Friday, April 12, 2024

James Andrew: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

20 questions with interior designer and ‘What is James Wearing?’ blogger James Andrew


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom.” What’s your guiding force?

Love and light.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

Thoughts become reality. Think big.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?

I loathe bad shoes. The average is my enemy.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

I miss my beloved whippets, Rupert and Nigel.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

Love. It’s our most precious commodity, but it can’t be bought (a point that seems to have been lost on popular culture these days), and it seems that we are already swapping most of our fortunes for health insurance.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank.” What’s your view on the banking crisis?

We’re living in a plutocracy floating on fiat currency. This obviously can’t go on forever. Perhaps we need a revolution.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

I loathe “ifs” and “buts”.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

I’d actually say that charity should start with oneself. One has to begin there if one wishes to help others. Beyond that, I support environmental causes. Making life sustainable is essential to all sentient beings on this planet, wherever they may be.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

It’s rude to give one’s mobile device more attention than one’s dinner date. Anyone who has made the effort to meet me in person gets my best attempt at undivided, cell-less attention.

Interior designer and blogger James Andrew
Interior designer and blogger James Andrew


If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

My favorite traveling companion, Scott McBee, would be first on the list, followed by our many wonderful friends.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Caviar with a bottle of Dom, lobster bisque, beef Wellington, and a coconut cake for desert — all served in my own dining room of course.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?



A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

A martini: Ice-cold vodka, no vermouth, straight up with olives.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

I recently attended a truly magical party given by Hutton Wilkinson, Tony Duquette’s protégé, with cocktails at his new Los Angeles house followed by dinner in the Dawnridge garden. Good friends, exceptional food and drink, all in a stunning setting. What more could one ask for? Also any party given by my friend, author and chef Alex Hitz, is a must — he always serves the most sublime cuisine and brings together a superb mix of interesting guests.


Who is the most positive person you know?

I actually surround myself with quite an amazing group of friends who share in the belief that thoughts become reality. The more positive the picture we share, the better the reality.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

My pleasures are never accompanied by guilt.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

A classic phoenix rising from up from the ashes – I’ve had my ups and downs but I always manage to get right back up again.


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

A Range Rover: Elegant, sporty, powerful, luxurious and extremely comfortable with who and what it is.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

Actually many people who only know me from my blog, What is James Wearing, are quite surprised to find me approachable, kind and caring.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

Sadly though I don’t have a mantelpiece yet, my soon-to-be-acquired country home has a rather large fireplace in the reception hall. I think I’ll place my ravishing recumbent ram on the mantel to greet my guests as they enter.


James Andrew is a New York based interior designer and the creator of the blog What is James Wearing? The Sunday Telegraph have described Andrew as “an updated David Hicks” whilst Elle Decoration UK referred to him as “our favourite blogger… possibly of all time”.



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    1. I can truly attest, traveling by Orient Express with the most charming James & Scott would be an epic delight. Always just a thought away…

    2. I know he was putting it on….but golly….James does seem a bit precious. Still, I suppose it tends to go with the turf. I know my old gamekeeper, Higgins, would not let James decorate his little cottage…..


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