At home with

Mollie Makes - - CONTENTS -

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.

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