Home Decor

Inside A Maximalist Halifax Apartment Filled With Art

Market finds, meaningful prints and lots of patterns add layers of personality to this breezy rental

Content creator Musemo Handahu pictured in her maximalist decor Halifax rental.

(Photo: Carolina Andrade)

It should come as no surprise that Musemo Handahu is the type to take inspiration from her surroundings. The fashion enthusiast has been creating content since 2012 under the name Miss Lion Hunter, a nod to her last name in Tonga, and is known for her eclectic, bold and colourful style—and that doesn’t just apply to her wardrobe. Her decor journey started seven years ago. At the time, she was living in a cramped apartment, and it wasn’t giving her the creative spark she needed. So, when she stumbled across a listing for this Halifax space—with its huge windows and waterfront location—she didn’t hesitate to schedule a viewing.

A green sofa in the living room of a maximalist decor Halifax rental.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the living room with light and offer expansive views of the landscape outside. The green sofa, tan sofa and blue console table pick up on those natural hues. (Photo: Carolina Andrade)

“I absolutely needed that change,” she explains. “I had gotten to the point where I wasn’t feeling inspired by where I lived. As a creator, your home has to inspire you every day.”

A gallery wall and blue cabinet from a living room in a maximalist decor of a Halifax rental.

(Photo: Carolina Andrade)

Now, Handahu’s rental is not only a space where she can find inspiration and create compelling visuals for her blog and the brands she works with but also a welcoming retreat for her and her loved ones. “I wanted this to be a place where I’d be proud to have my friends over and where they’d feel like they were right at home,” she says.

A dining room filled with art in a maximalist decor of a Halifax rental.

Handahu found the tapestry featuring a Black mother and her baby—a piece that she refers to as “baby girl”—on Society6 and then built the frame herself. When she realized the wall needed another piece for balance, she went back to the same artist for another tapestry in matching moody hues. (Photo: Carolina Andrade)

She describes her decorating style as “organized maximalism.” Art abounds, and there’s colour and pattern everywhere, but she is careful to implement a sense of balance in the space. She’s also firm about decluttering. Two or three times a year, she does an audit of her home—and her closet—and parts with what no longer serves her.

A close-up of the blue bed frame from the home tour of Musemo Handahu's maximalist decor Halifax rental.

An upholstered bed frame in a rich blue hue is an eye-catching anchor for the bright and breezy bedroom. (Photo: Carolina Andrade)

“I’m inspired by colour,” she says. “Whether it’s on my clothes or on my walls, colour makes me happy. I also love [pattern], so having an eclectic mix of prints in my home is important for me. When people talk about maximalism, they think of chaos, but there’s no chaos here.”

Musemo Handahu in her closet for a home tour of her maximalist decor Halifax rental.

Handahu turned the extra bedroom into an office and walk-in closet. And, yes, it’s always this tidy. “I love order, and I love organization. And don’t even get me started on having hangers with equal spacing between them!” (Photo: Carolina Andrade)

Instead, Handahu’s home is a collection of treasures thoughtfully accumulated over time and artfully displayed to create a cohesive and airy vibe. One of her favourite art pieces is a beaded-wire sculpture of an African hoopoe, which was her mom’s favourite bird growing up in Zimbabwe. The mask sculptures in her bedroom were found at a South African market. She even has a story about her tan sofa, though it’s slightly more prosaic.

Two sculptures seen in the maximalist decor of a Halifax rental.

(Photo: Carolina Andrade)

“I walked into HomeSense, and it was right up front. I immediately called my mom and was like, ‘I have found the sofa of my dreams, and I am not going to move until somebody who works here walks by!’” she says with a laugh. “It’s HomeSense—you cannot let anything go [or you’ll never find it again]!”

A gallery wall in the office of Musemo Handahu's Halifax rental which is full of maximalist decor ideas.

Clean lines and crisp white walls create an ideal workspace, while a gallery wall of photographs adds colour and visual interest.(Photo: Carolina Andrade)

That tenacity was at play when decorating this space, too. For the first couple of years that she lived here, the walls were painted renter’s beige, a yellowish hue that didn’t really provide the right backdrop for her extensive art collection. “But I hounded my property manager to allow me to [paint the walls] a lighter colour. It took a lot of emails!”

Detail shots of Musemo Handahu's closet for a tour of a maximalist decor of a Halifax rental.

(Photo: Carolina Andrade)

Painting wasn’t the only way she put her stamp on the space. She also changed the light fixtures and swapped the knobs on the kitchen cabinets, two relatively inexpensive changes that gave the space a personal touch. And she has continued to fine-tune her decor. She loves to move pieces around; sometimes she rearranges the sofas, or she’ll swap out artwork or accessories on a whim. “I like the aspect of myself that’s driven by how I feel and what’s making me happy in the moment,” she says.

The result is a home that’s forever evolving but always feels like a true representation of Handahu’s friendly, welcoming personality.

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