Claire Lloyd was born in Australia, and moved to London in her early twenties after two and a half years as an art director at Australian Vogue. In London she was the art director for the launch of the British edition of W magazine, and from there built a stellar career in magazines, film, video, books and property. Her first book, Sensual Living, showed readers how to create a home that stimulates all the senses. She now lives in Greece with her partner and a large number of animals.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
What is your favourite room in the house, and why?
We have just added a new room to our Greek village house. It is very small and very simple, but the difference it has made to the house is enormous. It has an exposed beam ceiling and a large window at the end that overlooks the garden. It also has two sets of double doors, which open onto a small terrace. The terrace faces towards the west so the view is across village rooftops and out to the sea. The sunsets are spectacular. The whole of the room, floors included, are painted my signature bright white. I love this room; the light is uplifting, and it is such an intimate and meditative space.
Which city or place do you find yourself always revisiting?
Sydney, where all of my family live. I think Sydney is one of the world’s great cities. I love its relaxed atmosphere, its creativity, the variety of people, the food, the beaches and the climate. I never stop revisiting and seem to be spending more and more time there.
What are your favourite three shops anywhere?
I like lovely things; however, I don’t really enjoy shopping! But I do like shops that are personal and owned by creative people, so my three favourites would be: • A.G. Hendy and Co. Home Store, created by food stylist and photographer Alastair Hendy in a restored Georgian home and shop in Hastings. He specialises in simple utilitarian products for the home. • Miller Harris, a luxury perfume house in London. Lyn Harris’s first shop, in Notting Hill, is my favourite. She is an exceptional talent and one of my life wishes is for her to design me my own personal scent. • Grandiflora in Sydney’s Potts Point – the most wonderful flower shop. The owner, Saskia Havekes, is an inspiration. Her shop always looks and smells fabulous, and I love the way she has kept it small even though her business has grown. When I am in Sydney I am lucky enough to live almost opposite, and it is always one of my first stops.
What was your first lucky break?
Getting a job at Vogue Australia at the age of twenty-one.
What would you pack for a weekend away?
As little as possible, but my camera would be a must.
Who would be your perfect travelling companion?
My partner Matthew; he is intrigued by the smallest details and has an ability to find humour in most situations.
What is your favourite scent?
Fresh jasmine flowers
Which artists do you most admire?
I admire Georgia O’Keeffe – she had such a unique style and sense of self. I particularly love her flower paintings; they’re beautifully sensual and evocative. I also love her simplicity in the way she dressed and the spaces she lived and worked in. The other person I admire is my partner Matthew Usmar Lauder. He is not only a very gifted painter but also one of the most creative people I have ever met. Everything he does is pure creativity.