Born in Chicago and brought up in Florida, London Photographer Kristin Perers lives in a Georgian vicarage home in Clapton with her reverend husband. Perers has an unmistakably good eye and has made the interiors of the house her own by cleverly combining bits of old original peeling wallpaper and bare wood stair treads with fresh colours that she’s added to the walls, floors and woodwork throughout the home.
Perers worked in fashion, designing for brands such as Calvin Klein, before moving behind the camera first as a stylist and then a photographer for titles including Elle Decoration. She now runs blog This is 50 showcasing inspirational woman who, she believes, are not given due prominence in our ageist media. “I started it when I was nearly 50 and thought ‘where are my role models?’,” she says.
Perers’ home is attached to her husband’s church and has to cater for everything from family dinners to large church council meetings. When we asked her to shoot some of the rooms for us, she wanted to contrast her interiors against the scenes that inspire her. “Nature supplies an endless source of colour inspiration and colour combinations. Here autumn flowers, dried tea leaves, memories of the seaside and even colours of the heart are the source of inspiration for the backdrop to our home,” she says, before taking us through each space…
“The living room is a north facing room and more than anything it needed light. The woodwork was all painted Skylight and the ceiling Cabbage White (a very soft blue). The major job was pulling up the wall to wall beige carpet and painting the floorboards pink – Calamine. Amazing the difference this made! Suddenly reflection, warmth and a glow filtered into the room.”
“Because it is a north facing room, it also needed colour. But I knew I couldn’t live with fushia walls. Instead I used hits of hot colors in accessories. I find that colour sets the mood, whether it’s calm through a more tonal scheme or energising by using opposites on the colour wheel. In rooms that need energy, pattern and clashing colours wake us up, for calmer areas, closer colour matches keep our eyes easy.
In this room my blankets are all hand dyed from Sasha Gibbs‘ collection and the painted backdrops are inspired by the colours of autumn’s blazing beauties, dahlias and nerine.”
“Sage, dried verbena, quince and honey – what’s inside the kitchen cupboards provides endless colour inspiration. All the woodwork in my kitchen and dining room is painted Hardwick White and the floor is painted in Railings, which is perfect as the room gets a lot of traffic. Walls are painted in my all time favourite Lime White. Again the backdrop is kept neutral and calm while the objects, in this case the ever changing seasonal produce, provide the zing. The natural wood adds warmth like honey.”
“As a photographer my job is to bring out the best in my subject. Be it a portrait of a young novelist or this season’s bounty of colourful produce. Subjects all have their own complexions. To complement my subjects I enjoy playing with colour on my shoots and often use my own hand painted backdrops to create the mood. Each story, each day, each project will have its own colour palette and this is true for still life as well as portraits. What sort of color is she? Dark and moody, light and airy? I guess I ask the same of my house and each room, with its shifting light and various purposes, answers.
Because the hallway is at the heart of the house, running through its entirety like a vein, red is often a chosen colour for me. I wanted it to feel soft like a heart, welcoming and serene. The feel of silk on skin. I used Pink Ground in an eggshell finish and then Setting Plaster in gloss up to dado rail height to achieve this.”
“The bathroom takes us out of north London and evokes something of the seaside. I grew up on the Atlantic and a host of watercolour studies became my source for colour inspiration here. I pulled the old plastic covering up and then painted the floor boards with Blackened and Arsenic in a tiled pattern. Of course I didn’t prime everything properly, so now we have worn patches that fool the eye even further into thinking the floor is much older than it is.”
To see more of Kristin Perers’ daily inspirations, follow her on Instgram here.