Introducing In Bed With Swyft, a new series of interviews with incredibly talented creatives across various industries. Over the course of six episodes (broadcast on IGTV), we talk with journalists, CEOs, beauty specialists and sleep experts about their creative journeys.
In the first episode Naomi Bonafoux sits down with Catherine Hayward, fashion director of Esquire UK, who shares with us her interior design secrets, style influences and renovation projects. For the full interview, click here, or read the highlights below:
N: How does your personal style influence your interiors?
C: I am married to an architect and we have amalgamated a lot of ‘things’ in our flat – he collects furniture, I collect clothes and shoes and we have a lot of books and magazines. So, I find all the pieces collected over the years have become the wallpaper of our lives and our rooms. Rather than worry about the colour of your wall, you can cover it with all of your personal pieces – almost like artwork - so it feels like a personal space.
N: So, which interior trend from the past do you wish would make a comeback?
C: Well, I’m a huge fan of architect John Pawson and the big minimalist movement from the mid-nineties - which is descended from the Bauhaus - the birth of modernism. I would love to start collecting those Marcel Breuer tubular chairs - but they’re so expensive. I really love that pared- back low-key aesthetic in furniture.
The 1920s was the beginning of mass market production. That generation started the movement which made sure the quality matched up to the number of pieces being produced.
N: So, favourite interiors hotspot in London?
C: Oh, that’s an easy one for me. I really love Corbin & King, the restaurateurs. I spend a lot of time and money in their restaurants. My favourite one is The Delaunay because I always pop in there after work. I go to The Wolseley, Fischers, Colbert, Zedel - I love the aesthetic.
They started in London twenty years ago, where they went back to the idea of the grand proportions of the Baroque era which originated in Vienna.
I think they’ve revolutionised the London restaurant scene, but interiors wise, they’ve really nailed it. They also worked with the late, great David Collins. I thought he was a ground-breaking interior designer, and the three of them created some of the best restaurants in the world. They always remember your name and preferences, which makes going for a drink a grand experience. I would say Corbin & King are my top spots for a drink in London.
N: So how would you sum up your interior style in three words?
C: I would say: eclectic, experimental and intriguing. I like the stories behind individual pieces, so when I enter a space, I'm always intrigued about a particular chair, a plant or a table and ask myself ‘where did that person source that piece from’. I’m always intrigued by those elements.
N: So, you’d say you use vintage in your decorations?
C: Yes, a lot. I’ve also inherited a few pieces as well. As you get older, it’s lovely to inherit family pieces - they become really cherished items.
N: What’s your all time favourite interior trend?
C: That’s a difficult one, there are so many amazing ones to choose from. I’m a big fan of Ilse Crawford, who was the launch editor of Elle Deco magazine back in the nineties. She was responsible for the interiors of Babington House, Soho House in New York, that whole Soho House aesthetic. She’s been hugely influential in the interiors we all aspire to now - a little bit ‘country house’ with some modern pieces thrown in.
I think her taste was spot on for the era. Bearing in mind that previously a grand hotel either had a very grandiose, over-the-top interior or a very eclectic Airbnb set -up, the Soho House aesthetic broke through and has dominated everything we buy now. I think as a trend aesthetic, the Ilse Crawford vibe is brilliant so I vote for her. She’s still only 58 years old but I vote for her girl power.
N: How have you injected your personality into your home?
C: Well, I’ve got a lot of books and magazines - 27 years-worth of magazines that I’ve actually worked for too, so the plan is to put them all on Vitsoe shelving and completely cover two or three walls in one room so it resembles a library space. You can spend hours searching and browsing the shelves.
N: What’s your favourite Swyft Model?
C: Initially, I was undecided between 02 and 04. I love the cylindrical bolsters on 02 - very mid-century modernist - but I think the design has morphed and moved into a slightly more comfortable aesthetic. 04 looks like a sofa you can fall asleep on - I quite often do that. I love the cushions which look really, really soft and comfortable.
I mean, they’re all brilliant, but I was thinking of the ultimate design - the shape you want to sink into at the end of the day and I think 04 sums it all up very well.
Q: So, Catherine, If you were a cocktail, which would you be?
C: God, there’s so many to choose from! Maybe a Bloody Mary - it’s a medicinal excuse to have something to drink with breakfast or brunch, but also it means you can turn it into a Virgin Mary yet still have the drama of the red of the tomato, the crunch and height of the celery and a bit of spice. I quite like the duality with either – but you still have the visual drama.
N: Bloody Mary, yes, with tequila instead of vodka. Talk about drama.
For the full interview, head over to our IGTV.