Style | The Aesthete

Seth Stein talks personal style: Part Two

The architect puts the finishing touches to his list of pleasures and passions.

September 05 2010
Emma Crichton-Miller

My style icon is Pierre Chareau, who was the architect of the Maison de Verre in Paris, a private home built between 1928 and 1932. He was a furniture and interiors designer and before 1928 had made furniture for the same clients, the Dalsaces, for their previous apartment. These pieces are all in metal, and very rare. The Maison de Verre was the first building to make radically inventive use of glass, steel and rubber.

The best gift I’ve given recently? I asked my wife and she said the coat I gave her, a very elegant scarlet John Rocha coat. 15a Dover Street, London W1 (020-7495 2233; www.johnrocha.ie).

The best gift I’ve received recently was several sets of tea caddies, in tin, copper and brass, made by the Kaikado master craftsmen of Kyoto – the oldest makers of handmade tin tea caddies in the world. There’s a shop in London called Postcard Teas, run by Timothy d’Offay, which stocks these. I’ve been to the workshop in Kyoto where they make them. They are very minimalist, like a Roni Horn sculpture. 9 Dering Street, London W1 (020-7629 3654; www.postcardteas.com).

An indulgence I’d never forego is a hard choice, between two: my ridiculous car [an Aston Martin DB6], or my one-to-one yoga sessions in my living room with Anna Andersson, a Swedish yoga teacher. This started out as a simple barter – she needed some help designing her apartment – but I have kept the sessions going; she is brilliant. 07971-693 805; www.annaandersson.co.uk.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is William Scott. Or Barbara Hepworth. My wife [Susannah Pollen] is a dealer – she worked at Sotheby’s for many years and now works independently. Pieces by these two come into the house, and then they go.

My favourite room would be one of the rooms in the house we’re finishing off in Notting Hill, but I’m unable to say which just yet. Otherwise, if I can’t have one of my own, it would be the Kubrick room in 2001: A Space Odyssey – the classical room with the glass floor.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city I’d choose Portobello in Notting Hill. I live in Notting Hill, so there is pretty much everything I need around where I live – it could be a light-bulb shop, or Tavola deli or the place where my son gets his Beano.

The people I rely on for grooming and style? Well, there is not a lot to groom here…

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is New York. I was born there, and a lot of my life still takes me back there. That would be the obvious alternative city. But, really, despite what people say, London is the best city to live in.