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Naomi Astley Clarke

On The Sofa With Naomi Astley Clarke

In this exclusive interview with Interior Designer Naomi, we get a glimpse into her evolving design style and explore why George Smith furniture is her go-to choice.

    Q1. Hi Naomi, what’s the first thing you do when starting a new project?
    It all starts with the brief; get this right, and you’re on your way to a successful project. You can’t just listen to a brief – you have to actually “hear” it. Pushing clients at an early stage to the edge of their comfort zone, but being mindful of their overall vision and wishes. I think about integrating their existing loves and passions, from art and knick-knacks and how their children’s sports kit is going to be stored.

    Everything that I create is bespoke to a client – from a shoe closet being tailored to their exact shoe size, to the layout of their kitchen pantry. In order to do this, you have to get to know your clients well.

    Q2. How have your design style and preferences evolved over the years?
    It’s all about bespoke design which allows you to make the most of the space whilst incorporating personal touches and details. Bespoke furniture can be designed to introduce specialist finishes and materials which can totally lift a scheme, suit a specific aesthetic and be practical at the same time.

    Bespoke pieces are comparatively expensive. However, never underestimate the aesthetic and functional value of a proper fit and, as ever with handmade items, the finish and longevity will far outlive that of high street options.
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Naomi Astley Clarke, Photographer Paul Massey
    Q3. How do you ensure your designs are functional without compromising the aesthetic appeal?
    Ultimately, you want to fill homes with positive energy, and that will shine through in your work and designs. I always try to follow my instincts, listen to my clients’ needs and wishes, be creative, do my research and be meticulous in my planning. I draw my inspiration from homes, shops, films and magazines and find myself constantly thinking about spaces, how they work and what you can and can’t unsee. It never stops!
    Q4. Please can you tell us about one of your latest projects in which you used George Smith furniture?
    I recently carried out the full interior design and decoration of a triplex penthouse in Chelsea. The style is very bold and glamorous, with a mirrored staircase echoing Coco Chanel’s Parisienne atelier, a preserved moss wall, and bespoke hand-painted wall murals. There are endless elements of vibrancy and a joie de vivre that embody the generous and fun nature of the clients themselves. A sofa from George Smith perfectly complements the elegant and timeless space.

    Q5. What advice would you give to aspiring interior designers about blending comfort and style when selecting furniture?
    A blend of comfort and style is essential in any project. Before selecting furniture and accessories, define your client’s style and the overall look of the house. Understanding their tastes and preferences will help you choose the best pieces. Also consider your clients’ lifestyle – this will ensure comfort, functionality and longevity.
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Naomi Astley Clarke, Photographer Paul Massey
    Q6. What made George Smith furniture appealing to you, and how does it fit into your design philosophy?
    I love mixing fine British craftship with influences from around the world to create a look our clients love, and George Smith is the epitome of classic English design. George Smith is beautiful and timeless, and the level of craftship that goes into the furniture from start to finish is unparalleled. Each item is built to last and made using the best responsibly sourced materials.

    Q7. Looking ahead, how do you see your collaboration with George Smith furniture evolving?
    George Smith is a trusted supplier and one I always go to for my interior design projects. I’m looking forward to developing our relationship even further and working on unique homes with bespoke pieces. There is something wonderful about knowing you have created something that only exists in that one place.
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Naomi Astley Clarke, Photographer Paul Massey
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George Smith's cotton velvet range photographed by Karl George Studio

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