Interview
The Design-Led Den

Luke Edward Hall

The artist and designer throws open the doors to his creative playground

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@LibertyLondon

As part of a new generation of bright young things, Luke Edward Hall doesn’t disappoint when on home turf. Naturally, the artist, interior designer and North London resident is something of an expert when it comes to curating his own living space. Blown-up framed prints scale forest green walls, while flashes of pattern, vintage furniture and collected objects provide all the aesthetic eclecticism of a 21st century Charleston. We take a room-by-room tour to get to the heart of the artistic shopper’s fearless approach to home design.

How long have you lived in your home?I’ve lived here for six or seven years, my boyfriend Duncan moved in around nine years ago.

How often are you here?Most of the time, although I travel sometimes for work and I try to get out of London and into the countryside at least once or twice a month.

What’s the first thing you do when you walk through the door?When I come home from my studio in the evening the first thing I’ll do is look in the fridge and ask Duncan what we should make for dinner.

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How would you describe your interior style?Colourful, eclectic, cheerful, layered. I like unexpected colour combinations, bold patterns and prints and mixing furniture from different periods. I enjoy being surrounded by my things – my favourite books, our collection of drawings and prints and bits and pieces picked up on our travels.

How did you go about decorating each room?We only have four rooms including the hallway but each one has required a different approach. In our bedroom we’re about to install a geometric wallpaper as well as a patterned carpet, which would probably be too much (even for us) in the sitting room, but in the bedroom, a much smaller room, it’ll be impactful but not difficult to live with. With our own home however, the decoration has happened over time – we’ve changed paint colours, replaced bits of furniture. I like interiors that look lived-in, not pristine. I don’t care about the odd cigarette burn or scuff.

Where do you look to for inspiration?I often look to my favourite interior designers from the past (David Hicks, Madeleine Castaing, Dorothy Draper). I admire people who are fearless with their pattern and colour choices. I always find Tim Walker’s photography very inspiring too – he creates these magical, over-the-top worlds, which are very romantic and charming. I like interiors that are eccentric and exaggerated, so will watch Wes Anderson’s films often, where every detail has been meticulously designed.

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Which room is your favourite?I love our bathroom with its Arts and Crafts wallpaper and emerald tiles. I’m a big fan of bathrooms that are not just functional but lovely rooms in their own right. I like bathrooms that have rugs, armchairs and thoughtful lighting – I think they should be rooms you want to spend time in.

Is this where you spend the most time? Well I do love reading in the bath at the end of a long day but we spend most of our time in our sitting room – it’s where we cook, eat, relax and also where Duncan works most days.

What can we expect to find within your home?Lots of plants and jugs of flowers, piles of books, a great deal of colour! A variety of materials too – in the same way that I like mixing furniture from different periods, I enjoy having lots of different textures around me. So we’ve got a shaggy white and black rug from Morocco, a peach and pale green marble dining table and a huge mirror with a coloured glass surround from the 1950s in our sitting room, a battered mahogany cupboard in the bathroom, brass faux bamboo bedside tables…

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Is there anything that might surprise us?Our balcony often surprises people, as only a few of the houses along our short terrace have them. Ours sits above the entrance porch. It’s a brilliant spot for an early evening spritz in summer, overlooking the trees in the square. Every now and again we’ll pick up a load of plants and herbs from our local garden centre and spend the weekend planting them in our collection of old terracotta pots. We’ve neglected the plant situation recently but it’s lovely to have an outdoor space to enjoy as we’re on the first floor and sadly don’t have access to the back garden.

Do you have a favourite object, or piece of furniture?I love our Marcel Breuer Cesca dining chairs. They’re only reproductions but we found the set on eBay a few years ago for next to nothing, and last year we replaced the natural seats and backs with black versions. I really love the combination of cane and steel. I also have lots of favourite funny objects, like the cheap statue of David I picked up when I first visited Rome as a teenager.

Does your home double up as your workspace?I work at my studio, which is luckily a very short walk from our home. Occasionally I will work at home though – I’ll sit at the dining table and draw. Duncan has a desk in the corner of the sitting room, by a pair of French doors which lead out to the balcony.

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What do you think makes for a happy home?It should be a comfortable place. On a standard Saturday morning all I’ll want to do is spend time at home, reading the newspapers over a long breakfast with the radio on. It should make you feel happy too, and for me this comes with colour. We’re about to repaint our entrance hallway a really punchy glossy yellow – how could we or a visitor not feel happy after opening the front door and seeing that?

What are your favourite Liberty fabrics?I’ve always loved the really small, delicate floral prints and I especially love them when the colours feel a bit 1970s.

Can you share a Liberty memory?I studied menswear fashion design at Central Saint Martins and when I first moved to London aged eighteen it was (and still is) my favourite place to come and look at all the new men’s collections. When I first started making things I dreamed of selling my wares in Liberty, so I couldn’t be happier to now have my drawings, prints and hand-painted ceramics on the third floor!

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