Today feels like the first day that we can say, without crossed fingers or one eye anxiously strafing the sky for a lumbering grey cloud, that summer is definitely on it’s way. Sunglasses are on, bare ankles are de rigueur, scarves have been stowed, and everyone seems to be dressed in a riot of pattern and colour. The whole atmosphere is very jolly indeed, and this good humour has extended to Loves, where a beautiful Portuguese house, covered in a gaudy array of azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles), has won the vote for AnOther’s social media and editorial assistant Daisy Woodward.
Tiles are to summer what shagpile carpets and flock wallpaper are to winter. While the earliest evidence of tiles date back as far as the third millennium BC, decorative versions were first used in the 13th century BC in gloriously ornate temples in Ancient Mesopotamia. First introduced to Portugal by the Moors, azulejos have been produced there without interruption for five centuries, used to decorate public edifices such as churches and government buildings, functioning as very decorative temperature control in homes and also as historical chronicles of key events in Portuguese history. At AnOther, we love tiles: from their use in Céline’s A/W13 campaign, to Good Things’ celebration of Tiles of the World, and this restaurant’s canny use of dominoes as tiles. But on this sunny day, we are dreaming of being swept away to this exquisitely panelled hideaway, where we could enjoy the view of the ceramic work from a rug in the grass.
So as we all shake ourselves awake from that reverie, we ask Woodward where she'd build this perfect tiled house, and to name her favourite piece of ceramic art.
Why did you Love this house?
I had never seen anything quite like it and thought it was amazingly idyllic. Plus I love a good tile.
Where would you ideally have it built?
On a hill in Tuscany (should probably say Portugal but I've never been there), or tucked away in the English countryside.
Who would you live there with, and why?
With my boyfriend, and then invite lots of friends to come and stay and enjoy it.
What's your idea of the perfect hideaway?
Somewhere far away from a city, surrounded by hills/forest/coastline, in a little house that's pretty and cosy.
What's your favourite view?
The view of Rome from the top of the Spanish steps.
Where do you feel most at home?
Surrounded by my family and friends, ideally in our family cottage in Wales by a crackling fire (there's a theme to these answers!).
Do you have a favourite piece of pottery or ceramic?
I love the ceramics by Quentin Bell at Charleston. They remind me of my dear dad, who was a very artistic man, and who went around painting half our house – from plates and jugs to tables and cupboards – in that style in a burst of Bloomsbury ethusiasm when we were younger. Most of it has remained intact to this day, although my mum made him paint over a giant nude he once drunkenly painted on the sitting room wall.
What are you looking forward to about summer?
Long, warm evenings, Pimms, swimming in the sea.
What was the last thing you bought?
Tickets to see Skylight with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, which I'm very excited about.