House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Francis Sultana

The designer enjoys a little ’me’ time in the midst of his busy day

Francis Sultana

October 15 2011
Francis Sultana

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

This morning as I walk to the gym I look at the clear blue sky and early sunlight and I know it’s going to be one of those perfect autumn days.

At the office we resume the current projects. Mr & Mrs T’s chalet in St Moritz is coming together beautifully and we are all excited that most of the new pieces of furniture I have designed are now well into production. I have checked all the samples and finishes and think it will be a dream – it’s my first project in the mountains, so I have been very inspired by the landscape and the snow while also adding in a touch of vintage James Bond. I love watching old movies as they always spark off my creative imagination.

Next I move on to next spring’s new furniture collection, which needs my constant attention at this stage as each piece is evolving and I am constantly changing the details in my mind. The team assures me that the designs are looking stunning but I know there are still some pieces missing, so this weekend I must tie it all together – this is the most difficult part in the process, to feel that you have created a whole collection that works and has a harmony that ties together the pieces, but I am nearly there!

I take a bit of “me” time this lunchtime as I need a new coat and my friend Jason, artistic director at Brioni, has suggested I meet his master tailor for an initial fitting. We look at making a very tailored navy-blue cashmere coat, the fabrics are so luxurious and the cut is perfect – my only dilemma is that I spot the most beautiful light grey wool and decide I would like a second coat, double-breasted this time.

I pop over to Berkeley Square to see how all is going on the NSPCC stand at Pavilion of Art & Design and am pleased that there are just a few more chairs to sell now, so hopefully we can manage it by Sunday. I then have a quick lunch with Madam B at Bar Boulud and on my way back to the office I get a lovely call from Ms E in Dallas who, with her enticing Texan hospitality, is trying to persuade me to visit. I think this may be arranged imminently and I allow myself to dream about how fun it would be to decorate a ranch!

Tonight Nadja Swarovski has invited me to a dinner she is co-hosting at Phillips de Pury for Bianca Jagger’s new human rights foundation. Upon arrival I immediately see Madam R and her husband, whose home in Belgravia I have decorated, and as always she looks fabulous, especially in this jacket, which is a beautiful weave of emerald green and purple (Oscar de la Renta, no less). I tease her by saying that as soon as she is finished with it we can make it into some divine cushions! There are many artists at the dinner who have donated some very good works – Raqib Shaw's piece makes £200,000 and the night is going to raise considerable funds. Michaela de Pury, looking very groovy-chic, is supporting her charismatic husband Simon in making a success of the auction and at my table I am sitting with the dynamic Ian Stallard and Patrick Fredrikson, who have designed many pieces for my projects over the years and who have been working with Nadja on some fabulous chandeliers for her brand, Crystal Palace. It’s certainly a very crystal-themed evening, I must say, and I meet for the first time Nicholas Kirkwood, the incredibly talented shoe designer whom all the ladies adore. It’s a lovely evening and a great way to end the week, but now I am looking forward to the weekend.

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