In the heart of Winter Park, Florida, a maximalist mansion stands that’s so opulent, even Carrie Bradshaw would consider trading her Manolo Blahniks for a key. Listed at $5,400,000, this French Provincial residence isn’t just a home; it’s a fashion statement in architectural form. But what does it mean to be a maximalist in the world of interior design, and how can you channel your inner Carrie to transform your own living space?
The Mansion Reimagined: A Collaboration of Eclectic Minds
When Quentin Green from Compass Florida listed this Winter Park jewel, he was showcasing a collaborative masterpiece between homeowner Cathy Engelman and Certified Interior Decorator Maria Salgado.
Much like Carrie Bradshaw, who effortlessly blends vintage finds with designer pieces, Cathy and Maria took a “bare bones” mansion and turned it into a maximalist dream. According to Salgado, Cathy started with “base anchor pieces” like drapes and then layered in “extra fun stuff like the wallpaper, the blinds and accessories.”
The Maximalist Philosophy: Making Statements, the Carrie Way
If Carrie Bradshaw taught us anything, it’s that life is too short for boring clothes—or in this case, boring homes. Maximalism is about making bold statements. It’s about layering textures, colors, and patterns to create a rich, dynamic environment. “Take one piece and let that be your anchor piece,” advises Salgado. “Build off that, whether it be with color, fabric, or texture, and make the room grow.” Start with your ‘Carrie closet’—the room you live in the most—and let your creativity flourish from there.
A South Florida Influence with a Dash of Palm Beach Chic
The home’s design philosophy draws inspiration from classic South Florida and Palm Beach styles, much like how Carrie would draw inspiration from New York’s diverse fashion scenes. “We love the old classic Palm Beach style with the Wicker, rattan, and bamboo chinoiserie,” says Salgado. Cathy and Maria even took shopping trips to Palm Beach antique stores to find unique pieces, much like Carrie’s vintage shopping escapades in the Big Apple.
Fashion Meets Interior Design: A Carrie Bradshaw Staple
Carrie Bradshaw seamlessly blends fashion into every aspect of her life, and so do Cathy and Maria. “We both love accessories and dresses,” Salgado shares. “We like the puffy sleeves, different colors, and layers. We’ll take a piece of fabric and turn it into a skirt, so we work fashion into interior design.” Just like Carrie, who isn’t afraid to mix a vintage corsage with a designer dress, Cathy and Maria aim for uniqueness in their designs.
The Element of Surprise: The Carrie Factor
Carrie Bradshaw loves surprises, whether it’s an unexpected romantic gesture or a never-before-seen fashion piece. “A lot of people don’t like to make a statement because they don’t like the shock value,” says Salgado. But for maximalists like her and Cathy, the element of surprise is part of the allure. “It’s all about layers,” she adds, echoing a sentiment Carrie would surely agree with.
Tips for Your Own Maximalist Makeover: The Carrie Checklist
- Be Bold: If Carrie can wear a tutu in Midtown Manhattan, you can certainly add that statement wallpaper you’ve been eyeing.
- Layer, Layer, Layer: Think of your home like you’re accessorizing an outfit for a night out with Carrie and the girls.
- Find Your Anchor: Whether it’s a designer couch or a vintage coffee table, let one piece guide your room’s aesthetic.
- Fashion as Inspiration: Use your wardrobe as a starting point for room designs. If Carrie can match her Manolos with a thrift-store find, so can you.
- Unique is Chic: Look for pieces that scream individuality. Remember, Carrie never wanted to be like everyone else. Neither should your home.
So, if you want to infuse your home with maximalist flair, take a leaf out of Cathy Engelman and Maria Salgado’s design book—and add a sprinkle of Carrie Bradshaw for good measure. After all, maximalism isn’t about clutter; it’s about abundance, uniqueness and the audacity to make a statement.
About Cathy Engelman
Cathy Engelman, the homeowner and self-taught designer, has a style she describes as “eclectic and layered.” Born and raised in Winter Park, Cathy has a background in Biology but has always had a passion for fashion and interior design, inspired by her parents who worked in the design and fashion industry. She loves mixing traditional fabrics, antiques, and wallpapers with contemporary art and collectibles.
About Maria Salgado
Maria Salgado’s commitment to her craft is underscored by her status as a Certified Interior Decorator. With years of experience honing her skills and an unwavering dedication to continuing education, she stays at the forefront of design trends and techniques. This distinction not only sets her apart but also assures her clients that they are working with a true professional. Based in Palm Beach, Maria is known to source original antiques, bold and statement-making prints and a generous use of color that make her projects conversation pieces and truly unique.