Who would live in a moody house with charcoal-painted walls? Maybe a daring young bachelor? A hip couple of a certain age? Certainly not a family with two young children–unless you’re the Atkins-Hugheses.
Photographer Graham Atkins-Hughes and his wife, stylist Jo Atkins-Hughes, together run a business called Seven & Eight. It’s named for their house, Location 78, which the couple rents out as studio space for photo shoots and filming. The house is dramatically styled and ready to shoot–but it’s also lived in full-time by Graham, Jo, and their two young boys.
How do they pull it off? Earlier this year, The Telegraph published a short video on the family called “The Good Life: Having a Work and Family Space.” In the video, Graham explains the family’s live/work thinking: “We spend a lot of time going in and out of studios and doing our jobs, so it seemed like the logical thing to do. It means that we can spend a lot more quality time with our children, which enhances our lifestyle. And it makes financial sense.”
Photography by Graham Atkins-Hughes.
Above: The Atkins-Hugheses found their East London house in 2001 and began renovating immediately. (“It was pretty tired,” says Jo.) Over the years they decorated and redecorated, and then they completely restyled it in 2010 with a sharp turn toward the dark side.
Above: They painted the walls, ceiling, and floor of the living room black. “We feel this is the most exciting of all the new developments,” Graham wrote on his blog. A dark green velvet sofa dominates the back walls of the room.
Above L: The paint color is actually a very dark gray, which the couple appreciates for being such a good foil to the brighter colors of their furniture and artwork.
Above: The master bedroom. The couple sourced decor on eBay and in London vintage shops. Jo describes how the family compromises with the live/work house: “Quite often you’ll get a phone call in the morning saying, ‘We’ve got a team in the area. Can they come in an hour to recce the house?’ I guess we do have to compromise slightly the way we live, but it’s more than payoff for the quality we get from the lifestyle that we’ve chosen.”
Above: Jo found a pair of yellow chairs on the street in Hackney after collecting her boys from school one day. She and Graham found affordable cotton velvet from Foy & Co., near Cowbridge, and a friend of Jo’s parents made new cushions for them.
Above: A still life on the marble mantel stands out against the dark gray walls.
Above: A sideways glance into the living room and at the chandelier above.
Above: Red and green velvet chairs and stools look alive against the black walls and floors.
Above: The hallway, painted dark teal with glossy black stairs.
Keep finding your way in the dark: