Pitching stories to magazines can be a surprisingly drawn out and tricky process. Each magazine, and each editor, will have a slightly different vision, which can be hard to judge. An answer I’ve heard all too often, is that a home is “not quite right for us”. One editor of a weekend newspaper magazine I recall, would say somewhat tongue in cheek,” We don’t want our readers to choke on their cornflakes”, meaning that everything should be easy on the eye. Some will be looking for highly polished homes, some for period details and antiques, some for the latest work of the interior designer du jour. I often found myself with stories that I loved, and believed in, but which I struggled to place with a magazine, because they didn’t necessarily tick the right boxes. Until that is, I made contact with the Observer Magazine, which seems to buck the general trends, and bravely champions the unusual, the unexpected, and the overlooked. Often these are very ‘real’ homes of artists and makers. By that I mean, they do not depend on vast budgets or instant makeovers, but have developed slowly and piecemeal over time, in the way that most people’s houses evolve. Usually modest and unflashy, sometimes suburban rather than sophisticated, but always with an interesting story, and sometimes challenging accepted tastes, possibly even causing you to choke on your cornflakes.
Simon Carter, Menswear Retailer, & husband, Derek Taylor, Cafe owner, Crystal Palace.
Luke Pearson, Hackney
Jonna Saarinen, Printmaker, Crystal Palace
Rachel Ducker, Artist, Oxford
Amber Jeavons, Interior Designer, South London
Jemma Hickman, Bo Lee Gallery, Dulwich
Elizabeth Lee, doll maker, Ramsgate
Peter Adler, Jewellery maker, Paddington
Simon Townsend & Simon Corden, Clapham
Maxine Hall & Paula Moss, Blackpop wallpaper designs, Derby
With thanks to Alice Fisher, Deputy Editor of the Observer Magazine, and to writers: Serena Fokschaner, Jo Leevers, Kate Jacobs, and Laura Freeman.