A former Victorian railway arch, the studio opens on the east side of a brick-built viaduct, a strip of which runs between the Victorian terraced houses along Macfarlane Road and Frithville Gardens. Above is the extended platform of Shepherd’s Bush Market and the Hammersmith & City Line. Shepherd’s Bush Green, moments south from us, was originally a grazing pasture for shepherds on their way to Smithfield Market in the City.
Today the arches are neighboured by the monolithic Westfield shopping centre, and directly behind stands Television Centre, the famous home of the BBC from 1961 to 2013, under conversion to form a new community of luxury apartments, studios, bars and White City House hotel. In its shadow, and no doubt under the gaze of future pool-side loungers, curves the viaduct and its arches - storage facilities, mechanics’ and carpenters’ workshops, a large recording studio - and then there’s us, incongruously spilling flowers onto our forecourt in the middle.
Our studio is not just our base of operations, our office and workshop; it is also where we host classes, pop-ups and shoots, and where we invite clients for consultations and design sessions. In designing how the space should look and feel we knew that we needed more than just a practical workspace for storing and conditioning flowers, we also wanted it to feel inclusive and intimate for classes, with a big table to sit, eat and talk around, a garden for pottering and snipping those all important plant elements for designs, great music, natural light and a floor to ceiling moodboard for honing designs. At every point, we steered away from a conventional workplace design, and, while retaining the practical necessities of a flower studio, tried to create something closer to the feeling of a home, somewhere to be lived in and loved.
Visits to the studio are by appointment only. Drop us a line if you'd like to come and see us!
When we collected the keys on a bitterly cold day in March 2017, the arch had been derelict for almost a decade. After nearly a year of renovations it has been transformed into a light, creative and inspiring space and, in contrast to the gritty urban sprawl that surrounds it, spills with flowers and plants, an oasis in a concrete jungle.
At the front there is an office for day-to-day operations and a light-filled area for photographing arrangements against a changing display of painted backdrops and styled scenes. The main studio is filled with props and vessels, tools, equipment and large workbenches for conditioning and arranging the buckets of flowers and branches that arrive throughout the week from our cutting garden and suppliers. At the rear a sunny, courtyard garden is filling up with pots and plants, and a greenhouse has been constructed for propagating seeds and protecting seedlings throughout the winter before they are planted out in our garden in Hampshire when the weather warms.