A big part of our job as designers/editors/writers is to sniff out new trends, not because we live and die by them, but because they’re palate cleansers. The new kid at school everyone has fun whispering about because you’re bored of the same people you see every day. And what we’re seeing come down the pike lately is a serious shift into maximalism. This is not to say minimal, neutral rooms are “out” (hello mountain house) but color and pattern seem to be making a fast and furious swing back into our homes, and we’re not mad about it.
The aesthetic isn’t for everyone nor is it effortless to pull off in a sophisticated way, but guess what? We reinvented it using Target’s new spring Opalhouse collection (read: budget-friendly) to make it more relatable and so much easier to recreate yourself. It’s a look we’re calling “quiet maximalism”…you can even refer to is as “maximalism lite”…all the same flavor of the original, half the calories!
It’s like when someone goes FULL THROTTLE with their makeup, and while you applaud the confidence and boldness, you kind of want to pull them aside and give them a “make-under.” You’d use all the same products, just…not as much of them and with less pigmentation. That’s this look. Fully made up face but in a no-makeup-makeup natural vibe that makes you think “whoa, you must have just come from a two-week beach vacation where you had no cell service and definitely never checked your email.” (Boy do we love an analogy around here, huh?)
We’ll walk through each of these elements in every vignette we created below, but while maximalism embraces a general more is more mindset, quiet maximalism is like ::whispering:: more is sort of more. The key elements of the style include texture (and lots of it), a mostly neutral/curated color palette, a sprinkling of natural materials, a touch of glam and, of course, layers of plants and greenery. It’s about being restrained and balanced but visually lush and inviting. Alright, let’s do this…
How to Pull-Off “Quiet Maximalism” in Every Room
As you’ll quickly learn, texture is a HUGE component of quiet maximalism, especially in the bedroom. Here, while there isn’t a plethora of color, the room still feels layered, interesting, inviting, and that’s all thanks to your friend texture. We brought it in floor to nearly ceiling, starting with that amazing rug. The tassels, the nubbiness, the patches of shag…it’s so good it’d make anyone want to leap out of bed in the morning to plant your feet on.
At the opposite end of the floor is our DIY star of the show: the canopy. Have you noticed we’re really into canopies lately? We created a canopy “tent” in the kids’ room at the mountain house we outfitted with Target’s super fun Pillowfort collection recently, and we didn’t stop there. It felt right to bring one in here, IN THE NAME OF TEXTURE, of course. There’s a Pinnable DIY at the end of the post with all the information you need to recreate this, but in short, we used a sheer curtain fabric instead of a netting because we wanted it to feel refined and organic. The bells added that touch of whimsy every maximalist room needs.
The next stop on the texture train is all that bedding, which also plays into the “curated color palette” aspect of this style. While this could have been a flat cotton duvet, it wouldn’t have really spoken to the look we were going for so instead, we went with a crinkly, casual textile here. The blush hue is subtle and picks up the pinky tones from the rug and the velvet pouf (which you’re not seeing here, but is present in the first shot in this post…our touch of glam in this specific vignette).
Let’s stop and take a moment to talk about this amazing lumbar. It’s SO good and looks so much more expensive than it really is ($30, though on sale today only for $21). The raised shaggy texture creates a pattern that plays off the throw at the foot of the bed, the tassels are a fun, eclectic detail, but the tonal white plays down all those elements and keeps it as a textural element instead of a blatant pattern. SO GOOD.
Also, how sweet are these sheets? We love a delicately patterned sheet to level up a bed, plus the hint of black from the speckling and edging touch is grounding to the airy palette and instantly modernizes the room.
Bringing in some natural materials and tones is crucial to the breezy quiet maximalism vibe. That hanging basket planter from the new Opalhouse line is so fun and draws the eye up (as does the canopy, of course). Part of maximalism is engaging the eye wherever you look, so this was how we thought to fill the space top to bottom but in a way that wasn’t overwhelming or suffocating. A mix of seagrass (via the handled tray on the bed), rattan from the hanging planter and headboard, and caning in the nightstand make things feel cohesive without being too matchy-matchy. This new Opalhouse line makes it easy to keep things varied.
A touch of brass (or a metallic) is integral in quiet maximalism to layer in a bit of glam. We brought this in via the frame and the lamp, which is so dimensional and perfectly whimsical here. It’s a great counterbalance to the streamlined and natural caned nightstand.
And, as the final must have, we sprinkled plants (both faux and real) throughout at different levels (like we said, all about filling out the space from bottom to middle to top).
Sunroom Swing Area
We’re officially obsessed with hanging swing chairs in interior spaces from this point forward. The price point on this one is excellent ($60) and it adds an unexpected moment to any room it graces (it would be particularly nice in a sunroom or even a living room). The off-white macrame brings in just the right amount of texture and is a nod to ’70s style, an old friend of maximalism.
For our curated, tight palette, we went with a base of cream and white but brought in a happy yellow in the curtain details (how fun are those tassels?) and grounded it with a deep teal throw. The hammered brass side table, with its interesting silhouette, feels worldly but adds to both the texture of the space and ups the glam factor.
Like in the sheets from the bedroom vignette, the black from the rug here adds so much depth and grounds the space, while the leopard-like pattern keeps things playful.
Bathroom Beauty Cart
There’s a certain loftiness that comes along with maximalism, and what’s more indulgent than a “beauty cart” or vanity area in a bathroom? It takes a purely utilitarian spot and turns it into a spa-like luxury. It’s downright Victorian, and you know how I feel about Victorian leanings (it gets all the thumbs up). To create our beauty cart moment, we actually repurposed a rattan bar cart (which would also be SO GREAT as its intended purpose) and borrowed that amazing velvet and fringe pouf (glam, check) from the bedroom. Can’t you just see yourself perched there, brushing your coif the recommended 100 strokes every night before slipping on a silky floral robe and sauntering into the parlor for a nightcap? This is a life I want to live on the regular.
And because the size on the cart (which ticks off the natural requisite here) is compact, it would be just right for a smaller bathroom or apartment.
While you can certainly add other greenery, we loved these faux flowers. They played so nicely with the curated blush-and-green palette in this vignette, and, even better, they’ll never wilt on you.
While there’s tons of texture in this whole space (velvet, nubby rug, palm fronds, rattan), to create a true “spa” environment, you gotta bring in the towels. We love plain white towels normally, but we couldn’t pass up the textural and fringed details on these to really drive home the “quiet maximalism” vibe.
Quiet maximalism doesn’t have to be just for bedrooms, bathrooms or living rooms. Bringing this highly textural, special style into a home office space or desk area actually works really well because it’s soft and tonal enough to not cause distractions, but layered and textural enough to stimulate.
Here’s how we checked off all the elements in this space:
Texture: The caning of the desk, the fringed, woven rug, the lace and fringe curtain details and the seagrass basket/planter.
Curated Palette: The majority of this space is neutral, but the plants, hanging ceramic and vase prevent things from looking too one-note.
Natural Materials: Most of the textural elements pull double duty here as well.
Subtle Glam: It’s not an EHD space without a touch of brass, which comes in in the edging of the picture frame on the windowsill.
Plants: We went faux here (seriously into that paper cactus), but using two different types of plants at different levels keeps things interesting and the eye moving.
Window Seat Reading Nook
Our final vignette we created in the quiet maximalist aesthetic is probably the most vibrant out of all the spaces, but it still follows all the rules. The palette is a bit more varied but there’s still really only three main colors happening here: yellow, blue and coral/pink. But because most everything is rooted in a neutral, isn’t doesn’t feel like a rainbow explosion.
Texture is everpresent in nearly every element here, from the pillows to the wreath to the blue basket tray.
It’s important to stop a moment and talk about this mix of pillows, because it’s a question we get asked all.the.time. To get that effortlessly thrown together yet awesome looking combo, here are some good guidelines to follow:
Rule 1: Vary pillow shapes and sizes. Here, we used a big squishy Euro size (normally around 26″x26″), a smaller 20″x20″, a chunky lumbar and a super skinny lumbar.
Rule 2: Mix up your patterns. For this vignette, we did two solids and two “prints”…one a stripe and the other delicate embroidery.
Rule 3: Introduce quiet texture. What is “quiet texture” you ask? Well, it’s a texture but done in a solid, like that mustard lumbar with the shaggy trim and the white lumbar. If these had any pattern AND all that tactile detailing, it’d be a little too much to take it. Pick your power moment.
I do realize that maximalism is not everyone’s style, but we think this “quiet” toned down version is so much easier to swallow and frankly, we’re crushing hard on it. For anyone who wants to amp it up, the new Opalhouse collection has so many more amazing products in bold colors and patterns, so if this is too subtle for you, be sure to check out the whole line.
So…what do you think? Which vignette could you see yourself recreating in your home? Are you into “quiet maximalism” or want to turn up the volume? We can’t wait to hear what you think.
For all the shoppable products, we put together the below Get the Look with everything we used here, but you can also find everything from each vignette directly on Target.com:
Bedroom | Swing Chair Area | Office Space | Beauty Cart | Window Seat
1. Textured Planter | 2. Tumbler | 3. Tassel Throw | 4. Pom Throw Pillow | 5. Hammock Chair | 6. Artificial Palm | 7. Rattan Planter Stand | 8. Woven Mules | 9. Accent Table | 10. Leopard Spot Rug | 11. Lace Trim Panel | 12. Ceramic Bird Feeder | 13. Writing Desk | 14. Tufted Velvet Chair | 15. Faux Cactus in Basket | 16. Utility Jacket | 17. Colored Pencils | 18. Stripe Woven Rug | 19. Artificial Lotus | 20. Artificial Anthurium | 21. Artificial Protea 22. Textured Vase | 23. Memory Book | 24. Frame 25. Rattan Bar Cart | 26. Sea Salt Air Dry Spray | 27. Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème | 28. Unisex Perfume | 29. Jewelry Tray | 30. Accent Towel | 31. Bath Rug | 32. Brush | 33. Fringe Ottoman | 34. Hair Clips | 35. Necklace | 36. Earrings | 37. Floral Robe | 38. Pink Robe
1. Artificial Palm | 2. Faux Cactus | 3. Wastebasket | 4. Bell Garland | 5. Headboard | 6. Duvet Set | 7. Macrame Window Valance | 8. Lamp | 9. Nightstand | 10. Parrot Frame | 11. Zebra Jar | 12. Jewelry Tray | 13. Bell Chime | 14. Round Hanging Planter | 15. Rug | 16. Lumbar Pillow | 17. Sheet Set | 18. Moroccan Throw | 19. Green Fringe Ottoman | 20. Pink Fringe Ottoman | 21. Napkin | 22. Woven Tray | 23. Marbleized Mug | 24. Candle | 25. Orchid Wreath | 26. Round Basket | 27. Square Textured Pillow | 28. Orange Stripe Pillow | 29. Velvet Fringe Lumbar Pillow | 30. Looped Stripe Lumbar Pillow | 31. Contrast Stripe Curtain | 32. Throw Bed
Wait, before we go, for anyone interested in the canopy DIY, we put together this Pinnable materials board and step-by-step. Let us know if you have any questions!
*Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD, design and art direction by me, styling by Emily Bowser with assistance by Julie Rose
***This post is in partnership with Target, a brand who we support completely and love partnering with.
How did I not know that I wanted a hanging planter? Because now I definitely want one.
Great. Now I have to go to Target. 😉 I’ll take that teal throw, the rattan bar cart, and that gold accent table, thank you. (And don’t think we didn’t see you there, Emily, wearing a RED-ish dress. Looks great on you!)
Ha! Thank you so much xx
OOPS! “QUIET MINIMALIST” IN EVERY ROOM?? Typo!
Besides that (although rather maximal) error, grrreat post!
Love, love the components, spesh the beauty trolley 🙂
I am so tired of design without color! More more more!
Beautiful, beautiful. Just wanted to point out that your first subheading before you go room by room says “How to Pull Off Quiet Minimalism,” not “Maximalism.”
I love this! Beautiful job! Where are the lacey, fringy bedroom curtains from? Thanks!
All Target! They should be linked up in the Get the Look at the bottom of the post!
I should have said on the windows on each side of the bed!! Thank you!!
Sorry I see it now!
How did you all hang these curtains – is it a little tension rod? I just bought these curtains because of you all (lol), and need to replicate this in my bungalow stat! 😀
this is so beautiful, I love that you showed us how to use it throughout the house and not just in a bedroom. Going to my Target now!
Thank you xx happy shopping 🙂
Wow! Is this post sponsored by Target?
I couldn’t tell.
I mean, it IS a post introducing Target’s Opalhouse Spring line 🙂 I think it’s great to see the decor in action, personally.
I would love to know more about hanging a chair from the ceiling (heck, even hanging a plant from the ceiling intimidates me). How do you even begin to assess if it’s possible and then do it safely? If you “hire someone”, what kind of someone are you looking for? Any advice appreciated!
We did it on our own! You need to find a stud and get a hook that holds a decent amount of weight! Something like this situation that’s made for holding a hammock: https://rstyle.me/+lSZW0RjJeKfrDwoJBPCXdA
I recently treated myself to a nice stud finder. Game. Changer. I think this is the one I got and I like it a lot! https://rstyle.me/+bWc_fH9WK9Tb2yjEhT3vvg
Thank you, Emily Bowser!
I think I’d describe my own style as colorful, playful minimalism. I can see elements of that in “quiet maximalism,” like with the wreath. I love all things Target, but my personal style leans more towards the kids’ mountain house room than the Opalhouse rooms in this post.
I don’t really consider this “maximalist.” I’d call this style “quiet bohemian.”
And on a practical note, how do people with hanging planters indoors manage to water them? When I water my plants, a little water always drains out, so….? Do you take them all down and water them in the bathtub? Do you just add a small amount of water so that none drains out? Do you put fake plants in the baskets (no thanks!)? I guess the basic hanging planter does have an attached tray that catches that water, but you still have to be so careful not to let that tray overflow.
I have a few hanging planters and yes the best thing to do is put them in the bathtub that way they get a good soak and you can water/dust the leaves at the same time by just turning the shower on. Depending on what kind you get will depend on watering but I chose ones I only water once every week or every other week depending on how the dirt feels. I’m short so I have to get a chair to grab them so I only opt for a few hanging but they look so pretty!!
I have a couple and I just make sure to get plants that are small enough, or a planter big enough so that I can keep the plants in the liner so that I can take them out and water once a week in the tub, let them dry and put them back.
The person that lives in this room clearly does not have cats, lol.
(Also, it’s a pretty room. Not my personal home style, but I still enjoy seeing it!)
haha well the person who styled it definitely does (me!) but, yes, that would be adorable/impossible with cats (GAH CAT BELLIES THROUGH SHEER FABRIC). Maybe that’s subconsciously why I did it! 🙂
It would be fantastic if the hyperlinks could be the exact name of the product (for Target specifically). For Canadians shopping target online, the links always reset and lead to the canadian homepage so knowing the name of the product to search for would be very helpful!
I love EHD but found this post so mediocre guys. Maybe I’m in a mood today? But this was just regular boho that we’ve been seeing for years. Not a new trend. And calling it ‘quiet maximalism’ seems a stretch too. I’m going to come back and re-read this post and my comment tomorrow in case I’m being way too harsh and I’ll apologise if I have been. Until then!
Well we’re all cranky at times. But I don’t see these images as just “boho” rehashed.
What EH is calling “quiet maximalism” has a bit of boho, a bit of glam, a bit of modern, a bit eclectic. But, IMO, Boho has more of an international bent and I don’t see an international emphasis here. Also Boho is not “quiet.” Boho is cluttered. This isn’t cluttered.
What size rug is used is these pics? On one photo it looks like the 5×7 size but in others either the rug is slid further to the side or a larger rug was used. Am really struggling on what size to put under our queen bed in our small bedroom.
Hi! A 5×7 or 5×8 would certainly work as a standard queen is roughly 60 inches wide, but if you want to go for a more “grand” bedroom (and have the room for it), we prefer an 8×10 for more “walk around” space, though you mentioned your room was small. If there is space to the side of your beds, there’s also the option of two smaller rugs or runners NEXT to the bed instead of under the bed.
What would you do if you have a carpeted bedroom? Our bedroom has white carpet and it’s a huge room. I want to divide it up visually somehow and thought that a carpet under our queen bed might work, but can’t figure out if this is actually a look!
I can’t belive how long Target waited to rip off Michelle Quan’s ceramic bells.
I love Target because they do offer stylish and trendy home decor products that fit my budget, but
I prefer the designer collaborations they do. It is a way to introduce the masses to beautiful design that honors the talent of artists and designers instead of just copying their ideas.
Wow, I’m drooling over here. TYSM for increasing the size of my target cart! Can you advise on how to hang the Hammock Chair, though? I’d like to click purchase now, but I’m holding off since the Target piece doesn’t come with hanging hardware. Don’t want to hang it improperly and fall on my bum 🙂
There’s so much to love here! I’m not a maximalist fan, so this quieted version is definitely speaking my language. The opalhouse collection leans a smidge more boho than I prefer, but there are so many great elements I could incorporate into my own style. I’ll be back when I have time to “shop” this post!
Omg I love everything about this! You guys did such a good job, and put so much effort into it! Thanks for sharing. Hope you are having a lovely day.
Can we find out where that pink/red striped dress is from, please?
This “maximalism” is so quiet is not maximal at all.
I agree! I like the texture, but “quiet maximalism” seems to equal what EHD just normally does with maybe a pop of strong color (teal and yellow but not a the same time, ya’ know) rather than blue! It’s what I’ve come to expect from EHD, though, so it is what it is!
Can you link your beautiful dress?!!
Beautiful styling, gorgeous dress, great ideas! After running across your post, I’m thinking of doing this DIY canopy in my daughters room instead of the hoop type canopy I’ve had pinned for centuries Haha! Can you tell me if the fabric used is gauze? Or what type of fabric it is? Thank you so much!
This is just Boho ?
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