Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Friday, 28 October 2011


Brian Clarke - artist, painter, a master of stained glass and mosaic, has a maquette I recently saw in his vast, London studio of a most impressive, immense sculpture you will be able to walk through - for the plaza in front of Renzo Piano's Shard at London Bridge.  Huge sheets of glass, colour and wonderment await us! 


ROSES, grown in England and bought at the end of October from Pimlico Road Farmer's Market...........and fragrant to boot!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


MY INSPIRATION FOR THE CEILING of this Istanbul library came from a bedroom at Houghton Hall in Norfolk [perhaps the best house in England?].

My proposal was drawn by the talented Anthony Collett, a colleague for many years. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

John Stefanidis Fabrics - Fossil

A wonderful sinuous design full of movement and vigour combining twisting fibres with small flowers, leaves and gnarled roots in the style of a Japanese wood cut.
Available from:

Tissus d'Helene, Chelsea Harbour, London, SW10 0XF

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

Monica James, 40 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL  33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222

Los Angeles
Harbinger, 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884

John Stefanidis Fabrics Website

Friday, 14 October 2011

ARCHITECTURE: Oare Pavilion in deepest Wiltshire

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PREOCCUPIED BY EXPANSES OF GRASS TOO CLOSE TO GLASS – it can result in too great an awareness of the rain and damp which is what makes Blighty a green and pleasant land. 

The revered 20th century architect, I.M. Pei [now over 90], who has recently completed the handsome Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, was chosen to design this airy building that floats amongst the Downs.

 I.M.Pei’s solution to raise the pavilion was brilliant. My clients, with taste and flair, had the nouse not to build a flint, brick or stone folly more suited to centuries past.  I.M. was most accommodating about my participation and has described me as ‘excellent and creative’ – hurray!  We designed the cloakrooms, a kitchen and all the furniture [not the white swivel Eames chair].  Bright colours prevents the pavilion from feeling cold in the depths of winter.

John Stefanidis fabrics: Josephine

MY FABRIC Josephine covers a chair and wows customers in the showroom of Tissus d'Helene, The Design Centre, Chelsea  Harbour, London, SW10.
Tel: 020 7352 9977 


EVERYONE loves the 'Gherkin' by Norman Foster and we will all love The Shard, by the great Italian architect Renzo Piano, due to be completed in 2012.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

BOOKS BY WOMEN often have an aura and sensibility all their own.


BOOKS BY WOMEN often have an aura and sensibility all their own.

Elisabeth Jane Howard, a beauty and much lauded writer [she was married to Kingsley Amis] wrote The Long View which begins in the 1950s and traces a marriage back to the 1920s. It is very well-written but lacks vigour when compared to the zest of Mary McCarthy’s The Group—what a contrast.  All the vitality of America is in this account of eight Vassar graduates.  The book is funny and catches the spirit of the times in America between the two world wars.  The author is sardonic; to the point and dead-honest, she reminds me of Elisabeth Bishop but, of course, poets are sovereign beings, which makes comparisons odious.  For the lazy reader, The Group is available on DVD.

Excerpt from Questions of Travel [Elisabeth Bishop: Complete Poems]

...Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always, delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?                                    

Friday, 7 October 2011


The Highlands of Scotland...then Florence, Italy at the Biennale Internazionale Dell'Antiquariato di Firenze - an invitation from Marchesa Bona Frescobaldi to a jamboree of treats to judge the best stand at this elegant event.

Ceiling in Palazzo Vecchio 
Pont Vecchio

Newly opened  and restored frescoes in Casa Vasari
Il Duomo Cathedral

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Pimlico Road Farmers' Market

Roses, grown in England and available until well into November from the Pimlico Road Farmers' Market, Orange Square, SW1.


Hydrangeas displayed at the Berkeley Hotel, London--do they really come in so many different colours or have they been dipped in ink!?