Help: Photo Shoot at MY house THIS week!

March 4, 2008

I could really use your help. The local home magazine is doing a spread on my house on Thurs and I need to make sure it's ready. I've lived on the home building and the kitchen forums for the last 16 months while building my house. I've lurked here for decorating ideas, so I'm now introducing myself. Hello!

So, I asked a decorator to come over and help me finish the accessorizing, but I could still use your collective eye. I hope you're willing!

I'm going to post a ton of pictures. Please pay attention to accessories. I'm willing to move anything around the house. I'm not a photographer, so hopefully the mag's photog will have a better eye for composition.

**Living Room** Concerned that it's too drab in color. Decorator wants to move the flowered chair from landing (below) to this space and move the two brown chairs up to the landing. I think the landing is perfect as it is and don't want 2 OK looking rooms. OPINIONS PLEASE

**Stairs** Again lacking color!

**Dining Room** (OK so it's still the same room, but it's our dining "space" I suppose. Someday we're going to get fabric arm chairs for the ends of the table, but didn't find the perfect chairs for the photo shoot (one of the things I hired the decorator for). Should I set the table? I have great white dishes from PB that pop against the dark table ... perhaps I'll set the table and post a separate pic.

I will put some flowers on the hutch (red tulips in the mercury vase) for some color:

Should I put apples in the large vases on this sideboard and apples in the long white dish (didn't have enough apples on hand today), or could do apples in the vases and a flower arrangement here? Ohter ideas??

**Kitchen** I normally have stuff piled in the middle of hte island, but decorator says to leave the expanse empty with just the bowl of apples on the end. I do think that's a good suggestion. Do the accessories on the counter look good? How about the mantle ... looking OK?

**Laundry Room** One of my favorite rooms!

**Master Bed** OK, I need to get rid of the alarm clock and need to put some fresh flowers on the bedside table. Should I stage this with a tray, cup of coffee, little bud vase, etc on the bed?

**Master Bath** So, I KNOW I need to clean the shower glass and will do so before the shoot, so please overlook. For the photos, I'll set a glass of wine and a book on the tray across the tub. I need bamboo in the vases on the counter, but can't find any, so will just put something green in those. Anything else?

**Landing** (My favorite room ... other than kitchen). This is the chair that decorator wants to move to the living room and switch with the 2 big brown chairs. What do you think?

**Hubby's Room** So, this is the room where I let hubby have complete license, so it's full of Star Wars and University stuff, but he did a good job, I think.

I happily welcome any suggestions, as I want our home to present as best it can in the magazine. Thanks!

Comments (153)

  • rhonda2007

    Lovely home! I love your taste - especially the way you mix in the modern art!

    If you have time for more questions, I'd love to know where you got your bedding? I've been looking for something similar!

    Thanks and enjoy your beautiful home!

  • coleen3201118

    Your home is lovely, lovely, lovely. I hope the magazine does it justice! Your front door is to die for!

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    You have done a great job with the color choices - what a nice difference you have made! I'd suggest a few small changes. Add stair railings to the porch. You may not need it according to "code" but it will make the front entrance more welcoming and prevent falls when the steps are icy. If you put a railing all around the porch, you can put a small chair or bench there which would look good and also be practical for putting things down when going into the house. Can you remove the grill work from the storm door? I think it would look better without. The window boxes look good, and I hope you have better luck than me with getting things to grow in them! For the winter, decorate them with evergreen branches and twigs with berries. Landscaping is the next step. Given that the area is small, I'd get rid of grass altogether and use a variety of evergreens, and evergreen ground covers. Taller ones at each corner, low growing under the windows. Look at the tags which will tell you the mature height and width. Nothing that will grow too large or wide. Add color with annuals in pots and the window boxes.
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  • mitchdesj

    You have a lovely home and I'm sure the photo shoot will do it justice.

    susieq, the way you worded your post, very mean. Makes you sound jealous.

  • soonermagic

    Thanks for the additional comments.

    Fairytale - The sofa is very similar to RH's Maxwell sofa, which I love but couldn't afford. I searched on these forums and found out that American Leather either makes for RH or at least has a similar style to RH's. Theirs is called the Danford Sofa. I had it priced at a local furniture store and checked out the quality, but still a tad too expensive. I then did some further investigating and found an American Leather Factory Outlet in Dallas where they sell furniture that has been used at market and for photo shoots, etc. When I called, they just so happened to have 4 Danford Sofas in the color that I wanted in stock. They took pictures for me. I chose the one I wanted and begged a friend from Dallas to drive it up to us in his pickup truck. I saved thousands of dollars. Another thing that I love about Gardenweb ... access to info not otherwise available!

    Rhonda - My responses to where I got this and that make me sound so cheap ... OK frugal. The bedding is from Target. The duvet cover was on serious clearance when I purchased two weeks ago, so I'm not sure if it's still available. My Target still has the blue coverlet and matching shams and throw pillow, not on clearance but still reasonably priced.

    And if Susie checks back, I have to agree that our styles definitely clash (I peeked at some of your other posts and your pics therein). I've repeatedly emphasized that this was a shoot for a SMALL TIME local mag. I certainly haven't overexaggerated that fact.

  • oceanna

    It looks awesome, Sooner! When I saw that first pic of the outside I just wanted to give the whole house a big hug. Good luck with your photo shoot! Will you be able to share the pics with us when it's done?

  • fussy_chicken

    I really love your home. I don't often post here lately because I've been taking an extended break from decorating. (actually, I gave up!) But I came out of lurkdom to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing your photos. Even though I'm sure the magazine photos will be great, I bet we got to see more of your home this way. Thanks for sharing!

  • redbazel

    Skimming skimming............I love your kitchen choices and your buffet/mirror in there. Too pretty and very unexpected. Will pop back in tonight so I can read this thread.


  • divadly

    Sooner - your home is so beautiful. You have great taste!

    Thanks for the info you provided on the sofa. I've also been looking at the Danford as a substitute...will have to check out the outlet. Was there anything "wrong" with the sofa, minor damage etc? And what leather is that? I was considering the Flagstaff Java or Flagstaff Chocolate colors from American Leather.

  • sallymo2015

    Just wanted to chime in with the rest of the admiration society! Great job on pulling the home together in a way that incorporates some more traditional decor/carpentry and putting a "new" spin on it. I like the pared down decor (I think it's pared down compared to much of the fussy looks I still see), it is so fresh and liveable.

    I really appreciated this thread. It is of interest to me, as much of your staging ideas are similar to what I face in my home decor shop on a daily basis! As much as I'd like to keep a pared down look in there, it is just not good for business if you don't have a lot of "stuff" to sell!!

    Thanks for posting some great pics.

  • kitchenkelly

    I am so happy for you! You are a star, soonermagic! I keep looking at your home trying to see what tips I a can pick up.

    I really, really love the outside pic and of course your fabulous kitchen.


  • spammypam


    Just wanted to say the the house looked fabulous! You should be very proud. I hope you can post the article when it comes out.

  • CaroleOH


    Love your house. I'm sure your pictures will be beautiful.

    Question...are your countertops soapstone? If so, what is your experience with them? They look so uniform in color, and I think their gorgeous, but I've heard so many whinings about how the oil doesn't stay unformly dark gray, and if you don't oil they turn light gray etc...What do you think about the maintenance of soapstone?


  • keekush2

    I realize I mostly lurk here but I did want to add that I think your home is just gorgeous and all your wonderful touches are simply perfect.
    I also love the fact that you find great bargains where you can. Also, thank you for posting about the Mexican furniture website (or el paso?) Its exactly my taste and I have already ordered a sideboard!

  • nancyr

    I LOVE your home both inside and out. It has the wonderful warm, cozy, and classic "feel" I want in my own home. I actually showed it to my DH who also was very impressed ... and we are HUGE OSU fans. Thanks for sharing your home!

  • ideamom

    You have a beautiful home!

  • justretired

    Beautiful home. Another vote for a look at the photo shoot pics when they are published.

  • decorpas

    hey there! beautiful home!! i haven't been online all week, so i missed this thread....but as a sometimes photostylist, i have to say it looks fantastic!

    the one thing i wanted to chime in about as i read through the thread was to suggest you leave the recipe from dh grandma, so i was so glad your husband insisted on it! things which are meaningful and homey like that root a room, to me, and make sure it doesn't look "staged" for strangers. i love your home. it is warm and inviting.

    the people here are sooo talented and generous!

  • Yvonne B

    Another WOW from me! Your home is absolutely beautiful, without being stuffy.

  • love-my-lilhome

    Just finished reading every post and loving your step by step accessorizing.

    Your home is wonderful and you have such a talent for putting it together.

    All of the tips you got just made it a "blue ribbon".

    In your day to day living there is no reason for you not to have pictures on your kit counter.
    If the little face of your niece makes you smile while you are in your kitchen.....put it back.

    We should always get as many smiles as we can.....wherever,
    I am of the old school if it means something to you , keep it . Real living is not "staged". Real homes are not picture perfect.

    You did a wonderful job for the magazine pictures.

    Susieq reminds me of a poster that use to be around here called Premier. Ummmmmmmmmm

  • fairytalebaby

    I have to agree with lilhome...I love having framed pictures at many different "stations" in my house. When I'm feeling bored or frustrated they make me smile and it reminds me of what's important. I also have a framed recipe card in my china's a favorite recipe of my Grandma's that I love.

    Thanks for all the couch details. I love, love, love the couch...but not the price. I may have to check out the outlet and see if they'll do freight shipping.

  • gatorjaw

    Your home is lovely. Can I ask where you purchased the chandelier in the bathroom? Many thanks!

  • soonermagic

    Diva - The sofa had no issues. The outlet rates the quality of the sofas (from a wear perspective). I was only interested in the highest quality level. The sofa was perfect. Being leather, of course, we are wearing it in. I believe the sofa is the Java color.

    Carole - The countertops are soapstone. The kitchen forum makes a big deal aobut different types of soapstone. I had only one choice here in OK. All I know is that it is not a US quarried soapstone. It has more green in it that I thought I wanted, but I still love it. In the pictures above, I had used a mineral oil/bees wax rub on it a few days before. I have gone about two months between oiling, and it hasn't become light gray. I think there's too much made of the maintenance of it over on the kitchen forum. Oiling takes no time at all. I love having the soapstone juxtaposed with the white marble on the island. Anything that I feel uncomfortable doing on the island (i.e., anything citrus), I can do without hesitation on the soapstone. By the way, we also used soapstone for the floor transition between fireplace and the hardwoods. Here's a closeup of the soapstone:

    Gator - I believe I got the bath chandlier from either Ballard Designs or Horchow website, but I don't see it on either website today. WestElm has a similar fixture but it's not hard-wired, so wouldn't work over the tub.

  • lisalm

    Beautiful house! It's clear how much time and effort you put into it--it's both classy and cozy at the same time, which is hard to do! Congrats. on the photo shoot. I'm sure the end result will be wonderful.

  • saharag

    Beautiful home and decor style. I enjoyed looking at every picture. Would you please tell me where you got your cocktail table from? I can only find that in a lighter stain which won't work with my decor. Your's is perfect.

  • Molly Brown

    I agree also, really nice house and decorating.
    By the way, I think I'm the only one to agree with your lamp in the kitchen. I have one 'near' my sink, smaller than yours, and I love it. We keep it lit in the evening when the 'working' kitchen lights are off. It's so cozy and warm and it gives enough light to go in and get a snack or drink. I like it a lot.
    Try it lit and see if you like it. Mine's never been a problem with electrocution.

  • jejvtr


    I've enjoyed your home, this thread - just lovely, tasteful, inviting and someone who is passionate about their surroundings - that says a lot

    Love the poster who quoted Thumper's mother - I can't tell you how many times my family hears that from me!
    Susieq ought to mind her jealous P's & Q's

  • flyingflower

    Your house made my jaw drop! It's stunning!!
    That's a 10 if I ever saw one.

  • patricianat

    Sooner, I did not comment on this thread since Monablair had covered the things I saw but I did want to come back and tell you that you have a lovely home and although some of the things had to be edited out, I think those things are the things that make it family-friendly when the public is not viewing it, so put it all back again and enjoy.

    P.S. Did the magazine give you a disk of the pictures they did? If so, do you mind sharing? I think your pictures are very good but I know they have that "knack" for doing home shoots. I know that some of them share the pictures on a disk with the owner. Others I know who have had shoots done have been given a disk of all the photographs, and I just wondered if you had one. If so, will you share the pictures with us since we do not have the advantage of seeing your local magazine. Thanks bunches for sharing already what you did.

  • pecanpie

    Sooner, kudos from a fellow Sooner. In fact, I had a 'rita at The Mont this weekend with friends!

    Do let us know which magazine it's in- is it the Southwest Publications' Norman issue?

  • soonermagic

    Hi Pecanpie! Yes, Norman Living. April edition.

    Patricia - Thanks for the question ... I'm going to ask for a CD of the pics.

  • funkyart

    Beautiful home.. but what I love most is how you have brought together personal momentos, gifts and purchases into a cohesive style and warm environment. It makes it all the more impressive that you were clearly budget conscious and did your work to find the right pieces at the right price. I say this based on your posts because your rooms do not look like you cut corners or looked for bargains. Kudos.. you have the touch.

    And for what its worth, I love a small lamp in the kitchen.. i would just emphasize *small* and as already noted, position it further away from the sink.

  • dgranara

    sooner, your home is tasteful, classy AND comfortable - not easy to acheive. And to susieq, I do believe it speaks volumes of the people here that no one has been as "honest" with you about your own decor as you were compelled to be with sooner...even I am having a hard time being as rude to you as you were to her - probably because your house reminds me of my Grammy's, God rest her.

  • mkleparek

    I have been off of here for a few days and couldn't believe how many had responded on this thread! So taking a look myself, I am sorry I had not followed along closer. An absolutely lovely home inside and out! Congrats. I love your style, taste, use of color, accessorizing, etc. etc. I learned a few tips from all of you reading about this beautiful home. Now I'm off to see what susieq's looks like...

  • sheconquers

    Off Topic: Law practice AND you're a Sooner? Do you know Jeb Boatman, by any chance?

  • sheconquers

    Wow. I couldn't believe that post by susieq.

    Of course, this is her taste.

    'nuff said.

    Your house is tasteful and gorgeous, and you took the constructive criticisms and used them to make your house even lovelier than it was originally.

  • katmandu_2008

    soonermagic, your home is simply beautiful. It is classic and inviting at once. Hope the photo shoot went well! Will you post pics from it? Thanks for responding on another thread about your countertops. That is exactly what I want to do, soapstone perimeter with white inset cabinets, darker wood island with marble so you have been quite an inspiration! I sent you another question on another thread I can't find anymore wondering if you could send info on your seattle kitchen designer. If it makes you more comfortable, although I am a Husky (UW), my dad was a Sooner and we grew up watching the Oklahoma games. : ) And hope you ignored susie q.

  • saharag

    Soonermagic, can you tell me where you got your coffe table from? I can only find it in my area in a lighter wood. I LOVE your home and decor!

  • DLM2000-GW

    I followed this thread from the beginning but let the others who have such good eyes for the details chime in with the suggestions. There was only minimal tweaking to be done anyway - just to make it magazine camera ready as opposed to real people living there! It's such a lovely home - and I especially like the scale and detail - human scale, cozy, inviting. The exterior is so charming and welcoming - is the design custom or can you share your source? It's a real pleasure to tour your home - thank you for sharing.


  • sedeno77

    Your home is charming inside and out.
    Susieq: your remarks were mean and nasty. Are you a little jealous?

  • Phobie Privett

    Soonermagic, absolutely gorgeous! You have much to be proud of! Congratulations!

    I've never needed so badly to respond to an ugly comment as I need now to say to Susieq...SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ponydoc

    Well I see I didn't get here in time.... Your home is perfect - I have loved it since seeing it on the BAH forum... just wish I would hvae found this thread before you let them photograph your home with an OU flag on the wall LOL Of course just kidding......

    Really great job! You should be proud- you have a really lovely home. I think your taste is perfect....... well except for that flag! LOL

    PD (at least your coach WAS a Buckeye!)

  • pecanpie

    sheconquers, I know Jeb. Well, I know his beautiful wife. Small, small world.

  • mommyto4boys

    Absolutely beautiful!!! I LOVE YOUR HOME!!! I also wanted to share that I'm ROTFLOL at that photobucket picture. Is that for real? Please tell me that is a joke and not a picture of susieq's home. OMG!!!!

  • redbazel

    I already commented on this house, and came back later to look more and read more. Beautiful. But I am very disappointed to read all the comments directed at the person who gave an unflattering review. I was hoping people would ignore and let it go, but since that's not happening, I'm going to throw something out here.
    Sooner is a class act. She did an awesome job with her home, she asked for help tweaking, and she took some advice. She also.........ignored those who either didn't share her taste or were having an 'off' day. Some here should do the same. Sooner does not need defending, most who posted seem to love what she's done. And I think it is most unkind to mock someone else's decorating, no matter what the provocation. If I say I hate Sooner's kitchen, will 20 people look up my kitchen and tell me how ugly it is? Not nice, guys. Give it a rest, please.

    Most sincerely directed at a lot of
    people I have grown to enjoy and respect...

  • wooderlander

    Thank you for saying it, Red.

    Some pretty vicious scolding and mockery was done here by people who probably consider themselves very nice folks. No one knows what was going on in that person's life or in her mind when she made her unpopular remarks. Please give her a break. Soonermagic has already made an appropriate response.

  • oceanna

    Sooner, how did the photo shoot go? When do the pics come out in the mag? What an honor to be chosen and I think your home will look just wonderful in the mag.

    I especially love your kitchen with all that yummy subway tile.

  • tinam61

    Red, you're a pretty class act yourself. Thanks for giving us something to think about.


  • meg524

    exterior paint color and trim color?

  • graywings123


  • kswl2

    Old, yes, but it certainly explains a Certain Poster's subsequent name change.

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