At Holloways, we're always striving to create extraordinary interiors, so it seemed only right to choose an extraordinary location for our photoshoot to showcase our autumn furniture collections. With a truly brilliant team, including the wonderful florist Shane Connolly from Shane Connolly & Co, stunning Holloways furniture and a collection of (mostly) impeccably-behaved animals, we transformed the cathedral-like interior of the 14th century Leigh Court Tithe Barn into an enchanting wonderland. Look out for our images in the glossy interiors magazines this autumn. But in the meantime, here's the story of a very special shoot…
They say never work with children or animals - but we did it anyway. Big love and thanks to Georgie and her gorgeous unicorn, Daisy Grey the Welsh pony - totally forgiven for eating Shane's beautiful flower garland - Elvis the handsome lionhead rabbit and his handler, Kevin, and the wonderful Vicki, who lent us her beautiful barn and supplied us all with much-needed tea and homemade cake along with her flock of fabulous Buff Orpingtons, which kept wandering into shot. We absolutely loved them all.
MEET THE MAESTRO FLORIST
We were so incredibly lucky to have master florist Shane Connolly with us for our two-day shoot. Shane is much more used to dealing with royalty than rabbits - he created the floral masterpieces at the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's wedding and the breathtaking avenue of trees in Westminster Abbey at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's nuptials. But ever-generous with his wisdom, vision and flair, he created for us exquisite arrangements of rosemary, euonymus, miscanthus and oak branches gathered from his garden, along with Bacchanalian table centrepieces of ivy, fruit and wine. Truly, he's a genius. Although his naughty bronze stag did kick over the terracotta urn...
BLUE IS THE COLOUR
We knew the deep blue velvet of our Monique Grand sofa - inspired by Art Deco designer René Lalique - and the elegant Crawford wing-backed armchair would look spectacular in the tithe barn - but when we photographed it, it was missing something. Step in sisters Bonnie and Amara, who were playing outside in the sunshine with the most perfect blue denim dresses on. They made the most marvellous models. Thank you, lovely girls!
ELVIS IS IN THE BUILDING
We're well known for pulling rabbits out of hats when it comes to interior design, but this time we did it for real. Take one top hat, add a 10-year-old rabbit Elvis and three, stunning sofas - (L-R) Woodstock, Lygon and Mimosa - and you've got a magical room set.
We're so lucky to work with some of the best people in the business - and our photographer, Andy Davis from Andrew Davis Photography, is no exception. Shoots are notoriously long days, and attention to detail is absolutely crucial. Thankfully, Andy shares our vision and our quest for perfection. Making sure the composition and lighting are absolutely spot on is a huge task - along with firing the smoke machine without scaring the unicorn!
Our Moreton dining table with six Wycombe chairs looks stunning on the beautiful flagstones of the tithe barn. Extendable, for when your flock descends for lunch, it's made from oak with a tongue and groove construction and perfect for big families and entertaining. Flanked by these incredible Gothic urns, filled with dramatic greenery by Shane, it looks totally at home.
A SETTING TO DINE FOR
When you put the 21st century Scandinavian design of our Larvik table and Fjord dining chairs into a 14th century barn, something very special happens. We love the way the light floods through the ancient barn doors and dances on to the grain of the table. The resident chicken loved it too. You'll be able to see this table in the October issue of Homes & Gardens magazine. We can't wait to see it in print.
AND IT'S A WRAP!
Huge thanks to our amazing team for pulling off a truly magical shoot. Check our social media channels for more behind-the-scenes shots - and a timelapse video showing you how we put it all together.