In our monthly Interior Designer Crush series, we sit down and chat with our interior designer crush du jour to ask them 10 questions we’re dying to have answered. Today, we visit with William McLure, a self-employed artist and interior designer. William has been nurturing his art and design skills ever since boyhood, and he attended the The Southern Institute of Design, where he was active in the American Society of Interior Designers. His work has been featured on many design and art blogs, including Lonny Magazine, La Dolce Vita, Southern Living, Mark D. Sikes, and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. This Birmingham native’s work will also appear in the forthcoming coffee table book, Southern Style Now: Bold Interiors from the New South. We asked William to describe his aesthetic, let us in on some tricks of the trade and give us a glimpse of his favorite design project, his Birmingham bachelor pad. We hope you enjoy!
What is your design aesthetic and how do you translate that to a client and his/her home?
I’d have to say that my design aesthetic is relativity neutral, involves incorporating texture and different wood finishes and books, intimate areas with low lighting and lots of layers. I try to do exactly that in a client’s home, but I have to take into consideration how they function in their own home and how they use the space. I really love all styles, but I think my personal style would be a bohemian, British island feel. This style is about surrounding yourself with items you love and have collected from your travels. With that being said, I translate my style into a client’s home by using layers. Layers make a space look less predictable and contrived.
Where are your favorite local spots to source decor for a client’s home?
Circa Antiques & Interiors in Mountain Brook Village is great for antique statement pieces. Every home needs proper lampshades, and Village Firefly has a great selection. DSR is the place to go for fabrics and Liz Hand Woods has the layers part down to a “T”!
Are there any trends you’re loving at the moment, and, alternately, any timeless aspects of design that you cling to?
I’m not a fan of anything trendy. I think timelessness and longevity should always be considered when investing in your interiors. Block prints are available in almost any pattern and color these days. And they’ve been around for centuries, so you can’t go wrong!
What has been your most challenging project to date and why?
I can’t name the project or client, but I think when a client doesn’t trust their designer, it’s a recipe for disaster. You lose any enjoyment in the process at that point and become disinterested in it all together.
What brings you the most professional joy?
By far my most satisfying thing is to do my own interiors. My paychecks go directly back into my own interiors — not traveling, not clothing, but my home. It’s why I do what I do.
How does Birmingham’s design scene differ from the rest of the country?
Birmingham is like any other smaller city I think because of its saturated interior design and architecture community. The best part is that it’s not just some mom-and-pop designers; it’s individuals who have received national recognition! Most people might think that because of this over-saturation, it would be a cutthroat industry in Birmingham, but it’s actually quite the opposite. We have a very tight-knit community of architects and designers who all get along with each other and socialize with each other.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I think following the right people on Instagram is obviously a great source of inspiration, but books are my go-to for when I have a difficult time cultivating any creativity.
Who have been your industry mentors and role models, and why?
Well, I adore Mark Sikes. He’s an extremely talented and kind fellow, and it seems that everything he does oozes with great taste and style. He has a keen eye for pairing colors and patterns, the ability to layer and accessorize (which is hard for most people, I think), and he does so much research when he develops his spaces. The history and science behind your decisions is always important.
Share one designer secret with us regular folk.
You can put just about anything on a canvas and it becomes art … seriously.
What are your predictions for interior design in the next 10 to 15 years?
My prediction would be cleaner, less cluttered, modern interiors are the next big thing. Not saying that’s a great thing, but I think it’s the next “trend.”
If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?
Layered, collected, balanced, artistic, comfortable.
Thank you to William for sharing his design talents and insights. To view more of his gorgeous work or to contact William, visit the William McLure website.
Thank you to Hector Manuel Sanchez of Hector Sanchez Photography for the gorgeous photos of William’s interiors.
See who else we’re crushing on in our interiors archives. Click here and enjoy a look around!