Claire Smith, founder and owner of Hatty’s Attic, is passionate about country inspired furnishings. “Rural cottages have been pulling it off for years” Claire says. “Every room can be given its own rustic charm no matter whether it is a city dwelling or a country cottage. This style can bring a relaxed and comfortable setting to your home and embrace country living.”

Somerset County Gazette: Rustic Charm: Country Inspired Furnishings from Hatty’s Attic

Finding inspiration in the Somerset countryside, Claire appreciates the beauty of the wild flowers, the animals and landscape. Most notably, she loves the beautiful chocolate box houses in little villages. “I love pretty pastels and gorgeous florals with a country and rustic twist” Claire tells us. Rachel Ashwell, Cath Kidston, and Kirstie Allsopp all inspire the items available from Hatty’s Attic.

The people that attend the workshops greatly inspire Claire. All interpretations of the techniques that Claire teaches are different, and this leads to a wealth of new ideas. “It is so inspiring seeing people go away from a workshop with ideas and visions” Claire tells us. “There is nothing more satisfying than my customers sending me photos of their projects and telling me how pleased they are with their new furniture.”

Somerset County Gazette: Rustic Charm: Country Inspired Furnishings from Hatty’s Attic

Hatty’s Attic began in 2010, when Claire was juggling full-time work as well as running the business, attending fairs, renting space within emporiums, and selling online – a busy lifestyle! Five years ago, Claire decided to focus on her new and expanding business. Hatty’s Attic became a retail shop in 2013 and began in a coach house in Williton, Somerset. Today, the shop has been relocated to the gorgeous Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre in Stoke St Gregory, Taunton.

Deciding to expand and develop her knowledge, Claire achieved a Diploma in interior design at the beginning of 2016. This allowed her to have a more detailed understanding of colour, styling, and interior designs schemes, so that she could pass on her knowledge.

Somerset County Gazette: Rustic Charm: Country Inspired Furnishings from Hatty’s Attic

Claire believes that colour trends are particularly important and notes that sage will be a popular colour in 2018. “It is set to be the new neutral, replacing pure white, beige, and stone shades” she explains. “The muted green with grey undertones will work perfectly with woods and a cream colour palette to soften and warm up any space. This is great news for me. Not only is it one of my favourite colours but it also teams up really well with pastel shades and floral fabrics when considering soft furnishings.”

Soft furnishings are one reason that Claire loves Hatty’s Attic. She tells us “I love the different textures you can achieve with cushions, throws and quilts.” Autentico Chalk Paint is another favourite item, as there are over 160 colours to choose from as well as the fact that their decorative products can make each paint project unique.

Somerset County Gazette: Rustic Charm: Country Inspired Furnishings from Hatty’s Attic

“I offer a furniture painting service at the shop for those that feel they aren’t confident enough to take on the project themselves or just don’t have the time. We discuss colour options and paint finishes, depending on how the piece is to be used and how it needs to fit into the interior of the home.”

Claire runs many other workshops throughout the year. She runs painting technique workshops, which include an introduction to using Autentico paint products, as well as more advanced decorative techniques, decoupage and gilding workshops. There is also the opportunity to learn to make a drum lampshade.

These workshops and techniques are designed to keep your furniture and home furnishings unique. “When it comes to painted furniture every piece is different and individual” Claire explains. “Whether it is the piece itself, the colour I choose or the decorative finish I use, no two pieces will be the same.”

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