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Myth-Busting Tips for Maximalist Décor

Bright gallery wall of a variety of pieces and frame styles in a contemporary living room.

"Do I have too much art on my walls?"

This thought may occur while looking over the collections of wall art you've purchased over the years, or contemplating a new framed art purchase online. Well – good news for you, that question is a thing of the past with an up-and-coming buzzword you may have been hearing in the décor world: Maximalism.

Brightly decorated boho-maximalist bedroom with a canvas print hung on an accent wall
Featured Interior by paolaroderdesigns

What is Maximalism?

Maximalism décor has been around for a while, with roots in the explosions of color in 70s & 80s décor. Its trick to lasting relevance has been that it's not tied to a single art trend or style, rather it’s all about filling your home (and your walls) with what you love. From classic, vintage portraits to splashy, modern pop art, a maximalist art gallery wall can encompass it all. With Maximalist décor, you have an opportunity to show off your personal style and quirks in every room.

But the idea of hanging so many pieces of wall art can be daunting. You may be thinking: how many pieces of art should I put in a room? What if my photo prints don't match? How do I create an attractive wall arrangement without looking like chaos? Don't worry! With this easy guide, you're on your way to creating the maximalist wall art display of your dreams.

Abstract canvas print in over a fireplace in a luxurious modern living space.
Holding Fire II Wall Art by Melissa Wang from Great Big Canvas

Find What You Love.

There's no "correct" theme in Maximalism so instead of focusing on any specific size, shape, or color scheme, select a theme you love and curate your wall art collection around it. Don't worry about whether your Dutch Masters landscape perfectly matches your Pike Place Market vintage photo prints. This step is all about finding out what art you love and building a collection of canvas, prints, framed art and more which inspire you.

gallery wall in a bedroom displaying canvas art prints alongside sculptural wall décor
Featured Interior by Melmitchia

Mix It Up

While you can use uniform sizes or frames for your gallery wall, don't be afraid to vary your art styles – gallery wrapped canvas can be hung side-by-side with ornate framed art or sleek framed art photo prints. You can also include sculptural 3D wall art, unique clocks, and fiber arts into your arrangement to add in visual commentary. For small spaces, including a mirror or two will keep a gallery wall layout from feeling too large and add more light and space into the room. There are no hard and fast rules with Maximalism. If you love a uniform 20" x 20" size or a muted monochromatic look, go for it.

Gallery wall of vibrant canvas prints in over a couch in a Bohemian-styled Living Room
Pieces from the Maxed Out Brights Collection

Plan Ahead

Maximalism is all about lavish layering. Since your wall art functions as the largest and most prominent background layer, it's best to plan out the collection's composition and placement in advance. Measure your art prints and try different layouts in masking tape on your wall. You can use your art to tell a story - moving from yellow to orange as the eye travels right to left, or organizing portraits by year created.

Featured Art: Perhaps Wall Art by Loui Jover available from Great Big Canvas
Detailed View of Tomato Prism II  by Grace Popp

Hang It All Out.

It's time to put all your hard work on display. Whether you're going for an overstuffed gallery wall look, an impactful cluster grouping, or a simple triptych, your new gallery wall or art display is sure to cause a buzz with family and guests. With Maximalist décor, every wall becomes a conversation starter without saying a word. Check out our collection, Maxed Out Brights for our take on this ultra colorful trend.