Matthew Williamson’s ‘Durbar’ collection: A modern escape to India

Durbar-Matthew Wiiliamson-cover

Designer Matthew Williamson’s interiors are all about colour, whimsy and exotic eclecticism – in his own words his fashion aesthetic is ‘escapist’, his interiors style ‘organised bohemia’. His love of the striking motif – butterfly, pineapple, paisley – often in pattern and vibrant colour – can’t have passed you by. Or that he draws rich inspiration from his travels to places like India and Mexico.

Imagine then, a collection of wallpapers and fabrics that celebrates the images of India (some well-worn, all inspired by the designer’s travels there) and shakes them up with some clever European twists. The colour palette – combined with those all-important neutrals – is bright, refreshing, and feminine. There are (significant) splashes of metallic in some of the colour combinations – for that obligatory eastern opulence vibe I guess – and they’re mostly successful. The more muted combinations, though are the most gorgeous.

There’s the beautiful, beautiful Zanskar (which takes its name from the mountain range which separates Indian Kashmir from Ladakh) which depicts stylised scenes from Indian life, in a monochrome, French-toile style. Pictured below is the sole multicoloured style in fabric, alongside a chair upholstered in the luscious Haveli pattern.
Zanskaar-Matthew Williamson-Durbar

There’s the Azari – a stunning peacock pattern in lace-like filigree – shown here in a Wedgewoodian (?) blue and white. Also comes in shiny pink and turquoise.


The stunning Aravali is inspired by the Aravali Mountain Range which runs across Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, and depicts its hills, forests and wildlife. It’s the wallpaper shown in the image below – in that lovely woodblock-like palette of browns and metallics.

Aravali-Matthew Williamson-Durbar

There are eight patterns in all, and each comes in between three to five colour schemes. All have been hand-drawn and hand-painted. See one of the intricate Zanskar vignettes being made here.

Zanskar-Durbar-Matthew Williamson

The wallpaper is priced at £64 – £175 per roll, and the fabric at £49 – £170. Bringing up the upper end of the wallpaper price range is the Narissa, named after the Indian Cepora Nerissa butterfly, and featuring constellations of framed butterflies. Not my bag but it hangs in the designer’s studio so…

Matthew Williamson-Durbar

Created for the luxury fabric and wallpaper shops Osborne & Little, the collection is available from their website and stores, as well as from the Matthew Williamson website.

You can also shop it at NYLA London, a newly opened South Kensington boutique which specialises in art, antiques, maps and interiors which reflect world heritage, including from South Asia and the Middle East, and get a 20% discount until the end of March. 

NYLA are also offering FREE one-hour design consultations on how to honour your heritage in their interiors, including if you’re on a tight budget. Email them on to book your session.

NYLA London, 39 Thurloe Street, London SW7 2LQ, 020 7589 0008,

Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm


Posted on 23 February 2017

Photos by Osborne & Little


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