My personal style signifiers are my rings, which are a mixture of old and new. One was left to me by my grandmother, another has a beautiful rough diamond and a third is gold with a rough texture from a brand called Feswa. I also wear a minimalist Jenny Sweetnam bracelet and ring set that was given to me by my friend Sam Jacob, creative director of Troubadour, who sent them as a surprise after I commented on hers.

The last thing I bought and loved was a pastel work by London-based artist Rose Davey as part of the Artist Support Pledge initiative. I had it framed, along with a photograph by Stephen J Morgan, who has worked on a few projects for Turnbull & Asser. He always manages to see the beauty in things that might normally go unnoticed, and this image depicts a shaft of evening sunlight hitting an armchair.

And on my wishlist is a sculptural form by Kate Crassweller via L’Editions. I met Kate at university and we both moved to New York. Having worked in fashion for 15 years, she now makes ceramic sculptures. I love their sensual form, delicate palette and unexpected scale.

A memorable meal was had at a market in Ferney-Voltaire, not far from the Swiss border. I was visiting friends in Geneva and decided to stop there for oysters and wine on a sunny day. The memory is ingrained with the vivid yellow of mimosa flowers, which were being sold by the armful at a nearby stall. I’m now looking into growing some at an allotment I help look after.

The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, which she wrote after her husband died in 2003. It’s an incredibly raw and honest account of loss.

I have a collection of pebbles and stones. I’m originally from west Somerset and have lived and worked in Devon and Cornwall – these jagged triangles and flat-bottomed mounds remind me of the coast. However, they still can’t quite compete with my collection of art and photography books, which are piled up in my flat, waiting for a shelving unit.

The beauty staple I’m never without is my perfume. I’ve worn Comme des Garçons’ Hinoki for years. Comme des Garçons x Monocle Hinoki EDT, £80 for 50ml,

The best gift I’ve given recently is Informal Beauty, a book of photographs by Paul Nash, one of the pioneers of modernism in Britain, to a friend who loves photography and takes his own pictures, so this seemed like fitting inspiration for him.

French with her collection of art and photography books

The best souvenirs I’ve brought home were found on a trip to Tokyo: a full-length kimono from a vintage store in the Harajuku district and a neckerchief from Okura, a store that specialises in aizome [indigo dyeing]. The kimono has become something of an ornament but the neckerchief has had plenty of wear, partnered with an oversized shirt. And, of course, I had to buy a bottle of sake at the airport. The contents have since disappeared but the box remains.

In my fridge you’ll always find my latest veg-box delivery from Oddbox – a highlight of my week. I also usually have a stash of lemons, cold water and wine – either Château Miraval rosé or a bottle of Attention Chenin Méchant from Forest Wines, my local organic-wine shop in London. Attention Chenin Méchant, £20, Château Miraval, £18.50,

French’s reading corner, with a couple of her art books and Bose headphones

The gadget I couldn’t do without is a pair of Bose wireless headphones. I’m not particularly tech-y but anything that provides music or information is essential.

The place I can’t wait to go back to is Ericeira, a fishing village about 45 minutes north of Lisbon, to surf with the teachers from Magikvanilla. It’s captured my heart – I’m even learning Portuguese now.

The last music I downloaded was “Kenaston” by Chilly Gonzales. I’ve also been downloading various Brazilian musicians, including Gilberto Gil, whose gig I was meant to go to last year.

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe is an oversized men’s Turnbull & Asser, blue and white butcher-striped shirt. I also wear our men’s pyjamas. Shirt, £250. Men’s pyjama sets, from £350

An object I would never part with is my grandfather’s metronome. He was a pianist and teacher, and it reminds me of visiting him as a child. It’s also an encouraging reminder to pick up playing again one day.

My favourite room in my house is wherever the light falls. We’ve recently moved into a new flat and evenings here have been amazing in the golden hour. I also love our entrance hall, which was very dull until local mural artist Harriet Smith got her hands on it.

My wellbeing guru is Fayaz at east London Boxing Club, who I started training with last year. I can’t wait to get back into it. Personal training from £45 an hour

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is McArthur Binion, who describes himself as a “rural modernist”. His work speaks to my love of pattern, texture, technique and textiles.

My favourite website is The Modern House for escapism and style. There are so many dream homes there.

The podcasts I’m listening to are The Great Women Artists – I’ve particularly enjoyed recent episodes with Toyin Ojih Odutola, Elizabeth Smith of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and Eleanor Nairne on Lee Krasner – and Talk Art with Russell Tovey and Robert Diament, which is another good source of art chat. I liked the episode with photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, whose work I’ve admired for a long time.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Nolita in New York for nostalgic reasons as much as anything else – I used to live there. Aesop, which sells my favourite hand soap, has a tiny store on Elizabeth Street, and I always pop into Caron Callahan to browse her latest jumpsuits. Then there’s Lovely Day: a café that serves laidback Thai fare. You’re also in easy reach of Chinatown, where Bode has opened a small boutique.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would either be a painter or a textile artist. I went to Vivian Suter’s exhibition at the Camden Art Centre last year. She paints all her work in the middle of a rainforest in Guatemala, which seems like an inspiring way to live.

I can’t get enough fresh air. I’m desperate to swim in the sea and continue my attempts at surfing.