Ep 47: Behind the Scenes of a Magazine Shoot & Visually Raising Low Ceilings

October 9, 2017

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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After discussing my (Chris) laziest way of being thoughtful, this episode goes deep on all the details of our DIY Magazine shoot. Julia and I share the parts that surprised us most, and give a few confessions of how underprepared we were (i.e. – the outdoor kitchen was not even recognizable as an outdoor kitchen when the crew arrived). Julia also shares how a tiny lady bug saved the most crucial shot of the entire week.

Listen to the latest episodes on: iTunes, GooglePlayStitcher.

This Episode is Sponsored By WONDERBLY (previously known as Lost My Name)
The holidays are fast approaching, and birthdays know no season. If you have a kid in your life and you want to make them feel special, visit Wonderbly allows you to create custom story books for children in a way that puts them at the center of the plot. This isn’t just Find-and-Replace on the name – they actually build the story around each child so every book is unique to them.
Visit and use promo code CLJ at checkout to get 15% off your order.

Discussion: Behind the Scenes of our DIY Magazine Shoot
Four days. An unfinished outdoor kitchen. 8-foot tall lighting panels. 7 buckets of flowers. A lady bug. Our photo shoot with DIY magazine was a bit of a doozy, but in so many fun and interesting ways. We talk about the amount of production that goes into something like this, the magic that comes from a skilled photographer, and how a little tiny lady bug saved the cover shot for the issue. So many things about this blew our minds and we’re sharing all the details we can.

• Like how they played with perspective:

• And spent, literally!, 8 hours setting up a shot for the cover:

• And how they warmed up the girls for pictures (it was so thoughtful and kind!):

• And all the flowers it took!:

• And how Charly inserted herself into almost every shot, and slept on the equipment blanket for the rest of the time.

Reader Question: How to Make Low Ceilings Feel Taller
• Tricks with baseboards
• Properly using built-ins, shelves and cabinets
• Working with curtains
• Lighting & uplighting
• Considerations for furniture

Can’t Get You Outta My Mind
Chris: I try not to be swayed just because something is popular, but the peer pressure of pop culture has no impact on me when it comes to Taylor Swift. I talk about why I wish I could get her out of my mind (but the world won’t let me), and my views on her “transformation” as an artist.

Preston: As his kids continue to grow and learn, Preston has learned that he loves to watch it happen. He talks about the joys of seeing your children accomplish something, and experience the joy of overcoming fears and apprehensions to experience something new.

Julia: Though we believe in saving where you can, Julia is a pro at selective splurging. Specifically on cabinet hardware. She talks about the impact this little detail can make, when the right time is to get that hardware you’ve been eyeing (spoiler, it’s right now) and why.

We’d love it so much if you could leave a rating and review for the podcast, and thank you for continuing to spread the word about our corner of the podcast world! We love hearing from new listeners every week! 
Have questions you’d like us to answer on the podcast? Email
Theme song Headphones by Preston Pugmire



What do you think?

  1. Adam photographed my daughter for Make It Yourself magazine last year — he really is wonderful with kids! Can’t wait to see your issue in July!

  2. Kara says:

    Loved the behind the scenes insight– it’s so reassuring to know that what we see in magazine’s isn’t quite “real” life (ie, your house being spotless, perfect lighting, plants on every corner!)

    I would love you note some of your favorite rejuvenation hardware pieces (or other stores). We have knobs on all our cabinets that I’ve been wanting to replace but felt limited because they are knobs– and I dont think we could easily patch for a pull. Maybe a insta stories topic?!

  3. Gloria says:

    What’s the situation with changing your stairway chandelier? :/ Is it for sale?

  4. Cory says:

    Hi Chris & Julia,

    I just listened to your podcast for the first time and loved it! So interesting to hear about the behind the scenes of a magazine shoot. My husband and I are currently renovating a house with standard 8 foot ceilings and are looking for ways to make them feel taller. I appreciate your helpful tips. Regarding your suggestion for recesssed lighting or semi flush mount lighting: do you then recommend against a hanging pendant light over a dining room table?

    Thanks and so sorry to hear about your sweet pup!

    • Julia says:

      A hanging pendant over the dining table or kitchen island is definitely acceptable and a good idea! I might advise against one that doesn’t provide any uplighting because that could bring your ceilings down. Look for one that has light that either radiates in all directions, or up and down.

  5. Emily H says:

    I am hanging my head in shame because I don’t have hardware in my kitchen yet. I just cannot decide what I want! It is killing me but I get super anxious about decisions like this, so I just keep putting it off.

    • Julia says:

      Girl! Start looking at a bunch of inspiration photos. Start with would you prefer: knobs, pulls? Bin pulls? and then move on to metal preference. You can do it! It will change your life!

  6. Emily says:

    Thank you for this episode (and Can’t Get You Outta My Mind) at just the right time! We are building a house and I had just picked hardware from the builder grade options that I wasn’t crazy about – thinking, oh it’s ok, we can change it later. But with 63 pieces of hardware in our future kitchen this made me stop and ask if I could get a credit and supply my own. Why should I switch it later when I can get it right the first time? Fingers crossed they say it’s ok!

  7. Winnie G says:

    Congrats on the cover! I can’t wait to see it.
    *we recently moved to a small town (pop 30) and a 100+ year old house. I am currently listening to your podcast while painting a stairway and pulling staples. Listening to your home design and DIY themed podcasts is definitely keeping me motivated.

  8. Corine says:

    Great episode. How the perspective changes when shooting a space was so so interesting to me!
    Also, for the record: Team Taylor. The End. The fact that Chris and Preston can’t even get her out of their minds (in a bad way) means she wins. Sorry, guys. She got you. She’s good. And a genius.
    The podcast is my -every other- Monday morning fave. Love to you guys! Team CLJ forever. Can’t wait to see the magazine!

  9. I can’t wait to listen! I love behind the scenes photo shoot stuff. I recently did a photo shoot with Overstock in their photo studio and was BLOWN away by all of the things I learned, the attention to detail (they literally used white gloves to clean the set and raked the rug to get it nice and fluffy), and the importance of lighting and a good photographer.

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