Emily Henderson Goes for “Quiet Maximalism” in a Boho Bedroom Reveal

published Apr 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

When it comes to design, maximalism is back in a big way. Stark, minimal spaces are being replaced with explosions of color and texture (and yes, pattern). This can be seen in the popularity of Opalhouse, Target’s boho line of home decor. But, as designer Emily Henderson shows us, the trend doesn’t have to be all loud patterns, saturated jewel tones, and tropical wallpaper. Enter, “quiet maximalism.”

Emily explains the style and how you can get it, along with tips for choosing rugs, mixing and matching plants, and the living room item you should steal for your bedroom in our interview below.

(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

Apartment Therapy: When you hear bohemian, it’s easy to think of an explosion of color and maximalism. This room has a more restrained look— what was your inspiration?

Emily Henderson: We’ve been seeing a big return to maximalism lately. All of a sudden, people aren’t as afraid of color or pattern, and this new Opalhouse collection is a champion for all of that. We knew we wanted to make the look more approachable, and this was the result. We’re calling it “quiet maximalism,” because it has all the same qualities, (lots of texture, plenty of pattern, eclectic touches, tons of visual interest) but isn’t quite as bold.

(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

AT: Is the canopy a DIY? Can you walk us through how to do it?

EH: Yes, it is! This is the year of the canopy here at EHD. I’m calling it. Maximalism is about engaging the whole eye, so adding tons of visual interest in a quiet way was our goal here (enter that canopy). We’re putting together a full step by step for our reveal on our site, but here are the general steps:

  • Once you find your ceiling joists, mark out the four locations for your screw hooks and attach screw hooks.
  • Measure, cut and add grommets to both ends of four pieces of leather (or whatever material you want to use). These will be used to hold dowels, which you use to drape your fabric.
  • Attach your leather straps to your screw hooks and slide your dowels in place.
  • Drape your fabric of choice as desired.
(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

AT: Picking the right size and style of rug can be tough—especially for a bedroom. Do you have any tips?

EH: It all depends on where you want your rug placed. If you have space for it, a large area rug works well as a focal point (it doesn’t have to go up all the way to your nightstands or wall—halfway up your bed is just fine). I used a textured Opalhouse rug in this bedroom and love that it added a bit of pattern and texture while remaining neutral. Generally, an 8′ x 10′ rug works well for a full/queen-sized bed. You can also go with short runners or 4′ x 6′ rugs to the sides of the bed instead of the large area rug. Your choice!

(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

AT: Any dos or don’ts for pairing plants with the right pot, and mixing and matching them in the same room?

EH: In this room, we went with a mix of sizes and natural materials, like seagrass mixed with solid plaster. This collection has SUCH fun planters, like the rattan hanging version to the left of the bed. In other vignettes, we used more traditional, stoneware textured planters. I think the mix-and-match element makes it look less calculated, and more fun.

(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

AT: Love the unexpected rolling cart in the bedroom! How can people incorporate this piece into their sleep space?

EH: Isn’t it so fun?? That piece is SUPER versatile, and we set it up as a “beauty cart” which would be cute as a vanity area in a bedroom if you have the space for it, or in a smaller apartment bathroom – it barely takes up any square footage! Honestly, it would also work as a nightstand since the tiers provide an opportunity for different kinds of storage. In general, I just want to say GET CREATIVE. Just because something is in, say, the “entertaining” section—like this bar cart—doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a bedroom or bathroom. Same goes with accessories. One of the planters in the bedroom vignette we created is actually a waste bin for a bathroom. It was the right size for a plant, had a durable lining and went with the natural, textural vibe.

(Image credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

AT: What’s your favorite item in the space?

EH: So hard to pick. Those velvet fringe ottomans are SO much fun and add a modern, unexpected Victorian lean to a space, but the rattan headboard is also such a great piece. It works well in front of a window because it doesn’t block any light, adds awesome texture and the wing detail on it makes it feel extra special. Oh, and the macramé swing chair! Who doesn’t want that in their home?

Thanks, Emily!