For years, interior design has been dominated by cool Scandinavian minimalism. There’ll always be a place in design for clean lines and a stripped back approach. Sometimes, however, the eyes and heart need to be fed more. Which is why we’re delighted that maximalism has made a triumphant return in 2018.

Maximalism is fundamentally an aesthetic of excess. It is perhaps best summarised as “more is more”, rather than the minimalist ethos of “less is more.”

Maximalism allows for an eclectic approach to design – brimming with nostalgia and references to different eras and design styles – combined with modern functionality and luxury.

As a design approach, maximalism is vivacious and very much alive. It is a reaction against both the inhibiting, repressed aspects of minimalism and a form of escapism from tumultuous world affairs.

If you haven’t yet experimented with maximalism, be inspired by some of these incredible interiors and unleash your inner prima donna.

Be Bold.

Hotel L’Antoine, Paris. Designed by Christian Lacroix & Philippe Medioni.

Maximalism is the onion of interior design approaches. Layer upon layer is applied, so that even a single room can become a dominion unto itself.

A wonderful example of haute maximalism is the Hotel Antoine in Paris, designed by renowned designer Christian Lacroix in collaboration with interior designer Philippe Medioni.

Each room in the hotel was designed so that it revolves around a key decorative theme. In one room, it’s wallpapers, juxtaposed with vintage furniture. In another, it is a neutral, light approach contrasted with a bathroom completely covered in gold tiles that look like ingots in a bank vault.

En Suite Bathroom, Hotel L’Antoine. Image: Elle Decor Italy

Layer Your Prints. Clash Your Colours.

For Lacroix, more has always been more. The Christian Lacroix wallpaper collections are a riot of fantasy and extraordinary colour.

Christian Lacroix Canopy Wallpaper

Uncap Your Personality

For an interior designer, working with a client who is open to a maximalist approach is an opportunity to really experiment with boldness and attitude.

Superstar designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard is known for his eclectic taste and luxurious interiors. We love the fearless use of bright colours and clashing prints in this room, which is balanced by his superb taste. The geometric drinks cart adds sophistication to what could otherwise become kitsch.

Interior by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Image: Frontgate

Based in LA, the Englishman is well-known as a lion of Hollywood interior design. His clients include the Kardashians, Cher, Ellen Pompeo and Tommy Hilfiger – to name just a few. He was also one of the standout stars of popular Bravo TV series Million Dollar Decorator. 

While MLB, as he is known, tailors his approach to the personality of each client, all of his interiors have a signature look. They embrace luxury, are unafraid of experimentation and colour, and are multi-layered with exquisite objet d’art.

There’s also a running motif of tasteful animal print through his interiors, such as this fabulous zebra rug in Kourtney Kardashian’s home office.

Kourtney Kardashian’s Home Office, Designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Image: California Design Home

For more inspiration on creating an ambience of effortless luxury, see Martyn Lawrence Bullard in the flesh at the 2018 Decor + Design show in Melbourne.

Martyn will be flying in from LA to deliver the International Keynote on Friday 20th July, as part of the Australian House & Garden International Seminar Series.

Don’t miss Australia’s No.1 Interiors Trade Event – Register now for Decor + Design.