Ashley Morrison's Blog

April 21, 2014

All American Dream.

Set in beautiful New England countryside, Mary Ann and William Lewis have built their dream retirement home – and this was it…
Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. which was the last of homes we shot, on this back to America trip – which I’ve talked about over the passed few days.

The New England town of Hanover is home to historic Dartmouth College – one of only eight Ivy League Colleges in America. With its’ beautiful college buildings, squares and elegant town houses, it is everyone’s idea of how an old American college town should be. So much so, that it clearly left a lasting impression on William Lewis and his college room mate when they were medical students at Dartmouth. ‘We promised ourselves that one day, when we retired, we would both return to the area’ recalls William.

They never lost sight of their dream and eventually heard about a large site that had come on the market in what’s known as the Upper Valley overlooking the Connecticut River. Retirement was still a long way off but they felt it was too good an opportunity to miss and bought the land which had more than enough space to build two large homes.

When it eventually came time to design and build their dream home, having had lots of time to think about it, William and Mary Ann had a clear vision of how it should be. They enlisted the help of an Architect and good friend whose number one priority was to ensure that the exterior was in keeping with the location and insisted on materials commonly used in the area – namely cedar shingle.

And what a dream it was – as was the craic with friends on the veranda…
Mary Ann and William Lewis outside their detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England with friends.
.. which to me, really did sum up this All America Dream – and us wanting to stay on forever.

Inside was pretty amazing too – with things like this huge island unit in cherry wood with a soapstone work top…
The kitchen in Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. where everyone congregates it seems – when not out on the veranda – for a coffee and a chat.

Loved the panelled ceiling too – which added interest and depth…
The living room in Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. as well as help define this space as seen here…
The living room in Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. from the dining area and kitchen – which clearly doubled up as the prefect place for their Golden Retriever Berkley
The sitting room in Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. to have a wee nap :)

Impressive to say the least – as was their collection of oriental rugs throughout the house, which included this one in their bathroom…
Bathroom in Mary Ann and William Lewis' detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. where Mary Ann had added beautiful blue ginger jars and plates to tone with the bathroom rug.

And outside – down at the bottom of their garden – was the Connecticut River
William Lewis down by the lake outside his detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. which for me, just completed the Dream – which Mary Ann and William here…
Mary Ann and William Lewis down by the lake outside their detached cedar shingle house near Hanover in New England.
.. along with Berkley, were clearly enjoying.

A little disappointed that we didn’t managed to get this amazing home into any of the UK national magazines; however, a local property magazine give it an amazing spread…
Pages 12 to 18 inside issue 24 of Templeton Robinson's Property Life magazine which came out in May 2008.
.. which was really lovely too see, almost 3 years after we had been there.

And so like Mary Ann and William here, who never lost sight of their dream – neither have we – as we still love to show these images to others and tell them about this amazing home, which was the last one we shot on our 10 day return trip to America.

Hard to believe it’s been 9 years – as it just seems like yesterday – but here’s hoping we will be back again real soon.

So that’s it for now – which once again just leave me to say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved here – and especially to Mary Ann and William for giving us this opportunity to share their dream.

From Marie & me @ ampimage, it’s back to the UK, before… well you’ll have to wait and see :)

April 20, 2014

Looking for New England.

From the picturesque town of Stowe, with it’s traditional looking hardware stores…
Hardware store in the Vermont town of Stowe.
.. and churches,…
Church in the Vermont town of Stowe.
.. the following day we headed out with Jackie to this place…
Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. which is called ‘Hidden Valley Farm’ – to meet Barbara and her husband Mark Leswing.

A elegantly understated, though no less grand, four bedroom home set in 35 acres of beautiful New England countryside in Vermont. After years of living between the frenetic cities of New York and Tokyo, Mark and Barbara found the tranquillity and privacy of this site simply irresistible.

And yes inside it was pretty amazing too…
the Grand Room in Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. as you can see from these images of the Grand Room – with it’s double height beams and rafters…
the Grand Room in Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. where the walls reflected the New England sunshine – so was therefore actually very easy to light, with a minimum amount of fill required.

So we actually managed to shoot loads throughout this beautiful house…
Hallway in Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. as the light was as stunning as the place itself.

So while Barbara worked on the flowers in the kitchen…
Barbara Leswing in the kitchen of Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. I just snapped away – and even the bedrooms…
Master bedroom in Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. and Tea for Two bathroom…
Tea for Two bathroom in Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. where wonderfully lit too – as they had decided against putting-up any curtains.

Why no curtains ?

Well it was mainly due to this…
View from Barbara & Mark Leswing's Hidden Valley Farm in Vermont.
.. so is it any wonder they decided against curtains – as it was breathtaking right through to the end of the day – which is when I shot this, as we all sat out in their garden, enjoying a lovely cold beer… or was it two :)

The title by the way, ‘Looking for New England’ – which both House and Home…
House & Home magazine.
.. and Property Life magazine…
Property Life magazine.
used, is based on the lyrics from the song titled ‘A New England’ – a song written and recorded by Billy Bragg and included on his album Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy, released in 1983 – which became a hit single when covered by Kirsty MacColl the next year – which are…

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just (Are you) looking for another girl

.. but I think if they saw this place, they would both change their minds :)

Anyway, I’d just to say a huge thanks to everyone involved here and especially to Barbara & Mark – for not only making us feel so welcome, but for also making a dream come true for us.

From Marie & me @ ampimage, thank you.

April 19, 2014

Candle Light Cottage.

Just down the road from Jackie & David’s farmhouse was this sign saying…
Sign
.. Candle Light Cottage.

Set amidst the famously beautiful Vermont countryside, Elinor’s home is everyone’s dream of what a period New England cottage should be. Built in 1810, it is the oldest home in the picturesque town of Stowe which is near the Canadian border.

And so this was it…
Elinor Earle's Candle Light cottage in the Vermont town of Stowe
.. our next home on Jackie’s list, which she had lined up for us to shoot.

Having lived and worked for several years in Washington DC, Elinor’s former husband was offered a job in a law firm in Stowe. As Elinor explained, ‘while we both loved Washington, it seemed a wonderful opportunity for us to experience country life. As a young girl, I had spent my summer holidays in Maine and subsequently attended college in Boston, so I knew and loved New England’.

So while Marie started working on re-arranging a few things to suit the camera…
Setting up the shot in Candle Light cottage
.. as well as lighting the fire – which I must say she is very good at…
Setting up the shot in Candle Light cottage
.. I set about lighting up this room – which also served as an art gallery for Elinor’s business…
Elinor Earle's Candle Light cottage in the Vermont town of Stowe
.. or should I say I turned it upside down…
Setting up the shot in Candle Light cottage
.. before capturing the beautiful light…
Elinor Earle's Candle Light cottage in the Vermont town of Stowe
.. which just made everything look great, including this little old kitchen…
Kitchen in Elinor Earle's Candle Light cottage in the Vermont town of Stowe
.. which it seems was next on Einor’s list to replace – as this whole place has been a major refurbishment job for her.

Anyway, the master bedroom was a completely different story when it came lighting…
Setting up the bedroom shot in Candle Light cottage
.. as that wooden ceiling and corner fireplace may have created a wonderfully warm and cosy feel…
Master bedroom in Elinor Earle's Candle Light cottage in the Vermont town of Stowe
.. but it took every light I had to capture that.

The upstairs guest bedroom was in contrast super bright – with it’s sunny yellow wallpaper to add warmth and complement the antique wooden country furniture – so beside Marie having to move a few thing to suit the camera…
Setting up the bedroom shot in Candle Light cottage
.. we where pretty much done inside…
Guest bedroom shot in Candle Light cottage
.. in no time at all.

Which then gave us time to take a few snaps outside – of things like this dining table…
18th Century millstone at Candle Light cottage
.. which it seems is an 18th Century millstone from the first grist mill in Stowe – and this little old building at the rear…
Changing house at Candle Light cottage
.. which was once the changing house for swimmers at Moss Glenn Falls, a popular waterfall and swimming hole.

I could go on and on – but then again, you can read about all about it in the magazines in which it appeared – like 25 Beautiful Homes…
March 2006 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine
.. and Property Life…
Property Life magazine
.. who both, not surprisingly, gave it fantastic multi page spreads.

By the way, I’m writing this as a memory of what we did a few years ago – and therefore must add, it is with sadness that I recently discovered when checking her gallery address, that Elinor has passed away – Candlelight was an absolute tribute to her flair and creativity – she was genuinely delighted with our images – I think she would have been happy for me to share them with you.

Gone, but definitely not forgot – as this is one that Marie & I still talk about to this very day – which we would like to thank her for.

From Marie & me @ ampimage, remembering our time at Candle Light Cottage in the picturesque town of Stowe.

April 18, 2014

Christmas in the USA

The main reason for us being here, was due to us being asked by Rachel – the commissioning homes editor at the BBC – if we would be interested in going to America to produce and then provide her with some images of a home in New England, for her to use in their up & coming Christmas issue.

To which we had to think long & hard about… for all of 2 seconds, before saying YES :)

So this was the next one on our list and the main reason for us being here… in August.
Not exactly Christmas time, nor did it feel like Christmas – but nevertheless, when we arrived at Jackie & David’s New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont, we knew Santa wasn’t far away, as one of his little helper was already there…
Young deer outside Jackie Ennis & David Rocchio's New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont at Christmas.
.. out in their garden, keeping an eye on us all :)

Anyway, needless to say a lot of work when into this one…
setting up the living room shot in Jackie & David's New England farmhouse near Stowe.
.. as we were shooting this totally out of season…
Jackie Ennis & David Rocchio's New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont at Christmas.
.. and so therefore everything had to be set-up so as to make it look as Christmasy as possible…
Jackie Ennis & David Rocchio's New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont at Christmas.
.. while the summer sun was shining brightly outside.

The storyline:

Jackie, originally from Manchester in the UK, who now works in tourism & marketing for New England, said: ‘When I first met David, we were both working in Boston but he is originally from Vermont and had always wanted to return there. We knew that Vermont would be very different and much quieter than Boston and decided to stay here for a six month trial period to see if it felt right. We stayed in the small town of Stowe which is quite near the Canadian border and at the end of the six months, I was totally sold. Vermont is famous for its beautiful scenery – particularly in the “fall” but I also loved the whole lifestyle aspect. The population in Vermont is surprisingly small; crime rate is low and everything is clean and well maintained. The summers are hot and sunny and wonderful for cycling, walking and kayaking whereas the winters are perfect for skiing and sledding. Even though Stowe is quite small, it has a really nice social scene with great restaurants, theatres and art galleries. We both agreed it would be a perfect place to settle down and raise a family.’

Now that’s what I call a ‘sales pitch’ – but it was also all true – as this really is a beautiful part of the world – and I could totally see why they moved here.

Anyway, it was very hot outside, so naturally we ask them all to dress in their warmest winter clothes…
Jackie Ennis & her son, Callum, the living room of in their New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont.
.. and act the part…
Jackie Ennis & her son, Callum, in the kitchen of their New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont.
.. which both Callum (above) and Antonia as seen here in her bedroom…
Antonia in her bedroom.
.. clearly loved doing – and Antonia even suggested a few different poses of her own…
Antonia in the bathroom.
.. which I obviously had to shoot :)

When Marie asked Jackie to tell us about Christmas in Vermont for the feature, she said:
I’m probably a little biased but to me this has to be one of the most picturesque places in the world to spend Christmas. We always have snow and everyone tends to decorate their homes in a very traditional way with real Christmas trees, wooden decorations and not too much tinsel.

Beautiful…
Master bedroom in Jackie Ennis & David Rocchio's New England farmhouse near Stowe in Vermont.
.. and so was the amazing spread in the December issue of BBC Good Homes magazine…
December 2005 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine.
.. which they ran over 6 pages – as was the 7 page spread and cover of Templeton Robinson’s property life magazine…
Pages 14 to 20 and the cover of the December 2007 issue of Property Life magazine.
.. a few years later – which they titled, Christmas in the USA.

Over the moon to be back in America – and this was the main reason for our return – which one day soon I hope to do again.

So in the meantime, I’d just to say a huge thanks to everyone involved here – especially to Jackie, David, Callum and Antonia – for not only making us feel so welcome but for also making a dream come true for both of us.

From Marie & me @ ampimage.com, thank you.

April 17, 2014

Livin’ in a box

From Cape Cod it was over to Boston the following morning – and after spending 2 hours driving around in circles, we finally arrived in more ways than one – as this was David Hacin’s, an award winning architect, Laconia Lofts project we were about to shoot.

Wow – what a space…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. which required almost no additional light to capture…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. and what a view too…
View from David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. of the Boston cityscape towards Back Bay.

Laconia Lofts is an award-winning Boston loft apartment with an open plan kitchen, living and dining area, guest suite with bathroom, master bedroom and bathroom and study areas. There’s also an open plan lounge zone which overlooks the lower level – located in the heart of the burgeoning South End arts district, which people are now call the SoWa area – as in South of Washington (an analogy of SoHo in New York) – which is just bursting with energy, thanks to the many art galleries, shops, restaurants, and parks in the immediate area.

Sitting up to perfection too – so beside Marie having to move his phone out of the way…
Marie setting up the kitchen shot in David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. and add a few books for the camera…
Marie setting up the kitchen shot in David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. we had little to do here…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. besides point and shoot…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. and shoot…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. and shoot.

‘Boxes within Boxes’ is how David’s partner decided it…
David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. but there was more to it than simple boxes – as there was also some very clever ideas used here to divide the place up and control the light – like in this bedroom for example…
Bedroom in David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. which I just loved.

The panels of the pivoting wall mean you can lie in bed and enjoy the starry sky at night. Swivel them back at dawn for privacy.

A masterpiece in more ways than one…
Painting in David Hacin's Laconia Lofts project in Boston.
.. and therefore no great surprise to see Bruce Willis walking through it at the start of the movie Surrogates, which was filmed in Boston around 2009.

Or that it was featured by 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
25 Beautiful Homes magazine.
.. as well as some of our images of it being used by Epson for very large ‘point of sale’ exhibition display prints.

Sure wouldn’t mind livin’ in a box like this – so just like to say a big thank you to David & his partner for inviting us in, and giving us this opportunity to capture their box – from Marie & me @ ampimage.com

April 16, 2014

Summer house welcome

Filed under: Photography,Travel,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 2:10 pm
Tags: , , , ,

After shooting Rick & Maria’s beach house in Mystic, we headed to the the Cape Cod town of Chatham – were after a day on the beach, we shot this 1930′s cottage…
Gene & Rosemary Fuller's 1930's New England cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
… which belonged to Gene & Rosemary Fuller.

The sign outside said to it all…
Welcome sign outside Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. as we were indeed made very welcome – so as the sun was out, Marie set about setting-up the first shot in the garden…
Marie setting up the shot in the garden at Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. where we quickly captured Rosemary and her daughter…
Rosemary and her daughter in the garden at their cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. enjoying a glass of ice cold water, before heading inside to start upstairs…
Setting up the landing shot
.. where we produce images like this of their landing area…
The landing in Gene & Rosemary's cottage
.. as well as of their bedrooms…
One of the bedrooms in Gene & Rosemary's cottage
.. before a spot of lunch which Rosemary had kindly prepared for us…
Rosemary in the kitchen of her cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. a chat with Bob who was kindly helping us out once again…
Marie & Bob in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. and then back to work, adding the final touches…
Marie settin up the kitchen shot in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. to what was a surprising tricky room to light…
The kitchen shot in Gene & Rosemary's cottage in the Cape Cod town of Chatham
.. but we must have done okay in the end, as BBC Good Homes said ‘Yes’ to this one too…
February 2006 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine
.. and so ran with it in their February 2006 issue :)

So 2 in the bag and 5 to go – on this amazing 10 day return trip to America, from Marie & me in New England.

—-

For more information about what we do, or should you be interested in having your home featured, visit our website: www.homesinteriors.com

April 15, 2014

Welcome back to America

After completing our assignment in Spain which I talked about last month – and coming back with results that not only the BBC wanted to use but also several other publishing companies too – the next assignment we were offered was in America.

Wow – an opportunity of a life time and it would be the first time I would be back in the States since leaving college there back in the 80′s, where I swam for the University of Houston
University of Houston
.. and first learned about photography while doing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic communications.

Anyway, basically the assignment by the BBC was to shoot a home in Vermont for their up & coming Christmas issue – which was owned by Jackie Ennis, who was also in charge of promoting and marketing New England. So to make it worth our while – since the BBC was really only prepared to pay us for the use of our work, rather than to do the work for them – then we asked Jackie if she could possibly line us up a few more homes – which we would then shoot while we were there with all the gear, etc.

And so it was – Jackie lined up 6 other homes for us to shoot over the 10 day period we were planning on being in New England – the first of which was Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia’s detached beach house in the picturesque town of Mystic
Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia's beach house in Mystic
.. where the first shots were taken out at sea…
Rick Dean in Mystic
.. which was an amazing way to start our ‘Welcome back to America’ story :)

The storyline here was:

Maria Sylvia loved her idyllic beach house so much she turned it into a home to use all year round – and called it Seashell Cottage. Although its styling is undeniably New England, Maria has created an interesting home by drawing on her own artistic talents and using a number of themes.

Anyway, I had hired a local assistant called Bob O’Connor – who Calumet had highly recommended when I was hiring the lighting gear – and so while Marie talked to Rick & Maria outside…
Marie McMillen talking to Maria Sylvia & Rick Dean outside their beach house in Mystic.
.. which a took a few quick shots of…
Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia sitting outside their beach house in Mystic
.. Bob set up the lights while I started to set-up the camera for the first of the interior shots…
Setting up the living room shot in Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia's beach house in Mystic
.. to capture Maria’s love of the Caribbean, which even extended to her multi-coloured sofa…
The living room in Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia's beach house in Mystic
.. which she sourced in a high street mall it seems.

The Fishy toilet, which Maria had pepped up with a funky tropical fish mural and accessories…
The fishy toilet in Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia's beach house in Mystic
.. was amazing – and was naturally a major talking point – but even the bedrooms and especially this one which she called the Lighthouse…
The lighthouse bedroom in Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia's beach house in Mystic
.. which was as close to true New England style as it got for them – had Marie & me going Wow !!

Who wouldn’t want to be here…
Rick Dean & Maria Sylvia sitting outside their beach house in Mystic
.. and so that was the first of the homes we shot before heading to Cape Cod, to shoot Gene & Rosemary Fuller’s 1930′s cottage, which I’ll talk about later.

So we are back American and being made to feel very welcome by everyone – loving it and wishing we could stay forever :)

The BBC by the way, featured this one in their July 2007 issue of Good Homes…
July 2007 issue of BBC Good Homes magazine
.. plus it was also featured in Templeton Robinson’s Property Life magazine…
April 2008 issue of Templeton Robinson's Property life magazine
.. the following year.

So thank you America for welcoming us back, from Marie & me in Mystic.

April 8, 2014

Old & New

Filed under: Publish work — Ashley Morrison @ 8:21 am
Tags: , , , , ,

.. is the title of our latest work in the May 2014 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine…
25 Beautiful Homes magazine May 2014
.. pages 130 to 133.

“Carolyn and Stewart Moore blended the best period features of their historic Georgian villa with modern comforts to create a stunning, sun-filled home.”

Which we talked about shooting here: The Ming Dynasty – Irish style !

So you can now read all about how Carolyn & Stewart mixed old & new throughout their home in this top selling national magazine, which is currently on the bookshelves.

From Marie, Mandy & me @ homesinteriors.com

April 1, 2014

A Complete Transformation

.. is the title of our latest published work, in the May 2014 issue of Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living magazine…
May 2014 issue of Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living magazine.
.. pages 78 to 87.

“Breige and Stephen from Cushendall in County Antrim explain why village life has made the chaos of their refurbishment project worth the upheaval.”

Which we talked about here: Labour of love – at the time when we shot it.

Stunningly reproduced as always – which is what I love so much about this magazine – so this is just a quick note to say a big thanks to everyone involved here in this feature and congratulations to Breige & Stephen once again, for making it into this beautifully printed Irish glossy magazine.

From Marie, Mandi & me @ www.homesinteriors.com

March 31, 2014

Little to do here.

Things have been going crazy lately for me – but recently we shot this amazing home near Dungannon in County Tyrone…
Capture-178878
.. which was basically naturally lit – and so required only a touch of fill to achieve results like this…
Shiells-03
.. of Fiona & Brian in the living room of their new build.

The couple’s last home was very traditional and I actually shot it many years ago for an Irish magazine. However they decided they wanted a complete change; bought a site and commissioned Des Ewing, a local Architect, to design a contemporary home for them.
None of their existing furniture would have suited so they had fun starting from scratch – they even went to Milan to buy some of their new furnishings !!
Although they wanted a contemporary new look, they didn’t want it to be too monochrome or cold and opted for lots of vibrant colour.

Which from every angle looked great…
Shiells-04
.. and all the way throughout…
Capture-178979
.. was a very easy one to light and style too…
Shiells-06
.. so even Marie had little to do here :)

Love it – and hopefully the Editors will too – so just a quick note to say thanks to Fiona & Brian here for inviting us in and making us feel so welcome once again.

From Marie & Me @ ampimage.com in County Tyrone.

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