A mum-of-two has transformed her home into a maximalist’s dream, as she says interior design acts as ‘escape’ from her ADHD symptoms.
Small business owner Lois Connors has spent more than £6,000 decorating the three-bed Victorian mid-terrace home.
The 38-year-old from Macclesfield, UK says she’s only halfway done with the modifications she has planned for her home, which she shares with her husband Nick, children Nolen (13) and Heath (10) – plus Lexi and Dottie the cats.
‘I have ADHD and painting/styling is my therapy and escape,’ Lois said.
Upon moving there in April 2021, Lois immediately started decorating the home in her signature flamboyant style.
The devoted fan of maximalism is particularly fond of leopard print – so she has not held back when decorating her house with it.
Lois fell in love with maximalism before it became trendy. This love of bright ‘cluttercore’ spaces is shared by plenty of people in the ADHD community, as the array of colours and shapes can stimulate brains that may be lacking in dopamine and struggle with object permanence.
‘Mixing colours and patterns and textures is so natural to me – I definitely think in colour,’ Lois said.
Although she wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until she reached adulthood, she was always a chatty, daydreaming and energetic child.
Lois said: ‘I can now channel my ADHD into projects and activities which suit me rather than trying to mask and fit in with what everyone else enjoys.
‘Sometimes I doubt myself and wonder if it’s too much but I think the heart of maximalism is filling your home with the things that you love – and for me more is more.
‘I love colour and I’ve always been passionate about vintage and pre-loved, mixing colours and textures to bring individuality into my home.’
Lois discovered her love of excessive interiors when she and Nick bought their first home in 2012.
‘We were finally free of the constraints of renting and went a bit wild – our first kitchen was bright pillar box red,’ she explained.
‘From there we started visiting auctions and collecting furniture and art – adding lots of personality to our home.’
In this new space, the biggest addition was Lois’ ‘dream’ pink front door. It was the one thing she wanted to spend money on.
‘It’s a bespoke solid oak stained glass door designed by a company who specialises in period style doors and it was £3,000,’ Lois said.
They also paid £800 to have shutters fitted around the bay window and fitted black and white tiles to the hallway, paying just £500 for the outlay and saving a few thousand by doing it themselves.
The other biggest purchases were a £400 king-size bed from Made and a jute carpet in the bedroom which was £1500.
Everything else was purchased second-hand or vintage and upcycled – Lois usually paints and adds handles or vinyl. She nabbed her fireplace from eBay for £15, for example.
Generally, people love her colourful home (evidently, as Lois has amassed 14,000 followers on Instagram) – but not everyone gets it.
She said: ‘My Instagram page is my main hobby as an outlet for my ADHD – I can literally go wild and hyper-focus on little projects and upcycles and my lovely followers seem to enjoy the creative journey.
‘The door is always a big hit, and I find people really like the tiled hallway and traditional period features like my fireplace.’
Over on TikTok, her maximalism is more divisive.
‘Someone asked if I was colour blind, and another asked did I not have a friend whose opinion I could ask before I decorated. TikTok is savage,’ she said.
This won’t dampen Lois’ grand plans, though. Next on the list is the kitchen, which is going to be green and pink to fit in with the rainbow palate of the place currently.
They are planning to DIY as much as they can to keep costs down.
‘I love maximalism because I think it’s limitless,’ Lois said. ‘There are pretty much no rules, you can take it as far as you like – if that’s clashing prints and colours and adding in lots of unusual accessories go for it.
‘Also, it’s actually surprisingly easy and inexpensive to switch it up if you fancy a change – adding in a rug or changing around your accessories can make the room feel completely fresh.’
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