House Beautiful curtains and voile

What happened behind the scenes

at our House Beautiful photo shoot?

Sarah Quilliam by Sarah Quilliam

An exclusive look at how we set the scene for the photography that defines the range

Getting the photography perfect for the launch of our collection of House Beautiful blinds and curtains was crucial.

For most people, their first experience of our new range is seeing photographs from the shoot in glossy magazines or online. So the scenes that we create have to encapsulate the thinking behind the fabrics.

Collaborating with House Beautiful gave us a unique opportunity to harness their authority in home styling. Their editorial team creates the go-to magazine for interior lovers looking for inspirational ideas to make the most of their living spaces.

Together with the House Beautiful team, we came up with the concept for the range and the photo shoot.  

The Grand Tour of the 17th and 18th centuries inspired our new designs. During this time, youthful aristocrats would spend years travelling the great European cities of antiquity and the Renaissance. These enlightened tourists would return home with pieces of art, mementoes and trinkets from their trip and then weave these ornamental items into their interiors: curating their experiences.

Our collaboration with House Beautiful is inspired by this ethos of decorating your home with items you love, from places that mean the world to you. In the collection, you’ll note there are designs reflecting the things you’d make time to appreciate while travelling, such as architecture, crafts and historical sites of interest.

The set of the shoot had to mirror these influences. After long hours spent searching, we found a spacious three-bedroom semi-detached house in Hemingford Grey, a lovely little village outside Cambridge. It was ideal, with a large lounge, dining room, kitchen, hallway and a gorgeous garden.

Many of the home’s furnishings matched the ideas and concepts behind the range; it had a genuine, lived-in feel, as though the owner wanted the property to showcase their life and experiences.

The shoot lasted five busy days. There were always four members of the photography team and at least a couple of us from Hillarys working flat out: composing scenes, fitting blinds and curtains, setting the props and sorting the lighting.

As is the case with many of our collections, this shoot was the first chance we had to see the blinds and curtains at a real window. It felt so significant – all the months spent discussing, planning and bringing the range to life suddenly seemed to payoff. The sense of reward was huge.

By the end of the shoot, we had hundreds if not thousands of photos to look through and choose from. Whittling them down took a long time, but seeing the final portfolio was … well you can see for yourself by viewing the photography here.

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