With my magazine styling work, I’m constantly on the look out for real homes to feature in the pages of interior magazines. Have you always wondered what makes a home ‘magazine worthy’? And how can you get your home into an interiors magazine? Well, you are in luck. Today – I’ve asked fellow home decor journalist (and my work wife) Laurie Davidson to share her expert tips and tricks on how to get your home into an interiors magazine.
Main Image | Sofas & Stuff
Firstly, let me introduce you to Laurie Davidson. With over 20 years experience working in magazines, Laurie is a pro when it comes to picking houses for magazine features. She was the style editor for Style At Home magazine for over 5 years – and she now writes for Evening Standard, Houzz, Good Homes and Your home (to name a few). Oh, and she has a lifestyle blog called The Fix. You can learn all about her here.
If anyone can help you get your home into a magazine is it Laurie. I interviewed her in an instagram LIVE (which you can watch here) and I thought I would share the highlights from our chat with you in this post.
Read on – and who knows, it could be your home on the cover of a magazine next month.
Want To Get Your Home Into An Interiors Magazine? Here’s How…
How does a house shoot work?
LAURIE: What usually happens on the day is the stylist I will turn up along with a photographer and maybe an assistant (depending how much work needs to be done). We’ll have a brief from the magazine about what shots we need to take and we’ll also have some props.
MAXINE: The shoot lasts all day – usually from 9am- 5pm. We start first thing in the morning while the light is good – as we’ll want to get as many shots as we can during the daylight hours. The team will work around your home, shooting the kitchen, bathroom, living room and two bedrooms – plus any ‘linking room’ like a hallway or landing.
Does the homeowner need to be in the shots?
LAURIE: Most magazine would want a homeowner in the magazines. Or at least a head shot. I would ask the homeowner to wear seasonal neutral clothing – so no polo necks and boots, or bear feet and flip flops. What you wear – will depend on the magazine. Most magazines like you to wear trainers and jeans. We love shooting the homeowner in the best room in their house – usually the kitchen or living room.
Magazines look for colourful spaces with clever decorating ideas like this colour block home above.
Image | Furniture Village
What are magazines looking for in a home?
LAURIE: A house needs to be filled with inspirational ideas, clever styling tricks, lots of personality and a strong sense of style. I don’t look for mansion or grand houses (family homes work better) and you can live in a flat to get your home featured. What an interiors editors look for is personality and ideas that their readers can try out in their own homes.
MAXINE: Each magazine has it’s own ideas of what it wants – titles like Homes & Gardens and Country Homes & Interior will want cottages and period properties with a story. While Ideal Home and Good Homes look for clever family spaces. And Home Style and Your Home look for homes filled with colour and lots of DIY ideas.
Do you shoot every room in the house?
LAURIE: We will always need a finished kitchen, bathroom and at least two bedrooms. But your home doesn’t have to look perfect. We’ll style your space to suit the camera angel. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect which is what a lot of people worry about.
A house doens’t have to be big, it has ot have lots of unusual ideas like this marble worktop and splashback.
Can I approach a magazine directly?
LAURIE: Yes you can. BUT the teams on magazines are very small. There may not be someone checking the emails and you may think they are ignoring you but it could be because the team are flat out. Another way is to approach an interior journalist – like us – and ask them to send photos of your home to them and they can chat to ALL the magazines.
MAXINE: If you want to get your home in a magazine then approaching a freelance journalist is a good starting point. When I place a magazine, I have contacts across the industry so I can email or call lots of interior editors increasing the chance of being featured. Always check the credentials of a freelance interior journalist – check their website and their work to make sure they are the right person to send your home to.
How does an interiors journalist find houses?
LAURIE: I find houses through instagram, twitter, friends of friends. Lots of my work comes through word of mouth as people know about me. Or an editor may commission me.
What is a big no-no when it comes to shooting houses?
LAURIE: It depends on magazines editors but these are some of the items on a the No-No list:
- Lots of blank walls
- Empty rooms
- People wearing inappropriate clothing
- The La Redoute rug!
- Cookie-cutter style accessories – items that we have seen repeatedly on instagram
- Mirrors over fireplaces (sometimes)
- TVs are a big no no
- Wires, Plugs, Bins
- Dirty Tea-towels & un matching towels
- Mess under the bed or the sofa
We look for home that have relaxed, lived-in style
Image | Furniture Village
Have you had an disasters on shoots?
LAURIE: Once, I was shooting a house for Christmas and the tree I ordered didn’t turn up. I had to use the homeowner’s and it was a mini tree – and the tree is supposed to be the star of the show. I was dying inside.
One garden shoot, I turned up and all the plants had died. I had to make a dash to the garden centre and buy loads of flowers and plants to put in the outdoor space to make it work for the magazine.
How long does it take for a house to appear in a magazine?
LAURIE: It depends on the seasons and how quickly the magazine want to schedule it in. When I worked at Style At Home, I would have big yearly schedule with all the makeovers and houses on. I would move houses and makeovers month to month, depending lots of factors – like a shoot gets cancelled or we need todo a bathroom special.
MAXINE: Most magazines shoot at least three months in advance. Christmas houses are usually shot in July. We shoot winter in summer and summer in winter so it can be a challenge to know. If you wan to get your home in an interiors magazine you may have to be prepared to put up a Christmas tree in the summer months.
Whats in your perfect stylist’s kit bag?
LAURIE: I have a big make up box and I have everything in there from florist wire, scissors, blue tack, command strips. Nice soap, vases, candles, nice towels, cushions and throws. I try to pack everything I need to suit the style of the house the night before to take with me. I have a stand by props like Christmas trees and Easter decorations – just in case I need them.
MAXINE: As a stylist we have a selection of props that I can dip into. Under my bed I have a box of tea towels in all different colours to suit any kitchen! As well as lots of plants, coffee table books and vases. Sometimes I might take a duvet and pillows with me.
I’ll always call the home owner and I will check what they have. On a recent shoot, the homeowner said she didn’t have matching mugs, so I brought with me some new china and mugs with me as a back up.
Have you just finished an amazing project – like this bathroom makeover? Then get in touch!
Bathroom | Day True Bathroom & Kitchen Designs
How to find your props?
LAURIE: As stylists, we go to press shows, where I see the new homewares for the next season. If the magazine wants me to add a trend into a house, I will call up the PR agency for the brand and call in the items to feature.
MAXINE: I tend to go to shops near me and borrow items locally, and fill my car with them.
Do you write the articles as well as styling?
LAURIE: Yes, I do. Not all stylists do but I was an editor for years so that is my strength. I will interview the homeowner, write up the copy, send it over for copy approval – and then it will be sent to the magazine.
MAXINE: Me too. I write & style.
Why do we want want to be in an interiors magazines?
LAURIE: Why would you want to get your home into an interiors magazine? Well, there are many reasons. Firstly, it is a lovely reminder of all the hard work you have put into your home -especially if you have done it up on a budget or it is your first renovation project. It’s nice to have a visual reminder of your home.
MAXINE: Or might be a small business – and it might be a really good way to promote your products. Or if you are an a fan of instagram – we can credit your insta handle. Or if you are an interior designer or architects want the press and pr coverage for their work. And it’s a fun thing to do – and you get to experience what a shoot it like for a day and chat to a professional stylist too.
There you go, a little insight into how you can get your home into a magazine.
Would like to get your home in an interiors magazine? If so, why not get in touch with me. I’d love to see your space.