Upscale Living Magazine had an exclusive with one of the Founders of Brady Williams, an interior design company offering exquisite timeless design for both Commercial and Residential clients. Emily Williams, one of the founders, sat with us and talked about her life and her career.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Surrey born; London based interior designer. My business partner Shayne and I set up Brady Williams 6 years ago after working together with designer hotels many years before.
Did you have an influence in your youth that shaped your career path?
I grew up with a creative mother and an academic father. It meant that my choice of study was often quite polarised, so I ended up studying design only after I majored in French and Business. My mother is Swedish and comes from a large family of creatives, so this had a big impact when I was growing up and formed my love of interiors from an early age.
What are/have been the biggest challenges in your career?
Since running our own business, Shayne and I have learned that you must hire the best people, without a good team, there is no structure and we cannot see the big picture. Quite appropriately the other lesson is that we must delegate and learn to let go. This is something designers struggle with, but we have learned it benefits the project (and the sanity of the team) in the end.
Important lessons learned along the way?
Never trust a price too low or a lead time too short – we have worked with many suppliers over the years who have promised the earth to win the job and ended up being completely unreliable and costing more in the end! We now only work with our trusted partners who deliver quality on time.
The favorite part of your job?
The Concept and installation! I love pulling all the initial ideas together at the concept to form a complete vision and I love the pace and unveiling of the final installation. It’s like the moment you discover you’re pregnant and the moment you hold your new baby. The bit in between is a lot of hard work and dedication but well worth it!
What is the best thing about being at the helm of an interior design company?
We love the creative freedom and building the business. It’s dynamic and exciting and no day is the same.
And the worst?
You never turn off – whether it’s on holiday or waking up in the middle of the night, our clients and the business are always on our mind.
Is your home / are your homes as stunning as those of your clients? I’m thinking of the old proverb of the shoemaker’s children that have no shoes …. hopefully, that’s not the case with your abode(s).
Well, I’d like to think that one day our home will be but currently, it needs a lot of work! We’ve focused on a few rooms so we can ‘live’ with it until the refurbishment starts but I am far less decisive with my own house.
What are your favorite rooms in your own home(s) and why?
I love the master bedroom as it is a double aspect and even though we’re in London, all you see is the tops of trees.
What key pieces in your home can you not live without?
Personal possessions make a home so photos, art, and books but I also have some key pieces of furniture that I really cherish. A mixture of inherited Swedish antiques and mid-century finds.
Talk to us through a timeless interior design style.
The timeless design will respect the architectural bones of the property. I think adding eclectic pieces to a period space doesn’t date as opposed to being on ‘trend’. Layering texture with neutral tones will also always look elegant.
How important is it to accessorize?
I love accessorizing but don’t think it should be overdone. Sometimes less is more but certainly, a few key pieces add dynamism to a room.
Is there a right and wrong when it comes to decorating? Please explain.
I don’t think so. It is all very subjective and for every rule, there is probably a beautiful example of where it is broken. I would say always be conscious of scale and if working with color, don’t match too much as it will just feel like a bad show home.
How does one keep things modern/timeless without having to break the bank?
Invest in one or two good things and the rest will pull together.
Do you believe in repurposing dated pieces or should one just shop for new ones?
I think it is good to re-purpose and it shows character. That said, tastes change and as you move around certain things will suit different properties. If you have the chance to store some cherished favorites, I think it is well worth it.
Have there been projects that you have declined? If yes, why?
Yes, sometimes we have had to decline because the budget or timeline doesn’t seem realistic and we have learned the hard way, that you are always on the back foot in these instances. Also, we’ve had a couple of instances where the client has shown a design style direction that isn’t our style.
You travel for business and hopefully pleasure too. Which have been your favorite places to travel to that have left a lasting impression?
I have recently got back from Morocco which blew me away. The craftsmanship and detailing of their buildings are stunning and a complete feast for the eyes! I cannot wait to return.
What do you do for fun?
I have two young girls and a large family, so family time is key. We like to make the most of London but also love escaping to the Alps or the countryside.
Any exciting plans on the horizon?
We have lots on both the residential and hospitality front. We are currently working on some beautiful London family homes and pieds-a-terre and some exciting restaurants which will open next year.