Here’s How Maximalists Can Fake Their Way to Minimalism

published Jun 19, 2018
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Simple silhouettes, neutral color palettes, sparse layouts. Let’s face it: Minimalism gets a much (muuuuch) better rap than maximalism. While the former is associated with being organized and chic, maximalism often falls into eclectic or hoarder territory.

But what’s a person to do when they love prints, colors, and oodles of stuff? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below, six easy ways maximalists can fake their way to minimalism.

1. Keep Your Counters Clear…ish

We know, we know: Spotless tables, counters, and other surfaces are hallmarks of minimalism. But you’re a maximalist, remember? You have a lot of stuff and you want to show it off. A good solution is to only keep a few essentials on your counters. For example, displaying only your toothbrush, soap, and signature fragrance on your bathroom counter will look sleek—and nobody will you know have dozens of lotions and potions hiding in your medicine cabinet.

2. Buy Neutral Furniture

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

It’s no secret neutrals like black, white, and grey have minimalism’s seal of approval. However, celebrating prints and color is arguably the best part about being a maximalist. A good solution? Buying furniture in clean, neutral hues. These versatile pieces might seem minimalist, but you can adorn them will colorful throw pillows and trinkets. A pared-down look without sacrificing your killer style—sounds like a win-win to us.

3. Color-Code

Speaking of color: Is it just us or does everything look better when color-coordinated? Grouping your clothes, sheets, and books together by color will instantly make your space appear simpler and more organized. Plus, your color-coded areas will make for great Instagrams. We’ll double tap to that!

4. Up Against the Wall

(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

Tried and true minimalists keep their furniture to a minimum, but we don’t see how that’s possible when there are so many beautiful side tables, armoires, and accent chairs to own.

You’re not getting rid of your furniture anytime soon, but have you thought about moving it? Placing most of your furniture (save for the occasional ottoman or coffee table) against the wall can trick people into thinking your space is bigger—and less chaotic—than it really is.

5. Hide the Clutter …

Disciples of declutter queen Marie Kondo will tell you it’s important to get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. But if you can’t bear parting with your stuff, the next best thing you can do is hide your clutter. Storing your belongings in drawers and cabinets is a great start, but if you want to go the extra mile, invest in pieces that do double duty. Baskets that can fit under your bed and ottomans with hidden storage compartments are chic and discreet ways to store your stuff. We even think Kondo would be fooled.

6. …But When it Shows, Prioritize Organization

If your home has a lot of open storage space—think cabinets with glass doors and shelves—take some time to sort your stuff. Carefully stacked papers or pristinely folded sweaters will look much better (read: more minimalist) than throwing all your knickknacks inside and hoping no one will notice. There’ll be no denying you have a lot of stuff, but at least you’ll look incredibly organized.