We had our first photo shoot in the house ten years ago. Dido was photographed by Rankin for Vogue. Since then we have had over a thousand shoots. Many of high-profile celebrities, snapped by equally high-profile photographers for high-end designer advertising campaigns. Other days it's a house full of DFS sofas, the entire Early Learning Centre inventory, a pop video, a couple of Hollywood actresses or a full-on Christmas shoot in August. Every day is different.

Hackney Chateau has four floors, ranging in style from 
Louis XV panelled rooms with tapestries and candelabras to groovy, all-white, 1960s nightclub with curved, futuristic doorways and a spectacular checkerboard light installation. 

The house had been converted into four flats - one on each floor. We started with the reception floor and gradually bought the others over a period of twenty years. We have designed, decorated and furnished it ourselves with a mixture of junk shop, auction and eBay finds. We are always on the lookout for interesting things. Most spectacular finds have been; four ornately embellished panels from France; an over-sized, double front door from a house in Amsterdam and a 1970s chandelier from a London casino. We really like mixing things up. Different styles from different decades - even different centuries. We could never settle on one look for the whole house.

The garden has been approached in the same way. An ancient, wisteria-clad, iron arcade leads to a herb and flower garden presided over by a fancy lead-roofed, cupola from an old school. In another area a shiny, white flying saucer (a seating unit from Munich Airport circa 1967) rests alongside a bed of huge hydrangeas.

In this blog I talk about living in one of London's busiest location houses, raising three boys in Hackney, meeting and catering for celebrities (I often make lunches and dinners when shoots run into the evening and will include recipes and photos), gardening, dog walking, shopping on Stoke Newington Church Street and anything else that takes my fancy.