A Room to Linger In

1970s, cosmopolitan, Harry Hartman, interior design, interiors, thea porter, Tim Street-Porter
Dishy model Michel Julien playing it cool in David Evers’ masculine bathroom.

The bathroom as an erogenous zone.

No room is more intimate than your bathroom. There is nowhere better to relax and get in the mood … to succumb to the sheer sensuality of soaking in scented water, indulging fantasies and anticipating future pleasures.

Your bathroom should be a place to feel beautiful in. to lacquer your toenails or finish a novel, henna your hair, water your plants or even paint a picture. No reason why it shouldn’t be your bathroom-boudoir-dressing-room-studio all in one. Even better if there’s room for a bed .. .

The bathroom is where you imprint your personality. Dare to be exotic with jungle prints, orchids growing in glass tanks. Or keep it cool with ice-white decor, stark modern art, a Japanese Bonsai tree.

Whatever your style, remember the importance of warmth, the comforting feel of thick pile rugs and heated towels. There’s no greater turn-off than getting goose pimples in a chilly cheerless bathroom. We photographed three highly individual bathrooms designed with great flair, and each styled perfectly for their owner’s lives. But all with a single thought in common—comfort.

The lure of the East for international fashion designer, Thea Porter. She designed her Mayfair bathroom with a Moorish interior in mind . . . wide built-in seats with heavily embroidered cushions. a little arch cut into the wall to display treasured objects. Thea doubles her exciting room as a studio, hangs her paintings around the walls.

If you want to please a man, model your bathroom on the one good-looking London businessman David Evers owns, with handsome polished mahogany fitted units, ivory backed brushes and green plants. David says the atmosphere reminds him of a St James’ men’s club.

The third is a fiery red hideaway, a fantastic design by Richard Ohrbach for New Yorker Cynthia Peltz. There’s more than a touch of the womb about this room—very comfortable after a hard day at the office …

Text by Joan Prust-Walters.

Photographs by Tim Street Porter.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, January 1974.

Our model Carole Augustine looks very relaxed in Thea Porter’s bathroom which is just like a Seraglio.
Cynthia PeIlls bathroom is a warm hideaway. (Photographed by Harry Hartman).

Come Clean

19 magazine, 1960s, interior design, interiors
This special 19 bathroom was planned on a budget of £200, which includes all the fixtures and the plumbing. Designed by Igal Yawetz, Dip. Arch. Ham. I.E.A.I. and built by Allied Ironfounders Ltd.

Own up! Do you really spend enough time in your bathroom?

We hate to admit it but bath-time in Britain is generally regarded as a dreary, unnecessary drudge! Maybe unpleasant memories of exasperated mum dragging us bodily up the stairs and scrubbing off sand, chocolate, grease and the like, have something to do with it, but we want, to prove that bathing can be lots of fun. Start by thinking of your bathroom as something more than just a box with a bath, somewhere at the back of your house. Think of it as a welcoming, comfortable room filled with glorious beauty products and your favourite luxuries; a place where you can hide from the family and white away many hours relaxing, reading and preening yourself after a busy, demanding, harassed day.

Photographer uncredited.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, November 1968.

Women Who Know

1970s, Hermès, Inspirational Images, interior design, interiors, Vintage Adverts, Vogue
Les femmes décidées vont jusqu’au bout… Jusqu’au Parfum.

Just a pretty flawless aesthetic which I felt needed to be noted.

Advert for Calèche by Hermès.

Scanned from Vogue, November 1971.

The Smith Spectacular

1970s, Christopher Vane Percy, Henry Clarke, interior design, interiors, leonard, Vogue, zandra rhodes
Maxine Smith in the bedroom, where the four-poster is set on a mirrored podium. Her satin nightdress and jacket by Zandra Rhodes. Hair by Celine at Leonard.

DRESSED BY ZANDRA RHODES STAGED BY MAXINE SMITH

Maxine and Gary Smith moved to London from New York in 1971. Since then, Gary Smith, American television producer and winner of several Emmy Awards, has been working with Sir Lew Grade on television spectaculars, and Maxine Smith has been planning their London flat with Zandra Rhodes. The combination of their ideas has worked perfectly, with one taking over where the other left off. Initially, Zandra Rhodes designed a series of fabrics. Maxine Smith then had them printed to her own colour pattern by Alex McIntyre, often using the same colourway and design on different fabrics so that texture changes have been subtly worked from cotton to felt to satin. Some sur-faces are flat, others gathered – as in the hall where felt blends with draped cotton. Throughout there is an instantaneous impact of colour, wit and comfort. As one becomes accustomed to the colours, one realises that the sitting-room is designed for midnight rather than midday, the windows permanently shuttered and the curtains drawn. One notices the enormous portrait of Lenny Bruce by Gary Smith, ‘twenties’ armchairs with covered feet found by Maxine Smith in Antique City, the Vogue needlepoint cushions all worked by her mother. In the bedroom, apricot satin and taffetas with a felt print ceiling and apricot-coloured cupboards, the bed set on a mirrored podium, and covered with cushions. Other points of colour are the red telephone, the amber carpet. Next, a completely cupboarded dressing-room. Then, the apricot bathroom. Downstairs, past a neon sign—”I love Max”—and other such illuminations, to the dining-room: originally a cellar, now a brilliant blue small tent. The kitchen has dark rust-coloured prints, the ceiling hung with a thousand cooking utensils and an enormous electric lamp bulb found at Selfridges. Just off the kitchen a bar, a platform bat on steps, with three-tier cushions as bar stools, and an embroidery of Whistler’s mother by Malcolm Poynter, which came from the DM Gallery, Fulham Road. London’s galleries and off-beat furniture shops have produced many other pieces of art and amusement, some of them transformed by Zandra Rhodes’ coverings, others untouched, all with a special blend of humour and art.

Photographed by Henry Clarke.

Scanned from Vogue, late April 1975.

The downstairs bar with Malcolm Poynter’s embroidery of Whistler’s mother in the background, cushions instead of bar stools.
Two views of the sitting-room, Maxine Smith wearing a Zandra Rhodes’ dress of the same print as the walls—”The dress came first, the walls followed.” All fabrics by Zandra Rhodes, from the range at Christopher Vane Percy, 5 Weighhouse St, W.1
The garden room leading off the bar.
The hall draped with cotton print.
The blue tent dining-room with candlesticks by Carole McNicholl

Mirror Mirror

1970s, hair, Hair and make-up, Honey Magazine, Inspirational Images, interior design, interiors, Vintage Adverts
Wella Spray – it holds and brushes out and holds and smells nice and holds and resists damp and holds… Wella – we know about hair.

I posted an alternate version of this, many years ago, but this one shows you far more of the amazing collaged wall behind the gloriously jumbled dressing table.

Scanned from Honey, June 1972.

Move in, Move on

1970s, cosmopolitan, Dominique Depalle, interior design, interiors, Michael Boys
Dominique’s bath can be replumbed when she moves; a wall-hanging can be more easily removed than tiles.

You may hate to be tied down by your possessions, but naturally you get attached to them. For a more flexible life-style, learn from Dominique Depalle and choose furnishing that moves where she does.

If you’ve spent longer in France than a weekend, you’ve probably noticed that most French girls have a greater sense of style by the time they are twenty than the rest of us will ever acquire. Instead of always trying to beat those clever ladies in the style stakes—and not quite succeeding — we should swallow our English pride and learn from them. Take Parisian Dominique Depalle, for instance, who has cunningly transformed a drab studio flat—the equivalent of a big-city bedsit or rented flat in a dingy Victorian house—into a warm, feminine home that looks as though it might have cost a fortune, but didn’t, thanks to Dominique’s experience as an antique dealer. She has a sharp eye for spotting bargains in junk. Dominique recently gave up her job in advertising to turn her hobby—collecting antiques—into a full-time occupation. Like Dominique, most girls in their late teens and twenties expect to swop flats, jobs, even cities, several times. Dominique decorates on the sensible principle that if she’s going to move on, she should be able to take all her favourite possessions with her when she goes. There’s not a fitted carpet, built-in cupboard or roll of wallpaper in the place. Dominique chooses every item with infinite care because she knows that each object will last a lifetime… like the Victorian bath, which could easily be transported with the help of a friendly lorry driver, and replumbed in another flat ; the huge tiger wall-hanging, not as practical as tiles, maybe, but then you can’t start taking down the tiles every time you have an altercation with your landlord. A bundle of small objects—baskets, ornaments and framed photographs—will pack easily into a suitcase. And by keeping walls plain wherever she goes, Dominique can be certain that her intricate wall-hangings, pictures and flowery bed-coverings will blend with every setting. Dominique dreams of eventually having a proper house—with a staircase, a loft and a cellar for apples and wine. Meanwhile she longs for adventure in her life and is thinking of going to live in Africa for a few years. If you, like Dominique, get itchy feet after more than a few months in the same place—but still want somewhere pretty to come home to —remember that your possessions should be as mobile as you are.

Photographed by Michael Boys.

Scanned from Cosmopolitan, July 1977.

Favourite objects show off Dominique’s individual style.
With plain walls, flowery fabrics blend in any room.
Dominique sells antiques at work and buys them for a hobby. Evenings at home are spent restoring her miniature replicas of old furniture

You know how good it feels (Part 2)

19 magazine, 1970s, Austin Garritt, biba, David Anthony, Deco Inspired, Inspirational Images, interior design, interiors, Jane Goddard, janet reger, Simpson of Piccadilly

As promised, the follow up to yesterday’s post featuring a stunning image of all the prizes which were available in this competition. A satin Biba lounging outfit, Janet Reger underwear and a dozen bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne is probably still my idea of covetable luxury!

Modelled by Jane Goddard.

Photographed by David Anthony.

Scanned from 19 Magazine, July 1974.

Liberty on the tiles

1970s, bill gibb, Elle, interior design, interiors, James Mortimer, liberty, liberty's, Sarah Campbell, Susan Collier, Vogue
The Countess Emma de Bendern’s dining-room and kitchen, left: Terrace wall and floor tiles to match cotton union curtains, green as green. Paint, Carson’s Grassy green no 7Q. Emma’s dress, a Liberty print Bill Gibb, to order from Elle, her hair cut by Karin of Derek Roe.

Liberty has covered another few indoor acres with flowers and trellis and the acres are acres of tiles made by Fired Earth. Refreshingly pretty as might be expected, with fabrics to match exactly or very nearly. The _project was initiated by the late Blair Pride, co-ordinated by Susan Collier, Liberty’s design consultant, who with Sarah Campbell produced the designs. Here they are in situ.

Photographed by James Mortimer.

Scanned from Vogue, May 1974.

Designer’s Liberty, above. Susan Collier’s Primrose tiled kitchen, the table set for an Easter tea party on matching Primrose Cloud cotton cloth. As her daughter Sophie said : “The kitchen’s so lovely I’m almost jealous of myself.”
The Collier house is Queen Anne, the oldest in Clapham, but the corner room, right, is a Victorian addition, with Kazak tiles, Karabag blind and cushions of luscious Mercury satin from Susan Collier’s Summer Dance Collection. All tiles in Liberty pattern by Fired Earth, 6 or 8 ins square, from £16.50 a sq metre four days delivery, from 102 Portland Rd, W.11. Fabrics from £2.45 a yd, 48 in wide, at Liberty.

Dinner with Thea Porter

1970s, Food, harpers and queen, interior design, interiors, thea porter
Thea Porter (right) and her daughter Venetia. On the richly decorated table are some of Mrs Porter’s favourite Lebanese dishes.

‘The great thing about an Arab meal is its variety’

Thea Porter, painter and dress designer, whose shop in Soho and flat off Piccadilly are ports of call for the international set, writes about cooking Arab food.

I love my kitchen – from the neatly stacked Margaux (Brane Cantenac is a current favourite) to the painted Louis XIV cherubs smiling innocently from the shiny brown wall into the mirror shelves opposite, lined with Damascus spices and French herbs. Even late at night I enjoy boiling up an anti-hangover drink, and gazing at my cookery books before carrying one up to bed to plan some future meal.

But I also get inspiration in restaurants. Sitting in the ordered splendour of the Orangerie in the Ile Saint Louis (where the waiters all look like jeunes premiers among the flowers) I think of my kitchen, and wonder how to re-create the delicious sauces without bothering the chef. How do people con recipes out of restaurant owners ? I try to guess the ingredients, and then have to keep going back to make sure the proportions are right.

At the Orangerie they have enormous baskets of crudités – like cornucopias by Tiepolo – overflowing with mush-rooms, avocados, grapelike tomatoes and black radishes to go with smoked ham, and two different sauces. One, I think, is made with thin cream cheese (Gervita from Roche, 14 Old Compton Street, W1 will do) mixed with cream or yoghourt and chives. Their vinaigrette is also excellent – the herbs are so finely chopped it breaks my heart. This type of hors d’oeuvres is my favourite start to a meal. I quite often add tarama to go with the avocado, or a mixture of cream, finely chopped shallots and artificial caviar. Smoked salmon is an alternative : it rather depends on what one can find.

I never have time to shop in London, and usually send someone out with a list. This system breaks down when smoked trout instead of fresh trout is discovered sitting in the kitchen -but it is also fun to improvise at the last moment. I always have a supply of tins from Roche to fall back on, and a packet of paper-thin Greek pastry from the Hellenic Provision Stores to make burreks . These can be layered and stuffed with practically anything, then rolled into thin cigars and baked.

The best thing about raw vegetables, apart from their crisp texture with the melting sauces, is that they are so pretty. Nothing is so exquisite as plumed sliced fennel or cauliflower. (Edna O’Brien says she finds even sliced leeks that tendril round her fingers beautiful.) I pile them into a motley collection of Japanese bowls
and plates and arrange them with bowls of flowers, although not as ambitiously as they do at Parkes, where roses nestle expensively by the melon. I think I must spend as much on flowers as on food. (If I’m cooking something really smelly, I find even lilies aren’t enough, so I light one of those Rigaud candles on the stairs.)

But if you have crudites for starters, and have to peel mushrooms and clip radishes, there is very little time left for preparing the main course. So it has to be something easy like sirloin, very rare with horseradish, served with tinned flageolets from Roche – either heated up with cream, or cooked the way Arabs cook broad beans, with fried onion and pounded coriander – delicious.

Arab food is ideal for the hard-pressed woman, torn between trying to call New York and attend to her guests, as it is always better the next day. I’m very fond of a Lebanese Lenten dish: spinach leaves stuffed and slowly cooked in oil and water. This is a delicate dish and should melt in the mouth if cooked long enough. Another Lenten dish is artichoke hearts fried in oil with onions and then simmered in water and lemon. Lebanese food has a lot in common with Provençal cooking, which means that I can start with an aioli with cod, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and salsify, and then go on to sfeeha – a kind of Arab pizza, spread with mincemeat and pome-granate seeds, and served with thick yoghourt and a sharp lemony salad of green tomatoes and cos lettuce. As a child I used to watch black-visored Muslim women on a Friday clustered round a waterfall, greedily stripping and eating cos lettuces the way people here eat chocolates at the theatre.

The great thing about an Arab meal is that there is always a large variety of things to eat – often all plonked on the table at the same time. So you can choose a spoonful of this and a taste of that – excellent when you want to talk and drink in a leisurely way, and easier than coping with a large plateful of the one thing you perhaps can’t stomach. It certainly takes quite a lot longer to prepare ten or fifteen small dishes, but to my mind it makes for a more exciting meal.

I try not to give food that I myself adore (like brandade de morue) to guests who may not happen to enjoy that very earthy taste, unless there’s another choice. Brandade de morue is rather a soothing thing to cook with the music programme full on : you slowly heat oil in one saucepan, and milk in another, then beat minute quantities of each in turn into the desalted and poached salt cod. Some people add mashed potato for instant smoothness.

As I’m extremely greedy, I find cooking soothing and enjoyable after working and thinking all day, and I enjoy every stage – breaking eggs and beating them into a smooth hollandaise to go with a pearly bass cooked with tarragon in champagne dregs, or chopping up cuttlefish and stewing it a la libanaise in its beautiful sepia ink to make a thick, wicked-looking sauce with an intoxicating smell.

French cooking is undeniably far more subtle than anything oriental can ever be, but you do need time the same day. I find the sauce cracks when I try and heat up a poulet en demi deuil , while Circassian chicken is just as good heated up.

These are two extremes of taste, and it’s difficult to find a wine that will stand up to highly flavoured food, but that still goes well with a subtle flavour. I do my wine tasting at the Jardin des Gourmets when I eat there, and can then usually find the same wines at a cut-price wine store, Milroy’s in Greek Street.

There are so many exciting things to eat, it’s difficult to choose – though it’s easier to prepare something you like enormously than to experiment. I sometimes regret not living in France because the matieres premigres are so good there: the first white truffles to make into a salad or to roast on skewers ; fresh, white, shelled and skinned walnuts soaked in salt water ; the endless herbs that are always around and that you do not have to hunt for. Alas, the herbs in my window boxes wither and die regularly, but I shall doubtless go on re-stocking them hopefully until I wither and die too.

Photograph by Michel Molinare.

Scanned from Harpers and Queen, April 1972.

It’s what a man wears underneath that counts

1970s, interior design, interiors, Lyle and Scott, Mensday, menswear, telegraph magazine, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, underwear, Vintage Adverts

One in my now very, very sporadic ‘Mensday’ series. This one doubles up as an interiors post as well, with Mr Freedom-influenced stars and stripes bedding (it might take you a while to focus properly).

Scanned from The Telegraph Magazine, March 17th 1972.