behind the scenes

I'm going to be honest here and say that I always hoped one day my house would appear in a magazine. Month after month I would flip through different shelter magazines and think to myself, "my house is as nice as that one" what do I have to do to get my own house published! Well, apparently starting a blog and posting countless photos of your house is a pretty good way to go about it. Then one day last year, I received a comment on my blog from none other than House & Home editor Suzanne Dimma. I almost fell off my chair. Suzanne Dimma was reading my blog!

Not long after that, we began a conversation about photographing my house for the magazine. What you may not know about publications like House & Home is that they shoot houses months and sometimes years in advance. Most of the Christmas and holiday houses you see are shot the year before they appear in the magazine the same goes for many of the summer and cottage issues which are shot the summer previous to the ones you see them in. We ran through about three different possible scenarios including shooting my house at Christmas time before we settled on a spring shoot for the Makeovers issue. The entire process took about nine months to figure out!

Of course, during that nine months I had plenty of time to think about all the changes I wanted to make to the house. At one point, we even thought of blowing out the back wall of our kitchen and putting in new floor-to-ceiling wood doors but then common sense took over! Our bedroom makeover, finishing off the hallway and installing the open shelf in the kitchen are all projects that may have taken longer to do if it weren't for the looming deadline of the photoshoot. At one point, I was going so crazy with the stress of it all that I called up an acquaintance of mine and possibly the best stylist in Toronto, Sasha Seymour (you can see her home in the September issue of House & Home magazine). I really needed someone with fresh eyes to see the place and I knew she would have great suggestions. She was the one who prompted me to replace the kitchen shelves and to find an old, crusty chandelier for the bedroom.

Days before the photoshoot, my to-do list was ridiculous. It included things like picking up Turkish towels for the bathroom, buying new clothes for myself and Henry (Myles was on his own!), picking up plants and flowers, booking a house cleaner, touching up paint (this never happened but I had the best intentions), getting my haircut, ironing sheets and pillowcases, moving toys and clutter to the basement, finding a mirror for above our fireplace, changing Henry's bed from a crib to a toddler bed and buying him new sheets. I was a mad woman!

In the end, the shoot took all day. I think Sally Armstrong one of the design editors from House & Home and Per Kristiansen along with one of his assistants showed up around 8:30 am and they didn't leave until about 5:00 pm. Per and I had a good laugh over the fact that he was chosen to be the photographer. You see I first met his wife Elana Safronsky when she contacted me about featuring our house on the HGTV blog. My husband Myles (also a photographer) ended up taking those photographs. During that session, I found out that Elana lived in our neighbourhood and I asked her if we could shoot her house for a Hello! Neighbor post which of course she said yes to. That photo shoot resulted in Style at Home magazine article about Per and Elana's house. It only seemed fitting than that Per should then be chosen to shoot our house. What a crazy, small world!

Of course, I'm overjoyed by the way the article turned out. My dream of having our house in a magazine has finally come true. In a way, I'm happy to have that goal behind me so I can move on to other challenges.

One more thing...if you look really closely at the magazine spread you might notice a few small details I have failed to talk about yet. Yes, that's right we retiled our fireplaces but I will save that post for another day!