Like anyone, I suppose, there are days (usually on weekends or very late at night) when I sit at my desk and wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze?
Other days I really love my job.
Grand Designs is one of my absolute favourite shows. Like many others I find it fascinating to watch the human drama of couples struggling against the elements, the budget, rising stress levels and the thousands of design decisions with no 'right answer' is great TV. It also combines the joy of peeking over your neighbour's fence, snooping around someone else's house and critiquing other people's aesthetic choices.
|The garden viewed from the living room|
That I find these past times so fascinating perhaps explains why I don't get invited to many dinner parties? Hmmmm.
We were approached by the very talented garden designer Ana Mari Bull (www.anamaribull.com) to provide artwork for her design (below) that had been chosen by a charming couple who were in the latter stages of building their dream home.
|A view from the orchard toward the hous|
The plot is an atypical shape, over 100m long but only around 8m wide. Ana's design turned this problem into an opportunity by building a space made up of several garden rooms, delineated with sharp geometric forms in soft and hard landscaping.
From a partitioning wall with a rectangular aperture, to clipped box hedging and squared-off seating, the lines of the garden mirror the very contemporary house.
|Molten pewter 'bleeding'|
The tones of the house are restricted to two two dominant colours; the cool grey of the architectural frames and a pale cream render. I used these to inform the curation process, selecting a beautiful marble and pewter piece by Peter Brooke-Ball, a simple slate and steel circle by Tom Stogdon and a series of playful wire sculptures by Rachel Ducker. Rachel's sense of movement and lightness, wind-blown hair and semi-opacity, worked well with the open plan and airy property.
In the orchard section I went for a simple oak bench and slate sun dial, gorgeously engraved by Martin Cook in his nearby Oxfordshire studio. His work graces the British Library, 'Little Sparta' (Ian Hamilton-Finlay's masterpiece) and he recently sold work to no less than our beloved Queen.
|The sun dial|
Below the balcony sits a hidden jetty with an old wooden rowing boat, itself a beautiful piece of sculpture when set against the very modern house. To be able to escape onto the water at a moment's notice must be a wonderfully liberating way to live
In the subterranean office space there is a curved window looking out at the waterline. A really beautiful space.
The clients could not have been more pleasant and accommodating, both art lovers and clearly in love with the home that they had created. Finding art for passionate people makes the late nights and weekends all worthwhile. Showing our art on national television, well, that's just a bonus!
You can find more photos of these artists and artworks on our Facebook page ('like' us, share us, tweet us as per your social media and receive lots of good karma):
Marshall Murray's Facebook page
|The terrace with stunning views of the Thames|