Careers

What it’s really like to be an interior stylist on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces

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Elena Chabo
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Jane Field is an interior stylist and the creative consultant for Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. She lives in London
 with her husband, Robert.

My alarm goes off…

Sometimes at 4.30am if I’ve got an early call to set. Usually though, I wake up when my husband gets up at 6am. We have a chat and make a cup of tea, then I’ll go to the gym for half an hour before breakfast, which is granola.
Most days, I wear black jeans, 
a cashmere roll-neck and Carvela trainers. I like to be comfortable.

I’m responsible for…

Creating cosy, small spaces for private clients. I’m also a creative consultant on Amazing Spaces, where I work with the owners of each project to get the look they want. I source everything from furniture to fabrics – I like to get my hands mucky. On a big project, I oversee up to 10 decorators, carpenters and metalworkers.

I got the job…

By deciding to style a vintage caravan for fun; I was working as a set designer at the time. 
I bought the van for about £200 – it was orange and brown and looked like a loaf of bread, so I thought, well, this is so bad it’s good. I spent the summer renovating it – every piece 
of fabric, every sideboard, 
every mug in there was 
styled. I loved it so much 
that afterwards, I decided to write a book about people 
who take on small projects. Since then, I’ve written 11 books on small space design, from treehouses to cabins. I pitched the idea for Amazing Spaces to Channel 4 – I had to make some sample films and show them my books – and it paid off. I began working on the development and now I’m the creative consultant. 

She’s written many books on small space design.     

My typical day…

I’m at my desk in my writing room by 9am or, in summer, my little garden studio. My morning is 
a mix of managing my private clients and speaking to the show’s clients on the phone – they’ll send me reference pictures that they like, or photos of their own items they want to include. 
I usually have a writing project
 on the go at the same time, so 
if I have any down-time, I’ll write.

I like to get out for lunch; I go to a local cafe and have soup or an Egyptian egg dish. After lunch, I might go to the TV production company for a meeting, which I’ll smarten up for. I often take mood boards with me – I like to include fabrics on there so that it’s tactile rather than just visual. After the meeting, I’ll drop by an ongoing project with a private client to make sure everything is going as planned. It’s important to me to be hands-on because often, the ideas come while you’re there, in the space. I finish by 6pm most days. 

My most memorable work moment…

Was the morning after the first episode of Amazing Spaces was aired – the head of Channel 4 messaged me and said that the viewing figures were enormous. I was absolutely walking on air.

Her keen eye for style is even applied to teatime.

The worst part of my job…

Is the tidying up at the end of a job.

The best part of my job…

Is seeing an idea come to life.

After work…

My husband and I take turns to cook. I love the vegetarian recipe boxes from Riverford. Then, I’ll plan for the next day on the sofa while he watches a Netflix series. I’ll read in bed – usually an art or photography book like Kate Parker’s Strong Is The New Pretty – and aim to be asleep by 11pm.

My Plan B: Pastry Chef

I have always wanted to go to Paris to learn how to be a really good pastry chef and how to produce exquisite-looking patisserie. 

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Elena Chabo

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