Dark maximalism, sometimes called moody maximalism, is a style marked by an abundance of décor with dark, richer elements that border on the gothic. Maximalism, a counter to minimalism in contemporary design, often layers many elements and materials to create varied and unique interiors. This style is so popular that Lonny has declared maximalism the new minimalism, offering greater flexibility in surrounding yourself with things you love than sleeker, less forgiving minimalism. The style not only allows you to bring in your favorite things but to use them with an intentionality that seems effortless.
If you want to bring some dark or moody maximalism into your living room, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing paint colors, wood finishes, textiles, and other décor elements. Dark maximalist interiors are often layered, incorporating dramatic elements like deep paint colors and lighting with a casual vibe that feels very lived in. It’s an aesthetic that adores unique surprises, sentimental touches, and juxtapositions of luxury with livability (via These Three Rooms).
1. Dark and dramatic walls
Dark and moody maximalism begins with the paint on the walls. One way to introduce this aesthetic into your living room space is to choose darker colors for your walls, like rich browns, grays, and black.
2. Jewel-toned shades
Other beautiful options for dark maximalist interiors are deep jewel tones like sapphire blue, emerald green, and maroon. These make great colors for wall paint as well as furniture and accessories. This living room boasts layers of different green shades and gold accents that form a rich color palette mixing modern and vintage touches.
3. Eclectic interiors
Dark maximalism is a truly eclectic style that combines modern and classic touches to form unique layered interiors. Here, an ivory boucle chair with modern lines looks stunning against navy walls, wood floors, and a mid-century cabinet.
Maximalism is all about dramatic touches. The luxurious touches of a chandelier, gold frame, and velvet settee in this glam room are backed by gorgeous frame moldings on the walls painted in a luscious plum shade.
5. Gallery wall
A well-appointed gallery wall is a necessity in maximalist interiors, allowing a large number of pieces of artwork to occupy a single space as a coherent display. This collection of ornate gilt frames looks classic and elegant against a midnight blue wall.
6. Layering of materials
The best dark maximalist interiors employ a number of elements and layers when it comes to finishes and textiles. This black-painted rustic wood floor provides a platform for green velvet seats, wood furniture, and natural elements like pampas grass, wood, and bone.
Maximalist interiors love interesting juxtapositions like this abundance of roses set against a rustic stone wall and fireplace. Though the room is filled with light, the rich materials and bouquets of bright and neutral blooms combine to make the room a beautiful example of moody or dark maximalism.
8. High culture
Dark maximalist living rooms incorporate high culture in the form of statues, musical instruments, oil paintings, and many books. This room becomes a musical salon with a piano, marble busts, and an extensive collection of books.
9. Dark cabinetry
If you have an open-concept home, a perfect way to tie your dark maximalism living room to your kitchen is to paint your cabinets a darker, dramatic color. In this modern kitchen, midnight blue cabinets look stunning when paired with a lighter island, marble, and brass accents.
10. Rich fabrics
Rich, luxurious fabrics are featured in dark maximalism to abundance, including woven textiles, fur, satin, and velvet. In this darkly gorgeous living room, a velvet sofa shines in a deep shade of midnight blue.
11. Modern vs.vintage
Mixing antique and vintage materials with new, contemporary styles is often seen in maximalist design. A modern but vintage-inspired couch in a rich blue velvet creates the centerpiece of a living room employing sleek modern brass pieces and painted a deep navy.
Eschewing the trend of blank, white walls, dark maximalist spaces make liberal use of pattern and texture in rooms. Wallpaper is a great way to add visual interest to a wall. This living room features floral and damask paper in a deep gray that complements a deep brown leather settee.
Maximalist interiors often employ a wealth of natural elements like plants and indoor trees. Here, an antique cabinet is painted a simple black and paired with abundant greenery.
14. Paneling and molding
Dark maximalist living rooms center around coziness and interesting architectural details. One way to add both is to install paneling, decorative moldings, and other wooden elements. A painted wall of wainscotting offers a chance to bring in other shades of wall color and a shelf for décor.
15. Unique touches
The dark maximalist style offers ample opportunity for unique and unusual décor, including collections, artwork, taxidermy, and unexpected elements. Because the style favors abundance, you can bring in as many or as few extra elements as desired.