Walton was the twelfth child of an exceptionally talented Glasgow-based family. Whilst working as clerk in the British Linen Bank Catherine Cranston commissioned him to decorate her Argyle Street tea-rooms in 1888. The same year Walton set up his company, described as “Ecclesiastical and House Decorators”, and enjoyed rapid success. He designed further premises for Cranston and interiors for such prestigious clients as the shipping magnate William Burrell. His firm offered a complete interior design service; providing wall-papers, stencil-work, stained-glass, furniture and metal-work - all aspects executed in a highly-unified arts and crafts manner.