Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens


Once Upon a Time Lay a House in the Forest

Sophie Hitchens Monday 06th March 2017

Once up a time, deep in the middle of a forest, lay a house set in a beautiful fairytale setting. The house had been lived in by the same couple for 40 years, and once they moved on, the building and garden lay uninhabited and decay began to set in.

The location was difficult to rival as whilst only 2 hours from London, its woodland setting created a unique and picturesque setting with direct access to the surrounding forest through the garden gate. And so a new chapter began for this fairytale house in the making.

The garden was slowly cut back to reveal the wonderful trees and shrubs that had been planted with care over the years. The garden was terraced and large cedar decking was added around the property and the stairs up to it.

The house was stripped back to a frame and rebuilt, adding modern insulation and wiring.

The main room in the house was in fact 3 rooms, which were opened up with a significant amount of steel.  A further bedroom was added to the rear corner.

Old floorboards were sourced to match the originals and used to replace those that were rotten.

The walls were panelled and pined to give a cabin look and many of the windows were replaced. Luckily the bare wood frames in the main room were salvageable.

After much deliberation the fairytale creators decided to clad the entire house in cedar boards and paint it a very dark grey – it felt like a brave step at the time but seems to suit it perfectly.

The result was Forest house – one of our favourite locations in the office. Everyone in the team adores it, as do all of our clients! We love it largely because of where it is situated, right in the middle of a wood, but also because of its stunning wood-clad exterior. As a shoot location, its interior is incredibly flexible, stylish and offers lots of different backdrops thanks to all the different wall textures. It’s also a special location to us as it has always been exclusive with Light Locations so it is a dream to deal with as makes our job with the diary and bookings so much easier! Its popularity with clients is further enhanced as clients get the house to themselves as the owners live in London.

It was always going to be a special location as it’s owned by an interior photographer, Emma Lee and her husband Daniel. Emma has impeccable taste and as a food, interior and still life photographer she knows what people like in a location. They want flexibility and versatility…and the feeling of being in a fairytale.

Sophie Hitchens

Sophie Hitchens