The power of styling

If you've ever read an interiors magazine, you've probably noticed that the homes always look so perfect. There are always herb pots on the kitchen windowsill, an artfully arranged bookcase and fresh flowers on the dining room table. But do people actually live like that?

Although all the homes we shoot are chosen because the homeowner has a great eye for design, the final photos you see in the magazine are a slightly enhanced version of reality due to good lighting, carefully chosen angles and of course styling.

When we first visit a home we'll take recce pictures before returning for a full shoot. Take a look at this lovely kitchen we shot in Northumberland to see how styling has made a difference.

Before & After:

Rake kitchen before    Rake Kitchen shoot 6

Having just finished her kitchen project, the homeowner hadn't got round to buying many accessories so it was something of a blank canvas. But stylist Laura Brown was able to work her magic and bring the room to life.

Beautiful Bathrooms:

Bathrooms can often be tricky to photograph due to their size, but this beautiful space had been converted from a bedroom so there was ample room for manoeuvre.

Eleanor st bath recce   Cullercoats bathroom after

The chair was getting lost in the corner so we took it out of shot for a cleaner, simpler look and the bamboo towel ladder was also too obscured by the towels and shower caps. You'll notice the towels are different, as we brought new ones. The magazines always ask us to use new towels so they look their best (I bet some of you have towels that are 'just for show' and never get used!). We always thoroughly check every image on the laptop, so we can spot things like the door being open in the mirror reflection.

Shelfie Time:

When it comes to living rooms, everyone loves a good shelfie so we take time to make sure the shelves are looking their best.

Deni lounge recce   Deni sitting room after

You can tell these homeowners are music lovers and we loved their idea of filling the fire recess with LPs, but the hi-fis on the shelves had to go. Adding some accents of orange and green in pictures and vases, as well as a few extra cushions for the Chesterfield, brought this corner alive. We were also keen to showcase their fab plan chest / coffee table so that was pulled further into shot and dressed up with a book and coffee tray.

Bedroom Finishing Touches:

While living rooms and kitchens tend to need more styling than bedrooms, we always find that a throw and cushions can make the world of difference to a plain bed. This renovated period home in Sunderland is a prime example. Wherever possible, we'll also try to use the same colour palette for styling accessories throughout the home to create continuity, as interiors magazines love a set of pictures that will sit well together across several pages.

St Bede's before   St Bedes Terrace Main Bedroom 1

Famous at last!

We love meeting your pets, and sometimes they'll end up in the magazine too. Union the Jack Russell was the perfect model for this Christmas shoot at a cosy farmhouse in Northumberland - and didn't let the fame go to his head when this shot appeared across a full page in Woman & Home magazine!

Mill House fire before    Mill house fire after

If you'd like your home to be featured in a magazine, we'd love to hear from you. You can upload a few pictures via the rate my rooms section of our website or email

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