Years ago, my photographer boyfriend & I were sent to San Sebastien for a travel story with Travel & Leisure. We ate specialty Basque tapas, dined at Michelin star restaurant, cruised the ghost 1950s fun park with the Casa de Terra and marvelled at El Peine del viento (The Comb of the Wind). This metal sculpture perches on the rocks in La Chonca Bay, San Sebastien and was created by Eduardo Chillida. Somehow we managed to wangle a private tour of the not yet open Chillida-Leku museum and it was spectacular.

Huge sweeping grass grounds serve as a backdrop to Chillida’s dramatic & large sculptures that are peppered throughout. I felt very lucky & remember it fondly (the museum opened in 2000, Chillida died in 2002). On passing a stand at Salone (Milan Furniture Fair), I discovered that some of Chillida’s drawings have been translated into rugs by Nanimarquina.


Society team go exploring!

We’re all off on an expedition to Japan! The shop will be open 11-4/ Wed-Sat while we’re away with our new recruit Janet. Keep an eye out for all of our globetrotting blogs June 6 -14 as we discover Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. We’ll be hitting the trade show Interior Lifestyle for all the latest, promoting Etcetera which is currently being translated into Japanese (!!) and filling the rest of the time with work-related activities such as karaoke.



I was lucky enough to discover this shop last year at Dutch Design Week – I absolutely fell in love with it. Inside the Sukha store is a giant teepee, big enough to fit inside, wrapped slapdash in creams and whites and full of cushions made of linen and hemp with a soft single stripe like Romanian sacks. It is filled with light and lovely pieces for your interior as well as clothing. They hold workshops too but I’m not sure on what as I can’t read dutch and my google translate has failed me. I was so pleased when I jumped onto their website recently and saw my first book, Etcetera sitting pride of place in their shop pics. I emailed to introduce myself and can’t wait to visit Irene at Sukha next time I am in Amsterdam.

Photographer: Jeltje Janmaat


Aegean Seas

To get into the mood in Turkey, the Anthropologie crew and I set sail on the Aegean Seas. We head north, up the coast (this may not be nautically correct) to the Orka Islands, to swim (20 degrees) and get into the swing of things ie mezze, rose and admiring the translucency of the waters. I am designing an island at present in the Maldives, so alot of research has to do with outdoor furnishings. What I am noticing is that it is not done very well, I am hoping to change this as well as putting my hand up to design the interior of a superyacht! Yes please.


Marcantonio Raimondo Malerba

For me, Marcantonio was the highlight of Salone (Milan Furniture Fair), from the simple pre-crinkled butchers paper used as wallpaper to the uber-upcycled found chic furniture pieces. A simple backdrop for the beauty within. MA claims to be self-taught – all stemming from a love of working & making things. He is very gifted. I found it difficult to choose between the found & restored carved wooden framed 2-seater sofa, reworked with strapped on cushions and the pieced wood nail silver birch armchair with lambswool seat. Not only super talented, I believe he designs commercial interiors as well, he is super cute and had me at his handwritten (in italiano) left & right indication on his shoes.

Note: never say no to his business card, it has many hours of laughs.


The romance of slow travel

Although I love the immediacy & ease of modern travel, in my mind I am exploring the world sometime around 1900, give or take some on either side. A time of slow travel: steamships, trunks & the all-important porter. The tags that would link you with your possessions, plus the name of your destination in order to minimise confusion upon your arrival!

When time was not measured by hours, but months & piles of correspondence, outposts & seaports. Here are a few examples of today’s version that can get you in the mood for your gallivanting, whether it be camel caravanning to the ancient oasis city of Samarkand, sailing down the Nile by Felucca, visiting the berbers in a bedouin tent in the Atlas Mountains, treehouse-sitting whilst on safari, horseracing on the Mongolian plains, combing the shores of the Black Sea for amber after a storm, dogsledding to a fur lined igloo in Iceland – ah the endless list of possibilities.

To get the look & feel, check out Steamline’s diplomat series. If you are feeling a more rugged look, get Filson’s canvas & leather bags or go for the classic Globetrotter. I’m loving safari and limited edition, Mohsin Ali. Don’t forget to pack the ultimate campaign camera to record all your adventures, the Leica limited edition Hermes leather M7 series.