My style icon is Grace Coddington. She once explained that she favours the colour black because she thinks of it as a clean palette, and I’m the same. Wearing black gives me a sense of calm and a clear head, allowing me to creatively focus on my design work.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is San Gimignano in Tuscany, where three families (14 of us) stayed in three adjoining old farmhouses with a view across the skyline of medieval towers.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a pebble from Estepona in Spain. I dislike clutter, so I don’t tend to bring much back from my travels, but when I go on holiday with a group of friends every year – six or more of us go, and always somewhere different – we all take a pebble from the beach and I write on each of them the location and year.
A recent “find” is the Hook & Hatchet pub at Hucking, near Maidstone in Kent, which my husband and I stumbled upon while walking our new puppy. It has recently been refurbished as a proper old-school country pub and has become a firm favourite for Sunday lunch. I always have the lamb, which is farmed locally. Plus, it’s dog friendly. Church Road, Hucking, Kent ME17 1QT (01622-880 272; hookandhatchetpub.co.uk).
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the King’s Road in London. Rabbit is a quirky restaurant that only uses sustainable ingredients and has wines from the family farm in West Sussex. We eat there before going to the Chelsea Flower Show each year. I like the mix of fashion, homewares and beauty at Anthropologie, but I also love going in because it’s in the beautiful Antiquarius building – a 1920s former billiards hall that houses some original features such as plate-glass windows and intricate ironwork. And the Neal’s Yard Remedies shop, where I buy Wild Rose Beauty Balm, is an oasis of tranquillity and calm. Anthropologie, 131-141 King’s Road, SW3 (020-7349 3110; anthropologie.com). Chelsea Flower Show, rhs.org.uk. Neal’s Yard Remedies, 124B King’s Road, SW3 (020-7225 2842; nealsyardremedies.com); Wild Rose Beauty Balm, £40 for 50g. Rabbit, 172 King’s Road, SW3 (020-3750 0172; rabbit-restaurant.com).
The last music I bought was a long time ago. I haven’t bought any music for years; my daughter is really into The Weeknd, so we have to listen to a lot of that.
An indulgence I would never forgo is my eyelash extensions. After chemotherapy for breast cancer, my eyelashes only grew back slightly – now I feel naked without the extensions I have every weekend at a local salon, Daisy Chain. From £66.50; 377 Maidstone Road, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0HX (01634-231 926; thedaisychainhairandbeauty.co.uk).
The best gift I’ve given recently was Teddy the beagle, a gift to the family – although I think it was as much for me as for my children, as they are now 16 and 20.
My favourite room in my house is the kitchen, the hub of our family. It’s a cosy room with exposed brickwork and huge wooden beams, and we recently painted the units a warm matte grey that I love. Farrow & Ball Purbeck Stone paint, £45 for 2.5 litres; farrow-ball.com.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are my wonderful hairdresser Carly Radford, who comes to my house – she was my angel when I was going through chemotherapy, cutting and styling my wigs beautifully; and Matt Grimshaw, my personal trainer. Matt is very considerate of my limitations but able to give me routines that work – and I’ve found a new love for exercise. Carly Radford, firstname.lastname@example.org. Matt Grimshaw, 07392-019 812; email@example.com.
In my fridge you’ll always find avocados, coriander and fresh chillies to make homemade guacamole, Robertson’s shredded marmalade, strong mature cheddar, a bottle of Chablis and big green olives.
An object I would never part with is my wedding DVD. It contains images of family and friends who are no longer with us, so it becomes more precious as the years go by.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an interior designer. Last year, I redesigned the House of Garrard flagship boutique. I loved the opportunity to be creative on a larger scale as well as designing jewellery.