It all started with her niece and a coffee table and now Lynn Gray’s new book is sold out.
Vignettes in Isolation is the Gore interior designer’s first book.
Mrs Gray said she noticed niece Grace Marshall, of Nelson, had posted a photograph of her mother’s coffee table on a social networking site.
“I just loved that photo,” Mrs Gray said.
After viewing the photograph Mrs Gray started to think.
“Why can’t I get lots of other people to put up similar photos on my business Facebook page of things in their house that they love, while we are in lockdown.”
Every day she posted photographs people had sent her online.
“We got more and more of a following because they were waiting to see whose photos were going up and what the photos were of.”
The brief was to take a photograph of something that made people feel happy and contented.
More than 60 people from throughout New Zealand sent photographs and many people would be known to The Ensignreaders, she said.
The photographs were “so diverse”.
“I’m just blown away by the beautiful collections people have got.
“It’s just stunning.”
It was not long before it occurred to her that she could publish a book.
“About the third day in I thought I could turn this into a book.”
Her graphic designer daughter Olivia was home during lockdown and Mrs Gray enlisted her help to prepare the photographs.
She described the photographs as vignettes which was “an image of something that creates a certain mood or feeling”.
Each photograph had a dark frame to enhance the visual effect.
“It’s dark on the outside .. that’s the concept of being safe in a cocoon, like a cave.”
She planned to publish two more books on a similar theme.
“When we do volume two and volume three we are going to lighten up the outside so the last volume will have a white surround because it’s a wee bit like you’ve come out of the lockdown into the sunshine.”
Mrs Gray selected “feel-good quotes with an interior slant” to accompany the photographs.
“All the quotes I put in, I felt, reflected the image.
“Every quote was quite personal to the image but it was also wee tips on interior design as well.”
The first run of 200 copies of the book was sold out and Mrs Gray was deciding how many copies to print in the next run.
She also hoped the book sales would help give her an income as her work, which was largely commercial, had “dried up”.
“I’m a small business owner and I need to survive but this is an opportunity for other small businesses, as well, because they are in here.”