The Selby is in Your Place

Earlier this year I worked with WGSN as temp.  It was my first ‘proper’ paid writing job and, although I only spent three months there, I learnt a lot.

When I left, the team I worked for bought me ‘The Selby is in Your Place’ as a leaving gift, and since then I constantly find myself flicking through this book.

Tom Selby is well known and a photographer, having spent the past 10 years working on shoots within the fashion industry. His reputation for somehow getting things just right precedes him and as a result he has worked for publications such as Vogue Paris and The New York Times Magazine.

Of course, as is often the case, creativity is accompanied by curiousity, and for a while, Selby has been snooping around other peoples’ homes, taking pictures of their stuff and posting it on TheSelby.com. The best of these images have been selected and showcased in the photographers first ever book; The Selby is in Your Place

So what makes this project so riveting?

As with most photography collections, the main appeal of this project lies within the images themselves. Photos of vintage coffee grinders, back gardens and kittens playing in clothes drawers are refreshingly natural.  Even the photographs of the houses occupants are not too stylised, and the reader is left with the impression that Selby and his subjects spent more of their time relaxing, having fun and less time posing in front of the camera.

This relaxed and yet visually appealing approach towards the photography also helps appeal to the same voyeuristic tendencies that persuaded the readers to pick up the book in the first place. Whether we like it or not, curiosity about the way others live their lives is merely part of human nature – why else was Big Brother so popular?  Throughout the book, we are not just shown photographs of different homes, but we also get to know a bit more about the creative minds behind them through hand-written, brief yet somewhat amusing interviews between the photographer and his subjects.

Of course it helps that all of the homes featured in the collection will genuinely capture your imagination, even if you aren’t well-known for having a creative flair. From book-shelves made from vintage suitcases to retro rugs on the walls there are so many design ideas housed within the photographs that you are bound to catch the interior decorating bug.

As some-one living in rented accommodation in London, with a small budget, decorating my own personal space has been somewhat difficult. After almost a year of staring at bare walls Selby has inspired me to make my own room that bit nicer to live in, because if Retts Wood can make a canal boat warm and homely, then I really have no excuse.

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