After a little break from my ‘Stay at home with’ features for the last few weeks, I’m back with a bang, with one of my favourite homes on the gram. I’m deadly serious! World, or just you avid readers, meet Will Law.
Based in Leeds, Wil is a Home Design Stylist at department store giant John Lewis. No wonder his one-bedroom flat is a haven for design, right?
The Northern abode has an open plan kitchen and living space, one bedroom, one bathroom, a hallway and a small courtyard. He bought the flat two years ago and has spent ever since making his mark on it.
When I first found Wil on Instagram I was immediately stuck by his Californian colour palette and striking styling. If anyone wants to find a way to my heart, just present me with a hallway like his. Honestly, that paintwork. I often blab on about how your home should be personal to you and I think Wil’s abode embodies this completely. Let’s explore!
Can you tell me what home means to you?
Home means loads to me. It’s funny, the idea of staying inside or four walls often gets conflated with being cooped up but to me home represents freedom. There’s nothing quite like being able to put your own stamp on somewhere and make it serve you, but it’s also not totally about design. You can be whoever you want to be, or do whatever you want to do when you’re in your own home and to me that’s really liberating.
Absolutely! How would you describe your interior style?
A few months ago I would have quite firmly described my own style as ‘earth tones’ and I still am always most drawn to warm, rich colours. However, I’ve shifted recently and I think working from home during the pandemic has made me realise the power of walls. Over the past few months I’ve felt compelled to dial up the colour everywhere. So right now, I’m in a colour upon colour phase which I’m very much enjoying.
I’d say that you’re very brave with colour in your abode. How did you choose a palette?
Again, I think it comes back to the sunny earth tones. I love warm colours and my flat actually has little natural light, so anything cool feels limp and draining and unfortunately my bathroom is still stuck in that mode. Deep green is my one true love, so that was always going to play a big part in the flat, and thus is the colour of my living space and kitchen. I like to accent this with mustard, which then flows through into my hallway as the predominant colour, paired with a dusky red (which I call a desert earth tone). This red is then the colour of my bedroom.
I wouldn’t have all these working together in one room, but they are all united by the warmth and, although I do love flow, I also like to zone off spaces with colour as I think rooms serve you for different things eg. my bedroom needs to feel totally different to my living space to help me sleep. Having said all of this, I can be very compulsive when it comes to making decisions – I always help customers thoroughly plan colours, but I have been known to make snap decisions – to varying degrees of success.
You’re a Home Design Stylist at John Lewis. Would you say that has shaped the way you decorate?
Yes – more broadly speaking I think it’s forced me to practice what I preach, and that is to totally own your own style and not to be influenced by anyone else. I’m genuinely unphased if people don’t like my interiors, as I know it makes me happy, and that’s what I try to get people to embrace too.
More specifically, I think that I have come to appreciate quality and investing in this so much more as a John Lewis partner. There’s a style to suit any taste but everything we sell is united by quality and, also by experience of buying a product. It’s funny when I say this to people, but I never grew up with John Lewis as I was born and raised in a small Northern town, and the store in Leeds has only been here for four years, so it still kind of amazes me you can get almost everything from under one roof. As there is so much, I love rooting out the real unique pieces that you can only get from here and championing these.
It must be pretty fun to tell other people what to do with their interior on a daily basis. How do you approach getting to know what’s right for another person?
I think it’s really important to get to know the person – to understand how they want their home to feel and also what makes them tick. I tend to have these conversations first, and leave all of the design language, or talk of interiors out of it, just so that you get a real sense of what people need. Then the fun bit comes. My favourite projects are often the ones with totally different needs and tastes to mine – I love working on neutral schemes, or the boutique styles and projects for big families with loads of kids. Getting to flex different design muscles is the best part of the job.
And what’s the top tip for home design that you’re always telling customers?
Not to be too influenced – trends and inspirational homes you see online can spark an idea, but they can also overwhelm you and the chances of executing these in the average home is sometimes slim. Instead, work to really carve out your own style and then see how you can best apply this to the bone structure of the room. Having an outside pair of eyes, like mine, is often so beneficial.
Can you give us a heads up on the trends we should be looking out for over the next few months? What have you incorporated into your own abode?
I think we’re going to be seeing more intense colours at play in the home, and a shift towards colour blocking in terms of patterns and layering of colour – some retro influences within this. On the flipside to this, I think the calmth we’re all craving will come through even more, perhaps in a stronger Japanese influence, rather than the Scandinavian, minimalist aesthetic that always dominates. I’ve embraced the intensity of colour, as mentioned, and that’s bringing me much joy.
My dream home though, in an alternative life situation, would be totally Japanese inspired – I love the craft and the simplicity and the furniture forms, as well as the hand drawn motifs and deep mystique you get in the textiles and print. The bone structure, lighting and architecture of my flat will not take such subtle simplicity though – it needs bright and saturated colour to make it interesting, but I do have a token Japanese painting here and there.
Amazing, thank you! Finally, I like to end on a small biz shoutout. Who’s your current fave that we all need to take a look at?
I have a few. I love The York Candle Company, who hand make Soy Wax candles in the best of smells. We had them as a pop up in John Lewis earlier this year, and the Black Fig and Vetiver scent smells just like Diptqiue’s Philosykos fragrance, which is my number one scent. Close to John Lewis in Leeds there is also a little independent book and gift store called Colours May Vary. Everything in there is a dream. Lastly, my brother would kill me if I didn’t give him a shoutout – he sells vintage clothing under the name Retro Swag and supplies me with endless Levi’s 501s.
NOTED! What do you think of Wil’s colourful abode? Have you ever used a home stylist? Follow Wil’s John Lewis adventure on Instagram here. For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more EJP in your life.