Maximalist interior design comes in many guises, be it in swaths of bold color, vibrant layers of pattern, or from sumptuous, varied textures and materials. In Curbed’s weekly original home tours series, House Calls, you’ll see it all.
In celebration of summer’s last hurrah across the Northern Hemisphere, we’re sharing some of our favorite interiors that get the style right.
Adam Singer’s Hollywood hills bachelor pad has it all—a good view, a grand pool, a and a wraparound deck. Inside, designer Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design created a midcentury-inspired vibe reminiscent of Palm Springs. Maximalist touches abound, whether it’s the kitchen’s striking green-black-and-white color palette, the dark penny tile and contrast grout in the master bath, or the vibrant banquette and dining table.
The rambling ranch house of John and Linda Meyers—the creative couple behind Wary Meyers, a soap and candle company—is the ultimate live-work space. Not every couple with a six-year-old child would look at a home with wall-to-wall white carpet, a hair salon, and an aesthetic ranging from midcentury modern to grandma’s-house-circa-1980 and think, “It’s perfect.”
But the Meyerses did. The furniture and accessory assemblage they’d been gathering was—like the house itself—eclectic and spanned a number of decades. The addition of colorful hardware throughout their home—and the installation of a vintage American Standard orange sink in the kitchen—gave the place shots of color, along with a modern sensibility. The splashes of Crayola color in the living space has directly influenced the couple’s work. And looking at the primary-hued graphic art, vibrant hardware, and stacks of bright 1970s era dishes, the relationship is hard to miss.
When a noted interior designer (Lee is the founder of Lee Kleinhelter Interior Design and the home store Pieces) and a prolific builder (Kevin is the owner of K2 Custom Homes & Renovations) set out to build a house, it wasn’t as smooth a process as you might expect. “Let’s be real: We fired each other a few times,” says Lee.
But after finding common ground, and working with architect Yong Pak of Pak Heydt & Associates, the couple created a home whose stucco exterior features a dramatic roofline with a Dutch-Caribbean flair and whose interior embraces a dramatic black-and-white color scheme. The house is chock full of bold design statements, from the brass hood above the stove to patterned cabinetry, wow-factor lighting, and an all-yellow guest bedroom.
In 2015, after nine years in New York City, stationery designer Jesse Levison and her partner Alex Trendelman sought a change of scenery and moved from New York to Los Angeles. “We were ready to nest a little bit,” says Levison. Their hunt for a home didn’t last long—they ended up in a spunky 1920s Spanish Revival bungalow in a sleepy enclave of Glendale.
Behind a serene exterior lies a raucously colorful—and fun—interior. Clocking in at some 1,200 square feet, the bungalow’s walls are covered in art and its rooms filled with plants, ceramics, and the couple’s large collection of objects—“knick knacks from our travels, flea markets, gifts to one another,” Levison explains—on shelves built and installed by the former tenant.
The three-story Greenpoint building remodeled by Serge Drouin, a French architect with Renzo Piano Building Workshop and grandson of famed French industrial designer Jean Prouvé, is a study in color, light, and space-saving tricks. Pops of color abound in the remade 1901 building, whether it’s in the lime-green front door, the bright-yellow storage unit in the master bedroom, or the red legs of Prouvé chairs scattered about.
The open floorplan of the combined living and dining room helps maximize gathering space for the family. A selection of bright furniture and decorative objects—including an orange Eames rocker and George Nelson clock—provide more color amid the understated decor. The assortment of chairs around the sleek dining room table, a grab bag of pieces by Jean Prouvé, pays tribute to Drouin’s grandfather. The color extends upstairs and onto the roof in varying hues, whether that’s in a bedspread or overhangs that offer shade from the sun.
Stacey Blake, the blogger behind Design Addict Mom and the Instagram account of the same name, calls decorating her home “therapy.” Blake was once a teacher obsessed with DIY home projects and interior design blogs, and turned that passion into a full-time gig. Blake acknowledges her Jamaican heritage as a contributor to her style. “Color comes naturally to me,” she says. “In Jamaica, we are colorful in our dress, our homes, and our language.”
That manifests in a green-black living room with an orange sofa, a pink kitchen with a tropical-themed wallpaper accent wall, a jade-green bedroom with the same wall covering, and an orange front door. “I have a lot of pink in my house, but orange is really my favorite color,” says Blake.
Color could be considered the ribbon that ties the spaces of creative director Dan Pelosi’s character-filled Brooklyn home together. “Color attracts me in a big way,” Pelosi says. “I have to laugh when stylists and designers talk about a single pop of color—my entire home is pops of color.”
The hunt for a space big enough to accommodate a sizable dining table led him to the apartment, in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. While sitting at the table, friends are treated to more than Pelosi’s hospitality—they can also feast their eyes on colorful art in a gallery wall.
That comfortable, Technicolor atmosphere spreads throughout the rest of the home. In the kitchen, a row of color-coded cookbooks sits atop cabinets and a vintage turquoise dome light fixture hangs over the island. Two stools by Eric Trine, with bright-blue geometric frames, sit in front of the counter. If the dining room is the life of the party, then the living room might be considered a place of quiet (yet colorful) respite. Cushy furniture, layers of plush rugs, and a jungle of plants also populate the space.
For years, a corner pub in Ghent, Belgium, had been a popular watering hole for fans of local soccer team K.A.A. Ghent. When the league relocated, the pub saw its base diminished and went bankrupt; its owners were forced to sell. Bert Pieters and Yves Drieghe bought the two-story trapezoidal 1930s building “on the spot” after a 2016 visit with their architect, from Belgian firm MAN Architecten (MAN), seeing beyond the “mess” and “smell” to the space’s potential as a post-commercial pub-turned-dream house. Keeping the facade more or less intact, and preserving its glazed bricks, they took the interiors in a more contemporary, maxed out, direction.
Photo stylist David Anger and his husband Jim Broberg both love style and midcentury modern design, which is on display in their circa-1956 home in the Southdale condominium complex in Edina, right outside of Minneapolis. Anger may be primarily responsible for the look of their townhouse that generates happy-making endorphins, but perhaps it’s a shared love of midcentury style that brought the couple together.
Over time they’ve added accent walls on top of the home’s white background—a linen wall covering here, a pleasant orange there. They layered in their collection of graphic (as in design) art, and brought in bright, midcentury furnishings. Asked if he would describe his style as colorful, Anger hesitates. “I’ve always liked color, I am an Aries,” he says. “But really, it’s a white interior with several small bursts of color.”