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Interior Design: Maximise your living space

After years of minimalism in home design, why not break the rules with some liberating maximalism, suggests Vicky Sanderson

Last month I explored minimalism in interiors, and now I’m going to do a 360-degree turn and look at maximalism as a design concept. I can’t say that this style has ever appealed to me in its entirety – too much ‘busyness’ unnerves me. However , take certain elements of the look and it can be playfully charming.

One of 2018’s biggest interior trends, maximalism is defined by its use of bold colour , detailed patterns, metallics and luxurious textures. The style is fun, rule-breaking, exciting, even outrageous, a liberating break from the more minimalist, country-chic styles that have been the ‘norm’ of interior design for some years.

Given its overbearing nature, the thought of embracing a maximalist look can be daunting – where to begin? Do you need to wallpaper every inch of your living room? Immediately buy 20 clashing pictures? Invest in velvet curtains?

Unless you’re very confident in the look you want to achieve, I’d advise against this… Start by introducing subtle elements of maximalism to your living space in the following ways:

  • Reflection: I’m a strong believer in Coco Chanel’s observation that “an interior is a natural projection of the soul”. Maximalism invites you to express yourself fully through your décor choices, so it’s important to think about who you are and what you love, before incorporating these preferences into your home. For example, if you love nature and wildlife, make this a common theme in your interiors – explore greens, blues, burnt oranges, animal and floral prints
  • Wallpaper: You will very rarely see a maximalist interior without the use of wallpaper . Whether you opt for a modern geometric design, bold floral pattern or b irds filling your room, the use of wallpaper will instantly jazz up an area
  • Colour clash: Try mixing up purple and yellow cushions, or green and pink throws over darker occasional furniture for added impact
  • Mix materials: Where other interior styles promote sticking to a certain theme, maximalism is very much the rule-breaker of interior design. If you’ve fallen in love with a pink velvet occasional chair but hesitate as it doesn’t ‘go’ with your neutral cotton three-piece suite, it doesn’t matter buy it, sit in it and enjoy it
  • Display trinkets: Rather than worry about keeping your surfaces free from clutter and ‘odds and ends’ as in a minimalist interior , proudly display your trinkets and mementos from holidays and special events to give your room character
  • Get creative with artwork: When it comes to choosing artwork for your interiors, it is often a very considered decision. Is it the right size? Do the colours complement the colour scheme? Is it the right frame? With maximalist décor you don’t need to worry – any size, frame, theme goes – mix up prints freely and to your heart’s content. The only thing that matters is that each piece speaks to you in some way
  • Go green: Maximalism loves greenery, and the more the better . Mix up trailing ivy with potted succulents, wild cacti displays and free-standing palms and yucca. Real, fake or a combination of both will work
  • Rugs and cushions: Layer up different colours and textures, throw rugs over the sides of armchairs – go crazy with added comfort…

At its heart, maximalism is all about self-expression and not being afraid to experiment and say ‘yes’ to everything that catches your fancy. So have fun with it and remember , in this instance, more is more.

Scent of the month

Rose by Maddi Alexander

Why wait for your garden roses to bloom to enjoy the soft floral fragrance of this classic flower? Relax and unwind with Maddi Alexander's Rose room diffuser, made from 100 percent ethically sourced, high-grade essential oils, beautifuly combining delicate rose, pink peppercorn and cardamom.

Ideal for creating a calm space, the scent evocates a spa-like environment and reflects Maddi Alexander's belief that its products should support women's wellbeing.

Made in England, the unique wooden, flower shaped diffuser is also a chic and stylish home accessory,

£30 for 100ml, from: ( 

Five of the best spring home accessories

1) Graham & Brown Layered Meadow Landscape Printed Canvas: VERY, £39.99 (

2) Spring wreath: Underwood & Co, £35 (

3) GreenGate Hanging Egg Ornament, eryl White/Pink: Fine Nordic, £4.99 each (

4) Chunky Knit Merino Round Cushion (Mink): MIZZKNITS, £43.50 (

5) Speckled Gold Mug Range: Dunelm, £5 each (

Find out more Pinterest: (

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