Last week The Cottage Journal magazine came for a visit. To say I was excited is a huge understatement! Linda, the editor… Yukie, the stylist… and Will, the photographer spent several days in my beautiful Lancaster County and a day at my home. They were professional, personable and so so lovely! We also spent a wonderful evening at StoneGable having dinner and learning about one another. They came to photograph StoneGable and we had such a fabulous time! While they were here I learned many things. So today I want to share 5 decorating tips I learned from this magazine shoot!


If you have never picked up The Cottage Journal you really must! It’s my favorite magazine! Totally beautiful and inspiring. I do not miss an edition! Click HERE to see more about Cottage Journal.

Here’s this month’s issue…


I learned so much! So I thought I’d pass along some easy decor ideas. They are probably not-new-to-you ideas but so worth repeating and keeping in mind.

Because the photo shoot was for the fall edition of Cottage Journal I am sharing some fall images. But these ideas will work all year!



This is the best decorating tip I can give any home decor enthusiast…This may sound funny to most readers but it is amazing what one picture will tell you. I watched the magazine team take a picture of something in my home and then pour over it. It can show you what your eyes can’t see by just looking at a room. A chair askew, a misplaced accent piece, the need for a pillow or throw and so, so much more. 

Now we have the ability to take pictures and see them instantly so this is a very very good practice. When you decorate take a picture and study it. You will be thrilled how a picture will act as a decorator’s assistant and tell you how to make a room better or more comfortable or less cluttered! 

Easy-peasy, who knew?



I am a self-professed Embellishment Queen! I love to take something and make it prettier! I can embellish almost everything! But my friends at Cottage Journal used a very edited hand. They liked “space” and they let my decor “breathe”. They didn’t pile on and add more. They were extremely selective about putting vignettes together. They looked at each object with an eye for its beauty and the synergy of what they were shooting as a whole. Simplicity is best and beautiful and a good decorating tip to keep in mind!

See how just one big mum in a white pitcher steals the show when put in a low basket? No need for more!



Yukie, had a wonderful way of making my throw blankets looks luxurious and lumpy and inviting. I usually “drape” mine.  She sorta draped them and bunched them up to make them look like someone was just curled up in them a minute before the picture was taken. Give throw blankets a disheveled, lumpy look.



I was so amazed at the darling little bouquets that Yukie put together with just bits and pieces of what was left in my garden. And I loved the look far more than my usual bouquets. She found a large fuzzy sprig of sage and a small dried hydrangea and a dill pod and a few weed looking thingies. Put together they looked wonderful. I’ll be looking at my garden with a different eye now. And no roadside will be safe! I now see a gorgeous bouquet of possibilities in the leaves and sprouts and pods along the road. 

Can you imagine how much money this idea saves too? Give it a try!



The Cottage Journal team visited my friend Fran’s home too. She is an amazing collector. She collects giant vintage cookie cutters and German beer steins and people. She is a treasure herself. 

Yukie had a trove of unique collections to style! She chose some of Fran’s cookie cutters and created a vignette with them that was fresh and updated. She pulled tole trays from around the house and spun her magic to fashion a visual story of sorts.

The big takeaway is to shop your house, change things up and use what you have! This idea is really again, not new but it is such a great reminder!

Everything in my three-tiered floor tray is from my basement. But when they were all put together they have a new, fresh look!


I think so many h0me decorators get stuck when they decorate because they “fuss” and overwork something they are trying to decorate.

Here’s an example:  You are putting together a fall vignette. You have the basket to corral everything in and lots of pretty choices to go in your vignette. You work and rework and rework and begin to get frustrated because it isn’t perfect. Then you give up. It’s just too stressful!

Here’s what I learned. The professionals gather things and keep everything simple. They “play” and seem to enjoy the process. I think many of us get stressed instead of smiling and having fun. A vignette is not rocket science and you probably will not blow up your home if you get it askew! So, r-e-l-a-x!

I sometimes leave my best attempt at decorating alone when I begin to feel the fun is going out of something I’m styling and come back to it in 30 minutes or an hour or the next day.

With a set of fresh eyes and a few pictures like in the first tip above my creations often seem pretty good. I usually just have to give them a little tweak at best.


What a blessing and a privilege to have these kind, talented people in my home. Not only did they teach me a little more about beautiful home decorating and give me helpful decorating tips but I feel like I made three new friends!

Make sure you check out The Cottage Journal. It’s the most BEAUTIFUL magazine!

You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see all the great things I am finding to pin, HERE.

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So Much Better With Age | Sweet Cornbread Muffins


StoneGable | Decorating Tips I Learned from a Magazine Photo Shoot

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Designthusiasm | Planning Ahead: New Christmas Colors and a Tree Giveaway

Planning Ahead: Tailor Your Christmas Colors to Reflect Your Decor Updates

On Sutton Place | Easy Fall Porch Decorating Ideas

Fall Porch Decor from On Sutton Place

Savvy Southern Style | My Secret Ingredient for Shiny Floors

kitchen reveal





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  1. A wonderful experience for you. I love your blog, your advice and suggestions are a great help. Also what did you serve them for the meal? I love your meal suggestions as well. I am so happy I found all your posts.

  2. How exciting to have the crew from The Cottage Journal come to your home,I’m sure you learned quite a lot.The magazine looks beautiful,I will have to check it out.

  3. Once again, good advice. I love to make vignettes and never stress over them. I try to keep my home uncluttered but still warm & homey. I’m going to try the scrunched throw and see if my perfectionist eye will leave it. Ha!

  4. What an honor and a privilege to have your home photographed for a magazine and well deserved. I enjoyed reading about the experience and look forward to seeing the magazine. Your home is beautiful.

  5. Yvonne, you are lovely and your home is such an extension of you – for sure! Congratulations on your magazine shoot!! I love the rumpled throw idea… but am a huge fan of your vignettes. More is More! : )
    I am always excited to check in every day to see what’s going on at Stone Gable… congrats again!

  6. How over the moon exciting!!! Congratulations!! Cottage Journal is a beautiful magazine. Thanks for sharing their tips. I agree, throws do look cozier “skwinced.” Can’t wait to see your home featured!

  7. I love The Cottage Journal and I love your posts, so I am not surprised they came together. Congratulations!

  8. Yvonne, congratulations in having your gorgeous home featured in the Cottage Journal! Thanks, too, for your tips! Just love your posts! Have a wonderful weekend! Blessings!

  9. Oh WOW! Big congrats to you, Yvonne.

    I look forward to seeing your gorgeous style in that awesome magazine.

    Good job, how exciting!

  10. I absolutely love The Cottage Journal. I subscribe to it as well, I love the different seasons and it’s always on top of my magazine pile I actually display on a table for me to read over and over, as well as guests who want to just sit and relax and look through it. I am already getting excited about the upcoming Fall season, it’s just my favorite. Your home is always lovely, and I am always inspired by you.

  11. Great tip about taking a picture of the room. I forgot about that idea.

    You suggested this in a post maybe a year ago about taking your room/home from frumpy to fabulous. I still have the notes from that post and everything is still so timely and a good review. Maybe that could be a “throw back” post. It’s an oldie but goody!


  12. How exciting! The Cottage Journal is one of my favorite magazines! Thank you Yvonne for your decor tips!

  13. Yvonne, I totally agree about Cottage Journal. It is a stunning magazine. Every issue features homes and settings that feed our creativity, nurture our nesting instincts and elevate our desire to make our homes places of beauty and comfort. These are wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing with us. Looking forward to seeing much more. Blessings.