This week I am wandering around Europe with famous writers, while next week I plan to go a little further afield.
Spring is almost ready to spring, or so we hope! It seems to come earlier in England than in other parts of the world, but this week my pictures take me to France. Paris and other French cities may not have quite as many green spaces as London does, but it’s always a pleasure to discover some of them, however small. French gardens may be famous for their severe geometric precision, but this is the more natural, unkempt style.
It’s not really possible with the English weather, but I do have friends in South Africa, France and Portugal who practically live outdoors in the summer months. Here are some houses to inspire you to bring the outdoors inside – at least in your dreams.
I’ve always loved the combination of blue and white in interior design, flowers, clothes. even flags. That might explain why I married a Greek (and why I like the Finns). While appearances are often misleading (marriage case in point), it is a sure-fire classic combination for decorating your house and I have done so many times in the past. Although perhaps not as extravagantly as in the following pictures. It is so clean, fresh, simple and reminds me of travelling to faraway places by ship.
No matter what I say or do, I cannot forget about mountains and snow in the winter months. I miss them more than I can say, so here are some pictures to delight me (or to help me wallow in my misery).
The Courtauld Gallery (which I seem to pronounce differently from everyone else in the UK) is a beautiful little gem, no longer quite as well hidden as it used to be when I was a student at King’s and could access it during my breaks. Covering an entire wing of Somerset House (plus modern extensions), it boasts a splendid art collection, particularly of 19th century painters. Most recently, it hosted an exhibition of portraits by Chaim Soutine, which struck me by their compassion for the suffering and boxed-in feeling of the working classes, service staff that most hotel visitors ignore (even nowadays). I don’t often feature art, because I think the colours go all wrong online, but here are a few samples.
You can’t get enough daylight in winter, especially if you are stuck in a basement office, so here are some houses that use windows in a creative way, to give you the illusion of more space.