Matthew Williamson & Blakes
Matthew has collaborated with installation artist Rebecca Louise Law and Blakes Hotel Kensington on a very special bohemian hideaway. Named The Hendrick’s Horticultural Oasis, it opens next week, coinciding with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The hotel’s courtyard has been transformed with textiles from our Osborne & Little collection and objet d’arts chosen from one of Matthew’s favourite interior design emporiums, Rockett St George. Rebecca’s canopy of scented dried roses, peonies, hydrangeas and juniper berries forms a centrepiece of falling flowers. The ode to summer will run right through to the cocktails on offer: Hendrick’s are using fresh herbs from the garden in their mixology.
Immerse yourself in the scents of summer – it is open until 14th July. For now, Matthew gives us a first glimpse of his vision in the interview below.
Blakes Hotel London, 33 Roland Gardens London, SW7 3PF
10am – 8:30pm everyday
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7370 6701
“I’ve been a fan of Blakes hotel for many years so collaborating with them on their courtyard space has been a real labour of love.”
“I was given free rein creatively over the space which is great as I can be true to my own personal design DNA. I aimed to create a magical oasis for guests to escape the hustle and bustle of London. I’ve used my Osbourne & Little fabrics from the Samana collection, which work so well in the space. I’ve also collaborated with Rockett St George. They helped to source some amazing vintage garden furniture for the space so it has a really unique feel. Floral artist Rebecca Louise Law has been commissioned to create a display in the glass ‘birdcage’ summer house so it transforms the space into a wonderful floral sensory experience.”
What was the trickiest part of the project?
“The great British weather! I had to take into account that the space is set outdoors and so everything used had to be weatherproof. Most of the furniture is suitable for outdoors but I couldn’t resist using an ostrich feather lamp in the space… The bell boy will be very used to carrying it inside and outside, along with all the cushions, at the start and end of each day to avoid the rain.”
Your favourite object used in the space?
“This would have to be my brightly-coloured plastic ‘peacock’ chair. I’ve had the chair for about 10 years now and it’s been well loved over those years. I’ve had it outside in my own garden and now the colours have faded but it looks even better with age. It’s a real eye-catcher and sums up me and my style rather well. It’s found a perfect new home for the summer in the Blakes courtyard garden.”
How would you spend the day in the garden?
“The basic concept for the space was to bring the indoors outdoors and create a hideaway filled with all the creature comforts you would have inside your home. I would happily kick back with friends, order afternoon tea, catch up and while away a few hours in the sun trap. By night, the space is lit with festoon bulbs so I would go for summer Hendrick’s gin cocktails and celebrate the long evenings, transporting myself to more exotic climes.”
Your favourite flowers?
“My favourite blooms are English roses, peonies and anemones in hot house hues.”
In what way do you use flowers in your everyday life?
“The more naturalistic for me the better. I like bouquets which feel like they haven’t been sculpted for hours on end but have a certain hand-done, rustic charm.”