Tag Archives: photographing interiors

Behind the Scenes of a Design*Sponge Home Tour

Last week was an exciting one for RHW — a tour of my house was on the mega-blog Design*Sponge!  We are devoted admirers of Design*Sponge, so seeing my house on its venerated pages was a thrill.  We knew it was going to happen but not precisely when, so when Katie called me early in the morning (I can neither confirm nor deny that I was, *ahem,* in the bathroom when she called) I knew the day had arrived.

The first thing I asked Katie was whether I had “gushed.”  Once upon a time a homeowner was described on Design*Sponge as “gushing” about something she loved about her home.  Katie and I hate the word gush.  For us it’s in the same category as “moist” — words that induce nausea and a desperate need to shower.  We were nervous that my effusiveness about my home would be described as a sudden rapid flow of liquid, but luckily, thankfully, I did no “gushing” on Design*Sponge.

House tours are a funny thing.  You look at them, and it’s like you’re just walking around the house on any given day and it looks fantastic and clean.  The truth about my house tour is that it took two months to put together.  Between work, Opal, animals, and our regular posting schedule here, it was tough to eke out the time to clean, style, and photograph the house.  I tried to do one room per weekend, but in the meantime I was changing things around in the house, and there are some tells in the D*S photos.

For example, here is a half-room shot of the living from that was included in the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

And here is a pulled back shot of the living room that was in the tour:

Red House West || Behind the House Tour

I took the half-room shot first, and the full room shot a few weeks later.  Can you spot the differences?

(In the second picture there is a mirror on the wall next to the column, different flowers on the table, five candlesticks instead of four on the credenza, and the pink sunset painting has been moved and another painting is in its place (now that I look at it, I like the pink painting better where it was originally)).

It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine in house tours when there is, say, a brass elephant on a bookshelf in a beautifully styled shot, and then the same brass elephant shows up on the artfully set dining room table.  It just kind of kills the magic for me, and I worried that seeing these differences in the living room would have a similar effect.  I really agonized about these differences, but ultimately I just had to get over it and declare it good enough.

While Katie and I don’t generally style our spaces to within an inch of their lives for the sake of a photo, there’s always some cleaning up and editing that happens.  For example this is what Opal’s room looked like on Design*Sponge:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour 12Opal

And here is what the hallway outside her room looked like while I was taking the photos:

Red House West || Behind the House Tour

Of course the hallway looked a little different when I got around to photographing it for the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Along with pictures of the house, Design*Sponge also requests a picture of the occupants of the home.  Here is the picture of me, the devoted and fun-loving mom, Wolsey, the merry milliner, and Opal, the cherubic, delighted child, that was included with the tour:

Red House West || Behind the Home TourIn reality Opal had just woken up from her nap and had a 1000-yard stare.  This is the frame from just before the picture we used, before Opal had seen Wolsey in the hat.

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Chester brought out Opal’s beloved but not photogenic monkey to try to make her smile, and I was like “thanks Chester, now the entire design world is going to know that our daughter doesn’t just play with hand-made toys that I knitted from hair lovingly culled from Wolsey and Cora with a boar-bristle brush.”  I tried to convince Opal to put the monkey down by doing the same thing with Wolsey: One, two, three, drop!  It didn’t work, but at least Wolsey loved it.

Red House West || Behind the Home Tour

Katie’s house tour is close to ready for submission, and I’m looking forward to interrupting her morning ablutions with exciting news soon.  For those of you who found us through Design*Sponge welcome!  I hope you’ll stick around despite seeing how the sausage is made!  And to our long-time readers who gave RHW a nice plug in the comments on Design*Sponge, thank you, it means a lot.  She gushed.