Tell us about your new home range for Littlewoods.
It's the first time I've done an entire home range for anybody, so I was very excited for the opportunity of being basically able to design rooms. Obviously I've been designing product ranges for a long time, like the Wallpaper with Graham and Browns is now 13 years old. But with designing things like wallpaper, cutlery or carpets it's a specific item, the Littlewoods range allows me to create an entire room statement, and it means that I can really be a lot more playful and create a much more electic sense. I think that this is one of the things that people are really looking for at the moment. The sort of decoratings that everybody loves are very romantic, vintage inspired, fashion inspired look and it's quite difficult to achieve unless you've got a terribly good eye or an enormous amount of money. The Littlewoods collection is giving me the opportunity to give people the ability to create this very easy-going, boho-chic, high end look but for very little money.
Why did you want to create this range?
I think it's great to lock yourself away and design a collection, but actually the real secret is where loads and loads of people own it. For me design only really works when it is used and loved and appreciated on a daily basis. If it's just kept in the cupboard then for me it becomes pointless.
I've always been extremely passionate about the idea of design democracy with my ranges and I want people to not feel anyway intimidated by my collections. A retailer like Littlewoods immediately gives people a lot of confidence with price tags, and you can pay it off weekly which again make it more affordable.
Where did your inspiration for the range come from?
A lot of it comes from fashion, I think in many ways it's mostly from the dark recesses from my own mind, ably assisted by quite a lot of gin. It's an ability to be able to create an entire room scheme which mixes art deco, Venician gothic, Rococo, punk goth, rock 'n roll, classical music and fondant fancies. I think that a lot of us would like our rooms to be very energetic, very glamorous, very seductive and very eye-catching. It's not minimalism, that's for sure.
Which items would you suggest to someone who wants to make an instant change to a room?
This is one of the joys of the collection, as you can add small bits like the cushions or the accessories like wall art, but then you can upgrade it too. The rugs make an enormous impacts, things like curtains are very good as well. Bed linen is again something that is very easily employed to make a difference. And then work your way up to the much bigger piece of furniture like the beds. I mean the beds are spectacular, they're doing incredibly well. I think that people have been crying out for it. On this kind of level, it's just been really Ikea for too long. I think this is the first time a designer brand has closed the circle between fashion, what people are wearing and how they want to decorate, it's the first time it's really been done.
If people are getting ready to decorate a room, what should they first think about?
I think the thing to do is have a really clear idea of what you want to do. It's inevitable, particularly these days, that you're not going to be able to do everything in one day. I think it's incredibly important to have an overall game plan. One of the very accessible things about my Littlewoods because it's all there in the catalogue you can have a real sense of what the room looks like. Plus, you're not having to trail from one shop to another or being at the mercy of whether a particular retailer has stock of the thing that you want. You've got the route map of how you want the room to be sitting in front of you.
Do you think that a whole home should follow a particular theme, or each room should have it's own feel and look?
No, I think that's a very 20th Century idea. British homes don't work like that. Mediterranean homes and modernist homes in Scandinavia work like that, because it's all about big, open spaces but we live in houses that were built between 1880 and 1930. They are a series of boxes put together, and each has a very distinctive personality and I think that you should celebrate that. I wouldn't want to have a bedroom that was decorated exactly the same as the front hallway. They're all doing very different jobs and they'll also have a different atmosphere to them, they'll be subject to different light, different views, you'll be using them at very different times of the day when you've got a very different head on.
If people are on a budget, what small things can they do to instantly change the look or feel of a room?
Again, this is the joy of Littlewood's that you can be paying it off week by week, there's nothing to really hold you back. The world outside is a very cold and scary place, when we get home we are desperate I think to have control our environment and have an ability to sort of recharge our batteries and cacoon ourselves in a context that we think reflects ourselves. Twenty years ago, money was always a barrier for something like that now it's much more accessible, now it's much more obtainable and I think there's nothing wrong with treating yourself and treating your home to a completely new look as a way of really reaffirming the fact that you love coming home so much.
What are the big trends in home decorating at the moment?
I think it's all about personality and has been for a couple of years, but it keeps on getting stronger and stronger. I think the thing, especially with a lot of women, is that we don't want interiors that we have to live up too. We want interiors that follow us, that follow our lead and reflect us. If you come home after a fabulous night out, and you've drank far too much champagne and you fall flat down face-first onto the bed, without having taken your make-up off when you wake up the next morning and you've left your Jimmy Choo's in the middle of the floor, your bra hanging from the chandlier and clothes all over the place I want that bedroom to look just as good. I want that bedroom to feel occupied, and as though it's got an identity. I don't want to be creating interior designs for people that they've got to fix every five minutes.
These are vibrant, sexy, glamorous interiors that I want to really feel capture the spirit and the mood and takes the kind of people that we are now and provides a domestic context, provides a home for us.
What tips do you have for someone who has never decorated before?
Think of it in terms of how you dress yourself, it's not really all that different to be honest. I'm working very hard now with my collections to create that link between fashion and home decorating.
Use all of the tricks that you use with the clothes you wear too. You know what suits you, you know how to draw attention to the things that look best, you know how to fudge the areas that you think are worse. You know the colours that go together, you know the colours that give you pleasure and you know about clever shopping. Buy an expensive item and then accessorise it with cheaper items.
Just be much more comitted and trust yourself. See your room as a Barbie doll waiting to dress.
What's your favourite room to decorate and why?
I always think that the bedroom is a very important room to decorate, it's where we're at our most unguarded and genuine. It's where we let our pschology really sneak out from under the covers. I think it's somewhere you can have a lot more glam, a lot more fun, more passion and more drama with your decorating.
Laurence's range is available to buy from Littlewoods and Littlwoods.com
Femalefirst Taryn Davies