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Coffee with... Stephen Lewis of Lewis & Wood

16th April 2023

Driven by a passion for creating the 'unusual', Lewis & Wood produce world-class fabrics and wallpapers that are enjoyed in homes around the globe.

Established in 1993 by textile printer Stephen Lewis and London decorator Joanna Wood, the company has since developed into a collaboration between Stephen Lewis and Creative Director, Magdalen Jebb.

With a strong determination to celebrate homegrown talent, Lewis & Wood collaborate with a variety of freelance designers from a range of disciplines, to produce their considered collections. A first-rate example of superior British manufacturing, their carefully-crafted designs are all printed in-house at their charming Gloucestershire mill.

Uniting by a sense of individuality, their beautiful fabrics and wallpapers have an enduring appeal that look wonderful in both traditional country homes as well as more contemporary settings. From sweeping large-scale motifs, to dainty florals and geometrics, their designs are available in a spectrum of colours and finishes, including metallics, which make them so versatile to style in a variety of settings.

One of our most-loved brands here at F&P Interiors, we chatted to founder and director, Stephen Lewis to learn more about where the company began, what drives his passion for making fabrics and wallpapers, plus see an exciting first look at their new Travel Trunk collection, that is set to be released this spring...

What led to you starting Lewis & Wood back in 1993?

I had worked for Nobilis for a year after closing Lewis and Franco when quite rightly, Dennis Hallard fired me. The truth is once you have worked on your own, it is difficult working for others. I bumped into Dennis Hallard a year or two ago, and he claimed the success of Lewis & Wood was entirely due to him sacking me, and I should give him shares... I think I bought him a drink instead!

Your beautiful wallpapers grace the walls of many stunning hotels and stately homes across the UK. Do you have a project that you are most proud of?

Sadly, we tend not to see many of the end results, however I do get enormous pleasure in hearing that customers who have chosen our goods from a cast of thousands, have had their hopes and expectations exceeded.

How would you characterise your own homes interior style?

Unfinished. Think cobbler’s children with no shoes; there is always something better coming down the line!

Lewis & Wood's fabrics and wallpapers are all printed in house at your studio in Stroud. How important is this for you?

The creation of a vertical mill printing and finishing all our own production has perhaps been the most exciting thing in my career. Harnessing the new technology and recruiting the brilliant people who use it, means we have control of what we do at every stage. It was hard work and expensive to get here, but it has definitely been worth the effort.

You have also recently completed a stunning renovation of the 'Top Floor' at your Woodchester Mill. Can you tell us a bit more about how you plan to use this creative space?

The new Top Floor at Woodchester Mill is 2,000 sq ft of white warehouse loft space, with a kitchen, bathroom, log burning stove and sound system. We plan to host all sorts of interesting events, exhibitions, book launches, open days, artistic workshops and occasional sales of discontinued and seconded goods.

Lewis and Wood WoodchesterLewis and Wood Woodchester

We have been told that it's not uncommon to see you, Stephen, with your sleeves rolled up and covered in paint. What is your favourite part of the design process?

Now we have gone over entirely to digital printing being covered in ink is no longer necessary! However, I do still love getting involved in the finishing and inspection of our goods. The pleasure is sending goods out to customers that are exactly as they should be.

In your opinion, what is the secret to Lewis & Wood’s success?

Very simple, Magdalen Jebb the creative director, working and understanding the possibility of our production capacity and getting the best out of it. It has been the most rewarding partnership.

In addition, customer service is very important to us all here at Lewis and Wood. And we never forget that our customers have a huge choice of fabrics and wallpapers available to them, and are grateful everytime someone chooses our designs.

We understand that it is hard to choose a favourite, but is there a single design that has a special significance to you?

I guess it must be Adam’s Eden, pictured below, which started a wonderful and fruitful friendship with Adam Calkin and was the first of our wide width wallpapers.

Lewis and Wood Adams EdenLewis and Wood Adams Eden
Lewis and Wood Wallpapers and FabricsLewis and Wood Wallpapers and Fabrics

What can we expect from Lewis & Wood's new Travel Trunk collection?

After all the restriction of the past three years, we felt it was time to go travelling and put together a group of global prints inspired by five different cultures. We have used the strong and soft ends of our colour palette, so there is plenty of connection with past collections when it comes to scheming.

What do you most like about F&P Interiors?

A pioneer of online retailing when it was viewed with suspicion by suppliers, F&P Interiors has helped a whole new clientele to see what is available and how it can enhance where they live.

Most Popular Lewis and Wood Designs....

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