Friday, 24 April 2015

An Exclusive Tour of Auckland Interior Designer, Irene Crean's French Provencal Style Home - Part One of Four

Recently I featured a post on Auckland interior designer, Irene Crean's French Provencal style, Epsom house. So unique is her home, it has featured in several publications and was previously part of the 2014 NZ House & Garden tours. In my prior post I could only publish a few images, however, I am excited to say I was recently invited to spend a morning photographing Irene's home for the blog.

To be honest, this was my first professional shoot and I was a little nervous. What if my photos were too dark, what if I took hundreds of photos and only a handful were good enough to use. I relied solely on natural light and had no assistant to help pull a shot together and I was more than a little worried that I might not pull this off. It was not just about photographing a house, this was about portraying a love of French Provencal style, a dream that had become more than a reality and the beauty and detail that makes Irene's home so special. 

Most photographers would admit that out of hundreds of photos there is usually only a handful that are worthy of publication, so I was thrilled to discover I had over 70 photos to share. Throughout her home, Irene's beautiful vignettes provided me with many interesting shots, it was hard to determine which photos to publish and the fact I have so many will mean this is a four part journey and today is 'part one'.

Irene's home previously belonged to reclusive Barrister and Historian, Ian Madden and when she saw it for sale six years ago it was crumbling plaster and peeling paint, a dilapidated house that was a far cry from how it must have looked when it was originally built in 1928. The house had a small kitchen and decaying bathrooms but unfazed by the layout and poor state of the building, Irene saw a vision beyond. A French Provincal building with beautiful architecture and great bones could be revived and loved again and she knew exactly how to breathe new life into it.

A few years of building work and renovation has enlarged the house. Irene has added a large kitchen and dining area which extends out onto a deck with a wonderful fireplace. Views across Auckland include a glimpse of the iconic Museum in the Domain. Downstairs Irene has a further lounge and bedroom with en suite. Throughout the house Irene has used her skill and the skill of professionals, applying paint finishes to floors, walls and furniture. The concrete floors in the downstairs room have been cleverly painted to appear as inlaid stone.  

Irene is an interior designer with a passion for European style, especially French whether this be furniture or lovely accessories and her passion surrounds her home inside and out. Irene often moves things around or replaces them with new items or cherished treasures, so if you have seen this home in other publications, I hope to share many new photos in the ensuing posts.

I have tried to capture moments of this house not just of its entirety but those special items that turn a house into a home. I wanted to portray Irene's love of French Provincal style and somehow capture the wonderful feeling her home exudes. I hope you enjoy these images, feel free to pin them to your Pinterest boards. If you wish to use images on your blog or publication, please contact me via email (see my contact page). 

Photographed by Lee Caroline (please see above for rights to re-use images)

This was a glimpse of the downstairs entrance hall and living room, there is much more to reveal, Monday I will share beyond this room and some of the upstairs rooms.

See more of Irene's house in the following posts:

An Exclusive Tour of Auckland Interior Designer, Irene Crean's French Provencal Style Home - Part Two

Sharing this post with some of the following blogs:


  1. Great job on photographing this beautiful styled home. I look forward to seeing the rest of it. Have a great day.
    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

    1. Thanks Mary, I look forward to sharing more photos Monday.

  2. Wow, This home is gorgeous and you did a wonderful job photographing it. I can't wait to see more! Thanks for joining the Share Your Style party.

    1. Absolutely gorgeous and this is just a snippet of it. Thanks for the encouragement about the photos. Lighting wasn't quite right so some are a little over exposed to bring in enough light but they are good enough to share on the blog. Hope you can visit again on Monday to see more.

  3. Hey Lee, this is a lovely house and i think what stands out to me, is a lack of clutter, a very restrained hand.


    1. Yes Jane, Irene knows how to include the things she loves and beautiful decorative pieces without over doing it. The house is larger than it appears in the photos so plenty of room to show off her gorgeous pieces.

  4. Am in love with part one...can't wait to see the rest!
    XO Barbara

    1. Thanks Barbara, hope you enjoy them all, it is a fabulous home and I feel honoured to have been able to photograph it.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Kim, hope you get to see the following posts with lots more photos.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Shelley I am a bit late with my "thank you" though as I missed your comment. I was just going through some old posts and spotted it, sorry.


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