Behind The Scenes With The Nest Magazine

We’re back to reveal more about our photoshoot for The Nest magazine (which actually took place five months ago). Back then we had to keep our lips sealed about the actual name of the magazine, but now we can finally share a few pictures from that crazy day of posing, puppy wrangling, and pure chaos!


Unlike our Do It Yourself magazine photoshoot (which you can read about here and here), this shoot was only one day long. But instead of the 9am-3pm days that we clocked with DIY, this one was 13 hours long. Yup, from 8am to 9pm. But it never felt long- on the contrary, it whizzed by. And we happily snagged a few behind the scenes photos throughout the day to document what it’s like to have a crew of ten people (a hair & make-up lady, a wardrobe stylist, an assistant to the wardrobe stylist, the photographer, his two assistants, the creative director, the prop stylist, his assistant, and a videographer) styling and shooting their way through your home.

Here are two of the three people who were in charge of making sure we look good enough to grace the cover (I know, insanity!!!). Color was the name of the game (since the mag came out just in time for spring), so they dressed us up in festive and bright clothing and piled on the accessories for a much-swankier-than-we-really-are effect.

And although we cleaned our house within an inch of its life before the crew arrived, of course all that went out the window when they started setting up. Wardrobe, hair and make-up supplies took over our bedroom (check out the yummy spread below) while every other room (not exaggerating) was stocked with everything from food for the crew to lighting and computer equipment.

Sometimes it was a pretty form of chaos, like this gorgeous stack of pillows and props that they had on hand to brighten things up and add some spring zing:

As for what they brought in beyond the pillows and platters that you see above, it seemed like no detail was too small for the prop stylist and his assistant. From laundry detergent (for the storage shelf above the dryer) to olive oil (for the kitchen counter), no item or object was overlooked. And we definitely had fun seeing our house all “dressed up” for the occasion! We’ve learned (from our Do It Yourself shoot as well as this one) that the thing about having your house professionally photographed is that it’s actually someone’s job to arrive with truckloads of pillows and accessories to restructure and refresh each room for the camera. It never bothers us because it’s always entertaining to see what tickles a pro decorator’s fancy (we love options, and seeing how punches of orange or dark green look on our couch is actually fun for us). You just have to be cool with tons of people in your house moving stuff around… and we’re happy to say that we’re totally down!

Of course there were also the monstrous machines and expensive equipment in every nook and cranny to capture each room in perfect light (while no one’s the wiser that there’s a giant umbrella flash just out of frame when they pick up the magazine). Here’s photographer David A Land checking out a few shots on his tripod-mounted-computer-contraption. And you can see everything from clamps to gaffer’s tape and even some fruit salad on the kitchen counter below. So many tools, so little time.

To continue our shots-of-the-crew-from-behind series, here’s the videographer panning around our freshly styled kitchen (a few herbs in the window and some brightly colored bowls got this room ready for action). Do you remember this video house tour over on That’s what he was here for. We filmed it while the photographer worked in other rooms, and occasionally stopped the video tour to pose for still shots for the magazine (which is why we ran out of time on the video tour and had to shoot the sunroom in the dark!).

And speaking of the sunroom, we were actually super shocked when we saw the cover of the magazine because everyone was talking about the sunroom being the big shot for the story the day they were here. In fact, they rearranged all of our furniture in there (the daybed got turned 180 degrees to face the sliding doors) to create a scene that could be shot from the top of a van in our driveway. The reason? To hide the fact that it was clearly autumn and not spring (which was easily accomplished by shooting into the sunroom instead of out of it). Here’s David on top of an SUV trying to get the shot!


And here’s the sample sunroom cover shot that they so graciously left behind for us to admire (they print them out with a fake header and some subtitles so they can roughly see how it’ll look on the cover).


We loved the look of our sunroom in the shot and were actually kind of bummed when we didn’t see it in the magazine. And of course we thought Burger looked adorable on the floor pillow staring up at his dad (who was actually standing on his leash to make sure he didn’t bound out of the sunroom and onto the ground below). But at least we have this photo to remember it by.


They actually ended up using one of our own photos of the sunroom for the story (with green trees in the background) so it all worked out in the end. And that instance wasn’t the only time the camera equipment escaped our home’s four walls. Oh no, it routinely popped up outside in some of the funniest places. Here’s one of the photography assistants among our azaleas placing lights and flashes just outside the den to create optimal lighting conditions inside. I bet you never think about this sort of set up when you glance at glossy home magazines, huh? We certainly didn’t until now.

A few other extremely entertaining moments occurred when we happened upon one of our living room chairs on the front porch and when we stepped into the bathroom only to be greeted by one of the cameras in the bathtub. Well hello there.

And because the shoot lasted until 9pm, the crew created faux sunlight well after the stars came out. Now when we see a sunny kitchen feature we’ll think twice about whether it was even shot during the day. Oh the tricks of the trade.

And perhaps one of our favorite memories of the shoot was when we snagged this pic of ourselves with our “butt mics” as we affectionately called them. Who knew a crew could photograph your entire house and film a video tour in 13 wild and crazy hours?

Of course this was taken on hour 13, so that’s relief that you see in our eyes (the house didn’t burn down, the shots seemed great, and we were somehow able to string together full sentences for the video- whew). Thanks so much to our friends over at The Nest for the glossy feature (we’re actually on their home page today!) and the fun video tour. We always love showing people around our house, and their crew was no exception! And now we’ll wrap things up with a JPEG of each page of the article at a readable size as promised (here’s spread 1, spread 2, spread 3, and spread 4 – just click on each one to zoom in). In the meantime, we’ll just go back to pinching ourselves…

To learn more about the behind the scenes tricks of the trade, click here for some other juicy photoshoot details. And to check out a reader’s awesome bathroom makeover (also pictured in the same issue of The Nest magazine) click here for a pic.


  1. says

    Sherry – after I typed that, I thought back to when Sam and I were first married I was home all day without any children, yet. *Then* I thought, “Yup. They live like that all the time”, lol ;) I used to starch and iron cloth napkins and lay them out on the pre-set dinner table to make it pretty all the time :) All I can say, sister, is this – embrace change when it comes… it does come. But then you get to enjoy smiling little dimple faces instead of perfect tabletops :)

  2. says

    Okay – last comment for this post – promise :) But I had to offer my prediction for your (potentially) forthcoming “John and Sherry As They Really Live” post.

    1) The kitchen sink will be completely empty with a wet washcloth neatly laid across the middle to dry.

    2) The bathroom sink will be neat and tidy *except* for one roll of dental floss. Why? Because John is highly conscientious and likes to have his floss at the ready after every meal.

    3) The computer desk will be nearly perfect, except Sherry will have a partially consumed bottle of apple Izze next to the keyboard. Not because that’s her favorite flavor (her favorite flavor is blackberry, I’ve seen proof and I noticed because that’s my fave, too) but because the green color sparkling in that glass bottle looks so nice in the den as she types away, creating the next fab moodboard :)

    How’d I do? I’m looking forward to this (potential) post – hope you all get all wild and crazy and leave a sock out somewhere ;)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Jacci,

      Your predictions crack me up! The blog actually keeps me pretty busy during the day (and the night, and the weekends) – there’s always a post or three to write, a few mood boards to make, a bunch of shop orders to send to the printer, a few giveaways to coordinate, and about a million email and comment questions to answer. So that being said, there’s definitely not any time for starching napkins! I’m just a huge organization freak and I like for everything to have a designated place (if things have a place they can be put there and the house can be sorted, cleaned, and organized almost on auto-pilot).

      As an example of some of the organization systems that we have in place, we created our little corner mudroom for a place to leave bags, dog leashes, shoes and jackets so they’re never piling up anywhere else- and we have boxes and bins and even storage ottomans “assigned” to housing everything from paint decks to receipts and even board games). We love making our house work for us by creating these little zones and “drop spots” for everything, and of course we know that it’ll be a heck of a lot harder when little ones come along, but we plan to keep implementing the whole “everything has a place” concept and crossing our fingers that we can make do with some cute kid clutter (totally worth it, we know!).

      But anyway, without further ado, here are those pictures I snapped without cleaning/moving/altering a thing (not one single thing, I promise!). I just turned on the lights in each space, took a pic, uploaded it, sized it for web and called it a day. Here are the results:

      Here’s the den (where I was working on the laptop before springing up to snap the pics), the “mudroom” (which we mentioned is a huge help), my desk (sans computer since it was on the sofa with me), the kitchen, a closer shot of the sink (with a vase and a cup in it), the bathroom (which pretty much always looks the same), the living room (another room that usually looks just like this since we do the majority of our lounging in the den), the bedroom (I’m a bed maker but I usually get to it in the afternoon), and another view of the bedroom with our pillows piled high). Thanks for the challenge. Fun, fun, fun!


  3. says

    WOW! No doubt about it, your house is beautiful. The final pictures are unbelievable and it was great to see the whole process from behind-the-scenes! Seeing the work that goes on to stage for these things never gets old.

  4. JM says

    In the photo of your den, is that your actual sofa color? I always thought it was much lighter, but it looks darker close up. I wasn’t sure if it was slip covered for the shoot! These photos are fabulous and it truly is amazing how much work you guys have put into your house. I try to think back to my house hunting days and I’m not sure I could have looked past that sunroom – something about the before picture was so icky! But I love, love, love the transformation, it’s amazing!

  5. says

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile, but don’t always comment. The more I see of your home, the more inspiring I find it! My husband and I just moved into our first home and I’m always referencing photos of your house for inspiration. The colors and lightness are exactly what I would like to achieve in our house.

    I’ve been casually searching for ceiling fans for our bedrooms and haven’t found anything remotely attractive. I love the one in your den! Where did you find it?

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Allison- We actually adapted the ugly old ceiling fan in the den by adding a fabric shade which totally fancied it up. Here’s a post all about it (be sure to click on the comments for more instructions and even another pic!). Hope it helps!

      JM- Both of the sofas pictured in the story were ours (no slipcover or anything, just a few different accent pillows). The sofa in the den (on the cover) is pretty true to life in the picture (it’s a soft sandy tan tone) and the one in the living room is pretty accurate too (it looks like a softer creamy-tan tone but it’s more of a creamy off-white in person… just a tad lighter than the pic). It’s really funny how a few different throw pillows can totally change the look of a couch!


  6. says

    Yes, I loved the scans- thanks so much! The Nest seems like they would be able to grab onto lots of subscribers, so hopefully they open up that option soon… would love to see what else is contained inside!

    That is hilarious about the neighbors saying “love the new curtains” and etc. It’s almost like “Whoa, my neighbors know a liiiiitle too much about what goes on inside my house.” All part of the “job” though, I guess! :)

  7. says

    Sherry, This is so fantastic! Amazing journey for you, I imagine.

    You should check out my blog sometime. I can’t wait for the day I have my own home to redecorate. Right now I make due with apt. living and beige walls–I’m sure you know the drill!

  8. says

    Just got the chance to check out both the and the magazine spread. Looks great! I noticed something that seemed a bit off though. They always seem to show the sunroom coffee table but describe the pedestal (old game table) table instead. They did both online and in the magazine. oops. Guess that is what happens when you don’t let the actual homeowners proof everything. ;)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Melissa,

      Wow, you have quite an eye! We didn’t even catch that at first, but it does appear that they’re talking about our dining table in the corner of the sunroom (which we made from a thrift store pedestal base) when they’re talking about the coffee table. It’s certainly an understandable mistake considering the fact that we also made the coffee table (from the top of the pedestal table from the thrift store and a $12 Ikea “Lack” table). Good catch!


  9. says

    WOW & Congratulations!!! I commend you, because I would think that even the most welcoming of people would need some amount of patience to have all those people in their house!

    I’m not sure it was mentioned above, but I appreciated the behind-the-scenes, because it was a great reminder of the staging that goes on to get those picture perfect shots in the magazine!

    Finally, I’m pretty new at this ‘home thing’, but theNest, strangely resembles domino to me.. maybe a little? Just a thought.

    Thanks again!

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