Holiday Reveals…The Reality Behind the Photgraphed Pretty in My House

Holiday Reveals…The Reality Behind the Photgraphed Pretty in My House

I’ve been posting photos of new stuff for a while now on Insta and the like…all of this because as you know, I’ve been crazily trying to get ready for some photos shoots and TV segments.
All of this happening during what I can only say is not my family’s best economic times.
So today, I thought why not tell you/show you how I’m doing this…and no, it doesn’t involve winning the lottery or spilling head first into debt.
As with everything you see in magazines or on the tube, things are often a little different than what’s there on the glossy pages etc…so I thought why not give you a little behind the scenes reality check as it were…and why not make it part of my…
…series…because really, this is very much a reveal:)))
Let’s start with the basement.
To be honest, it was pretty much done in better moula times so there’s not real trickology there…what you see is what’s there and what’s staying there.
I did get some fabulous deals on some pieces like the custom cabinet that Allen made for me, but it still definitely wasn’t free…
Same goes for everything in this picture…the anewall art, daybed, striped side table and chairs…all bought at a reduced price (from the amazing Black Rooster) but still purchased as it were.
I could go on with the basement but let’s just sum it up by saying that everything down there is mine, bought (aside from the RugsUSA beni and eCarpet Gallery rug in the bedroom which were both gifted in exchange for blogging/PR, same goes for the flooring and tile from Home Depot) at either a reduced price or for trade discount etc.
The space hasn’t been manipulated for photos or staged or anything…it is what it is.
Moving on.
The living room.
As you know, I’ve been working on a rather big change in this room’s shtick.
I wanted to move it a little away from it’s previous super frilly feminine installation.
To do this, I had to get rid of a lot and add some more.
I’ve got stuff stored away for either the new house or sale and have added the alky chairs…
…a pedestal (made by Allen) with this glorious JA vase…
..the later of which is very much thanks to Christine (whose shop 219 now carries Jonathan Adler!!!) …aka, the best online friend a girl could ever have.
And then there’s the art…this Jen Mann gorgeousity…
…and my Stephanie Vovas masterpiece…
The former is being rented from the fabulous folks at Neubacher Shor Contemporary…I arranged this last month, with the intent to purchase.
Because I’m trying to reign in spending as of late, this is very up in the air…it makes me very, very sad to think that I might have to give this back because it’s literally one of my most beloved things in the house…by a landslide actually.
Please cross your fingers that prior to Christmas, husband lands another job so that this can be my gift…praying to the gods every single day on that front.
On a happier note, I do own the photograph on the fireplace…and this makes me incredibly grateful…I’m a little sad that I had framing issues, which meant the image had to be cropped smaller than intended with a thinner frame and plexi rather than glass, but such is what sometimes happens with shoot deadlines and the like.
Now the chairs.
These are a catastrophic pain in my ass to get.
I had arranged to borrow them on approval, again with the intent to purchase.
Though I was supposed to pick them up on Tuesday, and had sent my husband to retrieve, they weren’t ready until yesterday morning on the actual day of the shoot so as the photographer was working, in comes husband with a u-haul in between shots trying to place the chairs.
The thing is with these guys that I LOVE them greatly to look at, I can’t afford them so they’ll be going back today on the same u-haul they came on, with a huge thanks to Julien Armand for letting me try them on for size…very much hoping I’ll be able to add these bad boys back in soonly.
I mean just look at the backs of them alone for goodness sakes…
Moving on…
My new lamp…
…came to me thanks to the amazing peeps at Patina.
Again, this has not been purchased but after long discussions with the other half, we’ve decided that this has to stay…it just has to.
So…peanut butter sammies and lots of painting/designing for me to be able to afford.
Sometimes, true love/one of a kind stuff just can’t be passed up on and no I’m not advocating spending on things you can’t afford…I’m just saying that there are times when ‘making it happen’ as it were is worth it.  We’ll forgo some other stuff so that we can keep this piece because though it happens pretty rarely, this guy is something we both absolutely adore.
So that’s the living room…the truth and the fiction as it were.
Now the kitchen.
You’ve seen this space a thousand times so there’s nothing ‘propped’ in here that isn’t mine so to speak.
I thought it might be funny to show you the reality of ‘staging’ for a shoot though and how that often plays out.
On Tuesday night, I sent husband out to find me a loaf of French bread, some macaroons and a small white iced cake for styling.
He aced the bread but came home with this stuff as his version of the other two…
Men…god love them.
And then there’s the flowers…
…it’s really too bad that they cost a lot and last for all of a couple of days.
I’m really hoping the roses stay put for a bit longer- they’re so pretty in real life.
Hydrangeas, though I love them, are so finicky…half of the ones I bought wilted on day one- they definitely have a mind of their own.
*edit…thanks for the soak in water tip from a few readers…going down to try this asap*
I also wanted to show you the reality of my bar area…
The photo shoot ended at 5 pm yesterday and this is how it looks at 8 am today…
Note the Red Label (for husband) and wine (for me) and Tylenol (for both of us)….and trust me, this space usually looks a whole heck of a lot more cluttered than this…so when you see the published photo of this nook, know that it’s really looking more like this;)))
And finally, I thought I’d save the best for last as it were.
And by best, I mean literally the all encompassing reality of our lives that is the master bedroom.
As the only room in the house not to be photographed, it has become the dumping ground/catch all for all the shite that has nowhere else to go.
And because I can shut the door on it whenever anything is going on, the walls are still not painted apres moulding application…there’s mounds of laundry on the floor pretty much all the time…the kids dump every toy that ever migrates from downstairs in here…and well, I’m not so good at putting clothes away.
So, may I present how this little cranny of my house looked last night, after the mad dash to get every piece of crap that was anywhere else in the house, hidden away…
So there you have it…the what’s what for realz behind the fantasy.
Life as it were.
  • LifeBegins@Thirty
    Posted at 09:22h, 21 November Reply

    Love the little slice of real life. I’m sorry about your hubby’s job situation – I’m sure that is very stressful for everyone!! Crossing my fingers that the perfect thing comes along asap!

  • Dale S
    Posted at 09:28h, 21 November Reply

    This may be my favourite post from your blog! Bummer about the Jen Mann piece, its fabulous. But hey nothing wrong with with PB sandwiches – I lived on peanut butter in uni. Looking forward to seeing the “fantasy” pics soon too.

  • Tiffany Leigh Interior Design
    Posted at 09:39h, 21 November Reply

    Thanks for keeping it real Christine! So refreshing knowing I’m not the only one who hides all my crap come picture time. Praying for your hubs to find a new job soon. Good luck with everything coming up!

  • The Indigo & Co. Inc.
    Posted at 09:42h, 21 November Reply

    A beautiful mess πŸ™‚
    I just love that you keep it so real..I’m also loving the moulding in your room, so lovely.

  • jennlhamann
    Posted at 09:52h, 21 November Reply

    Try soaking the whole hydrangea in a sink full of cool water for a half hour. They will perk up!

  • Britt Douglas
    Posted at 10:09h, 21 November Reply

    Love this πŸ™‚ The pretty is always lovely (and inspiring!!) to look at, but I think it’s important to keep it real! Thankyou for doing just that – and inspiring us along the way Christine πŸ™‚ xoxo

  • The Baby Giraffe
    Posted at 10:12h, 21 November Reply

    You have to soak the heads of hydrangeas when that happens, just fyi. Praying for you and your hubby! fingers crossed.

  • Jordana @WhiteCabana
    Posted at 10:17h, 21 November Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for being real and showing your readers that it’s not all pink perfection behind every gorgeous photo. I so genuinely appreciate that you took the time to give us a glimpse of what real life looks like chez vous. Your house is pretty friggen awesome – clean or messy – and I so appreciate the inspiration it provides to the rest of us. Many thanks Christine. Crossing my fingers for the job sitch.

  • OliviaKyle
    Posted at 10:20h, 21 November Reply

    Agh, I just die when you post photos of your home:)

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators
    Posted at 10:25h, 21 November Reply

    Even with the messiness of real life, the beauty of your home shines through. I had to chuckle at the macaron/macaroons though… that is why I don’t send my hubby out for styling props πŸ˜‰ Hope the job situation settles itself soon and you get to keep some of the gorgeousity.

  • Sue Marrazzo
    Posted at 10:50h, 21 November Reply

    You have a good life ( :

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 11:11h, 21 November Reply

    I love everything you do, every post you write but I feel bad for your husband. The last thing he needs right now is for you to be harping on his job situation for all to read. Trust me. I know from experience. He may tell you its fine but please, put yourself in his shoes. It’s a kick in the face when you lose your job and he needs your support, not your comments in public.

    Keep designing and posting…god knows we all need the distraction.

  • Christine Dovey
    Posted at 11:32h, 21 November Reply

    Anonymous…thank you for your comment – I feel terrible that my post might have in some way come off as me harping on his job situation- that is absolutely the very last thing I want to do. My husband does everything possible to help me in my career and is endlessly supportive so again, this was certainly not my intention with this post. What I was trying to do was to let people know that though I love to post pretty room and reveals, like everyone else, my family lives in the real world and sometimes life throws a few lemons your way. I know that he’s going to get a new job and believe me, I’m pretty sure he knows I’m ALWAYS on his team.
    Again, I appreciate your perspective and am going to go back and re-read my post…I’m sad to think that this post came off in any way un-supportive of him.

  • Christine Dovey
    Posted at 11:37h, 21 November Reply

    Anonymous again…I re-read and I do see what you were saying- edited to not focus on the job thing because again, SO not my intention.

  • Elizabeth // The Now
    Posted at 12:52h, 21 November Reply

    Oh Christine, I can’t even tell you how much I love your home. It’s perfect. Like I want to duplicate everything for my house. Arghghgh Great job. xoxo

  • myrna
    Posted at 13:19h, 21 November Reply

    YAY for keeping it real!! I’m new to your blog, although not to blogging myself, and this post really says alot about who you are, thanks for sharing!

  • Pam @ Cherish Toronto
    Posted at 13:21h, 21 November Reply


    Thank you for posting this little slice of reality. I am always feeling as though my house is in a shambles because it isn’t always “magazine ready”, so it’s good to be reminded that photo shoots and everyday life are two different things.

    When it comes to $$$ I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to purchase beautiful things like other bloggers post, but I have to remind myself that I can’t keep up. There is no way I’ll ever have $1500 to spend on an Hermes blanket or $4000 for a Platner table. Again, it all comes back to reality; we don’t NEED all of the things that we WANT, but damn it’s hard not to yearn for pretty things!!

  • Lana Macpherson
    Posted at 13:34h, 21 November Reply

    I have to say, that i look forward to reading your posts. I love how every so often you’ll post about your personal life, it is nice to see that we all endure the same crazyness at sometime or another, no matter where we are or what we have. Thanks for letting us see that side.

    P.S. your “messy room” is still pretty tidy (must be the made bed)

  • jess@theanatomyofstyle
    Posted at 16:07h, 21 November Reply

    We’re all mere mortals, even though the exterior world we paint is meant to suggest otherwise. Your home, beautifully staged or wildly disorganized, is beyond gorgeous, your sense of style enviable!

    Best of luck to your hubs on the job search – something will come up soon enough.

  • Andrea
    Posted at 16:32h, 21 November Reply

    I laughed at those Macarons/macaroons teehee. Anyhow, cool post. I have a magazine that wants to photograph my home (pretty stoked!), and my bedroom also became my dumping ground, and I was just doing some prelim shots for them! Keeping appendages crossed for your hubby’s quick return to work!

  • The Famous Home
    Posted at 18:17h, 21 November Reply

    Thanks for keeping it real, makes us mere mortals feel a little better about ourselves. Looking forward to seeing the photos!

  • Irene
    Posted at 18:45h, 21 November Reply

    As you saw we had TV come over today to film for HonestlyMargo, my house hasn’t looked this spotless with the exception of my closet and laundry room! LOL! SO refreshing to see your reality, because everyone seems to think lives of bloggers are SO perfect, and they’re far from. You, and I… we’re REAL with the same real s**t to deal with as everyone else. Good girl for sharing this! HUGE SMOOCHERS to you! You’re an even MORE rockstar for being REAL! Keep it real girl! muuuuuaah!

  • Karena Albert
    Posted at 08:41h, 22 November Reply

    Christine, Thank you for sharing the reality of life with us. I will be praying for your husband to get a job before the holidays. Your home is beautiful even without the furnishings and art on loan!

    The Arts by Karena

  • mrs. V | Chez V
    Posted at 11:21h, 22 November Reply

    love the ‘for realz.’ exactly why I adore ya! and you gave me a great laugh this morning – the cake and macarons. Sheesh. My husband would do the exact same thing which is why I no longer send the mr. out for pretty – he would come home with oreos and dandelions.

  • abaker
    Posted at 16:59h, 22 November Reply

    Love this post! Thank you for being brave and real. Your house is gorgeous! I found your blog via Elements of Style, when she linked to your (Jasper’s) nursery.. Which basically blew my mind. It’s absolutely my dream nursery. Would you be OK with it if we were “heavily influenced” by it when we create our own?

  • trio
    Posted at 21:02h, 22 November Reply

    I loved this post. Your living room transformation is lovely. If feels like there are many rock stars in the room and they are all playing perfectly with each other. Your bedroom picture made my day. Right now ours is covered in Rainbow Looms elastics and laundry for days. Have a good weekend!


  • Tim
    Posted at 23:21h, 22 November Reply

    love your home and feel the same about the reality of getting the gorg pieces for the shoot and the pain for having to give them back!

    You are doing such amazing job in design and painting and I am also keeping my fingers crossed for hubby landing a job soon and some more pieces will stay in the house!

    So proud of you and i have always been inspired by your amazing work!

  • Lisa Canning
    Posted at 21:45h, 25 November Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Lisa Canning
    Posted at 21:51h, 25 November Reply

    Love that you keep it real Christine! Your rooms still look pretty with clutter. My office looks like a clutter bomb went off… ugh!

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