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Finally after three months away I am back on My Greek Island Home. The weather here is extraordinary, piercing blue skies, warm sunshine and blossom decorating all the fruit and nut trees as far as the eye can see. I have been in my hometown of Sydney and my work town London and enjoyed everything about both of them but there is nothing better than returning to the place that touches my soul, the Greek island of Lesvos. The last three months have flown by and have been filled with family, friends, sunshine, fires and rain. I have been a little slack with my posts to say the least so forgive me for that. Hopefully I will get myself back on track and share with you the things that make my heart sing. In April my beautiful book, My Greek Island Home, is to be launched in the UK by my publishers Clearview Books. There will be more info on that later. I have a new instagram account, mygreekislandhome where you can find images by the day or sometimes by the hour of my life here on this fab Greek island. We continue to rescue and re-home dogs and Matthew with the assistance of Nikki Tibbles in London re-homed five before he left. Three dogs went the UK and two to Chicago. Since his return he has taken in a tiny puppy that had been dumped in the village, cowering, cold and staving.  Whilst in Sydney I came across this great old-fashioned milk bar in the suburb of Summer Hill. My niece, Hannah and I went clutching our cameras; there were so many photo opportunities. We met with the owner a wonderful Greek man who has lived in Australia most of his adult life. I had the opportunity to speak with him using my limited Greek, he seemed happy enough, allowing me to butcher his mother tongue. Below are some of the images I took on the day.

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There are always surprises behind the closed village doors. My daily dog walking takes me past many uninhabited and also crumbling houses, they are thought provoking.  Past lives stir my imagination and my curiosity pushes me towards any small opening for a peek. Just a glimpse is enough, but the opportunity to step over the threshold is never turned down. This particular house was a gem it had been left almost untouched. It was a friends mothers house and we were invited to tread the grapes from their annual harvest. They said it was important that we came as they wanted the grapes to be trodden by couples who loved each other. This would add to the quality of the wine. Mmmm……… hope we didn’t let the side down. The grapes were in plastic baby baths in the garden and Matthew and I took off our shoes, washed our feet and started treading. I was taking photos at the same time so relied on Matthew to hold me upright. The sensation of treading grapes is a rather wonderful one. I loved the feeling of the soft skins between my toes and the feeling of determination I  took on to squish every single grape to liquid. I took my camera around the house and loved the way it had remained after the death of my friends mother. The only real difference were the bottles of wine being stored  from previous years. The house was now a cellar.

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Patterns of lace panels hang in front of windows and old tin trays sit on top of fabric runners. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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Tin trays rest against the wall, it seems they have not been moved for years and years. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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The old newspaper gives us a sense of time. I love the two patterns chosen to sit side by side each other on this wall. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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A fabulous wooden panelled ceiling and a random piece of lace hang from a nail. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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This is my kind of lighting, I love the single clear bulb hanging from the twisted cord. I particularly love the connection between the cord and the bulb and the cord and the ceiling fitting. Grapes trodden by previous lovers lay waiting to be drunk. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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Chairs stacked up until next time. An embroidered hand made purse hangs open, when it was last used. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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Rotting shutters let in diffused afternoon light. I covert a curtain hook which is attached to the wooden window surrounds. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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A sad, single fallen curtain and some newer hats on the hat rack, reminding us that people still pass by. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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Patterns of slowly disintegrating fabric and paper. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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Electricity was not essential in this household. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

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You can feel the bannister in your hand and the photos give you faces to the story you have built up in your mind. copyright CLAIRE LLOYD 

 

The Stanley Supply Store

The Stanley Supply Store

I am absolutely LOVING this sexy chair by The Stanley Supply Store. If your in London you must visit the fab new shop Celestine Eleven at 4 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch. You will find The Stanley Supply pop-up in the lower ground floor. Not to be missed.

 

 

If you happen to be on the island of LESVOS this Tuesday, I am having a presentation at BRASSARIE BAZZAR of my book MY GREEK ISLAND HOME. Please come and join me for a drink and a chat.

I renovated this mews house in London several years ago. We lived in it for a couple of years before selling it. I completely renovated it, starting from scratch with just 4 walls. I added an extra floor and inserted sylights into the roof. I also had also glass panels set into the outside terrace floor, letting light into the kitchen below. My aim was to make a small London mews house feel like an appartment. I achieved this by opening up the spaces and bringing in as much light as possible. As usual everything was painted bright white. The outcome was a serene, spacious liiving space which we enjoyed enormously. Photographs by Nathalie Preim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I renovated this appartment in Notting Hill several years ago. Matthew and I absolutely love it and lived in it very happily for a few years before moving to Greece. When I first set eyes on it, it was in a terrible state but to me the location, light, enormous rooms and the history could not be ignored. It was a great challenge and I love a challenge. All the windows were replaced, reproduced exactly as the originals but this time with double glazing. The floor separating it from the downstairs neighbours was heavily sound proofed and new electrics and plumbing were installed. I played around with the layout and added an extra room on top with two sets of double doors opening out onto a roof terrace. From the terrace there are views over West London and beyond. It is a truly beautiful place to live. From My Greek Island Home I look at these pictures from  and wish I could live in two places at once but being an Aussie girl I am drawn to open spaces, vast skies and a huge amount of sunshine. So for the moment Lesvos it is.  The fab paintings on the walls are by Matthew Usmar Lauder and the photos of the appartment were taken by Natalie Priem. The flat is now available for rental through Domas Nova. Claire Lloyd homes.

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