20 Questions With Nina Campbell

The legendary designer offers a peek into her world.

August 17, 2023
Malu Edwards

From decorator-in-training at Colefax & Fowler to designer of choice for rock stars and royalty to international brand name, Nina Campbell is nothing short of an interiors icon. With a brand-new book under her belt (A House in Maine, Rizzoli), she joins contributing editor Malu Edwards for the latest installment of our tastemaker Q&A series.

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1. Favorite city to work in? London.

2. Favorite city to rest in? Also London! (I adore the theatre, music, museums…)

3. A book you’ve read more than once? Babar!

4. Favorite series to stream? The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

5. Favorite design époque? Late 18th and early 19th centuries.

6. Your five dream dinner party guests, living or dead? Jacques Tati, Bill Bryson, P.G. Wodehouse, Diana Vreeland, and Christiane Amanpour.

7. Favorite poet, painter, and composer? John Betjeman, David Hockney, and Beethoven.

8. Favorite gift you’ve ever received? My Shih Tzu, Archie.

9. Favorite flower? Lily of the valley.

10. Favorite scent? Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle.

11. Favorite color? All of them!

12. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be? “Gilver”—less yellow than gold, less cold than silver.

13. Your biggest personal achievement? My three children.

14. Your biggest professional achievement? That I’m still working all over the world and loving it!

15. Three words your closest friends would use to describe you? Reliable, fun, talented.

16. Three words your frenemies would use to describe you? Too organized, bossy…unpredictable!

17. If you could be any animal, which would you be and why? My dog, so I could be as well cared for as he is by me.

18. What kind of tree would you be? A large oak tree, because I’d want to have plenty of space for resting and entertaining beneath my branches.

19. The best design advice you’ve ever been given? John Fowler told me, “Buy what pleases your eye, and when it ceases to do so, you can get rid of it!” He also told me, “Never complete a room on paper—always leave yourself room to add that spark.”

20. Words to live by? Think positive!

This story originally appeared in volume 8 of FREDERIC. Click to subscribe!