Picture yourself preparing for a photo session. What do you do to prepare? What details are important for you to cover for the shoot? Hair? Makeup? Outfit? Backdrop? Attitude?
Asking these questions takes me back to the yearly professional photography sessions I had my children endure. In particular, I remember one that all the cousins were in together. My daughter, Sammi was about 8 months old at the time and was a constant thumb sucker. The photographer walked up to her right before he clicked his camera for the first shot and popped her thumb out of her mouth. Big Mistake. She set off on a wailing session that outlasted the photo session. When I look at that family picture even today, the tenseness in her brother, Ben’s face and all the cousins is clear. Sammi having her thumb pulled out ruined the picture! Not the best Kodak moment by a long shot!
As an Interior Decorator, I have had many photo sessions for my portfolio of client projects. (Thanks to Cameron Triggs!) Taking part in these sessions is truly eye opening. It can take hours to prepare for a simple shot of a room. Every detail needs to be perfect because the camera lens is unforgiving. What looks OK to the naked eye can look cluttered and unkempt through the lens of a camera.
Which leads me to how others see our homespace. We tend to live in our homes. I mean really live in our homes. Being in them from day to day we get used to ignoring certain aspects of our space such as clutter on shelves, poorly arranged knickknacks and crooked pictures on the walls. Not to mention obvious dust, cobwebs and throw pillows that have seen better days. We get used to these minor little things and overlook them but, others that enter our space see things more objectively. In other words, what we see in our homes is not the detail someone else sees just like the detail a camera picks up is so much more than we see.
My Helpful Hannah Tip
So here’s my Helpful Hannah Tip for achieving a more pleasing space.
View your homespace as if through the lens of a camera.
Seriously, literally go room-by-room, area-by-area and look at each part with your hands shaped like a camera lens. (Do this by making L shapes with the thumb and pointer of each hand and joining the thumbs to form a three-sided square shape.) What you will pick up will be amazing. You will begin to see every little detail.
My dear friend (and realtor with Allen Tate Realty), Nancy Poe told me that whenever she meets with new clients to discuss preparing their home for sale, she urges them to go room-by-room and take pictures with their camera phones. She tells them this really gives them an idea of what others will see when they come to look at their home as a potential purchase.
Over the years, I have helped Nancy stage, declutter and rearrange the interiors of many homes in preparation for being put on the market. I have done simple things like take stickers off the backs of picture frames, remove dead leaves on plants, change shades on lamps, vacuum sofa cushions and remove personal items from bathroom sinks that no one else needs to see. In other words, I have made the spaces picture worthy- without spending a dime on new things!
So, why is this important you might be asking? Let me tell you why. Your homespace is an outward reflection of you. Just as you want to look your best when you go to work, school or a social function in order to give good impressions, your home should look the best for the same reasons. We are a direct reflection of how we live. Treating your homespace with respect translates to respecting yourself as I express in a recent post, Treating Your Homespace With Respect.
What the camera picks up
While viewing your home through this “handmade” camera lens, look for problem areas such as:
- Dirty windows
- Smudges on mirrors
- Dust on tops of doors, windows, and molding
- Pictures hung too high or too low on the walls
- Crooked pictures on walls
- Toilet bowl rings
- Messy electrical cords
- Dirty upholstery and rugs
- Plants in the wrong size containers
- Dead plants
- Improper wattage light bulbs
By the way, did you notice I kept repeating the word clutter?
Absolutely, positively the number one thing that detracts from the beauty of your homespace besides an unpleasant smell is clutter.
Get rid of the clutter. Period.
Make it pleasing to the eye
The saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words” applies to your homespace. Make a picture of your space through your handmade lens and create detail befitting you. Make your space pleasing to the eye room-by-room. The thousand words you will hear from those that enter you home will be words like beautiful, warm, cozy, uplifting, inviting, enjoyable, charming, exquisite, refreshing and so on and on. I can guarantee it! And, you deserve to live in a space that best reflects you!
Enjoy the living of life…