At Home With: Lucy Williams

lucy williams sat on her sofa in living room

The globetrotting writer, stylist and Soho House member gives us a glimpse of her cosy flat near White City, which she shares with her rescue dog, Finn, and tells us why interiors shouldn’t be Instagram-perfect

By Kate Lough and Phoebe Frangoul   Wednesday 13 February, 2019

Lucy Williams is known for a jet-setting lifestyle that gives her nearly 400k Instagram followers a regular dose of wanderlust, but the writer, photographer and stylist is a ‘real homebody’ at heart. When she’s not traversing the globe for work and play, Lucy’s most likely to be found at her cosy west London flat, cooking Mexican dinner parties or walking her rescue dog, Finn. 

Here, in the place she’s called home since 2016, she talks Instagram-perfect interiors, why colour makes her tick and her entertaining essentials.

What attracted you to this part of west London?
I used to live in Ladbroke Grove, and it felt like a real up-and-coming area with lots of development going on. When I saw White City House was coming, it was a sign that things were changing. 

Was the flat a complete renovation project?
It was half and half. I redid the bathroom completely, but everything else was decorating – taking out carpets, stripping wallpapers and painting. It’s not my forever home, so I wanted to put my stamp on it and make it somewhere I loved – I’m a real homebody – without changing everything. I was lucky that the previous owners had pretty good taste.
a fireplace with artwork on top
bookshelves with books organised by colour
How would you describe your interiors style?
Eccentric, maximalist and quite London.
 
Do you have a colour palette you stick to?
I could talk about paint colours for a long time. More and more, I like rich, dark jewel colours, which suit this Victoria flat. My hallway is a rich navy, and it makes all the rooms leading off it feel bigger and lighter. People often think that if you paint something white, it will feel brighter, but often the opposite is true, especially when you live in a city like London. I had to paint my bedroom this grey colour because everything else looked dour. If I did it again, I’d go for more of a colour. I’d love to do a whole room in Smoke Green.

If you’re not brave enough to paint walls, how else can you add colour and character?
It’s about using textiles, throws and painted furniture, but not in a shabby-chic way. The chest of drawers in my bedroom is from Phoenix on the Golborne Road – it’s an antiques shop where the team repurposes things. I love what they do.

Art is another great way. I love Partnership Editions. The founder, Georgia Spray, has a great eye, and I want pretty much everything. The painting in my hallway is a Jonathan Schofield, and I’ve already spotted another of his I want. I love Alexa Coe nudes and Julianna Byrne too.
a rattan chair in a living room
a kitchen table and shelf unit with art on shelves
Are you a hoarder or more Marie Kondo?
I actually Marie Kondo’d my jeans drawer after watching her Netflix show. I try to do a purge about four times a year, but I’m definitely a hoarder. I’ve got a cushion from a De La Cuona sample sale in South Kensington that I’ve had since I was 24. It’s a subtle paisley, and I still love it. Otherwise, it’s my books – I take them everywhere – and knickknacks I’ve picked up on my travels. I think if you find something that speaks to you, just get it. I recently bought a picture in California in little thrift shop in a tiny little town called Los Olivos, which is halfway between Santa Barbara and Big Sur. I love the blue sky.

What else inspires you?
You can’t deny that social media has an effect. I’m following more and more people now on Instagram, and lots of my friends are interior designers. I love @thefoxalow, which is run by a Californian girl behind the brand Stone Cold Fox. She’s renting a bungalow in Venice Beach, and it’s a whitewashed surf shack with blue and white textiles everywhere, which is the complete opposite of living in London. But with Instagram, I try to distinguish between what’s 'cool' and what I actually like. The Instagram aesthetic is very white, minimal and bare, and that’s not actually my style.

I’m also a big fan of House & Garden, Architectural Digest and Conde Nast Traveller. And hotels – Soho House Amsterdam and Mumbai are next on my hit list. 

Do you have a favourite room?
I’m a real bathroom person. I’m not good at mornings, so it has to be somewhere I look forward to going. But the kitchen/ living room is where we spend all our time, where I work and where we have people over. I love to be able to talk to people while I cook.
a shelf of ceramics and art above a bathtub
throw pillows on a bed
What’s your recipe for a successful dinner party?
I'll make chicken enchiladas and margaritas from scratch. It’s about atmosphere, so I’ll go out and get fresh flowers and use lots of candles, linen napkins and good glassware. I like to keep things casual. 
 
Finally, is there a city you'd ever swap London for?
Probably LA. Although I recently fell in love with San Francisco, which feels a bit more European. Or Copenhagen - I always wish I was born Danish, they've just got it right.
 
Lucy Williams’ design haunts:
Phoenix, 67 Golborne Road, W10 5NP, phoenixongolborne.co.uk 
Les Couilles du Chien, 65 Golborne Road, W10 5NP, lescouillesduchien.com
The Cloth Shop, Portobello Road, W10 5TE, theclothshop.net
Conran Shop, 55 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HS, conranshop.co.uk 
Sunbury Antiques, Kempton Racecourse, TW16 5AQ, sunburyantiques.com 


Images by Milo Brown

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