We photographed and styled this beautiful property in a village in North Northumberland for Period Living magazine recently and it appeared in the January issue. London based journalist, Stephanie Smith, got in touch and introduced us to the owner Dean Keyworth and his husband, Gavin Hilton and we were intrigued. I had seen the house on the outside and loved the attention to detail that was clear right at the front door.
The styling was a team effort between Stephanie, Doug, Dean and I, as it is a huge space, even the neighbours joined in, supplying flowers from their magical walled garden.
Meeting for the first time on a shoot can be a bit frantic: people who work in interiors are my favourite kind of people obviously, so you really could chat all day, but a shoot is a bit of a race against the clock. Stephanie had to return to London, Dean and Gavin needed their house back and Doug and I had to get home. So you can’t just natter all day long, you do have to crack on!
Dean bought the chapel from a builder who had knocked a few holes in the walls and given up, not a great start. By the time Dean bought it there was a tree growing up through the bathroom.
Dean spent three years on the project, between working on interior design projects in London. It was important to him that every detail was perfect, and he achieved this using only local companies: collaborating with architects and trades people just from the immediate surrounding area, despite his London base.
The result is a jaw dropping, unique home where he and Gavin can welcome friends in large numbers. Northumberland is famous for its stunning beaches and the fabulous scenery in the nearby national park, so they need the space, as their home is a popular destination.
Dean and Gavin are feeling more and more settled here with every year that goes by. Dean’s interior design company, Armstrong Keyworth, is delighted to have grown a new arm in the north and to be able to offer its services locally now, in this very exciting new location.
All photography by Douglas Gibb