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!
PICTURES DON’T LIE
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?
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT
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!
CRUMPLE UP YOUR THROWS
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.
USE WHAT YOU CAN FIND IN YOUR GARDEN, YARD AND BEYOND
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!
DECORATE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
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!
DECORATE AND THEN RE-DECORATE
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!
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