You spend much of your time designing temporary homes for other people. Does that influence the way you design your own home interiors?
No, absolutely not. My own home, my own style, influences what I do in the commercial world, not the other way around. The way I live is what I give to other people. It develops as time goes on. So things have changed from the very classic orientation of Blake’s hotel in London to something like the Hempel and back through to Blake’s Amsterdam and the Warapuru in Brazil. These things develop as I develop. I can’t always be completely redoing homes.
How many homes have you lived in?
Oh, I couldn’t possibly tell you - 30?
Which home has the fondest memories for you?
I’m living in the one that has the fondest memories for me. It’s in London.
What makes it so special for you?
It’s the most beautiful house in London, that’s why. It’s an extraordinary property that gives me the sun all day. It has quite a magical garden that’s Italian-Japanese in orientation. The house is Georgian - it’s a listed double-fronted house in Holland Park behind a very big, very square, blocky Portuguese laurel hedge so that you can’t see what I’m doing. Life can be a matter of hide and seek.
What’s the feel of the home and that of the neighbourhood?
It’s like living in Venice. It’s very twinkly and full of antiques. I would say the architecture probably belongs to a hero of mine, Sir John Soane. Holland Park has beautiful trees, beautiful houses, wide streets, happy bustling little villages. It spreads from Kensington to Notting Hill.
In which part of that home do you spend most of your time?
On the balcony screaming at people on the telephone. [Laughs.] Then I go and work. We have a beautiful Biedermeier kitchen and an ante-kitchen and sort of a breakfast room. We have a lot of meetings and do a lot of things in there. But I don’t stay still. So there’s no favourite room because I walk all over the house all day.
You designed the entire home yourself. Which part of its interior are you most proud of?
Two huge fireplaces made of polished Welsh slate. They stand directly opposite one another in the drawing room and bring it together in a classical way.
What do you have on the mantel?
Nothing. I wouldn’t dream of putting anything on the mantel.
Has your husband influenced your home?
He hasn’t. He didn’t want to, otherwise he would have. He’s happy with whatever I do.
You also have a Queen Anne moated house in Wiltshire. Would you consider retiring there?
No! My life is organised around London.
I’d hate to be down there all the time. I’m a designer, an artist. I have to be with my people. I can’t hide away in the country.
If you find me down there all the time it means things have gone wrong.