“Each thing, each object, and each work of art has its own and proper place:
it’s the designer’s role to find it”.

– Tino Zervudachi –

Photo by V. Chirigos

Photo by V. Chirigos


Next time you are around the historic Palais Royal in Paris, make sure you pay a visit to Galerie Tino Zervudachi. Located in the arcades that surround the beautiful and discreet gardens, this ravishing boutique is the home of Tino Zervudachi’s collection of carefully chosen antiques and works by contemporary artists.

The galerie looks simply ravishing. As soon as you step in, you realise you are dealing with a connoisseur of understated glamour and classical modernism. Managed by the charming and knowledgeable Valerie Chirigos, the gallery is the perfect backdrop to display and enhance each piece Zervudachi has selected and curated.  “If an interior doesn’t reflect the person who lives in it, the home becomes a showpiece,” says Paris-based Zervudachi.

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The original door frames and architraves are the pièces de résistance of the galerie: beautifully crafted mouldings lined with egg-and-dart patterns painted in chic pastel colours of possibly Farrow & Ball Mouse’s Back and Cooking Apple Green.


Tino Zervudachi (pronounced “Zervuda-ki” – son of a Greek father and an Irish mother but raised in London) has always been a great source of inspiration and influence to A-Gent of Style. Named one of Architectural Digest’s 100 top decorators of 2011, he is the principal partner of the esteemed Interior Design company MHZ, the decorating triumvirate composed of David Mlinaric, Hugh Henry and himself – A-Gent of Style was privileged to meet his luminary associates a few years ago at Tissus d’Hélène in London – with offices in London, Paris and New York and an impressive elite clientèle ranging from Mick Jagger to Lord Rothschild.


I have always admired the way Zervudachi seems to effortlessly blend different styles in his chic and understated interiors that also appear practical and comfortable. What he excels at I think is creating sophisticated and beautifully composed interiors with a nuanced palette and interjections of bold accents of colours or striking pieces of modern art or antiques. Past and present find shared principles and the result is a harmonious and singular whole.


Here are some of Tino Zervudachi’s projects A-Gent of Style selected for you

You can explore the varied and incredibly chic residences crafted by Tino Zervudachi in his brilliant first monograph, Tino Zervudachi: A Portfolio and marvel at how he applies his unfaltering and flawless design to projects as diverse and all-encompassing as a Parisian château, a Swiss chalet, a zen refuge in Tokyo, a Mediterranean villa, and even a 45-meter long yacht, with a result that is never short of breath-taking. Another great addition to A-Gent of Style‘s reference books.



There are moments in life when you meet someone and you immediately know they are special. Meeting Helen Cormack was one of them. I met Helen back in 2008 at  Tissus d’Hélène, her fabric and wallpaper boutique showroom in London’s Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, when I was moving into Interior Design.

Helen is an all-round fabulous lady with rolls of experience and expertise in her field, lengths of personality and charm, yards of style (she has a rather dazzling collection of eclectic jewellery), and swatch-loads of enviable spirit of generosity (she invariably gives up her time and effort to support the trade or new kids on the block).
I remember vividly our first chat à propos de French culture (Helen was educated at London’s prestigious Lyçée français and is bilingual), Toile de Jouy (she is an 18th C French textiles enthusiast), interior decoration (or “desecration in some cases”) and of course green and blue (our favourite colour combination). After that passionate and bonding encounter, she offered me a 10-day work experience which turned into a whole year. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Since then, every time I go back to this treasure trove of decor, it is like ‘going home’.

Her beautifully decorated space has a unique, warm and welcoming atmosphere which is so representative of Helen and her equally fantastic team. Tissus d’Hélène ‘s incredible array of artisanal fabrics and wallpapers from 45-odd carefully selected companies from all around the world attracts not only budding decorators and design connoisseurs but also an impressive coterie of famed interior designers who have  followed her over the years and made Tissus one of their ‘destination’ sources of inspiration and sometimes the place for them to sell their collections in the UK.
She has made for herself a great reputation over the years and I have yet to find a recent past issue of The World of Interiors or House and Garden that does not feature at least one of her products.

I owe my chère amie a huge debt of gratitude for introducing me to the fascinating world of interior decoration and also for giving A-Gent of Style his first ‘intimate’ interview to date.


Can you tell us about your career in textiles?

In 1984, I joined a small interior decorating firm in Mayfair where I worked for about 6 years. During my time there, I realised that I was really passionate about textiles. I took a job at Percheron, one of my two favourite [fabric] showrooms, and worked for Charles Hamer for 6 years. Then around 1997, Adam Sykes offered me a job at Claremont [another high-end fabric company]. I have been so lucky to work with two people from whom I’ve learned an enormous amount, as well as working with my most of my favourite fabric collections such as Burger, Georges Le Manach and Fortuny. But then I left Claremont in November 2005

How did Tissus d’Hélène come about?

In May 2006, with tremendous help from Nina Campbell [a leading English designer], I opened Tissus d’Hélène. I have always adored prints and decided to specialise in them. Nina offered me Galbraith & Paul and Quadrille [both fabric & wallpaper companies in the States] and Tissus has evolved since then. We now have a large number of companies from the UK, France, Italy and America. I have concentrated on small printers and weavers and feel very strongly that we must do all we can to preserve artisanal trades. My latest acquisition, thanks to Adam Sykes, is the Adelphi Wallpaper Co from America, which produces the most exquisite hand-blocked wallpapers and borders. I also have a new range of hand-weaves from Bhutan, which are woven from wild silk or wild nettle; they are very beautiful indeed. Two new gorgeous hand-block collections have just arrived as well, both the creations of English designers, but printed in India

Tissus d'Hélène window inside the Design Centre

Tissus d’Hélène window inside the Design Centre, March 2013

How did you discover fabrics?



No, this is not a twisted post glamourising cruelty but a musing about this season’s fad for all things embroidered and stitched. I noticed last weekend this beautifully embellished jacket and skirt on a mannequin by the entrance of a Zara store and took this photo.

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