I’m Nova Williams, interior/prop stylist, and founder of 18 Chelsea Mews blog, where style and inspiration live happily ever after.
Born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica, I came to London to pursue my Masters in Fine Art. Upon completion, life happened and the diverse city of London became my second home. After graduating, the struggle to sustain a substantial and steady income solely from my art, led me to accept corporate jobs while still doing my art on the side, but never restricting myself to Fine Art.
I've been fond of beautiful spaces for as long as I can remember, but I really started my home decor blog as a bit of an escape while grieving the loss of my baby. Writing about cleverly designed spaces and colourful home accessories, then searching for relevant imagery to suit my articles, proved to be a welcomed distractions at the time... Colour always had a way of saving my sanity. Also, I had just moved into an empty apartment as a way of 'starting over' (since my life as I knew it had fallen apart), so I began to decorate and photograph my own living space, and very quickly realised it was a very uplifting and healing pastime, and people really enjoyed what I was sharing. The journey has continued ever since, although the blogging has been put on the 'side burner' while I develop 18 Chelsea Mews as a brand. This year I'll be launching my online shop where you can purchase stylish cushions, wall mirrors and other beautiful accessories for your home.
Keep your eyes on my Instagram where I'm microblogging and sharing images of my work and inspiration.
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
Black History Month is far more than just celebrating our ancestors, recognising their hardships, and praising their achievements which have undoubtedly paved the way for us to get to where we are today. For me, it is also a true celebration of our current voices and contributions as a people to the world at large. We are now taking the responsibility to educate others about ourselves and our culture, as we continue to write the history of our descendants, and that's such a beautiful thing. It is so inspiring to see the tremendous successes of black people in various industries over recent years. I see it in academia, film, music, art and design to name a few, and better yet, there are far more of our people taking the leap towards entrepreneurship, and making high achievements while doing so.
Of course, this all goes way beyond Black History Month, but this is as good a time as any, to express that I am immensely proud of how my fellow Black women are making their voices heard and their presence felt in recent times, whilst unapologetically celebrating their true selves. I've noticed it in how we speak up for ourselves and for each other, our increasing practice of self-love, spirituality, self-care, and now more than ever, the pride we are showing in the things that make us most visibly different from everyone else in the world... our hair texture and skin colour. I see Black girl magic popping up everywhere, and it makes my heart sing, because it shows our younger generation and the wider world that gone are the days when it was seemingly okay and in our best interest to conform to European standards of beauty in order to feel like we are beautiful and worthy. We're in fact beautiful and worthy just as we are!
As we acknowledge the contributions and achievements of Harriett Tubman, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Shirley Chisholm, Maya Angelou and so many others before us, it is equally important that we find our own voices and proudly make our very own contributions too. Having said that, I sincerely hope that as we become more inspired and empowered, and continue to celebrate ourselves as Black people, we will in turn become more inspiring, empowering, celebrated and, by extension, more respected by others.
Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Design This Year?
I'm currently working on my first collection of home accessories for 18 Chelsea Mews; the products I'm designing are characteristically colourful. They're inspired by exuberant Caribbean culture, lush tropical landscapes, memories of Mediterranean holidays and my perpetual love for Springtime flowers.
Those who appreciate the magnificence of colour, as well as excellent design and high quality fabrics, will be delighted by the collections at 18 Chelsea Mews.
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