Better Homes & Gardens came to my house last January to photograph my home all decked out for Christmas. I’ve waited impatiently for 10 long months to get my hands on this issue and the wait was definitely worth it! I’m excited to share some photos from the magazine as well as behind the scenes styling tips from the pros. So let’s take a peek into the Better Homes & Gardens Kelly Elko Christmas feature.
If you don’t subscribe to the magazine and would like a copy, leave a comment letting me know and I’ll mail one to 5 random winners!
Update: Giveaway has ended
If you missed it, you can read all about the behind the scenes of the photo shoot here.
The stylist, Matthew Gleason, ensured that every photo in my six page spread was magazine worthy. In the photo below (it’s the actual PDF that the magazine sent out to be printed) of my living room, he stuffed my stockings with paper to make them look like they were loaded with gifts from Santa, added fresh sprigs of cedar to the mantel, turned a bunch of old boxes into beautifully wrapped gifts, added a bowl of fresh amaryllis on the coffee table and put a basket filled with logs on the hearth to add texture. We even went together the day before the shoot to borrow the fireplace screen from a local shop.
Above photo: Copyright 2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
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Click on each pic to shop my look.
I love the value of these snowballs that I simply nestled in the tree.
I’ve heard that stylists often change up the entire look of a house and I’m glad to say that did not happen here. 95% of what you see in the six page feature is all mine.
They have these shoots planned out well in advance and a few weeks before they arrived, the home editor at Better Homes & Gardens called me to go over the plan. She had scoured my blog and wanted to combine my 2018 Christmas home with elements from my 2017 Christmas home.
For example, in my 2018 home, I hung my antique wood stocking stretchers on my mantel as seen below.
She asked if we could use these red pom pom stockings from 2017. I think the pop of color is just what the mantel needed!
No detail was overlooked. She asked if we could use a polka dot plate that I had used years before as well as other things she spotted on my blog. Of course, being a boarder line hoarder, I had everything on hand when they arrived.
The photographer, David Land, took tons of photos at different angles so they would have lots of options. I went from setting the table in the dining room, to frosting cookies with my girls in the kitchen, to drinking a mug of hot chocolate (or at least posing with an empty mug) on the daybed in my sunroom to standing on my front porch for about 45 minutes waiting for the perfect lighting. My girls went from to walking down the stairs (they did it at last 20 times) with our dog and without, to pulling a tray of freshly baked cookies (or were they?!) from the oven, to helping me decorate those same cookies at the kitchen counter. My cheeks never hurt as much from all the smiling I did over the course of the two day shoot!
They like to make sure there is plenty of variety among all the stories in the magazine so, for example, if one story includes a photo of the homeowner in her kitchen, other articles would most likely have photos of the owner in a different room. It was interesting to see which photos they included in the article and which were left on the cutting room floor. I’m thrilled that a beautiful family photo made the cut as well as another shot of my girls and me in the kitchen baking up a storm (or at least pretending to)! Of course, Sushi steals the show posing in the sunroom in her winter scarf and she’s even featured on the Table of Contents page. I swear that dog needs an agent. There are lots of other pics too and my house never looked better thanks to the help of a professional photographer.
For the rest of the story, please see the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens available through 12/14/19 wherever magazines are sold.
Don’t forget to comment letting me know if you’d like a magazine. I’ll pick five random people and mail them one!
Update: Giveaway has ended