MAGIC IS IN THE DOING - CREATING NURTURING SPACES - Carla Coulson
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MAGIC IS IN THE DOING – CREATING NURTURING SPACES

claire lloyd, carla coulson, my greek island home, white interior, nurturing spaces, lesvos Dear Friends,

What a joy it is to introduce the first in a series of interviews titled Magic is in the Doing  with women who have followed their passion to make it an essential part of their life. I have a strong belief when you are passionate about something and take baby steps towards it each day with inspired action you eventually create magic!!

And that is exactly what Claire Lloyd has done. Claire  is a dear friend of mine and her passion for interiors has been with her since she was a little girl. She found a way to incorporate her love for interiors whilst working as an art director in magazines in London by slowly buying one property at a time,  feeding this love of beauty and creativity whilst creating a nurturing space.

Her passion for interiors kept calling her and over the years she has created beautiful apartments and homes in London, Greece and Sydney whilst still working at her ‘day job’.

I’m so honoured to have Claire share her story about how she wove this love of beauty into her life.

  1. How did your love for interiors start? 

As a young child I remember laying in bed at my grandmother’s home, looking up at the ceiling and being in awe of the beauty of the ornate cornicing and ceiling rose. I was extremely aware of the morning light and how it revealed interesting details. I would often imagine turning this image upside down in my head so the ceiling became the floor. I would step over the doorway as if it was not an obstacle and imagine different rooms. I was led by my imagination and furnish each room simply in my head. I would find peace and calmness in what I created. Perhaps this was the start for me.

  1. Did you have someone or something that inspired you to buy your first apartment and renovate it? 

The first apartment I bought was in London on the New Kings Road. I had been living in London a few years and was working for The World of Interiors magazine, a dream job and one that truly inspired me on many levels. The flat was very small but completely perfect for my life at that time.

When I first arrived in London a friend had lent me her flat until I got on my feet. I went on to rent the flat and then when I could see I was not returning to Australia I bought it from her. It was a gift having a place to make my very own. My new found freedom in London was my inspiration and the many influences of my job led me to making it a beautiful space.

Not long after that, on a trip to Sydney I decided to buy a small apartment, a little place to retreat to on my yearly visits. My sister Monica was instrumental in my purchase as she took me to view the small apartment a few days before my return to London. On entering the property, I knew it had to be mine.

The decor didn’t interest me it was the light and feeling of the space that grabbed my imagination. There was one other factor too. When I was a child we would visit my grandparents regularly. I must have been no more than 6 years of age and each time we would drive up into Wylde Street in Potts Point this newly created building would catch my eye, I was fascinated by it.  It was a new building and very different to the others that surrounded it, it had something special about it and I wanted to live there. So you can imagine my surprise when this was the building my sister took me to. This was to be my first flat in Australia. I quickly set about making a space I would love.

claire lloyd, martyn thompson, white interior, magic is in the doing, inspiring people, white on white,

Photo copyright Martyn Thompson 

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Photo copyright Martyn Thompson 

  1. I love that you continued to work as an art director and indulged your passion for interiors at the same time. What was the benefit of this and how did it support your creativity?

I really don’t think one thing defines your creativity. I am a great believer in the bigger picture. It is your picture and you can paint it in any way that suits you. For me everything I do is visual, it’s my language. I don’t feel there are boundaries it’s just a natural flow and the more you flow the more you create. All areas of creativity support one another in some way and add another layer to each other.

  1. Creating an interior for yourself I imagine is a vastly different process to doing it for someone one else. What has been some of the joys of creating your nurturing spaces in London, Greece and Sydney and how do you adapt your style? 

I have a very definite vision when it comes to my nurturing spaces, simple but clear. I experience a huge amount of joy finding a space I love and breathing fresh energy into them. My style is constant no matter where I am. I use the building, the form and the environment as a guide. I like the space to have an authentic,  to create a tranquil light filled home that gives enjoyment and pleasure. I love a blank canvas and making something cosy, understated and beautiful. Simply … I LOVE beauty and making anything look beautiful.

In Greece the look is much more rustic. We live in an authentic Greek village so I felt the house needed to reflect that authenticity. Matthew my partner, an artist, is great at finding old pieces of furniture and other bits and pieces. He can sniff out all sorts of things and because he is extremely creative he can turn his hand to anything even restoration. Matthew builds furniture for us. He built our bed based the design on the traditional Greek daybed. He white washed it and its fabulous.

White is always my colour of choice, however here on the island I have introduced turquoise for doors and shutters. It looks fantastic against the white and pings when hit by the Greek sunlight. The inspiration for this colour came from the house itself. When we bought the house it was as full with the previous owner’s belongings, some of which Matthew restored so they could be incorporated into the new simpler look. The whole process was fun.

In London the space is less eclectic than Greece and much more minimal. The apartment is large and spread over 3 floors.  Living in London I felt the need for light and clarity was essential. The building is late Georgian so the ceilings are high, there are original fireplaces and there are lovely cornicing details. I wanted to keep the large spaces simple using art and natural fabrics and layering textures to cosy it up.

Sydney is a small apartment with fabulous views and beautiful natural light. Being located in a city the importance again was to create simplicity and serenity. I used Australian cherry wood for the kitchen and all the cupboards, it sits really well with white. To emphasise the dazzling light, because nothing is ever too bright for me, I had a white, high gloss dance floor laid. It really did the trick,  sometimes you almost need to reach for your sunglasses.

Claire lloyd, bresic whitney, white, nurturing spaces, interior sydney, potts point, interior stylist,

Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

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Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

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Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

  1. You are a renaissance woman and are the author of Sensual Living, photographed and wrote My Greek Island Home, I believe all of us are creative, what would you say to someone who wants to try more than one creative art or blend them like you have?

Just do it! Listen to yourself and what you want to do and what makes you feel happy and alive and focus on that. Also give yourself space to create and let it flow naturally.

  1. In what ways have you always said YES to yourself? 

I like to think YES is a word I use often. YES, has taken me far, sometimes it’s been scary but I have never regretted saying it.

It took me to London led me to taking on jobs I felt were far beyond my ability. It took me to Greece to experience a new life which taught me so very much about living authentically.  I really hope there will be a mountain of YES’S ahead of me and I never stop saying YES.

Huge thanks to Claire for sharing her beautiful story, eye and passion for creating spaces. You can follow Claire on Instagram HERE

Light and love

Carla x

PS: One of Claire’s beautiful properties is on the market in Potts Point Sydney via Bresic and Whitney and you can find more out HERE

 

6 Comments
  • Claire Drahn

    Claire has inspired this Claire!!
    Thank you,Carla & Claire!

    April 14, 2019 at 8:39 am
  • Love everything about this. LOVE.

    April 14, 2019 at 10:59 am
  • I love this Carla! What beautiful interiors…I need more white, clean space in my life and this is so inspiring!

    April 14, 2019 at 3:14 pm