My personal sanctuary
Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, who writes one of our absolute favorite blogs, A Bloomsbury Life, will be discussing her current obsessions on our Editors’ Blog every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks. (See her two previous posts here).
My home is open to all comers, but my bedroom is private. It’s my little domain, my secret refuge from the at-times madding crowd. The possessions inside are highly edited; only the most meaningful talismans gain entry. Here are some I own and some I dream about:
I love flowers by my bed, and have developed quite a fondness for the cheap and cheerful lisianthus. In creamy white or pale pink, they are just the antidote for a blah day. For professional arrangements, I love Lily Lodge, the florist shop that uses vintage vases to create couture (and 100% organic) bouquets. lilylodge.com
My recent passages to India have kindled a deep and abiding love for the kurta, an exquisite cotton kaftan I could live in day and night. I despaired of finding them here in LA until I discovered Govinda’s, the import shop that sells top Indian lines like Anokhi and Fabindia, along with scarves, pajamas and embroidered silk kurtas of such high quality that I’m surprised the shop hasn’t been raided by the Met Costume Institute. harekrishnala.com
There’s nothing more luxurious than ironed, lavender-scented sheets and I confess I have a wonderful cleaning lady who performs this task weekly. But just as good is to keep a small bottle of Penhaligon’s eau de toilette by your bed and spritz your pillow before sleeping. Being a creature of unapologetic eccentricities, my choice of fragrance is subject to my reading material. For example, Vita Sackville-West calls for a spray of dusky Violetta, but reading Winston Churchill demands Blenheim Bouquet because it makes me dream of leather and old libraries (and it was his favorite scent to boot). penhaligons.co.uk
It’s always soothing to rest your eyes on a lovely piece of artwork before you drift off to sleep. This watercolor rendering, Chalk Paths, by British painter Eric Ravilious would help erase a stressful day, I’m sure. benpentreath.com
Okay, repeat after me: melin tregwynt. It may not roll trippingly off the tongue now, but just wait. I’m betting that this classic Welsh blanket fabric is poised to become the next designer fixation. Style guru Ilse Crawford just decorated a restaurant in London with it, and furniture purveyor George Smith (see above) is using it in a twist on tradition. It’s unexpected, it’s graphic and I suddenly feel an urgent need to recover my headboard. melintregwynt.co.uk
The stack of books on my nightstand is always high and comes close to toppling when fall’s new releases hit the shelves. This season, my wish list includes:
Paula Byrne’s Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead, a fascinating account of the unconventional Lygon family who inspired the novel that gave Waugh immortality. Elizabeth Sharland’s Passionate Pilgrimages: From Chopin to Coward, a glimpse into the private domiciles of artists, icons and creative luminaries such as Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, Ivor Novello and many more. It’s armchair jetsetting at its finest. For inspirational design and style, I am counting the days until I can rifle through More is More by Hutton Wilkinson, the second volume about over-the-top designer Tony Duquette.
My love for interiors is rivalled only by my love for Vivienne Westwood, so when I found out she was designing for The Rug Company, I hightailed it over there pronto. Her “Rubbish” rug is cheeky, anarchic and completely handwoven in traditional Aubusson style. It’ll last forever as long as there’s no grape juice around. therugcompany.com
Every good book deserves a lamp that can shed a proper light on its subject. I love this decoupage one from John Derian with its enchanting scene of a manor house surrounded by landscaped gardens. And if you’re worried about it clashing with your coverlet, don’t. Parkland goes with everything. johnderian.com
I recently spent a weekend at The Ojai Valley Inn and found myself constantly applying their Lemongrass and Geranium Moisturizer. It smells like a summer garden in Gloucestershire. Every time I wear it, my friends ask to borrow some, so I’ve just ordered a boxfull. Next week, to each their own! ojairesort.com
My bedroom is in dire need of curtains, although now that the mornings are becoming darker, I don’t feel as pressed as I did during midsummer. Designer Peter Dunham’s gorgeous range of textiles raises my heart rate instantly: he has perfected that particular brand of aristo-bohemian chic that looks brilliant and comes off as effortless. His “Globe” fabric sets my brain spinning; I just know I would fall asleep dreaming of faraway destinations. hollywoodathome.com
See Lisa’s previous posts HERE. And check back next Tuesday for her next installment!