What do you have in a vase at home?
Cleo: “Usually large flowering branches – I adore blossom and magnolia branches. There’s always a big vase on the table with something flowering in it. A really exciting field bouquet can also make me wax lyrical.”
When did your passion for the perfect tablecloth and ideal look first develop?
Cleo: “When I was little I just wanted to sew clothes for my doll or make still-lives in my room. When I was five I already knew for sure that I was going to be a fashion designer but once at art school I got tired of constantly fiddling behind a sewing machine so I went into styling. That really is my passion. I constantly try to surpass myself - to innovate. It’s sometimes quite hard on the people I live with. I have a lot of collections, and I love matching shades which drives my husband mad, with him shouting: ‘When are we ever going to just buy something coloured?!’ But that will never happen - everything needs to be just right. I don’t easily find something beautiful so my husband’s always reluctant to buy anything for me. Having said that, he can still surprise me - going to Sukha (trend-setting lifestyle store in Amsterdam - ed.) to buy the exact vases I’ve been coveting for ages. He’s so sweet.”
Found any floral treasures lately? And if so, where?
Cleo: “I’m constantly looking for unusual things that are a little bit different. Flea markets, charity shops, nature… I scour everywhere to find an attractive leaf, a lovely stone, pottery, ceramic ware or glass and gather them all for my productions. It’s all sorted by colour on shelves in my office: from pink, to wood, terracotta, sand, white, black and white, black, above that clear glass, then a bit of grey, then a transition to pale green, to dark green and so it goes on. My own little museum in a way. My whole house is full of corners and cabinets with niches that contain something. My children are just as mad about collecting – they’re constantly coming home with feathers, stones and flowers. Lev’s pockets are always bulging with strange things.”