‘There’s real pleasure in foraging for a special piece and potentially getting a bargain or something unique that can’t be bought at a department store. Look for pieces that speak to you, which add an element of curiosity so that they bring character to a room,’ Matthew begins, in discussion with H&G.  Here, Matthew reveals his Interior design tips and sourcing secrets, so we can mirror the ageless ambiance from his creative kingdom in northern Majorca. 

1. The only rule is: there are no rules 

Combining diverse interior styles from various decades and knowing how to mix patterns in a room takes skill and experience, especially in a contemporary home. However, the uniqueness of this mix is what makes antiques so special, Matthew suggests.  ‘My only formula is not to not have a formula. I’ve honed what I like in terms of style and period – I’m drawn to the 1970s, to gilding, to rustic pieces. The mix is what creates the magic,’ he shares. 

2. Accentuate the location of your home

‘It’s important that the vernacular of a home’s location plays a part. In my own home in Deià, I’ve embraced tiled floors and rustic artefacts, but I can still throw in an English Chesterfield sofa. If a look is too prescribed from any genre, for me, that just creates flatness and predictability,’ Matthew shares. 

3. Prioritize furniture’s shape – and change its color 

‘I’m not wild about too much dark wood; it can be depressingly heavy and gloomy. I prefer painted or paler woods,’ Matthew declares, in his discussion of the color he would avoid. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever invest in the dark wooden furniture; as Matthew suggests, the color is often secondary to the shape and style of an antique find.  ‘I recently used an amazing Spanish wooden bed with turned posts that were a wonderful shape but were too heavy, so I had it painted in a glossy electric blue, like a lacquered effect,’ he explains. 

4. Rewrite old antique conceptions

‘Antique and vintage furniture isn’t the preserve of fuddy-duddy stately homes and museums. I want to break down this misconception about antiques and vintage, highlighting strong pieces and great design that can work in modern and fresh schemes,’ Matthew adds.  This interview was by Kerryn Harper-Cuss for Homes & Gardens June 2021. To buy back issues or to subscribe to the magazine monthly, you can follow the link above.

Matthew Williamson s secrets to working with antiques and vintage finds   Homes   Gardens - 6