Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

LIVING BY DESIGN: Chester Square, London 1970's

A Guest Bedroom - Tatami matting, an Indian dhurrie, flat pouf and bed cover covered in hand-blocked Indian fabric.   A brown leather and chrome Eames chair, a Tibetan altar atop a simple trestle table with chrome legs and a red lacquered John Stefanidis chest of drawers by the bed. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Contemporary Neoclassicism is a relief  from the modernism of the International School and its followers, the genius Corbusier and his poor imitators.
Above: Jacquelin T. Robertson's New Albany Country Club in Ohio, USA - Neoclassicism is interpreted with dignity.
Bomber Command Memorial - London.  The bombing of Dresden remains controversial - brave and valiant men nevertheless - they have a new monument, if only its colonnade [above] was not reminiscent of a Fellini movie. Liam O'Connor Architects won the competition to design the memorial...described by Rowan Moore in The Observer, June 2012 as 'amnesiac classical'.
Memorial Day 2012

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace

The rather vivid and obvious interior is better than being too bland, and such is the quality of The Queen's Collection shown that it matters little. but the Portico, designed by John Simpson & Partners, [above] is worthy of a provincial temple in deepest Thrace [note the damp creeping up the inelegant columns].
Quinlan Terry is a very successful architect. He is highly regarded, as we know, by the Prince of Wales. The Chelsea Infirmary, London [above]is one of his latest buildings and compares abysmally with Christopher Wren's Royal Hospital...the Chelsea Pensioners deserve better. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

BOOKS: Sei Shōnagon - The Pillow Book [966 -1017]

...How to dress when in doubt:

Gathered trousers - Dark violet. Spring-shoot green.
In summer, lavender. On very hot days, trousers in the lapis lazuli blue of summer insects give a sense of coolness.

Hunting costumes - Clove-tan.  Soft white silk.  Red-purple weave.  Pine-leaf green.  Cherry blossom. Willow.  Also, green wisteria.
Men wear all manner of colours.

Shifts - White. For daytime formal wear, one should wear a more relaxed, scarlet unlined version of the akome gown.  Still, white is always particularly good.
I cannot bear people who wear a white shift that's slightly yellowed. Some people wear gloss-yellow robes, but I nevertheless prefer white.

Fan ribs - This made from the wood of the hō tree.  The colour should be red, violet or green.

Cypress fans - Undecorated, or painted in the Chinese style. 

Extract taken from : from Sei Shōnagon - The Pillow Book 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

FABRICS: Yellows

Painted walls based on JS fabric 'Bamboo' from the Abigail Collection in Cream/Gold
John Stefanidis Fabrics available from:

LondonUK - Tissus d'Helene
Showroom: Chelsea HarbourLondonSW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

MiamiUSA - Monica James
Showroom: 40 NE 40th StreetMiamiFL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222

Los AngelesUSA – Harbinger
Showroom: 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West HollywoodCA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


A very long marble shelf, used adjacent to a dining room, a brass socket above it for a light - a JS [John Stefanidis] fan-pleated shade on a brass column light, three glass storm lanterns and a JS silver pot with freshly picked garden flowers. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Plants contained in pots can be unhappy 
or they bloom contentedly.
Patmos, Greece

Bhubaneswar, India 
Cock Crow Farm, Dorset [John Stefanidis Living by Design]

Friday, 12 July 2013

POETRY: Poems of the Late T'ang

High Dike
I am a woman of Heng-t’ang.
My crimson silks are full of the scent of cassia.
A black cloud binds up a topknot for my head,
The full moon shapes me a pearl for my ear.
        A breeze rises in the lotus.
        On the banks of the river, spring.
        Here on High Dike
        I stop the men from the north.
        You shall eat carp’s tails,
        I shall eat monkey’s lips.
Don’t point towards Hsiang-yang,
By the green shores are few returning sails.
Today we blossom with the reeds,
Tomorrow with the maple grow old. 
Li Ho

Monday, 8 July 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

ARCHITECTURE/BOOKS: The Valley of Mud Brick Architecture

I shall regret forever not visiting the Hadramut region in what is now turbulent South Yemen.

My mother bought this Zanzibar chest in the Hadramut - now in my Greek house on Patmos in the Dodecanese.

The 16th Century city of Shibam

Setting the newly made bricks on edge to dry. Stacking the bricks in five layers to complete the drying process

The entirely whitewashed mosque Ma'ruf just outside Shibam
Variations on the Hadrami khalfdah screen, and detail drawings

Al Jami mosque, looking onto the eastern entrance

Ba Alawi Mosque - detail of a corner column

The above photographs taken from The Valley of Mud Brick Architecture: Shibam, Tarim and Wadi Hadramut by Salma Samar Damluji

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

POETRY: T.S. Eliot

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.....

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Extracts from: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock