In this installment of our Hh Interviews series, meet Claire Totman, the creative marvel behind the eponymous Claire Totman Designs, a Surrey based architecture, interior design and project management studio.
Just a glance at the Claire Totman Designs Before & After gallery will have you in awe; the transformations are astounding and stunning in equal measure. As Claire herself says, “I will never tire of breathing new life into a property and seeing my designs come to life. There is something so magical about taking a client on the journey from beginning to end. From the initial concept and gaining planning permission, to designing the interior fit out and project managing the build.”
This passion shows in every facet of the work of Claire and her team as they take on projects that they know will benefit from their design-led expertise. Working with the mission of enhancing the home occupiers’ experience and creating a home that feels intuitive, they work to make the most of light and flow, maximize the flexibility of spaces and focus on the materiality of the building both externally and internally.
We were thrilled when Claire agreed to sit down with us and talk about her work, career and what inspires her on and off site….
Introduce yourself and what you do
Hi, I’m Claire, founder of Claire Totman Designs. We are an architecture, interior design and project management studio working with residential clients in Surrey.
Is this what you always saw yourself doing?
Yes, my mum said I was born drawing! I have only ever wanted to design beautiful homes and interiors. My dolls house growing up was a huge part of my life and I used to spend hours on end tending to each room. I have never imagined myself doing anything else. I am very lucky to be in this position.
You’re a keen interiors lover, how would you describe your design style?
I would describe my style as elegant, classic and timeless. Traditional with a contemporary twist!
Has your style changed through your career?
My style has always been more traditional and timeless, it’s never been super contemporary but over the years I have definitely developed more of a love for antiques and pops of colour.
What are your biggest interior style principles?
My biggest interior style principles are proportion, scale, balance and details. I am a sucker for details!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from visiting beautiful hotels and restaurants but it’s mainly from Instagram. There are so many wonderful accounts that share the most beautiful designs.
What’s your trend prediction for interiors over the next year?
We are definitely seeing more colour on the interior design side, no more grey! And the architectural side, clients are definitely more into a traditional and classic design rather than something more contemporary. They want what will stand the test of time and that’s why we pay a premium for a period property, the design is timeless.
What are your favourite/most treasured interiors pieces?
My most treasured interior pieces in my own home are my blue and white Ginger jars that were my Grandma’s and also a lot of antique artwork that was also hers. I am so glad my mum kept so much.
What is your go-to podcast?
I love listening to ‘The Scummy Mummies’ and ‘My Therapist Ghosted Me’ podcasts.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading (well, listening to the audio book) of Spare.
What current Hudson Home products do you love?
I have quite a few pieces from Hudson Home in my own home but I have been swooning over the beautiful brass salt and pepper mills. So Gorgeous!
Name 3 Hudson Home products you would feature in an upcoming project?
I would love to feature the brass salt and pepper mills now I have my new kitchen! Second up would be the framed floral linen pictures for our new bedroom and lastly would be a couple of Amelia Flora natural cushion.
What can't you live without?
I couldn’t live without my phone, hot bubble baths and chocolate!
What's next for you and your business?
We have lots of existing projects coming up. We have a few in planning at the moment, some due out soon, some at the design stage and some that we’re on site on. We also have a few photo shoots coming up at recently completed projects.
You can find Claire here:
Photography by Sarah Griggs @peas.in.my.pod