Celeb interviews

A coffee with: Meg Mathews

Meg started her career in the music industry and has since moved into interior design. She has just launched her first collection for dwell. Meg talks about Victoria Beckham, South Africa and watching movies with her daughter, Anais >>

FTB: What gets you out of bed in the morning, coffee or tea?
MM: I’m a massive fan of coffee, but I save my coffee break until about four o’clock when my energy dips as it gives me a real kick-start. So, I start the day with a healthy cup of green tea.

FTB: City or country?
MM: I’m definitely a city girl at heart. I was actually born on Guernsey and raised on a wholesome diet of fresh air and locally grown produce. From there we moved to South Africa when I was eight, with more fresh air in the open expansive spaces of the veldt. We lived on a farm in Stellenbosch in the wine country and it was stunning, but when I became a teenager, I found it very dull and was desperate to escape to the bright lights. I live in London now and love it, and my parents moved back to the UK and live in a very remote part of Norfolk. When I visit them, I really do appreciate the countryside, but I’m always happy to get back to town.

FTB: What would you rescue from a fire?
MM: My 12-year-old daughter, Anais, who is the love of my life. She has just done a photo shoot and was featured on vogue.com as the up-and-coming model of the future. I’m very proud of her.

FTB: What is your dream holiday?
MM: It’s definitely by the beach, but I do fancy trying South America. I went to San Paulo in Brazil for the weekend, so you could say it was a flying visit! I loved it, and it was a great place for shopping, but I would like to go to Argentina now as it sounds like a wonderful place to go.

FTB: What is your treasured childhood memory?
MM: I had an amazing upbringing, and because I was brought up in South Africa I was lucky enough to travel to some fabulous places like Namibia and Botswana and go on safari. I had some crazy times as well and lived in a Landrover for a year and met the bushmen and saw incredible cave paintings – it was a great time.

FTB: How did your career start?
MM: When I was young, all I wanted to be was a window dresser. Eventually, I went to art school and did my foundation year, but I left and hitchhiked to London and got into the music and fashion industry. I designed some wallpaper for my house, and then Hello! magazine did a photoshoot. Then out of the blue I got a phone call from Victoria Beckham who asked me who had designed the interior of my house and where I had bought the wallpaper. I told her that it was all my design, and she invited me over to her home, ‘Beckingham Palace’. I ended up designing the interior for them. I suppose the Beckhams were my first clients, so you can’t get much better than that! Everything just grew from then on, and I now design for Liberty’s and dwell. I am working on a range of scented candles and also on glasses frames for children, as the ones you get for kids are often very geeky. I’m also doing something with the jewellery designer, Rachel Galley. There is so much out there to do. My aim is to make lovely things accessible to everyone.

FTB: Your collection for dwell features a lovely Russian doll motif. Is that something you particularly like?
MM: It’s one of my signature motifs, and I’ve used it before on wallpaper, fabrics and scarves. My daughter used to collect Russian dolls and had a big collection in her bedroom. Another of my famous motifs is a skull – it has become my official logo. I also love feathers, and they work well. I designed a scarf with crowns on it for Kate Middleton when she got married last year, and that has done very well – I hope she enjoys wearing it!

FTB: How do you relax?
MM: Movies and munchies with my daughter Anais on a Friday night! I pick her up, and we choose a movie to watch and snuggle up in bed in our pyjamas with the dogs – it’s a great way to end the week, and we love spending time together.

FTB: Would you swap your life for another?
MM: We all have good and bad days, but my life is pretty amazing, and I’m very positive. I love working and have a wonderful team. I am a true believer that everything is about team
work, and I’m not greedy – what I am about, though, is sharing and working together – it’s all great fun.


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