Let’s be honest, home renovation is a trend, which has been flourishing for years. The number of times the words duck egg blue, feature wallpaper, floral prints and parquet flooring are mentioned within the interior design industry is countless. And it is an industry, which is only going in one direction, as more and more people jump on this rather voguish bandwagon.
However, if this is something you are seriously considering, you need to be made aware of the large chasm that is likely to be left in your bank account once you have finished. But don’t let this deter you because if you’re particularly savvy about it, you could actually use your newly renovated home as a source of income, which ultimately might help to pay off some of the expensive investments that you made doing it up.
Hiring out your house as a location set for photoshoots, filming jobs or events is something which is becoming increasingly popular. Following a renovation, Sally Hobden made the decision to sign her property up to the 1st Option agency, which we subsequently named ‘The Rookery’, and she has never looked back. Since, she has welcomed over thirty different clients into her home, from Tesco and John Lewis, to Estee Lauder and Land Rover, and has pocketed a small fortune as a result.
There are many qualities that make The Rookery an ideal house for shooting in, one being its rather desirable location in Streatham. The Hobden’s can be found on the outskirts of central London, which is convenient for many clients (the majority, in fact) who are not willing to travel very far for a shoot. Its slight distance from the city, near to Croydon in South London, is also a huge appeal for those clients who want to shoot somewhere that doesn’t have that overwhelming, metropolitan feel, but still isn’t too far away. It is the perfect family home, in the perfect suburban location.
Being slightly further out also means that you get more for your money and can invest in a much larger property than some of the gorgeous, but often very pokey central London locations. This Victorian terrace covers approximately 2,200 sq ft of living space, a huge appeal to many clients who are always striving to find somewhere with enough space to manoeuvre their crew, equipment and props. A house like this, which is also reasonably tall, is perfect for filming jobs and larger crews.
Moving onto the house’s stunning interior, one of its most popular and distinctive features is the kitchen. When they moved in, Sally and her husband, Greg Hobden, decided that they were going to use the main front room, which would traditionally be the living room, as the kitchen. Before even being decorated, this room is easily the most magnificent in the house, automatically making it The Rookery’s showpiece. The tall ceiling and large bay windows establish a bright and airy atmosphere, great for shoots which require a lot of space and light. The poured polished concrete floor and horizontal clapboard-style panels along the walls are also distinctive and hugely popular with clients.
Sally and Greg went onto fill this kitchen with some gorgeous statement pieces. They installed farmhouse-style British standard cupboards, a traditional black gas Aga, exposed ducting above the Aga, and a huge rustic dining table as the centrepiece. All of these details contribute to what is a beautiful and very popular room with our clients.
What makes this location especially unique, however, is the wall panelling installed throughout the entire house. Sally has admitted that when renovating, she didn’t want to churn out yet another modern-day cliché, with sliding doors and a granite-topped kitchen island, which is simply following the trends of the ‘time’. Instead she wanted to pay homage to the traditional craftsmanship trend and create something alternative and distinctive, yet timeless and family orientated. She has said that the panelling suits the house, subtly enhancing its style and era and to see a variety of panelling look so good in situ is seeing her vision come to life.
Sally uses a variety of panelling from room to room. As already mentioned, she uses a horizontal clapboard-style panelling in the kitchen, as well as the master bedroom and bathrooms. She uses vertical tongue-and-groove panelling in the children’s bedrooms, and Georgian-style squares and rectangles in the hallway and living room. The panelling adds texture and character to the house and this is what specifically makes it stand out above the rest; it has a USP, a distinctive feature that location clients want to use for shoots, that they might not be able to find elsewhere.
In addition to the panels, Sally and Greg are experts at bagging a bargain and they managed to make their home so wonderfully unique by snapping up some classic pieces for a reduced cost. They bought their Aga for less than half price on eBay; their rustic table came from a trade store in Croydon; the Crittall steel doors which separate the master bedroom and the en suite were £350 on eBay and the black
Churchill bath was reduced from £3,500 to £500 on eBay (see below).
Whilst these bargains sound hugely appealing, they do start to add up, with everything costing around £3,000. They have both said that they could have decided to go for cheaper options, but spending money on these tiny details were a good investment and this is one of the reasons why they are so successful within this industry.
And that is exactly the point. When renovating a house with the intention to hire it out for shoots, you have to be aware that the costs are steep, but very much worth
it. These purchases become investments and make your house more attractive to clients who want to shoot in it and hopefully help towards paying off the costs you made when renovating. For these kind of more modern houses, generally, the more money you spend, the better the finish, and the better the finish, the more business you will eventually generate.
However, it has to be noted that this is not something you should base your entire income on, as the industry is unpredictable and can often be rather inconsistent. Whilst your house might be the flavour of the month right now, there is nothing to say that this will be the case next month. And even when you make these big investments, the Hobden’s are the first to say that the income you receive from shoots certainly won’t cover the cost of an entire renovation of this standard.
But, as mentioned, if you invest the time and the money into your home initially, you have more chance of being a successful shoot location owner and your house could become one of the most desired ones on the market, as proven by The Rookery.
Click to see more images of The Rookery.