More houses: it’s what I do

East Anglia selfbuild

This stylish, spacious, comfortable house overlooks several acres of its own land, on the edge of a Norfolk village. It was designed largely by the owners.

It’s possible to think too hard about one’s next blog post, when it ought to be simple. What do I do? My core work entails photographing home interiors and producing complete editorial features for, principally, home-interest glossy monthlies. And my advertising & commercial work mostly revolves around houses too.

Open plan in the Norfolk selfbuild means spacious and light - but not draughty. Tons of high-tech insulation and SIPS panel construction make it cosy and comfortable.

Open plan in the Norfolk selfbuild means spacious and light – but not draughty. Tons of high-tech insulation and SIPS panel construction make it cosy and comfortable.

So here are some places I’ve covered this summer – interesting homes all, smart and stylish and/or cleverly renovated, large, small, in upmarket suburbs, ordinary towns, country villages. One of the things I love about my work is that I not only get to see and photograph some great houses, I visit them in very different parts of our lovely country too.

What a contrast! But very ordinary homes like this 1970s terraced house can be improved almost beyond recognition...

What a contrast! But very ordinary homes like this 1970s terraced house in Cambridge can be improved almost beyond recognition…

..through extension, large areas of bifold glazing onto a rear terrace, and tasteful decor.

..through extension, large areas of bifold glazing onto a rear terrace, and tasteful decor.

All the ones here are in England, but sometimes I get to shoot places in other parts of the UK – and abroad, though that happens less often. In principle I’ll cover private homes anywhere at all if they have the right qualities, or a magazine is willing to commission a feature from me. Practical considerations intervene, and far distant locations are not an economic proposition unless some arrangement can be made to cover travel costs – I tend to work on a global fee basis, UK magazines being normally unwilling to pay special expenses beyond providing a stylist.

This selfbuild not a million miles from Stansted Airport is substantial, very spacious, has a large garden, and borrows from the local architectural vernacular - it's block built, but with flint facing added by hand.

This selfbuild not a million miles from Stansted Airport is substantial, very spacious, has a large garden, and borrows from the local architectural vernacular – it’s block built, but with flint facing added by hand.

In the past I’ve shot my own house for a feature! Well, just the kitchen: I know what to do with the rest of the house to make it feature material, but I’ve never got around to it… But I’m off to France again this week, to the 2nd home way down in the Midi my wife and I moved to after selling our coastal apartment by the Med (it was getting too busy & noisy there). And I’m going to shoot some pictures of it, since a couple of titles have expressed tentative interest in seeing a feature about its renovation. Anything to recoup some of the money we’ve shelled out so far…

Outside, it's a lovely example of Arts & Crafts styling from 1908: inside, it's thoroughly modern and rather glitzy.

Outside, it’s a lovely example of Arts & Crafts styling from 1908: inside, it’s thoroughly modern and rather glitzy.

The same 1908 house, with the sort of smart 21stC kitchen most people would love.

The same 1908 house, with the sort of smart 21stC kitchen most people would love.

It’ll be good to exchange the current chill, soggy English “summer” for 30-degree sunshine, wearing T-shirts instead of woollies! But good to return to England after a few weeks – I hope to squeeze in a few more house shoots this autumn.

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