Homestyle Magazine September 2017


I started using instagram to share our renovation journey. I never had it in my mind in a million years that anyone would want to feature our home in any kind of print. I had a few requests from different people to do a shoot but I was always too scared to go ahead with it. I put it off, convinced that no-one would be interested in reading about this little old cottage or that they would change their minds about the shoot last minute because my home was actually too shit...

When Lorraine from Homestyle Magazine got in touch with me via my instagram the house was probably at a point where I felt less embarrassed by someone coming along to take photographs (i.e. painted walls and holes in walls covered up) so I thought what the hell...just go for it! Due to my total lack of self-belief I still didn't think that any feature would go ahead - I suppose I'm a bit of a pessimist - but dates for a photo shoot were promptly booked and frantic cleaning/tidying/DIY commenced in preparation!!! Parts of the house got cleaned that really weren't necessary... e.g. inside kitchen know, just incase...

I had no idea what to expect but the lovely Katie Lee from Beautiful Homes in the North (instagram @beautifulhomesinthenorth) came to the house and she was absolutely amazing and very patient helping me with my last minute essential wardrobe change! I was not so amazing. My OH Chris is a photographer so I often have a lense pointed in my face but I am the least natural person in front of a camera (probably at his total frustration) and I totally lack confidence in this situation...think chandler smile...So, sitting on the couch and standing by the kitchen table smiling holding a cup were not my most comfortable moments. I'd have happily just had photos of the house featured and not my cheesy grinned face, but Katie made me feel so at ease and we chatted as she snapped away and worked her magic throughout my home. The whole experience was surreal, but pretty damn cool. And my home had never been so clean.

Katie worked her magic

Katie worked her magic

I found out that I would be featured in the September 2017 issue, due out in August 2017. I had a bunch of questions to complete that were sent to me by the magazine which really helped me to reflect on the whole renovation process, where my influences for interior decor came from and the process of styling my spaces. I guess we often do things without really realising how much work goes into these projects, so I really enjoyed writing about it all! 

And then the issue came out. Cue proud family moments and jokes from work colleagues and friends asking me to sign a copy of the magazine...hilarious. Overall, it was a good feeling to see our home in print. Katie worked wonders and the edit was true to what I had written. I was shopping in lidl (hands up if you love lidl by the way...) and saw the magazine on the shelf - walking past it knowing that my home was in it was a very weird moment...thankfully I suppressed my ridiculous urge to grab a copy and show the feature to everyone around me like 'this is my house!!'

cheesy grinning and cup holding are not my is very happy though

cheesy grinning and cup holding are not my is very happy though

Featuring in a magazine was never my ultimate goal. It wasn't even on my radar. I didn't think that it would ever happen - my little cottage filled with budget friendly ideas and second hand finds. I see our home very differently to many of the amazing homes I see in magazines and on social media with their fabulous interiors and the latest trends adorned throughout.

I decided to write a short piece about this experience as I received quite a few messages from people asking what it was like. People who had also been contacted and were nervous about the whole process and putting themselves out there and had the same feelings as me about whether or not their home would be 'good enough' to be put into print. As wonderful as social media can be in terms of creating opportunities and developing networks and friendships, it can have a way of making us compare ourselves less favourably to others, but that's a whole other topic I suppose...Essentially, my advice would be to just go for it. Be proud of what you have created! I still can't look at the photos of me, but the whole process gave me that bit more self belief and for the first time in a long time, it made me feel pretty proud. 

You can see some of the feature and download a copy here

Thanks for reading - Sara x