For years, minimalist décor has taken reign in the world of interior design. So, it was just a matter of time before something new was going to overthrow this popular style. Enter…maximalism!
The complete opposite to minimalism, maximalist design is loud, lively and colourful! At first impression, you may think it is cluttered and stressful but it’s not at all. Maximalism is all about lovingly curating items of all different colours and patterns and layering them together beautifully.
So, it’s no huge surprise that this type of wallpaper is so popular! It plays a huge role in transforming rooms into stunning spaces. You ask, “But what is maximalist wallpaper?” and “What does it actually look like?” Well, look no further, my friends. Below, we will show you the most popular types of maximalist murals out there. Not only that, but we will explain how to make them work in your home and bring any space to life!
1) Maximalist wallpaper is big, bold and floral
Mural in photo: Flower Dance
One of the most popular maximalist wallpaper choices out there is floral, floral, floral! Whether antique works of art, beautifully drawn illustrations with vintage pharmaceutical influence, moody and romantic dark florals or colourful repeat-patterns, pretty floral wallpaper ticks ALL the boxes when it comes to maximalism: Pattern – check! Colour – check! Extravagance - check!
Vintage floral wallpaper
Because of the vast variety available, you can easily express your personal taste. You might even surprise yourself and discover that you also love maximalist florals.
Mural in photo: Still Life of Flowers on a Ledge
We worship our antique collection of dark flower wallpapers painted by renowned artist, Abraham Mignon. Painted around the 1600s (yes - that old), these finely detailed and realistic flower works of art are optimum maximalist décor choices.
Rich and decadent florals by current artists
Let’s return to the 21st century and take a look at a current, alive and kicking artist who knows floral maximalist wallpaper down to a tee. Meet our very-own, and extremely talented, Uta Naumann!
Mural in photo: Midnight Bouquet
German-born Naumann celebrates her love for nature, florals and colour in her work. She is also highly influenced by vintage pharmaceutical drawings. She looks not only at the beauty of botanicals but of their anatomy.
We wanted to show you Naumann’s Midnight Bouquet wall mural as it focusses on shades that interior designers can’t get enough of: grey and navy!
Yes, grey is still going strong, but let’s be clear - for maximalism, avoid plain, grey painted walls. Go for elaborate patterns as shown in this design. In the end, grey is a subtle colour. It's craving to be used more boldly!
And of course, navy is currently huge. We’re seeing lots of dark and dramatic navy painted walls which do look great in a maximalist home. BUT these plain walls need to be paired with lots of interesting accessories. However, we just love how this dark floral wallpaper does most of the maximalist work for you.
Tip: Our beautiful floral wallpapers are great to layer with. After all, layering is an important factor of maximalism! Choose colours from the flower mural, such as pastel pinks and cherry reds, and find patterned furniture in similar shades – zig zags, stripes, animal print patterns – whatever brings you joy!
3) Maximalist wallpaper is totally topical!
Mural in photo: Tropical Banana Leaf Palm Tree
Maximalism 2020 and 2021 is not just wild and floral, but tropical! And we can’t reiterate how popular palm leaf maximalist wallpaper has been! Hundreds of celebs and interior designers are making the most of exotic jungle wallpaper by bringing it to life with brave shades and out-there patterns. You only have to take a visit to your local beauticians, hair salon or trendy bar to notice how popular tropical patterns are!
Vintage jungle scenes
Mural in photo: Leopard Landscape
Take this beautiful Leopard Landscape wallpaper which has been a huge hit! We recommend mixing these natural palm leaves with contrasting colours such as candy-floss pink. Either paint the surrounding walls or choose furniture in these fun shades.
Out-there tropical colour schemes
English author, Jessie Burton, understands maximalist design in every way. You just need to take a look at her Instagram account to see for yourself #jessieburton. Not only does she decorate her home this way, but also in her fabulous sense of fashion. This particular "Red Room" in her home is so adorned with rich colours and exciting wallpaper patterns that it makes us think of a delicious, tropical cocktail - yum! Another one of her rooms is completely in contrast revelling in deep and rich plum-purple painted walls.
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We think that Burton has used this tropical wallpaper design perfectly. With a mix of upcycled furniture, which she literally salvaged from a skip (the pink bookcase and wooden chair), she has really mastered the technique of layering loved items. And that’s why maximalism is different to minimalism. It’s much more personal to the owner and so much more fun to style!
Maximalist wallpaper with leafy green palm leaves
Mural in photo: Tropical Landscape
We couldn’t not mention one of our designers, the wonderful Andrea Haase. She has recently created a new range of tropical designs, including this leafy green and exotic Tropical Landscape wallpaper. Again, add popping bright colours to this palm leaf wallpaper that serves as a more neutral base for the room.
Tip: Maximalism home décor has really revelled in palm leaf wallpapers but if you’re green-fingered, why not add real plants into the room? Huge Monsteras, Birds of Paradise or Ficus plants are nature’s input into giving your home an elaborate, maximalist touch!
4) It can be all the colours of the rainbow!
“Red and yellow and pink and green...purple, orange and blue! I can sing a rainbowwwwwwwww! Sing a rainbow too (in your choice of maximalist décor)!” – very catchy, I think!
Mural in photo: Crazy Rainbow
That’s right. One of the most FUN aspects of choosing a maximalist wallpaper is that you can literally go all out there on your choice of colour.
Fruity abstract wallpaper (not literally fruity – we’re not Willy Wonka)
Yes, this dazzling Underwater wallpaper, designed by our fabulous Shandra Smith, certainly packs a punch of fruity colours!
Mural in photo: Underwater by Shandra Smith
All of Smith’s designs are a cocktail of colours and mesmerising shapes and forms. It makes you step back in time to childhood when you looked into your bag of candy. You hadn’t done a good job if there wasn’t a rainbow of colour in there (as well as filling the bag as much as possible – obviously). It’s the same for your home’s décor – rainbow wallpaper is a popular choice!
Tip: Layer items slowly over time. You won’t achieve maximalist interior design overnight. It’s a gradual process that looks best as you find unique pieces.
5) It is not scared of classic works of art
Yes, that’s right. Like Mignon’s antique florals earlier, maximalist wallpaper revels in classic works of art such as this iconic vision of Venus in Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, c.1485 wallpaper.
Why not add a masterpiece to a maximalist bathroom?
Of course, this wonderful and ancient masterpiece will naturally be the main focal point of this maximalist bathroom. However, when it comes to maximalist interior design, don’t keep the rest of the room minimal. Don't forget to add those bright colours, patterns and lovingly curated décor items!
Mural in photo: The Birth of Venus, c.1485
We think that this work of art wallpaper painted by Botticelli is the perfect answer to maximalist bathroom décor due to the ocean-influences in the painting – Venus, the Goddess of Love, is elegantly stood on an open shell with the beautiful coast behind her. We imagine this gorgeous painting wallpaper set behind a bath or jacuzzi (if you’re lucky) with gold or brass light fittings for a decadent touch.
Tip: Take colours from the maximalist wallpaper and use them in the rest of the room. Have you noticed that in this painting, the people surrounding Venus are trying to cover up her modesty with blankets? Why not use these salmon and blue colours in the room? We think salmon pink surrounding walls would add that pop of colour. You could even add more colour by opting for Grecian-patterned blue and white towels and a bath mat.
2) It’s wild, wonderful and fierce! Rarrr…
It’s true. Maximalist wallpaper can definitely be wild and out there! And when we say wild, we mean totally roarsome! We are finding that people can’t get enough of animal print - again showing why it is so popular!
Animal print madness
Mural in photo: Jaguar Print
With an amazing range of animal print wallpaper, your walls are going to look grrrr-eat! You have to admit that there is something truly exotic and passionate about these fur and feather prints. They are the perfect ingredient for maximalist design.
Get your claws on animal room accessories!
If you’re a maximalist but an animal print wallpaper is NOT for you, then we recommend adding small décor items instead! Successful Instagram influencer and interior designer, Tom Bax #themellowmaximalist, is definitely one to look out for if you love maximalism. We love his tasteful touch of animal print in his lounge with these fabulous zebra scatter cushions.
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Tip: Leopard and snake prints make great neutral bases for maximalist spaces. Because the colours of these animal skins are natural and not too over the top, they make excellent accessories and wallpapers. They allow you to add some really bold colour choices such as shades in lipstick pink, mango orange or mustard yellow. Go wild!
We have had such fun showing you just a few of our maximalist wallpapers. That’s because maximalism is the epitome of fun: of enjoying your home and not being scared to show your colourful personality! So, if you have any questions or want to let us know about your maximalist home décor choices, then leave us a comment below. We can’t wait to hear from you!