Matthew Williamson experiments at home

Fashion and interiors are one, says the designer in an exclusive interview with Annie Deakin

‘Fashion and interior design are so closely linked,’ says the designer Matthew Williamson. ‘I've always used my home as a sort of experimental space where things change from season to season. I often find that my fashion collections start looking like my home and vice versa.’

In Williamson's bohemian and bright world, the home and the wardrobe share colour palettes and seasonal influences. He shops for his house with the same mindset as how he buys clothes. He paints his walls in acid colours, makes cushions using fabric from his ready-to-wear dress collections and re-upholsters furniture when he gets bored.

‘I don't think your home needs to stay the same for years and years,’ explains the Central St. Martin’s graduate who has purposefully designed an affordable home range allowing customers to update their homes seasonally. This new range for Debenhams, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, includes the Elephant Parade cushion for just £20. 'Because of the accessible price points, you can buy items each season and adapt your rooms on a limited budget.' He is most proud of designing the printed and embroidered bed sheets, blankets and photographic cushions. ‘My Debenhams home collection is inspired largely by the way I have furnished my home. It’s an eclectic mix of items intended to bring a unique quality to any home. Similar to my ready-to-wear collections the range focuses on global travel as inspiration with great colour combinations and textures, and attention to detail.’

His own house, a Hampstead Heath cottage close to his Mayfair studio, is a showcase for his travels and creative flair. He says, ‘The exterior is listed and appears quaint whilst inside, I have gone for a more modern contemporary feel.’ What he defines as modern; others call futuristic. He has a mirrored armchair, neon light sculpture, hot pink-lit bar and collage wall in the shower. His favorite room is his bedroom - ‘perhaps surprisingly so as the colour scheme here is black and white. I like it as it’s a calming place and because of the palette, I can change accessories such as the bedding, cushions and throws with seasonal items to bring freshness and pops of colour, pattern and texture.’

Travel plays a key part to Williamson’s interior style - and fashion designs. He tries to bring back charms from every place he visits. ‘They hold memories of the places I’ve visited and bring a unique quality to my home,’ he says. ‘I picked up a huge orange African feather mask on a trip to South Africa. I’ve mounted it onto my disco mirror clad chimneybreast in my lounge.’ When in London, he scours Alfies Market off the Edgeware Road and Tann Rokka in Primrose Hill for unique finds for his home. As for wallpaper, the designer uses it as a backdrop, rather than a feature itself; ‘I tend to use wallpaper on just one wall and mount pictures and mirrors over the top. I would always advise going with your instinct when choosing wallpaper.’

He finds too many kitchens and bathrooms look too clinical, a result of focusing on their specific functions. His kitchen features backlit pink acetate shelving and his bathroom is covered in lotus wallpaper. ‘I try to treat them like other rooms in the house so I want to stay in them more than just to wash or cook.' His advice for a more original interior? 'Look for unusual items which you wouldn't expect to find in these rooms like an old armchair in a kitchen or a bookcase in a bathroom.’

This hunt for a unique design, be it for fashion or interiors, shows how the two fields are so closely linked. 'I tend not to follow specific trends for the home and try to create a space that is unique to me,' explains the designer. 'I guess that in itself is becoming more of a common trend.'

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea