Adapting both your living space and your mindset requires understanding what lifestyle best matches your personal style. With our living spaces becoming more important than ever lately, Direct Interiors has created the ultimate guide on minimalism and maximalism designs to help you embrace the lifestyle that resonates most with you!

Minimalism vs Maximalism Designs

Like yin and yang, minimalism and maximalism have constantly been at odds, as history has shown both styles to be pinnacles of good taste at different times. For example, modernist design from the 1940s and ’50s is the origin of the contemporary minimalist aesthetic, while the 1980s are known for the vulgar nature of plastic, synthetic fabrics, and neon. Nonetheless, civilization tends to turn to one after the other, like a continuous cycle of consuming and discarding material culture.

Over the past decade, the minimalist aesthetic became the dominant trend. Having a clean, uncluttered space is really the driving force behind the minimalist movement, as well as the desire to adapt its principles in all other areas of life. Its main premise is this: If you stop to think about it, do you really need so many things? In a minimalist’s mind, simplicity is all that matters, as well as functionality and practicality that blend together, without the need for excessive ornamentation.

In its purest form, minimalism emphasizes order, simplicity and harmony. If this sounds like it’s for you but you don’t know where to start, you can start by decluttering the space you want to minimize first. Figure out what you can ditch and where you can store what you decide to keep without it being out for the eye to see. After that, you should check the room for any unnecessary furnishings and decorations. If there are any, it might be time to say goodbye. Try to remove as much clutter as possible from your room!

On the other hand, maximalism fully embraces the “more is more” philosophy.  Maximalist decorating is characterized by bold textiles, patterned wallpapers, decorative items, and intense colours, but poorly executed decor can create a cluttered look as opposed to a chic one. Because of this, it can seem chaotic to some, but there is an intentional look to maximalism that if done properly, makes it charming.


Too much of anything, whether colours, textures or styles, can make a room feel overcrowded and overwhelming, but if you rein things in by reducing colours or repeating materials for example, you can instantly create an elegant and harmonious framework.

The best maximalist interiors have a strong identity with a clear sense of what they are. They combine many opposing complicated elements in a playful yet elegant and restrained way. The beauty of maximalism is there is no wrong way to create a maximalist style – you are simply just adding more of what you love to your home. Maximalism does not adhere to any specific rules; all you need is a passion for creating a truly unique space.

How to Choose Between Maximalism & Minimalism?

While these two styles are trending, they go hand in hand with personality types rather than merely aesthetics. After all, for most people, a home is a sanctuary that is an extension of themselves and a reflection of their personality…

If you prefer things around you that remind you of joy or are tactilely pleasant, maximalism might be more for you. Comforting elements in personal areas is the signature of the maximalism style. If you feel like having a lot of things around you is distracting more than comforting, you should opt for minimalism, as it is principled on more space and fewer distractions. Moreover, if you want your visitors’ first impressions to be dominated by flow and architecture, minimalism brings attention to the structure. If you want people to notice your wall decors or collectibles, maximalism brings out more of your personality through these things.

We could go on forever comparing the two, but overall from what we’ve gathered, each of these styles can sometimes be more personality traits, not just design aesthetics. Minimalists see their homes as places where they seek calmness. They want to highlight the house’s natural characteristics, such as the architecture and are more likely to emphasize the quality of the furniture to make a strong statement. Maximalists, on the other hand, see their homes as extensions of themselves and their personalities. Whether nostalgic or comfortable, they want to surround themselves with all the things that bring them joy. They don’t see groups of things as clutter, but as collections of things that they love most.


Here’s a list of some tips and best practices to keep in mind for each personal style:

Whether you are more into minimalism or maximalism, Direct Interiors offers an extensive range of quality furniture and decor to suit any personal design style. If you don’t believe us, come stop by our 50,000 square foot showroom to see for yourself!