Private Residence by Custom Kitchens & Scott Bailey

Here’s a remodel  that doesn’t look like a remodel. The design work matches the existing structure so well, you could be forgiven for simply assuming you were looking at really well-maintained period furnishings and construction.

Until you looked closer, that is. Interior Designer Scott Bailey (no website) specializes in this look – slightly retro, perfectly “period”. His work fits this ’20s tudor in Piedmont California like a glove. Even I was having a hard time telling where his work began and the original ended. And Custom Kitchens executed the work in their usual outstanding fashion. This is one of four projects I’ve shot recently that’s up for a Remmy.

I approached this with the goal of matching my lighting to the “feel” of the house. This place is all about comfort and familiarity. Not a lot of hard edges, nothing “hip” or “urban” about it — it’s basically a country house. And it’s old, and feels old in a nice, comforting way. So I tried to keep the light as natural, soft, and un-noticeable as possible. I think I succeeded best in the shot above. Here’s the un-lit version:

This project also gave me the chance to shoot a laundry room! How to make a laundry room interesting, while still fulfilling the clients’ need to show specific aspects for contest requirements? Creative lighting, that’s how!

Here’s the rest of the set. These are lit in a variety of ways, including strobe, hotlight, reflectors, and even speedlights. One interesting technical note – for the shot of the red-wallpapered bedroom, below, I had to position the camera with it’s back literally touching the wall. There was no way for me to even see the LCD display, much less peer through the viewfinder. So, I composed and focussed the shot by feeding the “Live View” video out to my laptop, where I could see the image through the lens (Canon 24TS-E). This allowed me to line up a perfect one-point composition, and establish fine focus, without actually seeing the camera’s control display at all! Sometimes technology is just Neat-O.

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