5 ways to create a maximalist color palette – embrace a celebration of jewel tones for this more-is-more style

From electric blue to energetic red, these are the best shades for a maximalist color palette

living room with red patterned wallpaper, green bedroom, blue library room
(Image credit: Original BTC x Beata Heuman, Matthew Williamson/Damian Russell, Christina Simon Studio/Clay Grier)

Maximalism is an interior design style that embraces excess and drama, and that's no less true when it comes to color. Celebrating the richest of hues, a maximalist color palette is eccentric, loud, and full of personality. 

'Maximalist decor in interior design is all about giving the viewer lots to look at,' explains interior designer Olivia Westbrooks of Olivia Westbrooks Interiors. 'Pattern play and an overload of vibrant stimulating colors are the foundation of maximalism.'

But what are the best colors to incorporate into a maximalist interior scheme? We asked interior designers to share their favorite maximal hues and ways to decorate with them, which we've rounded up below. 

6 maximalist color palette ideas

From sophisticated jewel tones to vibrant shades of blue, these hues are a bold take on room color ideas that can be embraced throughout the home. 

1. Decorate with jewel tones

library room with blue built in shelving and ladder

(Image credit: Christina Simon Studio, photography Clay Grier)

Jewel tones are a timeless color choice in a maximalist scheme, creating an opulent and dramatic look. Interior designer Christina Simon of Christina Simon Studio used turquoise green paint in this library room, acting as its focal point. 

'Jewel tones always work great in a maximalist interior,' explains Christina. 'These deep colors make a statement and command attention. In maximalist design where every element competes for attention, jewel tones can hold their own and contribute to the overall drama of the space. You want more than one moment to pack a punch and emeralds, sapphires, and ruby, while bold, are really quite versatile and can be the key to adding some depth and interest.'

NYC-based interior designer Kati Curtis also recommends decorating with jewel tones to achieve a maximalist color palette: 'These rich colors, inspired by gems like emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, and amethyst purple, bring warmth and depth to any room, enhancing the visual appeal of maximalist decor.'

'When combined with bold patterns, textures, and an array of complementary or contrasting colors, jewel tones can transform a space into a visually stunning and luxurious environment.'

2. Create a complementary color scheme

maximalist living room with blue patterned wallpaper, red rug and red sofa

(Image credit: Christina Simon Studio, photography Clay Grier)

The color wheel can be a useful tool when designing a maximalist color palette. More specifically, choosing those that sit opposite each other on the color wheel, better known as complementary colors, will create a vibrant and playful look. 

'Combining complementary colors such as blue and orange achieves a maximalist aesthetic because together they enhance each other’s vibrational quality,' explains Olivia Westbrooks. 

When choosing the right colors for a complementary color scheme, jewel tones can make a great choice, as depicted in this maximalist living room designed by Christina Simon Studio. Kati adds that these tones will ensure some level of cohesiveness runs throughout your maximalist color scheme – no matter how bold. 

'Because they often are “complementary” on the color wheel, jewel tones like blue and orange work harmoniously together, adding a layer of complexity and cohesiveness to the maximalist aesthetic,' says Kati. 'This intentional pairing or grouping of complimentary colors elevates the overall look, making each space feel thoughtfully curated and unique.'

3. Or, use dark tones for an analogous scheme

maximalist bedroom with green walls, velvet bed and yellow bedding

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson, photography Damian Russell)

Alternatively, if you're after a maximalist palette with less contrast, use the color wheel to achieve an analogous color scheme. This is where colors that are next to one another on the color wheel are used together in a scheme, as shown in this maximalist bedroom designed by Matthew Williamson which channels varying shades of green and yellow. 

'Analogous color schemes create a good base for maximalist design,' says interior designer Nadia Watts, who recommends using dark hues for a dramatic look. 

'Starting with a dark moody base sets the right tone for maximalist design and keeping a common color story throughout your maximalist design helps things feel cohesive and curated. Start with an intense color so you can carry that drama and boldness throughout your design with art, accessories, furniture, and rugs.'

4. Make a statement with electric blue

maximalist living room with dark blue ceiling and blue floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Betsy Wentz Interior Design)

Maximalist color schemes don't have to include lots of colors with paint ideas. Instead, you can choose one standout hue that acts as the focal point for the rest of the room's decor. What's critical though, is choosing a shade that's rich in saturation to create a maximal look, such as this vivid electric blue used in this living room designed by Betsy Wentz Interior Design.

'Blues and greens are my favorite colors to use for maximalist design because the tones are really rich and sophisticated,' explains designer Betsy Wentz. 'We painted the ceiling in a high sheen Benjamin Moore’s Delphinium and added a graphic large-scale floral wallpaper with green drapery and purple accent pillows. A vintage over-dyed rug that matches the ceiling color completes the bold look in this living room.' 

5. Choose warm, energetic colors

living room with red patterned wallpaper, wall light and floral sofa

(Image credit: Original BTC x Beata Heuman)

'Maximalism is about infusing your home with energy,' says Nadia. 'Using energetic colors like pink, poppy, burgundy, or red makes for a punchy vibrant start upon which you can build your maximalist aesthetic.'

Decorating with red is one of the best colors to add warmth to a room while bringing plenty of drama. But, if used excessively, it can be overly stimulating, even in a maximalist scheme. Head of Interior Design at Lick Tash Bradley explains that red works best in smaller doses alongside pared-back hues. 'We never see color in isolation, so when red is used as an accent color against softer tones, it really stands out. Red has the longest wavelength of all the colors, meaning that it advances towards you, and you’ll be drawn to it the most.'

You could also consider decorating with on-trend chocolate brown in your maximalist scheme. Like red, brown adds warmth to a room and can be a strong base color for a moody maximal scheme, alongside more vibrant accessories. 

A maximalist color palette brings an instant sense of drama to the home. Whether you prefer jewel tones or highly saturated hues, these color ideas are perfect for those who love the more-is-more ethos of maximalism. 

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.