August is for Decorating

July 27, 2011 | By | Comments (1)

Blue and Grey Room

August is our first decorating themed issue!  It is filled with juicy decorating tips, ideas, and images. There is an excellent furniture story (Affordable Classics p. 115), a great styling story (The Art of Arranging p. 125) and a brilliant color story (One Word: Color).  I know it is weird when people speak so highly of their own work but we are really excited about it and hope we inspire you to buy a bed, style your bookcase, or paint your ceiling. Or at least think about it. Plus added bonus: I am going to share a bit of what happened on the photo shoot of our feature One Word: Color.  And I have video!

Decorating stories begin with an idea and end with a photo shoot.  For One Word: Color we collaborated with the extremely knowledgeable color expert Eve Ashcraft and our super creative contributing Style Editor Jeffrey Miller to create five beautiful, risky (but not scary), sophisticated color palettes.  It will change the way you feel and think about paint colors in your home.

The photo shoot began on a Sunday afternoon in a Brooklyn brownstone. Real Simple home department staffers (Stephanie and Charles) and Jeffrey and his amazing team (Chris, Kori, and Brady) came to unpack props, deal with furniture deliveries, and paint the first palette. Eve, with the help of Jeffrey and his team, painted the trim, ceiling, and walls in the colors of the first palette. Since the mirror was stationary, the area reflected across the room had to be painted as well. The original color of the room was yellow so we started with the yellow palette.  In order to show how the palettes dramatically change the entire feel of the room, we shot each color combination in the same exact spot.

The days started with the setting up of the room which included moving in and arranging all the furniture and accessories that Jeffrey and the home department brought in.  This takes a few hours because there are at least three options for every piece including the rugs, lamps, side tables, sofas, and objects on the mantles. (You never know what could happen—that side table you thought was perfect could actually show up broken or more appropriately sized for a doll house).  Along with the art director, photographer, and many other brilliant, opinionated creative minds, we figured out looked best through the lens of the camera. At one point there were about 15 people on set who all make unique but complementary contributions. That is the abbreviated version of what it takes to decorate and photograph one corner of a room.  And check out the high-speed footage.

You will notice (or not) that I am not in the videos because as the room was being setup I was either working with Stephanie to figure out how to persuade a publicist to overnight an 85-inch sofa ,or I was out running through furniture stores collecting anything I think could work in an upcoming shot. I like to plan ahead, but at the last hour there is always that one thing missing.

After the room was shot, (the talented Gentl and Hyers photography team were responsible for the beautifully lush and moody images), we would break down the set which consists of removing all furniture and accessories and then repainting the room. It was like decorating and moving five times in five days. Exhausting but extremely satisfying in the end. I still can’t decide if I love the red room or the blue room more.

Check out the full slide show here, and tell me which one is your favorite.