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Q&A with Interior Designer Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay

With a career spanning two decades, interior designer Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay is someone whose taste you can trust. The woman behind some of the most stylish homes in the world, it’s no surprise she’s been named as one of House & Garden’s Top 100 Interior Designers for four years in a row. From how she makes a home simultaneously stylish and functional to live in, to her top tips for entertaining, Henri shares her expert insights into living your most stylish life. 

⁠How would you describe your interior design aesthetic in three words? 

An ever-changing feast! This is my least favourite question because at the core of my obsession with interiors is that I am faithful to none, I appreciate all styles and change is what makes it exciting.

Why do you think pottery makes a great addition to a home? 

I have always collected pottery and therefore I can’t imagine a house without it. Pottery can be both useful as well as ornamental and often do both at the same time. Ceramic is an amazing material that can be used anywhere from the dining room to the kitchen to the bathroom.


⁠How do you style your Villa Bologna Pottery? 

Since I have a large collection of styles and periods, I like to layer my Villa Bologna Pottery amongst these. 

Do you have any tips for making a home both stylish and functional to live in? 

Give a room purpose and then fill it with beautiful things, it's that simple. For example, if a room is meant for relaxing and watching TV, then it must have the appropriate furniture. Remember relaxed does not equate to bland. 

What do you think makes a house a home? 

Personality, as long as the house reflects who the owners are, then it will look like a home. A minimalist wouldn’t live in a maximalist interior or vice versa. 

What are your top tips for entertaining? 

Make people feel welcome by making an effort, no matter how small, that shows your guests you have anticipated the event and are looking forward to sharing time with them. This may be as simple as laying the table or as elaborate as decking the room with flowers and candles. 

What advice would you give for creating the perfect table setting? 

I love playing with colour and pattern, so for me, the perfect table setting is layering these elements, it's an opportunity to be creative and have some fun. 

Is there something you always make sure to have on your table? 

A place mat or tablecloth, I don’t like a bare table, so even if I’m eating outside I would always have something to set the plates on and show them off.

Do you have any extra advice? 

My extra advice is to edit carefully. Fill your house with things that make you happy and get rid of things that annoy you or don’t work.


Discover our latest edit ‘Styled by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay’ today — a curated blend of classic pieces with a modern twist, ensuring a look that never goes out of date, perfectly reflecting Henri's renowned vision and offering an enduring style for your home. From our elegant scalloped-edge ceramics and heritage dolphin candlesticks to the iconic green stripes and our much-loved pineapple lamps, you too can create a timeless look in your home with our hand-painted pottery collection. 

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