As founder of Astley Clarke, the incredibly chic online jewellery boutique, it’s hardly surprising that Bec Astley Clarke has an eye for detail and beautiful design. Something that can be witnessed in her stunning West London flat, where she lives with her husband Chris, son Thor (5) and daughter Delilah (1). A treasure trove of exquisite finds and family pieces, Bec’s home is not only architecturally striking (the high ceilings and huge windows are to die for), but also stylish, unique and, most importantly for a family, welcoming. In particular, we love Bec’s light-filled living room. Here she tells us all about it….
“I have an eclectic taste with pieces of modern art sitting alongside antiques and collectables from my travels, and art prints that have been passed down through generations. I just love the high ceilings and huge windows that are a main feature of my sitting room – they create such a feeling of space and light. I wanted to celebrate the amazing original features in my sitting room – the grand fireplace, Victorian mouldings, decorative ceilings and wooden floors – I then added more modern pieces such as the glass table which was from Graham & Green, the sofa from Sofa.com and the gorgeous Thornback & Peel cushions.
I adore these black and white pictures, they hang in our sitting room – they are of me as a baby (bottom right), my sister (bottom left) and my mother Ruth and grandfather Sigmund (top right). My mother and sister have always been an inspiration to me.
The wooden letters were a present from Thor’s godmother who lives in Hong Kong. You can get similar ones from Not on the High Street. The books are written by my father Charles. Ever since I can remember he has been devoted to climbing and was on the first British expedition to climb Everest, as the team’s doctor. He has spent almost every year since then exploring and climbing in the Himalayas. I even named our Woven collection after his love of climbing!
This is Como, named after one of my favourite places in the world, Lake Como in Italy. He is a cross between a Jack Russell and a Shih Tzu and I got him just as I was starting Astley Clarke – he kept me company when I was running the business from my sitting room!
The trunk was an 18th birthday present from an antiques shop in Islington. I painted the piece of art hanging above it – it was inspired by my travels.
This is one of my grandfather Sir Cyril Clarke’s butterflies. He was a wonderfully bright geneticist who found the cure for RH disease of the newborn through his studies of the genetics of butterfly wings. This beautiful blue butterfly sits in pride of place above my mantelpiece.
My grandmother was a keen political activist and good friends with Picasso; she kept an open house for the cultural and political elite including Paul Robeson, the Hollywood ten, and other refugees from McCarthyism and exiles from around the world. It was an incredibly creative environment that fuelled my imagination growing up. Picasso gave my grandmother the prints, they have been passed down and are now some of my most cherished possessions.
I just love this console table which sits in my hallway – I bought it from an antiques shop years and years ago. Above it hangs a study of a nude which I painted when I was at university.