Max it Out
Who better to take on holiday maximalism than someone whose first name rhymes with “more”? Timur Tuğberk is a licensed interior designer, but his work goes beyond physical spaces. “I take a design philosophy to creative problem-solving,” he explains.
Tugberk’s father is an architect, and design permeated his childhood—so much that he swore he would never go into professional design work. But he “fell passionately in love with interior design” in college. During the 2008 recession, he pivoted his business to include designing bespoke events, brands, campaigns, and more for firms of all kinds.
When it came to designing a maximalist Christmas vignette, there was no question where he would start. “I had always dreamt of having a white Christmas tree with pink lights on it since I was a child,” says Tugberk, who was raised Jewish but says he’s now “a little bit of everything religion-wise.” He admits this is a departure from his previous holiday look of “cozy Christmas with the typical green, gold, and red.”
Traditional coziness, be gone. Tugberk used ornaments hand-painted by artist Meg Biram, plus mirrored disco balls, fun flamingos, and handblown glass pieces that showcase his LGBTQ+ pride.
What does maximalism mean to Tugberk? “I don’t want to call it elegant hoarding,” he says, “but life curation through acquisition of whimsy.” It’s a way of life that he believes suits Miami, where he has lived since 2018. “It’s a city where everything goes. You do you, and I do me, and we all get along. Here I never feel restricted by regional trends or expectations—at the holidays or at any time of the year.”
When Miami native Adriana Infante moved into her first home in 2018, people had strong opinions. After she posted some inspirational design pictures to her social media account, people started offering her unsolicited advice, like: “Don’t buy anything pink or too girly.” “Invest in pieces that you’ll have forever.” “If a guy moves in with you, you’ll have to redo everything.” And, “If you have kids, you’ll need to get rid of anything white.”
Instead of heeding their advice, Infante leaned into it and launched White This Way, an interior styling company that aims to help clients design spaces that truly reflect their personal styles, desires, and needs. “We really see your home as a white canvas,” she says. “You can do whatever you want—dress it up, dress it down, change it as often as you like. It should be the place where you’re happy to come home to, a place you are happy to show off.”
Infante’s design inspo? “Simplicity and tidiness,” she says. “Every home can be stylish yet functional.”
The business has been so successful that her sister, Roxana, has since joined the team. Infante says the pair started out using a bohemian vibe as their go-to look. But that early theming has matured into a design aesthetic that’s clean, uncluttered, and peaceful.
For the holidays, the sisters returned to their boho roots, keeping this chic and comfortable holiday table vignette neutral and serene. “We didn’t use the traditional reds and greens that you might normally use for Christmas, or the blues you’d use for Hanukkah,” Infante says. “We worked to create a pleasing neutral palette that still says festive holiday.”
Inspired by their home base of Miami, the sisters dreamt up an elegant alfresco tablescape to reflect a casual Christmas Day brunch by the pool. To give the table scale, Infante says they worked with differing heights and textures. “Elevation is key,” she explains. “We have a few shorter Christmas trees, and then we have taller ones. And then we have stems in vases that go even higher than the trees. Lower down we have branches and leaves.”
The woven placemats offer texture, while the ornaments on the napkins give a bit of sparkle that every table needs—especially during the holiday season. “It’s our way of adding some shine and a personal touch,” Infante says.
Keep it Simple
When he was a little boy, interior designer Mikel Welch spent his days constructing sofas and dining tables out of Legos for imaginary houses. Today, Welch runs Mikel Welch Designs out of Miami and New York City. But you can also spot him on television; he’ s a member of “Drew’s Crew” on The Drew Barrymore Show, where he gives viewers tips and tricks for renovating homes, designing interiors, and creating luxe looks at affordable prices.
After putting down roots in Miami over a year ago, Welch says he’s adapting to the city’s unique design aesthetics—and is loving every minute of it. “I’ve had to rethink my design process as a whole,” he admits. “It’s been fun. It has made me step outside of my box.”
For his holiday table, Welch decided to go minimalist with touches of rustic elegance. “I wanted to draw my inspiration [from] the more natural, organic look that I often think isn’t told—or is maybe overlooked—in the Miami design story,” he explains. “I wanted this casual luxury that feels comfortable and approachable.”
Decidedly unfussy, it’s the kind of table where guests can show up unannounced, grab a chair, and feel at home. “It takes the pressure off of everybody, but at the same time it’s welcoming,” he says.
Keeping the palette neutral was Welch’s way of putting his personal stamp on a holiday gathering. “I get it: My mother has nothing but red and green,” he says with a laugh. “But I don’t think holidays have to be shiny ornaments or traditional colors. Try a different approach to Christmas if you want to.” Plus, he adds, “with this approach, you can whip a holiday up and not have to worry about tearing it all down and storing it all away afterward.”