I am going to try and restrain myself from using a hundred exclamation marks and write every other word in capital letters for this post, and believe me, it's going to be challenging...! Why? Well, because after months of keeping schtum, I can finally reveal my little pad has been featured in the April issue of Style at Home! You know, just a casual six-page spread in one of the most popular interiors magazines in the UK. No biggie, then?! *Does a little happy dance around the house*. As you may expect, for the purpose of this blog and my styling gigs (I mainly work with clients on residential restyling projects), I spend most of my spare time browsing interiors magazines, in print and online, and I am always fascinated by how perfectly styled every shot of every 'real' home looks. You see, styling a room/house for a photoshoot, and styling it to be 'lived in' are two totally different jobs. So it was brilliant to get to see the 'behind the scenes' on a magazine shoot, something I have little experience with. If you read this blog, chances are you are as obsessed with everything home decor as I am, so I thought I'd share with you how it all happened, what the photo-shoot day entailed and how we managed to get those bloody pillow cases looking wrinkle-free and immaculate on the photos. Read on for all the juicy details...
How the hell did it all happen?
TOTALLY RANDOMLY. Well, randomness played a part, but so did the social media gods, of course. The Homes Editor of Style at Home contacted me back in September (yes, it takes months to put an issue together) to ask if I'd like my pad to be featured in their magazine. A colleague of hers had spotted my little abode on social media and passed on my details. You can imagine how long it took me to think about that one. About a nano-second, at least. I was casually sunning myself in the South of France when I got the email, and all I remember is emitting a loud squeal of delight when I read it. After a few email exchanges, we booked a date for the photoshoot a few weeks later at the beginning of November. Oh, and because things like that are basically like freaking buses, the following week, I got approached by ANOTHER interiors magazine (sozz for all the caps, I can't help myself) who wanted to feature my house too. Typical. Most magazines ask for exclusivity so I had to choose between the two and I went with Style at Home as A. I am an avid reader and, B. well, they asked first...
Behind the scenes from the shoot
This is really the fun part (as opposed to the day before obvs - you can imagine the anxiety levels pre-shoot, trying to get the house 'photoshoot-ready' with Stella in tow. Not exactly what I would call fun...). The magazine's Deputy Homes Editor and a photographer arrived at the house around 9am on a cold November morning armed with fresh flowers, top of the range photography equipment, a check list, and lunch for everyone. After about 30 mins of chit-chat, we got stuck in. We first went through each room to discuss how they'd style them and what angles the photographer would need to shoot. I have four bedrooms in the house, over three floors so it took quite a lot of time to style and photograph each area of the house, including the entryway and our main bathroom.
The team started on the top floor with our master bedroom and finished with the living room on the ground floor. I was mega keen to get involved in the styling so the Deputy Homes Ed was kind enough to use me as a styling assistant and kept checking with me if I was happy with each shot. I absolutely loved the process and it turned out to be a fabulous day.
I had already worked my magic the day before in terms of prep, so the house was spotless but you wouldn't believe how time consuming it is to set up for each shot. I am talking (in no particular order) ironing the sheets while they're already on the bed, spend 10 mins plumping pillow cases so they look 'just right', removing the entire contents of my kitchen worktop to display only photogenic items, setting up the dining table for a bunch of imaginary guests... You get the gist. We even had to edit the husband's book collection as it turns out, some of his tomes are a little too full on for an unsuspecting audience. Believe it or not, Georgio Falletti's I Kill, isn't exactly the nicest book cover to have by your bedside... The photographer was brilliant, and, together with the stylist, they knew exactly what they needed so the day went really smoothly. Stella was part of the shoot as well and as you can see, loved every minute of it.
We had a quick lunch break half way through and because it was the beginning of winter, we had a very short window of natural light in the afternoon so had to get everything done by 4pm before it got totally dark. Remember those days? The last shots were the ones of me in the living area and kitchen. Scroll down to see me posing with my tea mug, grinning like it's Christmas... Slightly cringe-inducing, I know, but what can I say, I was très ecstatic that day, and you can tell...
Once the team had all the shots needed, it was time to wrap up, put everything back in place, and tidy up all the equipment. They left about 5pm. I felt totally drained at the end of the day. There is so much work that goes behind a photoshoot, you're on your feet all day and add a 2-year old running around like mad hatter to the mix, and you can just imagine us both passing out the minute the magazine team walked out the door.
And finally... the result
My pad is featured in a whopping six-page spread in the April issue of the mag. Colourful, I hear you say?! If you're not familiar with the publication, Style at Home offers practical advice for interiors aficionados like yours truly, who take a hands-on approach to decorating, revamping and styling their homes on a budget. So lots of tips to make your house look fabulous without breaking the bank. Which is exactly what Stella + the Stars is all about. There are also three more features with tips and shopping ideas to recreate some of my 'looks' in your own home. You can see a little teaser below. The magazine is out now and you can buy your copy in most newsagents or even subscribe by clicking here.
And now the most important bit... What do YOU think?! Would love to hear your feedback in the comments below. Happy reading!