Styling Unique Furniture for the Novice Maximalist

With minimalism out, maximalism is all the way in! Minimalistic homes were easy to style, a gold detail here, a neutral cushion there, maximalistic styling is a bit trickier to get the hang of – especially when styling unique furniture. However, there are a few tricks to help you along your journey to maximalism, and of course, we’re here to give them to you!

First things first: Start with furniture and be unique.

If you’re planning on getting completely new furniture, it’s best to decide on what pieces first and decorate around it. It’s a long process, but it will be worth it!  

If you want to keep the furniture you already have, focus on changing the colours and patterns on the wall and then the smaller details and décor.

You need to have an open mind, patience and a great eye for unique details and furniture – or at least know someone who does.

The 80/20 Rule

If you’re not quite ready to dive into the deep end of maximalism, try the 80/20 rule. A nice, easy rule where you have 80% of the room in one style, and 20% another.

Start by looking at your larger pieces of furniture. After all, we all have budgets, so let your larger pieces of furniture be your 80%. But as easy as it can be to match your décor to your furniture, that’s not what we’re going for here. You need to understand balance – but we’ll touch on that later.

The remaining 20% is for the smaller furnishings, like a footstool, cushions, curtains, rugs etc. In a minimalistic home, you might have one or two matching cushions, plain white curtains and a matchy-matchy rug, but not in a maximalist’s home! Look for bold cushions, statement curtains and a crazy rug to match.

Again, it’s important to understand balance when choosing your details, so let’s get into it.

Understanding balance

Yes, matching furniture to décor makes a room look cohesive and put together. But, matching furniture to décor exactly can sometimes look too put together – not to mention how difficult it would be to match your curtains to your one-of-a-kind sofa! There are ways you can have completely different styles and patterns and still have a room that looks consistent and well-organised – the key is to understand balance.

-               Equally distributed space

Your space needs to have equally distributed visual weight. For example, with a bookshelf taking up a quarter of the left-hand side of your wall and the rest of the wall is bare, the visual weight is going to be uneven. You can fix this by adding shelves further along the wall, or even a collage of nice prints like the one below!

Equally Distributed Visual Weight

-               Balance style

Think of it this way; everything in your room needs a buddy. Your room cannot possibly look balanced if nothing is ‘matching’, the room will just look messy and incomplete.

Look at the room below by Patrick Mele. Everything has a buddy, even if it’s not obvious!

The black chair, wall, details and the black pattern on the curtains bring the whole room together.

In the two paintings to the right, there are hints of pink, buddied up with the pink cushion on the black chair.

The little coral lamp table has been cleverly buddied up with the subtly placed coral book spines, and even the little bird accessory on the brass and white hallway table.

The amazing brass hallway table with a white table top has been buddied up with the brass mirror above the fireplace, the white floor, curtains, fireplace, artwork on the left side of the wall and the white bowl on the table.

Patrick Mele

-               Different but same is key

If you haven’t already gathered, being too matchy-matchy is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here. Different but same is key. Group together like items that all have something in common, but are not the same. You could do this by grouping items of the same size, colour or texture.

By displaying these items together, you create a collection of items that may not make sense if they were on their own, but together create much more of an impact.

Styling unique furniture can be a difficult task, but hopefully, with these tips and tricks, you can create the house of your maximalist dreams!