I’m Claire, an authentic and imaginative Interiors Consultant and owner of Angel Vintage Interiors. I specialise in Vintage Glamour inspired spaces for those who want to reinvent their homes to exude originality and a strong sense of identity, quite simply, those in pursuit of magic! I live in the tiniest of cottages in rural Wales - it’s small but sensational, but it hasn’t always been like that.
When my journey began I lived in North Somerset. I led a busy life and had a successful career based in Bristol and London, so there was very little time for self care. My demanding career resulted in my health deteriorating and I was diagnosed with MS in 2007. This devastating diagnosis forced me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and prompted me to abandon my career and take early retirement. Furthermore, I made the decision to relocate to my native Pembrokeshire to give my health the best possible chance.
When I moved into my tiny cottage in Pembrokeshire, it was a blank canvas. It had been neglected for years by the previous elderly occupants and as it was a listed building I had to be very careful about any renovations I undertook. Although I had initially felt that MS had taken so much from me, I soon realised that for me it had been, rather oddly, a blessing in disguise. I had been so immersed in my career I had quite literally ‘burnt myself out’ and felt overwhelmed with exhaustion. Having to ‘quit my job’ had opened up new possibilities for me. I now had time to look after myself and focus on the things that brought me joy, like creating a space that enabled me to express my passions and creativity. What had initially been bad news became my healing journey, not just physically but in my soul as well. I felt ‘whole’ for the first time in many years. I even went on to meet my life partner, Martin, which was the icing on the cake!
I initially struggled with confidence and self doubt following my illness. There were countless moments when I questioned myself. Questions like “am I really good enough?” and “do I have something valuable to offer anyone?” All those years of working in senior management and as a sought-after senior account manager working in the sales industry seemed like another person, another lifetime even. I soon realised that my illness does not define me! With the help of Martin, whose practical skills allowed my creative ideas to manifest into reality, I reinvented my home to be a place that energised me and sparked my imagination .. a place of beauty. The process gave me a new lease of life and I found it completely transformative. We now have a place we love, a place we can truly call home. I want the same for you! Circumstances that are limiting you at times in your life do not have to define you. I launched my interiors business to help others to transform their spaces to reflect their passions and to become a sanctuary that invigorates after a hard day’s hustle. Don’t underestimate the power of ‘home’. I live in a cottage of the tiniest proportions but I soon realised that size doesn’t matter, nor does location. What matters is that it’s yours.
"I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life"
Elsie de Wolfe