At home with
Take a look around author Laura Jane Williams’ inspiring home, full of unique finds and beautiful art
Author and columnist Laura Jane Williams left London a year ago, relocating to a UNESCO world heritage site, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Peak District. Now enjoying a welcome change from the hustle and bustle, particularly for a writer, her new surroundings are “soothing for the soul”.
The move wasn’t all romance, however. “I rent a suburban 80s semi, so from the outside it wasn’t love at first sight, but seeing the big windows and the wooden floors, and agreeing with the landlord first that I could paint all the magnolia, white, I knew I could turn it into a bright, spacious home that I could work from.”
Laura lives happily on her own (though she could be in the market for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – “I’d call her Margaret”), and has created a space that truly reflects her personality. “Being a storyteller, I enjoy having a home that reflects stories,” she explains. “A friend once told me my house is like a Victorian explorer’s den.” There are tons of conversation starters, with the desired e ect being that she can leave a guest in her living room while she makes a co ee, and they have plenty to look at.
So, where did all these curiosities come from? A few months after she moved in, Laura went through her memory box and picked out 100 things, went to IKEA, and found frames for every piece. “That felt really nice. To tell more stories with the prints that I had, the trinkets I had brought back from holidays. Instead of buying art, I was going into my own history. Remembering who I was when
“A friend once told me my house is like a Victorian explorer’s den.”
I collected a particular thing was almost as wonderful to me as rediscovering the thing itself. It’s also a great way to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.”
Laura is very much a believer that “more is more – and more is never enough!” describing her style as maximalist on a blank canvas, all about art and plenty of texture. “It was a deliberate thing when I moved here to fill it with velvet sofas, woollen blankets, woven pillows and sheepskin rugs.”
The eclectic furniture in Laura’s home comes from all over the place. At first it felt “a bit too IKEA,” but once inherited family pieces were added into the mix, it suddenly came together. “My place has that boho house feel to it, which I love. Something that’s more than the sum of its parts – a curated jumble sale vibe.”
The theme is enhanced with Laura’s love of novelty pieces. Take a look around and you’ll spot so many unusual items – all of which are the product of “falling down the rabbit hole on eBay,” one of Laura’s favourite ways to shop. “I love spending time looking for stu that straddles the line between ‘is it chic or is it ugly?’ I’ve bought so many gems this way; a Himalayan rock salt lamp here, a
“More is more – and more is never enough!”
fish vase there…” A sense of humour is definitely a prerequisite.
The space is never ‘done’. Laura’s noticed she tends to move things around seasonally or, more recently, in a fit of inspiration after visiting her brother and his husband in Chicago. “They are such good storytellers in their home,” explains Laura. “Every time I visit them, I come back, drop my suitcase and start madly rearranging everything. I even painted my own lampshades with Luke Edward Hallstyle faces after my last visit – that’s the craftiest thing I’ve ever done!”
The living room is Laura’s favourite space as it was the “blankest canvas” in the rented property to put her stamp on. It also houses her great-grandfather’s drinks cabinet, her most treasured piece. Then, of course, there are books
everywhere. “Books in the bathroom, living room, bedroom, kitchen – you get a very good sense of who I am through seeing which books are where,” explains Laura. “I only keep my absolute favourites in the house.”
And when the bookshelves are orderly, Laura feels her life is too. Currently writing in a little o!ce by her kitchen, keeping unusual hours (“I kind of live my life upside down”), it’s hard to switch o" from work. However, with a new shed arriving shortly, she’s planning to write from her garden. Laura is steadily fulfilling her dream-home wish list, all while adding her own books to the shelf.
To stay updated with writer Laura, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @laurajaneauthor. You can discover her work at www.laurajaneauthor.com.
01 Laura painted this lampshade after a burst of inspiration.
03 The drinks cabinet belonged to Laura’s greatgrandfather.
02 Laura’s prints have been collected over a lifetime.
04 Author Laura incorporates books into every display.
01 The lobster bowl was a late-night eBay find.
03 Soft pink touches feature throughout.
02 Frida Kahlo is a permanent fixture in this house.
04 Here, black framing ties a mix of styles together.