Acclaimed for their creative pulse and prolific works, it’s safe to say that Shaun Clarkson ID is leading the way in the interiors world.
We speak to the man and visionary behind this successful practice – interior designer Shaun Clarkson, who shares his time between two very different spaces. The first is a Georgian town house situated within the hustle and bustle of London, which Shaun describes as a ‘jewel box’ away from his day-to-day madness. The second, an idyllic ‘chocolate box’ cottage in Norfolk, a celebrated space for the gathering of friends and sharing of food.
With a penchant for the avant grade and an eclectic trademark style, Shaun tells us why he believes that minimalism is out and why we should never be afraid of adding colour and extravagance to our home, which will ultimately bring us a renewed burst of life to the way we feel about design.
What does home mean to you?
Home is an escape from my day-to-day madness. It’s what we do professionally – we create these little fantasy worlds in busy urban environments away from the real world. I live in Central London but feel very much cocooned away when I’m at home – like a little jewel box. It gives me a place to think. I also have a house in Norfolk, where I go at weekends. It’s in the middle of nowhere and it’s away from the busy world – it has a big garden and it really is a sanctuary. My mother used to joke that my friends and I were playing at life a little bit, and that’s how it sometimes feels to me – it’s a chocolate box cottage and everyone is very surprised when they go there because they think it’s going to be very contemporary. I’m a little bit of a hoarder so home is also about having my ‘things’ around me. I’m a born collector so I like to create vehicles in my home to have everything that I love around me.
How would you describe your style when it comes to decorating your home?
Eclectic and personal. Eclectic is a very overused word but I live in a Georgian house in London and I have very much celebrated the house because of the proportion of the windows and the archway and the details. In the same breath, I don’t want to be living in the past so it has a contemporary twist with midcentury influences and flashes of colour. It’s quite a calm place with it’s injections of turquoise and yellow and orange in unexpected places. So, my design is definitely comfortable and homely, but at the same time it’s eclectic, which is very much my signature style anyway.
What are your three most treasured vintage furniture pieces?
1. My brass and copper plant lamp. I bought this in Paris about fifteen years ago when I was doing a job for somebody and I loved it so much, I wouldn’t let the client have it. I love decorative pieces that are sculptural but also have a function, so when this lamp lights up it adds another dimension.
2. A little musical box that my grandmother gave me when I was seven. It plays Edleweiss but it’s not out anywhere because it doesn’t quite fit in with my eclectic style.
3. A fantastic 1980s table, which I bought years ago. It’s very fragile because it has a mirror base and a glass top but it’s also very dynastic – it has huge great ball feet which are lacquered black and brass. It’s an extraordinary piece.
What would be your top interior design tip for our readers?
Be bold! Experiment with colour and don’t be scared of a pot of paint. Paint is a great way to transform a room and your life. I always think that people are scared of colour but we live in England – a grey and dull environment – and those little shots of colour in your home will really cheer you up.
What do you think is the next big interiors trend and why?
I think that we are coming out of austerity, coming away from the ‘bare lightbulb’ look. I’ve been over industrial furniture for a few years now and I’ve been trying to pull my clients out of it. If I see one more caged lightbulb, I’m gonna scream – put the shade on the lightbulb for goodness sake! I think it’s interesting how with the recession, we haven’t wanted to be seen as too extravagant but I think we’re finally coming out of that and heading towards maximalism with pink velvets and silks – I’d love to see extravagance back in interiors.
Where is your happy place in the home?
At the moment, I’m very happy with my new, high-definition projector in my cinema room, which is my new toy! I’m loving not going out and watching Netflix. It’s a really beautiful room with a lovely fire so it’s a great place to sit on a winter’s evening. I live very differently depending on the weather – I’ve got a lovely summer sitting room with a glass roof, and in the summer you really want to have the light streaming in. In the winter, I do spend more time in our kitchen that has a fire and it’s ideal for eating, sitting, chatting, having friends round. I think, as people, we’re naturally more reclusive because of the weather. I do a lot of work in Sweden and they are even worst – they’re in bed by 9pm most nights because it’s so cold! In the winter, all I want to do is shut the curtains, light the fire, cook supper and then watch a movie.
A perfect Sunday is….
My perfect Sunday would be in the cottage in Norfolk on an autumnal day. We’d cook breakfast and then lounge about all day – especially if I don’t have any deadlines or anything urgent to do. My husband likes to go off cycling so he’ll go off on his racing bike for two hours, which means I have complete solitude in bed listening to The Archers. Then I love the whole ritual of cooking Sunday lunch, the sharing of food and a walk afterwards. We’re lucky because we live in the middle of nowhere, Autumn is beautiful and the colours are amazing. There’s something melancholic about Sundays – I have a real issue about travelling anywhere on a Sunday.
For more information on Shaun Clarkson ID, visit the website here.