Room with a view

August 29, 2017

I don’t think I could imagine a more breathtaking morning view if I tried. Just picture giving your gums a scrub to this sight. I don’t think I’d ever leave the bathroom.


August 23, 2017

Practice makes perfect goes the old adage. It’s actually not perfection that I’m striving for in my pottery, but rather functionality with a playful twist. To get to the point where I can confidently and consistently make plates that sit evenly on a table and stack neatly in a pile, I must practice, practice, practice. Once you have a good form, wonky rims and free flowing glazes only add character. It’s easier to embrace imperfections when something functions well, then they look deliberate, organic and charming. Imagine a structurally sound house with creaky floors. So this is my challenge right now –– to focus on better form, so that I can paint my pieces crudely, freely and imperfectly.


August 18, 2017

I discovered Laboratorio Paravicini today –– a Milano based ceramics house, that produces wafer thin porcelain plates adorned with safari animals, snakes, air balloons and vintage cars. My favourite collection is circus themed, with acrobats, tight-ropists and trapeze acts. It’s the perfect plate for a piece of cake. It’s the perfect plate for anything, really. The company is run by mother and daughter, Costanza Paravicini and Benedetta Medici. Do we not love those names?

colour Mixer

August 16, 2017

I met a fellow colour lover the other day –– a sales guy at Home Hardware with a penchant for pink and turquoise and most colours in between. His name is Habib, he’s from Tangier, and he’s been mixing paint there for over 40 years. “I’m the best in the city,” he said, while preparing a gallon of cobalt blue for me. One of his favourite colours is marigold yellow. “Mine too,” I said. He showed me photos of his home –– dusty pink walls in the living room, a shade of red in the kitchen. The furnishings were all antique, re-upholstered in seafoams, peaches and clarets. You’d never think to find such style at your local hardware store….

Off the Block

August 15, 2017

I’ve admired the work of Hope and Lily Stockman for some time now. The California-based sisters run a textile company called Block Shop that creates stunning fabrics while providing gainful employment to a community of printers, dyers, carvers and weavers in Rajasthan. The designs are theirs –– they draw inspiration from life in both Los Angeles and Jaipur –– and everything is made by hand in India. Bock Shop donates five per cent of its profits to community healthcare initiatives. I like these bold prints a lot, and I think most meals would look better on a dolly runner. Have a look at the images in their gallery –– it’s all very inspiring.

Marjorelle Blue

August 14, 2017

The Marjorelle Garden in Marakkech is one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve visited. it was originally created in the 1920s by French painter Jacques Majorelle and later purchased in 1980 by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. Imagine jasmines, bougainvilleas, coconuts and banana trees against a backdrop of intense cobalt blue. Inspired by Marjorelle, we’re painting a wall in our rather tumbledown garden bright cobalt blue today. Throw some hot pink linens on the table and a few fairy lights among the hostas, and hey, we’re in Marrakech.


August 10, 2017

Stark white, with pops of juicy colour, this rental property on the island of Capri is such a delight. There are just enough tchotchke –– flowers, vases, glass birds and gilded mirrors –– to make the place feel like a home. I adore the fuchsia/turquoise mix in the master, and the tiles in the kitchen pop beautifully against otherwise minimal surfaces. And the bougainvillea, the lemon trees, the views! I’d be your house guest any day.



August 7, 2017

I keep meeting potters, women, who have come to a career in clay quite by accident, and turned a pastime into a profession. I mentioned Paula Greif the other day, a Hudson potter who found the wheel in her late 50s. Further along our Catskills trail, I came across the work of Carolyn Duke who started pinching pots as a way to relax while raising young children. “After they’d gone to bed, I used to sit at the kitchen table and play with clay,” says the Sullivan County transplant. She and her husband, a photographer, moved to the Catskills from New Jersey over a decade ago, and live in a beautiful farm house with an adjoining barn that serves as studio to both. Duke’s work is entirely hand built, and has a crude, earthy feel that I love. “You can’t take it all too seriously,” she says. “And you have to be prepared to chuck away a lot of pots.” The bowl I bought, reddish earthenware with an aqua interior, shows he signs of its maker, finger prints and other markings that give the piece more character. It’s really quite beautiful.


Nine lives

August 3, 2017

This is the kind of pottery I dream of one day making. I found Paula Greif‘s work on a stroll through Hudson NY this week, only the shop was closed. So instead, I stood glued up against the store window admiring her beautiful spoons, platters and bowls for a good long while. It all started with a pottery class, “with the goal of remaking everything in my kitchen,” Greif says on her website. The artist had many creative lives before turning to the wheel, including shooting music videos and designing record covers for Madonna. “Began making bottles for my friends at old field farm on the summer weekends…got a space in a group ceramics studio in red hook, brooklyn…now living and working in a 10 foot wide house in hudson, new york.” Her work is all so simple, naive and whimisical. It’s a good thing the shop was closed — I would have snapped up every piece in the window.


August 1, 2017

I can’t imagine a prettier place to spend a summer evening than right here at Le Sirenuse in Positano. This room is pure delight, with its teal floors, dainty furnishings and travelling vines. I picture guests taking refuge here when the rain comes pouring down, smoking and talking and sipping Aperol spritzes. La dolce vita, indeed.

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