Abigail Ahern shares her golden rule for making maximalism work in your home

There is such a thing as too much, even for the self-proclaimed maximalist lover

Abigail Ahern maximalist tip, maximal room with floral wallpaper
(Image credit: Future)

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. 

Abigail Ahern maximalist tip, maximal room with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: futurecontenthub.com)

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.'

See: Abigail Ahern shares her secret for making a small space feel bigger using color

Abigail Ahern maximalist tip, maximal room with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: futurecontenthub.com)

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.'

See: Kit Kemp shares her expert advice on how to liven up a small hallway instantly

Abigail Ahern maximalist tip, maximal room with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

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 Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

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 whilst 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.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.