Creating a Maximalist Bedroom-How I Can't Live Without Colour and Pattern
I just couldn’t do it. I tried really hard to live in a room without pattern, because I thought it would give a grown, up more paired back look, but it just wasn’t me.
And therein lies a lesson. Trends may come and go, but in your own home, that you live in every day, it is what makes your heart sing that matters, not what you see in a magazine. Finding your own unique style and making it yours, learning about you and the process by which you decorate and style your home. Adding your own personality and emotions.
Finding your own style is something I’m always talking about. But, it’s true. Finding your personal style takes time and practice, and even when you’ve sort of defined who you are, things will change. But, when you get it right, it will make you feel good about your home and space, whether you are decorating to relax, to sleep or to stimulate at work.
I know by heart that I am a maximalist, see corresponding post on Maximalism. I like to be surrounded by beautiful things. I love the thrill of finding a new item, be it shop bought, or even better, found for a fiver in the back of a charity shop. I love the journey collecting takes me on, the history behind my collections, the mixing of old and new.
I love the challenge of piecing together items to create visual art on my walls or shelves or corner table. I love moving things around even more!
I also love finding old unloved furniture and bringing it back to life, something that first got me started on this interior journey.
And, I can’t live without colour, I’ve tried muted pallettes, but I need full on, bold and dramatic colour to feel cosy in my home. Luckily for me, because my home is filled with items I love, I can always move things around if it doesn’t work.
So, as you can tell, my home and its belongings has been a journey; some items I’ve had for more than 20 years. Bringing this collection of mismatched items together is what makes my style unique, I guess.
However, inspite of this, I thought I’d try and describe my thought processes so that you can see how you build the layers to a maximalist home. Because, you could go out and buy a maximalist scheme in some shops, outright, and if that is what you want to do, you should.
But, I like to think there is fun, beauty, a challenge in building a scheme over time. It gives you time to think, to breathe and to live a space before deciding to add more or not.
That is how I believe maximalists, often verging on the edge of chaos, bring ourselves back from the precipice.
It’s how I know my home is not too cluttered, for me, because I only add to it, when I’m ready, when I know it needs more, not less.
And, that is what brought about this bedroom update.
You can read about and see how this room looked back in January when I first decorated it here.
I always start with a main colour in mind, and typically we tend to decorate with certain favourite colours; for me earthy, autumnal ones.
In this case, I’d been hankering after a deep green for ages, finding it was a challenge, but once I did, I knew it was going over all 4 walls.
I’ve learnt that that makes the room more cohesive for me (I’d have painted the ceiling to blur the boundaries, but that is one interior decision my husband has a strong opinion on). Painting the door and skirting boards was going to have to do.
I was also adding faux panelling, my first time at this DIY challenge. And, that is where I stopped, apart from adding some bedding in complimentary colours of pink and yellow, I kept everything else the same as I had in the previous iteration of the room.
And, then began the collecting, the refining, the changing around of art, of knick knacks, of furniture. Taking time to get the room right. Decorating slowly, if you like.
I have a penchant for fringed lampshades, which I have collected over the last 12 months from Anna Hayman, and my latest addition, from new kid on the block, Beauvamp, who have just launched their online shop this week. They are one of my top picks for cosying up for Autumn, which you can read in Real Homes here.
I’ve switched the furniture around a couple of times, trying to get a scheme that felt right for me, settling on the current layout, which works for housing my ever-increasing clothes collection, which is available in every size, because I can’t bear to throw out my pre-children clothes, in case I ever get back into them.
I added a new ceiling light from Inscape Design and I’ve changed the art around, only about 100 times, preferring to keep the panelled wall paired back with one striking piece of art from Seed of Memory Art but trying several iterations to get the finished look.
And, sill I felt something was missing. So, 9 months on, after a couple of months of deliberation, choosing the right colour and pattern, I added wallpaper.
I decorate regularly with wallpaper, in fact there isn’t a room in my house that does not have any wallpaper or murals on the walls, or at least one of them, even the kid’s rooms. I love the additional texture and interest it brings to a room. I’m not actually sure why I didn’t use it in this room, other than I thought it might be too much with the faux panelling. I was wrong.
I suppose, this is why living with your room, allows you to get things right, to feel and learn what you and the room needs, rather than rushing to decorating mistakes and creating a room that is too much, too maximalist for you.
There are many conflicting thoughts on how you should decorate with wallpaper; from using it only on a feature wall to ensuring your walls and ceiling are totally covered in the same or contrasting paper.
Honestly, I’d say it is up to you to do what you are comfortable with.
In this case, I wanted to add a small amount of texture, only on one wall; the fireplace wall. Otherwise, I felt it would detract from the panelling I had grafted so hard to put up.
I took my time, researching new and different collections, but settled on one of my favourite designers Lucy Tiffney, whose wallpaper is based on her hand printed murals and which is a visual feast on the eyes, that no photo will ever do justice.
This is Sante Fe from her latest collection.
The only other change I made, was to paint this old buffet table, which I use as my dressing table, to match in colour-wise. I like to use furniture, which historically has had a different use, for different purposes in my home. It is also a great size for adding a collection to.
This table is not just about storing my ever increasing anti-ageing products. Like my study desk, which serves the purpose of providing work space, I like to add collections to, to sit surrounded by beautiful items, not just those that are practical. I suppose, as the maximalist that I am, creating little vignettes of beautiful items, lifts me visually.
So, am I finished in this room yet? decorating-wise, yes. BUT, I have plans to add a velvet bed, in ochre yellow, and I will almost certainly move around my knick knacks a few dozen times.
But having decorated slowly, I have now, I believe, created a room that is right for me, my take on Maximalism.
The Girl with The Green Sofa