Dixie Daydream design duo’s tips for maximalist design in small spaces

Love statement interiors but live in a compact space? Never fear, the maximalism trend can work wonders in even the smallest of spaces. Design duo Cassandra Doyle and Diana Civil of the new insta-friendly Dixie Daydream staycation destination in Camber Sands share their easy statement styling hacks.

Dixie Daydream

Cassandra and Diana (thestyleproducers.com) have teamed up with homeware giant Wayfair to master the art of maximalism to perfection in their revamped Airbnb three-bedroom static caravan, aptly named Dixie Daydream. The glamour-puss staycation may be compact in size, but every nook and cranny is jam-packed with uplifting colours, statement shapes and elaborate decorative touches that pack a punch.

‘People often think that small spaces call for more pared back designs and a neutral colour palette,’ says the design duo. ‘But we totally disagree – adding colour and punchy patterns to a small space adds personality and character, while also distracting from a room’s compact proportions.’ 

But where to start?

Go bold on pattern

When the duo were designing Dixie, they started from the floor up.

‘We wanted to create a focal point that packed a powerful punch as soon as you walked through the door. So naturally we opted for an eye-catching leopard print carpet, but balanced the bold print by opting for a tonal grey colourway.’  The carpet runs from the living room through to the corridor of Dixie and creates a seamless flow between the spaces.

Not a leopard print fan? Opt for a statement rug instead, or layer two or three patterned rugs together for a similar effect.

Dixie Daydream

Unleash your inner artist

Each wall (including the bathrooms) in Dixie are covered in a bold array of slogan prints and abstract artwork. ‘When it comes to art, don’t be afraid to mix and match – you can go for an array of art genres and frame types so long as you group similar colours or themes together for cohesion,’ explain the duo.

If you live in rented accommodation and can’t nail prints to the walls, however, use sticky wall hooks or command strips that are easily removable. This also allows you to move artwork around when you fancy a change.

Be colour clever

Even a maximalist decor scheme needs a considered colour palette so that the space doesn’t feel overwhelming.

‘We suggest picking two or three key colours to use as a base throughout the space (you can always layer artworks on top) and to try and stick to shades that reflect light around a room such as pastels as opposed to darker colours. We chose lilac, pink and mustard as our base colours and incorporated them throughout; using lilac on the walls to open up the space and the bolder shades of pink and mustard picked out in the cushions, accessories and artwork to tie each room together.

Dixie Daydream

Embrace the power of wallpaper

Wallpaper is perfect for injecting a maximalist vibe to any room. ‘Our smallest dark floral bedroom is just the width and length of a double bed, but is the perfect example of going big and bold to maximum effect.’

The pair opted for darker tones in this space as they lend themselves to a cosy cocooning vibe. They wallpapered each wall in the same paper and then added texture by layering similar colours and textures.

‘Flora and fauna is the ideal print for a dash of maximalist drama as flowers and plants lend themselves to a luxurious, abundant feel without dominating the space.’

Dixie Daydream

Be space savvy

Having a maximalist scheme in a small space doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style or practicality when it comes to the furniture.

‘We needed Dixie to be both stylish and practical and so opted for multifunctional solutions throughout.’ The corduroy tasselled stools are the original caravan stools that the pair upcycled with fresh upholstery and used as handy side tables, foot rests and extra seating.

Each of the beds were replaced with divans, so that even the smallest of the rooms has plenty of hidden storage. ‘The often forgotten space under the bed is maximum real estate so we utilised it to keep clutter off the floor.’

‘Don’t be afraid to build up as opposed to out with storage options. When we redesigned the fireplace to be an original electric fire we incorporated hidden storage into the side wall to provide vertical storage in an otherwise dead space.’

Dixie Daydream

Get style on a shoestring

Small spaces have the added advantage that you don’t need huge quantities of paint, wallpaper and furniture to achieve  a maximalist look, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t be thrifty.

‘Get creative and mix shop-bought items with charity shop and vintage treasures. Getting crafty and doing your own design hacks will also help save on the budget.’

‘We incorporated plenty of cost-cutting revamps in Dixie. Our lilac cafe-style curtains were made from a single tablecloth bought at an online sale, and we luxe-cycled the cooker hood by covering it in a metallic gold paint for a glam finish. Easy.’

The ceiling, fridge, freezer and laminate surfaces are also clad with reclaimed timber panels the pair got for free on Facebook. ‘We painted the ceiling timber in the same lilac shade as the walls for a seamless finish and transformed practical items such as the fridge and freezer into design features that complemented the rest of the scheme.’

Dixie Daydream

Want to experience Dixie Daydream for yourself? Book your stay here.

Tempted to shop the Dixie Daydream look? Check out wayfair.co.uk for the hero pieces.

READ MORE: DIY hack: How to luxe up your bathtub