House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Rabih Hage

Punctuality is the order of the day for the designer

Rabih Hage

November 13 2010
Rabih Hage

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Friday was about punctuality. To start, I was focusing on the clock in order to not miss the first client meeting of the day at 10:30am. Following this I had a quick meeting at 12:30 with my design team and then the main focus of the day: a 1pm lunch meeting with Colette, the lady à-tout-faire (or nearly) who designs with, and runs Nicky Haslam’s design studio with an iron fist (wrapped in silk velvet, as expected from a Haslam fabric virtuoso). I am very fond of Nick’s work, his excellent designs, unique approach to interiors, colour palette, mix of fabrics, selection of antiques, his eye, taste and of course Colette.

Collette and I have been trying to get together for the past four months. The several attempts to have this lunch together have been unsuccessful because of: surprise client visits, urgent presentations, extended site meetings, traffic jam (Colette is a car enthusiast and drives everywhere), and the worst: amnesia, which has happened to each of us once!

This time both of us were determined; we will not let destiny separate us from having the scallop and pancetta brochette with peperonata and aioli (£15.50) at the Bibendum Oyster Bar, my local canteen. The fine Caio Mandes, the bar manager, knowing about our victorious reunion, insisted we have champagne.

At 14:30 exactly, I was on time, back in the office for a discussion with a Thai furniture designer about his experience at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris. I have never been so punctual in my life for a casual conversation.

This meeting, however, opened my appetite to drawing and designing. Consequently, I have spent the rest of the day, until 20:17, with the charming Robert Maxwell, my chief-architect and senior associate, the other half of my brain.

At 20:26 I headed home, which is only a five-minute walk from my studio.

At 20:32, we had a scheduled dinner with our entrepreneur friends at Lucio’s Restaurant. My wife and I were picked up by our favourite Italian-Lebanese couple, Pasquale and his wife Randa. Both are architects and skilled property developers who run their own firm MAP Projects ( We headed to my much-loved restaurant on Fulham Road to join the very charming and talented Sibylle de Baynast, a young and inventive fine jewellery designer who is setting up her eponymous business in London ( accompanied by her husband. The evening was very cheerful and was enhanced by a 2003 Armirè from Langhe in Piedmont, chosen by Marcello Muiesan, the head sommelier.

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