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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fire all the photo stylists

I'm calling for a ban on overwrought hyper-styled shelter magazine photos. What is the purpose of such cluttered fantasy shots? Don't tell me "inspiration." I mean no sane person really decorates his or her house this way.

Who ties up stuff with string other than the von Trapp family?

Why is the typewriter on the floor and not the desk?

Is this the Duggar family's mud room?

What is this? No seriously - WHAT IS THIS?!?

I want to take a leafblower to this room.

I'm sick to death of "casually" dropped shoes, especially ugly ones.

I have a theory that photo stylists are frustrated shop owners...

...or visual merchandisers.

You may think "photo stylist" is a fairly new job description, until you see some clutter-rific shots from the 1970s I recently stumbled across.

Is that egg loaf sliced up on the table? *shudder*

Way too many terra cotta pots, but I'd happily take that floor lamp.

This will be the fern and baby's breath of the early 21st century.
Don't believe me?

Case in point - once-cool hanging plants.

So what is an appropriately-styled room?

This...

...this...

...and - swoon - THIS.

All images from Desire to Inspire.

41 comments:

ChrisToronto said...

Great work, Raina! This is also one of my pet peeves. A Canadian shelter mag recently featured a bathroom shot with a chandelier oh so artfully splayed . . . on the floor! So chic, so sculptural, so stupid!
I do have to quibble with your image credit, however: Desire to Inspire is not responsible for any of these shots and while it may be cumbersome to actually give proper credit, that credit is nevertheless due.

cardinalkay said...

This post made me smirk, as do many of yours. I mean that in a GOOD way, but of course! Keep up the good work, and I'll keep smirking!

Anne (in Reno) said...

I had to click on that top picture just to see if that was really an artfully draped garlic braid in there. I'm still not sure.

Chic Modern Vintage said...

I like the fact that you make mention of the casually dropped shoes, and you're right. I'm tired of that one it's played all the way out.

Karena said...

Too funny. Raina, your posts almost always crack me up. How about some egg loaf?!!
Karena

Samantha S. said...

Haha, this post just made my morning. Truly hilarious and so right on. Thinking all the thinks that are in my head. Fantastic!

xx,
Samantha @PrettyLovely

fromtherightbank said...

Egg loaf as a prop! How did you ever find that photo?! You are so right - there is some major overstyling happening these days but I hadn't really given this much thought. And that's precisely why this is such a great post. Lots to think about.

Alicia B. Designs said...

hah you're too funny. I completely agree. I also hate the "appropriately placed" Hermes shopping bag in the front hall. OKAY WE GET IT you have good taste and lots of $$.

Paul Anater said...

There's a smug, "I'm smarter than you" vibe to a lot of these photos that makes me crazy. Enough with the intelligentsia poses. Except when I do it of course.

lucitebox said...

Von Trapp family...HOOO! I'm still giggling over that one.
Thank you, Raina.

Nita Stacy said...

Loved this post! Too funny and so right. I was so proud of my bedroom when I was a teen because I had like 30 plants in there. Some of them huge. I can't believe my Mom allowed all those pots of dirt in her house. But it was so in style at the time.

I totally agree on the books tied up with string...wait isn't that a line from "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music?


Nita
ModVintageLife.blogspot.com

Anita Davis said...

i wonder if anyone still has hanging plants....

great post!!

Naomi said...

so true sister! I wish we could see more lived-in interiors. that last bath is pretty frickin amazing...

nkp said...

This is so you, so good! Bravo to another fabulous, smart and sassy post!

That last image from Met Home leaves me swoony everytime! The entire house is so well done. I have that issue somewhere...need to go dig it up!

erin@designcrisis said...

That egg loaf is bilious, as are many of these shots. Enough with too much stuff, already!

The candlestick room is giving me some swoony good ideas, though.

Raina Cox said...

Cardinalkay and Chic Modern Vintage - Hello to you both and welcome to this deliciousness!

Ally (FTRB) - I found the egg loaf photo on Desire to Inspire (along with all of the others). Check out their "Retro" label - great images!

Nita Stacy - You're right on the money about that reference.

Bromeliad said...

I also hate the ones with the homeowner standing on the dining room table.

Cool silver cubes in that 70s pic.

dwellinganddesign said...

I chuckled at this post- you are so right. What are the top photos. So strange.

Raina Cox said...

Dwellinganddesign - These come from stylists' portfolios featured on Desire to Inspire. I'm guessing some were featured in LivingEtc, a British home mag that features some of the strangest OTT styling on the planet.

Kate said...

fabulous, Raina! number 4, oh how I've been wanting someone (you) to comment using the Duggar name and number 5, geez...bomb shelter?

karly / design-crisis.com said...

You're brilliant!

Just this morning I was reading elle dec and stumbled upon an oddly styled photo, i knew what was wrong with it but couldn't craft the perfect sentence to describe it, I instantly thought "i wonder what raina would say about this." I'll dig up the page and send it to you

Laurie - Little Blue Chairs said...

Love it- Thank you for putting it out there. :)

Pam Kersting said...

You go girl Couldn't agree with you more. BTW, I've given you a little nod over at my blog. Don't know if you're into these things, but if so, post it up! Love your blog!

sherri said...

That beautiful bathroom in the last shot is scrumptdillyishus.
I feel like a lot of these "stylists" are secretly hoarders. Or maybe not so secretly.

Teri said...

What do you mean? I have spent all day cutting various shades of blue paper to make my walls look like the butt of a bird.

And, aren't your books tied up with string?

Raina Cox said...

Teri - Red licorice shoelaces for spontaneous snacking.

David said...

The typewriter goes on the floor so you have a place for the your ram statue.

The last photo, it's old and I can't remember the magazine it was featured in, but bits and pieces of that house have been lodged in my brain forever. There's an outdoor shower just outside that door. I also remember windows over the fireplace in the living room.

david john said...

raina, you are queen!

fuck, i think i just got a cramp from laughing so hard.

awesome!

Debi said...

Raina - this was hilarious. Thanks for a great laugh :)

susieq said...

Guess what my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday? Yep, old paper back books, covers removed, tied up this-way-and-that with STRING. An entire pile of them. She works in an antique shop and I think all the shopkeepers are using these as merchandising props. I had no idea what to do with them!

ms. less is always more said...

Just found your blog! So far so good...

btw, totally agree on this. I'm all about "pretty" - but it sure does get out of hand sometimes.

my favorite and my best said...

oh shitballs. hilarious is what it is. and you are. and how right you are. i see these a lot in living etc magazine. and i am always flipping at warp speed to get through them.

Raina Cox said...

SusieQ - So you're saying your MIL doesn't like you very much?

Ms. Less is More and My Favorite and My Best - Hello to you both and welcome to this deliciousness!

ticklishfromadistance said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. i cannot take another page. You made me scream about the shoes. Dead on. Is that supposed to inspire me? Crap.

Jodi said...

Brilliant post, you have a great eye!

Raina Cox said...

Jodi - Thanks so much and welcome to this deliciousness!

wool and misc said...

(i type on the floor)

Melafrique said...

you are a funny. i totally agree

artluvr said...

Thank God I've found you! But, I must remember to swallow my coffee before reading. My keyboard may never recover...

Raina Cox said...

Artluvr - Hello and welcome to this deliciousness!

nicole said...

Dying.... Thank god you posted your top ten list! I would have missed all this hillarity!

I happen to like clutter, but the real kind. Not the fake heinous shoes tossed aside kind.

Nothing worse than walking into a room that looks like no one lives there.