Welcome back to our interior spotlight series, “4 Corners Of My Home”. This week we chat to Clare Darby, the lady being the Instagram account @spatownhome.
The Kitchen Corner
I love this corner both aesthetically and emotionally! It’s one of the most recent room renovations we’ve done, so it reflects my latest tastes probably – along with my buying habits. You’ll see a HUGE range of brands in here, I’m not much of a loyalist. I like to mix some vintage (like the pouffe here, bought from ebay) and the 1970s coffee pot (bought @vintagehomeshow) with plenty of new. For the new bits, I try to mix some more luxury things (like the Rocket St. George round cushion and @telegramme paper co ‘be excellent’ print) with some more budget choices like the poundland sunburst mirror.
Hopefully, that gives a more expensive vibe without breaking the bank. You’re never far away from an Ikea piece in our home- this chair, lamp and stool being used as a side table are all prime examples (because I’m very short so need a stool to reach the top cupboards). I love that from this seat, I can look at the rest of the kitchen – it’s a Howdens Kitchen put in last year, and it works so well for us.
This place has emotional importance because it’s where I used to sit in the early days of motherhood when I was suffering from PND, taking some deep breaths once Mr D had come home from work and I could take a break for a while. I have a few @every_nook_candles because Emma makes the most heavenly scents which fill the room, so I’d light one of those and try to relax!
The Green Dining Room
We painted the dining room last Summer, at the same time as having some built-in cupboards and shelves put in by The Warwick Furniture Co. With a 3-year-old in residence, I try really hard to get the balance right between letting him having all manner of plastic tat to play with, but not having it take over our home. That means… STORAGE. We have some epic @mustardmade lockers (not pictured here) – but we still needed more.
So, we decided to change out our Ikea bookcases for these built-in units which used every inch of space to give us bigger cupboards without feeling like something was taking over the space. We already had the dark green wall in the Little Green Paint Company’s ‘Olive colour’, so I wanted something which would go with that but was lighter. We opted for ‘Citrine’ also by Little Greene, which was a major gamble for me because everyone else thought I was mad painting the room in a mushy-pea colour, but we LOVE it.
It’s rich and fun and so unusual. Again, we have a mix of vintage and new in here – the sideboard was one of our first purchases for this house, from the gorgeous @mustardvintage. You can see here that I do love bits and bobs (my Mum describes it as ‘busy’), lots of things here from Oliver Bonas which is one of my ultimate fave homeware brands, a fair bit of @orlakiely and then loads of things from lots of different places. The shelves are changed around all the time so I never get bored.
I really liked the idea of having plates on the wall when we moved in nearly 5 years ago but wanted a more modern twist – so we stuck with plain white from Ikea and they’ve stood the test of time. Unlike a lot of dining rooms, ours is used every single day (it’s open plan with the lounge) and it gets a LOT of use. I think our colourful, mix and match style is actually very forgiving to wear and tear and toddler mayhem!
The Yellow Fireplace
We redecorated one of the two double bedrooms on our first floor when we had the loft converted because we had to take a bit out of the room to put the stairs in. The room had a chimney breast but no fireplace, so even though it’s a 1930s house, we decided to buy a Victorian fireplace to add a feature. 1930s fireplaces are generally tiled and we didn’t have the time or energy to bother with that! So I got this one from Ebay and painted it in English Primrose by @valsparpaintuk. We needed a fake hearth so I found some tiles, ordered a piece of thick plywood which was exactly the size of the tiles plus a little bit for grout, and then tiled it – I didn’t fancy learning how to cut tiles!
This room has had a LOT of use in the past year because it’s now my office 4 days a week and Mr D’s too, so it’s a good job it’s a real ray of sunshine. The room is home to a rainbow of colours and a dreamy mix of prints, many from small businesses. The big poster here is from @dorothy_UK and is a colour spectrum of song. The @nanasofanarchy ‘to the disco’ print is one of my favourites from SUCH a cool brand, and the fireplace pic is Eleanor Bowmer. There is a lovely mix of Sainsbury’s home, Ikea, Flyng Tiger and Berylune as well as loads more- all finished off with the perfect ‘work candle’ by Every Nook Candles.
The Loft Room
We had the loft converted in Spring 2019 and I’m very pleased to say that it really feels properly like part of the house – not an add-on part. We added a big dormer and changed the hip roof to a gable end (which means turning the slanty roof as you look at the house into one which goes straight up) because we wanted a big space that was usable and didn’t have millions of weird angles. I have a LOT of clothes!
I had a vision of the room in my head for ages, but it’s the first time I’ve ever been trying to design a space that didn’t actually exist yet so I was a bit anxious about how it would all turn out! I started with the sage green walls (‘secret retreat’ by Valspar and then we added the pink. ‘Calamine’ by Farrow & Ball. It looked a bit like your average nan’s lounge. I was a bit bothered! But when we started getting in all the hints of orange, mustard and black it became less nan-like and closer to my dream bedroom. The finishing touch was the stained glass, which was made for us and we both adore.
We have a daily fight about the number of cushions on the bed and that orange rocking chair still smells of old men and damp despite having been re-upholstered. But I absolutely love sleep and this is my haven, away from noise and work and fish fingers and washing.
Follow Clare on the gram at @spatownhome for more interiors inspiration or see more from our interiors
spotlight series below.