When you love vintage as much as we do, you can’t help but harbor a soft spot for maximalist design. After all, more is more means you can pile in twice the finds! With maximalism currently trending, we’ve rounded up the five designers who always push it to the max. Get to know our favorite maximalist designers and be sure to bookmark their signature moves to try out in your own space!
If maximalism were to have a queen, Kelly Wearstler would be it. With a fully-loaded celebrity roster and a cache of gorgeous hotels (including her newest venture, San Francisco’s Proper Hotel), her fantastical style has long been synonymous with maximalist luxury. With a taste for biomorphic shaped-furniture, heavily patterned finishes, and a mastery of scale, Kelly has forged a maximalist style that feels both surreal and stunning.
Signature Move: With her eye for scale, Kelly is a pro at designing a room within a room. Her carefully constructed vignettes not only spark conversation, but allow for the max amount of usable spaces in a single room.
You know designer Patrick Mele is in the house when the maximalist vibe feels modern, vibrant, and edgy. If Patrick has a go-to M.O., it’s super-saturated color, which he frequently pairs with rich, into-the-abyss-colored walls. His way with color allows him to sync up modernist and classic pieces (think abstract art and Rococo tables) that might otherwise be at odds. The result is a fresh take on maximalism that reads both hip and sophisticated.
Signature Move: It’s just not a Patrick Mele interior without a little black-and-white magic happening. Whether it’s a bold cabana stripe or a zig-zaggy pinstripe, black-and-white helps to unite design elements that hail from different sides of the tracks.
Exposing maximalism’s Old World heart is New Orleans designer Melissa Rufty. Southern maximalism could easily stray into Haunted Mansion territory, but Melissa’s take on it is rife with color and lady-like ease. Whether it’s glossy, lacquered walls or traditional furniture pieces upholstered in riotous fabrics, Melissa’s version of maximalism is all about dialing up the classics. Her exquisitely layered and energized spaces are overflowing with a wholly new kind of Southern charm.
Signature Move: Whether she’s designing an airy Mid-Century or a romantic Victorian, Melissa always imparts a bit of her New Orleans heritage in the form of a Federalist-style table or an Antebellum-era portrait or landscape.
Pair a meticulous eye for color and an apprenticeship with design powerhouse Miles Redd, and you get Nick Olsen—the on-the-rise maximalist designer with a super saucy take on traditionalism. No inch goes unattended to in a Nick Olsen interior—doors are painted in technicolor hues, windows are decked in double treatments, and beds wear a profusion of pattern. Nick’s world hints at the traditional, but feels wholly modern, and his refusal to pick a team seems fitting for a true maximalist.
Signature Move: Nick lays it on thick when it comes to texture, with any one of his rooms likely to feature a mash-up of velvet, leather, silk, and crisp cotton. He often uses it in unusual ways, too (think leather headboard).
Like the most perfectly-styled antique store you’ve ever set foot in, Michelle Nussbaumer’s maximalist interiors feel collected and worldly, but never cluttered. Although her rooms skew traditionalist, they never feel fussy thanks to her eye for eccentric mixing. Under Michelle’s deft hand, Gustavian furniture pairs with bold Ikat draperies, and red lacquer Ming furniture goes hand-in-hand with Turkish tapestries.
Signature Move: Michelle is a pattern maven. Peep into one of her rooms and you might count upwards of ten patterns thanks to her superior eye for color, scale, and a well-placed repeat.
Lead photo of the Patrick Mele store in Greenwich, CT by Kyle Knodell