Our exclusive Q&A with artist and interior design ‘wunderkid’ Luke Edward Hall...
It’s fair to say that Luke Edward Hall has rather taken the world of interior design by storm. A gifted artist and designer of ceramics and fabrics, he has that elusive ‘magic touch’, bringing a very distinctive aesthetic and colour palette into everything he does, from hotel rooms to jewellery to wine bottle labels. His Instagram feed alone is a thing of wonder, a swoony mix of contemporary design, Mediterranean light and English nostalgia.
You’re probably already getting his little daily bursts of beauty, full of his instantly-recognisable motifs (gorgeous figure sketches, Ionic columns, wine glasses and vine leaves) but if not we thoroughly recommend you follow him.
But first, here’s our exclusive Q&A about lighting and all things interior design...
Luke's apartment in Camden. Image: Luke Edward Hall
How did you get started in interior design?
I studied fashion design at university but went to work for a London-based interior designer after I graduated. Whilst I was a student I was also selling antiques online – I’ve always been interested in many different forms of art and design. I set up my own studio in 2015 and since then have worked on a wide variety of projects.
How would you describe your style?
I describe my work in general as being very colourful, playful in nature and inspired by a love of history. Colour really is the key thing for me because I use it liberally in all that I do. My drawings are at the heart of my work – even an interior project will start with lots of sketching. My ceramics are hand-painted and my fabric designs are always based on illustrations that I’ve done or patterns that I’ve created by hand.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I often look to the past for inspiration – I’m a huge fan of Ancient Greek and Roman art, architecture, myths and legends, for example. There are also artists and designers from the past that I always look to – Cecil Beaton and the Bloomsbury Group are my favourites. Really however inspiration can come from anywhere – a novel I’m reading, music I’m listening to, a place I’ve been to... With my work I aim to take inspiration from many sources and then create something that feels contemporary but also kind of rooted in the past somehow.
My recent London exhibition of drawings and paintings for example was inspired by a biography of an artist who was very active in the 1920s and 30s, but also by 1980s Italian pop music. I’m a romantic at heart and my work I think often feels quite nostalgic – my forever goal is to conjure up a bit of fantasy and magic.
How does lighting play a part in your interiors?
Lighting is extremely important – in a room I prefer to include lots of table and floor lamps rather than overhead lighting. Nobody looks good lit harshly from above! You need a nice, soft, warm glow. In the evenings at home, particularly in winter, I like to have a candle lit in each room. Lighting can make such a difference to an interior and to people’s moods when they enter a room – even a wonderfully decorated interior can be ruined by bad lighting.
Which recent projects are you particularly proud of?
I recently worked on two collaborations that I’m proud of – one was with the Royal Academy of Arts – to celebrate their 250th Anniversary, I was commissioned by the RA to illustrate a range of items including ceramics, napkins, glassware and even biscuits and bottles of wine and gin.
The other collaboration was with a hotel in Positano on the Amalfi Coast called Le Sirenuse – we produced a range of illustrated ceramics together as well as swim shorts, shirts and stationery. It’s a beautiful hotel with an incredible view of the town and the Meditteranean Sea.
Ceramics from the Le Sirenuse collection Image: Luke Edward Hall
Do you have a particular favourite corner or room (in your home or anywhere) that you feel is 'all your own'?
At home in our living room we have a floor lamp from the 1970s – it’s a big steel arch with a marble cube base and an orange plastic shade at the other end – I love it because the light it creates is super warm and comforting – it’s the perfect spot to sit under with a book at the end of a long day. I can look out of the window from the sofa here and we have a very old house plant next to the lamp that’s kind of out of control – the leaves are intertwined with the steel arch. Plus the luminous orange shade looks nice with the green leaves and our pink walls. Good colour combinations always please me!
Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light?
I’ve always loved the Nellie ceramic lamps, because they remind me of (and look very much like!) those fantastic antique Chinese ones you sometimes come across. The colours they come in are brilliant – we have the acid yellow ones on our bedside tables at home. I feel like they can kind of work in any style of interior. Luke's bedroom, including Pooky's Nelly table lamp in 'mootard' yellow Image: Luke Edward Hall