Claire Lloyd, an author, photographer, creative director, film-maker and interior designer lives between London, Sydney and the Greek island of Lesvos. Together with her partner Matthew Usmar Lauder, a painter and sculptor, she has renovated their beautiful Greek island home in the small village of Skalochori.
The couple took the step to leave London’s busy creative scene, simplify their lives and base themselves in their peaceful island home. Now they are living the dream, working remotely while living away from the pressures of mainstream life. Their home is a stunning reflection of Claire’s love of minimalism, light, flowers and textures.
Claire’s says “My aim is to create beauty in everything I do, whether it’s cooking a meal for friends, filming, taking a photograph or creating an interior with the power to inspire tranquillity and peace. Creating nurturing spaces is my passion.”
Alongside their love of creativity, Claire and Matthew adore animals. When they moved to Greece they were so moved by the plight of the street cats and dogs left to fend for themselves that they wanted to help them as much as they could. Now they do whatever they can to nurture these stray animals and with the help of The Wild at Heart Foundation and other animal lovers on the island, they try to re-home as many as possible, balancing their creative work with rescuing animals in need. To date, the couple has helped rescued over 70 dogs and countless stray cats, continuing to feed more than 50 cats every day.
Despite stepping out of the rat race, Claire and Matthew are passionate about their work and this inevitably involves frequently dipping back to London or Sydney. During these times they must leave their dear rescue animals behind.
Unsurprisingly, the couple found it increasingly hard to keep relying on friends to look after their many rescue pets, so when they found out about TrustedHousesitters.com it seemed the perfect solution for them.
Claire said: “We have a number of permanent pets who live with us in the house. They include our gorgeous Nellie, who was our first rescue dog and used to live alone in the countryside chained to a barrel.
“She was very traumatised when she first came to us and needs to be cared for by experienced animal lovers. Styx, another rescue dog, is staying with us until we can find his forever home. Sweetie and Petal our rescue cats permanently live here.”
Once asking what the couple look for in their sitters, Claire explained: “It is essential they really care about animals and want to have a travel experience which is different. We always make it really clear to people applying for a sit that they will be experiencing Greek life in a small, simple village and that if they come in the winter, the weather can be challenging; being honest with each other is essential to getting the right fit with a sitter.”
Claire and Matthew will next be looking for a trusted house and pet sitter for their Greek Island home in December this year.
“We’ve been very fortunate and have had some wonderful people to stay. Our last couple said that their time in our home had been life-changing. That is so rewarding for me as a creator of nurturing spaces. I believe that life is about being able to move to be creative whenever you feel that you need to be renewed. You should never be afraid of change and of taking on new challenges,” Claire added.
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