17 Fabulously Maximalist Rooms

Get ready for over-the-top design done right.

17 Fabulously Maximalist Rooms
blue library by Nick Olsen

Never one for a restrained palette, designer Nick Olsen brings his unabashed love for color, pattern and all things grand to this family room in a Greek Revival townhouse in Brooklyn. Olsen worked with decorative artist Chris Pearson to develop the “peacock blue” paint. “It’s an interior room with no windows, so the glossy finish adds sparkle and helps unify the artwork and other assorted treasures,” Olson says. Among those treasures are marbleized paper obelisks, a Regency-style games table and a 19th-century Italian mirror, which hangs above a Dune sofa in windowpane plaid. Photo by Pieter Estersohn

Mexico City living room by Sofia Aspe

Outsize style meets outsize contemporary art in this Mexico City home. “Art is the gravitational center of this apartment,” says designer Sofía Aspe. “To allow for the art to live in this space, we removed the lowered ceilings, played whimsically with the exposed beams and covered the walls with gray panels,” she explains. In the living room, a painting by Otto Zitko overlooks the seating area, which is furnished with sofas, side tables and a bench by Christian Liaigre, and a custom rug designed by Aspe. Aldo Chaparro created the aluminum sculpture specifically for the home. Photo by Alfonso de Bejar

“For me, great design means color,” says Aspe, who went full force while fashioning this library for a couple’s home in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood. “I saw a gorgeous purple door on a street in London and sent them a photo with the idea of painting all the bookcases in the color. They immediately went for it,” she says. To take it one step further, Aspe anchored the space with a multi-stripe rug by Missoni, which is offset by a black leather chesterfield and a beige tufted ottoman. Photo by Alfonso de Bejar

Texas designer Michelle Nussbaumer does not believe in doing anything in a minimalist fashion. “If less is truly more, then go with more less,” she once told us. In Nussbaumer’s own Dallas home, the sunroom is outfitted with sofas in a leopard print that is repeated throughout the space, punctuated by pops of emerald green. On the coffee table is a display of her favorite well-traveled objects, including a 14th-century bronze arm from Thailand. Photo by Melanie Acevedo

bedroom by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Grandeur and opulence are part of Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s design vernacular, and he overlooked no detail in the bedroom of a 12th-century castle in Umbria, Italy. The muse for this space? A Contessa di Carrabba. “I was inspired by her bedroom lined in silvered silk in the family’s 17th-century Roman palazzo,” he says. In bringing his vision to life, he covered the walls in Schumacher fabric that became the sumptuous backdrop for furnishings ranging from an 18th-century Tuscan cabinet to a 19th-century Indian rug from Mansour. The ornate Lisbon bed comes from Bullard’s own line. Photo by Oberto Gigli and Deborah Anderson

study by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

“The room was designed to become the central entertaining space for the castle and to appear like the original grand hall,” Bullard says of the layered, limestone-paved great room he recreated for the same Umbrian castle. Bullard had the ceiling painted in the 16th-century Umbrian manner by students from the Uffizi Gallery. A 17th-century Tuscan fireplace, an early 18th-century Flemish tapestry and Louis XV chairs covered in embroidered leather and antique tapestry fragments complete “the illusion of a generational family residence and inherited possessions,” Bullard says. Photo by Oberto Gigli and Deborah Anderson

Holiday House bedroom by Harry Heissmann Inc.

For the Holiday House in New York, Harry Heissman took black-and-white elegance to a new level with this memorable bedroom design, which served as an homage to his late photographer friend Karin Kohlberg. “I wanted to evoke the feeling of a child waking up on Christmas morning, all the excitement and wonder and magic,” he says. The discovery of the late 19th-century German carousel zebra set the tone for the room. Heissmann grouped together a Tommi Parzinger bed from Lobel Modern, bedside tables by Jacques Jarrige, Christopher Spitzmiller lamps, and a Poul Kjærholm chair prototype. The plaster table was a gift to Heissmann from Albert Hadley, and the black-and-white leopard carpet, wallcoverings and ceiling fabric are all by Stark. Photo by Peter Rymwid

Antwerp living room by Gert Voorjans

Belgian designer Gert Voorjans follows the philosophy that rooms should be lived-in rather than lavish. Yet his mix-and-match interiors have a way of being both. This blend is best showcased in his own Antwerp home, which he keeps ever-evolving and “open to the unusual,” as he once told us. In his library, which is constantly changing save for the antique tapestry, eclectic busts and objets and well-worn furnishings pack the space with style and soul. Photo by Tim Van de Velde, courtesy of Lannoo

Summer Thornton blends comfort with drama in this Chicago home, created for a comedienne and her family. The spaces brim with eccentric finds that encapsulate the vibrant personalities of the occupants. “When you walk in the door and see the home, you should feel transported both physically and emotionally,” she says. In the living room, an eye-catching mix of furnishings includes a fringed sofa in pink velvet, a Chinese Art Deco rug, a 1920s Lucite coffee table and a bergère upholstered in a cheetah print. Photo by N. Johnson, B. Ambridge, J. Thornton

Thornton carries her bold color palette into the dining room, which also functions as a library and office. “Our goal was to create something moody and dramatic for evening entertaining but that could double as a space for reading and paying bills when guests weren’t at the home,” she says. A purple Murano chandelier is surrounded by similarly hued sconce shades, and the chairs are intentionally mismatched for “an irreverent twist,” Thornton says. Photo by N. Johnson, B. Ambridge, J. Thornton

office by Kelly Wearstler

With its unexpected hues, polished mix of lacquer and Lucite, and fierce contrasts, this Bel Air office underscores Kelly Wearstler’s unmistakable Hollywood glam style. There’s no shortage of custom statement pieces, from the fuchsia alligator-leather chairs by Wearstler to the custom carpet by The Rug Company. “The rug has such a beautiful movement, and I wanted to create the same energy on the wall elevation,” says Wearstler, pointing out the salon-style wall of black-and-white photos. “This created the dimension and depth necessary for them to coexist with the striking floor.” Photo by Grey Crawford

living room by Juan Pablo Molyneaux

“I don’t have a style. I have a way of being,” Juan Pablo Molyneux once declared to us. He is a master at elevating rooms to the extraordinary, often layering elaborate motifs, painted murals and impressive ensembles of antiques. In his own 12th-century château in Pouy-sur-Vannes, the library features original wood paneling and cordovan leather panels that set the stage for a room of treasures, which include Regency armchairs and a 17th-century painting from the Emilian School. Photo by Xavier Béjot, courtesy of Assouline

Park Avenue bedroom by Brockschmidt & Coleman LLC

Brockschmidt & Coleman designed this classically elegant bedroom for a well-heeled couple in New York. “The room is old-fashioned, with its antique furniture and printed cotton floral curtains and bedcovers, but it is not too sweet,” says Courtney Coleman. Anchored by an 18th-century painted and gilded headboard, the room recalls the boldly layered spaces of great 20th-century decorators. The bed wall features a collection of antique engravings of birds done with embroidery and appliqué. Photo by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

living room by Brian J. McCarthy

Brian J. McCarthy happily obliged when his client requested that their Long Island home needed to entirely reference the 18th century. “Hence, the Louis XVI–style château influence,” says McCarthy. “Two of the world’s greatest workshops collaborated to produce this magnificent example of the Empire style at its most pure,” McCarthy says of this library’s 18th-century-style wood paneling and gilded details. Meriguet, one of the workshops, also created the Louis XIV-inspired ceiling, from which hangs an early 19th-century Viennese chandelier. Photo by Fritz von der Schulenberg

teal and pink living room by John Barman

In a New York City penthouse designed for an art-collecting philanthropist, John Barman didn’t spare a single wall from paint or pattern. “The overall mood we wanted to create was an apartment that was elegant but fun with an updated traditional mood,” says Barman. He lined the living and dining rooms in a flocked-velvet wallpaper in teal and painted the trim and crown molding to match. The coffee table is from Rose Tarlow Melrose House, and the jewel-toned rugs are custom. Photo by Anastassios Mentis

Palm Springs living room by Ken Fulk

San Francisco designer Ken Fulk has a magical way of infusing the fantastical into the most modernist interiors. He brought his imaginative palette to this Palm Spring oasis, where he covered custom sectional sofas in a vibrant patchwork of Missoni prints that reiterate the sunny hues of the home’s surroundings. His clients, a roster that spans software billionaires, socialites, and artists alike, fully subscribe to his ideas of modern living mingled with grandeur. “We try to make every moment in our clients’ lives matter,” Fulk has told us. Photo by Douglas Friedman, courtesy of Abrams

red living room by William T. Georgis

“Study in red is just that,” architect William T. Georgis says of his fiery living room for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York. “It’s a place for study and contemplation rendered in claret, burgundy, cerise and Chinese and blood reds.” The crimson theme is grounded in the 19th-century Agra rug and trickles over to Piotr Uklanski’s resin drip painting, Untitled (First Stroke). The vivid palette also serves, says Georgis, “as a smoldering and luminous background” for the vintage Kim Moltzer étagères, 19th-century plaster corpus and sofa and club chairs from Georgis’s collection for Maison Gerard. Photo by Timothy Bell

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