Industry Profile: William Yeoward

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As founder of one of London's leading creative forces in interior design, William Yeoward has been designing beautiful products for the industry for nearly three decades. with a respected reputation as a style maker within the interiors community, this passionate designer is due to launch an integral new collection at Decorex 2013, simply entiltled ...collected. We caught up with William ahead of the show to delve into his world, and of course to dig out some sneaky information on ...collected.

What first drew you into a career in interior design?

My interest in Interiors started almost before I knew it. Classic telltale signs of re organizing my bedroom and "borrowing things" from other parts of our family house in the country where I grew up. I reckon I always knew this would be my life. I believe one is called to their vocation. I have been very, very blessed doing something that I truly love.

Could you tell us a little about the history of William Yeoward?

I studied Art History, Theatre Design and English Literature. I then happily embarked on career in interior design which led into me retailing, opening my first store on the King’s Road, Chelsea in 1987.

It’s very important to work out what you are about and how you want to live before one even contemplates a house or the things that one needs to live in it comfortably….comfort is the key to contentment and therefore good design must be practical, elegant and above all comfortable.

My first store on Kings Road was stocked with antiques, objet, pieces that I had designed and commissioned and also pieces that I had used for numerous design projects, but I realised very early on in my creative life that if I could not find what I wanted the best thing to do was to find someone to make it.

So at the end of my last decorating job, which was for Lady Thatcher at the time that she left government, I realised that I must decide between private clients and designing product that would eventually be the basis of our brand. 

That was the end of my decorating career. Product now would take precedence.

If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be?

Passionate, practical, elegant

What is your biggest inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere from the dusty streets of Morocco, a cobbled lane in rural Spain or the Roseland peninsula in south of Cornwall, inspiration is everywhere.

Choosing on what to draw on is the key.

What is your favourite piece within your own home?

The original Purbeck end table, which sits in the hallway of my London apartment, a truly magnificent piece and a superb example of pure craftsmanship, stunning

You have a new collection being released at Decorex in September called ...Collected, could you tell us more about this?

...collected has taken up most of my time recently; the reason this collection has evolved and blossomed into such a huge collection is annoyingly the beautiful pieces of furniture that I have eyed and hankered after have become both extremely scarce and, when available, well beyond my pocket! I decided some time ago that I would put the wheels in motion to find a way of reintroducing some of these wondrous pieces to the market. Hence ...collected was born.

What is the biggest challenge in your working life?

At present getting...collected to market ready for launch at Decorex 2013 this has been immensely challenging to say the least. This originally started as 10 pieces which has evolved to over 100 pieces and numerous finishes all with very intricate work and detail. The work involved in such a project has been huge but tremendously enjoyable. I know a thing or two about furniture but this has broadened my knowledge is such a way that I feel I have rediscovered an old passion.

If you could sum up Decorex in 20 words, what would they be?

Now in its new home Decorex really showcases the life blood of the British product and design industry.  Established brands doing great things, emerging creative minds doing new things and bring new elements to market. Pure passion and commitment!

This to me is Decorex in a nutshell.

As a renowned figure within London’s Interior design community, what advice can you offer young designers?

Be committed to your craft. Develop your skill or trade to the best it can be before diversifying.

Talk to people, get their opinion, and take criticism constructively. A little caution is always good but don’t get side tracked and above all enjoy it and have fun.

With a successful career spanning nearly 3 decades, what does the future hold for William Yeoward?

Back in 1993 Tim Jenkins and I launched William Yeoward Crystal

In 2013 Jonathan Sowter and I will launch William Yeoward ...collected, which is the future of William Yeoward and will inject a fresh new element to the Yeoward brand stable

...collected is just beginning and is here to stay, I can feel it.

Register for Decorex 2013 to see the launch of William Yeoward's ...collected at the show!