Lordship Park is renowned in the production industry for being one of the most popular location houses for shoots and filming, due to its abundance of natural light and endless shoot opportunities. Romantic French-style settings are constantly in demand, and walking through Lordship Park is like a Parisian dream come to life. Therefore when we heard the owners, Sara and Brian, had decided to shut down Lordship Park, we decided to put our heads together and come up with a new way for people to enjoy the unforgettable Lordship experience at JJ. With this in mind, we’ve transformed our new studio to resemble a Palace of Versailles with a wave of retro 60’s eclecticism, by taking all of the most iconic features of Lordship and making one 2000 sqft shoot space, with something different catching your eye each way you turn. The result is something that is completely unique to the industry.
We sat down with Sara and Brian and asked them a few questions, including the history of Lordship, why it’s served so well as a location house, and why they chose to take up a residency here at JJ.
Tell us a bit about the both of you, what do you do?
Brian is a painter and I am a designer. We have worked together since the 1980s, when we used to create collections of textile designs for the American swimwear market. Brian had a painting studio in the house, selling paintings to collectors in Europe and the US. So our backgrounds are fashion and art, but we have always been very interested in interiors.
Tell us a bit about the history of Lordship Park
We first moved to Lordship Park in Stoke Newington in 1987. It was a big Victorian house, divided into four flats, one on each floor. We owned the one that was raised ground. It had high ceilings, huge windows and lovely light. One by one we were able to buy the other floors as they became available. It took 20 years and a lot of negotiation to get the whole house.
How would you describe the style of Lordship?
I’d say the style is eclectic, Francophile 60’s pop.
What made you want to turn Lordship Park into a location house?
We had some friends who were photographers and they would use the flat for shoots, mainly because of the space and the light. There were only one or two location houses in London at that time. We painted everything white, bought a couple of interesting chairs from the house clearance place, and it grew from there! We were then able to buy another floor in the house and decorated that with flea market finds and some vintage 60s wallpaper to create an alternative shooting area to the elegant white rooms of the floor below. We have always had too many ideas and never stuck to one single style/period, so we turned that to our advantage by offering clients different shooting areas, lots of contrasting textures, and a selection of photogenic pieces of furniture.
What’s it like living somewhere where there are constant shoots and filming going on around you? Do you have any interesting stories to share?
It has been brilliant fun living in a location house and it’s had a huge influence on us and our children. Literally every day is different and we have met loads of lovely people. Our first official shoot was for British Vogue: Rankin was shooting Dido which was very exciting! I think the next day we had a Laura Ashley interiors shoot, floral curtains, sofas and cushions everywhere. The only tricky thing was keeping the house “shoot ready” when our three boys were growing up. We tried to contain all children, toys, video games, football kits and pets to a small space in the basement under the front steps of the house. Then in the evening they would creep out like mice and enjoy running round the big house. With a few exceptions it worked pretty well. Capri the whippet managed to steal the crew’s croissants from time to time and inevitably the boys would have left something essential upstairs when there’s an Ann Summers shoot in full swing.
Where do you source your furniture pieces from?
We find things from all over the place and are always on the lookout. The boys used to groan when we’d be on holiday in Europe, and the car would screech to a halt whenever we saw a brocante sign.
What’s your inspiration?
I’d say we are mostly inspired by places we have visited; Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, Lanzarote.
Why do you think Lordship Park is so popular as a location house?
I think it’s been popular partly because of the light and space, and it doesn’t really feel like a family house. We tried to create something different. We are quite relaxed as owners, the house has a “lived in” feel and so clients feel welcome. Plus, the house was always evolving so there would be something new for people to see each time they came back.
Why did you decide to relocate Lordship Park?
We thought it was time to try something different and that coincided with us being made an offer on the house. We weren’t really sure what we would do… we had lots of great props and wonderful architectural pieces that we had collected over the years.
Why did you choose to do a residency at JJ Media?
It seemed very natural to speak to JJ about setting something up together. We have known and become friends with Johnny, Jane and Josh over the years and admire the way they have grown their business and maintained a fantastic team of people. We trust each other to do a good job. Creating The Lordship Residency has been an absolute pleasure and we couldn’t be happier. We will never lose our obsession with finding gorgeous, photogenic bits of furniture so I’m sure there will be a few more exciting things to come.
Thank you to Sara and Brian for a wonderful interview. We can’t wait to see what our clients do with this alluring new space; the possibilities are truly endless.
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