Award-winning British designer William Yeoward designs everything from furniture to upholstery to lighting to crystal. Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was his last private client before he moved on to develop the William Yeoward Crystal brand. The 45-year-old Londoner was recently in Hong Kong to promote his collections and his first book, Perfect Settings.
What's the key to designing a comfortable home?
I think we should always think about what's important to us. I'm the kind of person who loves to entertain and to have people around. I live in the country, which is quite grey from the point of view of design. So hot colours are really what it's all about. I was asked not very long ago what happened when minimalism was all the rage and everybody wanted beige. But now everybody wants colours again.
So you don't believe in minimalism?
I think it's fine if that's what does it for you. To me, I'm not quite sure how it works. I remember reading an article about a famous minimalist. When they asked what she did at the weekend, she said she went shopping. But when you looked at the pictures of her apartment, she only had one pair of shoes.
Your new book is called Perfect Settings. How do we achieve perfection for the home?
Be brave. Follow your instinct.
If you look at the book and at your china [collections] and you think, 'Oh, this is quite similar, maybe I can do something like that,' do it. It makes you
happy and it will get easier as you carry on.
Many Hong Kong people who collect crystal like to display their items all in one row in a cabinet. What do you think about that?
I think it's very, very important to use them in every possible way you can imagine. You should get your pieces to multi-task. If they're on display, they should also be moved around and used.
How does the tabletop play a part in decorating the home?
The tabletop is very transient. If you set a table, you can just go out and buy a lovely big pile of cherries and that could be a centrepiece. It's only for now and then tomorrow it's gone. Always make your own statement with the table you set.
William Yeoward Crystal is available at the Lane Crawford stores in Central, Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui