styling tricks of the country living photo shoot


I learned an awful lot from the Country Living photo shoot and I thought it'd be fun to share some simple ideas they applied to my house.  Now that I've seen what they did here, I can look back at almost every old magazine I own and see the same principles applied to other homes.  The magazines mission is to make the rooms as pretty as possible and to appeal to the vast majority, so function is not always the main goal for them.  I'm sure what I'm about to share, you already know but seeing these little tricks done in front of me really hit home.  Take the above photo for the kitchen photographs, they brought in tons of fresh kitchen towels, pretty soaps, nice baskets, flowers and even some pretty food products.  If all they had done was exchanged these items for the ones I owned, it would have been an improvement.  Of course they went further and actually styled the rooms but the trick here is that sometimes the things we use every day can get worn, tired looking and we can become blind to that.  Freshening them up can have a big impact.



The pantry is a great example of that idea.  Most everything in this room is mine but they brought in those 2 bottom baskets which hide lots of random things and give it an organized, clean look.  The dish towels stacked and the jars of fresh herbs from the garden, some pretty food packaging is a nice touch too. So use what you have in fresh ways.  Those towels came from Home Goods and I think they were $6 for a package.  They went so far as to take the labels off the bottled water which, 1. I never buy bottled water and 2. who has the time for that, but 3. it sure looks pretty.





In the above photo, that lamp next to the stove does not work for everyday use because I have very little counter space and I don't need the extra lighting so the lamp is gone but that pitcher on the warming shelf?  It stays because it's perfect for transporting water from the sink which is across the room. Same with the stack of platters, I don't know why I never thought of this before. Also, fresh clipped herbs next to the stove, so easy and so pretty.





This is where I had the painting Alex had recently given me before Country Living got here.  I knew I wanted it above the stove and they agreed so it's one of the first things we did.  Just moving things around is one of the best styling secrets I noticed.




Compare the above 2 photos.  Can you see how the stylist really filled the shelves?  It looks so good in the photo but in real life it's too hard to get to what I need on a daily basis.  These are all my things except for the dish towel and small potted plant.  How easy is this to freshen things up?  It helps if you have the eye of an excellent stylist like Janna Lufkin too. :)







Again, everything in this shot, I already owned, it's just being used in a new way.  The silver tray holding all the cups of essentials, the garden stool holding fresh towels and a new soap.  Simple.




I love the lemon tree that they brought in.  It gives the space such an open and airy look.  Of course a lemon tree won't live inside but another indoor plant might.  Simple cut branches from the garden in clear vases again, repeat the look.  The crystal decanters on the bar do the same thing.  I didn't realize it at the time but that open airy look really is pulling the whole house together.





I wasn't thrilled that they didn't want to use my old lamp but I have to say this clear glass one really carries out that airy feeling in here.  So the house begins to flow from room to room.  To me this shot would be perfection if those pillows were not on the bed.  I tried to put my foot down but you see what that got me.:)





Green healthy plants make such a big difference.  Also, love the way the trellis pattern on the pillow picks up the trellis pattern on the small side table.






And even though the living room was not included in the magazine, Those clear cylinder vases (purchased at the Goodwill) with fresh branches do look lovely.

I'm committed to...

1. Keeping fresh plants and greenery in the house.
2. Replacing old worn out towels in the kitchen/bath.
3. When i want a change, just move what I already own around for a whole new perspective.
4.  Keep things uncluttered, light and airy.
5.  Live as beautifully, simply and frugally as possible.

Oh and P.S.


Who knew?
x

73 comments

  1. Very pretty!!
    Did you keep the lamp in the bedroom?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no. there's a funny story about that lamp but i can't repeat it here! it's pretty though right?!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful, Janet! I look forward to buying the issue. I agree on adding fresh plants and flowers. Also, I love nothing more than new kitchen linens on a regular basis. Your place is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Janet, I've meant to comment on how very much I love seeing your beautiful cottage in the latest CL and, now I'm happy that I procrastinated,because I enjoyed your latest comments. When I saw the photo of your darling pantry I was somewhat taken by surprise at the row upon row of plastic water bottles. I thought they did not seem a good fit with the eco-conscious Janet who blogs about simplicity. A few minutes ago I read the comment that you do not purchase bottled water! Thanks for clearing that up. And thanks for sharing that adorable cottage with the rest of us. Love from Annette in the Bay Area

    ReplyDelete
  4. So love peaking into your charming home! They are terrific and easy tips to really freshen up a room.
    I always buy new dishtowels every 6 months or so - a little treat for myself - for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Thanks for sharing! Kate

    ReplyDelete
  5. p.s. from annette I agree with you about the pillows in the bedroom!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you on the bed pillows. Your bed would have been soft and lovely without them! Picked up the CL while traveling this week, loved seeing your home instead of the poorly decorated hotel room I was in!! So warm and inviting:) PS: Boo to CL for the bottled water and adding more plastic to the world , but I did love the glass canisters....

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so good to see the way these simple changes can freshen things up. I have to say, I like the way you have your kitchen shelves better than how the stylist did them. But I don't think the pillows on the bed are so bad. Love the blues and greens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. absolutely enjoyed following your magazine shoot. I can hardly wait to start doing up our old villa.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the living room. Where did you purchase your couch? Your house is so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the sofa is from Pottery Barn liz. thank you!

      Delete
  10. I loved every single shot. I Am So inspired

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so happy for you and the hints are not expensive. That is a good thing.
    Your home is visually stunning and knowing the fact you and your husband painted it, well done:)
    Kathleen in Az

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great advice Janet! I love your cottage it is such a beautiful inspiration. I have a small bathroom also and I have been wondering ....Where is the toilet tissue ? Is it on a wall???

    ReplyDelete
  13. P.S. I don't like the pillows they added to your bed eitherπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

    ReplyDelete
  14. We knew;). And thanks for the tips, whether a reminder or a new idea, it is at the highest level a commitment to making the effort to bring beauty inside.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We're working toward downsizing in the very near future. Knowing that so many potential home buyers narrow their viewing options by the photos they see online, I hope to use the tips you shared when our home is photographed. Thank you so much for sharing these styling tips with us....brm

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your home is very beautiful...before and after the changes made for the shoot. I love greenery and that's a natural thing suggestion I think you'd benefit from. I've heard from a lot of bloggers who have had homes features in magazines---all the changes and embellishments that they either like or feel aren't true to themselves. Not so great but in the long run, how lucky you are to be published!! I like the new touches and of course, you can always change things around. :)

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  17. I Luff it all! and like you think the cushions on the bed are wrong but everything else is divine xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. The simple styling techniques are a huge help! Those live plants really make your house look great. And replacing the old dish towels -- genius! I try to replace a quarter of the kitchen and bath towels on an annual basis so that the towels are never more than 4 years old. I try but don't always remember! Plus new bath towels are so nice to wrap yourself in after a shower! Also the color scheme of your home is great -- lots of white with lots of real wood and accent colors of blue and green (like nature!). Very soothing and relaxing. And what else should a home be but soothing and relaxing where the cares of the workaday world are forgotten!

    ReplyDelete
  19. If I had ever known as a teen that being a stylist was a career.....my whole life might have been different.
    I dream of being paid to make things pretty all day long. xo

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think the green accessories and the greenery look great against the white, blue, and black in your house. And I love the small oriental rug in your kitchen. Of course the fantastic lighting and photography do not hurt.

    And I may be on the only one who likes the pillows they added to your bed; I think they bring a nice juxtaposition to the traditional and muted toile.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I loved seeing your lovely home in Country Living, so pretty. Do you get to keep the items they purchased?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you GAV. they left some of the items for me.:)

      Delete
  22. So grateful for your blog. I know that you occasionally have a self deprecating remark or two about what you are doing here, but I want to let you know that you are an inspiration. It may seem like "fluff", but you really are being a wonderful example for us all. We need a little of that too in our lives. Thanks for just humbly being yourself and sharing it with us all. So fun to get a peek at what you are up to.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your home is so lovely, Janet! Thanks for sharing your tips!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow Janet.. This is all gorgeous and thanks for the tips. I love what they did but I also love your original minimalist look-uncluttered. The addition of more plants and colorful towels really adds to an slready stunning place.. I am hoping to copy you on gardening - for the first time...it would be great if you could share some of your tips and secrets of your gardening success. So beautiful!- everything you do!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. nice! do you get to keep the things they brought in? I think you should :) I don't like the pillows on the bed or sofa either but it still looks nice. I was curious, is that a toothbrush on the top of your toilet stool? lol just wondering! yikes! I couldn't see keeping mine there no matter how small my bathroom would be, just sayin
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they left a lot of things for me to keep. something i was not expecting. yes, indeed, they are wooden toothbrushes!

      Delete
  26. That's so pretty. I've had a few friend have their places in magazines or on TV and they always laugh at the changes. One fellow I knew was given a golden retriever for the photo shoot and he was afraid of dogs! That's great that they used so many of your things.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love reading your posts Janet and thanks for the great tips. When our home was styled for sale we kept a few ideas for our new home. You are right, just moving things around keeps things fresh and new.

    ReplyDelete
  28. And to think that a few years ago you were thinking of stopping your blog because you thought you had no more to share! We pleaded with you not to end your blogπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’– So glad you didn't stop because I always love photos of your cottage. πŸ’˜

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. P.S. I created a board on my pinterest acount @priscillamy called "The Gardener's Cottage "πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

      Delete
  29. I love this post. So, you! Thank you for sharing your experience and your ideas. It really is such fun to visit here.❤️

    ReplyDelete
  30. This was such a helpful post. I'm always trying to duplicate the look of rooms I love in my own home. Your home has always been a favorite and Country Living just made it sparkle with those little touches, who knew? I thought it sparkled before, but wow, it really does look fabulous.
    Thank you,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for sharing all these extra details. Love the greenery and touches of green added to your dΓ©cor. I really don't mind the pillows on your bed and didn't think anything about them until you mentioned them. Sure wish CL would have put a picture of your home on the cover - would have been so much better than the picture they used. I did not find the cover appealing at all.

    ReplyDelete
  32. who knew?
    WE KNEW!!!
    your little cottage and you...
    the best.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I expect you have had/will have many new followers due to the feature CL did on your home. I am so excited for those people who will find this absolute gem of a blog many of us have been enjoying for years!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love this post! These are great tips we can all use...perhaps not to the letter, but tweaking a bit for our own style. And I completely agree with you about the pillows on the bed...they detract from the subtle & fresh blue & white you already had.

    All in all, I hope you are pleased with the results...I think you should be. Your home & excellent taste come through, as always!

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello, I just love your cottage! Those baskets! in the kitchen above the sink, and the white ceramics...so lovely! May I ask where you find such lovely European-looking baskets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you anna. the top one which is long and narrow came from the Goodwill. The other one came from a yard sale from about 35 years ago!

      Delete
  36. How generous of you to share the "tips"! I've already put one or two of them into motion here at Gatescroft :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. The magazine article was mouth-wateringly beeee-utiful. Your style is lovely, your effort to do so on a shoe-string is inspiring. No excuses of "not enough money" for us. Creativity! Patience! Hard work! These are so evident. Thank you for sharing.

    My heart goes out to you in regard to the loss of your dear friend. Heartbreaking.

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  38. WOW.............How fun is that 19,000 likes.........and growing!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Look who's bedroom is featured on MSN! http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/home-and-garden/90plus-bedroom-decorating-ideas-youll-love/ss-AAgxBdl?ocid=U348DHP#image=1

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great tips...thanks for sharing your great style and beautiful home!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Funny that your pantry was styled so heavily, a post lf yours a few years ago inspired me to overhaul my pantry and keep it styled. I'm sure it will prove to be a very popular article!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Lovely home and enjoyed the story of it in the magazine. I think many of your observations about the staging of your home by the Country Living staff are so helpful and inspiring. The only idea I would be concerned about is the painting over the stove. I would not want to put a dear (pricey or sentimental) painting over a stove. The heat, steam, etc. from cooking could cause so much damage.

    ReplyDelete
  43. What fun! (At least for those of us who didn't have to live through the chaos.) Thanks for sharing the experience and the styling tips.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Janet, that's funny about the water bottles. Love the way they styled the kitchen though. And haha I actually like the pillows on the bed. I told my sister in Boise about the feature and she said she was going to pick up the issue of CL. (She lives in a Craftsman style house)

    It's amazing what a little greenery will do, I bought some blooming branches at Trader Joe's the other day for my ginger jar on the dining room table and can't believe that something so small makes such an impact. Totally changes the look of the room.

    Linda
    xo



    ReplyDelete
  45. I've been a long time reader and was SO GLAD to see your home featured in CL!! It looks beautiful in print, although I am convinced they could have left it completely as-is, and it would have looked just as great!
    And I totally have to agree with you on the guest bed pillows. That was probably the first thing I noticed in the photo and I thought to myself - poor styling choice. I absolutely love your guest bedroom, and those throw pillows felt totally off and out of place. Would have been perfection if they had listened to you on the one. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  46. What a fabulous post, Janet! I loved your house in CL and it's such fun to get a behind-the-scenes peak. Your style shines through in every picture even if there are a few extraneous pillows thrown in...
    Cheers and congrats,
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  47. I've always loved your little pantry! But thought it was rather ironic that there was a bag of what appeared to be some type of pork flavored potato chips in the basket. I know you are vegan, as am I. So thought this was sort of funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha michelle! no they were olive oil flavored popcorn. i would have drawn the line there! x

      Delete
    2. Ha ha. Sorry about that. It looked like a similar bag I had seen before. But I should have known better. I can eat my weight in that popcorn. :)

      Delete
  48. I am a new follower... your house is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Janet, your home looks so fresh and lovely! My friend Patricia (PVE) sent me over!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  50. I just found you after reading about you and your home in Country Living. First I have to say that it was the best issue I have seen in YEARS in that was in large part because of your home. I'm on a mission to live more simply and mindfully and felt really connected to the way you live. I am so happy to find your blog here and am looking forward to going back through previous postings!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi there, I am a long time reader, but this is my first comment (on any blog, any where!) I love the styled photos to look at, but I think I would prefer to LIVE in your more minimalist looking home. I too am constantly striving for a more streamlined and simplified home, but with lots of beauty and cozy touches. I have long admired your philosophy and love your comment at the end of this blog post about what you remain committed to. You have even swayed me to eat a mostly vegan diet! (I am a work in progress haha). I think 'living beautifully, simply and frugally' is a kind and generous goal, -I'm on it :)
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  52. I agree with Lue! But I've been waiting for this issue for months so I wasn't disappointed! Well, I was bummed about the living room not making it. It is my favourite room in your house. Except for the kitchen. And the bedroom. And Larry's office is great too. I love your bathroom…:)
    Your house (the way you style it) is proof that a home can be beautiful and minimal. ADORE!!! Congrats Janet! Dannie

    ReplyDelete
  53. Your house looks great, and your commitments are admirable. I can get on board with all five of them. I especially need to do better with having live plants in the house. There is something about having the beauty of nature around that soothes the soul. Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Your house is fabulous. I need to declutter!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Janet,
    I know this is an older post but I've been thinking about it a lot. I would love to see you post about how you live with so few things. I know you have grown kids, so you must have people over on a regular basis. But instead of crowding your house with all that "just in case" stuff that most of us do, you have just what you use on a regular basis - i.e., two chairs in the dining room. Do you have secret stashes somewhere? Or do you just make do when the need arises?

    I currently have an airy kitchen with open shelves instead of upper cabinets, all the extra glasses, plates, cups, etc., are in the garage in bins. But now I need to get rid of the bins and I'm trying to figure out if I should donate all that extra stuff, there's nothing valuable there, or install upper cabinets with glass doors and keep everything organized in the kitchen. There's just two of us, the hubby and I, so all that stuff in the bins hasn't been used in years. But somehow it's hard to get rid of - like those cool margarita glasses that got lots of use 20 years ago! :)

    By the way, I've followed your blog from back in the day when you were on the Simple Living forums. I love seeing how you infuse simplicity into every part of your life. Kudos!

    Maria

    p.s. I didn't find an email address on your blog, that's why I'm posting this looooong comment! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi maria! thanks for hanging around for so long. lol it seems as if i don't have much to say these days. i have to admit that i'm still in shock over losing melinda and i think that has affected me in so many ways. i do post regularly on instagram b/c it takes no thought at all. but i'd love to answer your question.

      our 3 sons are grown and out of the house and when we do have them over it is a lot these days because they are all either married or dating and i think there are 5 or 6 kids involved. if we have everyone over we will usually bbq so we are outdoors. what you see in my house is what there is. we do have a v small basement and it has some rubbermaid tubs of extra linens or fabric, extra clothes and sporting equipment and all the gardening equipment. we DO NOT have a garage! my advice would be to just donate the stuff. if it's dragging you down in any way shape or form it's just not worth it. i always tell myself that if i need something i can buy it if i had to. i usually just figure out a way to make do. no one likes formal entertaining anymore. my kids just want to come over and relax and let their kids run thru the garden. it's all v laid-back. i like to do something more formal for the holidays but it's not a big deal any longer. i really do wish i had beautiful folding chairs that we could pull out for a fancier look but storing them would be an issue. so on thanksgiving we just rented them. i think they were $1.50 ea. so i guess my final advice would be to put the emphasis on everyday living vs the one or 2 times a year you pull out all the stops. does that make sense? xo

      Delete
    2. Hi Janet,
      Thanks for the reply! I'm really impressed that all you show is what you have. What an incredibly peaceful way to live. And you're right that no one wants formal entertaining anymore. It feels stuffy now. So funny that you got your chairs for $1.50; it really highlights how much we buy and keep unnecessarily for just in case. I remember Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin saying the same thing in their book: that we can enjoy lots of things without owning them.

      I'm going to go through all my bins and sort things out and let all that stuff go.

      One follow up question: How do you deal with dust in the kitchen with the open shelving? I live in CA also and we always have the windows open and we have 2 dogs as well. I find that the kitchen shelving (and everything else) gets dusty on a regular basis. I also cook a lot and find that the kitchen shelving gets a dusty greasy film and I have to take everything down, wash it, clean the shelving and put everything back. This is another reason I was thinking of going with cupboards with glass doors but I'm afraid that my kitchen will feel cramped - it's an L shape 10' wide by 15' long.

      On a separate not, I'm really sorry for the loss of your friend Melinda. I've been processing some grief myself and I know that it's a long and slow process. As it should be, I guess. We wouldn't want to minimize the important people and events in our lives, even if it does hurt. One thing that has been helpful is a grief guided meditation that Kaiser Permanente has on their website. I downloaded it on my ipod and when I'm feeling down or sad I listen to it and it helps me feel peaceful. There's a certain gentle validation in it that feels soothing. Here is a link to the website in case you're interested (they have a bunch of different meditations):
      https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/!ut/p/a0/FchBDoMgEADAt_iAzYZEYfFmhH6hhdsGiZIIGELt99seZ9DjC33hO-3cUy18_uxCLD22md9bqnCnLVZ8okd_Nd4zoysVAocj_o9bT-GM6IzVap2MBamlBCGsgEWPBohoUkKp8UErXjnTZxmGL2IKPpI!/

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply. You've said several times that you don't feel that you have anything to say, but I think you sell yourself short. Reading your blog is like chatting with a friend. Thank you for that.

      Maria

      Delete
    3. hi maria. thank you for that link. i will listen to it tonight. :)

      here's the thing about my open shelving. it's about 6-7 feet away from my stove. and i will also say that every home i've ever lived in had cabinet doors and the upper shelves always got that grimy sticky oil and then dust adhered to it so i know what you are talking about. i get none of that sticky stuff. sure the shelves have to be dusted but nothing too labor intensive. i dust them about once a month tbh. also because they are not packed to the gills with all kinds of crap, they dust easily. the guy that built my cabinets said that he could always add doors later so there is always that option for me or for a future homeowner. anyway, i hope that helps! x

      Delete
  56. hi, I am new to comment, yet I have visited often....I love your finds, such good ones too...we have a goodwill in an area called 30A in the Panhandle of Florida, a good one like you found....your finds are magnificent, LOVE those 2 white chairs on your patio, giving them away, WOW, what a find. And I am with you 100% MONSANTO and Monsanto products should be banned 100%, Roundup and more, they invented AGENT ORANGE, women can do something about using their products, DON"T, we run the homes anyway, WOMEN are a major impact to consumer products and we can call the shots and stop all this poison we are using.....and TOO much diabetes, cancer, breat cancer, what the heck is going on....these are just a few that are an epidemic and odd to me....autism, ADHD, thyroid cancer, it's insane...don't even get me started here, GMO foods, what are they thinking, Monsanto! BOOO

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top