Budget Friendly Ways to Create a Maximalist Apartment

The days of minimalist interiors and neutral color palettes seem to be behind us… at least for now! The more-is-more approach of maximalism is quickly taking over. Current fashion and home decor trends are trending toward bright colors, loud prints, ornate detailing, and plenty of personality. From maximalist studios to maximalist kitchens, here are our budget-friendly tips for creating the bold and beautiful space of your dreams.

What is Maximalism?

Simply put, maximalism is the go-big-or-go-home of interior design trends. It’s all about creating a space filled with color, pattern, texture, interest, and above all personality. Rather than conforming to style norms, the trend encourages you to tell your story with your space

Maximalist interior design typically incorporates:

  • Loud, repetitive patterns — think florals, animal prints, or abstracts.
  • Saturated, bold colors — from brightly saturated colors to a jewel-toned palette,  choose a bold color scheme. No white walls here! 
  • Layering — rugs, curtains, textures, patterns. 
  • Eye-catching statement pieces — lamps, statues, a funky armchair.
  • Mixing and matching of textures and colors — feathers and leather, lime green and orange
  • Curated collections — figurines, artworks, faux plants, artworks.
  • Mixing styles — classic interiors fused with boho, modern, or eclectic influence.

The key to creating a cohesive maximalist space is to mix and match while maintaining consistent colorways, motifs, or themes.

What Maximalism Isn’t

Armed with the basics of maximalism, it’s important to keep in mind what maximalism isn’t. 

Maximalism is not:

  • Defined by set colorways or rules. Anyone can create a maximalist apartment that speaks to their style, whether dark and gothic or bright and colorful.
  • Overstuffed, disjointed, cluttered, or messy. Just because it’s decor-heavy doesn’t mean it’s cluttered. Contrary to popular belief, everything in a maximalist home does have a (carefully selected) place.

What Kinds of Spaces Does Maximalism Work For?

This fun trend works for spaces big and small! One of the most popular arguments for minimalism vs maximalism is that minimalism will help make a space look larger while maximalism will overpower a small space.

However, maximalism is a great option for small spaces, too. The trend can help add depth and interest to any space. Bright colors, bold patterns, and eye-catching decor can be strategically placed to help draw your eye upwards or outwards, making a space look larger. So, as long as you design your space intentionally, you can incorporate maximalist trends into any room. 

Budget-Friendly Ways to Create a Maximalist Apartment

Filling your space with personality and decor doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Use these budget-friendly tips to create an on-trend maximalist apartment! 

Go Bold with Accessories, Bedding, and Curtains

Get the most bang for your buck by choosing bold accessories, bedding, and linens. A few colorful patterned throw pillows and intricately designed curtains can quickly transform your living or bedroom from blah to bold. Meanwhile, a textured shower curtain and funky decorations can quickly jazz up a bathroom. 

Not to mention, pillows, duvet covers, lampshades, and other home decor are relatively easy to swap out — so if you tire of your bold space, you’re not too financially invested.

Shop Secondhand 

Short on cash and big on style inspiration? Turn to secondhand stores, estate sales, furniture outlets, and online marketplaces to find your larger furniture items —  and keep an eye out for mirrors or decor

Maximalism is the perfect way to fuse vintage with modern, and by shopping second you’ll be able to source quality, well-made furniture items at a fraction of the price. Not only will shopping secondhand help you achieve a curated look, but it’s also a more sustainable option for the planet, too. 

Ground Your Space with Hard Finishes

Hard finishes are a must for bold interiors — you want to keep things looking creative without looking chaotic. Hard finishes will give the eye something to anchor to, so refrain from covering every surface with decor. 

You can incorporate hard surfaces with end tables, coffee tables, and even your current hardwood floors. If you’re truly going wild with color and pattern, select natural wood finishes to help ground your space. 

Don’t Be Afraid to DIY

Have a piece of furniture you just can’t bear to part with? Spot a dresser at an estate sale that just isn’t the right hue for your space? Don’t be afraid to DIY!

In order to make your space cohesive, you may need to paint or refinish your furniture items. You can strip, sand, and restain wood items, or layer on the lacquer when needed.

Even small items, like picture frames, can be given a maximalist lift with a can of metallic spray paint. Don’t be afraid to tackle smaller projects, like simple reupholstering, painting walls (where allowed), or creating your own art. 

Layer, Stack, and Curate

Your creativity is the only limitation in place with this style trend, so prepare to layer, stack, and curate. One of the best places to get started is with decorating your shelving. Mix ornate decor, like gold home accessories, with meaningful mementos. Place your items on a bookshelf to create a dazzling display, mixing in a few of your favorite decor items, photos, and art prints. Then, incorporate faux plants to pull the look together while adding interest and height. 

Don’t shy away from layering different textures, patterns, and colors. Wondering how to mix patterns in a living room? Embrace the art of layering rugs. Select two large differently textured or patterned rugs that play well with your selected color scheme. Then, place them so that they’re just overlapping. Layering multiple patterned rugs will help you create an eccentric, bohemian space while still providing a cozy touch. 

Make the Most of Your Wallspace 

With a few simple tricks, you can transform your boring white walls in a snap. Wallpaper is a quick and simple way to incorporate pattern, texture, or color into your space, but isn’t always renter-friendly. As a renter, you can achieve the look of wallpaper throughout your home with paint-safe peel-and-stick wallpapering options.

Once your faux wallpaper is in place, create a gallery wall or use salon-style wall hangings to make your space pop! For a truly interesting touch, mix modernist art with abstracts. Try mixing and matching frames, incorporating textured wall decor (like tapestries), or combining artwork with photographs and decorative mirrors

Find the Apartment of Your Dreams with ApartmentSearch

There are no hard and fast rules: maximalism is all about freedom of expression and can be incorporated into spaces big, small, long-term, or short-term. ApartmentSearch can help you find your dream apartment to decorate! With advanced search features and custom filtering options, you can find a space that fits your budget and your design dreams.