Just look at that photo from Tuesday. I mean, obviously we had a photographer over. Why else would the table be set like that? We don't even set the table that way when people come to dinner. It's more like, "Here, come grab a plate!" But it looks kinda good all staged like that, huh?
So here's how it all went down. After having read before about big magazine photo shoots at John and Sherry's house, first for the Nest and then for Better Homes and Gardens, I was prepared for the photographer to come and move stuff around, change the light, or who knows what else. I did know that we would have to clean and stage everything in advance, and that there would not be a crew, so any staging was to be done by yours truly, not by an army of interns.
As of Monday afternoon, we had an enormous mess on our hands, and a bunch of totally unstaged rooms. I also knew from having looked at a LOT of house tours while preparing for ours that there are plenty of close-up vignettes featured, meaning we had to deal with the coating of dust covering EVERYTHING. That had to change, and fast. (The office was the biggest mess, and I'll tell you about that next week.)
Here's what we did in the last 24 hours, in addition to a whole lot of dusting, sweeping and vacuuming. The dining room had some extra stuff in it and was just a bit empty. So that extra table got taken apart and put into our closet (along with about half of our apartment), the vases went into the bathrooms for extra decoration, the vintage vase that Jenn gave us last year went into the corner with some big bamboo rods, and the table got staged per AT's advice.
Here's one of the vases, now living in our master bath.
We also added some bamboo to that bathroom (I know this will give it the "spalike" label, which is one of my least favorite adjectives, right after using "zen" to describe design-related things and not spirituality-related things, but that's just a pet peeve of mine).
Besides our chaotic office, which needed a LOT of work, I also wrestled for a long time with what to do about the entryway. Right now, it's one of several bars in our place, and though I kind of like how it looks, I also worried that it said "Welcome! Boozehounds live here!" And, you know, my grandma might see this house tour!
But we didn't like that. So back it went. We like to be party-ready at all times, which means a bar right by the front door, and so we decided to just own that.
As we madly swept and dusted and tinkered to the finish, the doorbell rang, and Bethany arrived. Since we needed to keep their rapidly-shed fur off the floors, and they'd just get in the way, the pups got locked out on the balcony. Poor babies.
Everything that I was prepared for -- possibly a photo assistant, any sort of lighting help, needing to move furniture -- none of that was part of what happened. It was just Bethany and her tripod, and she just kind of went about her business shooting our place. She was all kinds of complimentary, so you know I love her forever, and kept saying that she didn't need to move anything because we had done such a good job. That was nice to hear. She also pointed out (rightly) that I was dressed to match the apartment, and I told her that's not a coincidence. My taste is just consistent in home decor and clothing! (Psst. That's me, below.)
Here's Bethany, in the one little shot I snapped, shooting our bedroom from the hallway.
Meanwhile, Mark and I were working away in the office, until it was time for her to photograph in there.
After about an hour and a half, she was all done, and there we were, in our sparkling clean condo with jam-packed closets. Pretty quickly, we had to dig all the stuff out of the closets that we had thrown in haphazardly in the name of staging, and we spoiled the fun. But it's still so much cleaner than it was, and it feels pretty awesome. And now we wait for the pretty pictures to come out. And then I can die happy.
I'm pretty convinced that having a photographer come over is when of the best things one can do to force decisions and make a person finally finish all those lingering projects. And I'm sure it will be amazing to see our place photographed by an actual professional.
I'm taking bets now -- how long until our place is officially a disaster area again? I put the over/under at two weeks. :-)
If you enjoyed reading this post, why not subscribe or follow? And please comment!