Makeover - That day when Ideal Home came to visit..

September 22, 2014

Our house got featured in Ideal Home Magazine this June so I'd love to show you some behind the scenes photos and share a bit more about it.

The first thing that everybody asks us is how we got featured. My parent's live in a barn conversion that was converted by a developer. He wanted some photos of his finished work for his portfolio so sent Alison, a photographer who works freelance for lots of magazines. She's always looking for a new project and my Mum kept in touch with her and told her about our recently renovated house. Alison came round last year when we had finished our extension and took a few photos to submit to various magazines. Ideal Home were the first to come back, to my delight {It's always been a favourite of mine} and wanted exclusivity. I screamed when I got the email last November!!

The magazine got in touch to arrange a date for shooting, it was early January in the end and they sent their deputy editor, a stylist, a journalist, a photographer and a photographer's assistant. We had a house full! They arrived early one Wednesday morning with suitcases full of props, lights, laptops, cameras and sketches the editor had made on Alison's original photos she submitted.

It was a full on day, and the days before hand Ben and I had rushed around getting everything perfectly clean and tidy, trying to finish off every last little snagging job left over from our building work.

I was briefed on what to wear, they have rules on seasonality, I couldn't wear anything too wintery nor too summery as they didn't know then what month we'd be featured in. I don't actually love the photos of me in the magazine much, they adjusted my hair too much and made me pose with my neck in a weird angle that felt unnatural. Definitely a very different experience to our engagement and wedding photos {in a post on Wednesday this week}. 

They filled up our house with fresh flowers and props like cushions and fruit displays. If you're eagle eyed you may notice that some of the things in the magazine photos aren't in the regular photos that I post of our room makeovers or day to day things on Instagram. Most magazines have contracts with suppliers to get their products featured and Ideal Home had boxes of products from places like ebury and John Lewis to get into photos. Now when I look in magazines I try and spot what's been placed by stylists and what is actually the homeowner's. It's interesting, some may say it's misleading. I don't mind it too much but some of it is perhaps a bit unnecessary. Part of the reason is so readers can buy up to date products whereas most of our own bits are years old or from antique markets or junk shops that can't be easily sourced. The stylist went round room by room with the deputy editor and got it prepared for being photographed, I'm really OCD so I didn't enjoy them moving my things around haha. All part of the fun though.

Unfortunately the weather was awful when they came, such a dull dreary January day with hardly any daylight. Also our garden couldn't be shot because of the time of year and seasonality with the edition. It's a shame it wasn't a gorgeous bright sunny day but Alison did well to capture everything in the poor light and used a range of diffusers and flashes to get the shots she wanted.  

I loved seeing behind the scenes and it can take hours, literally, to get just one photo. Each magazine has strict guidelines on how they want rooms to look and be set up as a home with crockery and the positioning of props. There's also a rule that every room must have windows dressed with curtains or blinds before they'll feature a house and they can never get a toilet in shot! The inner geek in me loved seeing the cameras and software used in the photo shoot, Alison has her camera connected to her laptop and clicks with her mouse to take a photo to keep the camera perfectly still. The image then pops up on the screen. 

The magazine sent a writer to interview us a week later and we had to give details about where we got everything from, the works we had done, what inspired us, when we bought the property, how much everything had cost and our plans for the future. It was nice to recap on everything and share our passion for the renovation. I love the finished article, Natalie Flaum wrote some lovely things about us. So many journalists get things wrong or misinterpret facts. Apart from a few tiny mistakes we were pleased with it.

It was a nice bonus to keep the flowers afterwards and look forward to the magazine hitting the shelves. We were told that we would be in the September edition but in the end I got a surprise at the end of April when the magazine came through the door with no letter. I subscribe to Ideal Home anyway so thought it was my normal subscription and went to read it and saw my face staring back at me! We were in the June edition in the end. Ideal Home have to juggle their features around, they can't have homes in the same region in one magazine or houses that are too similar in style so it's a juggling act to get each edition with a good enough range of features.

You can see the magazine in the photos below or at this link.

Such a good experience with a feature to treasure and show the grandchildren one day!

R <3 xx

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  1. Fabulous! Congratulation! Your house looks stunning!

  2. You must’ve been thrilling when the team went to your house! To be featured in a home and lifestyle magazine is a huge honor. Well, I think you really deserved it. Your house looks so beautiful! Cheers!

    Arlene Keller @ Scott Sauer


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