My first cover shot 2007: Georgie and Sammi Jo. Actually they wouldn’t sit for a picture together so two pictures of each dog were spliced together to make it look like they really love each other. They don’t. Now four years later, almost everything in this picture has changed except for the sofa and chair and lamp.
When I first started blogging, another blogger friend, Melissa from The Inspired Room HERE coined the word – coveritis – to describe the affliction of constantly fluffing one’s home to make it worthy of being on a magazine cover – at a moment’s notice. If you suffer from coveritis you have an irrational fear of your house not always looking good enough to make it into a design book. Symptoms of coveritis include keeping your house in a state of non-clutter: all papers, mail, toys, clothes and crafts are always put away immediately - just in case a stalking photostylist stops by unannounced. Remember, this is an irrational fear. To understand coveritis - imagine it like this – your house always looks like President Obama is on his way for dinner.
Now, the opposite of coveritis is being a coveritis-wannabe. You are a coveritis wannabe if you WANT your house to be photo ready at any given time, but it’s not and never will be. You never file away your bills fast enough and your children’s school work is always spread out over the dining room table. Your husband takes command of the coffee table and his random magazines and catalogues are center stage instead of your carefully arranged design books. Your bed is never made before 3:00 pm and more often than not, your bathrooms are littered with wet, used towels. Usually for a coveritis wannabe, the only room ever photo ready are the never used living room. As hard as you try and despite how much you wish it was, your house is just never quite ready for that photoshoot.
Three years ago, this story appeared in Better Homes and Gardens. Again, that corner of my family room has completely changed! (Thank God!!)
I am without a doubt a total coveritis wannabe. I’m always futzing around in my house, moving furniture, accessories, and books – trying to get it to look camera ready, but it never really is. The endless catalogues accumulate, packages are opened but linger around waiting for their final home, shoes never quite make it to the closet, and stuff just grows and multiplies like the octomom’s stomach. I have endured two actual photoshoots in the past few years, so I know what it means to have my house look camera ready – but, of course a professional stylist accomplished that feat for me. For both magazine stories, the stress level of whipping my house into cover-ready state was almost unbearable. In fact, I said, “never again” to another photoshoot. That was until Bonnie Broten, Regional Editor for Meredith Corporation, came to town this week and brought a film crew with her. The last few days were like college hellweek for me while the crew cheerfully took a few pictures of my kitchen for this magazine:
BHG’s Specialty Magazine – Kitchen and Bath Makeovers – done on a small budget. My kitchen certainly fits that criteria! The story won’t be in this magazine until Summer of 2012 – such a long wait.
Since I am a coveritis wannabe, I swore I would never again let a photographer into this house. It’s just too much – too much angst, too much cleaning up, way too much insecurity, just too, too much. Coveritis sufferers live for their house to be photographed, but for someone with clutter issues, it’s just not fun. This time, the pictures were taken only of my kitchen for the BHG specialty magazine – Kitchen and Bath Makeovers. Forget for a moment that I have no clue why they would even want to put my kitchen in the magazine, but why it’s on the cover is truly a mystery. My kitchen is no big deal. It’s got so many flaws and it’s so ordinary, I am at a loss as to why they were even here. I can name a million other kitchens right off the bat that are so much better and more deserving than mine. Like this one:
Sally Wheat’s kitchen has spawned dozens of copycats. I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me pictures of their own “Sally Wheat” kitchen.
This kitchen in Houston was also inspired by Sally Wheat. Surely this remodeling deserves a magazine story. Read about it HERE.
This Houston kitchen, NOT inspired by Sally Wheat (finally!), is very magazine worthy! A beauty in gray and white marble and black granite, it was designed by Julie Dodson – read the story HERE.
Remember this stunning kitchen in black and white? The homeowner designer in Deerfield, Illinois sent in her pictures. Surely this is more magazine worthy! Read the story, HERE
And then there’s this. It’s almost embarrassing to show, but here is my kitchen. Now, keep in mind that since I am a coveritis wannabe, my kitchen is usually not this neat. I edited it for these pictures.
Here’s how it actually looked the day before the photographers arrived.
Edited picture that I took. Veddy neat, but so not reality.
And in this little corner, I certainly edited the space to take these pictures.
Here’s what it looked like the day before the photoshoot.
Cleaned up for pictures.
Not so tidy in real life. Before the crew arrived, I had to move the TV, the water cooler, the boxes, the files, the baskets, the lantern, the cloches – all went into the garage.
The day before the shoot – the crew came by and we started editing even more. Ben was enlisted to move the ironstone around.
He wasn’t too happy about the photoshoot to begin with, much less helping out, but almost falling off the counter was the last straw for him.
The day of the photoshoot was extremely long for me and the dogs. We are used to extreme quiet during in the day. It took three hours just to shoot one picture – the cover shot. The mess was terrible. Everything from my kitchen ended up in the family room.
Photoshoots are so high tech. The cover shot was approved via internet. Digital photography is amazing – each shot was extensively studied on the computer to ensure its perfection before going on to the next one. The talented Bill Bolin from Bill Bolin Photography HERE was super nice and helpful.
A huge surprise for me was that the art director wanted the old chairs resurrected from the garage – a mixture of both the new Kooboo chairs and the French chairs were used at the breakfast table. I wish I could show you how good the pictures looked! It was amazing how much better the experts made this small space look.
The best part were all the flowers and herbs. Sammie Jo couldn’t be bothered. She’s sooo cute! Stone deaf, but adorable.
You have to have thick skin when you invite a team of photostylists into your home. The head honcho directed that my baskets come down from above a bank of cabinets. Well…how DARE he??!!!! The large chicken coop basket?? was bought at Joyce Horn Antiques HERE about 15 years ago. Each year my parents gift Ben and I with a check for our anniversary and that year I took the check and bought the only thing at Joyce’s that I could afford – that basket! The other basket is a small antique pet carrier which I love. After the baskets were taken down, I had to admit I liked it better without them, so into the garage they both went – I’m not putting them back out. My garage is such a wasteland.
When it was all over and my kitchen was put back together, I got to keep all the herbs. I love them – they are so fragrant.
The TV came back out from the garage (which I hate, but my family insists we have one in that room.) The herbs add a nice touch of greenery to the bakers rack. One change that I made for the photoshoot was the pillows from Restoration Hardware which were added to the wicker chairs.
But, the best item left over were the glorious peonies! Aren’t they gorgeous? All in all, despite all the hard work, the photoshoot was a great experience. The photographer couldn’t have been nicer and the stylist Bonnie, one of the best in the business, was very helpful – making me see my kitchen through different eyes. Since I am a die hard coveritis wannabe, a few days later the kitchen was back to looking cluttered and messy, as usual. The story won’t be out until the summer of 2012! Such a long time to wait.
I would love to do a survey – are you a coveritis sufferer or a coveritis wannabe? I wonder which affliction would win???? AND, if you think you have a house or kitchen that is magazine worthy, send me the pictures and I’ll forward them to Bonnie. She’s always looking for new stories to pitch.
A huge thank you to Bonnie, Blaire, and Bill!!!!
AND, NOW FINALLY:
I’ve been so fortunate to host a large amount of giveaways. The gifts have been wonderful – vendors have donated jewelry, antiques, custom paintings, hotel rooms, and even very pricey chandeliers. It’s been great fun to run these contests and I’ve loved that so many of you have won something great. While I usually am on the giving side, I was shocked to hear that I had won a giveaway from another blogger -
And no, that’s not me. Snort. That’s a model from from Manito’s web site.
I won this beautiful silk robe made by Manito Luxury Silk & Linen HERE. The giveaway was hosted by Brillante Interiors blog, written by Renaissance woman, Albarosa Simonetti. If you have never visited her blog, do so HERE – she writes about interior design and travel – all with an Italian beat! Thanks a million Albarosa!!!