George Clarke on hoarding, favorite places to shop and unconventional design advice


TV presenter George Clarke is well known on our screens for creating Amazing Spaces. He travels the country in search of inspiring people who transform the most unlikely places into an incredible place to live, work and play.

An architect by trade, George was born in Sunderland in 1974 and grew up in nearby Washington. He studied architecture at Newcastle University and University College London and has since written several books on housing and property.

Although he’s now a regular on our screens, George Clarke’s presenting career began almost by accident, when he was asked to do a screen test for Channel 5’s Build A New Life In The Country. He ended up presenting two more real estate shows for Channel 5 before joining Channel 4 in 2008.

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After spending years advising hundreds of people on property and architecture, including the design of new homes in Smiths Dock, North Shields, he now lives in a house in London’s Notting Hill with his wife , Katie.

How is George Clarke’s house?

George Clarke is a well-known fan of Georgian homes, particularly the work of Sir John Soane, but he actually lives in a much younger property than this particular era.

George says: “I think everyone thinks I live in a Georgian house or a grand Victorian house, but I actually live in a 1960s house in London and I love it.

“It has very simple clean lines, its own elegance but it’s also very comfortable. You know when people come to my house they say it’s very simple as soon as you walk in.

“I have a lovely very warm English oak cladding inside and it feels like a very comfortable and warm house so even though it’s modern from the 60s it’s very simple so you can have a bit of Georgian but you can also have a bit of 1960s mid-century modern – that’s how eclectic I can be!

“I like this kind of mid-century modern look, the Conrad look, contemporary but still very simple, the Californian look of the 1950s and 1960s.

“Actually, I’m a real fan of 1960s English design, but only really good stuff because we built awful, awful stuff in the 1960s!”

Decorating tips from George Clarke

1. Declutter and have less stuff

“Decluttering is something I do a lot,” he said Beautiful house in a recent interview. “Sometimes I find that I’m hoarding stuff and the house is too busy. I’ll literally spend an entire day going through things I don’t like and it feels good when we’ve done that. .”

George’s advice is not to keep things you don’t really need “just because they might come in handy one day”.

2. Don’t buy cheap things

“When it comes to buying things, I don’t really buy cheap things because they become disposable.” His advice is to buy things that will last a lifetime and don’t buy things that cost peanuts to save money – because they probably won’t last long anyway.

“Whenever I buy furniture, I always like to buy the originals because I don’t really like promoting cheaper copies,” he told House Beautiful. His best bargain was an Eames chair which he paid for £75 second-hand – originals usually cost thousands.

3. Empty your kitchen

George says if you keep your counters clean it can make your kitchen look huge. Get rid of fridge magnets and scraps of paper. Keep a chart for essential scraps of paper.

And if you throw away the chipped mugs and wooden spoons you don’t use instead of saving them for a rainy day, you might even have room in your cupboards. The TV presenter recommends using baskets, bins or cans to supply the contents of the kitchen in types of products.

4. Make a space do more than one thing

“We shouldn’t design a space to do one thing but to do three or four different things,” he said. real houses. “It’s really challenging from a design perspective, but when you get it right it’s amazing.”

At a time when kitchen tables have become desks and closets have become desks for so many people, this is a particularly useful tip.

5. Create a retreat in your home

George advises transforming a space from a retreat home, using fabrics, textures and colors that you love. He advises making the most of every nook and cranny to do this.

He said: “Creating nooks and crannies is kind of what you have to do if you think about it, no matter how big your house or flat is, I can guarantee you I bet there’s a whole small space or corner somewhere that isn’t very good in terms of looking underused or underdesigned if you like its potential.

“I can’t think of many homes I’ve been in where every square inch has been used to its maximum potential, I really can’t.

“I can probably vouch for almost every house I’ve thought yes that’s good that’s good that’s good but why isn’t that corner working hard enough? That space under the stairs that’s full of bric-a-brac that you never get into!I can guarantee that there is always somewhere you can find.

“Some people might think it’s crazy to create a circular space, because a circular space can be more difficult to build than square spaces, because most building materials support the design of this square. There is many reasons why you shouldn’t create a round space in a square room but when you have done it there are many reasons why the benefits should however probably outweigh the reasons why you shouldn’t not do it.”

6. George Clarke’s advice on where to shop

Buy directly from manufacturers, he says. Follow the businesses on Instagram you like and get straight to the things you want to buy.

“I’m really lucky in my job because I visit a lot of factories and see people doing great things.”

George Clarke’s favorite craft producers include:

  • Feldspar – ‘they make beautiful teacups and teapots’
  • Havelock – ‘where I got all my salad bowls’
  • Blenheim Forge – ‘they make the finest knives’

Amazing Spaces by George Clarke is on Channel 4 on Sundays at 5 p.m.

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