However formal your dining area, it doesn’t mean that your crockery can’t have a playful edge. I love Paul Smith's tea service, for his skillful use of colour. Mixing patterns is a must, and I like to team stripes with flowers and then dial it back, with something like a beautiful leather tray from Ralph Lauren Home.
I have an obsession with furniture from the 1940s and 1950s. It’s the innate elegance of the shapes and forms that I find so appealing, and there is a timeless elegance to the designs. As with table dressing, I like to mix classic pieces with contemporary design.
We regularly customise furniture for our projects and a current favourite is the Pelican Chair from House of Finn Juhl. By teaming this 1940s chair with a contemporary faux sheepskin cover, it gives it a current update and turns it into a great statement piece in any room. Amy Somerville is a London based furniture designer, known for her craftsmanship. The New Objectivity stool is such a pleasing shape, with a wood base and leather top hand-crafted by master saddlers. It’s a personal favourite.
My go-to for exquisite bed linen is London’s Louis Sotiriades and Family. All of their items are handmade in Madeira, Portugal, with the utmost care and detailing – plus, they follow an artisan tradition which has been passed down through generations. Each bespoke piece is the epitome of luxury.
For the majority of our projects, we like to take an off-the-shelf item of furniture and then add our own touch to it – which often involves using a different fabric finish – whether it be for the piece itself or for an associated cushion. Tibor produce some beautiful fabrics that bring an added layer of texture to any room. Their Cymbeline range is a personal favourite.
I love to entertain at home and dressing the dining table for either a lunch or dinner party is all part of the enjoyment. I tend to team modern tumblers, such as these Murrina Millefiori glasses from 1st Dibs, with classic crystal wine glasses.
We’re known for bringing personality and lifestyle to everything we touch; ultimately, our work is bold, but timeless. I like to mix materials by teaming industrial finishes with the finest textures. For instance, in this guest loo, concrete walls contrast beautifully with a leather tiled wall from Blackstock’s Silkroad collection and elegant wood panelling. The carved marble wash hand basin from Kreoo’s Nabhi collection is very much a work of art in its own right.
We have worked with Based Upon for many years. They create one-off statement furniture pieces from unexpected materials, that straddle the divide between furniture and art. The coffee tables from their fragmented series are fascinating – they look like they have been formed from broken pieces of base metal.
I have a real passion for art and enjoy working with artists – it’s the final layer that really brings a design to life. Among my favourites is Harland Miller, who is represented by Jay Jopling at White Cube. Harland is best known for his large, statement pieces, such as 'A decisive blow against If’, however, when we collaborated at SIXTY SoHo in New York, in addition to installing one of his signature artworks in the lobby, he created a bespoke collection for the hotel, which included some beautiful studies for his larger works. In addition to the statement pieces, we often work with 1st Dibs, who have a really varied selection of art.
Increasingly, we are designing more and more bespoke rugs for our projects, whether they be for a hotel or a private residence. Where budget allows, we work closely with The Rug Company or Luke Irwin, frequently customising the design to suit the colour palette or desired mood of a room.
I have long been a collector of Murano glass. I’m really drawn to their beautiful shapes and strong use of colour, which can add a luxe touch to any library wall or tabletop. But I’m very particular, and prefer the multi-faceted glass pieces in rich jewel colours, or smoky greys. Talisman have long been a great source for these.
The Conran Shop, founded by my dear friend the late Sir Terence Conran, is a great source for decorative items from vases to bowls, candles and more. Scent is one of the final layers in any room design and this Fornasetti Bacio candle not only has a wonderful scent, it’s also a playful objet in its own right.
Whenever I’m in Milan, I make a point of going to Rossana Orlandi. They have such a fabulously diverse mix of furniture, rugs, art, glassware and objet d’art – it truly is a wonderful source of inspiration. I always leave with one or two pieces and a very long wish list! In Hong Kong, Lane Crawford is always a pleasure to visit and their home décor department never fails to impress.