Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens


Location spotlight ‘Winchester House’

Sophie Hitchens Friday 16th August 2019

Winchester House is one of our more recent locations and wow is it beautiful! Bringing together everything inspiring about today’s contemporary designs, the house is a true feast for the eyes. As with all our popular locations, the friendly and thoughtful approach of the owners further adds to its appeal, illustrated through the kind words from an early Light Locations client:

I simply wanted to tell you, and I’m sure Alex would agree with me, not only how well our shoot went and how fabulous the house worked for us, but to say how very helpful and co-operative the owner was during our two days. He really was terrific… and made very delicious coffee too. I hope they get lots of bookings. 

Timothy Rennie – Epiphany 51

Not only are the owner’s fabulous hosts, they are also visionary home owners who have transformed their living space to create a truly relaxed modern environment.

The house was originally built in the mid 1960s by a local modernist architect within the walls of the kitchen garden from the Manor House across the road. The current owners Spike and Jeni purchased the property in 2007, living in it before starting a major overhaul in 2012.

The house hadn’t been touched in 50 years and everything needed a refresh, but it had solid bones so luckily, they didn’t have to change the layout too much. Key changes were the pale brick and plastic facades being over clad in cedar strip and the living spaces being opened up to the garden with full walls of glazing.

After moving back into the property, the work began on what was to become the pièce de résistance of the property – the garden. When work started on the landscaping, Spike recalled the garden“resembling a scene from the WW1 trenches”, which is a far cry from the incredible space it is today. They have worked very hard, employing a landscape architect as part of their team, but also taking on a lot of the physical work themselves:

“This has been a work in progress over the years with Jeni & I doing all of the hard landscaping & planting ourselves with the help of landscape architect Helen Elks-Smith”

Spike and Jeni were incredibly pleased they had Helen on their team:

“While living inside the walled garden creates a sense of hidden oasis, with little borrowed landscape, the garden had to work extremely hard all year round & Helen has done an amazing design job to totally transform the property” 

The result was so beautiful that it was judged best residential garden in the prestigious Society of Garden Designers (SGD) Awards 2019, Medium Garden Award and a finalist in the Planting Design Category. where it was described by judges as:

“A beautifully simple, calm and coherent garden where the designer has paid excellent attention to the contrasts of shape and form in the planting to complement the architectural spaces.  The use of water to creating light and a view of the sky is inspired and the lovely repetition of colour, and wonderful texture and movement created by mass grass planting is fabulous.  A very accomplished and relaxing space”

The outside space is one of the main attractions to Light Location clients, particularly the decked area, swimming pool and the large modern space with the beautiful views of the amazing garden.

A recent 2-day shoot by Elle Decoration took advance of the stunning outside space. Stylist Hannah Bort used a fabulous array of summer colours to show the value in investing in outdoor furniture in the way you would for indoors. Photographer Paul Raeside then achieved a fun and colourful set of images to create the summer vibe.

We love Winchester House and we hope you agree – it is a testament to the vision of the delightful owners that this beautiful home is in demand as a shoot location.

Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens