Let There Be Light: Exclusive Interview with Matthew Williamson
What was the inspiration behind the new collection?
MW: “The natural world, global and cultural influences have always inspired my work. For this collection, I looked to favourite prints from the 20-year archive of my brand. There are key motifs of my work - dragonflies and intricate flora drawn by hand - paired with unique colour combinations.”
Do any of the patterns have a story behind them?
MW: “The Summer Siesta lamp and shade is a bit of an ode to Deià, the coastal village which I call home. It’s hidden jewel of a village, tucked away high in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. The print of the lamp, hand-drawn in the studio, features the citrus fruits, jasmine and hibiscus flowers for which the Mediterranean is renowned. Then there’s Jaipur Jewel: an ode to India’s Pink City. India has been a constant source of inspiration to me, I must have visited over 60 times! The Mandala motif combines deep blues and hot pinks then the baby orangutan gives a playful twist.”
Is there a particular piece you’re most proud of?
MW: “I love the hand-drawn palm leaves and dragonflies of the Palm Springs lamp. They add a delicate, decorative touch to any area of the home. Its mirrored base brings drama and really adds the wow factor too!”
If you could imagine your customers home; what would it look like? and where do you picture your lamps sitting?
MW: “Just like when I used to design fashion, I have never wanted to design for just one type of individual. I like to design pieces that would work in any space, small or large, minimal or maximal. I do think my customers would have a unique sense of style though; they would be excited to introduce something unique and uplifting into their space. The lamps work beautifully in conventional spaces to add character and a talking point, but customers might also like to try more novel ideas. For example, table lighting need not be boring: these are large scale, decorative lamps which look wonderful in any position in a room. Imagine the characterful Ikat of the Hyde Park lamp at a desk.”
How big of a part does lighting play in someone’s home?
MW: “Lighting is a crucial part of any interior design concept. It’s one of the first jobs I look at when designing rooms and I always ensure there’s enough lighting opportunities to create different zones and atmospheres in a space. This might be through lamps or perhaps a candle – my collection has been designed specifically to help create unique environments within a space, plus a wonderful scent, of course.”
There’s lots of colour in the collection and it’s become something you’re known for; where did this love of colour come from?
MW: “My mother was a big champion of using colour in our family home when I was growing up, as well as wearing print and colour herself. I’m sure this rubbed off on me and it’s partly why I’m drawn to bright, bold and expressive colour combinations that lift the spirit. My tropical palette is inspired by travels to Mexico, Costa Rica and India.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to redecorate their home?
MW: “With any room, the first thing I consider is the floor. Once you have a floor that’s appropriate, and a style that you love, it anchors the space and sets the tone. The floor is often the most expensive part of the room, but if you can put a floor down that you love, as dull a job as it might be, it pays off in the long run. If I had an empty living room and no idea where to start, I would pick a couple of things that I loved and let them spark inspiration. It could be an heirloom, or something from nature. Something personal, rather than following a trend.”