Top designer Matthew Williamson's beautiful boho apartment in London is full of flamboyant flair.
Get the look: Arini wallpaper by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. Candelabras from Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. Linen sofa from a dealer on the King’s Road. Red beaded cushions by Matthew Williamson. William Morris cushions from John Lewis. Rug from Lots Road Auctions. Bell jar with a light inside and porcelain poppies trailing from it – bought in a store in Rye. Ornate table bought in New York. Seventies chandelier, Indian ram head and perspex table found in New York. Seventies coffee table from Les Trois Garçons. Trift painted wood blocks by Judith Seng (judithseng.de). Oscar sofa in teal velvet from Sofa.com. On walls, Dove Tale by Farrow & Ball.
A ground floor apartment in a mid-1800s Italianate-style semi-detached house in north-west London. There is a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a storage room.
The style of fashion designer, Matthew Williamson’s vibrant London home summed up in two words? Organised bohemia. The flamboyant, lavish apartment features a mix of upmarket and bargain buys. This is a place where an Ikea table used as a desk sits next to a lavish-looking velvet buttoned sofa, a Venetian mirror and intricate Turkish wall sconces.
The interiors might be a mad mish-mash of butterflies, peacocks and flamingos, yet the overall result, despite the infusion of electric hues and tropical flourishes against a backdrop of pale greys and blues, is really calming.
Get the look: Arini wallpaper by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. Candelabras from Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. Peacock from London Taxidermy (londontaxidermy.com). Bell jar with a light inside and porcelain poppies trailing from it – bought in a store in Rye. Ornate table bought in New York. Trift painted wood blocks by Judith Seng (judithseng.de). On walls, Dove Tale by Farrow & Ball.
In terms of renovation, the apartment, which was structurally sound, needed very little work, with original parquet flooring and much of the original cornicing intact. And luckily, the living room has such grand proportions, great light and beautiful architectural details that it made dressing the space relatively easy.
It might look like it’s all been casually thrown together, but actually everything is in its place. The metallic gold wallpaper above the fireplace keeps the room from looking too serious, while treasures from trips and markets around the world add quirky, personalised touches.
Get the look: Chairs are vintage and given by friends at Rockett St George, re-covered in Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little fabric. Chinese low lying cabinet from eBay. Lamps from Les Trois Garçons, with shades from John Lewis. Photo of Poppy Delevingne and Sarah Ann Macklin. Original parquet flooring.
Nothing in this home, except perhaps the Seventies chandelier, in the living room cost a fortune. Even the candelabras on the fireplace in the living room were picked up from Kempton antiques market for a bargain price.
It’s a lesson in how a little treasure hunting and flea market digging can go a long way.
Get the look: Dining table used as desk from Ikea. On wall, a collection of cards, notes and things.
As the hallway isn’t a space where you’d spend a lot of time, the space can afford for a more intense colour.
Get the Look: Doorframe in Neon Pink by Bristol Paint. Peacock chair from Liberty of London. Rug from Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. Pendant light from antiques.co.uk. All wall art bought on travels or gifted.
Painted in a shock of pink neon, this hallway has a great impact when you first walk into the apartment.
Get the Look: Doorframe in Neon Pink by Bristol Paint. Gold mirror from Tann Rokka. Seat underneath mirror from Cologne & Cotton. Pink table – an old beside table bought from eBay and re-painted in pink. Blue marble vase, part of Matthew Williamson’s Butterfly Home collection at Debenhams.
The walls are filled with collected items from travels.
Get the Look: All wall art bought on travels or gifted.
It’s like a memorabilia hall of fame.
Get the Look: Doorframe in Neon Pink by Bristol Paint. Gold mirror from Tann Rokka. Seat underneath mirror from Cologne & Cotton.
The kitchen was originally a large bay-fronted room, which was divided into three to accommodate a guest bathroom and bedroom.
Get the Look: Existing units inherited from previous owner. Piet Hein Eek ‘Scrapwood’ wallpaper from SCP.
This space is intentionally more minimal than the other rooms – white units providing a calm contrast to the other spaces.
Get the Look: Existing units inherited from previous owner. Pendant lights bought from a store in Kentish Town and painted in electric blue from Bristol Paint.
An en suite was removed to make the master bedroom larger and therefore feel more elegant and tranquil. It meant having a smaller, galley-sized bathroom next door to the bedroom, but it was worth the compromise.
There’s an airy tranquillity that filters around the double-height proportions of the main bedroom. Touches such as the ostrich-feather lamp and mirrored furniture add a grandeur and decadence.
Get the Look: Antique bed. Ostrich feather lamp from A Modern Grand Tour. Bedding, Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams. Bedside lights from a dealer at the Battersea art and design fair. Mirror chair, chest and side tables all Tann Rokka. Chair covered in fabric by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. Cabinet on mirror chest from an antique dealer in NY. Vase, Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams. Globe from Alfies Antiques Market. On walls, Light Blue by Farrow & Ball. Graphic leopard print wallpaper by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little. Artwork, gift from a friend. Picnic print by Matthew Williamson at Osborne & Little used for tablecloth on balcony table.
Space from the existing kitchen was sacrificed to create a guest bedroom and shower room.
Get the Look; ‘Flower Girl’ artwork by Ellie Vandoorne. Walls painted in Light Blue by Farrow & Ball. Mirror on chest from Thailand. Lamp, market find. Russian vase, a gift.
The apartment features many personal, hand-made touches too, like the decoupage of Fornasetti-inspired butterflies disguising a black boiler cupboard in the master bathroom.
Get the Look: Brooklyn Tin Tiles wallpaper from Rockett St George (on ceiling). Vinyl flooring from Homebase. Table from Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park. Buddhas and oriental symbols are travel finds.
For more about the designer’s work, visit matthewwilliamson.com. Find Matthew Williamson’s luxury home fragrance collection at amara.com
Photography / Paul Raeside