The faces in this photo may not mean anything to you. The people with me aren’t in movies (that I know of,) they aren’t politicians and they don’t appear in anything by Shonda Rhimes. But indulge me for a moment and let me tell you about them because they were all part of a very special day in my life.
This crew was sent to my house by Better Homes and Gardens….yes THE Better Homes and Gardens. The amazing Kris Kennedy is to my right, with her intriguing and sweet daughter, Claire. They were my stylist extraordinaires. Greg Scheidemann and his wife Connie are to my left and they were the best camera crew you could ever want.
Way back in July I got an email from BHG editor, Kit Selzer. She had seen my trunk coffee table and wanted to know if I was interested in having it featured in BHG, like the actual paper magazine! I think I stared at my computer for 10 minutes before I blinked again, then I checked the email address to see if it was someone playing a cruel and unusual joke on me. Turns out it was all legit! Of course the next thought I had was, is that even a question? She could have just had a crew show up unannounced and I would have been all “Sure come in, ignore the sink full of dishes, ignore that I haven’t showered in two days and most importantly, ignore the sawdust in my hair. You guys can make everything magical and beautiful while I shower.”
I emailed her back in some semi professional manner, trying to sound like this was something I was totally prepared for while in reality I was flustered and overwhelmed and wondering how this all was happening. Being in a major publication was nowhere on my radar.
In a flash, the day came when Kris Kennedy called me to hash out wardrobe ideas and all the little design details that other people would never think about. I sent her a bazillion pictures of clothes and decor and we chatted about comfort levels with hair and makeup and what she had envisioned and what she thought would work best for the pictures. There was no lack of attention to detail. She is truly amazing at what she does.
The day before the shoot, Kris swung by with some things to enhance my space and my wardrobe. I’m totally like a toddler when it comes to my clothes. The majority have paint on them….job hazard.
I declared my living room instantly off limits to anyone not being paid to make it beautiful. No one was even allowed to breathe in its direction.
This is part of what happens when BHG shows up. They bring a lot of stuff with them and I loved looking through all of it. Kris even brought some of her own Christmas decor because, well it was August and it isn’t easy to find Christmas decor in August, although Hobby Lobby really came through. Did you know they have Christmas stuff out before Labor Day?
She immediately got to work thinking about the set up for the next day. She was so easy to work with because she works like I do, silently. When the wheels are spinning she is silent and still. I told her that my youngest daughter laughs and asks me what I’m planning when I am quietly looking at something. She knows that usually means I’m scheming my next project. I forget if I asked her if she is a Capricorn, I have a feeling she is.
There were so many great decor options and I loved most of it. She asked me to eliminate anything I hated because even though the photos are a bit enhanced with things they bring in, they are careful to keep the feel of the space true to the project creator.
This rug was one of my favorite things they brought in. The color was perfect and that subtle pattern was lovely. It led to a new rug in this space after they had to rip this one from my talons. Not really, but it could have happened.
The next day Greg showed up with Connie and all their camera equipment. I would have given up the rug for the photog gear if we are keeping score.
Connie is one hot ticket. She is sassy and funny and kept me laughing even after my face muscles had pretty much atrophied from all the smiling. I felt like Buddy the Elf.
Kris helped make me camera ready, thank God!
Claire was busy trimming flowers and helping out with anything we needed, including taking pictures of me getting my makeup done.
One of my favorite things about this day was to learn from them all. All the little tidbits of information, like Greg waiting for a cloud to pass so we could have the right lighting, or Kris saying “Every photo shoot needs artichokes and a labrador.” I don’t have a lab but we had some pretty cool artichokes.
At some point in the day, I put out lunch. Chicken salad and spring green salad with goat cheese. I had Izzys and sparkling water, and Greg brought some pretty interesting spicy chocolate for those of us with a sweet tooth.
Kris said my lunch buffet styling was amazing! We could have scratched the shoot all together at that point, because my day was made. I forgot to take a picture of it so you will have to take her word for it 🙂
My oldest daughter was at work all day and my husband had taken the little ones out to keep them busy. They came home at the tail end of the day, just in time for spicy chocolate and to help Connie pack up all the equipment. She made them feel like such big helpers. Part of their busy day was going to the store and buying me a scroll saw to see what else I can come up with that may bring BHG to our house again.
Eventually, the last picture was taken, the last ornament was put away and my favorite rug was rolled up. Everyone went home and I anxiously awaited the final product. Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait to see how it all turned out because I am in the December issue!!!! Page 71 and 73 to be exact.
You can also find some other DIY coffee tables in my online Better Homes and Gardens article here.Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens