With her fearless color combinations and maximalist decor pieces, designer Abigail Ahern has shaped the most audacious of interiors – whilst sharing her sought-after tips along the way. Though, in all her expertise, some advice is notably more unconventional than others. This includes her lighting rule.
In an exclusive discussion with Livingetc, Abigail explained the secret behind her surprising lighting idea – and why – when it comes to illuminating your interiors – eight is always the magic number.
‘I think lighting, along with color, are the two most under-considered components on the planet because when you’re doing eight lights, the light is not just general illumination – it is little pockets of glow – so you’re almost lighting your home like a movie director,’ Abigail begins.
To fulfill your role as a ‘movie director,’ Abigail encourages you to ‘play with shadows’ to curate different zones – thus creating an ambiance space that oozes coziness throughout the year.
‘Between the pockets of light, there are lots of shadows – and therefore, it feels more mysterious, dramatic, and beautiful. If you don’t have little pockets of glow, you won’t get this cinematic and cozy effect in your home, which is even more important in the colder months,’ she adds.
While Abigail is celebrated for her maximalist designs, her living room lighting idea is an example of how this style is not always about injecting vibrant prints or using a kaleidoscopic palette. Instead, maximalism is achieved through a ‘zoned home’ through a combination of light fixtures, softer hues, and textures. This makes maximalism feel more accessible, Abigail suggests.
‘I think there is a misnomer between maximalism and bold. I am not really bold. Ten years ago, there were really bold, bright colors, but I’m not really about that now. It’s much softer… It’s just creating a really layered home, and you can do that by zoning your home and taking areas.’
‘The thing when you have a home that is multi-layered and multi-faceted is that it feels supremely cozy, and you can’t do that with minimalist interiors, which is why I’m so obsessed with them. When people think of maximalism and bold, they think of bright colors that are unachievable and completely over the top,’ she adds.
These modern living room ideas are exemplified throughout her collection with Freemans (opens in new tab) that launches on October 21. The collection features a curated collection of textiles, furnishings, and accessories that are entirely Abigail Ahern-approved.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.
Crown molding ideas – how to add decorative flourish to both traditional and modern homes
These expert crown molding ideas explore everything from how to match our home's history to interesting, new ways to use these decorative designs
By Oonagh Turner • Published
This designer TV trend is about to redefine how you lay out your living room, say experts
With impossibly chic new releases on the horizon, the freestanding TV trend is about to free up your home to new, more exciting layouts. Here's what you need to know about it
By Hugh Metcalf • Published