Words by Peter Wilds.

1. My Mother

My introduction to creativity starts with my mom. She has a fine arts background in painting and art history, trained as a teacher, sold real estate, wrote lyrics and recorded in the studio with local bands and to this day she continues to create beautiful paintings. She is a true renaissance woman. Her personal style is so cool. I have fond memories of being brought to antique dealers, fabric suppliers, galleries and museums from an early age.


2. Walking

Peter Wilds. Photo by Janis Nicolay

I have clocked countless kilometres: it’s a moving meditation for me. If I am stuck on something or trying to work out a detail that isn’t quite right, stepping away from my desk and taking a walk often helps—moving and allowing ideas to flow to establish new pathways often frees me up.


3. Salone del Mobile

Photo credit: Saverio Lombardi Vallauri

I’ve attended numerous times, and while the furniture fair is the event that brings me to Milan, the city itself is amazing. You can feel that it is a real working city that focuses on design. Now that so many furniture and lighting companies present their collections in their designated showroom or in spaces throughout the city, it’s a way of discovering new neighbourhoods and unexpected spaces.


4. Theatre and Film

I come from an acting background, and it’s amazing how storytelling continues to be at the centre of what I do in design. Like the characters in a film, the ways in which we interact with our space are fundamental to how we feel and behave. I love analyzing well-executed set design and art direction. I Am Love by Luca Guadagnino is a perfect example. Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe is by Raf Simons for Jil Sander and the story is set at Villa Necchi Campiglio in the centre of Milan—and the architecture of her clothes, how she’s filmed while wearing them, her moving through that beautiful space—it’s incredibly arresting.


5. Fashion

Dries Van Noten fashion. Photo by Raphael Pavaroti

It moves so much faster than interior design, and it sets the stage for where colour, pattern and shape is going. I am always looking at the latest men’s and women’s collections online—even the ways in which the clothes are presented is inspiring. The set design, the music, the way the clothes are styled all tell a story and provoke. The spectacular vision of Dries Van Noten is one of my favourites—it’s always a surprise and an education in mixing unexpected elements and colours.


5. Lighting

Lighting is often a jumping-off point for me—it’s a critical element that sets the stage for how a space works technically and aesthetically. The glass globe is a timeless shape I never tire of, and it works in all spaces regardless of the era. Vancouver-based A-N-D Light and Matthew McCormick (left), along with Michael Anastassiades, are a continual resource and source of inspiration.

This story was originally published in the October 2023 issue of Western Living Magazine.