Twenty years ago, former Londoner Gill Wilson left behind a prime job with the BBC to follow a dream career in interiors. Since then she has lived and worked in Jakarta, India, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and Bali where she now makes her home with her British husband, David and their two daughters, Natasha, 16, and Samantha, 13. She talks about what interior design really means, her passion for Japanese artifacts, and why she opened her showroom, GW Interiors….
“It’s perfect, “declares Gill as she unveils the covers of a new sofa she has recently designed for a society doyenne. “She is going to love it, love it, love it” she enthuses as she darts around the sofa checking for any imperfections and handling the plush fabric with the adept hands of a craftswoman who has been plying her trade for years. As she takes a call on her mobile phone on the premises of her newly opened showroom in Sanur on the island of Bali, I notice fabric swatches, mood boards and color palettes neatly stacked around the place and flick through the thick volumes of tomes carrying varieties of gorgeous fabrics in all sorts of textures, colors and patterns. I walk around and finger some of the curtain fabrics and window dressings that are hung in various styles and forms around a display bedroom and cannot help but feel a little lost – there seems to be so much to choose from I wonder how anyone who comes her could ever make a decision.
“Ah but that’s what I’m here for” says the unpretentious designer with a bright smile and sparkling eyes that engage you from the moment you meet. If you ask around, those in the know will tell you that Gill’s designs can be seen everywhere. Not just in the many residential and villa projects around Bali, but also internationally. She most recently finished a commission for all the soft furnishing works at Frégate Island Private, a collection of sixteen luxury villas in the Seychelles most recently voted for Best Design & Ambience in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Gold List awards.
“That is the best part of my job. I can live where I love to live and still do work for clients no matter where they are based. I really do get the best of all worlds”.