Decoding Interior Design Styles: Minimalist, Maximalist & Eclectic

Updated: Jun 6



From the simplicity of the Minimalist style and bold gestures of Maximalism to the bright colours and fun patterns of Eclectic decor, each interior design style has characteristics of its own. These include varying decor elements, styles of furnishings, colour palettes, textures, and more.


To incorporate your favourite design style into your space, it helps to be well-acquainted with its features. And if one of Minimalist, Maximalist or Eclectic is what you’re searching for, this blog post is for you! So, let’s get started.


Stay tuned to this series to learn about more interior design styles!


Minimalist


The Minimalist interior design style is characterised by simplicity, sleek geometries, and clean lines. It truly loves empty space, so using only the bare essentials for decor is the prerequisite. There are no patterns in this design style whilst incorporating texture is an absolute necessity. This is because texture helps make the otherwise cold space warm and inviting.


As such, the materials used in this style are diverse. From timber and glass to cloth and canvas, anything that helps incorporate an additional layer of texture is welcomed.


The colour palette is majorly neutral, with all-white and all-black being famous favourites. Pastel shades, such as pale tones of pink, green, and blue, are ideal to use as accent colours. Additionally, the Minimalist style loves plants, so bold punches of colour are welcomed through greenery.



Lighting in Minimalism ranges from recessed lighting to keep things low key to lots of natural light from outdoors. A fancy chandelier may be a Minimalist’s worst dream, but a statement can still be made with other elegant light sources, such as sleek LED pendant lights.


Credit: Ali Express


Furniture for this design style focuses on flat and smooth surfaces along with clean lines. Furniture pieces aim to be big on functionality and practicality.


To incorporate the Minimalist design style in your space, unwind the blinds to allow in lots of natural light, keep the colour palette neutral, and use lots of texture.



Maximalist


The Maximalist interior design is, quite unsurprisingly, the antithesis of Minimalism. As such, it believes less is truly less, encouraging one to play around with lots of patterns, saturated colours, and bold accessories. But Maximalism isn’t for everyone — it takes a good designing eye to make sense of a vast array of bespoke interests! And it’s often a great idea to consult a vetted professional for guidance beforehand.


Credit: The Pinnacle List


The materials for the Maximalist design style are basically anything and everything, as Maximalism focuses on putting together the things you love — and taking them to the next level. From faux plants and textured artwork to wooden floors and velvet-covered armchairs, Maximalism loves just anything.


The colours for this design style are bold cheerful, and the key lies in loading up in several different hues. Dark and light blues complemented with bright reds and greens can be the starting point for one Maximalist space, with more and more colours being added as one continues to decorate.


Credit: Hotel Les Deux Gares Paris


The lighting in the Maximalist design style should be spectacular; it should catch the eye and create a statement. Fancy chandeliers are particularly famous in Maximalism, though using multiple pendant lights — all aligned up — can also achieve the purpose.


Finally, the furniture in Maximalism is no different. Each item of furniture offers a great way to incorporate patterns. Fully-patterned sofas are often used in Maximalism, though the look can be kept grounded with printed cushions over plain sofa sets. Each furniture piece should also be unique, so picking up entire sets from furniture stores is not encouraged in this design style.


To incorporate this design style into your space, be (very) generous with colour and toss in vintage accents — old books are a must!


Credit: Dazey Den


Eclectic


The Eclectic interior design style mixes together elements from different styles. It is a beautiful blend of old and new, bringing together many different cultural heritages. The eclectic style revolves around spell-binding finds, high energy, and mixing together different colours and patterns. As such, it can easily be called a stepped-down version of the Maximalist design style.



The materials found in Eclectic design style have their roots in other design styles. Wooden elements from Industrial design style, textured textiles from Minimalism, and natural elements from Scandinavian decor — they’re all merged together for the Eclectic style.


Similarly, the colour palette has room for diversity. Bold colours take the prize, but an equally elegant-and-eclectic space can be created using white mixed with lighter hues, such as pastel pinks and yellows. The trick is to think contrast and balance — for example, building with dark colours over a neutral base.



The lighting for Eclectic decor can be anything from a vintage chandelier to sleek table lamps. Layering recessed ceiling lights from Minimalism, fancy pendant lights from the Maximalist style, and rattan chandeliers from Boho decor is one way to bring elements from different design styles into the interior.