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Life behind the lens...

One of the advantages, if there can ever be such a thing, of the occasional bout of early morning insomnia, is I often find it's when you do your best thinking. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been suffering from a definite dose of writers block lately, when it comes to this blog. Three half written posts currently sit on my computer, none of which I could get enthusiastic about!

Then this morning, as I lay wide awake at 5am, on a Saturday of all days, I knew I wanted to write about the amazing day I had yesterday. So up I got, pot of tea made, a large mugful poured, and here I am typing furiously at my Mac.

What was my amazing day you ask? Well, read on and I’ll tell all...

A little while back, I happened to be chatting to my lovely Insta pal Frieda about how I’d love to have a photo shoot in our home, for a magazine. “Oh, you should totally talk to Philip Lauterbach” she said. Philip is an interiors photographer, with a very impressive portfolio, who had taken beautiful shots of her home, which had featured in Real Homes magazine, among others and she felt sure he’d be interested in looking at ours.
Photographer Philip Lauterbach in action setting up his equipment

Now very often dear reader, when I get snippets of information like that, I initially get really excited, then sit on it for a while, only to end up totally bottling it and do nothing about it! Well no longer! That was the old me! The new me, contacted him the very next day and he said yes!! So yesterday, armed with some very impressive equipment and his interior stylist Penny Crawford, a photo shoot took place in our home.

Of course, before all that could happen, there was the small matter of some blind panic, getting the place photo shoot ready! The whole house was cleaned and tidied to within an inch of its life! Kids were suitably threatened and bribed to keep their rooms tidy (one child’s in particular required me to spend a good five hours cleaning and tidying it!!).

Our kitchen has never looked so tidy!

Then, as you can imagine, there were those last-minute panic jobs! You know, the ones where you suddenly realise something just doesn’t cut the mustard! For example, our under sink cabinet in the bathroom. When we first bought the house, money was understandably tight! Our bathrooms had absolutely no storage at all and the sinks themselves were wall mounted. Short of funds, Lidl came to our rescue, when I happened to see in their special buys, an under-sink cabinet that would fit for less than the price of a tank of petrol! Happy days! Two were quickly purchased, one for the en-suite, one for the main bathroom!

The before of the meh under-sink Lidl cabinets..

Eleven years later, they are looking a little tired to say the least, but still perfectly adequately doing their storage job! As you can see from the before shot, pretty they were not. A makeover was definitely on the cards and pronto. Made of foil covered chip board, painting them wasn’t going to be easy!! We gave them a good clean and a light sand to key the surface. I wanted to replace the ugly handles with some nice ceramic ones, so filled the second hole. Then applied two coats of a very good primer, in this case Fleetwood’s Pure Grip, which I used previously on laminate surfaces to good effect. I happened to have some eggshell paint in Stiffkey Blue left over from a previous project, so three coats of the eggshell and voila! It’s like we have a new unit. It just goes to show you what a little time and elbow grease can achieve. Reduce, reuse, recycle and costing nothing!!

The after of the upcycled Lidl cabinet...

Then I must credit the amazing EZ Living Interiors, who pulled out all the stops to get me a second Primrose dining chair in Blush Pink. I absolutely loved the look of the one I chose in our recent collaboration together and knew a second would really finish the look of our dining space! With only a day to spare a chair was duly despatched to the Sandyford store for me to collect. It definitely made all the difference, so a huge thank you to Gillian in the marketing team for working her magic on an expedited delivery to the store! The rug I chose, with the help of their Visual Merchandising Manager Sara Tobin Bethel, totally finished the living room, meaning I am no longer committing interior crimes with a rug island!

The gorgeous Ez Living Primrose Velvet chairs in Blush Pink, (link to find them online below)
The Living room with gorgeous EZ Living Interiors Kelim Rug (link to find it online below)

So anyway, back to the photoshoot! We don’t have a big house, but we do have a lot of stuff in it! Self-confessed collectors that we are. So, I was worried how Philip and Penny would manage. I needn’t have, they were amazing! So kind, complimentary and above all patient! Penny was brilliant at explaining what does and doesn’t work in shots, so things were moved and re-ordered accordingly. She even managed to make our ‘less than my dream kitchen’ look pretty fantastic!

Penny working her styling magic...

Philip made me feel at ease, even when he put me in front of the camera, managing to capture some nice shots of me drinking coffee and reading a magazine and also arranging some flowers at the dining table. He showed me a mock-up magazine cover of some of the shots, and I have to admit it felt really exciting and a little bit emotional, to imagine our home making it on a front cover!

All in all, it was a fabulous, if exhausting day. As you might imagine the house was upended by the end, with discarded items from the various rooms were strewn everywhere! So there was a pretty major tidy up operation required to put everything back in its rightful place. So worth it though.

Boy did I learn so much!! Things like no kettles or toasters on display in a small kitchen. If a cushion or throw appears in one room, it mustn't suddenly crop up in another (unlike Instagram)! Pulling things out instead of bunching vignettes together. Sometimes less is more! All things I will take with me if I ever do one again, and also for any shoots l work on with my clients.

Now it’s a waiting game to see which magazine, if any might be interested in them. Philip has warned me sometimes it can take time to be picked up. I've never been great at 'patient' but I'll just have to do my best. In the meantime, I'm sure it's a day I'll remember for a long time to come.

I’ll keep you posted.


Huge thank you to EZ Living Interiors for the collaboration. To find the items I featured, click on the links below:

Primrose Chair in Blush Pink:

Kelim Pop Turquoise Rug:


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