Minimal vs. Maximal Décor Trends - QC Design School

Interior décor trends vary along a spectrum from minimal to maximal designs. Where are the current trends? At the two extremes!

People alternate in their lives between purging and collecting for their homes. This is due to life changes, evolving our personal style, and trends. This can make it challenging to sit firmly at either end and can be difficult for interior decorators to implement these styles in a sustainable way. They’re both beautiful and interesting in their own unique ways.

But with these choices, come some big challenges! Keep reading to find out what exactly these two styles are and how to achieve them in your home designs.

slate grey room with white couch and plant minimalist design

Minimal Décor Trends


Minimalist rooms focus only on the essentials. It’s all about being completely clutter-free. Often with wood floors and geometric lines, they lean towards a contemporary style. They don’t have to be totally white spaces, but color often comes in through undertones, plants, and accent pieces.

This simplicity means even the smallest room can feel much larger because it isn’t packed with things. The aim is to create a bright, clean, spacious room void of any excess. Rather than love a room because of what is in it, you love the room because of what is left out.

Less is Less

Unfortunately, everyday life naturally leads to some level of chaos in a room, whether it be dirty dishes piling up or kids leaving their toys out on the floor. Life isn’t simple, so simplicity is hard to maintain. Things find a way of accumulating. Although it appears to be extremely basic, a lot of work goes into keeping a minimalist room truly minimal!

It also presents a particularly unique challenge: things that you usually wouldn’t notice stick out. This can be anything from electronic cords being visible to a faded curtain or a cracked light switch. It’s intuitive when you think about it, but not something that people necessarily expect or know how to tackle! What do you do about your lamp cord when you need the lighting and you can’t ditch the lamp? This is where interior decorating courses can save the day! You’ll get tips and tricks for handling all the problems that come with this style.

You’ll also get to learn about all the benefits! The positive part of this juxtaposition with blank space means that you really get to see each piece in a room. So you can really appreciate the simple beauty of all the furniture and other elements that you have incorporated.

Baby Steps

If you want to give minimalist decor a try you also don’t need to convert an entire room. You can bring minimalism into individual pieces. Start off with a bookshelf or a coffee table with simple clean lines and get rid of all the clutter. This can prevent major shock. Clients that start off with a cluttered and crowded space that immediately jump to a minimalist space might love it right away. Or they might feel their space is totally empty! Introducing the concept slowly can be a very effective way to get closer to this end of the design spectrum.

maximalist design in jewel tones

Maximal Décor Trends

(Anything But) Basics

There is a fine line between eclectic beauty and intense chaotic mess.  Maximal décor sits right on this line. This style brings color, texture, and patterns into as many elements of the room as possible – and that includes the ceiling!

As a decorator, you get to use every inch of space to your advantage. The key to this type of design is to bring very separate and different elements together. This is often done by having a similar tone throughout the room or offsetting an intense pattern with large spaces of solid color.

Every time you scan a maximal room there is something else to see! That is the real fun aspect of these design schemes. Your eye keeps dancing around the room.

More is More

This style can be a deliberate design or an organic process that happens over many years. It comes off best when the style looks like it has accumulated over time (even if it hasn’t). Rather than looking like someone has stuffed a room full of every jewel-toned thing they could find! Basically, this is not an easy look to achieve.

Eclectic rooms, in general, can be very challenging to get the hang of creating without an interior decorating course. When you add on the task of trying to put in the maximum amount of eclectic elements in a room as you can, it’s a whole new level of difficulty. With guided practice, pulling it all together can look amazing. However, things on the end of a spectrum are the limit of a concept so, by definition, they’re difficult to master.

Starting Out

Regardless of the difficulty in design, it can be very expensive!  Getting all the different fabrics, wallpaper, paint, and décor pieces to fill a room can add up quickly. If you want to give it a go, try making a single item or area maximal like a shelving unit or a feature wall. You can also paint your ceiling a bright color to bring in a maximal touch.

neutral tone design with hanging fireplace and wood accents

Whether you love or hate these styles, many interior decorator clients want to follow the trends. So, it would be wise to get ahead of these extremes!

Which style are you most tempted to try?

Ready to learn more about these styles and more? Check out our Interior Decorating Course!

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