Interview With Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson is renowned for his signature aesthetic of bold prints, embellishments, attention to detail and kaleidoscopic colour. His inimitable style and spirited sense of glamour has long appealed to both celebrities and industry insiders alike. A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins college, the designer showed his critically acclaimed debut collection “Electric Angels” in 1997 and has been at the forefront of British design ever since. Today, this design DNA has translated seamlessly into the world of interiors with a portfolio including Blakes Hotel and Aynhoe Park. His latest project has been a collection of luxury home fragrance & lighting inspired by his travels across the globe.
We talk to the inimitable designer about how he dreamed up the fragrances, globe-trotting and his own love of interior design…
The collection has been inspired by your travels across the globe, where is your favourite place that you have visited?
One of my favourite countries to visit is India. I’ve been there over thirty times now as it’s a place which continues to inspire me and my work. It felt right to create Jaipur Jewel as my ode to India. I also have a house in the mountains of Deià in Mallorca. It sits on the rugged coastline and the candle called Summer Siesta really is all about my time and experiences there. This scent is fresh and warm with lemons and mandarin oranges at its heart and a touch of jasmine flower.
Do you have any tips on what type of fragrance to use in different areas of the home?
It’s so personal and really there are no rules. I like to have Summer Siesta or Palm Springs in my bedroom or bathroom as they are both so fresh and uplifting. Jaipur Jewel or Midnight Jungle in my lounge as they are warmer and suit a more intimate atmosphere. I’d buy the English Garden scent for a present for my mum as it reminds me of my childhood in the garden with her.
How would you describe your own interior style and what is your favourite room in your home?
My interior work is really based around colour, pattern and interesting details which stand out to create a rustic yet decadent space. I love mixing old and new and natural and synthetic elements and most of the time my work is inspired by nature. My favourite room in my London home is my bedroom. It’s a calm and tranquil space with high ceilings and French doors out to the garden.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
There have been many highlights over the past 22 years; too many to mention. I guess I’m proud generally to have built a business and namesake brand which has lasted this long and pivoted from fashion to interiors and enables me still to do what I love.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To be kind to yourself and to others. To trust in your instincts. To be brave and follow your own path.
What are the three things that you couldn’t live without?
I couldn’t live without music, my family and my creativity, oh and my dog Mr Plum!
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished designing a hotel suite in Spain and now I am in the UK filming a new interior design TV show airing next year. I’m also currently working on a new range of cushions and lamps for launch towards the end of the year.