Posts Tagged ‘Guest Post’

Living Large in a Smaller Home

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

I discover new blogs in all sorts of ways and recently a reader left a very kind comment so I hopped over to visit her blog.  I was delighted to discover Jen of Migonis Home who together with her husband AJ and young son Drew, is renovating a Cape Cod style cottage in Massachusetts. 

I loved her whole approach to the transformation of their home, and the fact they’re renovating it slowly while along the way making due with what they have.  Jen and AJ are making changes to their new abode to make the home suit their lifestyle.  I invited Jen to share her story and offer a few tips for living large in small space. 

Please welcome Jen!

Jen and Drew 1Hi! I’m Jen Migonis from Migonis Home and I am thrilled to be joining you here today!  My husband and I bought a 75 year old Cape Cod in the seaside town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts two years ago and boy, did it need a lot of work! There was about four layers of wallpaper on every wall and zero insulation under that (not a big deal if you live in California but if you live in Massachusetts and you can see your breath in your bedroom in the winter then it’s a different story).

Our house is tiny, so when we found out we had a baby on the way four months after we moved in we realized we need to make this house work hard for us.  Our house is far from perfect, and we are working on a project in almost every room, so bear with our “in progress” photos. 

When Kate asked me to be her guest I knew almost immediately what I wanted to talk about: living large in a small space. Today I’m going to focus on four ways to maximize your space in a small home.

mignonis home
Let it Flow.  House flow is essential for entertaining so when we renovated we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room; if you are looking at the photo the location of the wall was on the left side of the hutch. Fellow Cape dwellers have mentioned to us how large our downstairs appears because it’s so open.

jen kitchen 2

Now, we have a circular flow to our entire downstairs and if you are standing at either the front or the back door you can now see the opposite corners of our house. My son loved this when he was in his walker and sprinting around non-stop.

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Tips for Magazine Quality Photography

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Hello all, thanks for the kind comments on this morning’s post on better home photography!  I have a great guest today, one I’ve had the pleasure to work with and observe create magic in front of and behind the lens.

Please welcome back Matthew Mead, the incredible stylist, writer, author, and photographer behind Holiday Magazine.  I invited him to share a few of his best tips for improving your photography, especially those detailed close ups he’s so brilliant at, and that desirable bokeh backdrop created with twinkle lights that we all love so much during the holidays. 

* * *

”When it comes to taking beautiful images with your camera it truly is a “practice makes perfect” proposition.  But there certainly are some tricks of the trade that I have found repeatedly useful in photographing food and still life imagery.

tips for magazine quality photography

I own a Canon Rebel XTI camera which is truly my right arm when it comes to my work.  I have several different lens which I use for things like room shots and up close imagery like miniature items or tight details but the magic for me resides in the 50 mm 1.4 lens.  This lens allows me to select a sharp focal point with everything else in the frame falling off softly in a very palatable “out of focus” style.  I use multiple F-stops between 1.4 and 3.0 in order to achieve the desired degree of focus depending on the subject.

To begin, set your camera to manual. This will give you the most control over the image and allow you to manipulate the light to the best possible outcome.  I am a huge fan of auto focus and find it most helpful when shooting food to allow me to work quickly and select multiple focal points in just a few minutes.  The benefit of a manual shot also allows you to shoot RAW files which are the largest format file that you can create and will allow you the ability to manipulate your image in many different types of photo programs.

I shoot all daylight imagery so make sure you set yourself up in a situation that allows for plenty of light.  A shear curtain or “scrim” is useful in cutting the light if it’s too bright or harsh.  Remember that subjects that are light or white are best on the opposite side of the light source as they will become over lit or “blow out” in too much light.

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Christmas Tablescape:: A Beach Cottage

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

G’day friends!  That greeting rolls a little easier off the tongue today since I have a wonderful friend visiting from Australia. I think it’s so fascinating to read how different people in different countries celebrate Christmas around the globe, so earlier this year I asked my friend Sarah of A Beach Cottage to share how she celebrates the season with her family, Aussie style. 

Sarah’s story is fantastic, she was born and raised in England, but now spends her days with her husband and three children on the sunny beaches of Sydney, Australia. I’ve followed her blog for two years now and secretly wish we could trade lives for a few weeks! I adore her cheerful approach to life and ideas for living simply and we share a love of old furniture and an affection for white paint.        

Sarah’s table is a great example of how it just takes a bit of sparkle and a dash of color to create an effortless table for your holiday home. Please welcome Sarah from Sydney and enjoy the tour of her beach cottage tablescape and Christmas traditions!     

“I love styling for the holidays . . . it sure is one of my favourite times of the year, I get to play around with one of my fave hobbies, decorating and making things look pretty but all wrapped up in sparkly bits too. . . bliss!  

BC Christmas Table Scape

Since our sea change to Australia from London, Christmas and celebrating nowadays for our little family, means lovely long warm summer days and Christmas Day starts off on the beach.

Beach Cottage Holiday Tablescape

 

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