I met Stiles Colwill through Jonathan Gargiulo, who runs the John Roeselli & Associates showroom. Together, they do pop-up shops in Maryland (after running the Halcyon shop for years), and Stiles runs Stiles T. Colwill Interiors (also based out of Maryland). Jonathan suggested Stiles create a ‘blue & white’ guest room using my prints, and Stiles was up for the challenge. From lining an antique closet, to creating a one-of-a-kind quilt, to cutting up wallpaper to create a molding, to double-lining stools with layers of skirts, I was floored with both Stiles’s creativity and his devotion to details. I hope you enjoy this marvel of ingenuity as much as I do.
The Blue & White Room by Stiles Colwill. (For the ‘before’ see bottom of blog.)
John Robshaw: How did you get into the world of design?
Stiles Colwill: I started as a Museum Curator! I was doing historic houses, and it morphed from there… I also ran an antiques business that did some design, and it grew and grew. 😊
Upholstered chairs in Mathura Vista, Pari Lapis, and Faris Lapis fabrics. Windows are draped with our Madura Lapis fabric.
John: How does your approach and point of view differ from other designers?
Stiles: Many of our clients are collectors of fine things, with large collections. Many collectors’ houses are not well done, as they accumulate so many unusual items. We specialize in making them look good!
Custom quilt created with our Uru Lapis Embroidered fabric, and bedskirt made with Rangila Lapis fabric. Stiles used our Calana Window Curtains to make a canopy bed, and embroidered our Majjan Indigo Decorative Pillow. The bed is made with Sakuna Indigo Sheets and Hand Stitched Light Indigo Quilt.
John: What projects were the most fun, and why?
Stiles: A truly fun client is one who enjoys the process and the outcome, and wants to work with us to make their space as personal as possible.
Custom closet using our Sopana Light Indigo fabric on the outside, and Mandu Lapis fabric on the inside.
Stiles took all leftover fabrics and created custom hangers.
John: Tell us about your process in putting together The Blue and White Room. Did Jonathan twist your arm?
Stiles: No, I twisted his! He asked me about designers using only one designer’s fabrics, and I said it never happens… it went from there, and I said “Why not have me do it?” It was a funny back entrance to doing it, and John is so fun to work with. We entered the pandemic in the process, so it became my stay at home COVID-19 project.
Two chairs upholstered in Pari Lapis fabric. Custom pillow with Rangila Lapis fabric on the left, Tato Decorative Pillow on the right. Windows are draped with our Madura Lapis fabric.
Left: A window draped with our Madura Lapis fabric. Right: Stiles took our Algiers Indigo wallpaper and cut it up to create a faux molding.
John: Do you have any upholstery tips?
Stiles: Use your imagination. Mix patterns in details, like the skirts on the sofa. Use a different fabric for a kick pleat! Have some fun with it, and when you can, be BOLD.
Vintage chair upholstered in Faris Lapis, and custom couch upholstered in Paja Turquoise with Vintage Stripe Indigo trim.
John: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Stiles: The people, clients, other designers, and the results of a great collaboration!
Custom Zima Chair upholstered in Pari Lapis fabric, with our Primrose Indigo Decorative Pillow.. The drapes are made with Madura Lapis fabric. The footstool is upholstered in Uru Lapis fabric with Vintage Stripe Indigo trim.
Stiles shows the hidden details on this vintage footstool upholstered in Uru Lapis fabric with Vintage Stripe Indigo trim.
John: What’s been inspiring you lately?
Stiles: Normally it’s traveling and seeing new things, always learning… for now, it’s seeing what everyone is doing through COVID-19… It’s the center of life, sadly, and I’m inspired by how we are all navigating it and using our talents to occupy our minds.
Vintage chairs upholstered in (from left to right) Mathura Vista, Vintage Stripe, and Faris Lapis fabrics.
John: Do you have any advice for someone looking to get started in Interior Design?
Stiles: If you can, start as an apprentice to someone you admire, even if it’s not paid. The best example is Miles Redd – he worked for John Rosselli, then Bunny Williams, and look at him now!
The Blue & White Room: Before & After.
John: What are the names of your numerous pups?
Stiles: Peale, a Jack Russell, is the eldest, Lilly, a Rotty, is the 2 year old, and Belle is the 18 month old Lab.
Stiles adding the finishing touches to the room! He is holding one of the several custom pillows he made – this one is made from our Galana Lapis fabric.