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Rebecca Hector Clarke from Nook of the North sitting at her dining table.

Keep it clean: how to create a minimalist family home

Rebecca Hector Clarke, the founder of embroidery and jewellery company Nook of the North, lives in Scholes - a village between Leeds and York - with her husband and three children. Despite having a young family, Rebecca has managed to achieve a pared-back, minimalist, Nordic style in the semi-detached house. We spoke to Rebecca about creating a functional but comfortable family home.

A Careful Balance

Each item in Rebecca’s home is considered: “We have the striking yet subtle Faye pendant light above our dining table which provides an attractive soft glow. It’s minimal arched design, brass finish and frosted glass baubles make it a beautifully balanced and very practical piece.”

It’s the little things

Having a good foundation can make a real difference to your interior: “We had every single wall and ceiling skimmed and all of the coloured walls have been painted using Farrow and Ball paint. We knew from our previous home that we wanted freshly plastered walls and the paints provide such a rich, lush finish.”

Growing Pains

The Clarke family home was 84-square-metres when they first moved in, but after two extensions it grew to 163-square-metres: “Our biggest challenge was probably marrying the original and new parts of the house. We achieved it by having bare floorboards throughout, using reclaimed doors.”

Woolly Situation

“My husband, Jacob, would probably say the biggest renovation challenge was spending days in the narrow void beneath the downstairs floorboards to insulate the space with sheep wool batting. That was an awful job, but well worth it.”

Built to Last

“Much of our furniture is on legs, including our kitchen units, as being able to see under things creates a sense of space. A must-have piece should be well designed and good quality, capable of lasting years of daily use. As a maker, I’m drawn to items that demonstrate craftsmanship in their construction and finish.”

Light Bulb Moment

“We love the kitchen. The extension absolutely transformed it and we’re in there all the time. We chose to add a pair of Starkey wall lights in the kitchen. They were perfect for our lighting requirements as we haven’t any wall units. The minimal design and filament light bulbs look great and were just what we were looking for.”

Suits You

“I like clean lines, mid-century design and creating a feeling of space and balance through composition of furniture, furnishings and lighting.“

Have Faith

“I’ve recently taken ‘the leap’ and left my job working in museums and galleries in Leeds to concentrate on my work. Part of the renovations and extension included building a home studio and now the house is finally finished I am really enjoying working from home.”

Family Planning

“One of the first things we did when we bought the house was to knock out the box room to open up the landing. We had a bespoke bookcase built. We want to build a seating area so we can all read books together. This will most likely be our next project.”

Article written by: Carly-Ann Clements
Photography by: Joanne Crawford

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