Written on April 23, 2013 at 8:42 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Hi all! My name is Beckie and I blog at Infarrantly Creative. While being featured in Better Homes & Gardens magazine has always been on my bucket list, I never wanted to reach out to them. I guess there was this dream that they would “discover” me. So when Kit Selzer, BHG remodeling editor, reached out to me I about hyperventilated. She found me on Pinterest and wanted to talk to me about being featured in the “I Did It!” section. I tried to stay cool and not get my hopes up in case it didn’t pan out. The next thing I knew I had a date for the stylist and photographer to come photograph my stenciled, painted, upholstered headboard, as well as a few other projects, two weeks later.
I had a great time with photographer Edmund Barr and stylist Jenny O’Connor. It was a fun two days filled with discoveries. Here are a few:
1. Their attention to detail is kinda crazy. I knew ahead of time I could never do what Jenny does, styling homes for magazines. She notices tiny wrinkles and flecks of fuzz. When they shot my daughter’s hutch turned bookshelf, Jenny and Edmund were literally combing the carpet in my daughter’s room to make the picture BHG quality.
2. It’s hard to know how long something will take to photograph. That first day, in addition to the bookshelf, they shot the lamp made from crutches, my end table turned bookshelf project, and the vintage television turned hallway table. About 8 hours later and day one was a wrap. But they told me they’ve spent that long on two shots or 10 shots before.
3. How great would it be to always have a personal stylist? Jenny and I went shopping to find an outfit for me for Friday’s shoot. I desperately wanted to run into someone I knew so I could introduce Jenny as “my stylist.” Of course the stars didn’t align and I didn’t see a single soul I know. Bummer. HA!
4. Turns out, modeling is easy, haha! On the second day, Edmund and Jenny got the lights and camera ready and the guest room styled. We tried a few different poses but it only took us two hours to complete the shoot. The lighting was perfect, my smile was good (or so they said), and everything looked amazing.
5. Seeing my home through someone else’s eyes was enlightening. After perusing Edmund’s portfolio and seeing the amazing homes he has shot I kept thinking, “My home does not belong in BHG, he probably thinks my house is trash compared to what he is used to.” By the end of the photo shoot, I got to see the pictures he shot and I said, all emotional, “my home totally belongs in Better Homes & Gardens.”
The day came and my magazine arrived. I squealed with delight and marked “be in Better Homes & Gardens magazine” off my bucket list. What an amazingly fulfilling opportunity and a learning experience seeing how much time, attention and detail goes into each and every picture in BHG.
-Beckie of Infarrantly Creative
For more information about Beckie and to see her amazing projects visit her here!
Written on December 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm , by Jen Jones
I started blogging over at IHeart Organizing about three years ago, sharing the story of our home updates, projects, DIY triumphs and fails and our storage and organizing strategies. Blogging has been an incredible experience in itself, but little did I know that it would bring some amazing opportunities along the way!
One of those opportunities was being contacted by an editor of Better Homes & Gardens Storage Magazine! Say what?!
I went through emotions of every nature, ranging from hopping up and down with insane excitement to overwhelming nerves. I have been reading Better Homes & Gardens for years and years (since I was a little lady), and own every issue of Storage magazine from the past few years, so the idea of our home gracing the glossy pages was beyond words incredible!
Although my blog is focused on simple DIY projects, my love for storage and organizing has basically consumed the majority of the posts, so that is where the insane excitement came in. But the question I receive more than any other is…. “Does your home always look perfect?” And that is where the nerves came in, because the answer is, “Ha, no! I have three little boys, an amazing husband and two furry pups!”. Our house is very loved and lived in, and it is important for me to keep it that way. Over the years I have gotten less and less concerned with finger prints and dinged trim and more focused on using our home as a place to create incredible family moments and memories.
But what does work in our favor is the storage and organizing solutions we have put in place. Having a place for most everything allows us to whip our home into shape at the drop of a dime. Luckily, Storage magazine gave us more than a few days to prep for the upcoming photo shoot!
With a lower level renovation under way and a list of unfinished projects, we did a mad dash of getting things done! Everything from finishing a playroom update to painting walls and furniture to upholstering the boy’s bedroom headboards.
And labeling every, last, basket….
It was just the push we needed to finish all those half finished “honey do” list projects (and some got done only minutes before they arrived!)
I was a little anxious about their arrival and completely clueless about how things would go down, but as I should have known, they were a team of all-stars!
Molly has years of talent styling homes and Jay has an impeccable eye for photography. And together as a team, they worked magic all over our home for an entire week!
One thing they did that made all the difference, was fill our home with fresh blooms. The smells and colors were so invigorating and really gave new life to every room.
Molly also came prepared with boxes and bags of accessories, to help set the stage of the season and give our home some of those final finishing touches for the shoot.
A quick furniture move here, a vase there, lots of singing and laughter and you have the perfect formula for a fantastic home photo shoot!
They went room by room, project by project and captured all things big and small.
Because I photograph and chat about our home so frequently for my blog, the whole process also turned into an amazing learning experience. They have such an attention to detail and are always looking to capture a great photo that tells a story with each and every shot. Everything is reviewed and if it isn’t just right, they take it again until it is.
Because school was out for summer, and my husband works full time, the kids were home throughout the entire photo shoot. This made me a bit nervous, but the crew was so wonderful to work with, and they were amazing with the kids! They even played with them on their breaks and got to know them quite well before heading off…
Looking back, I had zero reason to be nervous. They are real people capturing real homes. And after hanging out with them for a week, it was like they were part of our family! I am confident they captured our home, our family and our storage solutions with extreme thoughtfulness and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the release of the magazine this December!
I have to thank everyone over at Better Homes and Gardens and the Storage crew, for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Some kids grow up dreaming of becoming a firefighter, veterinarian, all-star football player, Miss U.S.A or the president. I grew up drawing pictures of houses and building mansions out of Legos. I organized my bedroom, locker, first apartment, office desks and now my home with thoughtfulness and love, while spending every spare second looking at my shelter mag collection and dreaming of the day that we would maybe fill a page with our story. Better Homes and Gardens has really made this imperfect small town gal’s big dreams come true and for that, I will be forever grateful!
I also had the opportunity to interview the talented stylist, Molly Sinnett, and you can read all about some of her favorite tips here.
Be sure to check out Jen’s home in the newest issue of Storage Magazine, on newsstands Christmas day!
Written on November 8, 2012 at 11:00 am , by Style Spotter Editor
Hi, my name is Heather Patterson, and I am so excited to be here today on the Style Spotters Blog at BHG.com! I am a home décor and DIY blogger of At The Picket Fence, and as a blogger in this genre there have been a few “dreams” I’ve had. The dreams you wish would come true, but ones you can’t imagine ever would! Recently I had a chance to live one of those dreams. It was one I had always hoped for and when it actually came true, ended up being more than I could have ever imagined. My home gracing the pages of Better Homes and Gardens!
When I look back on this experience, I find that I want to hold onto every moment of it and really appreciate this amazing opportunity. I thought it would be fun to list and always remember the highlights of my journey onto the pages of the November 2012 issue of BHG!
1. Getting the email from Kit Selzer (Better Homes and Gardens remodeling editor) asking if I was willing to have my kitchen island project featured in BHG, while on the phone with my mom, which resulted in a conversation that went something like this:
I scream and scream and jump up and down, and my poor mom screams, “What?! What?!” and I couldn’t breathe…and I might have started crying a little.
All because I adore Better Homes and Gardens, seriously adore! There have been decades of BHG love in this home. I keep every issue and have them categorized by year. In fact, at one time I even get TWO copies of BHG every month because in my enthusiasm subscribed twice this year…haha! This was truly a dream come true!
2. Seeing the boxes arrive on my doorsteps full of props and furniture. This made it all seem suddenly real. Big boxes! Huge Boxes! Boxes marked from “Better Homes and Gardens” were waiting at the door. This was really happening.
3. Nervously anticipating this sophisticated and world traveled crew to arrive at my rural Kentucky home, only to find them to be the nicest, kindest and most down to earth people! Like having friends spend the day with you. Except these friends completely redecorated your kitchen and took 1,000 photos of you all day long! Stacey arrived first and got straight to work tearing apart my kitchen, I even gave her one of my ponytail holders to pull her hair back. Now if that doesn’t make you friends right away, I don’t know what does!
Edmund Barr (the photographer of many, many amazing BHG features) came breezing in from Los Angeles a few hours after Stacey, looking hip and cool, but so down to earth and fun and funny. I couldn’t have asked for nicer, kinder people to spend two days with. We laughed and joked and just hung out. They made me feel so comfortable and relaxed and for that I thank them so much!
4. Waiting and waiting for months and months to get the magazine, anxiously hoping Edmund was true to his word and would make me look magazine worthy, and finally getting to “see” it in the middle of North Carolina in a Wendy’s bathroom on my phone because it arrived while I was out of town! Thankful I have a daughter who knew how anxious I was and broke into the box and snapped a picture of the feature!
5. Then finally getting to see it on newsstands, while speaking at the Southern Bloggers Conference, could not have been more perfect!
6. And the best moment of all! Glancing down and seeing my “best and most faithful friend” peeking out from the corner! My sweet Zoe in the shot made this feature perfection! A big thanks to Edmund for including my puppy in the shot, it made the “staged shot” that much more realistic!
Here’s what I love best about sharing my experience with others… they can have it too! Better Homes and Gardens magazine is looking for everyday people to share their amazing home projects and ideas. Post your photos at BHG.com/IDidIt or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter projects where you stand back and say, “I Did It!”
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, you never know what fabulous opportunity is awaiting your around the corner! If you’d like more information on how I modified my kitchen island, and remodeled my kitchen on a budget and on my own, visit my Kitchen Island Tutorial!
Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for letting me share my “I Did It” Story and I hope you’ll stop by and pay me a visit…At the Picket Fence!
- Heather Patterson, At the Picket Fence