Guide to sustainable maximalism

Maximalism décor is an aesthetic phenomenon taking over social media.

You may have heard of minimalism – a type of interior design defined by simplicity – but maximalism is all about embracing excess. It is a style that explores creativity and vibrancy through colours, patterns and textures becoming a stylistic expression of the person who designed it.

Maximalism doesn’t have to mean an overflowing wallet or over-consuming, in fact, maximalism can encourage sustainable practices. Whether this is second-hand shopping, displaying heirlooms that might be tucked away in storage, or making things new again.

 Here is how to consciously explore the maximalist décor.

Work with what you have

Maximalism is a style that directly expresses the person who designed it giving a space a truly individual and unique style. When approaching this style, incorporate and up-cycle pieces that you already own.

If you grow tired of an item you are used to seeing in a specific spot, opt to give it a new life rather than donate it. It can be as simple as moving the item to a different place in your home, making the space appear new.

It can also mean incorporating items we may not initially think to have on display. Sentimental items, photographs, clothes, blankets, and glassware are all things that most people have stashed away but incorporating these items into interior design can help to achieve a sense of maximalism in the home.

Photo by SpaceJoy

A clothing rack displaying one’s nicest pieces is a way to bring colour and texture into a room while utilising things that we already own. Blankets layered over a couch rather than stored in a cupboard can create an inviting, textured and luxurious space. Likewise, hanging up photographs or home paintings is a great way to create a vibrant gallery feel in a room.

Revamp your items

Rather than purchasing new items, make them feel new again with up-cycling. This is the best way to create truly valuable, unique items unlike anything purchased from your nearest retail store while keeping conscious of our consumption.

Slapping on a new coat of paint or swapping out old dresser knobs for something new can give a rejuvenated feel to our items. Painting old picture frames or pot plants with unique designs is fast yet has results that will leave guests asking where you brought those magnificent items.

It’s crazy what a fresh polish, coat of paint, or new set of handles can do.

Second-hand shopping

Many retail stores have trendy items that can leave our homes feeling bleak and impersonal, but shopping at second-hand stores allows your mind’s creativity to wander to embrace a different type of self-expression.

Op shops often contain eclectic, affordable items perfect for maximalist style hidden gems and up-cycling projects. Not only is second-hand shopping fun, but it is sustainable too as it helps decrease demand for retail goods.

Photo by Steph Wilson


A DIY project is a great way to make your home truly creatively unique. Not only will the finished product be something you look at with pride, but it is a way to embrace your hobbies and creativity in a home.

Whether it is knitting a blanket, painting a statement canvas, or creating a hanging pot plant, the DIY opportunities are endlessly fun.

Take your time

As much as you may want to embrace the maximalist lifestyle overnight, it is important to take your time. Make adventure, creation and discovery part of the process and accept that there is no need to rush it.

The journey gives you the opportunity to see potential in things you may have once stored away, a birthday card may become a beautifully framed picture, and a shell you find at the beach may become a central piece of your dining table.

This process pushes you to embrace items you find along the way and find sentiment in new things. It allows each item in your home to have its own journey and means that you are less likely to tire of items you purchased on a one-off shopping spree.

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