This month we're at the gorgeous home of Africa Daley-Clarke (click here for others in our series that visits Aerende muses and customers at home). Africa lives in a maisonette in North London with her husband and three children and shows that renting is no barrier to creating a place to live that is both personal and totally original.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do
I'm Africa. I previously worked as a showroom manager for an interiors firm, and currently navigating freelance life while on maternity leave with my third child. I live in North London on a lovely quiet street, minutes from the hustle and bustle of city life.
How would you describe your home?
My home really is the personification of our family. We have quite a distinctive style that's a culmination of my dual heritage – a nod to both West Yorkshire and the West Indies with accents of mid-century design.
Where are your favourite places to shop for interiors and why?
Ebay, Etsy and vintage markets. I love well lived-in products that tell a story.
How did you discover Aerende and what do you like about it?
Funny story: I was actually enjoying a catch up with an old friend in the wine bar of my local Waitrose (enjoying a cup of tea!) Emily, the founder, was sat at the table across from us and we got talking about my sweater (a beautiful hand-knitted style that Emily recognised).
What Aerende products do you own and how do you use them?
I loved my Maed wax candle so much that I had used it within a week after having it on around the clock! Second to that would definitely be my drip glazed mug – the perfect size and I love the unique colourway.
What would you never have in your home?
Neon light art. That's one Instagram trend you won't be seeing in our home anytime soon.
What’s your favourite thing about where you live?
On a superficial level, I have my two favourite trees (blossom and magnolia) directly outside my front door and they each bring me so much joy. Second to that, I live in a maisonette that's been converted into three homes. Our upstairs neighbour is an elderly man and our downstairs neighbour has an identical family set up to myself. We all really look out for each other in any way we can – cleaning up the garden, picking up little items from the shops, loaning toys. It makes such a big difference to live in such a harmonious environment. Do you have a favourite design style or era?
I'm working through the potential controversial aspects, but I'm drawn to colonial-era decor – it's a big part of my ancestry and I'm looking at ways that I can incorporate aspects of this style into my home without being problematic.
What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
Evenings are spent mulling over many painful events facing my community in particular. Once the children are in bed we usually debrief and get into the heavy topics. For that reason, I choose not to watch anything too taxing in the evenings – Netflix usually offers up the perfect balance of mind-numbing innocence to see me off to sleep peacefully. This week we're powering through Cobra-Kai (Karate Kid 2) at record speed. It's so bad it's good!
What’s your most treasured possession?
We try not to place too much value on anything physical. Things can always be replaced and we don't have anything that was passed down to us – but if you're asking my favourite items, I would have to say my theatre chairs which I've recently had re-upholstered and our tuneless piano.
What’s your interior dream?
My ultimate (recent) dream, is to buy a real fixer upper at auction and pour our time (and money) into transforming it into the 'perfect' family home. I don't think home ownership will be attainable to us anytime soon so it really is a pipe dream -but it would be amazing!