Tag Archives: the maximalist

Dreaming of sunshine…

Huge apologies for the radio silence. It’s literally been months. Well I have had my third little bundle of joy. He arrived safe and sound in May and has been eating his way through day and night ever since. He is a robust little monkey and adored by the whole family. But I won’t waffle on about my beautiful little baby boy too much, promise. Suffice to say the house is a tip, every job is half finished, the garden is a jungle and I have just about learned not to get anxious as a result! It won’t last forever is what I keep telling myself.

So as I seem to spend most of my time of late in a sleep-deprived, fairly hallucinogenic state I do a lot of daydreaming. Pretty much all my poor baby brain can deal with right now. And what I am dreaming about is sunshine… yes lots of sunshine. What is going on with this so-called summer of ours?! I am not impressed. And as I am cultivating a jungle outside at the moment, I am also dreaming of beautiful outside spaces. So here are some gorgeous pics to help you mentally escape the greyness currently gracing our British skies. Blah to grey is all I can say! Enjoy. (All images from pinterest)



Faux flower fix

Gosh, it’s been a while hasn’t it! Apologies, I’ve been in a whirlwind of crazy work deadlines coupled with preparing for the new arrival of small person. My head is spinning there is so much to do, but I think I am top of it all. We shall see!

Anyway, just a short one today, but I wanted to celebrate the not-so-humble faux flower. Banish all thoughts of naff plastic or fabric floral concoctions of yesteryear, I am referring to the recent renaissance led mostly by the ever-fabulous Abigail Ahern. After stocking them in her own Atelier to now collaborating with Heals, Abigail is putting the faux flower firmly back on the interiors map as something beautiful and sophisticated for the home. And I am a huge fan!

I was the very lucky recipient of six huge deep purple hydrangea stems on Mother’s Day – the best present ever – which now have pride of place in the living room. I adore them! I fear this could be an obsession that spirals out of control. Not a bad obsession to have though. Good faux flowers really are a thing of beauty and can elevate a space beyond belief. I urge you to investigate Abigail Ahern’s single stems as well as the glorious bouquets and plants on offer… Grasses and cacti matched with hedgerow flowers really can pack a punch. And Abigail Ahern also offers a very competitively-priced flower school, which I will certainly be enrolling on as soon as I have some down time.

Abigail Ahern may be leading the pack, but she is not entirely alone. There are other faux flower outlets to snoop around such as Neptune, John Lewis, Cox & Cox, and a personal favourite – and a definite for anyone who likes to dabble in a bit of ‘craft’ – HobbyCraft.

Here are some visuals to help inspire you! Enjoy.

2016-03-06 10.02.24
My Mother’s Day present and current obsession!
Fauxs from Hobby Lobby.
Felt flower creations. (pinterest)
Sumptuous plants from Abigail Ahern. (pinterest)
Abigail Ahern bouquet Banbury
More Abigail Ahern gorgeousness. (pinterest)
Cacti galore. (pinterest)
Inside Abigail Ahern’s Atelier. (pinterest)




The pitter patter of tiny feet…

Happy New Year to all you lovely people. I hope you and yours had a wonderful festive period and that 2016 will be filled with loads of good stuff for us all. I am personally not-so-secretly delighted…

In a little over three months I will be welcoming baby number 3 into the world. It’s a boy this time. I am filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension at the unknown quantity that is a small boy-child. I have two gorgeous daughters so all things girl-related I am highly versed in, but a boy…? It’s going to be a whole new adventure and one I am sure I will find incredible if at times nerve wracking.

So with the joys of a mostly wet and grey January ahead of me, I have started to turn my head to something not remotely drab and dreary… the design of the nursery. My wish-list is currently: bold, kitsch, quirky, bright, snug, surprising and as eclectic as possible to incorporate things we already have in our home. I am drawn to the colour yellow at the moment, but a 1950s yellow a la extraordinarily talented Lucienne Day or modern-day MissPrint, whose Dandelion Mobile fabric I just adore.

I am sure the design and scheme will morph organically over the coming months, but for the moment, here are some visuals that are inspiring me. Hope you enjoy.

Loving the colours used here and the kitsch prints are inspired. (retourdechine.canalblog.com)
Perhaps not pink for a boy’s room, but the different scale of items works really well and I love the shelves/letters. (petitspetitstresors.tumblr.com)
This mustard yellow pouf is spot on and I love the suspended lamp too. (petitandsmall.com)
The Dud Avocado.indd
This vibrant print is stunning… (shelleysdavies.com)
MissPrint Dandelion Mobile print.
Great shelving ideas. (handmadecharlotte.com)
Animal alphabet cards for the nursery – educational and also look adorable on the wall! (etsy.com)
Loving this DIY cloud light from handmadecharlotte.com.
A room full of colour and character. (flickr.com)
Bold wallpaper really works for me. (petitandsmall.com)
How to make a statement! (diyordie.elleinterior.se)
Habitat 1964 (handmadecharlotte.com)
Cute hanging solution. A beautifully organised and bright nursery. (chalkkids.co.uk)
A simple and effective way to create a quiet snug area. Love the colour of the side unit too! (dig-mig.blogspot.nl)
Great colour combo. Am particularly loving the roof pattern. (mommodesign.com)

I’ll let you into a little secret…

I am a Christmas decorations hoarder! My obsession is getting a little out of hand I think… the Christmas tree is positively creaking under the weight of them this year. But this won’t deter me. I’ve been collecting them for years. My current favourites are four beautiful exquisitely delicate hand-blown glass birds that we picked up in Prague earlier this year after a particularly red-wine fuelled lunch… the next day I worked out how much I’d spent on them and let’s just say it was a lot more than I’d originally thought.

There has never really been a Christmas tree “theme” at home. It’s definitely a case of more is more – as it should be in The Maximalist home! – a veritable feast of heirloom treasures, handmade delights the children have made over the years, gifts from friends, charity-shop vintage finds, mementos from our travels, treats I’ve bought myself at designer-maker fairs, all mixed up with new decorations I inevitably buy during the course of each year. I love combining different textures such as glass, metal, porcelain, glitter balls, fabric, felt, beads, paper… it makes for an extremely tactile tree and one that conjures up every child’s (and grown-up kid’s) dream of a magical Christmas land where fairies hang out next to robots, sequined butterflies and fantastically feathered exotic birds.

So I thought I would share this decoration delight with you and point you in the direction of some truly gorgeous Xmas decs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as there is so much out there at the moment. There’s still time to get hold of them, and there’s always next year after all!

For a magical twist on tradition head over to the frankly incredible Christmas Shop at Liberty. There are some wonderful tongue-in-cheek iconic decs shouting “London”, such as the double-decker bus, Big Ben, the Royal corgi dog, and of course a stunning crown. I especially adore the glass globe range of decorations, my favourite being the blue crested bird… might just have to get that one myself! There’s also the Queen in a globe, which made me chuckle. I am also loving the very striking glass humming bird on sale at the moment.

I’ve always been a fan of Paperchase‘s quirky, kitsch take on Xmas tree decorations: in the past I’ve bought robots, dinosaurs, and this year it’s the Jesus effigies that are really making me smile.

Rockett St George has an absolutely fantastic Christmas shop this year. I could very nearly buy everything there! I am completely in love with the glass whale decoration, the set of six glass Mexico baubles and the Love Has Wings dec… I strongly advise a virtual visit! They have some fantastic lights too.

Anthropologie has some beautifully unusual Xmas decs on offer. The scarfed critter ornaments are particularly inspired! And the forest soiree creatures are the stuff of childhood dreams…

If you would like something a little less fussy, have a look at the smooth lines offered by Jonathan Adler.

For something a little more unique, personalised and hand-crafted consider NotOnTheHighStreet, etsy, and folksy. From a quick cursory look, I particularly like the mini kiko frames and the Bombki range (you’ll see a crossover with Liberty) on NOTHS; the fused glass Christmas tree decs and gold ceramic bird decorations from etsy; and the button tree decorations and the laser-cut reindeer dec from folksy.

So get exploring and do that Christmas tree proud with glorious decorations this year! Happy decorating.

Love Has Wings from Rockett St George.
Vintage-style coloured glass baubles from Tinker & Toad in Heathfield, East Sussex. http://www.tinkerandtoad.co.uk
The Maximalist christmas tree festooned in an eclectic mix of festive decorations.
A beautiful Russian doll from the Bombki range on NotOnTheHighStreet.

Cactus and Day of the Dead skull decorations from Rockett St George.
A gorgeous whale from Rockett St George. I am definitely getting one of these!

Christmas isn’t christmas without a few flamingos! From Paperchase.
Christ effigies in bright pops of colour from Paperchase.
Cute animal heads from Paperchase.
A gorgeous scarfed critter from Anthropologie.
Forest Soiree: Fairytale creatures from Anthropologie.
A golden antler. Every tree should have at least one! From Anthropologie.
The glorious glass hummingbird from Liberty… I must have one!
Who doesn’t love a corgi. From Liberty.
Kitsch blue crested bird from Liberty. In a glass globe no less!
A stunning Faberge-esque Liberty bauble.
A crown is a must! From Liberty also.

Gorgeous glass Mexican baubles. From Rockett St George.
Porcelain bling. Just perfect for any tree. Rockett St George.
Oversized tassels. Love, love, love. Rockett St George.
Pineapple fairy lights. Add a tropical twist to your festive decorations this year. Rockett St George.

Pretty in Pink

Apologies for the radio silence. I’ve been super busy the last few weeks getting things ready and setting up a new space in a retail outlet. All very exciting.

The 1986 film Pretty In Pink became a formative part of my teenage years. Yet, the colour pink in the home has never really done it for me. Well, not until recently that is. I confess to being a complete convert!

Pink in the home can be used in so many different ways. You can introduce subtle pastel pink hues or go full-on saturated in-your-face-pink, or somewhere in the middle. Whole walls can be painted or just well-chosen accent pieces… There is huge scope for experimentation. Combinations that work well are pink and copper, pink and black, pink and concrete, and if you’ve really got guts, pink and red. You can introduce colour through artwork, paint just a door, throw in a vibrant rug or some cushions. If you feel cautious start with soft furnishings as they are straightforward to change. Pink can be sensual or cosy, dramatic or subtle.

So if you are like me – basically turning my nose up at the thought of pink in the home until recently – feast your eyes on these visuals and hopefully you too will see the potential of pink!


Pink trompe l’oeil. (tinekhome.blogspot.dk)
Deep, saturated cerise used successfully in a kitchen couple with concrete. The combination stops the pink being too frou frou! (bloglovin.com)
Take inspiration from this truly stunning restaurant interior. The Pink Gallery at Sketch in London // pink dining room with retro chairs and chevron floors. (thecarelessblogger.wordpress.com)
The Pink Studio, 1911 by Matisse. (TOPofART.com)
If you can pull it off, go big and bold and transform the facade of your home with pink! (reifhaus.tumblr.com)
Why not look to existing belongings to determine the colour of your walls. Here seashells have been the point of reference. (chintz-of-darkness.blogspot.com)
Pale pink, but done with aplomb. Who doesn’t love an embossed wall. (1stdibs Introspective on Frank de Biasi / 1stdibs.com)
Pink wallpaper punctuated with vintage frames. (boho-weddings.com)
Creating a bold statement hallway using salmon pink, and black and white. A combination that definitely works. An eclectic collection of artwork, a vibrant rug, and monochrome stair runner all help pull this strong look off. (domino.com)
Introduce pink through fabric and soft furnishings. This Art Deco fabric (1920–1930) would look incredible as curtains. Think sophisticated pink… (pinterest)
In the pink. (flickr.com)
A pink accent chair. (lisasaysgah.com)
Not for the faint-hearted! Pink living room in the home of designer Solange Azagury Partridge – Photography by Neil Gavin (wmagazine.tumblr.com)
If you’re going to go pink, go pink… I love the combination of pink and yellow kitchen units. (ilovepolkadot.blogspot.no)
I just love this image. (theleoisallinthemind.tumblr.com)
Pink and copper. And a tolix chair. What’s not to love! (ideasmag.co.za)
Be bold and brave… combine pink and red for a truly dramatic look. (pinterest)
Or create a mediterranean roof-dining experience and give the exterior of your home a lush pinky colour wash. (pinterest)
Pink doesn’t have to overpower. Here it is used effectively with a combination of seemingly clashing patterns to great effect. (pinterest)
Another kitchen. The pink works as a powerful backdrop to a very personal collection of belongings. (pinterest)
And to finish, a gorgeous pastel pink geometric artwork. (pinterest)

White… not a mere absence of colour

“White… is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…” 
Gilbert K. Chesterton

I will be honest, hitherto I have not been a fan of a lack of colour. In fact, the very absence of colour makes me get a tad twitchy. I thrive off colour, lots of it, and pattern in abundance. So, I thought I’d take myself out of my comfort zone and see what all the fuss was about.

Neutrals, whites, natural materials… plain, dull, soulless. Well, that’s what I used to think. I did some digging around and it’s quite incredible what you can create with a very restrained palette and lots of different textures – not just soft furnishings; you can source incredible textured wallpapers and tiles these days to add further dimension to your walls. Far from clinical and devoid of any personality, you can create quite wonderful, uplifting, almost spiritual spaces.

Two designers whose signature style is the very absence of colour are Alex Legendre and Zoe Ellison, owners and founders of the divine i gigi General Store in Hove, East Sussex. Alex and Zoe have embraced unique textures and a natural palette to create a haven of calm. They have also written a beautiful book called A Life Less Ordinary, which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to pour over gorgeous photography and interiors. Definitely one to curl up with.

Below I’ve collected some inspiration for you should you wish to travel down the route of natural palettes. It’s certainly a style that can be successfully applied to any room in the home. Just beware of small people with crayons and sticky hands is all I can say…I can’t say I am a complete convert, but I am certainly not quite the skeptic I once was! Enjoy.

It's all about texture. (srta-pepis.tumblr.com)
A monastic experience? It’s all about texture. (srta-pepis.tumblr.com)
Stripping it all back. (esin-ozcan.tumblr.com)
Stripping it all back. (esin-ozcan.tumblr.com)
i gigi general store on Hove, East Sussex. (www.igigigeneralstore.com)
Simplicity in the kitchen. (pinterest)
Simplicity in the kitchen. (pinterest)
A veritable celebration of white. (pinterest)
A veritable celebration of white. (pinterest)
Stunning beaded chandelier from www.bodieandfou.com.
Stunning beaded chandelier from http://www.bodieandfou.com.
Vita Eos Feather pendant light from www.papilloninteriors.co.uk.
Vita Eos Feather pendant light from http://www.papilloninteriors.co.uk.
Grey flocked donkey head from www.abigailahern.com.
Grey flocked donkey head from http://www.abigailahern.com.
An injection of natural materials. (pinterest)
An injection of natural materials. (pinterest)
Chair from www.bodieandfou.com
Chair from http://www.bodieandfou.com.
Neal Grundy photography. www.igigigeneralstore.com
Neal Grundy photography. http://www.igigigeneralstore.com
White and cream rag rug made out of upcycled T shirts by Handiworkingirls (www.etsy.com).
White and cream rag rug made out of upcycled T shirts by Handiworkingirls (www.etsy.com).
Doing the neutral thing, but with a splash of wall art colour. For me a happy compromise! (pinterest)
Doing the neutral thing, but with a splash of wall art colour. For me a happy compromise! (pinterest)

Blinging up the boudoir look

boudoir. (ˈbuːdwɑː; -dwɔː) 1. a woman’s dressing room, bedroom or private sitting room or salon. [C18: from French, literally: room for sulking in, from ‘bouder’ to sulk]

Now the weather is turning decidedly autumnal how about creating a warm and relaxing sanctuary in the home where you can snuggle up with a good book, a hot drink and some cake, or luxuriate in a roll-top glass with some tunes and an indulgent glass of bubbly… I’m in!

For me the boudoir look is all about opulence, texture, pattern, drama, deep rich colours, and some female charm. Lighting is key too. This is a fantastic look to work with in a bedroom, dressing room, powder room or snug. If you are not a fan of bright colours you can always adopt a more sedate palette of nudes, creams, sorbet pinks and chocolatey browns.

A page from my scrapbook.
A page from my scrapbook.
Getting that boudoir feeling. Another page from one of my scrapbooks.
Photographer: Miss Aniela. Series: Surreal Fashion. Model: Faye Shearwood Stylist: Minna Attala. Dress: Busardi. Feather cape:National Theatre Costume Archive. Hair: Doubravka Marcinkova. Make-up: Rhiannon Chalmers. Stylist’s assistant: Becky Smith. Photographer's assistant: Tim Charles Matthews.
Photographer: Miss Aniela. Series: Surreal Fashion. Model: Faye Shearwood Stylist: Minna Attala. Dress: Busardi. Feather cape:National Theatre Costume Archive. Hair: Doubravka Marcinkova. Make-up: Rhiannon Chalmers. Stylist’s assistant: Becky Smith. Photographer’s assistant: Tim Charles Matthews.
More Miss Aniela gorgeousness.
More Miss Aniela gorgeousness.
Photographer: Miss Aniela / Model: Kim Davis / Dress created by Kirsty Mitchell Photography / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Photographer's assistants: Greg Sikorski, Matt Lennard, Ian Mears
Photographer: Miss Aniela / Model: Kim Davis / Dress created by Kirsty Mitchell Photography / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Photographer’s assistants: Greg Sikorski, Matt Lennard, Ian Mears
Somewhere to recline with a glass of fizz. (image from pinterest)
Somewhere to recline with a glass of fizz. (image from pinterest)
Grab a book and doze in this delightful space.
Grab a book and doze in this delightful space. (pinterest)
A dressing room fit for any discerning boudoir fan. Loving the lampshade by Zoe Darlington. (Image from Pearl Lowe's Vintage book/pinterest)
A dressing room fit for any discerning boudoir fan. Loving the lampshade by Zoe Darlington. (Image from Pearl Lowe’s Vintage book/pinterest)
Matisse's 'Seville Still Life'
Matisse’s ‘Seville Still Life’. (google images)
Matisse's 'Reclining Nude Back'.
Matisse’s ‘Reclining Nude Back’. (google images)
Sumptuous lighting design by the extremely talented Zoe Darlington. Lush!
Sumptuous lighting design by the extremely talented Zoe Darlington. Lush! (www.zoedarlington.co.uk)
More yumminess from Zoe Darlington.
More yumminess from Zoe Darlington. (www.zoedarlington.co.uk)
The Bluebell sofa from sofa.com.
The Bluebell sofa from sofa.com.
Waterblooms Crewelwork Rug by anthropologie.
Waterblooms Crewelwork Rug by anthropologie. (www.anthropologie.com)
Inject some colour into your scheme with the Maud Deco by Mols & Tati-Lois.
Inject some colour into your scheme with the Maud Deco by Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
The Club Tartan from Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
The Club Tartan from Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Pineapple wall sconce from www.abigailahern.com.
Pineapple wall sconce from http://www.abigailahern.com.
Anthropologie's Nature Table Dessert Plate... perfect for eating cake off.
Anthropologie’s Nature Table Dessert Plate… perfect for eating cake off. (www.anthropologie.com)
Elegant perfume bottles are a must. (fredmiranda.com)
Elegant perfume bottles are a must. (fredmiranda.com)
The bubbly is beckoning... so let's get supping. Enjoy. (pinterest)
The bubbly is beckoning… so let’s get supping. Enjoy. (pinterest)

The work of the extremely talented artist/photographer, Miss Aniela, encapsulates the boudoir look perfectly in my opinion and she adds a healthy injection of attitude. A very modern boudoir I would say.

Historical references include Ingres’ Grande Odalisque, Manet’s Olympia, works by Egon Schiele, and Matisse’s many vibrant nudes, to name but a few.

Think lush fabrics such as velvet combined with sheers, fresh flowers releasing a heady aroma, ornate mirrors, furniture to recline on (sofa.com has some beautiful customisable sofas), pattern clashing, flamboyant lighting (visit Zoe Darlington, she rocks, and of course Mols & Tati-Lois), beads, tassels, fringing, dark corners, rugs, throws, cushions, arresting wall art.

There’s so much scope with this interior style so let your imagination run wild.