Here's a confession: I'm a property-porn addict. I am on the mend (house hunting and the associated reality check has that effect!), but still watch the occasional rerun of Grand Designs. I do also have the weird ability to recall and recognise the most random images I might have seen even years ago.
A few weeks back, I styled and shot the Christmas in July press event for Appliances Online. After organising all the decorations and props and gathering them together I made my way to the location. I had the address and the name (yes, it has an actual name), but no bells were ringing until I actually walked in. I immediately recognised the place! At first I thought I'm having one of those "déja vu" moments, but it all seemed a little too real. I "knew" the kitchen (with THE most amazing cooker), the glass walkway, the space and felt fairly confidant it was one of the "Grand Designs" homes. A brief chat with the owner confirmed that it had indeed been on Grand Designs in - er - early 2004! Believe me, nobody is more amazed by the fact that I still recall the details of the property over eleven years later than me!
It was of course an amazing space to work in. Decorating it felt easy and and the classic white, green and red Christmas theme seemed perfectly in tune with the brick walls and industrial style kitchen. The chefs who were taking part in the event had more space to do their work than in some restaurant kitchens and walking around to take photographs I never really felt like I was getting in people's way.
This ground floor of the building (the place we were operating from all day) alone was larger than my flat and the cooker was close to the size of my entire kitchen. That's the kind of interior most people can of course only dream of. It was great to see, amazing to move around in and I wish I could just have one day of cooking and baking with that cooker and oven. I know I'll never have this kind of space in London (again, that house hunting reality check) and I'm ok with it. There's no green-eyed monster rearing its head because as much as I admire the whole thing, I know it's ultimately not quite for me. I have previously lived in a huge house where the kitchen alone was 40 square meters (with a custom made dining table that would sit 20!) and, as much as I had wanted the house in the first place, in the end it made me feel like I'm putting on a show for the outside world. I really think that there's only so much space I can cope with before I start to feel a little lost in it. Yes, I'm looking for more space than I have now, but experience has taught me that it doesn't need to be of extreme proportions and that the most important thing I'm looking for is a home, not a show home.