Nina Campbell talks personal taste: Part One

Nina Campbell’s prestigious portfolio of contemporary classic interiors includes German castles, Maine beach houses and London’s The Draycott Hotel

Image: James Winspear

My personal style signifier is my heart-shaped glasses; 36 Opticians in Beauchamp Place has been cutting them for me for years. The lenses are slightly shaded and the titanium frames are so light I hardly know I’m wearing them. 36 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 (020-7581 6336;

Nylon sculpture by Michael Eden, price on request, from Adrian Sassoon
Nylon sculpture by Michael Eden, price on request, from Adrian Sassoon

The last thing I bought and loved was a hot‑pink 3D printed nylon sculpture in the form of a vase by Michael Eden. The appeal lies in the texture, which reminds me of intricate Indian ivory, and his wonderful colours; this combination of old and modern represents all that I like in design. Price on request; Adrian Sassoon, 14 Rutland Gate, London SW7 (020-7581 9888;


And the thing I’m eyeing next is a piece of Tobias Møhl glass. He’s a very clever Danish glassblower and I love the play of light in his work, which is simplistic in that brilliant Scandinavian way. I’ve got my eye on the Round Blue Glassweaver Vessel. From £8,000;

Rabbit restaurant, Chelsea
Rabbit restaurant, Chelsea

The last accessory I added to my wardrobe was an ultrafine cashmere shawl by Janavi, printed and embroidered with paisley in wonderful reds and blues. The brand is based in India but stocked across the globe; I bought mine at Browns. £415; 24-27 South Molton Street, London W1 (020-7514 0016;

Campbell's Janavl cashmere scarf, £415, from Browns
Campbell's Janavl cashmere scarf, £415, from Browns | Image: James Winspear

The last meal that truly impressed me was at the enchanting Rabbit in Chelsea. It is totally un-grand – run by a family who have a farm and grow and rear everything themselves – and you eat tiny plates of English tapas. Last time I had minced-veal rolls and endive parcels stuffed with goat’s cheese and all kinds of loveliness. It’s delicious and unusual. 172 King’s Road, London SW3 (020-3750 0172;

A photo of her father by Norman Parkinson
A photo of her father by Norman Parkinson | Image: James Winspear

An indulgence I would never forgo is my Santa Maria Novella bath salts in melograno [pomegranate]. They smell like going to church, almost as if they’re infused with incense. I throw a handful in the bath and always feel better. I am not a bubbles person. £36 for 500g; 117 Walton Street, London SW3 (020-7460 6600;


An object I would never part with is a photograph of my father by Norman Parkinson. They were friends and both very elegant men. One day around 1950, Parkinson was shooting a male model for an advertising campaign who turned up in a terrible dinner jacket looking awfully dishevelled. Parkinson rang up my father and asked if he could take the model’s place in his own dinner jacket. I didn’t realise the picture still existed until I saw it in an exhibition at the Hamilton Gallery in the 1980s. A friend very kindly bought it for me.

The last music I downloaded was Japanese pianist Mitsuko Uchida’s Schubert, though I also have her Beethoven. She is very exciting to watch – I saw her at the Royal Festival Hall and she looks like a butterfly plucking the music out of the piano.

The people I rely on for personal grooming are at RYS, where I go for my hair, nails and waxing. They have a garden with an awning and you can have your blow dry outside. It’s like a little spa holiday but just down the road. 176 Walton Street, London SW3 (020-7100 0724;

A recent “find” is John Sandoe, a three-floor independent bookshop crammed with fiction, biography and coffee-table tomes on absolutely everything; I could spend hours there. They sourced a beautiful book on the Hermitage Museum so big that I almost need a crane to open it. I wanted something to remind me of the museum’s floors, paintings and rooms, which are all extraordinary, and this does the job more than admirably. 10 Blacklands Terrace, London SW3 (020-7589 9473;

My favourite app is Instagram, which allows me to keep up with my design friends. I found some beautiful wallpapers by Catherine Cazalet for Turner Pocock Cazalet on it recently, as well as branch lighting by Bradley Clifford for Areté Collection in the US. I also came across someone who had used my fabrics on her sofa and I share pictures with a woman in Australia who has shih-tzus like me.

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