Do you have a favorite flea market or shop?
It changes over time, depending on what I am looking for at the moment. You get a lot of linen at one spot and then you say “I’ve got enough of that” and then you move on to furniture and then something else.
What kind of strategy do you use when junking?
I sort of close my eyes and think about the shape of something and don’t look at the fact that it is horrible orange pine. The other thing I try to do, I’m not brilliant at it, but I try to imagine if that is something that I can use in a different way. If a piece of furniture is broken perhaps you can break it up more and do something with the pieces.
What is your favorite all-time find?
One of my favorites is actually on my Pinterest board My House. It is a beautiful old door with some hydrangeas in front in a bucket. I bought two old French doors in France and I sold one and got my money back on the doors, and used the other one as a panel, on the wall. I put big scaffolding pieces around it and I just love it. I painted French Linen around the sides of it and bit of wash on it and it’s very beautiful. It’s in my home.
What are the styles or influences in your homes?
There are two periods in history that I really, really love. The beginning of the 20th century. It’s Paris, it’s Picasso, between the ’50s and the ’60s. I suppose it’s my period in a way; I went to art school in the ’60s and all my influences were people who knew about Paris and about America, abstract expressionism and abstract modern art. The other is the 18th century, French decorative arts.
Your old door sounds lovely. Do you have a philosophy about re-use?
I suppose, don’t get rigid. You have to keep reinventing things. I keep reinventing my eye. I go back to art all the time. Modern art or any art, real art. You can look at people’s junk with a bit of a fresh eye. You have to train your eye to appreciate the very best. My other little mantra is less is more. Mies van der Rohe, one of the great 20th century architects, always said that. It’s not always true, sometimes it’s great to really over-egg it, but more often less is better.
Your new textiles line seems to adhere to that. Clean and classic.
Fashion is fascinating. You see a new idea and you’re terribly stimulated by it and then two years later you’re thinking, oh, that is so dated now, and you’ve spent quite a lot of money on these amazing curtains that now don’t look so great! It’s probably a sign of age, really, loving a classic look. Not traditional, classic.