We chat to designer Matthew Williamson about his design philosophy and Christmas décor
Born in Manchester, fashion designer Matthew Williamson took the fashion world by storm in 1997 when his first collection was modelled by Kate Moss and Helena Christensen at London Fashion Week. An expert in print, embellishment and kaleidoscopic colour, he quickly became known for a refined yet spirited glamour. In 2003, he made his first foray into interiors with a collection for The Rug Company and in 2010 he extended his collaboration with Debenhams with a homeware range. He also designs a range of wallpapers
and fabrics for Osborne & Little.
Is it an easy leap from fashion to homeware?
For me, fashion and homeware are closely linked. Our brand has a strong DNA that’s rooted in a British Bohemian sensibility and I make sure that whatever I do chimes with this.
Any tips on bringing this bright Bohemian style into the home?
I’m a big fan of collecting things you love and displaying them around your home to create pockets of interest. For me, tables, shelves, walls and cupboards are the perfect places to create visual impact.
What is your home like?
It’s a reflection of my personal style and personality combining all the things I love most, such as calming wall colours and items I’ve sourced or collected over the years.
Is your bathroom in keeping with that?
My bathroom is completely calm and pared back. I like to keep it that way as it’s my place to relax. The palette is soft and I have put up mood board graphics to add interest while soaking in a hot bath.
A favourite object?
My favourite piece at the moment is a soft pink and gold ostrich feather lamp made by a friend James Perkins. It’s not the most effective lamp but it’s such a great focal point. It’s whimsical and over the top but it has brought great drama into the décor.
Do you have a favourite room?
My lounge. It’s lozenge-shaped with high ceilings and Victorian architraves. It has a barrel door at one end and a stuffed peacock at the other, looking out to the garden. It’s a dramatic space but at the same time really cosy and comfortable to unwind in after a long day at work.
How will you be spending Christmas?
For me it’s always a traditional affair – a few days off work, at home and with my family and close friends.
How will you decorate for the festivities?
I have a real tree which sits in my bay window and is decorated in baubles I’ve collected over the years. It’s eclectic and a little random but I like the imperfections and the fact that it’s not too overthought.
Any ideas for table settings?
Placements are the easiest way to personalise a table. Everyone is thrilled to see a Polaroid or old photo of them marking their seat.
What would be your dream décor?
I’d love an all-gold theme. Using one colour brings such impact and confidence. I’d then build layers with lighting, textures and patterns but one colour would keep things hanging together, and gold has such a magical quality.
Top photo: Holly Falconer
Article by: Susan Springate