“The Magazine Perfect House”

in homes, musings  0 comments
Aug 7 2013
Taking a room shot from the top of a ladder on the outside of the house!  via The New Domestic

Taking a room shot from the top of a ladder on the outside of the house! via The New Domestic

My sister in law confided to me over the phone the other day, frustrated and in tears: I so much want the magazine perfect home and it’s really hard when it isn’t.

The Magazine Perfect Home

My response was to point out reasonably that no one lives like that. Magazine crews and photographers work hard to create that perfect photo; many minutes, sometimes hours, spent to de-family-life the setting. Moving family-accoutrement from one room to the next, almost as soon as the last photo was taken.

The amount of gear set up to take one perfect shot, via The Handmade Home

The amount of gear set up to take one perfect shot, via The Handmade Home

I’d be willing to bet not even celebrities have their homes “magazine perfect” every minute of every day. I mean, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have seven children. That equates to one hell of a spread of Fisher Price, plastic and non-coordinated toys!

When one (like my relative) juggles two-under-two children, spouse, habits, work, housework, laundry and stuff, one invariably has to think reasonably!

Having studied interior design, having spent hours trawling online on Pinterest, Flickr, online shopping sites and of course, interior blogs for years, I understand this need, sometimes crave and yearn for my home to be magazine perfect. More than this relative will ever know.

But I know it’s unreasonable and therefore, I focus on what I can do. I make sure my child packs her toys most nights, laundry is hurriedly washed, hung and folded and *sometimes* put away, letters and papers filed away once a week, recycle bin taken outside once a day… just to try to minimise the unavoidable family-mess that is created by merely 3 people. So that starting a new day with less-junk-than-the-night-before allows us to breathe, to dream and to be happy.

Now with a newborn, I have to contend with spew-cloths, nappy trash, multitudes of linen and bodysuits and floor pads and, very soon, more toys.

Even magazine perfect homes don’t have it perfect all the time. Piles of family-mess goes right back where it belongs after the magazine crew and photographers leave!

People rushing here and there, via The New Domestic

People rushing here and there, via The New Domestic

No bathroom is void of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, toilet papers and piles of reading material.

No living room is free of tissue boxes, books, magazines, pens, notepads, toys. What about the ubiquitous TV? Or phones?

No kitchen is devoid of piles of dishes, spoons, jars out, bread loaves…

The kitchen, picture perfect only from certain directional shots, via Food and the Fabulous

The kitchen, picture perfect only from certain directional shots, via Food and the Fabulous

No entryway is devoid of bills, letters, boots, scarves, keys, sweets, mints, pens, papers, wallets…

I haven’t had my home photographed, but the Folks over at Young House Love will validate the above:

We’ve learned that as glamorous as at-home photo shoots sound, you really have to be completely ok with people rolling in and rearranging all of your stuff (sometimes moving it into a pile in your nursery chair for example) so they can reset the space and style it in a unique way to capture every angle that they need with ease. So our first behind the scenes tidbit would be that as flawless as each room looks in a glossy magazine, picture it with piles of props just out of frame, since it’s likely that there are tons of eyesores hiding just beyond the bounds of the shot – like thick extension cords for cameras and computers as well as stacks of unused decor items.

I think as long as your house provides space for:
laughs
sleeps
play
eat
cook
entertain
work…
you are better off than you think.

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