This Eclectic, Maximalist House Mixes All the Colors and Patterns—and It Works

published Jun 11, 2020

This Eclectic, Maximalist House Mixes All the Colors and Patterns—and It Works

published Jun 11, 2020
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Name: Shawn Sweigart, Kayla Sweigart, Porter Sweigart (4-year-old son), and Murffy-Murff (cat)
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Size: 3400 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 years, owned

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When designing this house, we just really wanted a space where everyone would feel happy and welcome, and never want to leave,” explains Kayla Sweigart, designer and co-founder of The Little Green Door. “When we were house hunting we both wanted a house that had a lot of original character that we could build and design from. Something with old character that we could put a modern but timeless twist on. We wanted a house built to raise a family that we could love forever.”

Credit: Leigh Essig

Filled with an array of colors and patterns, Kayla says that’s not what their home looked like when they first saw it. “When we found our home, it was capital BLAND. I mean dirty brown carpet, dingy yellow walls, dark stained hardwood. It was dark, but I said to Shawn, ‘This is it. I can see the potential in this one!'” says Kayla. “It had tall ceilings with the most beautiful original crown molding. It had hardwood floors under that awful carpet, and all they needed was to be striped and lightened to their natural color. And there is a ton of natural light; the whole back of the house is window after window. It’s amazing. The layout was perfect for us, too. It allows movement throughout the home, which is perfect for us because we love to entertain. That’s also why we turned the coat closet into a China closet… I have a true love for vintage entertaining pieces; I won’t deny it.”

Credit: Leigh Essig

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would say my style is timeless, eclectic, and for sure maximalist. We are a nice mix of traditional Southern meets modern, with pops of chinoiserie and everything in between. Is that a style? Ha. Seriously though, our style is us and what works for our house. I’m totally a “more is more” kinda girl, so I love to fill it to the brim with things that make me happy. I’ve often referred back to my grandmother’s style. She is also a fellow traditional Southern maximalist. Her home is full of blue and white chinoiserie with antique furniture and great big floral paintings. I catch myself having a lot of her same style but with a little more modern-but-quirky punch.

Credit: Leigh Essig

Inspiration: I find inspiration all over from some of my favorite designers: Eddie Ross, Bunny Williams, and Iris Apfel, just to name a few that come to mind. I was an art teacher in the past, so I have a love for art and really try to incorporate as many layers of it as I can around the house. If a painting really moves me, I’ll want to redesign a room just to feature it, which is why I ended up with the gallery wall. Too many paintings, not enough rooms.

Credit: Leigh Essig

Favorite Element: Definitely the gallery wall is my favorite part of the house. I have collected art for so long and really was running out of room to display it. We have such a fun entryway and before the staircase was plain and lifeless. I decided it needed to be upgraded to be on the same level as the rest of the house, and before you knew it, I was calling our painter and asking if we could use his scaffolding to hang a gallery wall.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is really filling it. Living in a house with a lot of space and having that maximalist style can be a struggle. Filling it with meaningful items while making it cozy and inviting has been one of the hardest things about having 3400 square feet. I don’t want it full of clutter or meaningless objects. I want it to be full of memories and things we love. Being in the business I’m in, I bring home new finds daily from shopping excursions. I find so many things to list in our Instagram flash sales that I end up wanting to keep for myself. But I know that I will just be collecting things and not keeping something meaningful.

Credit: Leigh Essig

Proudest DIY: The entire house, Kidding, kind of. Like I mentioned before, the house was such a drab [space] when we first bought it. I’ve really enjoyed watching it come back to life while keeping its original character.

Biggest Indulgence: I would probably have to say the wallpaper in the dining room. I knew I wanted to wallpaper the dining room when we first moved in but could never make up my mind. Finally, when I did, we splurged a little and it’s been one of my favorite big girl purchases.

Credit: Leigh Essig

Best Advice: Make your home yours and fill it with things you love. I always tell my customers, “buy what you love when you see it.” Most of the time it’s not there when you go back. So don’t let that painting or vase pass you by. Even if you don’t know where you’ll put it just yet. You’ll find a spot when you get home. I have a list of things I went back to get in the past, which were of course gone when I returned for them… and they still haunt me in my dreams.


Credit: Leigh Essig


  • Sherwin Williams — Marshmallow (Living Room, Entry, Hall, Master and Guest Bedrooms, Sky High(Kitchen, Florida Room), Innocence (Pink room)
  • Dining Room — Schumacher-Hydrangea Drape


  • Antique Buffet — @jennykramerdecor
  • Floral Painting— Liz Endres
  • Chandelier— Antique
  • Mirror — Antique
  • Drop Leaf Table — Family Heirloom
  • Framed Paper Art — Liz Endres
  • Accessories — @Ksweigartcollection
Credit: Leigh Essig


  • Artists — Leslie Weaver, Harrison Blackford, Morgan Elvington, Haley Mathewes, Carlisle Burch. Liz Endres, Pamela Hoffmeister, Emily Hudson, Caroline Pinney, Sarah Hinderberger
Credit: Leigh Essig


  • Sofa and Loveseat — The Furniture Connection, Aiken, SC
  • Chinoiserie Chairs — Antique
  • Curtains and rods — HomeGoods
  • Rug — Antique sourced overseas
  • Demilune Table and Side desk — West End Antiques, Augusta, GA
  • Framed Sun Bather Print — Teil Duncan
  • Framed abstract — Emily Hudson
  • Skirted Table — Ballard Designs
  • Lamp Shades — Cotton & Quill
  • Coffee table and table between chairs — Family heirlooms
  • Antiques, curiosities, and decor — Sourced through @Ksweigartcollection
Credit: Leigh Essig


  • Desk — Family Heirloom
  • Bar — The Red Lion antique mall
  • Green Dresser — Vintage
  • Antique demilune table — West End Antiques, Augusta, GA


  • Vintage Settees — Carolina Consignment Simpsonville
  • Chest/Bar — Family Heirloom
  • Painting — Gift
  • Corner China Cabinet — Custom Russell Eisenbise with stain glass by Claire Eisenbise
  • Record Player — Family Heirloom
  • Framed Abstract Grasscloths (beside bar) — Emily Hudson
  • Paintings above record player — Bottom framed table still life by Liz Endres and top framed still life by Cathy Cullis
  • Lamp Shades — Ballard Designs
  • Lamps — Grace Frederick Design
  • Curtains and Rods — Ballard Designs
  • Rug — Sourced through @Ksweigartcollection
  • Upholstered coffee table — Family heirloom, upholstered in fabric from Forest Lake Fabrics in Columbia, SC.
Credit: Leigh Essig


  • Dining Table — Family Heirloom
  • Dining Chairs — Custom Russell Eisenbise
  • Bamboo White China Hutch — Craigslist
  • Buffet — Antique
  • Lamps — Vintage
  • Shades — Parker Kennedy Living
  • Art— Sourced by @Ksweigartcollection
  • Chandelier —
  • Curtains and Rods — Ballard Designs
Credit: Leigh Essig


Credit: Leigh Essig


  •  Twin Beds — Gift
  • Collaged Bird on a shoulder Print Framed — Morgan Elvington via Chairish
  • Paintings above Beds — Emily Hudson
  • Bedding —Steinmart
  • Chest — The Savvy Shopper, Augusta, GA
  • Bookshelf — Target
  • Curtains and Rods — HomeGoods
  • Lamps — Amazon
Credit: Leigh Essig


Thanks Kayla!

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*A previous version of this story accidentally wrote Kayla’s name as “Karla” a few times.