Breaking the Rules with Matthew Williamson

October 13, 2016

The master of playful patterns shows us how to defy expected design ideas.

These days it can feel like we’re all a bit overexposed to other people’s perfect-looking homes—so much so that they all start to merge in a sea of sameness. So what we’re most inspired by right now are rooms and palettes that step out and declare: “Hey, look at me! I’m different and daring and authentic!” Rooms with colors and styles that are fresh and full of personality. One man who’s been making bold moves his entire career is British designer Matthew Williamson, and our collaboration with him is no different. The products are eccentric, detailed, and definitely don’t take themselves too seriously. And unlike most designer goods, you’ll actually be able to afford them. So how do you incorporate such distinct items and unique decorating ideas into your home’s current aesthetic? Let the images below inspire you to step outside the box of boredom and take a fresh approach.

1. Dining chairs don’t have to be dull.
Take the mother amazon dining chair, a dramatic Queen Anne-style seat with a rich black frame upholstered in a rainforest blue, green and purple fabric. Arrange a set of these unique chairs around a dining table and guests will have a natural conversation topic to kick off dinner.

2. In fact, why stick with just chairs when you can include stools too?
Throw off the space’s symmetry with some playful stools, like these black and white hide seats. Just make sure they’re the right height for your table so guests can eat with ease.

3. Textiles aren’t the only ones that deserve pattern playtime.
Especially when the background—like this wall with its stately mantle—is painted a single moody hue of blue. The streamlined avec apartment sofa takes on a wild new persona with Matthew’s jungle printed fabric. Placed at an angle in the space, the small-scaled sofa makes a statement and then some.

4. Beds that float in the center of a room are basically saying, “I’m so cool I don’t need my back against the wall.”
And in this case, that feeling is amplified with color-confident bedding—butterfly wheel teal bed linens—that holds your attention. The room’s otherwise clean color palette and simple decor balances the whole thing out.

5. Stick to a color family and you can mix patterns like a pro.
When you feel like two pillows don’t quite go together, try piling on as many as five (mother amazon, butterfly wheel black and white, butterfly wheel teal, peacock hearts, rainbow snake), plus a pouf, rug and blanket while you’re at it. This image may be styled for a catalog shoot, but it makes an important point: mass prints look good together when they share similar hues.

6. Colorful accessories really can flock together.
Feather your nest with as many bright finds as your little heart desires. Here, a bold blue parrot, an electrifying flamingo catchall, and a peacock hearts teapot share the mantle with a pair of palm tree gold taper candle holders. Glam plus glam plus glam = gorgeous.

Now that we’ve got you in a daring state of mind, take a minute to download this free coloring book page from Matthew Williamson himself (or buy a 104-page book of his designs here). Color inside or outside the lines with whatever hues suit your fancy!