Photographers We Love – Part 2!

Welcome back to our blog as we delve into Part 2 of photographers we love! This next batch of interiors, lifestyle and still life specialists are coming in with even more inspiration for your personal projects and creative mind. Now, who do we have? 

Damian Russell

Let’s begin with Damian Russell – Damian is an international photographer represented by One Represents. He specialises in, but not limited to, interiors; in his words, he photographs ‘places, people and things’.

Photographs by Damian Russell

Damian is known for his exceptional use of colour and texture, which have helped to make him one of the most recognised photographers in his field. His images are rich, emotive, textural vignettes of the everyday, shot both on location and in the studio.

Photographs by Damian Russell

Some of Damian’s clients include Anthropologie, Boden, Crate & Barrel, Claridges, Colefax and Fowler, Crabtree & Evelyn, Habitat, Selfridges and Harrods. Make sure to check out his extensive portfolio, as well as his beautiful Instagram page, alongside his archive page. 


Dan Duchars

With over 20 years of industry experience, award-winning London-based photographer Dan Duchars must make the list! Dan specialises in interiors, lifestyle and portrait photography and has a well-proven understanding of the use of light throughout his imagery.

Photographs by Dan Duchars

Some may be familiar with Dan as the co-founder of The CONTENTed Nest, alongside talented interior stylist Sara Bird. The company is a creative image-producing agency, providing visual content across a range of commercial and editorial platforms. As a company, they work with clients to deliver engaging, discerning and directional photography for all types of campaigns.

Photographs by Dan Duchars

Ranging from commercial to editorial, some of Dan’s clients include The Conran Shop, House of Fraser, Country Living, The Sunday Times, Elle Decoration, Monsoon, and many more! For beautiful photographic inspiration, be sure to visit his online portfolio over on his website and his social media pages.


Jon Day

Based in London and working across Europe and the USA, Jon Day specialises in interiors, lifestyle, still-life, product and food photography. Throughout a 20 year career as a photographer, he’s worked for many commercial and editorial brands, shooting both on location and in the studio.

Photographs by Jon Day

Jon’s signature style depicts simple, graphic compositions, made beautiful by crisp and clean lighting. He particularly loves shooting uncluttered, minimalistic scenes where the props and products have room to breathe. Some of Jon’s clients include Living Etc, Homes & Gardens, You Magazine, Fired Earth, The White Company, Debenhams, Dulux and many more.

Photographs by Jon Day

You can check out Jon’s impressive portfolio over on his website. You can see more of his fantastic work on his Instagram page, alongside some very, very cute photos of his dog Archie


Ben Anders 

Ben Anders is a highly skilled London-based interiors and lifestyle photographer, also repped by One Represents. His work captures the essence of each client’s brief, while ensuring each shot is unique and fresh, playing with angles and visually manipulating objects and subjects to create beautiful, intriguing imagery.

Photographs by Ben Anders

Take one look at Ben’s portfolio and you’ll instantly recognise his passion for interiors, structure and design shining through each and every image. From editorial to commercial, Ben has produced work for a variety of clients, including Habitat, Dwell, Coast, GQ, Selfridges and House & Garden.

Photographs by Ben Anders

You’ll undoubtedly have a ball delving into his archive of exciting projects on his website, as well as over on his beautifully curated Instagram page, which features photos from a range of different projects. You can also check out our short feature on Ben over on our LinkedIn page.


Marcus Peel

And finally, we have Marcus Peel. Marcus is also a London-based photographer with a wealth of experience across both fine art and commercial projects during his time in the industry.

Marcus describes his work as taking a ‘more investigative approach’, keen to achieve abstraction in his imagery, far beyond standard photography. His work clearly demonstrates his passion for architecture and his eagerness to achieve perfection, particularly when it comes to light and composition. 

Photographs by Marcus Peel

Marcus’ work has been featured in a range of renowned publications, including Architectural Digest, Elle Decoration, Frame, RIBA Journal, The Architect’s Journal, Vogue, and many more. He’s also been issued awards by multiple bodies, including the AOP Photography Awards and the Graphis Photography Annual – how impressive!

Photographs by Marcus Peel

You can view Marcus’ visually-pleasing portfolio on his sleek website, where his commissions, fine art and prints are available to browse. We don’t doubt that you’ll be feeling inspired and infused with creative vibes after visiting! We’d also recommend taking a peek at his Instagram page for more curated snaps of his vibrant photography.


That’s a wrap!

Well, that’s it from us for now; we hope you loved the photographers featured in this article as much as we do. See you on the next one!

Photographers We Love – Part 1!

Of course, following our piece on interior stylists, we must acknowledge the people who skilfully capture the curated beauty – the photographers. Whether you’re passionate about interior design or simply have a craving for some good photographic work, we highly encourage you to check out each artist’s portfolio for that inspiration you’re secretly craving.

Debi Treloar

To start things off, we have the very talented Debi Treloar – a freelance interiors photographer, who turns spectacular architecture into a mystical production through her lens, and has a tuned eye for detail and beauty.

Photographs by Debi Treloar

Debi works internationally, specialising in interiors and proving her talent through incredibly unique imagery, which is no surprise considering her wealth of experience in the industry.

Photographs by Debi Treloar

If you’re a sucker for dreamy photographs and spectacular architecture, landscapes and interiors, check out her portfolio on her website, along with her meticulously curated Instagram page.


Malcolm Menzies

Next up – Malcolm Menzies. Malcolm is a commercial, hospitality and interiors photographer who also works internationally – and rightly so!

His interior photography is sleek and bold, photographing beautiful contemporary settings in a variety of styles and architectural structures. We think Malcolm’s work is fresh, bold and eye-catching, providing his clients with images that perfectly capture the essence of the project. Malcolm has shot for a variety of clients, some of which include: The White Company, Raft Furniture, Villa Nova, Habitat and Lombok. 

Photographs by Malcolm Menzies

Now that you’ve seen some of Malcolm’s work, it’ll make sense that he also owns an incredible shoot location that we represent in our books – 6ixteen Country House & Cottage – which he co-manages with his wife Fiona. The property is fabulous and very much beloved by our clients; we can presume that Malcolm’s photography experience has something to do with knowing what makes a fantastic shoot location!

Photograph by Malcolm Menzies

Check out Malcolm’s portfolio and his Instagram page for a dose of fresh and fun content, ranging from food and bars to marvellous poolsides, kitchens and living rooms


Matt Clayton

Matt Clayton is another photographer we love. He’s London based and specialises in professional architectural and interior photography. He has an abundance of experience, catering to a range of projects and locations, including retail spaces, offices, buildings, houses, galleries, restaurants and schools.

Photographs by Matt Clayton

Matt’s work has impressively featured in multiple pieces of design press, for example The London Magazine, the Architects Journal and Real Homes Magazine. He’s also shot some of our great shoot locations in the past, so we can vouch for his talent!

Photograph by Matt Clayton

Take a look at Matt’s Instagram page for some clean-cut, aesthetically pleasing interior and architectural imagery. You can also view his extensive portfolio on his website.


Oli Douglas

And another one! Oli Douglas is a talented interiors and still life photographer, represented by artist agency Dillon & Friends. His photography is sleek and covers modern and contemporary design. John Lewis, SpaceNK, Harrods, the Barbican, Elle Decoration and are just some of the clients he has produced work for.

Photographs by Oli Douglas

He has also recently shot for Habitat UK with Camron PR at our beautiful Homestead shoot location – the outcome was spectacular!

Photographs by Oli Douglas

If you’re intrigued by Oli’s work, definitely take a better look at his website and Instagram page for a pool of bubbling interior photography.


Polly Wreford

And last, but not least, we present Polly Wreford. Polly is represented by Sarah Kaye and has an extensive portfolio of fun, bright and unconventional interior and lifestyle photography.

Photographs by Polly Wreford

Her work bursts with quirkiness, playing freely and creatively with composition, colour and models, breathing fresh air into each shoot and giving clients a visual outcome they didn’t know they needed! If contemporary maximalism and playful styling are your thing, we’d highly recommend checking out more of her brilliant photography.

Photographs by Polly Wreford

You can view her portfolio at Sarah Kaye Representation and more personal (iPhone) snaps over on her Instagram page.


Whether you’ve gathered some new ideas for curating your Instagram page or drawn some special ideas for your next interior styling project, we hope this article gave you some great inspiration from these fantastic photographers. Make sure to keep an eye out for Part 2!

Interior Stylists We Love!

Summer is finally upon us! So we thought what better a time to shine some light on some of our current favourite designers and stylists, encouraging you to go and check out their unique portfolios to get that fresh inspiration for your personal spaces, or simply for the ol’ memory bank!

Lucy Gough
Presenting you Lucy Gough, a fantastically experienced interior stylist and art director who has herself styled many shoots at a range of our locations, including our spacious North West London gem Ward House. From M&S and John Lewis to Homes & Gardens and You Magazine, Lucy has done it all, blessing creative projects with her eye for beautiful detail and careful, versatile design curation. At the moment, she is the head stylist at Australia’s Home Beautiful magazine, while simultaneously running her exceptional online Interior Styling School, sharing her impressive knowledge, skillset and wisdom to budding stylists and designers.

Lucy has very recently released her very own interiors book – The Home Style Handbook – consisting of both wonderful interior photography (shot by the talented Simon Bevan and, of course, styled by Gough) but also a wealth of information on styling, including tips and how-tos for those keen to play with transforming their personal spaces.

We urge you to check out her Instagram page for some refreshing and alluring content! You can also read our past interview with the talented creative, where she gives an insight into her inspirational process and her experience on shoots.


Nicole Gray

Introducing another beloved stylist of ours: Nicole Gray. Nicole operates freelance as a stylist, art director and brand consultant, all while working for You Magazine as their Interiors Director (impressive, we know!). Her work tends to be bright and vibrant, combining retro with contemporary and bringing projects to life with vivid saturation.

We’re particularly in love with her shoot for Habitat UK which presents interior trends for the SS23 season, shot at our beautiful Homestead location house. This project is spilling with prominent colour, hints of nostalgia and airy, summer vibes. We definitely recommend you checking out the outcome of this shoot here on her website!

Nicole’s Instagram page is captivating and simply aesthetically pleasing. If you’re seeking some energetic interior inspiration and satisfying imagery, definitely head over to the artist’s profile to get your fix.

Sara Bird
Sara Bird is another great multi-skilled interior stylist and is the co-founder of The CONTENTed Nest (alongside photographer Dan Duchars), which is a creative image producing agency, providing visual content and assets across all commercial and editorial platforms. Sara’s styling definitely takes a softer route, with essence ranging from beautiful English country homes to stylish, contemporary havens.

In fact, her and Dan’s recent book ‘Retreats for the Soul’ is all about helping readers convert their personal spaces into hideaways where they can ‘take time out’ and dedicate themselves to hobbies and mindful activities. We highly recommend Sara’s work for gaining that breath of fresh inspiration for those who are in need of a new sanctuary.

6ixteen Country and Petersham Common are just 2 of our wonderful location houses of which Sara has styled for shoots, including for Country & Homes Interiors Magazine and furniture supplier Broadleaf Timber. To indulge yourself in calming interior beauty, check out her Instagram page and portfolio on her website. If you’re really considering a chill-out space revamp, then we’d definitely recommend opting for a copy of ‘Retreats for the Soul’. If you’d like to read a bit more about Sara’s business partner Dan, head over to our latest post which talks about their company and his latest photographic work.


Stephanie Barba Mendoza

Now let’s discuss an up and coming designer on our radar: Stephanie of Barba Mendoza design studios. Hailing from Mexico, Stephanie began and developed her career in London, first as an interior designer for residential spaces, then via her diverse and compelling work with the internationally acclaimed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, covering not just domestic design but also retail spaces and hospitality.

Mendoza’s work is being rightly recognised and appreciated by more and more, including being awarded a spot in House & Garden’s Rising Stars to watch for 2023. The designer’s style is unique and tastefully eccentric, appearing to be influenced by intricate art, history and culture, all while maintaining the spirit and vision of each of her clients.

To get a taster of the studio’s ethos and aesthetic, have a peek at their Instagram page and their online portfolio. We don’t doubt that you’ll be left feeling inspired and intrigued with Mendoza’s design approach and creativity.

Buchanan Studio
Last but not least, we’d like to mention Buchanan Studio. Founded by couple Charlotte & Angus Buchanan, this design house works on a variety of projects, from interior design and styling to conception and creative direction. Their work is not limited to interiors, but touches on fashion, events and lifestyle ventures. With ‘creativity, imagination and originality’ achieved as part of their mission and ethos, this exceptional duo have designed compelling spaces and unique furniture, offering a breath of fresh air to contemporary brands and interior enthusiasts.

Our favourite work of theirs is their very own home which they renovated and designed from scratch. In this mystical house, each room has its own individual essence, from utilitarian but playful bathroom sanctuaries and a well-kept, elegant Victorian ‘middle room’, to a Japandi-style open-plan living and dining area.

Their Instagram page consists of interviews, their latest client work, their newly-released furniture and intriguing snapshots of their home. You can also find each of the couple’s personal accounts if you’re interested in seeing the more raw day-to-day of the lives of designers.

Mediterranean Interior Design

Summer is fast approaching – even if it’s still a little chilly here in London. But while scorching summer days are feeling ever elusive, it’s super easy to bring a sense of Southern European coastal elegance into your home. Laid-back and timeless, Mediterranean-inspired interior design can create a touch of elegance and charm in any home. It’s been a popular interior design style for decades, and for good reason.  

By embracing a few key elements, such as classic neutral colour schemes and natural materials, you can easily bring a light and airy ambience straight from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea into your home. The goal is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere with your interior design that embodies the relaxed and easy-going Mediterranean way of life. 

Mediterranean vibes at Palm Residence

So, how can you bring a Mediterranean influence into your interior design? 

1. A neutral colour palette.

The Mediterranean design style typically features a neutral colour scheme, with light and earthy tones that reflect the landscapes of the region. White walls and sandy neutrals are great for emulating those coastal villa vibes. Not only this, but a neutral wall also creates a base that’s great for adding accent colours – like the sunny yellows, sea-hued blue-greens and terracotta reds seen in our lovely shoot location, Roma. 

2. Natural materials.

­Wood and wicker, cotton and cement, stone and ceramics – all great examples of natural materials you can use. This adds some texture, personality, and visual interest to the space. Mediterranean design might be a little minimal, but it’s not stark – instead, it’s cosy and relaxed. Natural materials bring the outside into your home, creating an inviting and warm environment. 

3. Lots of light.

Mediterranean interiors prioritise a connection between the inside and outside and therefore make use of open-plan living areas with large windows or doors to let the light shine on in. This creates a bright and airy living space – and on a nice summer day, you might just be able to mistake your home for a Mediterranean paradise. 

There is a distinct air of Southern Mediterranean at Casa

In need of some inspiration?

Casa, one of our gorgeous East London shoot locations, has a rustic and tranquil Mediterranean-styled open-plan kitchen and living area. With a warm neutral colour scheme, arched entryway and sculptural staircase, it almost feels as if you’ve stepped out of London and straight into a coastal villa. Despite the minimalist styling, interesting textures add a sense of cosiness to the space. Rattan, wicker, and fluted wooden elements are used all throughout the space, as well as pops of warm-toned colours. Plants dotted around the room also add a freshness, once again emphasising the connection to nature and natural materials within this design style. Sliding doors lead you to a seating area perfect for outdoor dining. With multiple areas to gather and sit inside and out, Casa truly captures the essence of Mediterranean interior design. 

Terrazzo perfectly highlights the principle of bringing the outside in

Another wonderful Mediterranean-inspired shoot location is the new and exclusive Terrazzo, named for the location’s use of terrazzo throughout the property. The composite material originated in Italy, and only adds to the beautiful Mediterranean feel of the property. With floor-to-ceiling windows, an array of greenery, and multiple outdoor seating areas, it’s clear there’s an emphasis on the indoor-outdoor living embraced by those living along the Mediterranean coast. The combination of neutral and earth-toned hues throughout the property creates a warm and welcoming environment, with a good balance between neutrals and accent colours. One particularly striking spot is the terracotta red arched doorway, contrasting brilliantly against the white walls and terrazzo flooring. 

Is staying in the new going out?

With the cost of living crisis firmly taking hold and many people looking to economise as a result, it seems that more and more of us are thinking outside the box when it comes to entertainment and creating our own ‘pub’ experiences at home. On many levels this actually makes sense – when we go out it’s usually to socialise with our friends, so why not invite them round instead and enjoy their company for a fraction of the cost of a big night out?

There are all kinds of different ways to create bars in your home, from the simple classic ‘boat bar’ that sits happily in the corner of a room, to a full-on pub re-creation complete with a proper bar, bar stools, neon signs, beer on tap and spirit dispensers. Ultimately, what you will probably be guided by most is available space, as not everyone will have a spare end of room, basement or garden building to utilise. Most home bars are at least 6 ft long, so it’s a good idea to consider this when planning which area to use and having electrical sockets and plumbing nearby is also a consideration.

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, a few other things to consider will be finding space to store your supplies, buying a good selection of the various glass styles, a beer or wine fridge, bottle openers and cork screws, ice makers and buckets, cutting boards and peelers for your fruit additives, having a sink close by and choosing the types of drinks you’d like to have on offer. A good book on how to make inspiring cocktails could also be quite handy!

Once you decide to go ahead with building your very own bar, you’ll probably want to have a good think about design, i.e. do you want it to blend seamlessly into the look of the rest of your house, do you want it to remind you of your favourite haunt or do you want to go completely over the top and make a real statement? 

Luckily, at 1st Option we’re fortunate enough to represent a good selection of houses that have gone ahead and installed their own bars, so why not have a look at a selection of our favourites below for some brilliant inspiration…

The modern basement bar at Curious

Our first home bar can be found in Curious, which is a beautifully modernised shoot location in South West London. This is a great example of utilising basement space that might otherwise just end up as storage. The style of this room perfectly blends with the décor throughout the rest of the house and great care has been taken to make it modern and functional. The polished concrete floor works well in an area where there might be the occasional spillage plus the addition of subtle lighting and wall planting helps to give the space character. Note the fridge and wine rack at the back and the sink on the end to the right, plus plenty of electrical sockets on the wall.

The impressive back-lit bar at Rooke

Next on our list is Rooke, which is an ultra-modern shoot location on the River Thames in Oxfordshire. Off the main living area, the owners have created a striking home bar, with mirror-backed shelving, housing a truly impressive selection of drinks and back-lit in neon blue. Ultra-modern seating complements this area perfectly and the design style is an extension of the adjoining living area. Nearby, as an added extra, there is a circular glass opening in the floor which leads down spiral stairs to the liberally stocked wine cellar below, which probably comes in very handy when having your own bar!

The basement bar / nightclub at Havana

Havana is a large 4 bedroom house in Beckenham, Kent, which has many quirky features, not least of which is its bar / nightclub in the basement! For this example, the owners have chosen to use bright and bold colours, giving it a Cuban tropical feel, hence the name. This dedicated bar area is well-stocked and has a distinctly playful feel, making it the perfect place to entertain friends. As if this wasn’t already enough, the bar leads to an outdoor hot tub, making it the ultimate place to hang out and have fun.

The wonderfully unique style at Martini

Martini really is a shoot location like no other! This 1930’s detached house is close to Willesden Green and is decorated in a completely unique way. As part of the huge kitchen / dining space, the owners have created a superb bar area that wouldn’t look out of place in a chic drinking establishment. Using dark red walls, dark wooden flooring, subtle lighting and touches of gold, the overall effect is a complete success. The shelving behind the bar is back-lit and well stocked and it’s easy to imagine that spending time hanging out here would be much more appealing than taking a trip to the local pub!

Another basement bar / nightclub triumph at Phoenix

Next, we go south to Brighton where we find Phoenix, a detached 5 bedroom Victorian house close to the seafront. This home bar / nightclub is another basement addition and again has been designed with entertaining in mind. With a vintage feel, the furnishings are fun and quirky and even boast a disco ball and a dart board! The lighting is playful and colourful and the textured walls add warmth. This is another one of those spaces where you could easily imagine spending lots of time with friends.

It’s the perfect place to party party at Minton House

Minton House is a delightful three storey Victorian end of terrace townhouse just outside Birmingham city centre. The house itself is full of surprises, colour and character but for this home bar the owners have chosen to use a building outside, that connects to the beautiful terrace and courtyard. This whole area is full of tropical plants and pops of colour and leads into the multi-coloured interior of the entertaining space. The bar itself has a distinct ‘beach bar’ feel and in conjunction with the rest of the outdoor space makes the perfect place for hanging out with friends, especially in the summer months.

The calming eclectic style of Lace Apartment

Lace Apartment, in the East of London, is the epitome of the word ‘eclectic’, showcasing an array of quirky furniture and décor. This space has been set up to be a calm and relaxing dwelling and to that end the owner has pulled it off perfectly. This home bar is a great example of working to a budget yet still managing to create an area full of character. Although quite a simple set up compared to most that we’ve already seen, it’s still very effective and certainly does the job. Evenings around this drinks dispenser would probably be a more chilled-out affair, but for some people that would be the perfect choice.

Have your home bar anywhere you want at Tulum

Last, but not least, is the afore-mentioned boat bar! When you approach the beautiful location property that we call Tulum, although being a Victorian property, thanks to the blue shutters on the outside windows which are original to the house you’ll find a distinct ‘Colonial’ feel. Inside, although staying true to its Victorian heritage, the owners demonstrate a unique design style, with brightly coloured furniture, vivid wallpaper and an abundance of plant life. Their home bar choice is the boat bar and these pictures show that one of the benefits of this is that you can move it around and place it in whichever room you’d like to entertain.

So there’s a lot of inspiration here if you’re thinking you might like to set up your own entertainment space. The only limitations are finding a suitable space, budget and of course your imagination. We hope seeing examples of what others have done will help to inspire you, and if you do decide to take the plunge we’d love to see the end results!

It’s a jungle out there…

In recent years it’s become more and more recognised that being surrounded by plants in your living and working environments can have real health benefits, two of the main ones being improved psychological well-being and improved human health.

It’s widely thought that bringing more plants into your life can help to improve your mood, reduce stress levels and improve your productivity. There is also some evidence that they can improve air quality too.

There’s no doubt that being around plants can often make us feel happier and calmer, especially with people spending more time at home these days with flexible working. If you live in a city, where green open spaces may not be on everyone’s doorsteps, it’s a great way to feel more in-touch with nature. So what’s not to love?

Aside from all of these benefits, plants are also a great way to add depth and character to your home. Introducing plants to various rooms can transform them from ordinary to spectacular with great ease, making your home feel more ‘complete’.

If you’re thinking of adding some biophilia to your own space and are in need of some inspiration, we’ve hand-picked a selection of our favourite location properties that have done just that, to great effect. Have a look at our selection below to get an idea of what you could achieve…

Using plants in the bedroom at Tulum

Tulum is a beautiful Victorian period property in Hampshire that has used plants to great effect throughout. People used to be wary of having plants in a bedroom space because there was a school of thought that they might monopolise the available oxygen. These days though, it’s thought of more as a benefit in aiding peaceful and restful sleep. There’s no doubt that sleeping in a room like this would certainly put you in the right frame of mind to drift off and wake completely refreshed in the morning!

Sitting with nature in the lovely Optical

Optical is a 4 storey Victorian townhouse in East London, which again has made good use of introducing plant life to add character to the unique decor. Most of the house is decorated with pastel colours, which sets off the greenery perfectly! This sitting room has the biggest collection of mix & match greenery and the different species complement each other well. Elsewhere in the house the plants are more used for adding accents to the stylish mid-century furniture, which also works very well.

The kitchen space at Casa, with plants helping to bring the outside in

Casa’s kitchen area is an impressive space with a Japandi-meets-Moroccan styled open-plan layout. This part of this East London house is neutral and warm in tone and is brought to life with the subtle use of plants along its edges. Having the full-width floor-to-ceiling glass doors looking onto the garden, the plants help to give the effect of the garden being an extension of the living space, allowing you to feel as though you are living outside when you’re in!

The Cube‘s outside living space really makes you feel at one with nature

The Cube, in South London, has taken a completely different approach to bringing plants into the living space by actually putting the living space right in the middle of them! This tropical garden features a beautiful and tranquil glass cube that houses the ultimate chill-out living room. It’s easy to imagine how relaxing it would feel to spend time in this space, with its rich backdrop colours and unique furnishings, and you have to wonder how it would ever be possible to leave!

Does Bromley House have the ultimate garden living space with its plant-filled summerhouse?

Owned by a photographer, Bromley House is a lovely eclectic shabby chic style shoot location in South London. As well as strategic use of plants inside the house, the jewel in this property’s crown is the lovely summerhouse/conservatory which can be found in the garden. This wonderful creative space is infused with greenery, providing the perfect place to be surrounded by the calming effects of nature while being protected from the perils of the UK’s weather quirks.

The wonderfully absorbing sitting room at Green

Green truly is what you would call a ‘unique’ location! Situated in Woodford, North East London, this is a house unlike any other we have in our library. Stepping inside you’ll find a carefully curated explosion of colour that continues through every room. The whole essence of this house is augmented by the addition of plants throughout. Without them the house would still be spectacular but the plants are hugely instrumental in taking it to a whole other level!

The biophilia-filled living space at Clapton Tram Shed

If you want to get an idea of just how far you can take adding plants to your living space, then take a look at the fabulously biophilia-filled Clapton Tram Shed! Since moving in to an empty East London warehouse shell a few years ago, owner and interior designer, John, has gradually been adding more and more plants to his beautiful home. While there’s no doubt that the overall effect of so much greenery is awe-inspiring, it’s probably worth bearing in mind that your charges will need regular watering, so it’s a good idea to consider the amount of time you’ll be able to set aside for this before going too crazy!

The planting at Clapton Tram Shed continues out to the beautiful secluded courtyard garden

So, all in all, you’ll probably agree that life is better with plants in it! If you’re thinking of adding more to your own space, have a look online for some of the best bargains or seek out your local garden centres where your likely to find lots of knowledgable people who will be happy to give you plenty of free advice on the best ones to buy and how to take care of them. Happy hunting!

Pastel de Nata

Yes, we’re big fans of the traditional Portuguese egg custard tarts in the office! However, with the onslaught of Spring it’s also got us thinking about pastel shades, who makes the best ones and where we might like to paint them… So, we did a straw poll with everyone here and asked them to pick their favourites and tell us why they like them! 

Melisa – Digital Content & Admin : Brand: LICK – Colour: Soft Creamy Yellow 01

Why do you like it? I love this shade because it’s bright and has a nostalgic feel – when I was a kid my aunt’s bedroom was painted in a similar colour, contrasted with deep blue decor and it was always my favourite room.

Why does it suit your personality? Well, (I like to think) I’m quite a cheerful person and I like to keep things light and fun – I feel that this shade reflects that! 

Where would it go in your house? This has to be a kitchen or bedroom shade for me.

Soft Creamy Yellow at Clayhill

Nina – Bookings Agent : Brand: Farrow & Ball – Colour: Calamine No.230

Why do you like it? It’s such a beautiful shade of pink – when it comes to pink, that particular shade feels timeless. It can be put in a young child’s bedroom or someone in their 20s, 30s, or even 60s’ bedroom for example.

Why does it suit your personality? I’d say because it’s fun and can inject some life & warmth into a bland space

Where it would go in your house? Bathroom

Beautiful pastel pinks at High View and Donyland

Abi – General Manager : Brand: Little Greene – Colour: Pearl Colour

Why do you like it? I like this colour because it’s bright and fresh, whilst still being soft and neutral.

Why does it suit your personality? Being a plant-parent I can definitely resonate with the colour green, but this cheerful shade I think suits my outlook. Perhaps the calming effect of this colour is more along the lines of what I need rather than how I am naturally!

Where would it go in your house?  This colour would look gorgeous literally anywhere – it would add a sense of relaxation if featured in a lounge or bedroom, it would brighten up a bathroom space or add a touch of elegance to a kitchen.

Brilliant use of Pearl Colour in on the kitchen units at Homestead

Luis – Accounts : Brand: Crown Paints – Colour: Sunrise 

Why do you like it? I feel that one can’t get too much sunlight at home – but it’s easy to get too little. So having this at home does the trick, sometimes. It is luminous, without being too jarring with the rest of my furniture.

Why does it suit your personality? The colour is subtle and warm while not very demanding, similarly to the way I want to be.

Where would it go in your house? I would be tempted to use it in my hall and corridor, to provide a welcoming feeling, or in my bedroom if out of my window is gloomy.

Sunrise in action at two of our properties, Elder and Claude

Sophia – Bookings Agent : Brand: Benjamin Moore – Colour: Apple Blossom

Why do you like it? I’m a big fan of green in general, I like how this shade is soft and elegant and think it would work well with wooden furniture. 

Why does it suit your personality? I find the colour calming and I’d say I’m quite a laid-back person. 

Where would it go in your house? I like it for a bedroom or living room. I’ve actually just painted my bedroom in a similar shade!

Lovely examples of Apple Blossom in use at Isabella and Bobbin

Naomi – Bookings Agent : Brand: COAT – Colour: Lie-in

Why do you like it? It reminds me of the sky, of staring out the window and watching the clouds pass by. It’s a peaceful colour, it’s serene. It reminds me of the water on an overcast day, and trips to the seaside. This shade of blue was always my favourite growing up

Why does it suit your personality? I’m not sure if it suits my personality, but I wish I could be as calm and as tranquil as this paint colour!

Where would it go in your house? It would be perfect for the bathroom, I think :)) 

Lie-in used effectively at Cotton Studio and Donyland

Robin – Canine Supervisor : Brand: Dulux – Colour: Misty Aqua

Why do you like it? Because it reminds me of the sea and being on holiday, which apparently is something people do…

Why does it suit your personality? It’s the kind of colour that makes calming spaces, where people can relax, create and feel regenerated!

Where would it go in your house? The walls of my spare bedroom at home are painted in this colour and when the sun (?) streams through the window it gives the room a feeling that’s both vibrant and tranquil at the same time.

Misty Aqua in full effect at Sovereign and Flute

Top 5 for January / February ’23

After a bit of a sabbatical our Top 5 series is back, taking a look at five of the best new locations that we’ve taken on since the start of the year. We’ve been incredibly blessed to have been inundated with a great selection of properties over the last coupe of months and choosing just five hasn’t been easy! Scroll down to see our selection of favourites so far in 2023…


This 4 bedroom East London town house has been refurbished and repurposed in such an incredible way that we can’t stop looking at it. We try really hard not to use the word ‘stunning’ when describing our properties but there seems no better word to sum up the double height atrium kitchen.

The beautiful double-height atrium kitchen at Victoria

Light floods in through the arched window, the crittal doors and the full-length skylights, showcasing the marble kitchen island, marble work tops, decorative chandeliers and beautiful parquet flooring. The doors at the end perfectly frame the garden beyond and the tasteful use of dark wooden period furniture perfectly complements the overtly modern style.

The panelled lounge area featuring pink velvet seating

Leading on from the kitchen, the main living room area is another visual delight, with more expanse of parquet flooring, panelled walls, pink velvet furniture and fabulous artistic touches. This is open plan to the hallway with a beautifully restored staircase which leads to the next level.

Here you will find a wonderful selection of exquisitely styled bedrooms and a bathroom that you could spend an eternity in. The central roll-top bath is surrounded by dark floral wallpaper, a lamp with matching shade and an ornate double pedestal sink. There is also a marble shower, encased in glass and views from the bath onto the gardens. 

The exquisite bathroom with views over the garden

On the upper level there is another wonderful bedroom with yet another roll-top bath at one end and full-height glass doors opening on to a terrace which has views of the City. 


Green truly is what you would call a ‘unique’ location! Located in Woodford, North East London, this is a house unlike any other we have in our library. Step inside to find a carefully curated explosion of colour that continues through every room and every level. There’s no holding back in the first lounge, with bold panelled walls, bright velvet furniture, a tiled fireplace and striped rug. Clever use of plants and props further adds to the sensory experience.

An explosion of colour greets you at every turn when entering Green

The second living area, which adjoins the kitchen, again uses a mix of colour, complemented with quirky artwork, more plants, a striped tiled floor and crittal windows looking out onto the garden, giving a distinct feeling of bringing the outside in. The kitchen itself is fitted with dark wooden and metallic units and a central island that houses the hob. To the side of this is the dining area which again is full of quirky props and artwork.

The second living area which is next to the kitchen and features more great use of colour

The staircase in the hallway is fitted with a rainbow carpet, which ties in the array of colours surrounding it and along the walls you’ll find even more fascinating arty pieces. Once upstairs you’ll find more visual delights in the bedrooms, with a lovely selection of different wallpapers, and the bathrooms which further explore the use of unusual floor tiles.

Another colour selection in the hallway that plays with your senses

The lovely courtyard garden at the rear is also awash with colour and features palm trees and decking, giving it a positively tropical feel.


Based in East London, Casa features traditional Victorian interiors, boasting 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and beautiful, restored period features. 

Casa’s most impressive space is its Japandi-meets-Moroccan styled open-plan kitchen and living area, formed as part of an extension to the rear of the house. This space, neutral and warm in tone, is accessible via a small raised arch and a set of raw wooden steps. The kitchen area is fitted with an incredible central island and hob, doubling up as a breakfast bar and fronted with wooden panelling. 

The Japandi-style kitchen space at Casa

Adjacent to the kitchen is the living space, fitted with a low, souk-style sofa and scatter cushions around a rustic rug and potted plants. Further down the space clients will find a funky, retro-styled bookshelf and bright art, surrounded by more plants, touching the room tastefully with biophilic design. 

The seating area with souk-style sofa and cushions

Towards the rear you’ll find the dining space and chill-out area, directly opposite the wall of glass which provides a direct view of the garden. This already-light space is brightened by its tall, wood-panelled ceilings and a huge central skylight. 

Stepping out into the garden via sliding doors, clients will find themselves upon a smooth concrete patio, featuring a hand-made shelter and bench to the left-hand side, perfect for outside dining. To the back of the garden, a shed can be discovered, along with a huge trampoline. 

Back inside and towards the front of the property, you’ll find Casa’s cosy, wood-panelled reception room, set across a polished parquet floor. This space is painted in a dark midnight blue, brought to life with pops of warm colour through art, photos and ornaments. A grey sofa sits in between two tall sash windows, which are fitted with wooden bi-folding panels. One wall is filled with an abundance of books, as well as a neat stack of drinks and glasses, acting as a mini bar. An original fireplace can also be found here.

Casa’s panelled reception room with parquet flooring

The main bedroom features a large four-poster bed, pleasantly facing a beautiful, refurbished mantlepiece. A built-in, rattan wardrobe takes up the entirety of one wall, maximising storage potential and even providing a textural backdrop in this modest space.

Back inside and towards the front of the property, you’ll find Casa’s cosy, wood-panelled reception room, set across a polished parquet floor. This space is painted in a dark midnight blue, brought to life with pops of warm colour through art, photos and ornaments. A grey sofa sits in between two tall sash windows, which are fitted with wooden bi-folding panels. One wall is filled with an abundance of books, as well as a neat stack of drinks and glasses, acting as a mini bar. An original fireplace can also be found here.

The main bedroom features a large four-poster bed, pleasantly facing a beautiful, refurbished mantlepiece. A built-in, rattan wardrobe takes up the entirety of one wall, maximising storage potential and even providing a textural backdrop in this modest space.


Meadows is a hyper-modern spacious home in Essex. The ground floor is open plan, with a white and bright interior that has a distinct feeling of space due to the double-height ceiling in the kitchen area. Although interconnecting to the kitchen, the different areas are cleverly zoned and encompass the living room and dining space, which are tiled throughout.

The double-height living space at Meadows

Off to the side, you’ll find a second living room area with a slate tiled fireplace, which is ideal for a breakout or prep area for crews shooting at the house. Here again there are full-width sliding glass doors, which only add to the wonderful feeling of space.

The second living area leading off from the kitchen

On the landing upstairs there is yet another seating area which looks over the balcony to the kitchen area below. This leads to the bedrooms, which are also painted white and carry on the modern theme. The bathrooms are also sleek and modern, with walk in showers and stylish baths, these also feature tiling on both the floors and the walls.

The manicured garden space, ideal for outside dining

Outside the master bedroom is a lovely balcony terrace area which looks out over the garden, which is vast and is home to many mature trees. The garden also features outdoor seating and eating areas plus a swimming pool.


The last of our top 5 is the spectacular Tunbridge. A detached Georgian country house and former rectory dating from 1803, the property is a grand home and consists of the main house, which is sprawling and vast with 5 bedrooms, plus a coach house, where you’ll find two more.

The large formal dining room with sash windows and shutters

The ground floor of the main house features a large formal dining room with an open fire, large sash windows complete with shutters and a grand fireplace. Next to this is a large drawing room, decorated with pastel colours, a library & TV room and a family room.

The large kitchen has a real country feel and is complete with a central kitchen island, a separate eating area, white walls, an aga and units finished in subtle green tones. 

The sleek kitchen manages to maintain a ‘country’ feel

Considering the quality of the finishes throughout, it’s not surprising to know that this house has been lovingly restored over a period of three years, with help of House and Garden’s Interior Designer of the Year, Maddux

In the grounds outside you’ll find the coach house, which also houses traditional old stables that have been transformed into an event space with an adjoining professional chef’s kitchen with large steel and glass doors. On the floor above as well as the two extra bedrooms there is a living room, a kitchenette and a bathroom. 

Tunbridge looking resplendent from the outside

The grounds outside are huge and span approximately 27 acres, including fields with sheep and alpacas, a fruit orchard and mature woodlands. The large garden area immediately surrounding the house is formal and adjoins a tennis court, a courtyard, a greenhouse, a swimming pool with pool house, a gym and a kid’s playground, chickens, cut flower gardens and much more.

We’re sure you’ll agree that as country houses go, this one has just about everything you could possibly need!

In Conversation with Elisabeth Ciarrocchi from Spratts Factory

Rob – “Today I have the fabulous Elisabeth Ciarrocchi from Spratts Factory and Encore Reclamation with me. How are you today?”

Elisabeth – “I’m very well thank you, had a really great day filming with you guys.”

Rob – “Thanks so much, as did we, you have such an incredible space here! Speaking on that, what exactly inspired you to buy a disused warehouse/ factory?” 

Elisabeth – “So, we had previously lived in a flat about a mile away from here; I was pregnant with our second daughter, so we needed a bigger space. We went around looking at all these other properties in the area, but couldn’t find anything that we really loved. This was actually on the market the entire time, so we after a while, we were like ‘oh, well it’s still for sale, we may as well go and check it out’. We came to see it and fell in love immediately.”

“Not just for this huge indoor space, but it also has the massive space at the back and we just thought this is great for kids; we thought we were so lucky to be able to have such a huge space inside and this big rear space as well, it was kind of love at first sight. It really was definitely just a purchase from the heart. There was a lot of work that needed to be done, but we saw it and just had to go for it.”

Rob – “That’s amazing! So, can you talk to me a little bit about the challenges you faced in creating the space that we now have, from where it was when you bought it?”

Elisabeth – “We actually lived here for six years before we renovated. So, by the time it came to demolition and renovation, we kind of knew exactly how we wanted the space to look. We worked with our architect to reimagine it as close to its original form as we could. An industrial, utilitarian and practical space that was also brought into proportion with the original parts of the building – the windows and the double height ceilings etc.” 

“It wasn’t actually that difficult to figure out how we wanted to use the space – like I said on the video walkthrough, once we had torn everything out, we were just looking at this shell of building, essentially just four walls. You might think that would be daunting, but you actually end up getting more creative and coming up with more ideas. It’s far less scary and gives you more inspiration than would think.”

Rob – “Awesome, so would you say that utilitarian is your design style?”

Elisabeth – “I think so. I would definitely say I’m a minimalist – I don’t like things that are over fussy, I much prefer things that can be easily cleaned and organised. I like to know where things are. Even though it sounds really morbid, I really like the idea of Swedish Death Cleaning. It’s basically about only having things around you that (if you were to die) your loved ones would either be able to use or would find valuable. So, it’s kind of like a form of decluttering, but with a thought for your loved ones, rather than just being neat and tidy. You have to think, if something were to happen to me, would my family want to keep that? Just keeping those really special things around you.” 

“I’m also really obsessed with Ricardo Bofill’s cement factory, La Fábrica – a former cement factory in Spain that he turned into a home and a centre of architecture, Taller de Arquitectura (RBTA). It’s this vast brutal space with huge windows that he’s turned into this amazing home. He brought all of this greenery inside, and even though it’s very brutal, he blurred the lines between nature and construction. Anyone who lives in a warehouse or loft space purposely would reference the cement factory as an inspiration and an aspiration. It’s such an incredible space. We’re nothing like it, but I just love looking at pictures of it and thinking how I can incorporate ideas from there into here.”

Rob – “My next question was going to ask about your inspirations in design. Would you say you have any others?”

Elisabeth – “I wouldn’t say that that I have many specific influences – Ricardo Bofill and his cement factory is one for sure that I would reference, but I love looking at home magazines; I am totally obsessed with Architectural Digest and their YouTube home tours of Celebrity homes – ‘Open Door’. It’s like fancy cribs to me. Whenever we have interior shoots here, I also pay close attention to what the stylist has done with the space. A lot of the things you see in front of you is in fact actually just the way a stylist has set the space up and I’ve just left it that way. But I don’t really have anything specific.”

“When you are a location home, you have to be organised; you can’t have things stuffed into one cupboard and other things stuffed into another. You have to know where your stuff is because clients can move things around – the aim after a shoot is to, without even thinking, click things back into place. I don’t have much stuff, so it’s definitely, definitely minimalism.”

Rob – “Minimalism definitely works for being a shoot location. And most of your pieces here are reclaimed aren’t they.”

Elisabeth – “For sure, everything here is either from eBay or from our own line of work.”

Rob – “Amazing! So, what’s your favourite area or element within your home? Does that translate to a shoot or is it just for relaxing with your family?”

Elisabeth – “I guess it would have to be the room we’re sat in right now, the family room; it’s comfortable, it’s upstairs, so in winter it’s warm, it’s relaxed and it just has all the stuff that we as a family enjoy. So, there’s games, there’s toys and there’s a tv – just all the stuff a modern family needs. It’s much more of a personal room, with family photos and stuff, whereas downstairs, although we do have personal items there, I don’t keep pictures of my family there. It’s mostly a space for clients to do with as they please and the family room is ours.”

Rob – “Love that. So, why did you become a shoot location owner in the first place?”

Elisabeth – “We kind of fell into it. So, when we bought this place, we got ourselves registered with a few location agencies, but the place did not look like this at all. We still got shoots as the space was big and it had brick walls, big windows etc. It still had some attractive elements to it, so it did get booked. We really liked doing it, thought it was fun, so at the start, we didn’t turn anything down. Over time we started whittling down the kind of shoots that weren’t appropriate for us. We had to think about neighbours and how some larger shoots impacted the outside area of our property. We actually have the most fun with the larger shoots, but we don’t do so much of them anymore. Nevertheless, overall we really enjoyed it; we got along with the crews, we weren’t precious about our possessions and we just let the crews make the space their own. My kids loved it, we loved it, and over time we just started developing relationships with location agencies. We still always just want people to feel as comfortable here as possible.”

“When we renovated in 2016, we just went from there – we had already built these great relationships with the agencies, so then we had this completely redone and renovated space to offer and that’s when we got really popular. From there it became a real business and not just a hobby.”

Rob – “How did you find out about 1st Option?”

Elisabeth – “It would have been just reaching out to the larger agencies when we first started, way back in 2011. I’ve been working with you guys for a long time now.”

Rob – “Great, so last two questions and I’ll be out of your hair. Why do you think Spratts Factory makes such a great shoot location?”

Elisabeth – “We’re on the ground floor, we have double wide entrances and we’re really nice.”

Rob – “Perfect! And finally, what’s you craziest or best shoot story to date?

Elisabeth – “Ooo great question, I actually don’t know – I mean we’ve probably had over 1000 shoots here. But looking back, there’s probably a couple of standout stories that I think are interesting in terms of the people who have been inside my house. So, we’ve had Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Willem Defoe, Idris Elba, Lily Allen, Marcus Rashford, Tom Daley, Sean Bean, loads of celebrities. It’s seeing these people in person that is really cool, you know? And everybody has been really nice as well, they have their own personalities, but they’ve all been so respectful. I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten to know any of them, because we’re not really here for shoots, but we help them get settled, show them where stuff is and then leave.”

“But as I said, they’ve all been super nice. It’s really funny when you go onto their Instagram accounts and you see them posting things from around your house – I find that really cool.” But one of the coolest things we ever had here was this BT advert, where they cut out a part of the banister and put in a tubular slide that was here for a whole week. The thing we were more excited about than anything, however, was that we had Asim Chaudhry from ‘People Just Do Nothing’ here, along with Willem Defoe. It’s my favourite show ever, so we cared more about him being here than the great Willem Defoe – Chubuddy G was in my house! We were so excited. Anyway, the slide was for him, he was supposed to be working in an ad agency, pitching ads. His ad was to make this great entrance and come flying down this slide before starting his speech.”

“So, we had that filmed here – Oscar winner, Willem Defoe, with the Mayor of Hounslow, Chubuddy G. And then it never aired. When you think about the amount of money that went into it; they had a trailer here for Willem Defoe and between prep, strike and shoot days, it was probably a week-long shoot, this huge production, that we never saw aired.”

“What I will say though is, they were shooting all day and left in the evenings. For insurance purposes, they told us not to use any of the props they had set up. They even said, we don’t know what you guys get up to at night, but just be careful with everything. Every single night, my kids were flying down it. It wasn’t your regulation slanted slide, it was built to fit it into this space, so it basically went straight down and my kids were on it every single night – it was very cool and fun for them.”

“It’s actually so funny, because around two years ago, my husband and I were at this pub/ restaurant down the road and Asim was randomly there too. My husband always has thing where he’ll say hello to a celebrity when they come into the house, but if the crew asks if he wants to properly meet them, he politely declines, as he’d rather wait till he ever runs into them in the street, as he has the inroad – he can then be like ‘ah, you shot in my house that time’.  So, we were in this restaurant and we spotted him with his mum and his sister. I was so excited to see him as I’m such a huge fan of ‘People Just Do Nothing’. My husband told me that we were going to do it there and then. So, he went over to the table told him that he shot in our house for an advert for BT. He completely remembered it, and spoke about how it never got aired. He was really funny because he was going on about how gutting it was that he’s not able to put on his CV that he worked with Willem Defoe.”

“For me it’s just funny because you have these huge names in your house and then suddenly you may see them out and about in the real world and you can be like ‘oh, you shot The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ in my house. So, for me it’s the people, the celebrities who come and shoot here. It’s so fun to say to my friends that Idris Elba for example is in my house; it’s cool, it’s fun.”

Rob – “It’s very cool, I completely get it. I’d be absolutely the same! Okay, that’s everything from me, thank you so much for your time today, Elisabeth, has been a thoroughly enjoyable day. We’ll see you all in the next one.”