Ready for a completely open, 'behind the scenes' peak? Prepare yourself; I'm not holding anything back!
Arte Styling. I sent her some phone snapshots of my interiors: kids toys strewn everywhere, bed unmade, just to give her an idea of what she would be undertaking. Her vision was clear. We have to add cohesion, and a stronger Mediterranean/Spanish feel to the spaces. Mind you, these spaces are all very unfinished- projects that I intended to complete always get pushed to the wayside for paying clients. So what if I had navy blue throw pillows on a purple couch that didn't go with a thing in the space? They were cozy! But not an adequate excuse when trying to take a decent picture.
This is my living room, in everyday mode:
It's a pretty kid-friendly space, with a big ottoman instead of a coffee table, and not a lot else. The couches appear to be big dark bulky objects here. Gold and violet look lovely together, but it's nice if they tie together somehow. Here, the couches don't relate to the surroundings.
And here's my dining room, also in everyday messy mode:
Moving upstairs to the bedrooms...
Besides tidying up, removing the oh-so-lovely black out curtains, and swapping out the yellow throw and pink pillow, the nursery was the only room "photo ready".
As a color consultant, it is often quite difficult to get back to a client's home to take decent portfolio pictures. People lead busy lives, and often don't understand how much time it actually takes to prepare a room for a quality shot. So, the majority of the time, I pop in for half an hour, snap some candid shots, and hope for the best. To have control over the scene, the time to arrange everything just so, is a luxury I had not experienced before. A luxury, but also, a ton of work!
Then, the big day of staging arrived.
We fluffed pillows, arranged throw blankets, poked through cabinets looking for fun nick knacks. We pulled book covers off to reveal canvas wrappings, stacking them artfully. Bowls and dishes were arranged, re-arranged, then shuffled some more. It was an intricate game where I didn't know the rules. Kelly was in her element, humming as she shuffled, hopped back to examine, then shuffle some more. I basically stood back to stay out of her way as she worked her magic.
We swapped out my blue and green throw pillows and red throw blankets for a gold/brown/cream palette to break up the purple and knock it back a bit.
I borrowed a dark brown wood coffee table to bring in a different texture, tie in the decoration to the wood beams, and give us a spot to display objects. Things were coming together!
In the dining room, I borrowed simple dark brown chairs to tone down the overly-busy feeling my blue and green upholstered chairs created.
We unearthed carved wood sculptures from storage, and brought in a little greenery and some ceramic bowls. Much more cohesive.
In our bedroom, with the bed now against a wall instead of under a window, we now have a nice big space for art. Alas, nothing there so far, as I am pretty picky when it comes to bigger pieces. So, Kelly and I worked around the big empty wall. We also played with using a raspberry throw blanket and accent pillow, or light pink blanket. Totally changes the mood by altering value and contrast.
The last space we styled and photographed was the nursery. There wasn't much tweaking that had to be done in this room, as I had pretty much finished decorating in here.
We added a vase of flowers and a few extra throw pillows.
How has your experience been photographing interior spaces?
'Before' shots by yours truly. 'After' shots by Kelly Berg