A Colorful but Calm U.K. Victorian Is an Example of “Mellow Maximalism”

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Mirror over fireplace in living room.

Sheree Millington has owned this two-bedroom home for a year and a half: I bought my house by the beach by myself last year — it was very hard, as the housing market in the U.K. is terrible. So buying alone with no help is rare. I always knew I wanted a Victorian property — I just love the high ceilings and proportions of the rooms. When it comes to decor I love things; things make a home. And I’ve been collecting items from my travels or stealing from my mum for years. I like to mix vintage and secondhand furniture with modern pieces. But I prefer to buy secondhand, as it means no one else will have what I have. As I live by a beach I’ve tried to incorporate lots of beach-y shades into my home — blues and browns. My home is colorful, but calm. I adore it.

I’m mixed race — Jamaican, Danish, and English — so I think I take aspects from all those cultures. The vibrancy of the Caribbean, the slick design of Scandinavia, and the eclecticism of old English houses.

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: Cool, coastal, and mellow maximalism.

What is your favorite room and why? I love my bedroom — it’s the biggest room in the house, and after years of renting and flatshare, it’s such a luxury to have a bedroom that’s just that: A room to sleep in. For years a bedroom had to be an office, a place to do my makeup, and store all my things. Now I just sleep there and it meant I could decorate in a really deep color, which I couldn’t do if I had to spend more time in there.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I pick up shells from the beach all the time. So probably some shells from my lovely local beach, Westbrook.

Any advice for creating a home you love? If you like it, do it. Don’t follow trends — unless you like them. And your home should reflect your personality. People should know it’s your house — reflect your passions and history in it. Oh, and comfort is king. Make sure you have extra throws in the living room. People always forget that.

Thanks, Sheree!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.