I thought it might be fun to go behind the scenes of our bathroom shoot last week, so y'all could see a few things that go into styling a room.

A question I am asked often is, "Does your house look like that all the time?" And the answer is, "No." NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Now, I admit that I try to keep my house looking like a magazine is coming at all times, but that does not mean I succeed. Everything is usually picked up and clean and magazines are arranged just so and there are plants and flowers and branches everywhere. But I certainly don't show you the times when the magazines have coffee stains from being used as coasters, everything is covered in dust, and all of the branches are dead and the vases make me gag from their rot-water. Seriously: GAG.

Styling a room for a photo shoot is a hundred times worse, because every single detail has to be perfect. To some of you, this might sound like a nightmare, but it's my favorite thing to do. I LOVE IT. I am sure there is a page in the DSM-IV concerning this problem.

So, the bathroom styling preparations: 

All the towels, rugs, and washcloths went into the laundry. And then I ironed the towels and washcloths on my dining room table. In the dark. (We don't get light in our dining room until the afternoon and I refuse to turn on lamps because of stubbornness.) My iron is a Rowenta, and I'm pretty sure we are in love. (CALL ME ROWENTA!)

Freshly washed, ironed, and folded. Well, as much as one can iron a washcloth, which is not very much. The rug will live on the side of the tub until showtime.

After the linens and whatnot were taken care of, I swept the floor and wiped down the walls. I am not sure what I'm doing here, but I'm sure it involves a cleaning supply. Please note three kinds of stripes in this photo: towel, decorator, photographer. We obviously planned that.

Next up, I shopped my own yard for foliage. This poor fern has been through a lot, and Hurricane Isaac helpfully knocked it off its perch and smooshed the entire top half of it. Dumb.

I am not tall, so my usual method for cutting tree branches is: 1) jump, 2) grab lowest branch, 3) hold on like hell, 4) cut.

Testing vases; trimming; arranging.

Time to set everything up. I am 100% sure there is not even water in this vase. And that the reason I'm holding on to that stool for life is because I am balancing my body over the rug so as not to disturb it. Styling! It's weird and complicated, but usually looks really good.

And then I accidentally took a nap in the bathtub.

All photos: Ben Corda

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AuthorAB Chao
Categoriesprojects