8 Maximalist Home Trends That Read Opulent But Cost Cheap

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If there’s anything millennials love more than avocado toast, it’s affordable housing. And since that’s sorely lacking with no end in sight, many of us have started staring at stunning interiors with a kind of lust not seen since high school.

And in our hours of observing, something caught our eye: maximalism is back. After years of eschewing clutter and loving sleek lines, we’re abandoning minimalism in favor of its over-the-top antithesis. The most coveted homes on sale look like they belong to your quirky aunt with a million hobbies and a penchant for drama. Think: fat wallpaper. leopards everywhere. No area remains free.

The good news about this furnishing trend? Anyone can pull it off. You don’t need a small fortune to make your home look eccentric and opulent – all you need is an unbridled willingness to get creative.

Some important principles to keep in mind when cultivating a maximalist mindset:

  • Anything can be decor if you try hard enough. With maximalism, you don’t need to hide your items in closets. So show off your finest must-haves. Even everyday staples like tableware and skin care products can double as decoration if presented correctly.
  • Mixing and matching is a must. Look up “Power Clashing” and do your best. Mix and match a bunch of items that shouldn’t go together. And inspire your guests with your affinity for layered prints and aesthetics.
  • No detail is too small to be spruced up. Don’t just stock up on home accessories. Take a look around your home and adjust every detail. Swap out your switch plates, replace your light fixtures and add enough paneling to transform your home.

And when you’re feeling ready to build the most striking home in town, get inspired by the most popular maximalist home decor trends of 2023. I’ve rounded up a few favorites that are budget-friendly enough — and renter-friendly enough — for any millennial to pull through.

Two layered shower curtains hung over a stone tub

CB2.

1. Hang two shower curtains

What’s better than a boldly patterned shower curtain? Two, obviously. And when it comes to printing, the louder the better. Hang a curtain on each end of your shower curtain rod to create stunning shower curtains. Put a small shower curtain over a larger one. Or combine your favorite shower curtain with a specialty option, like a statement shower curtain. (Nothing says “fancy” like using shower curtain terminology your houseguests have never heard before.)

A wallpaper lined living room with a bench, a plant and a gift bag

Anthropology.

2. Cover your walls with removable wallpaper

Say goodbye to bare walls when designing a maximalist interior. And dress your walls in eye-catching wallpaper instead. There are many options in fun colors and pretty prints. And since peel-and-stick wallpaper is everywhere these days, you can pull off this trend — even if you rent. After hours of experimentation, I’ve become a particular fan of vinyl peel and stick wallpaper because it’s more forgiving than typical peel and stick wallpaper. So stock up on the stuff and treat yourself to a bold accent wall, a printed powder room, or a touch of patterned flair along the back of your bookshelf.

A dark gray wall lined with ornate white crown molding

Amazon.

3. Insert crown moldings everywhere

In the world of maximalism, everything can – and should – be hemmed with trim. And I don’t just mean the builder’s standard quarter inch. Oh no, we want embellishment. Crown molding makes everything look Victorian and expensive. It can increase the resale value of homes. And it’s a great way to sweeten your landlord so you can throw big parties and not get noise complaints. So find a stick-on crown bar you love and place it absolutely anywhere. No cornice, door or window should be safe.

A bedroom with dark gray walls lined with decorative panels

Etsy.

4. Add decorative panels to your walls

If you’ve ever complained that your walls didn’t have enough molding or milling work, you’re in luck. There are now peel and stick kits that you can use to stick decorative panels anywhere on your walls. (I was pretty shocked to see how easy it was.) You can decorate your wall panels however you like. And you can use the decorative molding to frame your favorite wallpaper – or simply to draw attention to the unique structure of your home.

A living room with an ornate black mantel backed with wallpaper and filled with tree trunks

home depot.

5. Invest in a faux mantel

You may not be able to add a fireplace to your home, but you can certainly add a faux mantel. And the best? You can glue whatever you want Inside. Put a few fake logs in there, stack your favorite books in there, or take the opportunity to create a wall with mini accents. Since these mantels are entirely temporary, you can even swap out yours seasonally—making it a really over-the-top way to decorate for the holidays.

Layers of mismatched frames on a wall

Etsy.

6. Go all out with your gallery wall

Gallery walls aren’t new, but maximalism has made them one all new level. So choose the drama on your home gallery wall. Grab a bunch of mismatched frames. Curate an impressive art collection. And sprinkle in some items you’ve never seen on a gallery wall before. Ticket stubs, posters, carpets and tapestries can all become part of your masterpiece. And anything that can be attached to a wall is officially fair game.

A living room with a velvet couch, a printed rug, a bold table lamp and an ornate gallery wall

Robust.

7. Upload cozy textures

A surefire way to add a luxurious feel to your home? Layer some cozy textures on top of each other. Blankets and pillows add warmth to any room. Curtains cover walls and windows. Baskets are great for storing unused throws. and carpets– don’t even get me started on carpets. Having moonlighted as a maximalist, I’ve found that quality rugs are usually worth the effort, and you shouldn’t be afraid to spend money to have them cleaned. A good carpet can last a lifetime or more if cared for. And it’s an easy way to make your home look maximalist—without adding anything else.

An ornate black window gable

Wayfair.

8. Add gables to your window

Call me ignorant—or call me a SoCal native—but I didn’t know gables existed until the end of last week. Of course, I’ve been very focused on those bad boys ever since. The moldings sit on top of your doors and windows, adorning them like decorative tiaras. And there are some really luxurious options out there. (If you’ve always wanted to fill your home with fiddle-playing angels or truly haunting gargoyles, window pediments are for you.) For those who want to get these cheaply, you can achieve unfinished window pediments that you paint or stain yourself. And if you’re messed up like me, you can even score window pediments covered in gold leaf, glitter, or patterns. Live your loudest truth.

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Sarah Ridley

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