Maximalist Style Outside of Chicago

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There’s a reason, I think, that head-to-toe black has remained a consistently popular sartorial choice throughout time, and bare white walls have been in vogue since the rise of Modernism — they’re easy to pull off. When it comes to dressing yourself or your home, introducing color always comes with a bit of risk; the more that is added, the more chances there are for it to turn out badly. Colors and patterns can clash, things can get lost in chaos, and combinations that might sound wonderful on paper can turn out to be horribly unflattering in real life. One wrong move, and you can be sent spiraling off into the realm of kitsch. This is why I have deep admiration for people who can not only pull off wild excesses of color, but actually take them to a place that is beautiful — a place that doesn’t employ color for color’s sake, but instead uses color to create something deeply unique and personal. Peaches Freund, a freelance designer and the author of the blog Aunt Peaches, is one of these people.

Located on one floor of a 1900 Victorian home in Evanston, IL, Peaches’ home is small in size, but positively gigantic in personality. Walking through this 800-square-foot home, one’s eyes are hardly ever (scratch that, never) at a loss for something to look at. Bright, neon colors brush elbows with bold patterns; white walls are covered floor-to-ceiling with art. Objects that seem to have no place together — miniature disco balls on a crystal chandelier or a leopard-print chair at a polka dot desk — seem right at home, forming unusual friendships that for some strange reason just work. “The ‘spirit’ of the place comes from the fact that nearly everything in my house is handmade, or secondhand,” Peaches notes. “I did a lot of sculpture work in college, and as the result of that, I see every object as carrying a certain sort energy. When you start considering the original composition of things, the spirit with which they were made, you value them much more.” She pauses. “That’s my long-winded way of saying I have hoarder tendencies.”

I think this is what I love the most about Peaches’ home — every single thing in it, no matter how off-kilter or jarring, seems to have been acquired with love and displayed with intention. Although she confesses to having a thing for camp objects (“I’m obsessed with early 1980s sitcom set design,” she says), this love seems devoid of irony — it is earnest, celebratory, and feels refreshingly authentic. “Perhaps it might look cluttered to others,” Peaches says, “but they don’t have to live here! My home makes me happy. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.” —Max

SOURCE LIST

Dining Room

  • Wall color: Dutch Boy’s “Nantucket Mist”
  • Trim color: Benjamin Moore’s “Decorator’s White”
  • Pendant light by CB2
  • Window fabric by Marrimeko
  • Gold lamp by Land of Nod

Living Room

  • Wall color: Benjamin Moore’s “Super White”
  • Couch from Domicile Furniture
  • Teal wall lamp from Urban Outfitters
  • Grid pattern pillows from H&M
  • Dalmatian dots and banana leaf pillows from Furnish Studio

Kitchen

  • Wall color: Behr’s “Ultra White”
  • Removable wallpaper: Chasing Paper’s “Sexy Hexy” pattern
  • Dog rump wall hooks from IKEA
  • Hershey Bar painting by Lauren Pretorius

Office

  • Wall color: Martha Stewart’s “Ballerina Slipper”
  • Wire basket shelving from IKEA
  1. Haha, I was so confused when I first glanced at the title, I thought it said “Minimalist Style Outside of Chicago.” Makes more sense now and I love it! I especially the fridge and the chandelier.

  2. Jessica says:

    Where did they source the dining table?

  3. Angie says:

    Where is the chandelier in the kitchen from?

  4. MJ says:

    Never realized how much I love a sense of humor in a home. That’s a really fun home.

  5. This is so great! It makes me very happy to see all this color.

  6. Ale says:

    AMAAAAAZIIIING!!!!! This tour made my day! I’m so inspired. Every detail in her home is PERFECTION! :)

  7. Lauren says:

    What a unique home! The personality and warmth make it shine! One of my favorite tours in a long time!

  8. Caitlin says:

    Dream home!

  9. Delta Breeze says:

    This is so great. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on an era of decor that, though full of nostalgia, I usually avoid at thrift shops and flea markets.

  10. I love the idea of painting the doors bright yellow, so cheery.

  11. Malia says:

    The text for slide 5/20 got cut off…

  12. Kim says:

    Love the story about the photo over the toilet – hilarious! Also – I never knew how much I needed a painting of a celebrity with my dog until this instant. I think my pitbull, Posey, would look awesome painted next to the Queen of England!

  13. chiara says:

    So nice to see a house so full of LIFE!

  14. Jackie says:

    Yes! This home is so awesome and inspiring. Love the disco ball chandelier and all of the color and pattern. More maximalist home tours, please. :)

  15. Brittany says:

    Love it! Love the lighting throughout, the colored doors, the painted furniture (which I don’t always love), and the bundt pan wall! It would have taken me 1000 years to decorate this house because I would have constantly been stopping to analyze, “Does this go with that?” This house just goes for it, and the result is so good!

  16. Emily says:

    Can you tell me where the turtle art hanging above the bed is from?

  17. Suzonne says:

    As someone who requires a certain amount of visual quiet in my home, I will never be able to decorate like Amanda. But I so enjoy her visual expression and I live vicariously through that expression. (And really, if it weren’t for her, I doubt I’d be inspired to keep my eyes open for random flamingos.)

  18. Kate says:

    finally! a house I can relate to! while i always find something to love in each of the home tours you post, it is so nice to see one that looks like me. love love love.

  19. Eileen says:

    What a lovely home!

  20. Jo says:

    Truly inspiring. Absolutely love this home.

  21. oltyrrell says:

    now that family knows how to have a good time! what a creative burst of energy their home is! I imagine a lot of laughs and good times there!

  22. Jen says:

    While this is not my style, it’s really, really well done! Even though there is a lot of stuff, it doesn’t feel cluttered to me. Maybe because there is a very distinct sense of composition. I also loved the commentary from Peaches. Would have loved to see a photo of the woman herself!

  23. Caroline says:

    so wonderful to see how the other half lives… thank you!

  24. Kelly says:

    So love this home and I love the way she described everything. I love the Miss Piggy comment. I’m totally stealing the coloring books for adults idea! Would you mind sharing the source of the animal print fabric on the office chair?

  25. Lillian says:

    I could never, ever live in this home… but I love it! I think it is one of my all time favourite sneak peaks. and so many brilliant ideas that I am already planning to re-use. truly inspirational!

  26. downwithbeige says:

    This is a bit too visually overpowering for me but I love pretty much every individual thing here and I especially love Peaches’s perspective, philosophy and humour. I also love her writing style accompanying the pictures, and although a link to her blog wasn’t given I googled it and it’s at http://www.auntpeaches.com/ for anybody else interested.

  27. Aidel.K says:

    @Downwithbeige–thanks for the blog link! There goes my afternoon…Really fun tour, D*S. It made my morning.

  28. JIll says:

    I think Peaches is great. This story made me laugh out loud. One of the most honest, enjoyable, creative homes I’ve seen featured here in a long time. I’m going to check out her blog now. Thanks for making my day. The Neil Diamond and cat portrait, and her dance photo over the toilet is too funny. Loved it!!!!!

  29. Jenny says:

    I LOVE Peaches and her amazing home! And now I need to get busy making some knob bobbles…

  30. Mindy says:

    Love every inch of it!

  31. Love the rug in the dining room and that fridge! Wow! Great chandelier with the disco balls, and Peaches’ office is amazing.

  32. Mollie says:

    I think this is probably my favorite home tour to date! I think I’m now obsessed with Peaches (and that her name is Peaches!). This is as exactly how my house would have looked when I was 15 but now I want it again at 30. LOVE THIS SO MUCH, GUYS!

  33. Lauran says:

    I think I’m in love with Peaches. I laughed out loud at almost every photo caption. That traffic cop dance outfit — WOW!! And all the color. So fun — I would sit at her dinner parties for hours too. Thanks for showing that “less is NOT always more”!

  34. Lara says:

    Beautiful post! Being scared of using colours in my own home- i really admire people who do! Amazing happy creative space! Very inspiring! Thank you DS!

  35. Rita Marie says:

    My spirit animal. Love this house and all the color and humor. I want to look at it over and over.

  36. Flora says:

    I thought it said minimalist too, at first. Love your story about the dress, flaunt it. Your place is so well organized it doesn’t look like clutter.

  37. lina ghalayini says:

    One of the most amazing interiors! The “WOW” factor is everywhere!!…Enjoy:))

  38. Laura says:

    I really didn’t think I was going to like this, let alone love every bit of it, down to the beautiful details. The disco ball ornaments hanging off the chandelier, the little tassels on the colorful doors, and awesome mix of colors and prints.

    Completely inspiring!

  39. Peggy says:

    The diva of colorful fun! I am going to hang up all my favorite pictures that I have, and make those door knob tassels, paint doors two colors, and get some coloring books, too too many fun ideas!

  40. Kay says:

    I don’t know how I got on this blog but as soon as I saw the dining room, I didn’t care! I loved everything in this home. How could anyone not love a dining table that wears chicken foot candlestick holders? And adult coloring books? I’ll be turning again and again to this blog when I need a dose of home made fun . . .

  41. Melody says:

    Out of all interior posts, I come back to this blog for inspiration and to remind myself to take risks. Thank you for encoraging me to change my boring home into a lively one!

  42. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!! Your personality makes me want to come have dinner in your home and just listen to every story you could possibly offer to each piece in your place!! The comment about ” candles and pantyhose” brilliant!!!! You are a true spirit and your home exudes that! Amazing feature…amazing home….amazing style! Thank you for sharing

  43. Erica says:

    Dear Peaches,

    We’re a lot alike.

    Love,

    Erica

  44. eddy lynch says:

    stunning good luck, eddy from Glasgow

  45. happy wheels says:

    What a nice house! It look cozy and full of love :3 The rugs is so unique, I love it!
    Every pattern in this design is so great. The rug, the chair, even the fridge >.< Oh my~~~

  46. wimbledon says:

    Thanks maxwell for this great post, i appreciate your work.

  47. Via B Design says:

    Wow! So colorful and fun! I love all of the different art pieces this home has.

  48. Maximalist…not for me…oh wait! This one’s brilliant! There’s been so much about minimalist and scandi style decor these days, it’s refreshing to see this number – breaks through the clutter :-)

  49. Lyndsey says:

    Where did you find the navy floral paper on the inside of the coral shelving in the bedroom?? I am dying to get my hands on it.

  50. Regina says:

    You have Fabulous Taste and Style! My style is almost duplicate of yours! Are you Gemini? If Not? Leo ;) Your blog and style is my new favorite! Boho Chic with Splash of Groovy Colors. Thank you for sharing your blog and beautiful interior photos. With Gratitude, Regina

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