A year of extremes. John McLachlan’s small Notting Hill basement flat, which I shot for the Guardian magazine, is a temple to DIY, a palace of kitsch retro. It also shows how a minuscule budget needn’t curtail a huge imagination.
At the other end of the scale, Beaufort House Ltd is a developer who creates multi million pound homes for sheikhs and oligarchs, just across the park in Kensington.
Over the years, I have worked on numerous assignments with Bristol based writer, Charlotte Packer. Bristol is a city teeming with creativity. From its renowned music and animation industries to the many architects, designers, makers, illustrators and writers who live in the city. The result is a wealth of interesting homes that defy categorisation. The following images come from two houses, both of which featured in BBC Homes and Antiques magazine.
Bristol’s creativity has a noticeably subversive edge, which can be seen in the proliferation of grafitti. Banksy may be the most notorious artist in this medium, but certainly not the only one.
From Bristol, to Bodrum. When friends of mine bought a villa in Turkey, and asked me to take the pics for their website, I naturally jumped at the chance. Villa Polly, as it’s called, is cool and contemporary, and overlooks the sea. A small town nearby has wonderful restaurants, and the coast is stunning. For much of the year, they rent it out. I’ll be back for sure.
When not behind a lens, I can still occasionally be found at a drawing board. CC Lab is a production company, specialising in music related events. I usually get brought in to help design and visualise the venue, including this one, a great party for Tanqueray Gin, held in Covent Garden.
The jewellery trade has existed in and around Clerkenwell for centuries, but Jessica McCormack’s store/gallery is a real departure, as are her designs in precious gems and metals. The intriguing gothic gallery interior falls somewhere between salon and club, and the jewellery vies for space with art.
Before 2008 I don’t think I’d ever been to Herefordshire, but like the proverbial London buses, I’ve now had three trips within a year. (See my very first post) The first, was to a house and garden, whose owners had an insatiable appetite for art, in particular, sculpture, which popped up everywhere.
That year also saw return trips to Ireland. The carpet company, Brintons, had seen my pictures of the G Hotel in Galway, and decided to use the spa there as a location for a carpet shoot.
The last job of the year was for Sally Dernie. Originally a lawyer, Sally, like me, had a change of career. She now designs elegant homes, such as this one in Kensington, which featured in House & Garden last year.
If a trend is to be detected in interiors over the decade, one could say that colour and pattern have certainly made a comeback since the minimalist 90s. That was certainly true of many of the homes I visited in the past year, none more so than that of Susan Collier, the fabric designer. Since the 60s, her designs have remained hugely popular, selling in Liberty, Habitat and all over the world. Her home is as one would expect, brimming with textiles.
Equally colourful is the interior of a house designed by Shaun Clarkson. Shaun is well known for his design of bars and clubs, and flamboyant and witty hotels such as Carrington House and Cliff Barns. The calm exterior of this Victorian house does little to prepare you for what lies within.
A shoot for the Times took me back down to the Bristol area. The Old Parsonage also turned out to be quiet on the outside but loud on the inside.
Naturally there is an exception to this trend. This immaculate kitchen was designed by Susan Quirke.
One might have expected 2009 to be a poor year for upmarket developments, but my developer client, Beaufort House Ltd, was working on their biggest yet, a six storey Kensington townhouse. The following shots are in ascending order.
Last year also saw trips to the Cotswolds and Herefordshire which I have already written about, and Bavaria, my partner, Jochen’s homeland, which lures us every summer, to it’s lakes, forests, baroque churches, but most importantly its beer gardens.
Finally, last year saw me return to the Courthouse Hotel in Soho, one of the first hotels I ever photographed. I can’t believe what a great decade it’s been, and here’s to the next one. But what will we call it?