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Tim and Lizzie talk WOW!

View the world through the lens of imagination and all is possible.

We delve into the minds of Tim Butcher and Lizzie Deshayes as they reflect on WOW! House and their collaboration with Maddux Creative. Together, they created a trippy and utopian room that fosters human connection and community. Guided by their love for craftsmanship and a focus on interconnectedness, Tim and Lizzie reveal the key elements of their design and in the harmonious colour palette that unifies the space. They also discuss their favourite rooms at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and the influences that shape their creative journey.

Join us on this trip as we find joy in the freedom and playfulness of their work.

WOW!House 'The 3'am Room' photographed by Benoît Linder

Why did you want to collaborate with Maddux Creative?

Collaborations should only be undertaken with people who you like! As well as the deep respect we have for Scott and Jo creatively, they are always the first people we want to hunt out a party.

What was the starting point for your WOW!house courtyard room design?

The starting point was a conversation on creativity, connectedness - and mushrooms! From moment one we wanted to explore the process of making. We wanted the room to be fully made by ourselves and that was a guiding light throughout.

Talk us through the key pieces in the room.

There are so many individual elements, so we will name just a few of the pieces we made:

The portal - we questioned whether the room should have a window. We wanted instead to play with the idea that the window should be upon ourselves. The portal is a focal point for reflection.

The doors of perception - for each aspect of the room we wanted to find a solution we could make from our core crafts and materials, namely textiles. When we considered how we would treat something as simple as a doorframe, we decided to expand this to a full treatment of sliding doors and pelmets to fully dress the opening. This was then rendered in needlepoint which allowed lightness and textured detail and pattern. On the pelmet is stated the quote: “may you remain aware of awareness”, a prompt to engage with your surroundings and heighten your awareness.

The biomorphic shelfpods in the cabinet of curiosities. These were an experiment in shape making, emulating tree stumps and other organic growth, further embellished with interconnected colours. We loved the hue and details found during the exploration of slime moles and mushroom growth and wanted to see how we could express this vivid beauty in textile form. What was so rewarding was working with the RSN students to allow everyone full and free expression.

How do individual objects contribute to the overall design?

In nature beauty is more than the sum of its parts. Disparate objects combine to create a greater beauty through their complexity and interrelatedness, as long as there is a balance. The fact that each individual piece was made with the same intention means that when combined all the elements sit together with a harmony which creates a whole.

Interior design is multifaceted and has the capacity to transform our experience of our daily lives – this space does just that – what aspect of the room are you most proud of?

I think the unifying element throughout the room is the palette. The colour palette creates much of the harmony.

What are your favourite rooms at this year’s WOW!house?

Timothy Mather and the Miles de Lange - quintessential art deco elegance! Tim Gosling with La Vie de Chateau and Christian Bense with De Le Buona - safari room.

Thinking about you both as creatives which artists and designers have influenced you in your career?

'It may be hard to see the aesthetics but William Burroughs. His view on the process of creativity and experimental techniques should be constantly explored has been a major influence on my thinking. Within the more decorative arts, the breadth of works of Gio Ponti.' - Tim

'My bookshelf is testament to, I owe so much inspiration to an enormous variety of craftsmen and artists. The influence shifts with the time.' - Lizzie

How do you marry embracing new technology and materials, and staying grounded on your creative vision?

Craftsmanship is the considered use of the best tool for any given aim. All technology should be embraced, explored but most importantly, used well.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Play is essential to living. Creativity in its most bare sense is play in its most natural form.

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