Turmeric House is an independent creative studio who specialise in the curation of unique environments & unforgettable, multi sensory experiences from large scale brand events to bespoke styling for individuals. After watching one of the Tumeric House live streams on IGTV (where she ventured inside Libby from &Hobbs gorgeous home), we got chatting to Clare about her story 📓
“Turmeric Studio create daydream atmospheres that whisk you away. I got completely lost in the setting; it completely captured me.”
Daniella, Partner Manager
What’s the story behind Turmeric House?
I have been working on different creative projects for over 15 years but Turmeric House was born in 2019. It was a space to get all the creatives I have worked with all together and to have a space to house all my varied skills!
We started off offering everything from styling all kinds of events and environments to commercial shoots, art direction, private/commercial fit outs and brand story-telling. It was a whirlwind!
What happened next?
So I have a little black book of all the exciting collaborations I have done, and aspire to do.
Working with a diverse range of brands, organisations & artists from all over the 🌏meant I was able to create long-term meaningful partnerships.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I guess in short, I am an interiors, lifestyle & event curator 💁🏻♀️
Come on…You’ve been featured in aspirational publications like Vogue Living, Elle, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar…where did it all start?
My past roles have taken me on many adventures meeting incredible people. Surfboard making in Australia 🏄♂️, content curation in Costa Rica, Festival & Brand event builds at all the global fashion weeks 👛I love to learn and push my and test my skills.
If you wanted to do it by titles, I have had a variety; site manager, visual & retail manager, art director, store developer, prop and antique buyer, site analyst, environment curator, but I like to identify as a ‘pop up restaurant and studio owner’.
Where did you find the courage to find your own path?
Nothing is impossible, I don’t define myself by my past job titles but buy the incredible knowledge learnt from each creative part of my working journey. I don’t really have an off switch, so I would just try everything. As in my reality at that time was ‘how will I know if I don’t love it unless I’ve tried it?’
What’s your style philosophy?
It isn’t easy for me to describe my own style but I can use some words to talk about it: interactive, conceptual, graphical, environmental, 360. The soul of the studio tends to be placed in the intersection of events, experience and interior design.
Whilst shaping surfboards from an old beach shack in east coast Australia, I would dream of the stories my grandad once told me. Stories about the print presses, the Indian raj, the British, the love, the adventures. Golden milk, lemongrass tea with a sprinkle of turmeric. So “Turmeric” captures the moments and memories, and “house” is the roof which is home to a number of different skills.”
Why the name ‘Turmeric House’?
Whats your home like?
So I live with my partner, Adam and my cockapoo Zenni. The three of us live in a cosy 750 square foot converted iron forge in Mayford, Surrey. This is what you can see in most of these photos! Welcome…🥰
We love this place; it’s an unusual looking stone property on a roundabout. When we walked in, the character jumped out at us. The beams, height and light – although very different to the spaces we’d viewed – made it instantly feel like home. So the trio moved in.
I love using raw elements mixed with our favourite colours, market found pieces & small business designers. You’ll find dried or green leaved plants in every nook and lots of layers. It tells our journey, and connects us with people on the same path, seeking beautiful spaces and a more meaningful wholehearted creative lives.
We can see your home is full of beautiful furniture. Where’s your favourite place to search for all those treasures?
‘Hoarder’ is a word that’s been thrown around quite a bit but I just fall for things – on my last market trip I can back with two fairground horses and another drum 🎠
Is this where you source all your wonderful props too?
Markets, trade fairs and second hand dealers are always great places to start for prop items. As well as European markets, there’s many amazing places & towns in the UK too.
Who or what inspires you?
I think I am influenced by everything – we have so much visual wealth right on our doorsteps sometimes you’ll loose me for days.
Do you work from home?
When our lifestyle changed, our home became a sanctuary for all my props; they live amongst us. That means all of the fabrics, artwork, glass-wear, cutlery & dried florals 💐for styled events live amongst us.
My faux paper wisteria lives on an old rug rack ladder above our heads hanging across the beams next to old railway sleeper sculptures and hand made wooden totem poles from past retail jobs. We added hinges so the rug rack can twist, so can hang down vertically from one of the beams to create a private dining area for special moments – adding plants 🌱& artwork 🎨for an extra wall. So yeah…keeping work and play separate is impossible.
What kind of influence does interiors have on your spaces/events?
Spaces with soul and things that create a feeling: be them an emotion, a moment, an event, a workshop, a podcast. I love visual storytelling. A space that tells a story.
If it’s a retail event that I can interact with, learn from be inspired by why wouldn’t I want to go?
Do you already have all the ideas lined up, or do they come to you as you go?
I have personal creation projects that I work on each year, and the projects reflect the clients brand, feels and space. No two jobs are the same. They all start with a mind dumping session to get all the feelings on the table so I can create a visual environment of the brand/space. Then from there I build in the right team or source the correct ingredients so I can tell the story.
I believe that uniquely curated spaces can bring people to a place of happiness, using design, scent and sound as a visceral cue to recall memories or create new experiences! So events that use all the senses to feel the space and enjoy a moment.
Clare Watson, Turmeric House
What’s your favourite part about what you do?
Its maybe silly but the stomach buzz and the people I meet! So many fantastic people and creatives who are phenomenal in their own fields. Being able to join, tell their story or create something wild with them is awesome.
The final images look INCREDIBLE! How much work goes into creating environments and events?
It’s great joining a client from curation to running the show on the day.
We brainstorm, source, build a creative team, analysis the space, take apart the themes and concept. Liaise with all parties, drink ☕️, break down the finances, run all logistics, problem solve on the day or if it’s an environment site: visit, analysis space, create consumer journey, prop source, build elements, fill vans. Showtime 🎟
So quite a bit then! What’s your favourite event that you’ve done?
Ahh that’s like choosing ‘whats your favourite child?’
1) There’s been so many moments. The rickshaw as an ice cream truck in a wedding music video.
2) Building a bar into a spiral staircase.
3) Creating a site that you can physically see the excitement that customers feel when using the space.
Do you have any advice for people who want to mix their passions with work?
Do it, nothing is impossible. Manage your expectations – build and build and continue learning and growing.
That’s lovely. What’s coming up next for Turmeric House?
You mean asides from collecting pastel peacock chairs, ceramic tigers and making 3D floral sculptures!? I am currently working on a co-working external studio site, with community projects, workshop spaces, store and studio.
Also our little home has been entered into apartment therapy’s small/cool 2020 showcasing great hints and tips for small spaces. You can vote for our space to win between the 11- 18th May here.
Where can we nab some tickets for upcoming events?
Instagram or the website are normally the best place for keeping up with what we are up to 💌