Meet the interior designer: Willow Crossley

Our exclusive Q&A with interior designer and floral stylist Willow Crossley…

A former fashion journalist, Willow Crossley is an author, interior designer and floral stylist famed for her natural, loose, and gorgeously English arrangements. We caught up with Willow for a chat about what inspires her...

How did you get started in design – and particularly interior design?

From a very young age I’ve loved designing and making things. I always wanted to be a fashion designer and would spend hours dreaming up outfits. But I’m hopeless at drawing and gave up after a while. I can remember redesigning mine and my brothers' bedrooms every week or so. I must have driven them mad. My degree is in Fashion Promotion from the London School of Fashion - so journalism and styling in a nutshell and a large part of that was design too. I love ‘creating’. Be it a room or a flower arrangement - I love the whole process, from dreaming up an idea at the start to actually making it happen - and seeing the finished result. The Bull Inn, Charlbury. Image credit. Bedroom at The Swan Inn, Ascott-under-Wychwood. Image credit.

How would you describe what you do and your interior design style?

I’m a floral and Interiors consultant. And an author. I’ve written three books and just working on a new one now. My design style is very colourful. Bold. Homely. I think life’s too short to play it safe and neutral so push myself to be as brave with decisions as I can. I love mixing patterns and textures, old and new... Image credit.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere really. My mother, Kate Corbett-Winder, is very creative; she’s an author, gardener, florist and painter. I’ve grown up surrounded by her taste and style which has definitely rubbed off on me in a major way. I grew up in Wales, in a very rural remote area which has always influenced me. I love being outside, going for walks, gardening. I find Instagram and Pinterest very inspiring too and love whiling away the hours designing my imaginary beach house on Pinterest! Pooky's classic swan neck wall light with Balinese Ferns shade at the Swan Inn. Image credit.

How does lighting play a part in your interiors?

A huge part. I think it’s very important to have lighting at different heights in a room. And it may sound stupid but it’s important to have enough lighting sources both that work and are bright enough. My kitchen has been so dark for years and only recently have we got the right bulbs. It’s changed my life - I can now see! Willow's kitchen gets a a flower invasion during March snows! Image credit.

Which recent projects are you particularly proud of?

Our pub/hotels the Bull Inn in Charlbury and the Swan in Ascott under Wychwood. The Bull Inn, Charlbury. Image credit. The Bull Inn, Charlbury. Image credit. Detail from The Swan Inn, Ascott-under-Wychwood. Image credit.

Do you have a particular favourite corner or room (in your home or anywhere) that you feel is 'all your own'?

Yes! My office. Its pink and flowery and filled with my favourite photos and trinkets - the walls are covered with shells and Indian beaded fabrics. It looks like a bomb has gone off in it but I know exactly where everything is. I try and keep the boys out of there as much as I can but they seem to love it just as much and have started asking to do their homework in there now! Image credit.

Finally – do you have a favourite Pooky light?

I Love the clear Wisteria lamp. I usually go for the brightly coloured ones but there’s something quite classic about it - it feels peaceful. But then I’d add the green block print shade to it for my colour hit!


Clear Wisteria with green block printed shade - shop here. Visit Willow's website for more about her interior work, books, flowers and general brilliance. And you can also follow her on Instagram. Image top: Andrew Hayes-Watkins.