Interior design: Maximalist vs. Minimalist

Maximalism is often confused with excess luxury or clutter, while minimalism is with asceticism, or just with a lack of desire to equip place of living/ work.

Let’s see the difference between maximalism and minimalism styles. It will help you to decide which one matchs you better.


This is a special form of regulated chaos, where each element is exactly in its place. Accents of harmony in such interior do not interrupt each other, and all items are united by their emotional connection with the owner.

Maximalism is suitable for those who have family heirlooms, passion to collecting, creativity, multiculturalism, want to see more expression and dynamics in the living space. Luxurious grandma’s porcelain, family photos, a collection of vinyl records, figurines brought from other continents, decorative pillow covers with embroidery of our own production can be placed in a maximalist’s space?

A maximalistic approach is common for many interior styles. Historically established rococo, art nouveau, art deco, colonial style, followed by younger boho, memphis, pop art – all of them tend to maximizing place they put in.

Maximalistic projects never look like monochrome interiors from the covers of furniture catalogs. They have a sense of identity and history, they do not tolerate a set, each piece of décor items in such a space should be original and unique, and the interior looks like the furnishings have been assembled for several generations.

Tips for a maximalist style

Choose only one wall for the gallery, abandoning the classical uniform distribution of paintings and photos around the room. Such space will not look like a haven for an insane collector – there is clearly an artistic intent here. Unique way of combination makes your gallery more authentic, so it will be a great pleasure to see it not only for guests but for yourself. Especially, if these items are memorable and valuable.


In a typical minimalist interior, furniture takes up only a small part of the space. Its main features are geometric shapes, simple natural materials and functionality. The combination of several functions in one piece of furniture (chair-bed, transforming table) helps not to clutter up the space. For the same purpose, the premises are often equipped with built-in devices.

Much attention is paid to storage systems. It is best if they are hidden – only a few in usage things remain in plain sight, reflecting the personality of the owner. For example, a spacious wardrobe, discreetly built into the wall, would be an ideal solution for a bedroom. Decoration items are often an expensive souvenir in the same laconic style.

Tips for minimalist style

Avoiding unnecessary decor items is one of the main features of the style. There is no need in it for figurines, pillows and other cute trinkets. 2 or 3 items in style mentioned above and pictures of in simple frames is enough. Don’t use the textiles. Sometimes there is no need even in window curtains. As a last resort, the windows can be covered with blinds, Roman shades or Japanese panels. One only exception is the bedroom, in which you can lay out plain bedspreads and pillows, and lay a soft carpet with a long pile on the floor.

Great, but how to decide?

It’s simple. The choice between both styles depends on your own style. Just choose eponymous one.

Here is one challenge: unlike so many other interior styles you can’t combine maximalist and minimalism styles, because they are mutually exclusive. Is it a challenge?

If yes, it’s time to understand yourself better.

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