HGTV Photoshoot Behind the Scenes

It's taken my me a while to compose my thoughts about the amazing photo shoot ride, I had over the summer when HGTV Magazine camped out at my house for a few days! I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts with all of you, even so it can be hard to sum up an experience where I just to see firsthand how their creative process works for each shot and ask a slew of questions that'd I'd been dying to know. 

Before, I get into the photo shoot, I want to say a huge thank you for everyone who shared a pic of the magazine on Instragram, Tweeted, Pinned and left a comment on my Instagram feed and left a message on my blog. I've felt all the love and read every single comment and from the bottom of my heart thank you! I'm so happy to share in our joy that we feel to be back in our house, with all of you. I started a blog to document the transformation of our little 1956 rancher into a house, and along they way life threw us a curve ball and we decided to turn our heartbreak into a re-building a home we love and grew even closer as a family. I just love being back home, it just feels good. 

Yes, I bought a digital copy for my nook! #dontjudge #makesmehappy First up, lets take a step back to the end of last year, when I received an email from an editor at HGTV Magazine asking a few questions about my home and wanting to know more about and see pictures. One of the editors at HGTV found my blog and liked what she saw, then pitched the idea to her supervisor and then they reached out to me. 

I was so excited to read the email then it hit me, my home was NO WHERE near magazine ready! You see a few months earlier my family and I finally moved back into our home after living though a yearlong re-building process due to a house fire. Our house was pretty much empty, no pictures on the walls, no curtains up.Heck at the time we had no dining room table, we were borrowing one of my girlfriend! Not to mention we had no front lawn or backyard, just mounds of debris and compacted dirt, it was a hot mess of situation. Nevertheless I sent pictures to them as requested, and heard a thank you and then a few months went by no word. Then out the blue, I received another email asking for a few update pictures of our home, thankful this time we had been making progress, I had a dining room table and a front and back lawn!

Photo shoot Prepping 

A few days later, she let know she was going to pitch our story to the EIC [editor in charge] A few weeks later, I heard back asking if we'd like our home and story featured in HGTV Magazine. Of course I said yes!! This is when I went into action mode, sewing drapes, pillows, making roman shades, looking for side tables [we bought three, I'll share more details soon] and much more. 

Along the way to prepping our home for the photo shoot, the editor I was working work told me HGTV wants to gift our home a few items as a welcome home present! On the condition, some would be for styling certain shots and others we might get to keep. I was able to pick out a few rugs, artwork and fabrics that I loved. Little by little huge boxes arrived to my house. 

The photo shoot was at the end of June, it was a three day shoot! The stylist Elizabeth Demos arrived at our house on Monday, morning and her and I instantly clicked. I gave her a tour of our home and then we chatted for a long time. Elizabeth is a truly talented designer, stylist, author and sweet person. The next person, I know getting married is getting her book as a gift from me. Look at all the amazing flowers, Liz brought in aren't they amazing! Totally reminded me, I need to budget month for a few fresh flowers. The night before the photo shoot, disaster struck in our laundry room, long story that I promise to share another day and all ended well since our laundry room look so good in the photos & looks just as good in person! 

Photo shoot chaos, and I loved every single second of it! Both days shoot began at 7:30am and lasted both days until after 6pm or later. Since it was the Summertime there was plenty of light, and the HGTV crew was so nice, we didn't care how long they stayed! 

I loved seeing how everything was styled and all the fancy lighting equipment!! 

Prepping for the breakfast photo shoot in our dining room nook, one of my favorite places in our house! I love all the cozy dinners and lazy weekend breakfasts we have in there. 

The photography lighting moved outside to get the best lighting possible in our dining room, for the same shot above. 

There's Liz, running across the lawn to make sure the front of our house is 'photo ready' this was the last day of the shoot and they day everyone was home. The first two days of the shoot 'prep day' and 'shoot day one,' just Tabari and I were home and Very was at preschool. 

Lisa, was sweet enough to let us see a few of the outtakes! I love this family picture so much, I seriously want to frame it, and was so happy to see it made the magazine! 

Now for the magazine! I scanned the pages of the magazine and wanted to share a few details about each room shot to give you more insight. This post is already super picture heavy and I promise not to get too wordy. Just a quick reminder, our house tour is featured in the October 2014 HGTV Magazine 

There's our living room in the table of contents! 

In this picture, the editor I was working with at HGTV felt the living room rug needed more color, so for this shot we swapped our our normal grey & white rug for this one dhurrie from Lulu & Georgia and of course I  fell in love with it! So don't be surprised if, I swap out rugs in the future with something more colorful! The rug was a good reminder to me that, hardwood floors can handle 'loads of color' and not feel overbearing. Also, in the picture, we borrowed Avery's orange plant holder from his bedroom, which you'll also spot later in his room. Another good reminder, shop your house! 

The stylist bought in a few items to help fill out our bookcases (just of the shoot) like bowls and the basket and a few books. Since then, I've been styling and filling up our bookcases. I love the balance of the bookcases add to our living room and love how well they go with our coffee table. 
In this shot my kitchen was just rearranged a little bit, using everything I already owed and just putting it on display so to speak to add color. The stylist did bring in the rug, colorful dishes and dishtowel (just for the shot) The artwork is my favorite addition and a piece I selected and was a able to keep. 

Ahh, I get so happy when I see buy boys smile! For this shot, they added the colorful dishes and pillows. The pretty flowers you see on the table, we actually in a bowl I bought a several months back, that normally resides on my floating shelves in my kitchen. Liz the stylist gave me an awesome tip, use non vases to hold flowers: bowls, cups, pitchers and glasses and planters (that would normally hold a houseplant)

I'm not huge on white walls, but in bathrooms I love them! In this show, the stylist used freseh flower to add more color along with the rug on the floor. I was planning on hanging the artwork above the towels in Avery's room which is actually framed paper from World Market, but instead hung it here, which looks perfect. 

The vintage nightstand, I bought locally from a consignment store looked so much better than the nightstands we had in here before size wise, so it was a quick change. The benches are rug are my favorite (I picked out the rug) and I loved the benches were supposed to be in the living room for the shoot, but didn't make the shot were brought into the bedroom were they just fit. 
I was asked recently, does Tabari keep his bedroom this clean? I'd say yes and no! Sometimes, its super clean other times he needs a quick reminder. As he's gotten older, he's gotten much better putting his things away and staying on top of his laundry. For his room shoot, Liz asked him he's be open to moving his bedroom around. I was thrilled, I've been telling him for months he'd have much more room if we flipped his layout! Of course when she asked he said yes and loves his new layout. Artwork, the rug and was also bought into help his room look its best and yay we were able to keep both!
Avery's room just makes me smile! I was so sad they couldn't fit both roman shades in this shot! His bed was moved over to fit the shot better and his table & chairs were removed for the picture. I love his gallery wall, I put it together with the help of Liz! The artwork is a combination of art I've been buying (like the large Giving Tree Print) on Etsy and a few artwork I picked out from  Minted for the shoot. I'm still in the process of finishing up is artwork to fill the entire wall. I've also made a few minor changes to the wall since the shoot. I promise to share soon. Everything else in his room all the toys, pillows and stuffed animals etc. was all Avery;s before the photo shoot. 

Looking back at the photo shoot with HGTV, it was extraordinary, not only did I have an amazing time, I had a the opportunity to pick the brains of talented creative people who truly love what they're doing. It was so amazing to spend time with them, and get a glimpse into the creative process and see them in action. 

Plus, I got to expedience their thoughtfulness! The last day of the shot also fell on Tabari's birthday and Jennifer the editor from HGTV, showed up that morning with a cake for Tabari's birthday and candles! We spent the afternoon eating lunch outside and singing Tabari happy birthday! It was very sweet and thoughtful of her!! We took him out to dinner later that evening to celebrate his birthday and he was so still glowing from the birthday lunch! 

I hope I did my best to answer any questions, you may have had about the photo shoot, if not please feel free to ask away!