The Maximalist's Guide to Mixing Patterns

Plus, ways you can recreate the look at home.

Blue and Green and Purple and White and Wood Playroom
Photography by LAURE JOLIET

If we had to pick a decorative theme for 2018, maximalism would have to be it. Shying away from the subdued spaces we've all become accustomed to, a fresh wave of interiors is here to shake things up. Providing a reprieve from the nearly ubiquitous slew of Scandinavian-inspired homes, which have undoubtedly consumed our respective feeds, maximalism is all about approaching design with a colorfully charged outlook

And while the whitewashed spaces (that come decked with furniture to match) still hold a very special place in our hearts, we can't help but relish the dynamic impact that stems from adopting a scheme that is abundant with pattern and color. 

But how much pattern is too much pattern? Spoiler alert: not a lot. Ahead, we look to the spaces, which prove that going above and beyond the so-called "normal" approach to mixing and matching prints isn't quite as intimidating as one would think. See for yourself. 

Photography by DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

A maximalist approach to decorating with plants? Sign us up. San Francisco's Leo's Oyster Bar quite nearly broke the internet with its bold design, which entailed an eclectic slew of tropically-themed accents, not limited to that iconic wallpaper. This one taught us a lesson in working within a theme by incorporating an eclectic yet comparable array of decorative pieces. The patterned floor tile set the base with an element of interest while the palm leaf wallpaper established one seriously show-stopping backdrop. The wood-paneled walls, which double as booth-style seating, impart a binding detail with a cohesive finish. 

Pink and White and Yellow Kid's room
Photography by JEREMY LIEBMAN

A color-filled scheme is practically a necessity for the little ones' room. Aside from fueling their creativity, it provides the opportunity to go outside of a decorative comfort zone. Bring in a slew of saturated hues you would otherwise be too intimidated to work with—worst case scenario, you can either paint over it or revamp it in a few years once they've outgrown the space. 

A bold array of warm tones comprise this cheerful bedroom, home to team Domino's youngest member: Quinn Berry. The secret to the achieved element of cohesiveness? Abiding by a complementary palette fueled by subtle pops of contrast. While the majority of the decorative accents stick to a solid base, vibrant floral curtains impart the scene with a burst of character, fitting right in with the established palette. 

Green and Pink and Purple Office
Photography by HEIDI’S BRIDGE

We would be remiss should we not include our very own (and recently redesigned!) office in the mix. Dubbed the "Good Vibes" room, our phone booth-meets-mini conference room serves up major inspo by way of the abundant slew of patterns abound. One of the common misconceptions of maximalism is the belief that there is a necessity to fill space both physically and figuratively.

Take this room for example, which when stripped of the wallpaper, would embody a minimalist aesthetic. Add in the vibrant pattern, and the entirety of the room is instantly transformed. As for how one would mix and match patterns within this scheme? It's all about the two- and three-dimensional: a floral wallpaper paired with actual, live greens. Yep, it totally counts. 

Pink Shop interior
Photography by JESSICA ANTOLA

Maximalism doesn't always have to entail an intense pattern play. Mixing and matching various decorative materials is a great way to embrace the trend. LA's Bird boutique does just that by way of a feature wall, which boasts a custom grass-cloth wallpaper, paired with Douglas fir panels and vintage furnishings. While stylistically, the patterns may differ, a complementary color scheme helps establish a streamlined feel. The addition of the potted plant also aids in joining the otherwise contrasting decor details of the nook.  

White and Wood Gallery Wall
Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Leave it to artist Donald Robertson to totally school us on designing a gallery wall that serves up major flair. Boasting a series of his own prints, the artist's former NYC residence was decked to the nines with an abundant arrangement of works, which put just about every other gallery wall to shame. Set against a whitewashed backdrop, the assortment of patterns came by way of the art, complemented by the zebra-print runner on the stairs, as well as the subtle herringbone flooring. Too many prints? We don't think so. 

Pink and Red Graphic
Photography by CLAIRE JéRôME
Published on January 31, 2018 - 5:04pm EST

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