Interior Love: The Ultimate Lust List
This week, it was the celebration of St Valentine. Tbh, I’m not a huge Valentines Day fan. When I was at school, it was always the worst day of the year from a social standing point of view. Anyone who was not boyfriended up Damon and Debbie style (extra points for knowing who I’m talking about) waited with baited breath to see if anything had been slipped into their locker (not a euphemism). In the 1980’s, the pinnacle of love declaration was to receive a card from Woolworths that was so large that it had to be presented in a 3ft high cardboard envelope, adorned with a Forever Friends teddy bear and accompanied by a box of Dairy Milk. I didn't really have any sort of long term boyfriend throughout secondary school until the sixth form, when I embarked on a lifetime of serial serious relationships. After getting engaged to my mullet topped first love at 18 (I cannot tell a lie, I really wanted a ring), I then proceeded to marry not one, but two husbands, neither of which was my original unsuspecting fiancé. Despite the fact that this makes me sound like Pinner’s answer to Ulrika Jonsson, I have to stress that I have been happily married to Joe for almost twenty years, although I admit that this is not because he is skilled at buying Valentines presents.
Gifting to partners is always such a difficult challenge. When you first meet, the retail world is your oyster. Oh, the excitement of presenting them with something carefully chosen, beautifully wrapped and romantically intended. After about five years of happy wrapping, it all starts to go downhill. You’ve bought all the significant love tokens, you’ve exhausted all traditional ideas and every gift required event becomes faintly stressful. It was about eight years into our marriage that I presented Joe with a coffee table for his birthday, swiftly followed by an Anglepoise lamp. Framed prints (mostly from my never ending art wish list) became my go to.
This may sound slightly selfish from a gift giving point of view, but the truth is that he had everything he required and if he didn’t, he’d buy it himself. In fact, if I were to ask Joe now what he would like for Christmas, his answer would be ‘a Rolex’. It’s this sort of wildly aspirational and, quite frankly, wholly unacceptable response which has meant that he has received enough sporting biographies and sock three packs over the last ten years to educate and foot protect a small country.
When it comes to providing a gift list for myself, however, copious ideas are never a problem. Personally, I can never own too many handbags, clothes or jewellery items and there will always be room for more. But without a doubt, interior inspired decor items have ALWAYS been my weakness. I have a Lust List as long as my arm when it comes to my dream furnishings. A Ligne Roset Togo sofa tops the list, closely followed by a vintage marble dining table, a pair of tan leather Arne Norell Ari chairs, an 8ft high French floor mirror and, basically, any original Connor Brothers artwork. Once I have fallen for an item, it’s game over. Historically, I refused to buy a toaster until I could afford a four slice Dualit which resulted in my family having to use the grill to make toast for six years. Despite the knowledge that I am unlikely to own any of these lustful items until I reach the age of approximately 95, they’re on the List and I’ll be holding out for them.
Anyway, since love has been in the air this week, I thought it would be interesting to ask some of my Instagram favourites which interior items make it on to their very own Lust List and why, whether they be off the planet pipe dreams or High Street budget friendly. Oh, and I also asked my Instagram audience (always a winner) for what gave them ALL the feels. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the length of your own Lust Lists after this.
Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad About The House
A Vintage Persian Rug
I'm frightened to start thinking about this as it may escalate into a list that is truly frightening in scale when the truth of the matter is that I need nothing. However... I can always find space for another vintage Persian rug. We have several layered under the coffee table in the sitting room but they do get ruckled up, so one large one would be good. And then the one under the kitchen table is full of holes so it might good to have one under there as well...
But then I start to think about lighting...
Bianca Hall, French For Pineapple
Vintage Mario Bellini Camaleonda Modular Sofa, B&B Italia
I’ve been lusting after this 1970 B&B Italia Mario Bellini Camaleonda modular sofa since I first laid eyes on it in Athena Calderone’s stunning Brooklyn home, so obviously I tracked one down here in London. It ticks all the boxes for me - vintage, pale neutral velvet, a super cool shape and it looks über comfy too. I hate to think how much it would cost, but a girl can dream, right?
Sophie Robinson, Colour Expert & Presenter
The Feather Floor Light, A Modern Grand Tour
It’s on my fantasy lust list. I will never ever be able to afford or justify the price tag for a light that looks like a fantastical tree made of ostrich plumes but the very decadence if it delights me and would make me feel like a Hollywood actress.
Alex Stedman, The Frugality
Matchbox Collection Designed By Fee Greening for Polkra
After having Instagram discussions with my followers and realising I'm not the only one obsessed with collecting beautiful matchboxes it seems apt to mention these from Polkra, with a beautiful design by Fee Greening. I already have the octopus set & would love to collect them all.
Busola Evans, Associate Editor Living etc
The Colonial Chair, Ole Wanscher For Carl Hansen
I’ve been lusting over the Colonial Chair designed by Ole Wanscher for Carl Hansen. I’d have to change the name, mind, for me there’s nothing to celebrate about colonialism. The chair is understated, beautifully crafted and is a design that will stand the test of time.
In my dream scenario, I would have this oak and tan leather version. But it’s over £2,000 and not only would I have to live on toast until Christmas, I’m already anxious about the cat getting his claws into it…
Nichol Naranjo, Interior Stylist & Blogger
I absolutely love everything about the Gleaming Primrose Mirror. I love the gold frame, shape and delicate details. Although popular and often seen on Instagram, I believe it’s classic look will make it forever popular. Also, who doesn’t love a beautiful mirror to open a space and reflect light?
And The Instagram Lust List…
From top left:
Shuby Art Print; Signal Blanket (Eleanor Pritchard); FH429 Signature Chair (Carl Hansen); Beetle Chair (Gubi); Bespoke Neon (Light Up North); Aloha Fringe Chandelier (Anthropologie); Ceiling Lights (Rothschild & Bickers); CH24 Wishbone Chair (Carl Hansen); Vivien Bar Cabinet (West Elm).
So there you have it. A page filled with so much beauty that it almost brings me to tears. Well, almost. A page that could only, in fact, be improved with the addition of Bradley Cooper in on stage mode a la A Star Is Born.
Thanks so much to all my lovely contributors who took the time to think about what made them lustful. Let’s keep sharing the interior love. And don’t forget, a gift is for life, not just for Christmas. Always aim for the Dualit.