Maximalist Interior Design


Maximalist Interior Design

In This Article

Are you a maximalist at heart?  If the “less is more” approach taken by minimalist interior design leaves you wanting more, you’re not alone!

Maximalism has been around in one form or another for centuries, ever since wealthy citizens and the nobility began trying to outdo each other with a show of opulence in their homes (and in their wardrobes).  But you don’t need to own a chateau in France to embrace this aesthetic.

Maximalist interior design by Ken Fulk at the Battery San Francisco

Maximalist Interior Design Needs

What you do need, however, is a finely-tuned eye for how to bring together multiple styles, colors, or patterns into a pleasing whole, without ending up with a messy hodgepodge on your hands.  Maximalism requires a delicate hand to pull off, and a more curated approach than its humbler cousin, cluttercore.  No need to limit yourself to “old world” maximalism, either.  This design style can lean more modern, or more boho, or more retro, depending on your individual taste.

We asked Austin-based interior designer Lindsie Davis of Blueberry Jones Designs to share her unique approach to maximalism and why she loves this vibrant, colorful style.

Paper Moon:  Lindsie, we were so honored to work with you on one of your recent projects here in Austin.  This home is just stunning, with a more modern take on maximalism – almost a “retro maximalist” vibe.  Can you tell us how you brought it all together?

Blueberry Jones Design, Avery Nicole Photo

Lindsie: Thank you!! To be honest, I started with a pile of fabrics and wallcoverings that I was obsessed with.  I knew I wanted to find a place for them all, but wasn’t sure how it was going to happen given the variations of colors and patterns collected.

I started by grouping samples that could coordinate with one another, placed those groupings by rooms and then continued to add to each room until the design scheme was achieved.  The retro aspect of the project was my love for Palm Springs design aesthetic; which is where the walnut paneling and lounge vibe come into play.


Maximalism Defined

PM:  It feels like we don’t see maximalism often enough, especially in modern homes.  How would you define maximalism, and what do you love about this style?

Design by Greg Natale

LD: Maximalism is a category of creative expression that has spanned centuries, from historic designers like Dorothy Draper to modern-day industry leaders like Jonathan Adler and Miles Redd, Greg Natale or Ken Fulk.  It embraces a certain joyful abundance, as opposed to the pared-down style of minimalism.

What I love about maximalism is that it unapologetically pushes boundaries, balancing patterns, colors, and textures in really artful ways. When you allow design risks to take center stage, creativity is allowed to flow abundantly, and in my opinion that is when the strongest of designs are created.

Design by Ken Fulk at the Commodore Perry Hotel, Austin


Avoiding Clutter

PM:  The lushness of maximalism’s “more is more” aesthetic makes for some deliciously layered design, but it can be difficult to pull off.  How do you keep your spaces from feeling cluttered or overdone?

LD: Balance and scale are key!! It’s like creating an abstract painting.  You have all these brilliant colors and shapes and you want to mix them all together, so you just start layering, removing, and then adding until you find the perfect blend.

The way to keep things from feeling overwhelming is all about balancing your color tones and changing the scale of patterns. Balancing color will keep the eye moving seamlessly about the space, while scale will help create rhythm about the room.

With regards to clutter, I like simple artful decor that creates interest, versus a lot of tchotchkes.  However, there is always an exception  –  if you have a lot of beloved objects, then pair like objects together to create unity and a more impactful design moment, rather than having a lot of little items placed about.


“What I love about maximalism is that it unapologetically pushes boundaries, balancing patterns, colors, and textures in really artful ways.”

– Lindsie Davis, Blueberry Jones Design


Color, Pattern, Texture

PM:  What features do you really feel “make” a maximalist home?  What do you make sure to include in the homes you design?

LD:  Color, pattern and texture!  At my firm, I work in many different genres, but my designs still have an artful mix of these three design elements.  Color is the one aspect that I will get pushed back on at times, and while restricting color is not necessarily a design breaker, it definitely can limit the full potential for the space.

I recently completed a traditional styled bedroom that had a very tight color palette of soft pinks and green, yet I was still able to mix ten patterns and two solids in the room scheme.  The overall feel is very serene, because the color palette was tight, but I pushed the design boundaries by maximizing the mix of patterns, texture and scale.

Blueberry Jones Design, Avery Nicole Photo


How to Begin

PM:  What’s your starting point when designing a maximalist space – or any space, for that matter?

LD:  Hunt and gather!  Before I have a clue what the design is going to look like, I get a bin and start gathering items that fit the overall preferred scheme requested by my client. Then I start the pairing process, and from there the design will organically start to take shape.

PM:  Maximalist interior design allows for an eclectic mix of furniture or decor from different periods.  How do you select the right “backdrop” for these spaces, to unify and pull everything together?

Blueberry Jones Design, Avery Nicole Photo

LD:  I would say that the requested design style is always the backdrop or underlying theme throughout the space.  For instance, in my Skyline Summit project in Austin, the theme throughout was a Palm Springs, Mid-Century Modern style.  Another project I am working on has a mix of Art Deco and Mid-Century.  There is so much fun to be had when you are able to gather inspiration from different eras and pull them together.  It adds a timeless personality to the design scheme, because nothing dates back to one thing, rather it feels like a collection over time.  Which is key in my eyes!  I love when a room feels like things have been added over time, versus a time stamp of, “this one era is last time this room was touched….”


Taking Design Risks

PM:  What advice do you have for someone who’d want to bring this kind of liveliness and fun into their own home, without sliding into a disjointed hodgepodge?

Andrea Schumacher Interiors, Emily Minton Redfield photo

LD:  Trust the process and be willing to take risks.  There is an art to editing, so take a step back and make sure you can feel the blend. Before placing textiles, I like to hang them on the wall (or you could do a poster board) and stare at them over a couple of days or even weeks.  Each time I gaze, I will add or change out a material until I am satisfied with the pairings. Then I begin to place them about the space, until balance is achieved.  A beautifully designed maximalist space takes time.  Keep editing and curating until you’ve reached a rich blend that you love!

See more of Lindsie’s fabulous work and love for maximalism at Blueberry Jones Design, and on our kitchen and interiors galleries.

Recent Posts:

In This Article

Browse our categories to find helpful posts by topic.  And you can always call us at 737-257-4191 (for Austin, TX) or 210-939-9281 (for San Antonio, TX) if you have a question we haven’t answered!

Get Every New Post Delivered To Your Inbox!