Case Study: Lucy Williams
By Victoria Smith
Oct 21, 2022
Successful use of colour is subjective. For every devotee of a neutral palette there’s someone who lives for no-holds-barred primaries, and while the blank canvas only white walls can provide will never go out of style, there’s always a case to be made for experimenting with unexpected choices that make a big statement. What’s universal, however, is the need to get the balance absolutely right.
For Stylist, Content Creator and Brand Consultant Lucy Williams, that meant being led by her personal colour preferences, while keeping her surroundings - an unmodernised Victorian terrace property in London - front and centre. The result? A beautifully executed home refurbishment featuring two cleverly designed bathrooms where plain-coloured tiles are very much the star of the show.
Here, Lucy shares the story behind the project …
Name: Lucy Williams
Occupation: Stylist, Content Creator and Brand Consultant.
Style and location of your property: Victorian terrace, London.
Who lives there: Me, my husband, and our dog Finn.
How long have you lived there: Nine months.
What was the property like when you bought it? Was there a lot of work to do?
It had been lived in for 40 years and had been really looked after but wasn't very modern and needed totally rewiring and replumbing. It was a great balance because it has great bones and hadn't been got at by a developer.
What was your overall vision for the home?
I wanted it to feel really cosy and welcoming, timeless without being stark or too traditional. I love colour and mixing different textures and antiques, so I wanted it to feel eclectic but curated.
Where did you start?
Really knuckling down with what we needed from the house and thinking practically about how we live day to day, rather than designing for the people we wished we were! I worked with an architect to help me draw up the space and design the exterior elevation for the extension we added to the ground floor to enlarge the kitchen. The kitchen was definitely the space that required the most time and construction so I kind of started from there visually. I made moodboards for every single room in the house to make sure everything flowed together, and it felt unified.
Two of your bathrooms feature Bert & May tiles, please can you talk us through these spaces?
I wanted to add colour to our spare bathrooms without it being overwhelming or too trend led. Rather than choosing a pattern, I went for three stripes in different tonal greens (Forest, Pistachio, and Brighton Stone) which makes for a really eye-catching shower surround but works well with the monochrome floor and white walls. I love the versatility of what you can do by combining single colour tiles in different ways.
I love warm, buttery yellow tones so I knew I wanted to use them somewhere. Once I decided the kitchen would be blue, not yellow, I looked to the teeny loft bathroom and went for a Sweet Yellow and Brighton Stone chequerboard floor and shower. It makes a very small, unassuming room feel full of life and lovely to be in.
What led you to choose Bert & May?
I love the earthiness of the encaustic tiles and the matte finish. They feel that bit softer than anything too shiny and white which always feels a bit sterile to me.
Have you always had a passion for interiors?
I've always loved and admired great design and homes but working in fashion kind of took over in my twenties. When I started designing the house my mum found my old sketchbooks at home from when I was ten or 11 'designing' my fantasy bedroom with cut outs from the Laura Ashley catalogue and Dulux colour charts. I was drawing pelmets and bed heads in true 1990s fashion!
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm very nostalgic when it comes to interiors, so I love old 1990s movies and interior design books. I also really admire the likes of Commune Design, Reath Design and Beata Heuman for their very liveable but beautiful design.
Where are your go-tos for fantastic interior finds?
Vintage and antique all the way for me. Vinterior is a great source and I love going to markets, auctions houses and fairs around the UK. The Old Cinema in Chiswick and Alfie's Antiques always have great pieces too.
What’s next - any more exciting projects in the pipeline?
I'm now helping my architect on a project in Deal and I have a little homeware collaboration launching soon…
Follow Lucy on Instagram:
To browse our collection of plain tiles click here