Celebrated interior designer, Abigail Ahern, is noted for her signature dark color palette and fearless admiration for maximalist home decor trends. She has designed her way to the pinnacle of the interior world through her unorthodox injection of excessive glamour and eccentric prints. However, even for Abigail, too much is too much.
Appearing as a guest judge on BBC Two's Interior Design Masters, Abigail shared her thoughts on the maximalist interiors of a hair salon in Richmond, London. Contestants Paul and Lynsey worked together to turn the salon into a shrine of maximalism - complete with vivid floral wallpaper and a trove of rich overflowing greenery. The salon was thoroughly maximalist; however, Abigail had her doubts.
In her discussion with judge Michelle Ogundehin, Abigail confessed there is such a thing as too much - before offering advice for making this overindulgent trend work in your home.
The designer revealed it is a 'trouble' to have lots of different focal points in one room - arguing that, if a space is too busy, then 'your eye has nowhere to rest. It just reads as quite chaotic.'
Abigail continued, suggesting the salon would benefit from 'just a bit of softness, or an empty wall, before adding:
'I'm a maximalist; I can't even believe I'm saying this, but [give us] a little bit of an empty wall, please, just so it's a little bit more paired back.'
Abigail Ahern's maximalist rules are not exclusive, as the equally admired designer, Kit Kemp, similarly shared her advice earlier in the third episode of the interior design competition earlier in the season. The esteemed designer and owner of Firmdale Hotels gave her judgment on a selection of maximalist country hotel rooms in Sussex, where contestants were tasked with designing a bedroom.
'It's all about scale and balance,' Kit warned in her discussion of the technique before venturing inside the venue. Once inside one of the bedrooms, the judge's comments mirrored that of Abigail's, as Michelle remarked:
'There is a point where too much is too much because it doesn't allow you to focus on any one thing.'
It's very worrying for the eye, and it looks a bit frantic,' Kit added.
The more is more rule of maximalist interiors only goes so far. Take it from the industry experts, and create one focal point, you won't be betraying maximalism with one clean wall in your room. Going too hard with maximalism will simply appear too maxed out.
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.
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