The Colorful Pattern Filled World of Henry Wilson

Photographer Henry Wilson London townhouse

Yesterday, when single digits here in New England shocked us into acknowledging that winter was just getting started, a post by friend, designer Young Huh, reminded me of warmer destinations. I recognized it immediately as the late, photographer and designer Henry Wilson’s colorful pattern filled home in London.

Photographer Henry Wilson London townhouseAnd while London isn’t much of an improvement weather-wise, Wilson’s amazing flat is an eloquent evocation of someplace that is. I would imagine quite a few of you may be familiar with the talented Wilson, whose love for India was well documented in both magazines and seven books. In one of his later tomes, Floral Patterns of India, he expressed, through his sumptuous photography, how floral motifs are incorporated with both whimsy and extravagance in Indian architecture and design. Below, tiled lemon trees line the walls of the reception room at Raj Niwas Palace at Dholpur, now a hotel in Rajasthan.

Raj Niwas Palace at Dholpur in Rajasthan

He shares details of the now famous Bar Palladio and  Narain Niwas Palace hotel, below

Henry-Wilson Bar Palladio

Narain Niwas Palace, photo by Henry Wilson

and bedrooms at the Udai Bilas Palace at Dungarpur in Rajasthan.

Udai Bilas Palace at Dungarpur by Henry Wilson

Udai Bilas Palace at Dungarpur with Osborne & Little wallpaper by Henry Wilson

Udai Bilas Palace at Dungarpur in Rajasthan_floral-patterns-of-india

And throughout the book, he pays tribute to many of the Indian artisans, old and new, and their extraordinary craftsmanship, such as designer Brigitte Singh, below, her block printed fabric in one of the pavilions at Jal Mahal.

Brigitte Singh fabric at Jal Mahal, photo by Henry Wilson

Brigitte Singh_floral-patterns-of-india

Wilson was not merely an aficionado of all things India but walked the walk at home in London. For over 27 years, he meticulously decorated each room in his Chelsea townhouse, celebrating the colorful world of Indian pattern and craftsmanship. Sadly, Wilson died prematurely in a motorcycle accident in 2017 and his home went on the block last fall.

Henry Wilson home in London


Henry Wilson London Chelsea townhouse

And if the walls of this last shot in his  exuberant home look familiar,

Henry Wilson Chelsea townhouse in London

that may be because he was also recruited to design a wallpaper collection, SARISKAR for Osborne & Little, which he installed above, was used in several bedrooms at Udai Bilas like the ones featured above, and employed so effectively by designer Ashley Whittaker in a project below.

Ashley Whittaker design with Osborne & Little Maharani wallpaper by Henry Wilson, photo Thomas Loofphoto by Thomas Loof for House Beautiful

So as we in the northeast are facing arctic temps for a bit longer, just remember you can always imbue your interiors with color and pattern to offer a little amuse bouche for the spring that inevitably will come!

6 thoughts on “The Colorful Pattern Filled World of Henry Wilson

  1. Thank you! Exactly what I needed to see on this cold, dark winters morning. Its inspiring to see how Wilson celebrates and uses these gorgeous patterns & colors. Daring & beautiful!

  2. Visual stimulation of the best kind!! That aqua/teal/blue…GORGEOUS. Talk about timing…80 degrees here in St Augustine…going home to eight…franki

  3. The Colors of India are Beautiful !! Wilson’s Home is Winter Warm !
    Thank you Quintessence for giving me a lot the read today ! Quintessence is always First !!

  4. Thanks for introducing me to a wonderfully creative man, so sad he is no longer with us but I will devour his books!

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