What happens behind the scenes on a Home Magazine Photoshoot
This last year has been a rollercoaster (my 'year after redundancy' post is coming soon!) and I have done and achieved many things I would have never imagined a year ago.
The most recent one is that my home has been featured on an 8-page spread on Home Style Magazine! My home, in an interiors magazine! I did have to pinch myself when the email came through many months ago. Then after that I started making list upon list of things that I needed to finish in every room of the house.
I see so many fabulous homes out there on Instagram and Pinterest everyday, most of them magazine-worthy. As much as I was excited, I was also nervous/scared/a perfectionist so here I am sharing a few things I have learnt when I had my home shot for a magazine.
Just before that though, the number one question I got asked once the magazine was out:
Does your home always look this good/tidy?
The answer is a big fat NO! It doesn't look far from it though as the decor and accessories are all the same. But just add layers of daily toddler mess, dog mess and husband mess (sorry Mr Room Alive). Topped with my own mess because I don't have time to tidy up because I'm picking up after everyone else. Yep, you got the picture!
Now that we cleared that one up, here is what I learnt:
Don't aim for perfection!
Style and character are all you need. I am a perfectionist and I admit it. I take ages proof-reading my blog posts and taking all my pictures as I want them all to be perfect. I keep moving things around my rooms because I am never 100% done styling it.
However, what is perfect for you won't be for everyone else. And lived in homes are not perfect to a home-staging level. Who wants to live in a staged home anyway?
The most important thing is that your home reflects your personality, your lifestyle and that you are HAPPY in it! As cheesy as it sounds, a happy lived-in home is what people want to see rather than a staged home.
Plan and Decorate!
When I was given the fab news that our home would be shot for Home Style Magazine , I still needed to decorate the hallway and the nursery, I wasn't totally happy with my study and I also needed accessories to style my guest bedroom and kitchen.
Timing wise, it couldn't have been more challenging! My baby girl had just been born, and I was struggling with lack of sleep and time. So I took it easy. I decided to start hanging the wallpaper in the nursery but didn't set myself a deadline. I was able to hang one to two sheets a day and in a week it was done! Same for the hallway, another week and the wallpaper was up. We also wanted to do the woodwork on the hallway and paint the banisters, but this wasn't realistic. (Yes I had to let go of trying to make it perfect, back to point one!)
If we got it done in time under those circumstances - anyone can!
The week before
This was the most intense week. All the big decorating jobs were done by then, so I started styling the rooms. The guest bedroom is probably the tidiest room in the house, so that was finished first. Then the study. Bedrooms, kitchen, hallway, living room. I had almost everything in place and decluttered. Ticking off to-do lists was my favourite thing to do that week.
The day before
I did go cleaning-and-tidying-mad this day! Room by room. My oldest daughter went to spend the day and had her first sleep over at the grandparents so this was a massive help. I was hanging pictures on gallery walls at 2am, and giving the house a super clean & tidy spree with the super help of Mr Room Alive (redeeming myself here!). We didn't get much sleep that night but when the Magazine Editor and the Photographer arrived they complimented us on how well we prepared our home for the shoot and how much easier it made their job on the day! Extra points for the prep ;)
Green & Fresh
Get plenty of fresh flowers and plants - anything that looks fresh and pretty to dress the coffee table, counters, bed side tables, bookshelves, bathroom windows, you name it. Flowers and plants can elevate any room! Stick to you colour palette and style and the results on camera will be amazing.
Same goes for fresh cakes and bread, the perfect props on any kitchen shoot! The prettier the better. And after the hard work is done you can then treat everyone to a well-deserved slice of cake!
Think of each frame
It is totally true that you could be shooting a beautifully styled frame in a room that is far from finished. Just like Instagram! You would never see the cables hanging under our sideboard, or the paint smudge on the ceiling, or the toys that manage to make their way in under the sofa even after I cleared it 10 times!
You do have time to style each shoot to your taste and move anything that you don't want in the photo out of the way (those cables!) As long as your personal style is there, the talented photographer will capture it the best possible way.
I absolutely loved the experience and I so grateful to the lovely Lorraine for giving me this opportunity and making the day really enjoyable. They were such a pleasure to work with and they let me get my vision across the photos. The girls bedrooms didn't make it into the feature, but they can be seen here, we have a bunnies themed room and a Beach Hut inspired nursery.
The Home Style Magazine October issue is out now, so you can still get a copy if you fancy having a look at our home in print! And if your home is being featured in a magazine soon, drop me a line in the comments below as I'd love to check it out. x