A Carnival for the Eyes

"What's the matter?" "Oh, nothing, really, I just can't find the picture of those snake sconces. I feel like I just saw them. Somewhere. Didn't I show it to you?"

"Yes, but it wasn't in those books; it was upstairs." No, no it wasn't, but I didn't want to say that, so I just didn't lift my eyes from the book and mumbled a reply. But Mr. Blandings was right. It was upstairs and I am publishing his triumph on the internet as he said, "I hate to be so excited, but I'm not right very often."

This is the home, and the snake sconces, of Henry Wilson. Henry Wilson is quite an ordinary name for a quite extraordinary man. Wilson, who lives in London, is a photographer and artist who has a great love of India. Before I was on my snake hunt, the needlepoint pillows in this room captured my heart. Wilson designed and stitched them. Petit point. I can see five on the sofas and if you stitch you know what an incredible amount of time and care has been spent here. (If you click on the images, you can see them bigger.)

Ah. And he has stenciled the walls as well. In nearly every room are fantastic designs.

For fun, you know. Because he likes it.

I've been kicking around the idea of re-doing my tiny powder room again. Wilson's is dreamy with its silver leaf walls and stenciling. That he did himself. Really, if I hadn't found my soul mate, music would be swelling.

"Having stepped over the threshold of my small Victorian terraced house in Chelsea [my editor] summed up my surroundings fairly swiftly: 'obsessive'. For once in my all-too-slow-witted life, I came back in a flash: 'No, Rupert - focused.' But, of course, I know it is obsessive. I'd go further: it's compulsive and without an iota of intellect - it's instinctive."

Oh, Mr. Wilson, I would like to meet you.

All images World of Interiors, December 2009; photography by Henry Wilson. The title of the post is taken from the text and describes how Mr. Wilson sees India.

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