The terror, shame and invasion of your personal space! So much so I completely redecorated AFTERWARDS. And yes, I’m a little touchy about it!
It was supposed to be the ultimate accolade, the most ego boosting flattery of all time. To have people in your home coo-ing at this and that. Admiring your creativity and taste of your beautiful home.
Well really it was a giant slap in the face and it was all down to the photographer and my expectations. I’ve worked with photographers before so know the tricks and artistry that can be created. I love photographers and this one was well respected and professional. But he over-lit a dark atmospheric victorian home. I knew the telly would be removed, but he completely cleared objects from the display cabinet to fill the gap. As for bringing in his own stuff, I mean whose house was it?
The writer was a talented journalist with her charming questions and enthusiastic write-up. Everything was beautifully researched, she marveled at the things I’d made and I felt honoured and so looking forward to the photo shoot.
The moment I clocked the huge estate car packed full of different cushions, throws and fake flowers all colour coded in bin-bags, I knew I was in trouble. All meant for MY house, to obliterate MY choice of cushions. It was a pillow invasion, a cushions-in-conflict and a fake flower funeral. Then the throws. Mine ripped off exposing my bad restoration mistakes, cat-scratches and red wine stains to be replaced with clashing colours and ghastly checks that were only fit for the dog basket.
To get me out-of-the-way so that he could ‘create’, ridiculous objects were requested. “Could I have a small vintage bone-china cream jug with gold embellishments for here please’. Or ‘Have you got six hard back books with red jackets?’ The minute I was out of sight fishing books out of the charity box or unpacking crates in the garage, lamps were moved, radios weren’t suitable for a bedroom, objects rejected and all the house plants put outside! Especially the plants hiding an unsightly radiator, or a damp-patch.
I was exposed as a bad person, a terrible housekeeper. I lacked a full range of vases, my cushions were of questionable taste. Dust was spotted as were washing instruction labels and all the lamps were switched off. Then came his lighting blasting a dark Victorian house like a crime scene.
Scratches on french polishing and finger marks on glass were exposed. I’d spent a month cleaning so how all this got there I don’t know.
The pièce de résistance was my frock. He didn’t like my frock. Or my boots. I had to change into something brighter so all I could find was a bright pink cardigan that had shrunk in the wash. I hated myself, I hated my house and I hated that day.
So the moral of this story is don’t be so vain as to want adoration from strangers. Don’t wear a black frock on a photoshoot. No wonder half the women on those home magazines look uncomfortable because they were told to go and change.
So what happened next? It got published, I hated the photography styling and lighting though loved the words. Seeing those pictures was what led me to redecorate.
BTW Don’t ask me to name the photographer, out of respect to his craft. After all its all a matter of artist license and questionable taste.