Faye Toogood talks personal taste: Part One

Interior designer Faye Toogood is known for her whimsical English aesthetic and utilitarian-cool limited-edition furniture

Faye Toogood at home
Faye Toogood at home | Image: Trent McMinn

My personal style signifiers are my Thom Browne brogues – I never wear heels – and my Max Bill by Junghans man’s watch, which is based on a design from the 1930s and was the first present my husband Matt ever gave me. I also never take off my rings, even when I’m painting or in the workshop; I’m scared I’ll lose them. My diamond wedding ring was my grandmother’s and I bought my 18ct- white-gold and diamond baguette from Mappin & Webb to replace her eternity ring, which was was stolen. Thom Brownebrogues, from £540; www.thombrowne.com. Mappin & Webb ring, £2,500; www.mappinandwebb.com. Max Bill by Junghans watch, from £825; www.junghans.de.

Thom Browne calfskin brogues, £900
Thom Browne calfskin brogues, £900

The last thing I bought and loved was a felted-wool cardigan by Amy Revier. She handweaves everything on her loom in Highgate and only produces three to five pieces a month. From£1,300; www.amyrevier.com.


The thing I’m eyeing next is a collection of toy dinosaurs for my daughter Indigo. She’s obsessed with them. The ones I want are by Schleich; they are so beautifully made they almost look handpainted. You can buy them at London Zoo. From £4.95; www.zsl.org. www.schleich-s.com.  

Toogood’s Amy Revier felted-wool Mies cardigan, £1,895
Toogood’s Amy Revier felted-wool Mies cardigan, £1,895

The last meal that truly impressed me was at St John. My husband and I are regulars and I know what I’m going to order before I get there. I find the food very sculptural and pure. That so many new London restaurants have stolen from its menu and implemented copycat utilitarian interiors is testament to the fact that Fergus Henderson and his team are the real deal and true revolutionaries. 26 St John St, London EC1 (020-7251 0848; www.stjohngroup.uk.com).

Schleich toy dinosaur, from £4.95
Schleich toy dinosaur, from £4.95

The books on my bedside table are Ricky Swallow Bronzes by Stuart Shave and Darren Knight, and A Way of Life by Jim Ede, which is a black and white tour of Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge. I never touch fiction; I have so little time that when I get round to reading I’m desperate to learn something.

Crouching Spider, 2003, by Louise Bourgeois at Château La Coste
Crouching Spider, 2003, by Louise Bourgeois at Château La Coste | Image: © Louise Bourgeois Foundation ADAGP Paris 2014

An indulgence I would never forgo is Mad et Len volcanic incense, which you drizzle over chunks of volcanic lava stone. The smell is far more intense than a scented candle. £102; www.farfetch.com.

The Malick Sidibé print Toogood bought for her husband
The Malick Sidibé print Toogood bought for her husband | Image: Trent McMinn

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a black Simone Rocha full-circle skirt from Hostem. I never shop for clothes online; I like the experience of going into a boutique and seeing the owner’s edit. I’m very loyal; my favourite designers are Rocha and Beijing-born Yang Li, and I only shop at Hostem and Egg. I buy at the beginning of the season and they ring me when they get pieces in they think I’ll like. Egg, 36 Kinnerton St, London SW1 (020-7235 9315; www.eggtrading.com). Hostem, 41-43 Redchurch St, London E2 (020-7739 9733; www.hostem.co.uk).


My favourite room in my house is the kitchen. It’s where we spend all our time as a family – where we eat, chat and dance to silly music.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Château La Coste, near Aix‑en-Provence. It dates back to the 1600s and specialises in sculpture and wine from the estate – a winning combination. I was blown away by the project’s scale and vision: in the grounds are a floating spider by Louise Bourgeois, an underground nest by Andy Goldsworthy and pavilions by Tadao Ando. 2750 Route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy Sainte Réparade (+334-4261 8998; www.chateau-la-coste.com).

The best gift I’ve given recently is a photo by Malick Sidibé that I bought for my husband on a life-changing trip to Mali a few years ago. Sidibé is probably Mali’s most famous artist and though you can buy his work in London I was lucky enough to be able to buy a print directly from his studio. It’s a black and white image of a group of revellers on a beach dressed in fantastic 1970s outfits. There’s so much joy in it. HackelBury Fine Art, 4 Launceston Pl, London W8 (020-7937 8688; www.hackelbury.co.uk).

My favourite website is that of interior designer-turned-gallerist Oliver Gustav, who has impeccable taste. His interiors and the way he combines antiques, found objects and contemporary design is very inspiring. www.olivergustav.com.

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