So what is this “maximalist” trend?  And what is it all about? To find out more, I asked my friends Michael and Geoffrey with Royal Circus, in my estimation, the best new shop for furniture and décor that Nashville has seen in a long, long time.   

photo by Danielle Atkins

photo by Danielle Atkins

More is More…

My initial inquiry was about what seems to be behind the maximialist “more is more” trend.  Here’s what Geoffrey had to say:

 It seems that people want a fresher approach to decorating interiors, that allows them to bring their own personality in, mixing and mashing the different colors, patterns, textures.  It’s really a cool and creative way of pulling together different objects that you wouldn’t think should go together, but actually do.  Maximalism gives the opportunity to bring more ethnic styles into your space.

photo by Danielle Atkins

photo by Danielle Atkins

Mixing and Meshing…

As you can see, these guys are quite good at ‘mixing and meshing’ things up in ways that are unique and work. I absolutely LOVE their ethnic rugs and furnishings. And the COLOR!  It’s really time for this in Nashville!  In fact, I am happily mixing and mashing it up with a couple of my clients, one of whose home is destined to be filled with the warm colors and with the luxurious layers that are the hallmark of maximalism. 

Marcelle:  So what is your advice to a home owner who is looking to put their interiors together, to not get lost in all of these riches?  How to navigate?

Michael:  “I love texture and pattern, but I think it’s better grounded with some pieces that have some weight and some simplicity around them.  It’s being sure to include some anchor points in a room, so it’s not just exploding.  Having these anchor points allows you to incorporate the vibrancy, the colors, the patterns.”

Marcelle:  “I couldn’t agree more.  It’s what I call the “timeless and classic base” – in a living room, the ‘sofa and two chairs’, as it were.”

Royal Circus has one such “anchoring” furniture line which I give my quality thumbs up to, CoCoCo Home. It’s made the old fashioned way in Hickory, NC, and their prices are unbelievably good.  In fact, we at Studio Guilbeau will be placing two flanking Chesterfields from CoCoCo Home in the great room of one of our clients, whose style happens to be “traditional-sensual” – the natural for a maximalist home design.

texture and pattern samples

velvet samples

Royal Circus has these CoCoCo Home sofas and chairs in their shop, in a rich assortment of leathers (which you can feel in person, and understand their “hand”) and velvets (a rainbow array of them, also available in various thicknesses and silkiness/not).  Our two Chesterfields will be covered in rich olive velvet.     

And in the sun room adjacent, we are placing a couple of incredibly soft and embracing nubuck leather swivel chairs.

photo by Geoffrey Gill

photo by Geoffrey Gill

It truly “fits you like a glove”, and the feel of the leather is actually silky, and relatively warm, to the touch.  This is the epitome of understated “maximalism” in the “classic and timeless” department.   

Layers with Royal Circus…

And, now that we have completed our classic and timeless “building blocks” with the help of Royal Circus, we are having fun building in the “layers” – a little global ethnicity, a little rusty metal added in?  Yes, please!

Royal Circus is located at 438 Houston Street, Nashville, TN, in the super cool and historic Houston Station, just down from Hemingway’s Bar and Hideout. They also have a website/store at When you go, ask for Michael or Geoffrey. Tell them Marcelle sent you 😊

Up next:  “More is more” for the “more is less” crowd: Maximalist Minimalism

– Marcelle Guilbeau, 

Nashville Interior Designer
Soulful Living By Design

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