I Wear my Heart on my Walls - Part Three
Things are getting hot and steamy in the bathroom so hold on tight. Hanging wall art in the bathroom can be pretty tricky, to be honest. If you ask your local framers (I know mine all too well - poor guy) you can get glass that stops the steam affecting your precious prints and artwork. It's a bit more costly but well worth it. Then you can relax in a bubble bath knowing your pieces won't ripple.
So let's get onto my bathroom, well it cost me a small fortune for a start. It is from Aston Matthews in Islington. I like to refer to it as "The Tiffany's of Taps" they don't have January sales. Any sales in fact. That makes me like them even more. They were established in 1823. I don't know if you remember the campaign for Stella Artois with the strapline "Reassuringly Expensive" as an ad girl I find a brand with confidence attractive.
Anyway, the guys at Aston Matthews are not far off wearing tuxedos and opening the front door for you. Actually, I think they do open the front door. Whatever you do don't ask about a trade discount, it's two very dirty words they don't like. I have a clean crisp white bathroom with brick tiles and brass fittings. They have earned me enough air miles to fly around the world twice. My eyes water if I think about the total, in fact, I don't do totals when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms. I just do it, or I don't bother. Get the best is my motto even if you have to starve for the next two years like I did.
Therefore my bathroom deserves great wall art. All my art pieces have a theme. In the bathroom, it's called "get your kit off " (I just made that up). I love a vintage nude so does Helene Christensen so I'm in good company. My boys are hideously embarrassed by the nudes in our apartment. I've always been one of those people that's slightly too eager to take their clothes off. This embarrasses the boys even further. My dear friend Emily said to me "One your most endearing qualities is that every time we meet I end up seeing your knickers" I love to skinny dip and a wild swim. Shoes always feel like too much hard work and I walk barefoot in the rain as often as I can.
That leads me to my swimming photography collection. I used to swim obsessively growing up with my friend Rog. We used to travel and swim like wild things. I have a passion for the UK's swimming holes and lidos. Further afield there is a tiny natural watering hole called Nasca on San Piedro Island just off Sardinia. It's like climbing down the inside of the moon. It's a special place I go with my dear friends Bruno and Tore from Il Ghiro Bed and Breakfast Carloforte. I also like the swimming lane in The Four Seasons in Johannesburg but that makes me sound like an arse (advertising did that to me).
Luckily for me as a Creative Director, I have charmed many photographers along the way to part with their swimming images. I have also pinched a few off friends and family of their adorable children. When I talk about gallery walls (well I never stop, to be honest) I always say start with what you love. A gallery wall is not a quick fix, it's an ongoing love affair. Once you know your passion people start recommending pieces and contributing to your wall. There's a canvas by Grace Kelly I'm after and a print by Jacques Henri Lartigue, famalam, if you're listening?
So from the top, my swimming gallery wall: . East London Swimmers by Madeline Wallers. After swimming in London Fields Lido for many years I tracked Madeline down. I love the fact that she shoots real swimmers in all weathers. Paddy Eckersley shot the synchronised swimmers in LA. After shooting for LLoyds Bank I persuaded him to let me swim off with a print. I also have a very glam photograph in my hallway of a sexy chick smoking by the pool by the photographer Laurie Bartley. The old maps are places I'd love to swim. And The "butt" as the boys call it, is an original art piece by Lauri Prouvost. It's from House of Voltaire and it is two scoops of pink paint that form a ‘bottom’ as I like to call it.
I seem to be getting my kit off less and less as I get older. Although it has been hot and steamy in my bathroom quite recently but that would be telling.
Take a look at our vintage nudes in the collection as long as you're not a teenage boy.