Behind the Scenes with BH&G

September 22, 2011

Greetings all, perhaps you’ve heard – the Christmas Ideas  issue by Better Homes & Gardens has finally hit newsstands, and yours truly is inside!  I’ve been purchasing this Special Interest Publication for so many years, and consider it one of the best sources of holiday inspiration, so to actually be a part of it this year is completely surreal. 

bhg christmas ideas cover

You might recall that week in late February when I was in a complete frenzy prepping the house for the crew and the shoot. They sent me a list of all the shots they wanted to take for the magazine and of course they all required greenery.  

Because all the fresh garland from Christmas was dried to a crisp in early January and I had disposed of it as a fire hazard, I called on Lynch Creek Farm who came to my rescue. They shipped yards of cedar garland and several fir wreaths too just two days before BH&G descended on my house. 

fresh greenery lynch creek farm


That same morning I was making more felt poinsettias in my kitchen with my morning coffee before the crew arrived.  I’d made several that season but gave them all away so at the last second was making more white versions. 

making poinsettias


I was also wrapping “presents” for under the tree.  Look how I’m such a cheater… didn’t cut a big enough piece but hey, who cares, ain’t nobody gonna see it!  Okay, well you gals and guys see the imperfection so the truth is out.

wrapped presents


Here are those poinsettias pinned on mere minutes before the shot . . .

poinsettias on stockings


From the furniture placement below you can see how the loveseat was moved closer to the mantel and fireplace, the chair was moved forward, closer to the sofa, and the Christmas tree wedged behind my velvet chair.  To get just the right shot, all the furniture was tweaked a few inches in one direction or another and a quick fire lit in the fireplace.

bhg christmas ideas living room shot cg

Inside the magazine, you can see the final image is not taken from this angle, this is my own image I snapped on that day.  All the close ups of the mantel you can see here.

Here’s a close up of another shot that didn’t make it into the magazine but is oh so pretty.  That’s the stenciled and painted ’noel’ pillow in the background. 

noel pillow and present cg


King Au was our professional photographer – he’s completely amazing. I wish I could follow him around for a month just to better my skills. He’s worked for BH&G for a long time and also works for Pottery Barn Kids.  We ended up tucking the fur trimmed tree skirt underneath because it was deemed a little too shmancy for the room shot.  Here is King snapping a close up of some of my handmade ornaments.

ornament closeup


All images were checked, double checked, and triple checked on King’s computer with his highly advanced software (wish I could recall which one, anyone know or care to tell me?)  It was so exciting to see the beautiful images as they were shot! 

capturing closeups


Also on hand to help was Gayle, a long time stylist for BH&G who traveled all the way from San Diego for the shoot (not pictured). 

In the dining room was pure chaos, because I had pulled out every single accessory I owned which we might possibly have wanted to work with.  We used maybe 10% of it, but it was smart to have it all available just in case and in a place that wasn’t getting photographed that day.

dining room accessories

After we styled and shot the living room, we moved into the foyer, with my little girl helping to add more greenery to the banister and patiently waiting to have her hair curled. She’s like me, her hair holds a curl for about 3 ½ minutes tops, so I waited till the last second to make it all fancy.

help decorate


After the entry, we shot the front door wreath with my daughter – there’s King making her smile, what a pro.  Notice how she’s standing on a stool and we’re using my Swiffer to keep the door propped open! 

front door scene


The last room we shot was the kitchen . . .

kitchen greenery

. . . but you’ll have to buy the mag to see it! 

The article tells more about our family and holiday traditions, with an emphasis on entertaining, which we do so much of in December.  Here’s a peek of the opening two page spread with my winter willow wreath and sweet girl ‘answering the front door’ like she would do at our annual party. 

first page spread

Funny, the front door isn’t white anymore and looking at this, I miss it. 

It was an amazing experience and such a professional crew, and even though we’re all thinking of fall right now, including me, I just couldn’t wait to share the experience of shooting the Christmas Ideas  issue with all of you. 

We’ll be buying up a dozen copies for the kids and grandkids. Be sure to pick up your copy where you’ll also find a ton of inspiration, even more blogger’s homes, including Layla’s too – so fabulous!  Our article is eight pages, starting on page 92.

I still can’t believe that’s us, right there, in Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Ideas magazine.  Somebody pinch me. 



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154 Responses to “Behind the Scenes with BH&G”

  1. Kiri says:

    Oh wow! That must be such an amazing feeling to have yourself in print!
    Love the cheeky little shot of your daughter opening the door.

  2. Yicke says:

    Those are very, very pretty shots! Your home looks wonderfull, too bad I can’t seem to find the magazine in my part of the world.

    Could the software possibly be Adobe Lightroom? Some controls look like it.

  3. laxsupermom says:

    Congratulations! 8 pages! That’s awesome! Can’t wait to grab a copy. Love the behind the scenes look! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Chelsea says:

    So exciting…and it must have been surreal shooting Christmas in the summer. Everything looks great! xoxo

  5. Vanessa says:

    I am so happy for you. Congratulations!


  6. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    What fun you must have had! Love seeing what goes on behind a photo shoot. Your home looks just beautiful. Can’t wait to pick up the issue!

  7. Kathy C. says:

    Oh my gosh this is so exciting!! Congratulations!! You must be so excited! Will definitely go purchase the issue and check it out!

  8. Congratulations, Kate!! I can now brag that I work with someone who’s been Featured in BH&G. And I totally will. ;) I haven’t seen the issue yet, but that could also be b/c I’ve been distracted in the checkout lines. I’ll be picking up a copy as soon as I see it. I love BH&G, and their holiday issues are always a blast to read. Loved seeing behind-the-scenes shots. Your little girl looks so pretty, and what a fabulous shot of her! (Love the swiffer/stool combo-genius)

  9. Monica W. says:

    I love that you kept it real! So many bloggers pretend everything is perfect all the time. This is the first Christmas blog post I have seen but it makes me SO excited to start on some decorating crafts!

  10. Kate, to say that I’m so thrilled and proud and all that jazz for y’all is the understatement of the year! Your home is beautiful, your creativity stunning and I just love you. Did that sound all sappy and gross? Sorry! I think you rock! And I’m super proud of Layla and Kev’s article too! I have the coolest friends! :)

  11. Lisa says:

    Congratulations! Beautiful shots and it was fun to see how some of it was put together. Love the photo of your daughter opening up the door. I’ll be picking up my copy today!

  12. Michele Owens says:

    #1 So I’ll be like your Mom and buy a copy for everyone I know.
    #2 I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
    #3 Congrats & relish in this accomplishment!

    Looks great my friend Kate! Sending you out “special Mommie hugs” right now :)♥

  13. Molly says:

    WOW! congratulations to you! Your home is beautiful. What a treasure to have for years.
    May I say your daughter is adorable too! Thanks for the behind the scenes look. Just
    when you think life is perfect in a magazine, who knew children were standing on stools and
    doors being propped with a swiffer! :-)

  14. Oooh, can’t wait to go buy this! What a beautiful model :) Congrats, Kate!

  15. Joy says:

    That looks like Adobe Lightroom software. Good stuff. Congrats on the magazine!

  16. Kate – well deserved! All those years of hard work, learning, tweaking, styling do pay off! And you’re living proof. You must be over the moon excited, congratulations, I’m off to get my copy today. Thank you.

  17. Hi Kate –

    How exciting – can’t wait to go out and get a copy. Your daughter I think just steals the show – so cute in her pretty dress and curls in her hair. I can see a framing project in your near future. :)

    Fun seeing what happens behind the scenes.

    My best – Diane

  18. This is so awesome! I think I’ve been reading BH&G since I was about twelve and look forward to receiving it in my mailbox every month. I will be grabbing a copy when I’m out and about today.

    Congratulations and Merry Christmas ; )

  19. Jen says:

    Looks amazing! So pretty. I’ll have to make sure I get the issue.

  20. Miss Kitty says:

    WOW! I am so excited for YOU and I’m so excited for ME ’cause I get to go out TODAY and buy the magazine with YOU in it. Your home is just beyond lovely with all your Christmas finery! Thanks so much for sharing your excitment with us.

  21. sherry says:

    Good for you!!

  22. How exciting! Congrats!!! Your home is absolutely gorgeous and your daughter is so precious! Cannot wait to pick up my copy after work!

    xo, Cassandra

  23. Rona says:

    Oh wow! That is awesome!

  24. It’s so totally well deserved! Everything you do in your home is so beautiful.

  25. GawgusThings says:

    How exciting for you – congratulations! Although, i can’t believe the Christmas issue is already out!!!

  26. Tiffany says:

    How cute is your daughter! your house too, but your daughter did awesome. Congrats!

  27. How exciting!! What a cutie answering the door!!

  28. L.Duncan says:

    You still can’t believe it?! Girl you ROCK!!!! I can’t wait to pick mine up so I can say “I know this girl right here”!!! Your daughter is so cute, especially at the front door. And your wreath… sigh!

  29. WOW! So exciting and fun! Everything looks so wonderful & I love the white! I’ll be sure to pickup and issue ~ congratulations!

  30. amanda says:

    I buy this mag every year as well..Cant wait to see some of the bloggers I follow on it.

  31. Rachel says:

    Wow that is awesome! Everything looks beautiful! I can’t wait to get a copy. And now, I’m in the mood for Christmas! LOL:)

  32. Mrs.B says:

    How exciting!! :) Can’t wait to get a copy!

  33. Diana says:

    Congrats on getting in BH&G. Your photo shoot looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing the “behind the scene” photos… my favorite part. Your daughter looks so sweet. I’ll be sure to get a copy….looks like a great issue.

  34. Congratulations Kate!
    Your home looks beautiful for the second time around Christmas! You really did it!
    I remember you were you so excited when they were coming, well you certainly pulled it off!! Good for you…your little girl looks ready for the holidays all dressed up!!

    Have a great Day… I will p/u a copy as soon as I see it on the shelves…
    All the Best,

  35. I’ve had this for a few days and its waiting patiently for me to browse through — I had no idea you were inside!! How exciting! So happy for you my friend!!

  36. Awesome! Great Job…I can’t believe you set up for Christmas to do a photo shoot…I am just thinking about Halloween!

  37. Andrea says:

    I excitedly buy this magazine every single year. I have them out year round in my mag basket. When I saw at twitter that the mag was out, I ran to walmart (not even stopping to make sure I was presentable) but alas, it was nowhere to be found. I’m in Canada, so I think it may take a few weeks longer to get waaaaay up north. I very much look forward to seeing your article. Your tree was fab (and has me on a quest for a flocked tree). Thanks for sharing some behind the scenes!

  38. Kelly Varner says:

    I love it!! How tired are you of getting your Christmas stuff out before Christmas? Ha- but how amazing to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens! Wow!! I love all your ideas, your house is beautiful :)

  39. Megan says:

    What an experience! Everything looks fabulous- I can’t wait to see the rest.

  40. Aaaaaah! That’s so exciting! Congratulations! I’ll have top grab a copy of my own and check it out.

  41. sheri says:

    Ok, this is amazing. Congrats to you. Your decor is awesome. It’s so neat to be following you talented bloggers and then see you become famous in a magazine. So happy for you. Be blessed and enjoy the holidays. :)

  42. Allison A. says:

    Congratulations, Kate! How exciting to see your home featured in print and you are most deserving of this! Your home is stunning and you’ve got exquisite taste. I will pick of a copy of the magazine when I’m out today. Your daughter looks beautiful and how fun for her to be featured as well!

  43. Congrats! You are probably still beaming from ear to ear. I can’t wait to pick up my copy now. I love all the behind the scenes photo’s. Your little girl is so cute. Love the decorating ideas I see already and I can’t wait to see the kitchen photo’s. I have a similar window in my LR and now you have inspired me for this Christmas. Thanks for sharing!!!! :D

  44. Denise says:

    Gorgeous…but I love your fur lined tree skirt. Wish they had left it in.

  45. Dara says:

    Congrats – 8 pages, WOW!!! You must be soooo proud, that is awesome!!!! You should probably be prepared for your site crashing with all of the traffic! Can’t wait to buy it.

  46. Beth says:

    Congratulations Kate! You totally deserve this! You’ve worked hard on your home and it has turned out fabulous! I’m so happy for you!!!

  47. Sandy says:

    Congrats! I’m going to buy the magazine! Your home decorated for Christmas is just magical! I think my favorite photo though is the one of your precious little girl at the front door. What a cutie pie!

  48. Megan says:

    How exciting! Congrats! I will have to grab a copy and see the rest! Thank you for bringing us behind the scenes. Your house looks amazing and yes, I wish it was Christmas already so I can decorate for home!


  49. Pam says:

    You continue to amazing me. My day isn’t complete without spending some time–OK a lot of time–seeing what Centsational Girl is doing now.

  50. Patty says:

    Oh my goodness~ I am buying one tonight!
    I’m so excited for you. Thanks for the behind the scenes look! I love all your ideas :)

  51. Congratulations! You home looks beautiful, as usual. It was fun to see the behind the scenes action. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy!

  52. Alice A says:

    On the “to-Do” list…. grab this magazine quick! What a prize! Congratulations and you deserve these pages…. and now I’ll have your kitchen in my hands to carry around when I’m shopping for “copies” of your great ideas!

    Enjoy your time with Rhoda this weekend… I know it will be a blast…. you two are the creme de la creme!

  53. Amy Wolff says:

    Beautiful………. you are so talented….. I wish my house look one tenth the way yours does!!!!

  54. I am excited to go grab a copy and see it all!!!

  55. Looks beautiful, as always. Can’t wait to see the magazine!

  56. Heard about it from your neighbor (and my buddy!) How fun!
    Can’t wait to see the mag!

  57. So awesome!! Your home and daughter look beautiful. Can’t wait to get my copy. :)

  58. Sarah says:

    I got my copy at the beginning of the week. Gorgeous! Beautiful home and family :)

  59. So amazing…and so well deserved!!! Can’t wait to pick up my issue!
    Congrats to you, my friend!
    xo. c.

  60. Debbie C says:

    Wow, how exciting! Congratulations! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy…

  61. Debbie C says:

    Wow, how exciting! Congratulations! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy…

  62. Robin says:

    Congrats! I can’t wait to get a copy for myself. I love the christmas addition.

  63. Amazing, Kate! I can’t wait to see it in the magazine….CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve every little bit of this feature! xo

  64. That’s so exciting!! I can’t wait to see it. Glad I happened to check your blog before I ran out the door today because now I can look for the mag while I’m at the store. Congratulations! :)

  65. Congratulations, Kate! You’re such a rockstar : ) And so is your little one, she’s adorable. Can’t wait to pick up the hard copy for my collection! xo

  66. eeeeee soooo exciting! Yay Kate!

  67. I’m going to buy one ASAP! I can’t wait to see it all!

  68. Rugger says:

    So modern and fresh. The picture of your daughter opening the front door is so cute. It should have made the cover of the magazine! Congratulations!

  69. MJ says:

    Congratulations!! Your home looks beautiful – can’t wait to buy the magazine! :)

  70. I bought the magazine at Sam’s and was pleasantly surprised to see everyone tweeting about you and family being in it! Everything’s beautiful!

  71. Christy says:

    I was waiting for you to mention it! I picked up my copy last week and immediately turned to your feature because I could tell it was your “style”. I called my boyfriend over and said, “Look! I know her!” I was so excited for you. Funny, I do feel like I know you although I’ve only been reading your blog a few short months. You deserve this feature, it was a beautiful spread.

  72. Suzette says:

    Wow! Beautiful work – congratulations!

  73. I’m so excited to see the entire spread! Congrats!

  74. Congratulations, this is so cool! I’ll have to try to pick up a copy and see everything! I love the silver/blue/white look for Christmas – it’s so pretty and elegant!

  75. Lindsey Vis says:

    Wow…I am so excited for you! It will be fun to see someone I “know” featured in BHG – congratulations!

  76. Kim says:

    That’s so cool! I’ll definitely be buying a copy of the magazine for inspiration :) I love your style!

  77. tammy says:

    wow! how exciting, so happy and jealous of you all at once! lol your home is beautiful and so is yor daughter, i will def be buying this!

  78. Nester says:

    Your daughter is absolutely precious!

    I’ve been waiting all year for this issue to come out, can’t wait to see all the photos~and I cannot wait to see what you have up your sleeve {s?} for this year!!!


  79. Awesome. I can believe it’s you! You’ve worked hard to get to this! Congratulations!

  80. Shaunna says:

    Gorgeous! And Congrats to you!!! :-)

  81. elaine says:

    WOW WOW WOW!! I didn’t know of your blog back in February so this is all new news to me. HOW FANTASTIC! I can’t wait to get a copy and see every gorgeous detail. You must be beyond thrilled. Congratulations :)

  82. Noelle says:

    Hi Kate…I got the magazine the other day and as I was going through it I was like hey wait a minute, this is Kate’s house!! So pretty, and I am so proud of you, and so happy for you!!! You deserve this and more! You are such an inspiration to so many, including me!!!! May God continue to open every door you ever dreamed of and more!!!! xoxo

  83. Camilla says:

    Ok, I’m sure you get a million emails like this everyday, and it may be just another but let me be the millionth and one email telling you that I want to replicate everything you do and make my house like just like everything you touch! The color pallet you use is so classically stunning. Every accessory is so beautiful and the furniture is so beautiful. Thank you for being very inspirational for me and I’m sure so many others. Congratulations on the magazine article feature, you so deserve the spotlight because you are so talented!

    Thanks again,
    Camilla (my measly blog that is nowhere as creative and beautiful as yours :)

  84. Amanda says:

    Congrats!! Your house is beautiful! I love Christmas and I love how elegant this all looks!

  85. Karen says:

    Congratulations! Everythihg looks just beautiful. Can’t wait to get my copy.

  86. Maria C says:

    Congrats! I think the software is Capture One.

  87. Leslie says:

    Congrats…what an amazing experience! I can’t wait to pick up the mag and see more photos!

  88. leanne says:

    That’s sooooooo exciting! Looking forward to picking up the issue! :) Congrats!

  89. Tardevil says:

    That is one of my favorite magazines! Your pictures are stunning. I can’t wait to pick up my copy! It does seem wrong to me that you don’t get your copies free since your home was featured. ;o) Too bad they didn’t ask my opinion, huh?

  90. Audrey says:

    My fall mantel was featured on BH&G but only online. I can’t imagine how exciting it would be to actually make it in the print Congratulations!

    In case you are curious: here is the link!

  91. David says:

    Wow! Your place looks beautiful and it’s fascinating to see the “behind the scenes” aspect of a shoot like that.

    I can’t imagine re-decorating for Christmas in February. But it was so worth it in this case.



  92. I think this is pretty cool Kate. Although you make what you do all seem easy and seamless I know you maust work so hard. To be in BH&G is well deserved. Congrats!

  93. Kate, Congrats…this is so exciting! Can’t wait to pick up a copy and see all the pics! :)

  94. Cass says:

    Fantastic! First thing on the agenda tomorrow is to pick up my own copy; can’t wait!

  95. Tammy says:

    Oh, my gosh, just fantastic is all I can say. I’ll have to check our news stands tomorrow and pick up a copy. I want to drool some more! You are fabulous and so is your blog!

  96. Candace says:

    Congratulations! The photos are beautiful and your daughter is adorable. It was fun to see the behind the scene shots. I’ll have to pick up a copy soon!

  97. So very cool to be a part of! Thanks so much for the behind the scenes. I find that the most fascinating part! Oh, of course actually being IN the magazine is super cool, too! How very much fun you must have had!

  98. SheilaG says:

    Beautiful!!! Congratulations! I’m so happy & excited for you! :)

  99. Megan H. says:

    Congrats, it all looks beautiful! The software he is using might be Lightroom, which is an awesome editing program.

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