We were lucky enough to be invited into the stunning home of VV Raven . Not only a truly beautiful cottage but also practically on my doorstep so no terrifyingly long night driving for me – although I did manage to get lost on the way home thereby doubling the journey time!!!
Jo and her husband Peter run VV Raven – an eclectic mix of amazing floristry and vintage clothing and their glorious home reflects their fabulous style perfectly. Each room is a jewel painted treasure trove of joy with gasp inducing cosiness and Christmas decoration.
Yet again I was faced with very little to actually style, Jo had worked so hard to create a Christmas wonderland, I was left to light candles and sprinkle baubles – a rather gorgeous job actually!!
Our first port of call was the gloriously deep purple sitting room. A room that Jo had intended to paint a lighter shade but decided that if she was using a bold colour then she should be brave with the depth and shade as well. The dark beams and the enveloping purple immediately transport you to years gone by so we decided to continue this theme and light as many romantic, atmospheric candles as was humanly possible!!
Thankfully having just worked with Candled Uk, I was able to use quite a few fake candles to save on fire risk. These truly are fabulous candles – everyone was impressed at their realistic quality- made from real wax and a high quality LED flame they are just perfect (and they have amazing remote controls that you can use to change the flicker and set on a timer!!! So so clever.
Just like the beautiful cottage that we photographed the day before, Jo had styled this house to perfection so we were able to concentrate on lots of gorgeous details.
We finally tore ourselves away from the fabulously Christmas Cosy sitting room and very carefully carried the candles through to the kitchen for more ambient Christmas spirit.
Jo had already created a beautiful Christmas Island tableaux so our job was to depersonalise the kitchen, removing the every day toasters and kettles and editing some of the mugs and jugs for a more streamlined magazine friendly look
We simply scattered more beautiful vintage baubles and candles through Jo’s festive creation on the island and Rob was able to feast the camera lens on this Christmas islandscape!
We continued our candle lit procession to the dining room area, again Jo had done a wonderful job of decorating the table so we added a tiny bit more sparkle with some beautiful cutlery from Lincoln House Silver and added even more candles to the dresser behind the table.
The trick with this shot was actually lining up all the candles to ensure they could all be seen. Naomi wanted to fill the room with candlelight which gave a beautiful glow to the room.
After blowing out the 87000 candles, we made our way upstairs, making sure to grab a few candles just to continue the Christmas candlelight theme. In the main bedroom we simply added more texture and deeper colours to the bed. Naomi added her bedroom wreath trend to the handy shelf above the bed and we accessorised with a gorgeous painting and fairy lights.
The second bedroom was a bit more of a challenge. As Jo explained “this room is decorated in our old style, we plan to redecorate in the new year”. The rest of the house is so wonderfully vintage rock and roll inspired with such gloriously deep and delicious colours that we needed to create something similar in this room so that it didn’t jar in the feature.
Naomi removed the pretty floral eiderdown and cottage quaint cushions, flipped the second eiderdown to a less floral motif and added richly coloured bedspreads to continue the jewel like theme with the beautiful Voyage Maison Tamar berry cushions to complete the jewel box look.
The final room as the light faded to winter black was the bathroom, Naomi discovered a large glass vase which she filled with some of Jo’s beautiful vintage baubles. We added the obligatory candle clan and then a fluffy white towel with a strip of brightly coloured fabric sneakily laid over the top added more interest and tied the colours together.
This was a fabulous shoot to work on. Over twenty years Jo and Peter have adapted the house to the 21st century, extending at the back and adding more rooms to suit their needs. There is a wonderful feeling that this magical cottage is now extending their tastes and this talented couple are adapting their own styles to meet the age and ambiance of this 17th Century home.
Thank you to VV RAVEN for allowing us into their incredible home and leaving us almost nothing to do!! Head over to their website for some fabulous florals and incredible vintage clothing finds.
And finally thank you to all the companies who helped to make this shoot so special:
Sarah Raven for the wonderful candlesticks and winter collection candles
Candled Uk for their truly beautiful led candles