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The “more is more, less is a bore” design philosophy sounds good in theory. But in reality, it can send stressed-out shivers down even the most daring design-lover’s spine. We turned to one of Colorado’s best maximalist decorators, Andrea Monath Schumacher, for her tips on how to perfect living large at home.
Skip white ceilings.
“If you’re going maximalist, the number one thing you need to remember is don’t forget the ceiling,” Schumacher says of the all-important “fifth wall.” In this study, she employed China Seas’ iconic Lyford Trellis wallpaper in a hue that’s nearly Hermès orange—the ultimate graphic punch that plays well with the floral patterns in the room.
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Nervous about mixing motifs? Do as Schumacher says and “start with one pattern you like. We began with the bird wallpaper on the screen and pulled the rest of the palette from there.” The screen was wrapped in a wallcovering from Schumacher’s new Liesl Collection (debuting in 2022), inspired by the paintings of her grandmother Elizabeth Monath, who studied with Picasso and Léger and later taught at Princeton.
Use rich, saturated colors.
No greige here. “Especially if it’s a small room, like a powder room or a study, weave bold, fearless color throughout,” Schumacher advises. On the walls in this space: Cayenne by Sherwin-Williams.
Create visual interest from every angle.
“Standing in the room, look in all the different directions. What are you going to see?” Schumacher says. If the answer is not much, “create eye candy there.” Here, you’ll spy sumptuous details including a hand-carved wooden dragon head from Tibet and an antique, Chinese gouache horse portrait the designer found on 1stDibs.
“Be sure to layer textures, too,” the designer says. Note how she pairs the Kravet Versailles velvet that wraps the seats of 1960s, Dorothy Draper–designed lounge chairs with a zebra hide rug. Proof that more is most.