Your Questions Answered

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my home in HGTV Magazine.  I am really touched by all of the comments and questions that have been pouring in via email, phone calls and here on the blog.  As promised, I'm answering your questions and sharing more about what it's like to have your home photographed for a magazine.  Sit back and grab a cup of tea or coffee.  This might be a long one.

Here's my story...

Back in June, I started submitting professional photos of my home to various publications, one being HGTV Magazine. I knew it may take months, years or possibly never to get published.  For magazines, it's really like finding a needle in a haystack.  The timing is crucial as you never know what they are looking for.  They receive hundreds of submissions from designers and homeowners hoping to get published.  For me, it all happened really fast and I know this is not the norm.  After I submitted my photos, I received a call within 24 hours saying my home was exactly what they were looking for, wanted it for their December issue and wanted to decorate it for Christmas.  I was shocked, needless to say.  Excited, but shocked.  The date was finally set for the shoot in August.  Christmas in August = 90 degrees outside!  It was toasty.  Christmas shoots also are a lot more involved than a regular shoot due to the set up, take down, etc.  About 2 weeks leading up to the shoot, boxes started arriving.  This is just a few of them that were delivered.  It literally took over half of my garage.  It's a good thing my UPS driver and I are on a first name basis.

The first week in August, a team of five people flew out from NYC to decorate and photograph my home for four days.  The lovely Home Editor Jennifer Berno, Stylists Matthew Gleason and Jacob Mulikin and Photographers David Land and Frank Longhitano.  We had so much fun together and they made the entire process go so smoothly.  It literally was like Santa's workshop that week and there is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make everything come together.  I was not allowed to take any behind the scenes photos while they were there, which was understandable.  

Q & A

Is that a real Christmas tree in your living room?  

Yes!  On the first day, a local tree farm delivered the tree and all of the garland and wreaths.  It really smelled like Christmas in the house!  A bookcase had to be removed and my furniture was rearranged to accommodate the tree.


 Are all of the Christmas decorations yours?

No, all of the Christmas decorations were sent out for the shoot.  They set everything up and put my house back together when they were done. 

Did they shoot any other rooms in your house that didn't make it to print?

Yes, a bedroom was photographed as well as the exterior of my house.  The exterior was a bit of a challenge since all of my hydrangeas were in bloom.  They brought in large shrubs to place in front of them so they wouldn't show since we all know they aren't in bloom in December!  Too bad it didn't make the cut.

Did you get to see the photographs before it went to print?

Unfortunately, you do not get to see any of the photographs or get copies of them.  The magazine holds the rights to all of the images.

Did you get to keep anything from the shoot?

No, everything is boxed back up and sent back at the end of the shoot.

Is that your rug in the dining room?

No, the only rugs that are mine are the seasgrass ones.  The rug in the dining room, kitchen and one placed over my seagrass rug in the living room were brought in for the shoot.  You can find the sources at the back of the magazine in the shopping guide section.

Here's how the dining room looks normally...


Where did you get your bar cart?

It's actually just a side table that was used to set up the champagne bar on.  I purchased it at about 10 years ago from Crate & Barrel.


Here's how it looks everyday in my house...

Where did you get the painting above the chest with the lamps on it?

I painted it myself about 4 years ago.  



What color paint is on your walls?

All of the walls and ceilings in my house are painted in a color called Water Chestnut by Glidden that I had color matched at Benjamin Moore.

Where did you get the pillows and throws in your living room and sitting room?

The only pillow that is mine is the dark blue Schumacher one that I had made.  The other pillows were brought in for the shoot and are by John Robshaw.  The throw in the living room is Missoni and the one in the sitting room is Ralph Lauren, both brought in for the shoot.  You can find more information in the shopping guide at the end of the magazine.


I hope I have answered your questions and given you some insight into what goes into a photo shoot.  I'll leave you with a parting shot of the gorgeous flowers that were used on my mantel and around the house.  So pretty!




Marianne Simon