Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Our 15 minutes of fame?

Our house features in the current edition of one of the myriad of home interest magazines, Good Homes. It appeared on the newstands last Friday so off I went to buy a copy (no sign of the complimentary copy) but was surprised to find myself much less excited than this time last year when Homes and Gardens featured our house.

I don't want to sound blase and I don't think I am but I learnt from the last experience that the reporting is not always accurate. As the mother of a journalist I do not criticise the press as freely as many and I know that if we still want a print medium alongside the online papers we must accept advertising but I was disappointed to see the presentation of the photos and text I had seen before publication.

However I mustn't be wholly negative as the experience of watching a professional photographer in action was fascinating. Lu Jeffreys, based in Wirksworth, was charming and we enjoyed lunch together in between the shots. I found it interesting to compare her approach with that of Brent who took the previous set.

 Whereas he was happy to leave the rooms as they were she preferred to style to suggest maybe a cup of tea next to a chair; similarly the magazines also have a different style with  Homes and Gardens preferring more light in the shots and an more open view of the room.

The most painful part of the experience this time was the page entitled "Heather's Inspiration"..not pieces of vintage fabric, lovely old lamps or interestingly shaped jugs..but bland high street cushions and lamps.
My disappointment lies in the missed opportunity for me of publicising the business; as there is no fee for the shoot I feel this is fair enough. Sadly the Homes and Gardens feature although mentioning hellishdesigns did not give as much space to the contact details as they did to other items in the house. This time I thought I had worked hard to focus photos on my cushions and shades and speak about the business but reading the text I appear to be someone who buys fabric from hellish designs!

So far the phone hasn't rung as it did last year but I do have some very nice shots of the house and garden (Brent enjoyed snapping all the way to the bottom of the garden) and there is a rather pathetic thrill to be had reading about oneself!
Neither cat made it past the editors so thought Silvie should have a chance to be published here having sneaked her way onto the guest bed


  1. Andy and I had a very similar experience when our bathroom won Period Livings Readers Award in the single room section. The stylist had brought all these bathroom products with her and then proceeded to say in the feature that I was indeed the one who treated myself to Fortnum & Mason luxury bath products!! They had given her the products so they could get some free advertising in the feature! My business also got no mention although we did get a nice weekend at a country house hotel out of it. I do agree with you that they always seem to champion the high street chain shops on the inspiration page and you and I would both run a mile from shops like that!
    Jo xx

    1. Thanks for understanding Jo, hope I didn't sound too grumpy!
      Heather x

  2. Having seen the actual article Heather, your home still looks super, which it is and even though it looks like you buy from yourself, if anyone Googles Hellish Design, they'll get to you. Certainly the inspiration page is poor though it's not hard to see which is preferable. No need to be grumpy! Jane x

    1. Many thanks for this Jane, I am determined not to be grumpy and just enjoy some free publicity Heather x