Life & Style

Cerys Matthews: The singer, songwriter and radio DJ talks to us exclusively about what home means to her

The Welsh singer, songwriter and radio DJ, Cerys Matthews, on her go-to interiors look and why Abigail Ahern is a style icon

Cerys Matthews
(Image credit: Rhys Frampton)

Cerys Matthews, the renowned singer, songwriter and radio DJ, grew up in Cardiff, Wales. She currently hosts ‘Cerys Matthews presents’ on BBC Radio 6 Music – a heady mix of  'all genres, all eras and all languages'. We knocked on Cerys' door for an exclusive interview on what home means to her.

‘Home to me is a place where my collection of books and music is kept,’ she says. ‘My home is really restful and peaceful. I’m not very materialistic. I don’t buy stuff because it’s in fashion; what I have I’ve collected over the years.’ 

Here she tells us more about her first memory of home and how she’s gained inspiration for home from the best hotels in the world.

My first memory of home…

Pierhead building, Cardiff Bay, Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Pierhead building, Cardiff Bay

(Image credit: Drew Buckley/Alamy Stock Photo)

... is playing in a weeping willow tree with other children from the same street in Cardiff. Opposite the row of terraced houses there was a patch of green grass and a few trees. 

That feeling of neighborhood is what I remember about my early years. And funnily enough, I’ve unconsciously ended up recreating that where we live in London. We share an area of grass and trees with another row of terraced houses. When I realised what I’d done, it tickled me a fair bit. It’s obviously what matters to me - community. 

My home is part a community, rather than a standalone fortress.

I love home and away

I’m a contradictory person. I absolutely love being at home where I’ve got all the bits and pieces that matter to me, but not having the escape option during lockdown gave me extremely itchy feet. 

I also love the freedom we have in the 21st Century world to usually be able to, at the drop of a hat, go somewhere completely different and then appreciate home when we come back to it. 

In the past year, I’ve learned to stay put, love Champagne... and wear ear plugs because home has been chaotic with my family being there all the time.

My design style…

Cerys Matthews

(Image credit: Rhys Frampton)

...I’ve picked up my sense of interior design style from my trips across the world – whether it’s Morocco, Bangkok or anywhere. Travelling so much as a musician, I’ve been inspired and influenced by hotels. 

When I was growing up, I had polyester sheets. And then when I started staying in hotels it was 100% cotton. I was like, ‘Oh my god this is amazing.’ It felt so good. I started learning about little luxuries that I didn’t know about growing up. 

My on-the-road home comforts…

...When I’m travelling I’ll take a slice of home with me. I take a comfortable set of loungewear or pyjamas, fresh chillies, a Kindle full of books and my running shoes.

My design guru…

….I’ve got madly into interior designer Abigail Ahern lately. I just adore her ideas on colour. My favorite style is like a gentlemen’s club. Deep dark colors, industrial metal work and huge plants. And really comfortable club chairs – that’s my go-to style at the minute.

What home means to me...

Cerys Matthews

(Image credit: Rhys Frampton)

In the music industry, there’s a wonderful feeling when you’ve delivered everything to your deadline. I pre-programme all of my radio shows before they go live, so whether it’s that or a piece of writing that I’ve got to submit on a certain date, there is that moment of relief when you allow yourself to take a massive breath and everything feels light. That is when I feel most at home. 

Interview Georgia Farquharson

With over 30 years of working in journalism on women's home and lifestyle media brands, Rhoda is an Editorial Director, Homes Content, at Future. Over time, Rhoda has worked on the entire homes and gardens portfolio including Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Livingetc, Ideal Home, Style at Home, Woman & Home, 25 Beautiful Homes, Amateur Gardening and Easy Gardens. She was also editor of Country Homes & Interiors for 14 years, leading it across print and creating the blog Country Days. She has also worked at Woman’s Weekly, Family Circle and Practical Parenting.