Describe your design style.
Leave no stone unturned and leave no walls blank. Artworks, sculptures and other decorative objects are my catnip. Without them, a home has no soul.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Period dramas, especially ones with Vikings. And the further back in time, the better. My second is lapis sagu.
What inspires you the most?
The courage to say ‘No’. Also the ability to make music.
Describe your fondest memory as a child.
Watching my father polishing his shoes in the mornings. I often helped and the olfactory memory that shoe-polish triggers in me is extremely powerful. The gentle sweeping of the shoe brush and the swishing of the shoe cloth are also ingrained in my mind and ears. When I hear them, I become incredibly nostalgic and see his face again.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
During my misspent youth, I played slot machines and pinball for hours on end in a London bar. Unbeknown to me, a beggar had been observing me for days. One afternoon he approached, looked me squarely in the eyes and simply stated: “There is more to life than this”. I stopped all that nonsense after that day.
What would you like to have as your last meal on earth?
Ramen with extra chashu.
(Related: 12 highlights from Dubai Design Week)
Which room do you spend the most time in and why?
The space where my living room, dining room and kitchen are. I have an open-plan arrangement and my daughter and dog hang out there, so that’s where I want to be, too.
Name a favourite pet and why you loved it.
My most unusual, and not always favourite, was Rainbow, a blue and yellow macaw. He ate anything in sight, including furniture and pumpkin pie, pooped everywhere and screeched like a siren. But he could also be incredibly cuddly and sweet, and was very fond of massages and bird yoga. He was an intriguing pet we fostered for friends and soon grew to love dearly and miss terribly.
What have you always wanted to try but have never summoned the courage to do?
Get a tattoo.
What is one thing you had to learn the hard way?
That I should never refrigerate lapis sagu. And also that the only way to live is in absolute truth – if indeed you can recognise what your inner truth is. If you can’t, then you must find it and embrace it, warts and all.
This article was originally published in Home & Decor.