Douglas Friedman Goes Home with Ken Fulk
Ken Fulk’s home in Provincetown is not a museum. It is an old house, originally a boarding house with all the original numbers on the doors, that Ken has expertly restored and populated with antiques. But nothing about it feels untouchable. “It’s such a magical place,” says Douglas Friedman who shot Fulk’s home for Elle Décor. “Provincetown is such an incredible place, and then to know what Ken did to bring this house back to life is an incredible process.” Douglas has shot Fulk’s interior work many times before, but this one is special. The fact that this is Fulk’s own home means there’s a whole other level of personal touch to it. Every piece and element was not only chosen for how it fits into the composition, but also for its connection to Fulk and his space. The space is absolutely full of details and features, but each one chosen with care.
Every element removed or polished or newly placed was done with as light a hand as possible to maintain what was already unique about the home. “Ken made these really brave choices in an effort to maintain the original character, the real spirit, to salvage everything he could possibly salvage that was original to this home,” Douglas says. “He made these choices to keep layers of old paint and wallpapers. And it’s the most incredible finish. I don’t think that you see a lot of renovations today that try too hard to harken back to another time. It’s a wonder to walk through.” Every piece and element was not only chosen for how it fits into the composition, but also for its connection to Fulk and his space. The space is absolutely full of details and features, but each one chosen with care. That consideration is what Douglas hooked onto to tell the story of this home.
Part of Douglas’ work is to help the spaces he shoots make as much visual sense as possible. He almost gilds the work of the interior designer (obviously Fulk in this case) so that it presents itself beautifully and effortlessly in the frame. But when he works with Fulk they are on common ground. Their sensibilities line up so closely that Douglas doesn’t have to work for it to make sense. It already does. “It’s almost like Ken has a photographer’s eye,” Douglas explains. “The rooms are so balanced. You think you’d be moving a lot more, but you don’t. It’s the idea of clutter, but nothing’s cluttered about it. Everything makes sense and has its home. Not even a matchbook was placed without care or thought.” When Douglas and Fulk come together, two people who have such incredibly keen eyes on interiors and understand the compositional balance of a living space, its hard to not feel at home in anything they create.
In addition to this story in Elle Décor Douglas also shot the story “Hitting the Mark” in the same issue. Highlighting Michael Bruno’s home in Tuxedo Park, the images are as luxurious as the interior design, framing texture and tone on par with the modality of the surrounding community.