Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
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Go ahead and use overused props. Top three kitchen styling props:
• Campbell's Soup cans
• Perfectly aligned bottles of Perrier
Pick a show. Television sets almost always ugly up a shot; I don't care how expensive and fancy they are. So choose something fun to put on and make it look like a painting. I've been taking careful notes of where Houzz photographers have chosen to freeze the screen (upside down Spiderman/Kirsten Dundst kiss; Avatar), but seeing some sort of Toddlers and Tiaras in this very contemporary room is my favorite pick so far. Do I believe that someone with such clean, minimalist taste would indulge in such trashy reality TV? You betcha!
Play with your tablescape arrangement. Get rid of the messy notebook, coffee cup and IKEA catalog, bring out your favorite monographs, perhaps a bowl or a tray, and of course, flowers.
For more advice on these kinds of arrangements, take a look at this ideabook about trayscapes.
Go for symmetry. Although this room is not perfectly symmetrical, draw a mental line through the center. Now fold it along this line. There are enough mirror-image items to give the shot a pleasing balance, yet enough different elements to keep the image interesting.
Light that fire. More exciting television screen picks abound. I often turn on all the lights in my bedroom and enjoy ski racing from my bed, don't you? Anyway, the blazing fire adds to the ambiance, and closing the shades here keeps the view outside from distracting from this calm and serene bedroom. Well, it's calm and serene until a skier crashes.
Tell us: Where would you choose to freeze the TV screen? Let us know on our Facebook fan page (and see what everyone else is saying).
Put the lid down. Bathrooms are full of shot-ruining pitfalls. The number one rule: PUT DOWN THE LID ON THE TOILET! Number two: Get your towels and washcloths in check. Number three: Put your toothbrush, toothpaste, and tacky plastic liquid soap bottle away. Number four: Get that stupid fluffy loofah thing that hangs from your showerhead out of the shot. In fact, throw it away; it's probably moldy. Tuck your shampoo bottles, razors, and other shower items away.
This shot makes the room look just lived-in enough. The rolled towels, the texture from the lidded basket, and the perfect tissue box and matching counter accessories are just right. A shot without these little touches would be rather boring. Note that there is not a loofah or a bottle of Garnier Fructisse to be seen in that shower stall!
Don't overdo dining setups. I don't know about you, but I don't like that fake, overdone set table in shots. I call it "Model Home" syndrome. You know when you go into a model home and there's even a fake turkey and all that stuff like the Bluths had on Arrested Development? Anyway, I think just a simple bowl or centerpiece can be plenty of style for a dining room photos, but I really admire this table. They used just the right amount of items without looking too fake.
Do not fear using people in your interior shots. Exploit cute kids, cute pets, and cute chefs. The people in this picture are not the focus of the shot, but they certainly enliven it and let us see it as the perfect family kitchen.
Pull out the chairs. Take this advice more generally. If you take a shot and something doesn't seem quite right, play with the furniture as well as the composition. If these charming chairs were tightly tucked in under the table/desk, the room would have a completely different feeling. Pulling them out makes the room seem more welcoming, and makes it more obvious that this is a workspace and not a dining table.
Tray Chic: Turn an Everyday Item Into Decor
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