Claire Warren of The Grey House shares her black and white bungalow, inspiration behind her homewares company, and tips on how to achieve your own gorgeous living space
Meet Claire Warren, British expat and the talent behind fashion brand, Lulu Bare, and now The Grey House – Singapore’s answer to neutral home décor. Inspired by her travels and possessing a growing passion to bring bespoke, stylish, affordable interiors to the home, Claire carefully sources her handcrafted products from artisans around the world. Her collection includes rugs from India, furniture from Indonesia and cushions from Ethiopia, which she describes as “understated yet luxurious, with a subtle nod to their ethnicity”.
With the launch of her new website this month and upcoming showcase at the Boutiques Fair next week, I was keen to chat to Claire about her journey so far, as well as find out what we can expect from The Grey House. Of course, I also took this opportunity to have a peek inside her swoon-worthy home.
You previously worked in the fashion world in London for the likes of Chanel and InStyle magazine, how did you get into interiors?
I have always loved interiors, and while I worked in fashion in London, many of the spaces, events and publications we worked with had an interior/design angle. I’m forever coveting the pages of House & Garden, so when we moved to this bungalow, I started to source items that I couldn’t originally find in Singapore at an affordable price. As my personal collection of interiors grew, so did my interest in the products I was importing, and The Grey House was born – a creative outlet for my interiors passion.
And tell us a little more about The Grey House and its collections?
The Grey House embraces simplicity and refinement and aims to deliver a finely balanced range of interiors with a focus on materials and texture. Sourced from artisans worldwide, the collection focuses on handmade products made with creativity and culture. The collection includes rugs, furniture, textiles and accessories. Rugs focus on beautiful hand-woven wool and cotton flat-weave dhurries and jute and metallic rugs from India. Furniture focuses on chairs, stools and benches made by a family-owned company in Indonesia, with all materials sourced locally in Java. Our textile and accessories collection embraces an ethnic/nomadic vibe and blends in beautifully with the overall look. Embracing a neutral palette, The Grey House is a reflection of my personal aesthetic combining textures for an adaptable home.
How would you describe the philosophy of The Grey House?
We embrace neutrals, naturals and a clean and stylish aesthetic. It’s my love for neutrals entwined into pieces using natural fibres, lent to works of art that work in multiple environments and spaces, while maintaining affordability.
You’re selling some amazing pieces, but what are your personal favourite finds so far?
I love our woven leather chairs and the woven leather bench! Ideally, I would love to verge more into a Danish minimalist design aesthetic for my home, but it must be the English in me that still loves the mix of traditional and modern pieces. Our woven leather chairs embrace the clean simplicity of Danish design, but work so perfectly sitting side-by-side with more traditional pieces of furniture. The woven leather bench is my new favourite piece because it looks perfectly at home in a hallway or at the end of the bed, divine in this blush palette.
Your home is the perfect showcase for your collection. I feel as though I’ve been transported to Bali! Tell us what it’s like to live here?
Yes, I feel like we have found heritage and tranquillity – a home away from home! We’re so lucky to live somewhere with an uninterrupted view of the jungle, peace and quiet in the middle of a bustling city and plenty of space for the kids and our new puppy to run around.
And how is your house and décor style different from your previous place in Holland Village?
When we first arrived in Singapore, we were recently married with limited furniture, so our first apartment in Holland Village was very simple but in keeping with my love for neutral tones. As the years have passed, we have gradually added pieces of furniture to our home, creating a more refined and cosy environment
Is there anything you particularly love about this place? Do you have a favourite room or section?
Singapore really does still feel like a holiday; where in the world will I ever live in the jungle with monkeys jumping from tree to tree? While I constantly dream of our forever home, wherever and whenever that may be, this one ticks many boxes for Singapore living. We are so privileged to live in a Black & White with spectacular views and open spaces, and as a result, our deck overlooking the pool has to be one of the house’s best qualities as it is a space to share happy times with family and friends.
Yes, I have to say, I’m super jealous of your outside space, which you’ve styled so perfectly! Can you give us your top interior styling tip?
Revitalise old furniture – my coffee table was on its last legs but I couldn’t find a replacement I loved. I decided to keep the old one and spruce it up with a gorgeous piece of Carrara marble to go on the top. The marble satisfies my love of marble while refining an old, worn piece of furniture. If you have a large space, arrange your furniture into smaller groupings; each area should have its own visual identity.
And any interior style no-nos?
Try and buy a rug big enough to frame the space. Small rugs can unbalance the set up. Also, steer clear from synthetic fabrics where possible. Natural fibres breathe and are much more covetable.
And finally, some Singapore tips please!
Favourite bar? Manhattan Bar – love the Bloody Mary bar cart – the glasses, condiments… all so stylish and delicious!
Favourite restaurant? So many favourites, but you can’t beat lunch at Rakuichi in Far East Shopping Centre. It’s not the chic-est of joints, but once you try their fresh sushi and spicy tuna rolls, you won’t be able to stay away!
Thing to do? Now that my daughter has finally learnt to cycle, we love a morning bike ride. Great for our puppy, Biscuit, too as she gets plenty of exercise, which leaves us the afternoon to relax and unwind at home.
Travel destination? Raja Ampat on the Alila Purnama. Out of this world.
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Visit The Grey House at this website for more home decor inspiration.