February 20, 2018

I don’t remember the exact moment I discovered William McLure‘s design work and art work, but the first image posted below, with the white painted floor stopped me in my tracks! There is nothing I love more than a well-layered room, and I was likely researching white painted floors. William does both the floor and the layering so well! I think I’m drawn to his style for a few other reasons, including the depth he creates in his rooms with items you can tell are vintage or antique. Plus, he can create show stopping rooms in both neutrals and color – as you can see in all the photos below. I think that is a true sign of a talented designer. No one trick pony around here!

William is based in Birmingham, Alabama and I think you’ll love his insight and tips. Here’s the William McLure interview / Q&A:

My secret styling trick: Layering a room. Books, candles, flowers, sculpture, etc….The details that make a room personal. This is what makes a room special, unique and pulls it all together!

My childhood bedroom would have this: I was constantly nailing sheets to the ceiling to try to give the effect of a canopy over the bed!!

One of the hardest things for new designers to learn:

I would have to say honing in on your taste and aesthetics. One of the things I did was work for a really amazing and talented architecture firm for six years. This taught me so much on cabinetry details, under lighting instead of over lighting, The importance of divided lites in a window, great hardware, proportion, scale, etc. It was an invaluable tool for what I do today!!!

The most difficult aspect of my job: 

Dealing with difficult people. As I’m sure all designers know, everybody is going to have their good clients and their bad clients. Nothing is more satisfying than dealing with a client that totally trust you and doesn’t second-guess you…… but we all have those bad clients that want to argue with you for two weeks about the shade of blue you chose. The ones where you come up with six different fabric scenarios and they still can’t pull the trigger.

This is one of the things I’ve eliminated from my life... The art pays my bills and the interior design is an outlet for my creativity. So now I fortunately have the ability to pick and choose the clients I want to work with.

The biggest misconception about what I do: I would have to say that I take any and all jobs that are thrown my way.

If I could design anyone’s home it’d be: Bunny Mellon. If she were alive still. I think she was ahead of her time with all things design related! I think there’s something very special when a client can actually teach you something! It becomes a partnership.

When I’m uninspired, I turn to: I don’t own a TV, so I surround myself with books! Sometimes I’ll look at the same book 7 times and still see things that I’ve never seen before! My phone has 7,890 images and most of them are screenshots or pictures out of books!

My favorite part of a project is: I think this would be the same for pretty much any designer the installation day!! All that time and hard work coming to fruition!

My most prized possession: I think that would have to be a 9’ x 6’, 18th-century tapestry. I had been eyeing it at my framer for about a year. When I came in one day he mentioned that he was closing soon so I asked what the story was about the tapestry and why it had been there for so long. He mentioned that the owner had never come to pick it up. So, I asked if it was for sale and he said if you’ll just pay his framing bill then you can have it! I had him pop my card immediately!!!!!

I’ll be happy if I never see another: hmmmmm, recliner? I’d rather eat my own arm than have a recliner in my house : )

The paint color I’ve used more than any other: Decorator’s white by Benjamin Moore. My walls, floors and cabinets are all white!

My favorite person to follow on Instagram: Gerald Bland in NY. He has an impeccable Eye and taste!

I dread when a client says this: “My sister is kind of a decorator and she’s going to tag along.”

My all-time favorite clients are: A job I did in San Antonio, Texas when I worked for the architecture firm. And a job I currently have in Chicago with an adorable and easy going family!

I always encourage clients to get rid of: Anything that’s not attractive. I get that your grandmother gave you something, but if it’s unattractive just cherish the memories that you had with her and let’s put that bad boy in the basement.

The best advice I’ve ever received about maintaining a work/life balance: I’m still looking for that good advice! LOL

The project I’m most proud of is: San Antonio. The client was extremely lovely and loved color so I think the fun part was the fact that it pushed me out of my comfort zone and worked out beautifully!

The pattern that I’ll never tire of is: Herringbone. It’s a timeless classic pattern!

My favorite up-and-coming designer:  I think that would have to be Jared Hughes. He recently commissioned a painting for his room at the Southern Style now show house in Savannah, Georgia and the whole room was magical. He used this gorgeous Farrow and Ball mustard yellow color for the trim. The walls were covered in this fabulous Graci Studio wallpaper. The room was saturated in color and all the colors worked perfectly together!

One question you would like to ask your favorite designer: I think it would have to be “What was your craziest client moment?” I’d rather laugh than be serious.

I have a feeling there would be lots of laughs to be had hanging out with William for the day : ) thanks for sharing your expertise and insights with us! Next time you’re in Chicago, let’s go shopping!

You can follow William for more inspiration on INSTAGRAM

Come back next month for another DESIGN SCHOOL post!


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  1. […] interview with interior designer and artist William McLure. I have to admit, this was my introduction to his work, but count me […]

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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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