The beauty of the lifestyle studio.
We’ve recently made the decision to include a small selection of outstanding lifestyle studios in our portfolio, including the stunning new ‘Lifestyle Luxe – SW18’ in Clapham, London. Lifestyle studios like this combine the warmth and homely feel of a location house, with the practical benefits of a studio space and we’ve seen a wonderful variety of enquiries for shoots and events at this location. Here we chat to Emily, co-owner of the studio about what led them to create this dreamy space, key design choices (made with photographers and content creators in mind) and the benefits of shooting in a daylight studio space.
What was the inspiration for opening your own lifestyle studio?
Aside from running our lifestyle studio, I’m a designer who helps creators build luxury personal brands. I’m 3 years into that business and quickly learnt that a huge part of being able to present yourself and your work online, is through having up to date on-brand content. It’s common for people in my industry (creators & service providing businesses) to have regular brand shoots as the business evolves.
For my own brand shoots, I’ve always had to travel out of London, because I could never find the type of location that fit my aesthetic and budget. My first brand shoot was in Bath, UK, and my most recent one was all the way in Amsterdam. I just thought it was crazy that I had to travel so far to find the kind of place I was looking for and took this as a sign to build my own. It had been something I’d wanted to do for a couple of years now, but this trip to Amsterdam in January is what gave me the final push. I mentioned the idea to my close friend (now business partner) Juliana, who was up for jumping on board this crazy ride with me, and here we are! I’m the creative, and she’s the business brains, so we make the perfect match!
What attracted you to this space?
I had very specific criteria when searching for our space. I wanted it to be the perfect place for content creation and somewhere that had an immediate wow factor to it as soon as you arrived. There were so many routes we could have gone down. It’s quite easy to find a big empty space in London which is a complete blank canvas, and transform it into whatever you like – but they don’t have all of the extra amenities that make our studio so unique. As soon as I saw our space, I knew it was the one. I had viewed a lot of modern/industrial style spaces but our studio had so much character already that there was just no comparison.
We have 2 floors, a kitchen area, free parking for us and our clients, storage space, the highest ceilings and the most beautiful natural daylight – all original features, not including the refurb work and decor we’ve added in ourselves. It’s unmatched! I couldn’t have imagined anything better. It was also important for me to find somewhere that I could maximize for different uses, so we’ve recently started hiring out the space for people to host their own events.
It was important to me that our location also stood out, and this is why I chose South London in particular. I viewed many spaces and did my research before choosing the best option and found that there were a lot of studios popping up in the East London area, but not so much around South London. Our location is something that many of our clients love, either because they live locally, or because of the great transport links from most major places into Clapham Junction station. People have even travelled to us from abroad!
What were the most important factors in designing the space?
It needed to look like a staged lifestyle set. The idea is that we have all of the luxury furniture, props and setups for you to create an abundance of content with, so all you need to bring on the day is yourself (and your outfits). This was particularly important because there are many studios that aren’t thought out specifically for creators and brand shoots, so the props are minimal and this requires the client to lug around so much stuff on their shoot day. I know people who have had to source chairs, rails, crockery, soft furnishings – you name it! – all to bring to their brand shoot. We wanted to take that pressure off our clients and have them arrive somewhere where they can just get in the zone and shoot. With the bulk of our clients being creatives, I knew what kind of setups they needed to best present themselves and their work – multiple seating areas, a table set up and plenty of smaller props to create that “behind the scenes” aesthetic. This was the main audience we had in mind when building the studio, however we’ve come to learn it also works well for so many other clients too, from beauty and fashion to family portrait sessions.
What makes it special?
From the moment you arrive at our building, it’s an experience. We’re situated in a Grade II Listed Victorian Building that looks like a castle, so that’s pretty special. Every client who walks through our door says “wow”, so I guess it’s safe to say we’ve done something right! Our studio has such an abundance of light that even on the rainiest of days, it’s such a beautiful place to be in. It has great, calming energy and the way we’ve curated each section just leaves so much room to get creative and experiment. Our cosy kitchen is also one of our favourite parts as we love making everyone’s coffee orders and being able to be close enough to help if you need us, yet completely out of your way so you have total privacy while shooting.
What does a typical day in the studio look like?
We open the doors to our morning clients at 9am and begin with a tour of the studio so that everyone can familiarize themselves with the space and where all the amenities are. We let our clients settle in and deliver their drink orders, connect their music to our Bluetooth speakers and then tuck ourselves away in our office/kitchen space so they can begin to create their magic. Sometimes we’ll have a few different clients in one day and other times we’ll have one client in for a full 8 hours. We get cracking with admin/social media and are on hand to help (or refill coffees) whenever our clients need us. So many people love the fact that we are at the studio, it adds a personal touch to the experience and is nice for them to see the friendly faces behind the studio – we love meeting all of our client’s and learning about their businesses.
What’s your dream booking?
I don’t think I can summarise a dream booking into one specific thing. The beauty of our studio is that it works well for so many different industries and shoots so we’ve met people who work in design, social media, beauty, fashion, wellness, food and drink, travel, content creation, property development, community building, families and more, and that’s exactly what we love. People book us for our aesthetic, and the fact that it’s so neutral, bright and airy makes it a great fit for various uses. One thing we are excited about moving forward is pushing events as one of our booking options, now that we’re ready to start hosting both seated and standing experiences. We love customizing our space to suit the clients event needs and helping them set up beautiful brunch spreads, for their guests to enjoy.
Book your shoot at Lifestyle Luxe – SW18, directly with Emily now via their Styled Home Studios page below.
Images: Jade Alana Photography