Whether it’s her whimsical scallop-edged lampshades or her pastel-hued beeswax candles, her tongue-in-cheek window displays or her enchanting tablescapes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a creative endeavour the multi-talented Matilda Goad hasn’t lent her hand to.
This time, it’s a pop-up shop on London’s Westbourne Grove. It’s not the first such space for the homeware designer and creative consultant, but it is a Farrow & Ball first: this time our nine new colours will appear alongside a treasure trove of covetable pieces lovingly curated by Matilda.
We caught up with Matilda her to discuss projects present and future, seasonal inspiration, and her top tips for intriguing interiors.
01: YOUR SYDNEY STREET POP-UP OPENED IN NOVEMBER LAST YEAR – IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS TIME OF YEAR IN PARTICULAR THAT INSPIRES YOU?
I love the lead up to Christmas. It’s the happy side of winter when the cold crisp days and comforting foods still feel like a novelty after summer. The twinkly lights and smell of bonfires in the air soften the reality that hits home come January. We also naturally tend to hibernate and focus more on our homes, whether it’s tinkering around with decoration and accessories or entertaining friends. It feels fitting to launch new products at this time of year and the pop-up is a great place to start some early Christmas shopping.
02: HOW DOES THE EXPERIENCE OF RUNNING A POP-UP SHOP COMPARE TO YOUR OTHER CREATIVE ENDEAVOURS?
I love playing shopkeeper and seeing all my products come together under one roof. When working with brands I am essentially working to a brief, so it’s really invigorating to have completely free rein to be as imaginative as I want. The pop-up gives me an opportunity to create a physical brand experience for customers, which can’t always be conveyed so well online. This year I am using a lot of chintz and corrugated iron!
03: HOW HAVE YOU USED OUR NEW COLOURS TO BRING THE SPACE TO LIFE?
Green is my favourite colour in every capacity and I’m going through a khaki phase at the moment. I’ve used it in recent installations and across lots of my products. Oddly, it’s a very universal colour and acts as a great backdrop for brighter and paler colours to bounce off. I was immediately drawn to Bancha, which I’ve used on the walls along with School House White on the corrugated iron. The colours are so complementary and will create the perfect setting for my punchy coloured products.
04: HOW COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF USING THE NEW COLOURS IN YOUR OWN HOME?
De Nimes is a great colour. If it were a person it would be Keith Richards. Even amongst lots of traditional brown furniture and gilt frames it adds an element of edginess and understated cool. I love the fact dirty denim water was the inspiration behind its creation. It would work really well in a sitting room or a hall that doubles up as a corridor with tons of different paintings and framed memories for a look that’s eclectic and tells a story.
05: WHAT KIND OF ROLE DOES COLOUR PLAY IN YOUR INTERIORS?
It’s the most intrinsic part of my design process and therefore my brand. Aside from my products, which always feature lots of colour and playful juxtapositions, I use a lot of colour in the home via decoration and accessories.
I love to layer colours and always think about perspective, whether it’s looking through a door frame from one room to the next and considering how colour can make that journey more interesting, or thinking about how to use pops of colour to create intrigue. For example, I’ll often paint a sash window in dark green or a skirting board in an unlikely hue.
The key is to use colour to create a space that’s considered and welcoming. I always want guests to feel really at home when they walk into a space I’ve created. Whether that be a sitting room or a shop!
06: DO YOU HAVE AN ALL-TIME FAVOURITE FARROW & BALL COLOUR?
Green Smoke has followed me around quite a few different homes – its chalkiness and blue tone make it very adaptable and easy to use – and is great to bring some character to the inevitable dark north-facing room.
07: WHAT FIVE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIOR AESTHETIC?
Eclectic, inviting, personal, always evolving…
08: CAN YOU BRIEFLY WALK US THROUGH THE PROCESS OF HOW ITEMS MAKE IT FROM YOUR IMAGINATION INTO PEOPLE’S HOMES?
My designs are normally borne out of necessity and not being able to find something. Inevitably, I’ll end up sketching what’s in my imagination with watercolours. Then, once I have found a craftsman who works with a particular material or technique, we work together to create a sample. It’s a lengthy process. There’s a lot of back and forth to get the design just right.
09: WHAT COLLABORATIONS HAVE YOU GOT YOUR EYE ON NEXT?
In terms of products, there are lots of ideas in the pipeline and I am sampling a number of ideas at the moment. The pop up will launch my new tabletop collection – which includes coloured cutlery, rattan placemats, my ribbed beeswax candles in a new purple colourway and linen napkins with scalloped edging – as well as my clever ‘foodie’ Christmas crackers in collaboration with TART London and a new line of cane lampshades! In terms of consulting work, I’d love to apply my style to a more permanent space whether that be someone’s store or a restaurant…