Proud maximalist Zoë (founder of W.A. Green) shows us around the north London Victorian terrace she shares with husband Gavin and daughter Ruby. The property is every bit as colourful and inviting as you’d expect from the interiors pro – a family home filled with beautiful curiosities.
Photography James Gardiner
How important is character?
It’s everything for me and I feel sad for the old houses that’ve been modernised with PVC glazing. Our house was covered in pebbledash when we bought it and we were euphoric when we finally got it off. The bricks were cleaned and re-rendered and so many people comment on how good it looks from the street now. We were lucky with the original fireplace in the living room and we sourced a refurbished antique replacement for our bedroom. When we bought it, the guy who sold it said “you’ll only ever light this once,” and he was spot on! But it looks nice in the bedroom so I’m glad we did it, even if we never light it again.
Describe your interiors style
I love colour and making a statement with a bold wall and colour popping accessories. I don’t think about things matching, rather blending in to tell a whole story. I like there to be little areas of interest throughout the house – I’m nota fan of one colour scheme for a whole home. It should flow but that doesn’t necessarily mean each room should feel the same. The kitchen is a place of energy and conversation, the lounge a place for chilling, and the bedroom should be about making you feel good for the day ahead. So many people talk about making it chilled for sleep but I think it’s so important to consider the space you wake up in, or get ready for a night out. You need to feel energised and fun here – it doesn’t matter how it looks when you crash out in the evening!
What’s your take on maximalism?
I’ve always been a maximalist – I guess I just love stuff! It’s part of the reason I started W.A.Green. I couldn’t find a store selling enough of the things I liked and got bored of all the big stores selling the same products and the smaller ones focusing on a Scandi vibe. It just isn’t me. I’m loving that everyone’s embracing it now and people are feeling empowered to live how they please, rather than conform to one school of thinking. Maximalism isn’t a trend, it’s a way of life.
Which interiors brands are your favourites?
I’m lucky to stock one of my design heroes, Jonathan Adler – everything he does is on the right side of wrong and I just love him for it. Seletti is also fun and Pulpo work with today’s most exciting designers. For furniture, you can’t go wrong with Ligne Roset. We bought our sofa from there over 15 years ago and it’s just starting to look like it could tell a few stories! I really like to work with independent designers in the store, as I like the things I surround myself with to have heritage or a story. At home it’s all about a high-low mix of vintage with future classics, so I often visit markets and vintage furniture stores for lighting and one-off finds. I appreciate the revered classic pieces, but I’m not so into owning them, as so many people have them and it makes things feel too safe and cookie-cutter like.
What’s next for W.A.Green?
We’re always looking forward and every day brings something new. We’re keen to expand, make more of our own products and to develop the team. We’ve recently refurbished the store to allow us a much larger stock room for online capacity, so we’re looking forward to stress testing it as we continue to grow.