Life without social media is nice, but I miss finding images of maximalist rooms stuffed with patterns and color on Instagram. I am closer to figuring out why the look draws me in and how I can make it work without cluttering up my small ’50s ranch, but I am not quite able to articulate it just yet. An estimated 350 more naval-gazing hours is all I need to develop a solid thesis and solution. So close!
Since I am not on Instagram for the moment, I scroll Pinterest for inspiration. Pinterest is not my favorite platform, and I feel a little lost with all the new (to me) updates, but it did lead me to an image of a maximalist room I can not stop thinking about.
A lot is going on, and my first reaction was to grimace and keep scrolling. Then I scrolled back up to note the chairs and how nicely their burnt orange color paired with all the green. As I spent more time looking at the picture, I started collecting ideas for my own home. Don’t laugh–I am not a design blogger or even a design aficionado. I am a middle-aged suburban mom and school librarian at home more often than usual due to a pandemic.
Ideas for Maximalist rooms I can Implement
- There are no less than three different greens in the furnishings, to say nothing of the plants. I spy emerald, olive, and a muddy sage-teal color. I found the implied permission to mix greens encouraging as the owner of an enormous hunter green sectional.
- I would love picture lights on my bookcases. My bookcases pale compared to Oscar de la Renta’s, but I bet there are more people with bookcases like mine than his. I am going to figure out how to make picture lights look special on ordinary bookcases.
- Speaking of lighting, one detail that separates designer rooms from rooms done by home decorators is effusive lighting use. Designers focus on lighting form; home decorators focus on lighting function. Count the lighting in this one room! I lost count after 12.
- Using a coffee table/ottoman as a sofa table is something I never considered but will now absolutely do. The area behind my sectional is a bit tight for a sofa table, but something low might work. I also love the art resting against the back of the sofa and the crewel blanket.
- Can you really call your look “eccentric grandmother with a weekend country home” (Dowager Decor?) if you don’t have a bust on a table?
- Pleated shades are a thing and deserve their own post.
There are some other great pictures in the Vogue piece, but the article gives the impression that pompous social climbers surround Oscar de la Renta. Which, you know, likely. I’ll have to ignore what usually drives me batty about design bloggers (not all of them annoy me) if I want to embrace my British grandmother’s aesthetic and learn how to create maximalist rooms. But first, I really need to come up with a name for it.
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