By Samantha Warner, Creative Director,

With the festive season fast approaching we spend more time in our entertaining space. If we are not cooking Turkey or making mince pies for Santa then we are preparing cocktails for the neighbours to arrive. They do say “the best party always happens in the kitchen.”

Credit - CLARA BEE
Credit – CLARA BEE

Property refurbishment company Clara Bee, do this well. Based in and covering South West London husband and wife team handle all aspects of project implementation.

Having had the pleasure to spend an evening with Claire Burrage I can see why her fun attitude and open mind certainly provide her clients with a refreshing space ready to embrace life.

What is your style inspiration?

My absolute favourite is mid century furniture, it has always been an inspiration to me, I love the way you can mix old and traditional with new and modern in every aspect of design. Everyday there are gorgeous new fabric samples that I see, exciting furniture designs, amazing lighting products and I genuinely take inspiration from everything around me.

Who is your inspiration inside and outside of the interior design world?

Inside the design world I love the Eames brothers’ work, outside it is my family and friends – keeping me focused.

Can you remember the first interior space that really made an impact on you?

The Louvre Gallery in Paris, I was 12 years old on a family holiday, and could not get over the new pyramid with the beautiful old buildings. I also fell in love with Notre Dame, I think this reflects how from an early age I loved both old and new architecture.

What do you think is trending in Interior Design at the moment?

I am still enjoying working with metallic influences, copper, bronze and rose gold, and I think these will continue being key looks for a while. These are quite rich and luxurious looks, and then conversely the Scandi pared back simplicity is also very popular. Thankfully I feel we are constantly moving towards more adventurous use of patterns and colours. I do think it is important though not to be driven by trends totally, we realise our clients are making a significant investment in time and money and their home needs to work for them and look stunning now as well as in 5 years and 10 years’ time.

Credit - CLARA BEE

Are you seeing any particular requests from your clients?

We are finding in the current economic climate that people are not moving as much as before, they are staying and adapting and improving their homes, so value for money is really important. In every single aspect of the work we do we keep a firm control on budgets.

What is your biggest design indulgence in your own home?

I love Corbusier’s work and find him fascinating, I am also passionate about Charles and Ray Eames for their beautiful chairs and Flos Lighting is a particular favourite at the moment too.

Credit - CLARA BEE
Credit - CLARA BEE

What is the best advice you can give someone redesigning the interior on a budget?

It always works to start and stay neutral with the colours, but neutral is never boring if lifted with a tasteful accent colour.  Upcycle existing pieces of furniture and accessories – anything can be done to make a home more beautiful on any budget. With the internet today, there are ideas everywhere such as on Houzz, Pinterest and Homify. Just have fun and go for it!

Who would be your dream client?

I am a woman in my forties so George Clooney, of course. Plus having his homes in the US and Italy to work with would be a dream. Seriously though every client who becomes enthused, inspired or excited about refurbishing their home is one we want to work with.

Finally, what new things do you have planned for next year?

Continuing to expand the business. I love meeting new people and seeing the enjoyment they get from transforming their homes. Clara Bee is also a committed supporter of Crisis and we want to do something in the new year where we can positively to help those who are less fortunate.

Clara Bee

020 8675 1477