Top 5 for February

Following on from the impressive end to 2020, the start of this year has been no different when it comes to taking on new properties. We have been incredibly lucky over this past month taking on some incredible new residential properties, bringing a fan favourite back to your screens and seeing the takeover and revamp of an ever-popular studio! If you would like to check out our whole portfolio of new properties you can see them here, but in the meantime let’s get into our top five for February. 

Artspace

Artspace is back! The property that has been shot at by half of London over the years is on our books again and we couldn’t be more delighted. The wonderfully unique South London property is owned by a photographer and it’s easy to see why. It’s been set up to look like a shoot location with the pure intent to be hired out, featuring antique furniture throughout, including vintage beds, a beautiful grand piano and a gorgeous chaise lounge to name a few. All of these touches, as well as a premium finish across the whole property are why the location has been so popular for so many years. Its structure may be fairly traditional with high ceilings, washed wooden flooring and giant Georgian windows, however, the fresh, premium colour palette with tons of natural sunlight gives the space a delightfully modern feel. 

Dalston Heights A & B

Dalston Heights A & B, formerly known merely as Dalston Heights, was full of props and furnishings, however,  has now been taken over by new owners and since the turn of the year they have been hard at work revamping the studios turning them into two separate entities. The ever-popular studios have been emptied to create a blank canvas, leaving you with a space to get creative and fill as you like. One has a side pitched roof while the other is filled with skylights, the former cardboard box factory is rich with texture and photographic opportunities you can’t find anywhere else!

Melrose

Up next is the first residential property that is completely new to our books, Melrose, a gorgeous family home situated in South West London. The standout features within this superb property are it’s exquisite parquet flooring, large spaces for shooting and the premium crittal windows. Furthermore the kitchen has an elegant minimalist feel with shades of industrial about it, which you won’t be able to get enough of. This impressive property gives off a real charm and without doubt will become one of our most popular shoot locations over the coming years. 

Lotus 

Where to begin with our next property? Once you see Lotus you’ll be clambering to shoot there! The South London family home is packed to the rafters with truly immense standout features that make for a perfect shoot location whatever your needs. Set over four floors, the property is finished with a striking parquet flooring throughout, however, the main attraction points come from the crittal windows and dividers found across the extension at the back, the lavish wine cellar and the striking differences in palette from room to room. If we move to the original front of the property, there is a completely different style, nevertheless, it works just as effortlessly. Check out the juxtaposition between the tiled landing that is set against a pastel green colour palette and the modern minimalist kitchen with its clean and fresh white interior. 

Pietra 

If you have used social media or in fact have read any of the mainstream media’s online channels over the past couple of months, then you will most likely have come across our latest shoot location, Pietra. The huge mansion style property, located in Bromley, features a marble flooring throughout giving off an opulent feel. Every space is vast, making it perfect for any type of shoot and if this wasn’t enough there is a small indoor football pitch, a hot tub and a large gym. If you are looking for a lavish mansion style shoot location, then Pietra is the property for you. 

In the Spotlight: Bohemian Design

At some point in your life you will have come across Bohemian design whether you know it or not. Often referred to as Boho, the style is light and bright featuring many patterns and layers that will leave a lasting impression that you can’t forget. The word itself refers to someone who is typically socially unorthodox and goes against the grain. They are often rather arty and creative, all of which helps make them great interior designers and is perfect for an interior design option for a rich space full of visual activity and a carefree spirit. However, while we can talk about how relaxed and carefree the spirit of the design style is, there are some clear and distinctive style cues that are needed to get the look right without coming across as brash or heavy handed. 

If you are interested in learning about different design styles, their heritage and how to perfect in your own home, then check out the rest of our in the spotlight series here. 

Simple base 

The start of any design style needs a solid foundation and Boho is no different. Bohemian style requires warm and earthy tones that create a perfect canvas for layering upon. Opting for a neutral base allows you to pile your creativity, expressive colour and most importantly pattern for the perfect Boho blend without it being in your face or too loud. The key to not coming across as too overbearing is to saturate the muted tones with colour, creating a harmonious and soothing space with expressive elements. Bright base tones can be applied to the style, however, you must make sure they aren’t too rich as it can result in a somewhat chaotic starting point. When it comes to longevity in a room, a neutral colour palette is always your best option. 

Botanicals

Botanicals are a great addition to a bohemian room as they are light, quirky and add a relaxed vibe while adding a dimension to any room. Furthermore, while we all know about the health benefits having plants in your room can add, they also add a pop of colour to your neutral base without interfering with the rest of the room. If you want to hang plants as well, it is a great way to add interest and depth to your space, the key to an excellent bohemian room is to be creative and expressive while adding depth and texture. Make sure your personality comes across in your space! From a simple hanging basket to something more ornate, having a variety of different plants in different sizes and shapes is a really striking way to bring a bohemian room to life. 

Patterns 

Layering is a must in any Boho room, it is simple, easy to achieve and adds texture to any area. What you are looking to do is contrast different patterns from rugs to cushions and throws to other parts of furniture. The key to layering with patterns is  to have fun and mix and match your patterns, get a little wild and have contrasting shapes, scales and patterns to create the bohemian vibe you’re looking for. However, while we say go wild with patterns, do keep consistency with colour throughout, as you don’t want the room to be overbearing or disjointed. Choose a selection of hues that you keep coming back to, either choose lighter pastels and stay there or darker more luxurious colours like burgundy, emerald green and deep purple. 

Bright Colours

When we think about bohemian decor, bright colours and hues are often the first things that come to mind, whether that be pinks or purples, oranges or yellows, the bolder the better when it comes to Boho design. Deluxe tones work perfectly in a bohemian room, instantly making a space feel comforting in a way that’s exclusive. 

Say no to Minimalism 

Boho style is one of the only top design trends that actually says no to minimalism, more is more here as you don’t want empty spaces or surfaces. The look is about being indulgent and airs on maximalism. With that in mind, the key is to keep the space curated and not just packed to the rafters with junk or whatever you can find. As stated throughout, expression, creativity and personality are at the heart of boho design, so be sure that everything you love and have collected over the years is on display. Make sure your collectables and trinkets tell a story, just be sure to make sure it’s not too overbearing, that there is enough space to highlight the rest of your decor and display your artwork. Make sure you stay away from looking like a hoarder but more of someone with a curated home of purpose. 

Distressed Furniture 

With shades of shabby chic, a boho room can really come together with furniture that looks like it has been lived in, it adds charm and looks like it’s had an interesting life before coming to you. Like it was sourced from a market in some far-flung part of the world. The key is to find pieces that appear to have a personal history about them, this can be achieved yourself through distressing, or by buying antiques. However, the more alluring the piece, the more bohemian the space will feel. The more eclectic the better!

Layering

The final element to a perfect bohemian space is layering with decorative items and textiles, whether that be cushions, throws or rugs. Boho style is all about layering! Different styles and patterns are key for a rich statement, layering one, two or even three rugs isn’t too much. Layers of cushions or throws will also add to the relaxed bohemian vibe that you are trying to achieve. The key to layering is that it should reveal more on a second or third look than it does on the first as layering colours, patterns and textures should add the creative and expressive element to the room. 

Ask the Location Owner: Episode 5

In episode five of our series ‘Ask the Location Owner’ we chat with Claudia over video call to learn all about her home ‘Burlotti’.

In the Spotlight: Shabby Chic

Shabby chic, also known as vintage or country chic, is one of the more interesting design styles around grabbing your eye through its use of mixing a lived in worn look with elegance, charm and beauty. It may seem like a bit of a juxtaposition, fusing elegant and beautiful with worn in and stripped back, however, this is exactly why it does work. Throw in some soft colours with feminine accents amid a mixture of new and vintage decor and your shabby chic picture begins to materialise. 

Shabby chic interior design is a fairly modern design style and has only been around since the 1980’s, during this period opulence and decadence were the trends that were taking centre stage. Wherever you looked you would never be too far from marble filled lobbies, lavish penthouse suites and extravagant furnishings as far as the eye could see. Following this era of vulgarity, it made sense that something polar opposite would emerge and people started looking back in history to find pieces of furniture that were perhaps a bit chipped or worn down. From modern and opulent, to worn in, steeped in history and character, shabby chic was born. 

While we have touched on some of the elements that make up a gorgeous vintage chic space, there are many other elements that bring an area together in this style. Worn furnishings are a must as this creates the antique look that we have been speaking about. History and character are everything, so whether you choose a newer piece of furniture and distress it yourself or find an antique that is already worn down with under layers revealed, this is a great starting point for any shabby chic space. Distressing yourself, however, isn’t the easiest of tasks and requires sanding down furniture to give it that aged look, and then sourcing special glazes that give the piece that sense of history that you are craving. 

Accompanying your distressed, antique furnishings should be comfy and cosy fabrics with a feminine edge. Floral patterns are often utilised as they tend to showcase the vintage fabrics acting as a glorious accent to the centrepiece. If floral patterns aren’t necessarily up your street then slipcovers work equally as well and are a key trait of the shabby chic style, bringing that sense of aged beauty.  

Moving from the furniture to the palate required to nail a country chic interior, it seems quite self-evident, when you look at the furnishings, that soft hues and fresh colours reign supreme. As a starting point bright whites, beige and creams are ever-popular, however, pastels are equally as at home with many designers opting for shades of pink, lavender and light blue as well as some soft yellow‘s. On the other side of the coin, vivid tones like turquoise and navy can also be found especially when painted on furniture. 

Don’t forget accessories, when you think of a room, perhaps furnishings and colour scheme are the main points that come to mind, nonetheless, with shabby chic, accessories play a huge part in bringing the whole space together with a sense of character and charm. Whether you opt for something vintage or true antique like a chandelier or a china set, or perhaps you prefer something more modern like some cut glass decanters, finishing off your space with some eye-catching accessories gives it an overall effect of charming yet accessible and welcoming. 

Shabby chic is possibly one the most popular trends ever and is still going strong some 30 years after the term was first coined. If you’re feeling the eclectic style that mixes antique and distressed furniture with fresh whites, pastels and feminine florals then check out the rest of our amazing portfolio here. Whether it’s for a shoot or purely some home renovation inspiration we have everything you could wish for with some of the most incredible shabby or vintage chic properties in England.

Interior Design Trends for 2021

With 2020 finally behind us, I don’t think anyone is looking back with particularly fond memories. With the ushering of a new year, however, we do say goodbye to what went before and with that comes new trends to look forward to in the coming year. While 2020 said hello to biophilic design, maximalism and sustainable living to name a few, 2021 seems to have taken many concepts that have gone before and adapted them giving us new trends like Japandi, the evolution of earth tones and the rejuvenation of Beauhaus. While we have seen some rejuvenation and adaptation of trends that have gone before, due to the cyclical nature of trends, 2021 is also seeing some styles that have gone before like green and pink making a return to the forefront of interior design. So without further ado let’s check out the top interior design trends to look out for in 2021. 

First up, expect to see green making a big return this year, green is in and it’s here to stay. It is no secret that biophilic design has been growing in popularity over the past year or so and it makes sense that with people utilising green in aspects of their home so much that the colour is starting to rub off on people in their interior design choices. Similar to what we have been seeing with biophilic design, science has shown us that just by looking at something green it can alleviate stress, decrease your heart rate, aid productivity and boost your mood. With people perhaps missing the connection that humans intrinsically have with nature, thanks to this pandemic, people are finding as many ways as possible to find that connection at home, this is coming through decorating with the colour green. In keeping with the earth tones that have been at the forefront of design for so long, expect to see muted greens and olives everywhere in 2021. 

Ever heard of the word Japandi before? Well not to worry as you won’t be alone in learning about it for the first time today. This new trend that is starting to really gather pace, as you may have guessed, blurs Japanese minimalism with the pared back, functional Scandi style. With designers always looking to adapt on popular styles it was inevitable that we would eventually see a blend of the zen type minimalism of Japanese design and the functional pared back aesthetic of Scandi, this has culminated in searches for Japandi skyrocketing over the past few months. Expect to see more earthy hues, timeless simplicity mixed with a peaceful zen aesthetic that really boosts your mood.  

Speaking of earthy tones, we come onto our next trend to look out for in 2021. You may be thinking earthy tones have been trendy for a long time now, but as touched on earlier this year we are seeing many adaptations on what has come before, so in 2021 expect to see earth tones become a lot warmer. Where we have seen shades of grey dominate the interior sphere for many years we are starting to see warmer sandy and pinky shades come back to the fore. With the bleak year we have all been through people are becoming more and more drawn to these warmer shades perhaps to shine a bit of light on their lives, expect to see more washed linen’s, oatmeals and fleshy tones. If you are a fan of the greys and slightly darker tones, not to fear as the Dulux colour of the year was Brave Ground, a modern take on taupe that is slightly lighter and warmer. This actually perfectly blends with the darker hues that have been so popular for so long. 

With the majority of the country currently working from home, it seems inevitable to have this next trend feature, yes you guessed it, this coming year, UK homes are going to see an influx of home offices. Because many people are working in small private corners of their home, with makeshift work setups, creating a fulfilling workspace has never been more important and vital to day-to-day life. The pandemic may be nearing its end with the roll out of the vaccine, however, working from home is here to stay and so are home offices. Companies are cutting overheads where possible and according to Forbes by 2025 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least five days a month. As a result of this, expect to see more dedicated areas of the home as chic work spaces, perhaps where houses used to have guest rooms, we will now see them turned into classy office spaces to garner more space in other parts of the home. Where homes are that little bit smaller, we are also seeing more people create office corners within bedrooms or living spaces by merely adding a chic desk. So expect to see people getting creative with home offices over the coming year! 

Pink is really having a moment this year and it is popping up more and more in people’s homes, whether that be accenting darker colours in your living room, slates in your bathroom or marbles in your kitchen it is here to stay. Towards the end of 2020 pink kitchens and bathrooms were dominating Instagram and Pinterest feeds and since then have gone on to become one of the most promising trends for 2021. Perhaps it has something to do with the warm and cheerful nature that they exude, or maybe because it is so versatile; it can be paired with blacks and greys, slates or tiles and you have that quirky edge to any style room. 

Honourable mentions this year must go to Bauhaus most certainly making a return to the interior sphere, dark kitchens taking the place of white and lights and crittal style branching out from merely doors and windows to being utilised throughout the house on all kinds of furnishings. 

Top Five for December

Following on from November, in the same vein as the rest of this eventful year we have been privileged enough to take on another wealth of remarkable shoot locations. This month we have registered locations ranging from large, studio spaces and striking family homes to grand manor houses and unique penthouse apartments. Carry on reading to see five of our favourites from December. 

Graffiti

Our first location this month is an eye-catching warehouse studio space located in South East London, Graffiti. The space itself features two distinct areas to shoot in, a studio space downstairs and a rooftop as well. Downstairs offers a ton of exposed brick and wood panelled flooring which gives the space a real faded industrial aesthetic that brims with distressed character. If this wasn’t enough Graffiti is vast and includes steel frames throughout, making it a perfectly unique restriction friendly shooting location. If you head to the roof there is also another exceptional space featuring torn down walls, stripped back brick and graffiti culminating in one truly special shoot location. 

Studio space at Graffiti

Heron 

Next up is Heron, a property that couldn’t be further from the last, a Georgian manor house dating back to 1760, showcasing contemporary interiors with a sleek grandiose feel. To accentuate the look and feel there is tons of modern and quirky artwork as well as some interesting furnishings, which include a standout harp. This is set against rooms that offer vast amounts of space to shoot in and to top off the property, the location has a delightful flow that really engages everything together. What’s more, Heron also includes an extensive half acre private garden with a large willow tree, outdoor lighting, walkway pergola and a patio with outside dining/lounge area to match. 

Grandoise aesthetic of Heron

Solene 

Moving on, we give you Solene, again completely different from the last, a modern penthouse apartment with stunning views of London and the River Thames. While including a very large open plan kitchen, living and dining room that has been finished with a very opulent feel, Solene’s most distinguishable feature is its array of abstract modern art that grabs your attention immediately and can be found throughout the property. 

Abstract and opulent feel of Solene

Somerley 

Third on our list is a property that runs out of superlatives. Perched on the high west bank overlooking the River Avon, you’ll find Somerley, a Georgian stately home with a 7,000 acre plot of land nestled between the New Forest and Dorset border. The property itself is enormous with imposing entrance pillars, magnificent, ornate furnishings found throughout and a 90ft picture gallery fitted with an extensive classic art collection. With two libraries, a drawing room, billiards room, kitchen and cellar to name a few, you’ll never be short of striking, one of a kind shooting opportunities here. Moreover, the extensive grounds include large formal gardens, a Trident water fountain, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and one of the most gorgeous stables you’re likely to find. With many more incredible features, Somerly truly is a once in a lifetime shoot location.  

90ft picture gallery at Somerley

Weald Manor  

Last but by no means least, we give you Weald Manor, a very fine Grade 2 listed Georgian Manor built in 1805. The interiors are finished in a formal manner with a mix of fresh and vintage aesthetics quite effortlessly combining to create a very interesting shoot location. Additionally, there is also a farmhouse built from traditional stone and tile that has been fitted with a modern and contemporary finish. If this wasn’t enough, the shoot location is set upon 50 acres of grounds comprising 10 acres of formal gardens with planting and croquet lawn, tennis court, swimming pool and an ornamental lake and bridge. 

Grade II listed manor

After an incredibly long, tough and eventful year we hope that everyone’s 2021 can be that little bit better with cause for optimism and hope on the horizon. While we continue to muddle our way through as a nation, here at 1st Option we wanted to let everyone know that if you need anything at all we are still here and we here to help in any way we can. As always, despite these tough times, if you would like to register a new location with us then click here and hopefully we can do what we can to brighten up your 2021. 

In the Spotlight: Biophilic Design

If we look at interior design as a concept that begins with human experience, taking into consideration the emotional, physical and mental needs of people, then it is a human-centred reflection of how we live today. Since today we are taking new approaches to the promotion of health, welfare and sustainable living it is intuitive to see and understand why biophilia has become such an influential and popular trend in interior design. 

The enchanting Frognal

If interior design incorporates all aspects of the environment and human experience including elements such as furniture, lighting, finishes and layout, how does biophilia connect with design? 

The eye catching Little Venice

Well biophilia is the idea that built into our genetic coding is an innate link to nature, we come from it, so we’ll always have a connection with it. The word itself translates to love of living things from the Greek word philia meaning love of and essentially it has been proposed by experts that because of this link and our innate tendency to affiliate ourselves with nature and all living things, we can gain something from it. 

Clean lines at Drays Gardens

If we take this concept further it is generally thought that, thanks to the influential work of biologist Edward O. Wilson, when we interact with nature, humans gain satisfaction, inspiration and peace. By connecting with nature we, therefore, improve our well-being. Explore this within design and it is fairly self-explanatory that if we bring elements from the natural world into our homes such as plants, wood, stone and water, it in turn improves our health and well-being through reduced heart rate variability, decreased blood pressure and increased activity in our nervous system. 

Fresh and motivating design at Blue

The popularity of biophilic design in recent years has arrived as a direct backlash against technology and the urbanising world. Since the boom of technology and industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, human connection with the natural world took a diverging path and we saw people start to build more and shelter themselves from the elements we once loved so much. This has culminated in over half the world now living in urban settlements, this is expected to rise to around 68% by 2050 and within this urban world, people now spend almost 80-90% of their time indoors. 

Biophilic design at The Distillery

As stated above, this is why designers have started to embrace nature and bring the natural world into the home using biophilic approaches to interior design. This can be achieved through botanical forms and shapes, biomontage walls, subtle usage of house plants, clean spaces, implementation of materials such as wood and stone and an abundance of natural light. By using these elements and features within your home, the connection to nature is again visible and so helps improve wellbeing. This is comprehended by humans through three ways, direct experience (light, air, weather), indirect experience (natural materials from nature) and experience of space (where we place things).

Multi-sensory space at Jarvis

By using biophilia you can create multi-sensory spaces that resonate across all demographics. Connect to nature and you will see the boost in productivity, wellbeing and inspiration as well as enhancing creativity and your mood. In a world that is quite apparently becoming more and more urbanised biophilic design is an approach to design that celebrates human nature and our innate connection to nature and how we live, act and work within it.

Top five for November

Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to take on some of the most gorgeous and eye-catching properties we’ve seen this year. With an array of new locations ranging from vineyards to hotels and private members clubs to family homes, November has seen some truly remarkable locations enter our books. Read on to see five of our favourites.  

Alleyn

First up we give you Alleyn, a 1930’s red brick detached house that screams personality, character and unique authenticity. With Interiors that look like they have been set in a time warp from the 70’s you are never going to be short of unique and striking shooting opportunities. Every room offers something different to the next with standout features that include a truly eye-catching set of table and chairs that wouldn’t be out of place in the middle ages, classic furniture that can found all around the property and a set of remarkable headless mannequins that look like they were transported straight from a 1970’s shop floor. As if all of this wasn’t enough, the downstairs hallway and staircase has been purposely distressed which adds tons of texture to a house that is already full of diverse variety and character.

Quirky furnishings of Alleyn

Greek Street

Moving to the opposite end of the location spectrum is Greek Street, a Georgian town house that has been fitted as a Private Members Club with a 1900’s industrial loft space to match. This large and versatile event space features a variety of areas including a large downstairs dining area that has a distinct industrial feel to it, this is accented by a foyer or lounge area that is reminiscent of the Private Members club it has been designed to look like. There is also a dining room and ground floor bar that wouldn’t be out of place in the East End in the 90’s. To top it off there is also a library, a writers room and an elegant roof terrace. So if you’re looking for a location that offers tons of diversity while keeping some of the alluring charm of the 20th century,  then Greek Street is certainly the location for you.

Industrial Lobby at Greek Street

Parlour

Next up is the sumptuous Parlour, a grandiose Georgian house, hotel conversion just a short walk from Victoria station. Built in 1851 by William Chinnery Mitchell, the Georgian house is comprised of 45 individually designed rooms that boast an eclectic mix of period heritage and contemporary design. While each room is original and different to the next, they all feature glorious design elements like freestanding baths, patterned walls and period furniture. The foyer also features striking furniture and an bold all over tree print wallpaper that really grabs your attention. This truly is a must have shoot location!

One of the 45 individually designed rooms at Parlour

Poulton Farm 

Where to start with our next property? Poulton Farm is actually a first here which we always love to get at 1st Option. This Truly remarkable shoot location is an imposing house that is made up of a number of large Cotswold stone barns that have been brought together through a gorgeous French colonial interior style that gives off a strong eclectic feel. The actual property is a vineyard and so has extensive gardens that are large and incredibly beautiful. Standout features include a handful of glorious working fireplace, tons of grand mid-century furniture and a tennis court that’s found in the comprehensive grounds.

French Colonial design at Poulton Farm

Maker  

Last but by no means least we give you Maker, an East London family home that really grabs your attention. Designed in an industrial style, the impressive property features a cool open plan downstairs that looks out onto an equally impressive walled garden terrace. Notable plant features and some interesting chairs really give the space a Mediterranean feel that can’t be matched. However, when you look inside, you move away from the Mediterranean feel and are met by a distinct New York loft design matched with industrial wooden beams, a house long wall of exposed brick and a whole host of quirky and abstract art and furnishings. If this wasn’t enough to get your juices flowing, there is also an interesting home cinema room finished with a large sofa that is covered all over in the star spangled banner.

Open plan space of Maker