It was so exciting to be contacted by Better Homes and Gardens to be featured in their small space decorating magazine!! I shared some of the behind the scenes process in my stories the day the crew was here, but I had so many questions from you all, that I thought it deserved a whole blog post. Questions ranged from-
Do you get paid to have your home featured?
How did the magazine find you?
How can YOU get featured??
I am here to answer all those questions for you. I even reached out to one of the best stylists, who was also my advocate and got me in my first magazine! Heather Bullard found me on Instagram and she wanted to pitch my home to Country Living, I said “really???? YES!” So she pitched it and they came back with a, no. They just didn’t have a place for it. Heather didn’t give up, she reworked the pitch so it would fit better with HGTV magazine and sent it to them and they came back with “YES”!!! So don’t give up. And finding a scout, like Heather Bullard is the best way to get featured. I will share more on that below along with a bunch of crazy behind the scene photos-
Let’s dig into your Top Ten Questions on being in a National Magazine-
1- Question- Did you reach out to the Magazine or did they reach out to you?
Answer- I haven’t ever reached out to a magazine. I have used their hashtags on social media before, in hopes to be “seen”, and they have shared my home on their social media (so that could be how it got the scout to find me, but not the best and only way….keep reading!). This particular opportunity with Better Homes and Gardens was one that I was approached for by one of the magazine editors, Jessica. As mentioned above I was also in HGTV magazine and was approached by a scout, Heather Bullard. She has a media company, so she works with every magazine publication.
2- Question- How do you get noticed by a Magazine? What do they look for?
3- Question- How did you prepare the house for them to come?
Answer- I washed all the bedding (which I needed to do anyways) and also hired a cleaning service. Kevin cleaned all the outside windows. I was going to clean the basement (that is where they staged a lot of their props) but ran out of time. I should have prepared what we were going to wear for our family picture, but again, ran out of time and forgot to do it.
4- Question- Do you get paid when a magazine comes to your home?
Answer- No payment. You can get payment if your home is used for a brand or a movie or something like that. But rarely for a magazine.
For a one page ad in a national magazine companies pay anywhere from $50-$100k! So to have your home and work featured in 6 pages is huge! Especially if you have a business or a product, it is really an honor. One magazine only features about 24 homes in a year, that is not a lot of homes. So if your home or design work is featured, it is pretty awesome.
It is great to be able to claim that you were featured in a magazine. Shows a lot of validity to your business.
When the previous magazine came out they never mentioned my blog, just my name. And I was never sourced in social media or online when a photo was used. I want to mention this, so you can be your own advocate. Make sure before the magazine comes you talk about the specifics you are hoping for and have it written in the contract. Don’t assume. It was my first time, and I didn’t know to mention that. I was so caught up in the excitement. You could even mention how you want your home styled (to an extent, the stylist is there to showcase your home in the best way, and is on your team). For instance Heather Bullard said she worked with a couple and styled their home for a Christmas feature, the couple is Christian and they stipulated that they didn’t want any decor that left out Christ. Like a sign that said “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”. Heather made sure that the homeowners wishes were granted.
5- Question- They changed some things that you already had….why?
Answer- Many of your were perplexed as to why they bought in their own accessories and changed some thing around in my home. You asked,- “wasn’t your home and style the purpose of their feature in the first place?” YES!! It was 100%. Their goal was to keep my eclectic style and showcase small home living. When you take photos for a magazine things just don’t look as good in a magazine photo, compared to how we live in it everyday.
With a magazine they are telling a story, and it often is a color story, along with the story of what is unique to your home. For example with my home they were focused on small space living ideas. Everything pretty much stayed the same, except fresh flowers and a few accessories in the bookcase to feel like spring (when the magazine comes out). They took off all of the stuff on my nightstand (it was packed with things like hormone oils, CBD, journals etc.) Not everyone needs to see that. For a magazine you simplify so the readers aren’t distracted by the personal items.
I can remember a blogger I followed told me after I mentioned that a magazine was coming to shoot our home that she had a magazine came to her house and they totally changed everything. I actually saw the magazine and didn’t even catch on that it was her home. They changed the rugs out to match the look and feel of their magazine. Her home was very shabby chic, country chic style and really not very colorful and bright, like the magazine esthetic. So they brought in colorful and bright. I can see how she was disappointed. So make sure to talk about that before a magazine comes to your home.
After talking to her I was paranoid that they would be changing a lot. So before they came I emailed the editor and asked her to tell me specifically what their plans were to for my home. They said only a few bright accessories in the kitchen. And that was all they really did. As long as the main pieces were still there and it still looked like my style, I was cool with it.
6- Did it drive our family nuts to open our house up like that?
Answer- Not at all. The hardest part was with Finn. He kept wanting to see what they were doing. Or go jump on the sofa they had just made perfect. They were all very kind and patient with him. But we really were out of the house most of the time. And they didn’t take photos in Finn’s room, so he still got his nap! So I was around watching while Finn napped. (Exhibit A below of Finn all up in the photographers business with a doll in his mouth!)
7- Do I get to keep the home decor they brought?
Answer- No. They take that back. They left the flowers, peaches and lemons and three plants they couldn’t return. They buy things and return after the shoot is over. I really didn’t need or want more home decor items 🙂
8-What home staging tips did I learn? Anything I will implement?
Answer- I learned that there is no one way to decorate a h0me or there is no RIGHT way. A lot of different ways will look good. It just depends on the story you are trying to create! I learned staging tips for a magazine. Which is very different than staging for a blog. The magazine readers don’t really know anything about us and how we live. But my blog readers know a lot. So if I cleared off my nightstand every time I took a photo and only had one vase of real flowers, I would get questions. “Where are your oils you use everyday? Where is your journal? Do you really have just one vase of perfectly styled flowers on your nightstand???” Or “don’t those hydrangea’s get in your way when you eat?” and “doesn’t Finn knock over that glass vase of real flowers on your coffee table?” You get what I mean. The pillows, bedding, majority of the accessories and main pieces all stayed.
But yes, there is an eliminate of story telling and a little smoke and mirrors. Which I don’t mind one bit. I think it is an art and it still represents our home and us.
9-Did you guys stay in the house the whole time? Was it crowded?
Answer- It was crowded. But our house can get crowded with an extra box in a room!! haha. The kids had camps and sports so majority of the time we were gone. I took the kids out to eat one day and then I made them lunch at home the other day, since I knew they were working upstairs at that time. Plus we had a lot going on personally, so we were in and out.
10-When will you get to see it in the magazine?
Answer- The feature is slated for a Spring release– It will be so fun for us to look back at our home at this point in time because come Spring, our remodel will be complete and it will likely look totally different! They interview me in the fall for the story, and that takes a couple hours.
11-Would we do it again?
Answer- Well, this wasn’t the first time my home has been featured in a magazine, but it also wasn’t the second time that I have been asked. It is a bit intrusive to plan for and implement this type of a thing, but it is SO much fun. I look at the magazine as a mini book of my work. And hopefully fun for those of you that like to read my blog a way to get something printed. I will always consider all the opportunities that are presented to us. Depending on our schedule and the publication, our door will always be open!
You can read more about our HGTV Magazine Experience HERE–
Ann Lacouture says
Brooke!! Thank you for writing this post and giving us all this fun information!! It was so fun to read!