Abigail Ahern reveals her most unconventional design tip – and why it works in all interiors

The master of interiors has the secret to a curated scheme – we recommend minimalists look away now

Little Greene painted office with turquoise paint
(Image credit: Little Greene)

Synonymous with maximalist interiors, designer Abigail Ahern is not afraid of a rich palette and eclectic scheme. Her signature style exhibits dark hues and experimentative pieces that have established her a place at the peak of the interiors industry. Though, in all her daring decor decisions, one tip remains the most unorthodox of them all. 

In an exclusive interview with Livingetc to celebrate the launch of her new collection with Freemans, Abigail shared her most audacious modern interior design tip. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s a beautifully bold move that celebrates maximalism, just not the maximalism you may know. 

‘My most unconventional design tip (and it scares people the most) is painting everything the same color,' Abigail begins. 

Abigail Ahern for Freemans

Abigail Ahern's new collection for Freemans

(Image credit: Abigail Ahern for Freemans)

‘Ceilings and window frames go the same color as the walls – and this makes rooms recede. Whatever you put in the room becomes the star of the show. When the whole backdrop recedes, any object – from chandeliers to cushions and bed linen –just takes more of a central role. It’s such a simple trick, but painting the ceiling the same color scares the most people.’ 

While her painted wall idea is not for the faint of heart, Abigail shared alternate color advice that will allow you to experiment with an eclectic style throughout your interiors.  

Blue painted room by Abigail Ahern

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Rather than settling on one color exclusively, Abigail suggests limiting your palette to help make a maximalist scheme work. ‘I would never have more than four colors in a room – which means I can mix anything with anything without [making the space] feel chaotic,’ she says. 

‘Maximalist homes can read as very full-on and can be an assault on the senses. Though, when you restrict the number of colors you have in a room, your homes become super sophisticated. As odd as it sounds, it is a new way of looking at maximalism.’

Dark green painted interiors by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

‘This way of having a layered and maximalist home is about reducing the number of colors that you put in a room. Everything looks harmonious and sophisticated – and not chaotic,’ Abigail adds.

Is this the dawn of a new wave of maximalism? 

Abigail will continue to reshape our modern living room ideas throughout the cooler season, as her collection with Freemans, Abigail Ahern Home, launches on October 21. The collection will include a curated collection of textiles, furnishings, and accessories that are Abigail Ahern-approved. 

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.