Valiant Home Tours: Samuel Clarke

Like everyone, our team at Valiant are spending a lot of time at home right now.

From converted warehouses to inner city apartments and family homes, we're all enjoying our little havens a little differently in the crazy world of 2020.

And just like MTV Cribs, Vogue Living and Apartment Therapy before us, we thought it would be the perfect time to invite you over (virtually of course!) and give you a tour. Read on to discover our tips on creating a comfortable and stylish home, how to pick the right furniture for your space and how to stay creative when you're working in a whole new way.

Our first home belongs to Samuel Clarke, Valiant’s Creative Director and Head of Procurement.

Introduce your space

I live in Flemington, Melbourne, in an old refrigeration warehouse that has been cleverly converted into 9 apartments. The apartments share a terra-cotta clad internal courtyard (very Melrose Place). I live in a two level apartment with large open plan living, dining, kitchen, and a formal living room on the ground floor, and three bedrooms, bathroom, laundry and balcony on the top floor.

What do you love most about your space?

I love the open plan living and the original warehouse windows - they provide so much light and add so much character to the space! Oh, and the kitchen! To begin with, the original 90s laminate cabinetry of the kitchen scared me. But by working with the colours and integrating them into the overall colour scheme, it’s become a real feature of the space. I changed the cabinetry handles from a chrome to a matte black, painted the backsplash (originally mustard yellow!) and removed the original fridge casing for a more open, functional space.

Which room is your favourite and why?

I love the open plan living and dining space downstairs. I sourced a vintage 12-seater Art Deco dining table that I restored and painted. It is perfect for dinner parties and I love how the Art Deco style of the table contrasts against the industrial bones of the room.

I think the bathroom comes a close second! Great spot for a soak and a think

Favourite spot to get creative?

Rarely in one place! I tend to move around a lot when I’m working from home. From my desk to the kitchen island, to my favourite leather armchair and the balcony… I think I need the constant shake up of my environment to keep the creativity flowing. There are usually a few trips to the fridge involved, too.

How do you choose your furniture? What do you look for?

When choosing furniture, I look at the suitability of scale, material, colour and style. A successful furnishing scheme usually relies on how these factors speak to each other to tie the overall look together. A common misconception is that all furniture pieces need to ‘match’ – they don’t! They just need to have at least one of these factors in common to tie them in and keep them in play.

My favourite schemes are those with unexpected but surprisingly delightful furniture pairings. In my own home, I had some of the old warehouse character that I could play with, and I love to juxtapose the old with the new.

Which piece of furniture could you not live without?

For a hopeless collector, this is a very hard question to answer. I love lamps, and in particular, my vintage 1990s Natuzzi Salotti floor lamp in the living room.

When renting, what is the best thing you can do to make a place your own?

Figure out what you can change, what you can disguise and what you just have to work with, and take your lead from there. With permission, giving the interior a fresh coat of neutral paint will create a better canvas to add your own personal touch through furniture and styling.

All images credited to Courtney King.

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