is minimalism. I guess it’s about keeping our spaces and our minds free from too many distractions, of keeping as much clear space as possible in our homes.

But sometimes minimalism in decor, just as minimalism in anything else, gets, well, boring. There are only so many variations of black, grey and white, so many ways to place a low square couch, so many pieces of modern art.

So, how about embracing the big, the bold and the maximized? How about telling the world about your varied tastes, your big personality and your daring design flair?

To the max is your new motto!

Max patterns

Add a big effect to any room by going bold with pattern–either one colorful pattern or several different patterns put together.

Patterns are great because there are, literally, millions of ways to display them. There’s tile and stone; there’s wallpapers and stencils; there’s fabric and carpets. You can add pattern to walls or counters or couches or floors, even ceilings.

Tropical Bedroom by Kailua Kona General Contractors GM Construction, Inc.

I know that basic fashion advice tells you to avoid mixing patterns–and you would assume that this also applies to decoration. But there are plenty of instances where mixing and matching patterns, both on clothing and in home design, has a stunning and bold effect that just happens to work.

The secret is to dare patterns, throw conventional wisdom out the window, and just have fun. Choose two different styles of patterned tiles and install them together. Put up wallpaper in layers with different patterns. Put a flower pattern cushion on a pinstripe couch. Try an ikat bed cover in a room with floral wallpaper.

There is no end to the possibilities of playing with patterns!

Max colors

A little like patterns, colors can make big, bold statements. And when I say color, I mean the bright and the visible: orange, yellow, red, pink, green! And not just in little dabs on cushions or seat covers either; you can go full-on with a total look.

Farmhouse Home Office by New York Photographers Rikki Snyder

Sometimes what you need is an orange living room or a fuchsia bedroom, a yellow kitchen or a green bathroom. Color makes a big statement, and you really only one…

But if you like, you can also mix and match colors for another kind of bold, maximalist decor. To hell with the whole “one focus color at a time”; just imagine your room as a blank canvas, and do whatever you like. If it’s using red, orange and hot pink together, then do that. (I have a duvet cover that uses these colors, and it’s gorgeous.)

Max art

Your home is not a museum. You don’t need to place every piece of art on its own, surrounded by empty space. Build a collage of your favourite art. Line up a dozen frames of different styles and colors on a wall or three.

Go big with wall-sized murals, or ask an artist friend to unleash his or her creativity on a blank wall in your living room.

Traditional Nursery by Easton Interior Designers & Decorators Decorating Den Interiors- Corporate Headquarters

Take out your old photo albums from their dusty boxes and display them all over your home instead. Vary the frame size and style for more visual punch.

Alternate between words and images, between abstract and figurative. You don’t need to stick to a single style to make a space beautiful.

Max furniture

You could go with the low-profile, minimal kind of furniture, or try something bolder. Take a second look at that ornamented antique armoire or the beautiful Chesterfileld with elaborate wood edges.

Forget about matching sets: how about a table surrounded by four different chairs? A fabric sofa matched to a leather armchair? This is the perfect way to furnish your home sustainably: buy floor demos or used items from the neighbourhood and build your own maximalist home with flair and originality.

Max out your life!

Great home decor doesn’t have to be minimal or self-effacing. Sometimes what a house really needs is an injection of style through a maximal approach to design. Be bold with patterns, colors, art and furniture, and say goodbye to the same old, boring minimal designs.

How about you? Do you like to keep things simple when decorating, or do you prefer going to the max with bold ideas? Let us know in the comments!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.