Luke Edward Hall on the joys of maximalism

The 29-year-old mixed-media talent once hailed as a ‘design wunderkind’ explains what shapes his eclectic style..

In just three short years, artist, illustrator and interior designer Luke Edward Hall has become a figurehead for the joys of maximalism. He has made his name embellishing everything from ceramics for Alex Eagle and Liberty to stationery for Papier, loafers for Stubbs & Wootton and colourful illustrations for hotels such as The Bloomsbury.

Luke was commissioned to create a series of drawings to be hung in the Coral Room at The Bloomsbury hotel in London.

How did you get started?

Always interested in art and design, I drew from an early age and at 18 I moved to London to study menswear fashion design at Central Saint Martins, at the same time interning for stylists at magazines.

What drew you to interiors?

While at college, my boyfriend (now fiancé) Duncan Campbell (co-founder of design agency Campbell-Rey) and I, along with our friend Haeni Kim, sold antiques on the side under the name Fox and Flyte. They were things we’d buy at Kempton market to clean and fix up, mostly Twenties cocktail accessories, such as silver pieces. We were young and naive, but we loved the idea of lavish entertaining

What was your big break?

Ben Pentreath was one of our first customers and after graduating in 2012, I went to work with him for two years. I love Ben’s style and eye, and I learnt so much about putting interior schemes together. I went out on my own three years ago.

Describe your style

It’s very romantic, a bit nostalgic and very optimistic. I think you should be able to live with beautiful things every day – I like an element of the handcrafted in everything I do.

Luke drew on Seventies disco for colour palette inspiration in this room he designed for Talisman, featuring Luke’s hand-painted motifs, during the London Design Festival in 2017.

Who are your greatest influences?

Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Fornasetti for the way they applied their art to multiple mediums, including furniture, vases, plates and murals. It’s what inspired me to create my own hand-painted ceramics for the likes of the David Gill Gallery and most recently Matches Home.

One of Luke’s hand-painted platters, from a selection at Liberty London, from £400.

How do you begin your design process?

I look through my collection of old and rare art, design and photography books by the likes of Cecil Beaton, Virginia Woolf and Tim Walker, and visit places such as Tate Britain and the British Museum. Then I work with watercolours, acrylics, chalk and oil pastels, trying out different ideas.

What have been some of your best jobs?

Two years ago, I created a series of drawings for a book about the Jonathan Adler-designed Parker in Palm Springs, as a gift for guests to the hotel. More recently, interior designer Martin Brudnizki commissioned me to do a series of drawings for the Coral Room at The Bloomsbury hotel.

How about interiors you’ve designed?

I created a ‘Seventies disco’ drawing room for Talisman’s showroom during LDF in 2017. It had furniture in shades of purple and fuchsia with glints of gold against a backdrop of stone busts and chocolate-brown walls illustrated with my signature bacchanalian faces. For the 2018 Masterpiece London art fair, I created a tented garden room with a lime-green floor and striped walls, chandeliers and marble console tables.

Luke set the scene for private dinners at the Masterpiece London art fair in 2018 with a space inspired by an eccentric english country house. It featured Cole & Son’s Jaspe Stripe wallpaper, £65 a roll, mixed with chandeliers and antique furniture from Ebury Trading.

How do you play with colour and pattern?

Fabrics are a great way to pull these into a room, whether as a cushion, a rug, or paint or paper on a wall. I like unexpected colour combinations, olive with a brighter sky blue, say, which make one colour stand out rather than them all fighting together.

What is your home like?

We’ve just swapped all the colours in our flat. Our green hallway is now bright yellow – painted in Farrow & Ball’s Babouche. It’s mega zingy and makes me smile as soon as I come through the front door. Our green living room is now a warm pink, which feels surprisingly cosy.

Against the pop of pink on the walls, The Rug Company’s Key Shadow rug by Suzanne Sharp, from £1,674, strikes a graphic note in Luke and Duncan’s apartment.

Any favourite pieces?

The stripy Murano glass tumblers Duncan has designed with Charlotte Rey for 1stdibs always brighten up our dining table. I love Svenskt Tenn, from washbags and cushion covers to candlesticks. And I’ve just bought a new set of emerald and navy blue Oriente Italiano plates from Richard Ginori.

Campbell Rey Glasses.

What have you done lately?

Before Christmas, I had a pop-up shop in Liberty featuring my drawings, hand-painted cushions, lacquered trays, and embroidered and fringed empire chairs (made-to-order in any colour combination). I’ve also designed clothing and ceramics for Le Sirenuse in Positano, velvet loafers with appliquéd motifs for Stubbs & Wootton and rugby jumpers for Rowing Blazers.

Velvet and grosgrain-trimmed slippers customised by Luke for Stubbs & Wootton.

Find out more at lukeedwardhall.com

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