Sunday, 26 April 2015

London, London, London

An interesting if disturbing phenomenon has been taking place in the London housing sector over the course of the past decade or so.  Despite other regions of the UK facing serious long-term consequences of the economic recession, London property (from the perspective of the owners and rent-harvesters) has gone from strength to strength.  The reasons are well known: growing demand across the whole housing price spectrum combined with a stock that hasn’t moved enough in response – or hasn’t been able to move due to planning restrictions.  It’s now quite difficult to trade up in London.  Hey, it’s hard to get on the ladder at all if you aren’t one of the 0.1%.  So increasingly people are choosing to convert their lofts into luxury bedrooms with stylish ensuites as well as extending their kitchens into the garden to create one huge open plan living, dining and cooking space.  I’ve had the incredible privilege to have been able to photograph many of these conversions for Roy Elliott, owner of CubeLofts in Teddington. 

There is something quite exciting about walking into what looks like a traditional Victorian terrace house, only to find that the extension with concertina doors opening into the garden – provides as much space – if not  more – than a house in the country.   There are a few things that struck me as I styled & shot these brilliant spaces: one is that it is possible to really personalise a period property to suit a family’s lifestyle and tastes.  Secondly, even though most of these extensions have truly stunning contemporary kitchens, the focus of the space is actually more on nature and the light outdoors.  The skylights and particularly the doors which open up to make one wall completely open air, lead one’s attention to the weather, wildlife and foliage.  And thirdly, in a time when many psychologists despair over family members who are dispersed throughout the house in front of various screens, a well-designed extension helps to bring them back together. 

Despite the fact that every room has an optimal vantage point from which to capture it at its best, my favourite architectural portrait is the doll’s house shot.  I learned this from my very favourite interiors website: Houzz.  This is a shot that that includes five sides of the cube which comprises a room with the far wall an even rectangle – like you see in a doll’s house.

The following are photos I've taken of Cube Lofts' recent work in the Richmond, Teddington, Weybridge, Claygate and Wandsworth areas.