This month, Ultimate Library had the wonderful opportunity to interview Camilla Clarke, the Co-Creative Director and Founder of Albion Nord. Alongside Ottalie Stride, Anthony Kooperman, and Ben Johnson, Camilla founded Albion Nord in 2017, and since then, they have been leading a global portfolio of interior design projects. Their projects are defined by an appreciation and celebration of European Classicism and British style, using architecturally rich sites and exquisite antiques to create a timeless and refined aesthetic.

Camilla has worked on the design of some of the most prestigious residential properties in the UK. From Grade II listed Georgian buildings, to contemporary penthouses. Each project is approached with the same level of integrity and authenticity. Camilla has most recently completed the interior design of The Chelsea Barracks Townhouses, including The Chelsea Barracks Collection.

Ultimate Library chatted with Camilla about her experience of the interior design world, and how working from home has influenced what people now want from their own home designs.

1. What was it that originally inspired you to become an interior designer?

Our aim is to create timeless interiors that have soul and character and will last a lifetime. Our designs will always respond to the client, the surrounding area, and the site itself. However, what I think makes our designs really unique is that they aim to tell a story, down to the smallest details within the house. One of the ways we do this is through the use of antiques and carefully sourced furniture, art & accessories. Co-director Ottalie Stride and I hunt far and wide across the UK & Europe to find the right pieces that will make a home totally unique to its owner, and I think that’s what it is that inspires me.

2. With so many people working from home, what do you see for the future of home design? And how has home design changed over the last year?

There has definitely been a shift in design aspirations in the home over the past year. As we spend more time in our homes, we are becoming more thoughtful about what we put in them. How a room makes us feel and affects our wellbeing is more important than ever. We no longer want to buy off-the-shelf pieces that succumb to fast-moving trends and are thrown out after a year or two. We are all now looking to invest in something unique, that lasts and adds character and interest to our homes.

3. How and why are books important to your designs at Albion Nord?

Books are so important to our designs, not only because of their beauty but because they help us to tell a story – which is always at the centre of our design practice. We can spend weeks designing and creating huge, detailed joinery pieces & Libraries just to celebrate them with a selection of beautiful books.

For me, there is nothing more inspiring than a library full of books, a mountain of reading books by the bed, or cookbooks in the Kitchen. They add a sense of interest and character that enrich our lives and our surroundings.

4. Which three books have inspired you the most in your career?

Cover of the book At Home in the English Countryside. Cover features patterned china and a dog.

At Home in the English Countryside: Designers & Their Dogs by Susanna Salk – this is currently my go-to book for inspiration. It celebrates British country life and features a glimpse into the homes of some wonderful designers and their canine companions. 

Cover photo of the book Elements of Style featuring designs for an arched doorway.

The Elements of Style: An Encyclopedia of Domestic Architectural Detail by Stephen Calloway – a chronological history of architecture and interior architecture that was introduced to me at the Inchbald School of Design.  A go-to reference book for every designer.

Cover of the book Lean In, featuring a photograph of Sheryl Sandberg.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Cheryl Sandberg – A very empowering book, inspiring women in the workplace to achieve their ambitions.

Ultimate Library would like to say a huge thank you to Camilla for appearing as our expert for this month. If you would like to learn more about her practice, you can go check out work by Albion Nord on their Instagram and website.