From muted Scandi hues to clean lines, minimalism has become the byword for chic interior design, but it seems as though change is finally afoot.
After years of stark white walls, the design pendulum is swinging back around as people look to bring fun to the forefront of their living spaces with designs focusing on colour, pattern and texture.
Call it a reaction to lockdown and the need to create a sanctuary that’s free from rules, or merely a desire for bold self-expression, but maximalism is making a comeback in homes across the world. But, what exactly is maximalism, and how can you make it work in your home?
A far cry from minimalism, maximalist decor follows a more-is-more approach that encourages you to put your own spin on a room, filling it with intentionally mismatched items, vibrant hues, clashing prints and opulent materials.
At its core, it’s about allowing your personality to shine through your interiors so you can create a space that’s unique to you and produces that instant wow-factor of surprising elements that guests might not expect.
If you’re daydreaming of a maximalist home but you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and plaster your walls with kitschy wallpaper, the best thing to do is try it in small doses first using accessories.
Luckily, there are plenty of extra AF homeware items on the market that can help you achieve maximum results without committing to a complete overhaul.
To save you from hours of scrolling, we’ve rounded up the best maximalist homeware ideas to invest in that are nothing if not cheerful, testing everything from eccentric knick-knacks to statement lights and more on their quality and ability to brighten up any room.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Camille Gressier Textiles tiger pink woven throw
Throws can be used as either a defence against the cold or purely as decorative pieces, but this oversized style manages to do both incredibly well. Designed by French print designer Camille Gressier, it features a bold tiger motif in bright orange against a background of muted pink, making it a great way to add interest to any room. The woven throw is also made from 100 per cent cotton, so it’s super-soft to the touch, and we also love the subtle fringe edging which adds to its craft-driven appeal.
It’s ideal for adding an extra layer of comfort and texture to your living space, whether you choose to swaddle your sofa with it, use it as a cosy bedspread or hang it as wall art – which is why we’ve chosen it as our best buy.
Buy now £139.00, Iamfy.co
Beverly Hills bath runner
Think maximalism is for living rooms alone? Think again – plush bath rugs are a great way to add some flair to your bathroom too. Proving that art isn’t just for your walls, this runner is just as pretty as it is practical; the tufted sunburst design in a vibrant mix of minty greens and white promises to put a smile on your face each morning, while the extra-long shape means you can splash away in the tub without fear of stray bubbles
Crafted from 100 per cent cotton, it also feels satisfyingly thick under your feet, helping to create a luxury bathing experience every time. We also love that every piece from Peachy Parrot is ethically handmade in small batches by artisan producers using all-natural materials, and wings its way to you in eco-friendly packaging.
Buy now £44.00, Peachyparrot.com
Gold octopus wine bottle holder
If you like a tipple, put your favourite drink on display with this gold octopus bottle holder. Crafted from resin and coated in shimmering gold, the quirky aquatic creature promises to add a playful touch of glamour to your dining table and is sure to be a talking point at your first post-lockdown dinner party.
The perfect accessory to be displayed on a shelf or bar cart, the octopus doesn’t have to hold onto just wine, as it’s just as effective at cradling a more awkwardly-shaped bottle of whisky or gin.
Buy now £29.95, Audenza.com
Maggie circles wall mirror
For those looking for a striking mirror that will get everyone talking, this circular style from Perch and Parrow is a must-have. A show-stopper of epic proportions, it’s composed of a series of individual circular mirrors framed with antique gold for a retro-inspired look that makes a stunning focal point to any room. The mirror can be hung horizontally or vertically and, while we think it would look best in an entranceway for all to see, it would work just as well in a living room or bedroom.
Buy now £220.00, Perchandparrow.com
La demoiselle poster
While art prints can make an impact on their own, creating a gallery wall made up of clashing styles and a whirlwind of colour is key to maximalist style and Desenio has a huge range of high-quality spanning a number of different themes, from pieces inspired by the natural world to graphic posters.
Tapping into the abstract interiors trend for 2021, this illustration of a woman drawn in purple surrounded by pink flowers is one of our top picks owing to its fun and contemporary feel. Suitable for any space, it comes in three different sizes and you can choose to add a frame – in black, white or light wood – for just £9.95 extra.
Buy now £14.95, Desenio.co.uk
Courthouse x DOIY collaboration Apollo vase gold
Love history and daring interior design? Look no further than this glossy gold vase that’s inspired by ancient Greek statues. An exclusive collaboration between Courthouse Interiors and homeware brand DOIY, the vase will never fail to impress amongst any interior scheme, whether you need to liven up your Zoom background or inject some fun into your WFH view.
A modern nod to antiquity, it proves that a vase can be so much more than a vessel to hold your flowers. This one is bold enough to make a statement all on its own.
Buy now £45.00, Courthouseinteriors.com
Larger wobster table lamp
Every maximalist home needs a playful lamp in its decorating arsenal and this one from Pooky promises to turn the style dial right up.
Appropriately called the “wobster”, the lamp is certainly an eye-catching piece with a statuesque base made up of tiered bubbles that are finished with a shiny orange lacquer. It’s available in two different sizes and, because the shades are sold separately, you can pick the perfect one to suit your interior style. One of our favourites is the marbled paper shade in blue sesia (£63, Pooky.com), which creates a colourful contrast to brighten up your living space.
Buy now £149.00, Pooky.com
Velvet tiger cushions
A true maximalist knows that any sofa or armchair should never be left bare but no ordinary cushion will do. Perfect for adding a bit of extravagance to your lounge area, we love these vibrant cushions that are made from soft velvet and embellished with intricate hand-appliqued tiger designs. Plump and luxurious, each one comes complete with a sumptuous feather-filled pad. The only problem? We can’t decide what colour to get ours in. The cushions come in four lively hues – yellow, teal, red and grey – and we love them all equally.
Buy now £45.00, Grahamandgreen.co.uk
The verdict: Maximalist homeware
We loved Camille Gressier’s tiger print throw for bringing a touch of contemporary extravagance to any room. A truly unique piece, it doesn’t come cheap but because it’s so eye-catching and versatile, we think it’s well worth investing in. If you’re looking to spend a little less, we were also really impressed with Peachy Parrot’s bath mat runner and Audenza’s octopus bottle holder – both of which promise to liven up your living space and look much more expensive than they really are.
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