Open Sesame


Interior design is an ever-changing discipline. Shayne Brady and Emily Williams of London-based consultancy BradyWilliam explain to Sarah Denton how and why they’re following their own trends

Tell us about your studio

EW: Shayne and I met designing hotels 15 years ago and became firm friends. Whilst Shayne gained experience in hospitality at David Collins, I focused on residential interior design at Louis Bradley and we then merged our disciplines to create BradyWilliams six years ago. Our studio is based in Fitzrovia, London and comprises some 18 designers. Together, we work on residential and commercial projects both in London and abroad.

What are the style trends to look out for in the coming year?

EW: In the residential space there’s a big focus on paired back design, with the use of natural elements and a mixture of antiques and modern furniture. The new ‘luxury’ is more understated with a focus on quality, comfort and craftsmanship.

SB: Within commercial sectors they say maximalism is dead, but I’m not sure that’s true - I think a refined maximalism, beautifully detailed and layered without being ostentatious and with a strong focus on use of colour is on trend. In saying that, at BradyWilliams we don’t follow trends. We prefer designing for    a brief or a particular vision.

How has your style direction evolved over the years?

EW: My style has definitely become more paired back over the years with a focus on layouts and simple detailing. I’m much more focused on layering textures and working with the architecture or natural surroundings of a building.

SB: I think as I‘ve grown in confidence and become more self-assured as to who I am as an individual. My designs have in turn become more dramatic, colourful and playful in approach.

Who or what is your biggest influence?

EW: I’m always influenced by nature and light.

SB:  I’d have to say my parents for their strong hard work ethic which they instilled in me and my brothers from an early age. Design wise, theatre and the arts are the biggest influence in creating sets.

Does your work influence the design of your own homes?

EW: There are undoubtedly a number of aspects of our designs that I‘ve taken into my home, but it’s probably more relaxed and eclectic as it’s a mix of elements I’ve bought or inherited over the years. Where I live at present has more of a country feel than my previous homes, so this has also influenced the finished look.

SB: Yes absolutely - my apartment feels like a mini restaurant and members lounge. The dining table has a banquette around half of it to allow for cosy dinners and to fit more people in, while the lounge has an overscaled sofa in a deep rust colour which is ideal for larger groups and socialising. I love colour and vibrancy, and this is translated through interesting art that speaks to me and dramatic colour choices for upholstery.

With regards to design and architecture, what’s your favourite city?

EW: I love Parisian architecture. Lateral apartments with picture windows, high ceilings and beautiful detail are my absolute favourite.

SB: Dublin is undergoing a resurgence and Georgian architecture, proportions and colour palettes will always be a constant source of inspiration for me.

You work on commercial projects as well as residential – how do you translate luxury and high quality to a commercial property?

EW/SB: Across the studio we translate luxury through our choice of materials and acute attention to detail in how we use and layer materials irrespective of the sector.

What’s next for Brady Williams?

EW: We have lots of exciting projects on the horizon including a family home in Belgravia and a house in Hampstead overlooking the heath as well as numerous commercial projects.

SB:  Manzi’s opens early next year in Soho which we’re so excited by. The project is our next collaboration with Corbin and King, and after the success of Soutine this year, we can’t wait to show it to London. We’re also in the early stages of their next project in Notting Hill and an exciting concept we can’t breathe a word about which we will open early next year too.

Which past style trend do you wish you could bring back, and which do you wish would be erased from history?

EW: I’d like to bring back more fabric-walled rooms – they look so sumptuous and would be so peaceful and quiet to be in. I hear some people still love them, but pink, yellow and avocado bathroom suites have never been appealing to us.

SB: We’re bringing the 70s back with a bang soon – we’re so excited and inspired by the masculine aesthetic within the New York club lounges. The modernist approach of ghost clear acrylic dining chairs and glass dining tables needs never come back - I can’t deal with it.

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