The former studio of photography pioneer David Octavius Hill has gone on sale in Edinburgh after a makeover by designer Jonathan Reed.
Rock House – built in circa 1750 – sits at the base of Calton Hill and is one of New Town’s oldest homes. Octavius Hill lived here in the 1840s, experimenting with the calotype process of photography with engineer Robert Adamson, an early method using paper coated with iodide.
Many of their subjects were photographed in the building’s grounds.
Reed and his fashion designer partner Graeme Black have given Rock House’s Grade A-listed Georgian architecture a refresh. Their palette of soft whites and earthy greens is brought to life by flashes of colour, courtesy of the William Morris wallpapers.
‘The works we did to the house were all about returning it to the original 18th century spirit,’ says Reed. ‘[They include] stripping the white cement and rendering the exterior, panelling rooms and exposing the original stone floors’.
In the garden, there’s a self-contained one-bedroom studio (used for photography up until the 1950s) which provides guest accommodation. And the garden level of the main house also has the potential to be turned into a separate apartment, with a kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms tucked inside.
The 7-bedroom Rock House – on the market via Knight Frank for offers over £1,795m – has views of Calton Hill’s most famous monuments, which can be enjoyed from the landscaped garden and terrace (far away from the tourists).
You can try before you buy too: the house and studio are currently available to rent as a holiday home.
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