8 Maximalist Bathroom Designs Redefining ‘More Is More’

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It’s time to rethink what you know about maximalism. Color, layering and pops of personality are still king, but today’s homeowners are tapping into the style’s signature components in more subtle ways. In exploration of The New Statement Bath, we asked designers to share how the evolution of the “more is more” style is translating into maximalist bathroom projects across the country.

Explore more stories from The New Statement Bathroom package, featuring 2023 bathroom trends, wow-worthy modern powder room ideas, and more.


black and white maximalist bathroom with luxe chandelier

“A true maximalist space is layered, with multiple statement finishes, fixtures and accessories that amplify each other,” says designer Amy Carman, whose recent project features Schumacher’s Chinois Palais Panel in Noir, Benjamin Moore’s Black Magic and Visual Comfort lighting.

Play up Personal Style

“I’ve always felt that maximalism is less impacted by trend; it is about creating an interior that is a personal artistic statement. The joy for us comes in putting our clients’ style, taste and personality center stage. We wouldn’t want it to fit tidily into the current style of the moment.”

—Amy Carman, Amy Carman Design | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

PHOTO: RYAN HAINEY

burgandy, brown and teal maximalist bathroom with patterned shower and floor

“If you go big and fun, you have to be all in,” says designer Courtnay Tartt Elias.

Embrace the Mindset of ‘Anything Goes’

“The best way to achieve a rich and luxurious maximalist bathroom is to use natural stone in unusual ways (think ‘80s!). The vanity out of one stone and the floors out of another. Porcelain ‘stone’ that mimics natural stone is super trendy right now, so I think it is more unexpected to find natural stone floor tiles of different materials and mix together. I also love to cut these tiles in different shapes and use one scale on the floor and a smaller scale of the same shape on the walls.”

—Courtnay Tartt Elias, Creative Tonic | Houston

PHOTO: JULIE SOEFER PHOTOGRAPHY

modern traditional take on a maximalist bathroom featuring farmer wallpaper and framed art“Add life and warmth to your bathroom with stacks of art that may be unexpected in a bath or powder room,” says James Farmer of a recent project, featuring a whimsical wallcovering by Thomas Strahan.

Put a Twist On Tradition

“The crisp, white bathroom has certainly had its moment in recent years. I think you can still have the white marble and clean fixtures while achieving a traditional and maximalist look. Add a great traditional wallpaper, fabric shades and antique rug, and you’ll have a more traditional look, while still feeling updated and modern. ”

—James Farmer, James Farmer | Perry, Georgia

PHOTO: JEFF HERR

maximalist bathroom with blue paneling and blue and white palm wallpaper

“My favorite ‘more is more’ play is to combine a lively wallpaper with a bold paint color,” says design Jennifer Hunter. “Try adding wainscotting or paneling to the space and painting it all in an accent color from the wallpaper.” This Pelham, New York, powder room features Benjamin Moore Whipple Blue and a wallcovering by Schumacher.

Time to Switch Up Your Thinking

“I think it is not just about pattern and color play, but more about layers of materials and textures. You can have a maximalist room that is totally neutral, whereas in the past when you thought of maximalist style you immediately thought of pattern on pattern and unexpected color combinations.”

—Jennifer Hunter, Jennifer Hunter Design | New York, New York

PHOTO: RACHEL KUZMA

teal and navy maximalist bathroom with presido wallpaer, navy sink and curved pill mirror

An industrial School House Electric sconce adds character to this bathroom, while the slight curve of the pill mirror “really gives the space a spark,” says designer Susie Novak.

Cohesion Makes the Dream Work

“The Presidio wallpaper in this powder room is inspired by the California landscape and Eucalyptus trees. It had the perfect surrealist California look and feel to it, and the navy color adds that nautical touch. The brass faucet that has the wheel handles is so special and appropriate for the room. I love the dark blue Nood concrete sink basin.”

—Susie Novak, Susie Novak Interiors | Oakland, California

PHOTO: BRAD KNIPSTEIN

aqua wall tiles in different tones add a pop of color to a subdued maximalist bath

Whether you opt for a wallpaper with a large pattern or wall tile with variation in tone, designer Virginia Toledo Gellar advises: “Be thoughtful in the selection of every surface and how it can add ‘another flavor to the entrée.'”

Serve it Up With Subtlety

“We are seeing a tempering of the maximalism that we saw years ago. Perhaps it was too much for our American palette. Today, when we are creating a space that can be deemed as maximalist, we are taking great measures to temper that wildness with huge doses of neutral or quieter counterpoints.”

—Virginia Toledo, Toledo Geller | Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

PHOTO: JACOB SNAVELY

teal green bathroom with small vanity and lime green and brown patterned statement wall

The pandemic effectively put an end to the minimalist aesthetic. “Though there are still pieces of minimalism to incorporate, there is now more emphasis on creating private spaces that have their own voice and character,” says Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien.

Keep All Eyes on Your Statement Piece

“Focusing on one special moment in the fixed finishes, such as playful wallpaper, an interesting paint pattern or a primary texture, and then pairing it with other areas of the space that remain quieter, creates an exciting, yet cohesive design. Once you have that statement piece, you can also pair it with quirky pieces that accent the main piece—whether it’s the same color, texture or aesthetic flair.”

—Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien, Vertical Arts Architecture | Steamboat Springs, Colorado

PHOTO: DAVID PATTERSON

maximalist powder room with black floral wallpaper and stone sink

“Keeping the main pieces more neutral provides an opportunity for a single element to really pop,” offers designer Amy Storm, whose recent powder room project features a floral wall covering by Wall In Vogue and rectangular vessel sink by Marble Basin Hub.

Let the Walls do the Talking

“Integrating classic elements with a statement-making wallcovering can result in a timeless feel. Instead of an amazing piece of art hung on the wall or a sculptural décor element, the room itself becomes the art.”

— Amy Storm, Amy Storm & Company | Glen Ellyn, Illinois

PHOTO: STOFFER PHOTOGRAPHY INTERIORS
A version of this article was originally published on October 17, 2022.