Pictures not words
25 September 2016
Hanging on the wall of my office is a poster I bought a few years ago at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, by Andy Warhol. I am sure you’ve seen it: “I never read, I just look at pictures”. I think that’s my mood this evening. It’s been the quietest weekend imaginable down here in Dorset, a relief after two pretty intense weeks on the go (including Decorex and all that went with it last weekend… apologies for not having time to write).
I forgot to bring a camera this weekend to Dorset, a regular occupational hazard, luckily saved by my iPhone, which it turns out takes some nice photos just at the moment. I was sure you would want to see the latest in dahlia heaven, and a few updates of Mavis, Percy and Henry, so I popped out this afternoon. As for the rest, there’s not much I can mention – we hardly left the house. Bliss.
PICTURES NOT WORDS: PART II
Also (quietly) this week… my latest book was published. Very exciting! If you haven’t bought a copy, I thought you’d enjoy seeing a few pages here.
It opens with photographs of our flat in London.
An innovation this time, I persuaded the lovely publishers and art director at Ryland Peters and Small that what we needed was page after page of full-size photographs – with no distracting text – all the better to absorb ourselves in Jan Baldwin’s beautiful imagery. Captions are gathered together at the end of each chapter. Much neater:
My friend Maisie’s house, with its glorious 70’s kitchen:
Lulu Lytle’s kitchen with its beautiful turquoise tiles:
Kim Wilkie’s serene flat in St. James’s:
The next section is called ‘Country’,
and opens (surprise!) with the Parsonage.
My great friend Kate’s parents’ house – up the valley – insanely beautiful.
Edward & Jane Hurst:
Veere Grenney, dream house:
We end with four country houses, starting with a romantic, incredible house in Northumberland….
Of all the pictures in the book, I’m obsessing over this chair at the moment. I think we might start doing every piece of furniture in the decoration office in loose covers (of fern printed linen).
Beautiful Herringston, which I have written about on this blog, as long-term readers will know.
Wardington, home of Bridget Elworthy and the Land Gardeners, which will also be familiar to regular readers.
And Trematon Castle, home of Julian and Isabel Bannerman, who’s own ravishing book on gardens is about to be published this week.
It was a lot of fun writing this book, and pulling together the houses and friends that make it.
But, if I am honest, it is even more fun reading it, and holding it in my hands. I’ve been signing hundreds of copies, it seems, for the shop, so it’s a good thing I decided that I’d better not sign any copies elsewhere (with the rare exception). And if you’d like a personal dedication, just let the nice people at the shop know when you place your order.
In the afterword, pictured above, I refer to that Andy Warhol poster – pictures, not words – because really, after all, that’s what the book is about, and what I think the blog is really about too. So having said all that, then… Thank you for reading this far.