My personal style signifier is my Ikepod Wallpaper watch, designed by Marc Newson. We had a special edition created for the magazine with our asterisk logo on the face and the edition number in the time zone – mine is 001 of 399. It’s a daily reminder of those heady days. Ikepod Wallpaper Limited Edition watches, about £2,680;

De Zwart’s Ikepod Wallpaper watch
De Zwart’s Ikepod Wallpaper watch © Sophia Spring

The last thing I bought and loved was a Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Evoluzione R coffee machine. There’s a lot of joy to be found in elevating your everyday rituals and this is a nice bit of kit that allows me to make high-quality coffee each morning – assuming that I do everything correctly. £1,649;

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Hotaru Marker light by Barber & Osgerby in collaboration with Twentytwentyone for our main living space. The lightness and modesty of this Japanese-style paper lantern appeals to me, and it will cast a warm light over the room. £345; 274/275 Upper St, London N1 (

His Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Evoluzione R coffee machine, £1,649
His Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Evoluzione R coffee machine, £1,649 © Sophia Spring

The last music I downloaded was Steal by Maribou State, Courtney Barnett’s Need a Little Time, Tir Ha Mor by Gwenno and Fast Slow Disco by St Vincent. BBC Radio 6 Music is my musical universe and I download tracks that I pick up through constant listening.

A recent “find” is the shop at the Kasbah Bab Ourika hotel in Morocco. The souks can be overwhelming, but this boutique is a beautiful edit of locally made rugs, textiles, hand-blown glass and silverware. We bought a few choice items, including a moss-green throw for our bed, a lovely reminder of our travels. Ourika Valley, Tnine Ourika, Atlas Mountains (

The vase he and his wife bought in Turkey
The vase he and his wife bought in Turkey © Sophia Spring

The best souvenir I have brought home is a 19th-century painted stoneware vase from Cappadocia in central Turkey. My wife, Ariel, and I bought it on one of our first trips together and it represents the two of us in our early courtship.

An indulgence I would never forgo is my Friday night Boulevardier. It’s a take on the Negroni, using bourbon rather than gin.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a cushion for my mother-in-law. She was telling me all about a vintage one with Ottomon motifs that she’d seen at textile dealer Susan Deliss’s showroom, and as it was her birthday the next day, I called Deliss and bought it for her. I collected it on my bicycle on my way to the celebration dinner. By appt, Notting Hill, London W11 (

The people I rely on for my personal wellbeing and grooming are osteopath Iqbal Hussein, who sorts out my aches and pains; the fantastic Dutch masseuse Astrid Spoon, who helps me relax; and hairdresser Sylvia Hashani. She’s been cutting the family’s hair for 15 years and still comes to the house, despite being art director at the Toni & Guy salon on the Holloway Road. Astrid Spoon, The Charterhouse Clinic, 98 Crawford St, London W1 ( Essensuals Toni & Guy, 466 Holloway Rd, London N7 ( Iqbal Hussein, 25 Upper Wimpole St, London W1 (020-7486 1920). 

His ST Dupont Gatsby lighter
His ST Dupont Gatsby lighter © Sophia Spring

An object I would never part with is my silver – and slightly dented – ST Dupont Gatsby lighter. I hold on to it because it’s a beautiful, tactile object – and I enjoy an occasional cigar. Gatsby Intersecting Lines lighter, £460;

My favourite website is Seeing contemporary and modernist architecture in a domestic setting is a joy and a reminder that there’s an alternative to the ubiquitous Victorian terrace.

Gianni Agnelli
Gianni Agnelli © Mondadori via Getty Images

My style icon is Gianni Agnelli, the man who turned Fiat into a worldwide conglomerate. I don’t dress like him, but I do think he was the most stylish man around – casual but with this knowing combination of look and detail.

The Kasbah Bab Ourika hotel, Morocco
The Kasbah Bab Ourika hotel, Morocco

An unforgettable place I have travelled to in the past year is Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. They dominate the landscape and have shaped the country as much as the Ottomans and Islam. We walked in the Ourika Valley and discovered an amazing carpet warehouse, La Source de Tapis, on the side of the road. Ourika 42452 (+2125-2448 2458)

Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Barkskins by Annie Proulx © Sophia Spring

The best book I’ve read in the past year is Barkskins by Annie Proulx, which tells the story of two French immigrants to Canada and their descendants over the course of three centuries, drawing on the fascinating history of how the continent was settled. 

The last meal that truly impressed me was made by our friend Amanda McArthur for a mutual friend’s birthday. She’s from New Zealand and the food was inspired by the flavours of her home country. We sat in the garden surrounded by verdant foliage and ate heritage tomatoes with pesto, courgette spaghetti and edible flowers, followed by pork belly with roast tamarillos, and rhubarb tarte Tatin.

Paul de Zwart’s leather wallet from Want Les Essentiels, a present from his wife
Paul de Zwart’s leather wallet from Want Les Essentiels, a present from his wife © Sophia Spring

The best gift I’ve received recently was a green leather wallet by Want Les Essentiels. It was a birthday present from my wife, Ariel, and it’s so big that it acts as a sort of home office. I love good, everyday things and this is part of my every day. For similar, visit

In my fridge you will always find Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light tonic water and, being a Dutchman, a bottle of Conimex Sambal Badjak chilli paste and a jar of Dutch mayonnaise to eat with chips. I bring back a supply of the latter whenever I visit my family in the Netherlands, but if I run out, I fall back on a lemon-flavoured one by Belgian brand D&L. Conimex Sambal Badjak chilli paste, £2.70, D&L Lemon Mayonnaise, £2.49. Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light tonic water, £1.69,

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a slightly workman-like, high-button cotton blazer by my go-to clothing brand Oliver Spencer. I can throw it over a shirt when I need to be more formal. Artist jacket, £295,

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Frans Hals. Hals’ portraits document an important time in Dutch history so it’s a link back to my nationality. My first purchase would be a moody portrait of a Dutch burgher or his wife in a heavy, mahogany frame.

Paul de Zwart at home in London
Paul de Zwart at home in London © Sophia Spring

My favourite room in my house is the living space. The house is open-plan so there aren’t many rooms to choose from and this is where we gather together as a family. It’s wide and high-ceilinged, but quite cosy thanks to the two contemporary gas fireplaces we installed. The furniture includes two midcentury Robsjohn-Gibbings armchairs and an Another Country daybed, and there are several artworks by London-based painter Danny Rolph. Another Country Day Bed One, from £2,585; 18 Crawford Street, London W1 ( Robsjohn-Gibbings, see

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Marylebone in London because it’s home to so many places that meet my needs. I can buy amazing cheese and bread at La Fromagerie, great meat at The Ginger Pig, contemporary classic suits at Trunk, all the books I could ever want to read at Daunt Books and then stop for a refined drink at the Chiltern Firehouse. Perfect. Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern St, W1 ( Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High St, W1 ( La Fromagerie, 2-6 Moxon St, W1 ( The Ginger Pig, 8-10 Moxon St, W1 ( Trunk Clothiers, 8 Chiltern St, W1 (

Aesop Classic Shampoo, £17 for 200ml
Aesop Classic Shampoo, £17 for 200ml

The grooming staples I am never without are Aesop’s Classic Shampoo, Herbal Deodorant, Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator, Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser and Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste. It’s an expensive habit, but one that brings me great pleasure because they’re so wonderfully scented. From £17,

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Milan. I grew up partly in Italy and the fashion capital has been going through a huge transformation, which has made it much more international. And of course, it has this incredible design heritage. I always visit Dimore and Nilufar galleries, both of which offer a fantastic mix of 1970s Italian design, the best contemporary pieces and forward-looking work. The Fondazione Prada is another must-see – the buildings were designed by Rem Koolhaas and embody what the brand stands for. I am always happy to eat at Ratanà. It serves quite traditional Milanese fare but at a very high level and is located in a lovely 19th-century villa that used to be a railway depot. The menu changes constantly, but last time I enjoyed Milanese-style risotto with ossobuco. Dimore Gallery, Via Solferino 11, 20121 ( Fondazione Prada, Largo Isarco 2, 20139 ( Nilufar, Via della Spiga 32, 20121 ( Ratanà, Via Gaetano de Castillia 28, 20124 (

If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be an architect. I have several architectural heroes, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Eduardo Souto de Moura – I love his work on the Santa Maria do Bouro convent.

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