Maximalism: Embrace the More is More Interior Trend 

White walls be gone: this season’s hottest interior design trend – Maximalism – is bigger and bolder than ever

Think Annabel's in Mayfair; Iris Apfel and the latest collection from Jonathan Adler

Annabel's by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (Photography by James McDonald)

Long have we savoured the minimalist austerity of Scandinavian chic interior design. Set within the confines of a clutter-free zone, we have stripped back and toned down within an inch of our lives. With the arrival of the London Design Festival in September, however, came the dawning of a bold new era, in which colour, patterns and eye-popping palettes abound. Brace yourself for the AW18 trend of maximalism.

One of 2018’s biggest interior design movements, maximalism is all about bold prints, vivid hues and deluxe decorations. Think opulent glamour emphasised by lavish gold wallpaper and shapely, super-luxe accessories. Silhouette and botanical motifs are taking over from rigorous, simple lines and muted tones. A profusion of colour and luxury, brimming with excess, is having a loud and exciting renaissance.

‘Secret’ wallpaper for Newmor Wallcovering; ‘Dewdrop’ fabric for Panaz; ‘Greta Games’ rug for Rug Couture, all by Patternistas

“Social media has not only given us hungry eyes and encouraged us to become hoarders of aspirational imagery, it’s given us a window into the lives of designers, artists and craftspeople whose work cuts through the digital haze and inspires us to exercise our own creativity,” says Suzanne Carpenter, co-founder of Patternistas, winner of the Mixology 18 Surface of the Year Award for its collaboration with Lancashire-based textile designer Panaz. “We’ve become confident curators of a stream of exciting imagery and now we want spaces that have warmth and personality. A global view of rich patterned cultures has proven that layers of pattern and colour can be uplifting. The offshot of this is that we’re all getting braver and bolder in our own homes.”

The team at Patternistas is not alone in its belief that our interiors should be drenched in colour. The affordability of digital print has given designers enormous freedom and enabled them to create short run, custom patterns and interior products. Patterned accessories, such as rugs and cushions, can soften or invigorate spaces depending on whether you choose complementary or contrasting colours and patterns.

Lampert sofa by Jonathan Adler

John Lewis’s AW18 collections also respond to the rising trend. Vibrant velvet upholstery, striking geometric floor coverings and opulent metallic accents mark out the brand’s range as sheer maximalist heaven. “Maximalism is not necessarily about overcrowding a space, but simply choosing to be bold by showcasing your own unique style in a creative way,” says Fionnuala Johnson, senior designer at John Lewis. “Carefully considered mixing and matching of colours, prints and textures is key to achieving the look, and it’s the perfect opportunity to layer designs and blend references.”

Maximalism can be tricky to recreate at home, however, particularly in a confined space or small apartment. Characterised by a courageous clashing of colours and pattern, walls, floors and furniture should start out plain, and then be dressed up to achieve the style. Black, white and silver or chrome furniture will work as a sound base, while rich and bright tones can be applied to accent pieces, rugs and accessories.

Lindsey Lang Fibonacci Rug, £420, Blue Fluted Carved Vase, £35, Anglepoise Desk Lamp, Yellow Ochr, £119, all by John Lewis

Peruvian rugs by Jonathan Adler 

Monochromatic wallpapers with bold contrasting prints are highly effective for creating a brave, overstated look. Think wild wallpaper from Cole & Son, tongue-in-cheek design like Kitsch Kitchen’s colourful lampshades, and eclectic, borderline bizarre objects such as Artemest’s sunshine yellow fish sculpture. Typified by its richness, its abundance of embellishment and its excess of decoration, maximalism is often punctuated with bright colours, enhanced with a sense of luxury and usually includes plenty of sensual elements.

A smaller space, be it a room or an entire studio apartment, can also come into its own with the use of show-stopping finishing touches that really make the maximalist interior style pop. Opt for highly decorative baroque frames for pictures and mirrors to adorn your walls. Flowers feature heavily in maximalist designs too; floral embellishments for furnishings or bunches of brightly coloured flowers in large vases give a room instant ‘wow’ factor.

Mixed metal chandelier, Baxter sofa, Sorrento chairs, Neogeo obelisks, all by Jonathan Adler 

Annabel's by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (Photography by James McDonald)