Interior designer Suzy Hoodless on Iris Apfel, spicy harissa and London’s Portobello
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My personal style signifiers are my square‑framed Cutler and Gross glasses, which I have worn for nearly 20 years. They are strong and handsome and the fact that I haven’t wanted to change them speaks volumes about the design. Optical Glasses 0772, £285, cutlerandgross.com
The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of Low Club Riva outdoor armchairs from Kettal. They look modern – as opposed to contemporary – and their thick, dusky-pink cushions make my garden feel like an indoor space. From £1,631, kettal.com
And the thing I am eyeing next is a Porsche 911 GT3 in Viper Green. The 911 is the ultimate in cool – made even more so by this super-bright, punchy shade. porsche.com
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Ile de Ré off the west coast of France. When I went with my family, I fell for its simplicity and ease: we had a complete tech detox and spent our time biking about, stopping at seaside shacks for laidback lunches of langoustines, oysters and rosé.
A recent “find” is the Japanese fashion and textile brand Minä Perhonen, which I discovered in Couverture & The Garbstore, London. The designer and founder, Akira Minagawa, has an amazing sense of colour: his prints are confident, geometric and modern, but they have a softness too. Couverture & The Garbstore, 188 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 (couvertureandthegarbstore.com). Minä Perhonen, mina-perhonen.jp
An object I would never part with is my rather eccentric, early-20th-century French crystal ship’s lamp. I bought it from the Pruskin Gallery many years ago and it sparkles away in the corner of my otherwise contemporary kitchen. 73 Kensington Church St, London W8 (pruskingallery.com)
The beauty staple I’m never without is Amazing Grace Matte Revolution lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury. It’s a pink coral that’s neutral and long-lasting enough to wear every day. £24, charlottetilbury.com
The last meal that truly impressed me was Torbay monkfish cheek curry at Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis. I knew I was on to a winner as soon as I ordered, but it was incredible: deeply aromatic and intense. Cobb Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset (hixrestaurants.co.uk)
An indulgence I would never forgo is my collection of fine wool scarves; they always make me feel good. My two current favourites – one by the Danish brand Becksöndergaard and the other from French label Ma Poésie – are both geometric and highly colourful. From £59, Becksöndergaard, becksondergaard.com. From £99, Mapoésie, mapoesie.fr
If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Stockholm. I love the Swedish sensibility and the logic of their design aesthetic – and the fact that it is a small city on the water appeals to me. The designer Josef Frank is one of my heroes, because his modern classic design transcends styles, periods and fashions, and because he designed furniture and textiles that really work in people’s homes – so Svenskt Tenn, the company he worked with from 1934, is a favourite stop. High-end furniture stores Modernity and Jacksons also offer the best of classic Scandi design. For food, I love PA & Co because it’s simple and low-key and serves dishes such as reindeer with lingonberries, which celebrate the local heritage. Jacksons, Sibyllegatan 53, 11443 (jacksons.se). Modernity, Sibyllegatan 6, 11442 (modernity.se). PA & Co, Riddargatan 8, 11435 (paco.se). Svenskt Tenn, Strandvägen 5, 11451 (svenskttenn.se)
My favourite websites are Manufactum.co.uk, which has beautiful, utilitarian homewares such as wooden shoe-polish boxes; and Monocle.com, for its fascinating four-minute interviews with designers.
My style icon is the American interior designer Iris Apfel. She is eccentric and elegant and forthright in her personal style. It’s rare to find someone who is not affected by anyone or anything but her own beliefs.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Tom Hammick, who tends to paint people in landscapes. His work has an interesting energy – it’s restful and gentle – and I also love his use of colour. Flowers Gallery, 21 Cork St, London W1 (flowersgallery.com)
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a Tiger Camo shirt by Bay Garnett from MiH Jeans. I like clothes I can dress up or down, and this boxy, heavy cotton-twill shirt works with everything. £225, mih-jeans.com
In my fridge you’ll always find spicy, fragrant harissa from the halal butcher-cum-Moroccan delicatessen Le Maroc on the Golborne Road; fresh, slow-reared beef from Emmerdale Farm in Suffolk; and my own chipotle en adobo, made to a Thomasina Miers’ recipe. Emmerdale Farm Shop, Westleton Rd, Darsham, Saxmundham, Suffolk (emmerdalefarmshop.co.uk). Le Maroc, 94 Golborne Rd, London W10 (020-8968 9783). thomasinamiers.com
My favourite room in my house is the kitchen. It’s very industrial-looking and I loved the process of resolving the ergonomics so that it functions like a machine.
The person I rely on for my wellbeing is complementary therapist Tinya Yang who is like a physio and life coach rolled into one. I go to her when my bones are twinging and always come away feeling recharged. firstname.lastname@example.org
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Portobello, my home neighbourhood in west London. It is such a diverse, culturally vibrant place with a real sense of community and great food. I buy all my fruit and veg from Alan and Lin’s market stall because everything they sell is really fresh. Native & Co is a wonderful Japanese and Taiwanese homeware shop selling functional things like kitchen brooms and bamboo baskets that are so exquisite I buy them to hang on the wall. Les Couilles du Chien is another favourite for antiques and decorative pieces: the founder, Jerome Dodd, has an eye for the unusual – you never know what you’ll find. Les Couilles du Chien, 65 Golborne Road, W10 (lescouillesduchien.com). Native & Co, 116 Kensington Park Rd, W11 (nativeandco.com)
The best souvenir I’ve brought home recently is a silver water jug I found in a shop in Marrakech: it was from the city’s legendary La Mamounia Hotel before it was redesigned.
The last music I downloaded was a playlist by Dan Lywood and Ben Bridgewater, the discerning DJs behind Playlister. I love the energy of everything they put together, from disco to electronica. playlister.fm
The best book I’ve read in the past year was Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh. It’s a brilliant novel about Kenya. She captures the landscape and light of the country so well that you feel you are there.
The best gift I’ve given recently was an oak and brass bench by Another Country. It was a birthday present for my husband – he likes clean, uncomplicated design and this is a perfectly proportioned piece of contemporary craft. £995; 18 Crawford St, London W1 (anothercountry.com)
And the best gift I’ve received recently was a birthday party. My husband hired an amazing chef called Aimée Hirsch, who made Thai beef salad with papaya, crispy tomato and a ginger-lime dressing. She brought a bartender who served everyone in such a personal way that we all felt as though we had our own butler. aimeehirsch.com
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would work at the River Café. I adore cooking but I wouldn’t want to work in a hot, sweaty basement. The River Café kitchen is part of the restaurant – and who wouldn’t want to work with Ruth Rogers? Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 (rivercafe.co.uk)