Apologies to the “less is more” crowd: Maximalism is officially in. We’ve noticed that our favorite Instagram personalities have been favoring this bold, over-the-top style, and even minimal-minded brands like IKEA are getting in on the action. “Scandinavian and mid-century design has been trending for so long and is so accessible… People are ready for new ideas, and what better place to start than the opposite of minimalism?” quips Decorist Creative Director Jessica McCarthy. If you’re hoping to bring the multi-dimensional, color-soaked maximalist look home, McCarthy has a few guiding principles that will help you achieve your own exaggerated interior bliss.

1. Color is everything. “The best way to make maximalism work is to find a common theme,” says McCarthy. “Mixing patterns can be intimidating, but my rule of thumb is that any patterns can work together if you stick to a specific color scheme and find a way to connect the items to one another.” A unified color scheme can go a long way to making sure your space feels cohesive, not crazy. And you’re free to mix up the shades however you please. “Find three colors you love — they can be in varying shades — and stick with those while pulling in different patterns and textures,” she suggests.

2. Bring the boldest in first. Conventional wisdom might suggest starting your maximalist journey slowly and then building up, but consider a reverse-engineered approach. “Start with the busiest pattern you plan to use and go from there, whether it be a wallpaper, upholstery, a rug, or even art,” McCarthy suggests. “It’s easier to start with the piece that makes the biggest statement and design the space around that item instead of adding it at the end.” Dive on in, decorators.

3. Be thoughtful. One might think maximalism means bringing in every single design element of your dreams, but McCarthy advises considering each addition to the room the same way you would with any decorating scheme. “The best maximalist spaces still tell a story. It’s not about putting as much as you can in one space; there should be thought and purpose behind each item,” she tells us.

4. Indulge your inner collector. Collections will bring that curated-yet-creative element into any room. “Maximalist spaces are an amazing way to display personal collections,” says McCarthy. “As someone who loves vintage pieces and a good flea market find, I love being able to display all of my found objects in unique ways that I wouldn’t normally be able to do in a modern or minimal space.”

5. Trust yourself. Wondering if this trend is for you? Spoiler alert: If you gravitate toward it, it is. “Maximalist decor is best for someone who loves pattern, color, and breaking rules. Focus on displaying the things you love, and never be afraid to push design boundaries,” says McCarthy. “Be yourself!”

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(Images via Decorist)