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The #LoveYourThings Shoot with Scotchgard Brand at the Randolph Street Market

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A few months back, Scotchgard Brand invited me to Chicago’s Randolph Street Market to hang out at their booth, chat with visitors, and take part in a video about things we love and how to protect them. There are always amazing vintage and antique pieces at the show — you might find your new favorite chair or rug, suitcases to stand in as storage, or maybe an old textile that has been (or can be) made into pillows.

Vintage Furniture and Rugs #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

Vintage Toy Cars #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

Vintage Kantha Quilts #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

Vintage Luggage #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

Vintage Rugs and a Hammock at Randolph Street Market #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

The antidote to the all-white interiors trend, eh?

OK, but then you get your finds back home — these things that have already had a long life — and you don’t want to be the one to ruin them. And that goes for our new things too, of course. You know the pair of armchairs in our living room? Someone once spilled orange soda all over them when we were having a party. The person felt awful about it, and luckily the spill came right up, but if it hadn’t… yikes. Either we would have had to reupholster (two chairs, in this case, because they should match), live with a very strategically placed blanket, or ignore the stain. I use Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector on them now so nothing like that will happen again, because I don’t think we would have been so lucky had it been a drink like red wine. Once you see how it works, which is what we showed people at the Randolph Street Market, you realize what a good idea it is to protect the things you love with it. It repels liquids and blocks stains and can be used to protect your linens, furniture, rugs, clothes, car interiors and more.

Here are a couple of behind the scenes shots from our shoot.

Behind the Scenes, Shooting the #LoveYourThings Video with #Scotchgard at the Randolph Street Antiques Flea Market

The #Scotchgard Brand #LoveYourThings Display at Chicago's Randolph Street Market

The #Scotchgard Brand #LoveYourThings Display at Chicago's Randolph Street Market

Behind the Scenes, Shooting the #LoveYourThings Video with #Scotchgard at the Randolph Street Antiques Flea Market

And here’s the video.

I’ve used Scotchgard Protectors for a bunch of our things now. A purse, a couple of chairs, and yes, the crazy floral floor model chair I’m talking about above. I’ll show you how easy it is in an upcoming post. What are some things you love and want to protect?

A Look Back at 2015

2015: Year. Of. Many. Rugs. (Kidding! Sort of.)

Living Room with Blue Loloi RugMoroccan Pink and White Beni Ourain Rug

It was also the year my sister got married, I taught at Columbia college, and I did a few TV spots for WGN and WCIU (Chicago stations). I also worked with two publications — first, when I styled the coffee table three different ways for Make it Better Magazine, and then when the house was featured in the Christmas issue of HGTV Magazine.

Making it Lovely's Home Featured in the Christmas issue of HGTV MagazineMaking-it-Lovely-Make-it-Better-Magazine

Around the house, we’ve been in maintenance and repair mode. Rewiring is underway now. The carpeting in the bedroom closet was removed and replaced with solid oak, and I haven’t written a post about it yet but the hallway flooring was just finished this week too. Outside, we dealt with a few issues: removing wood rot from the railing, addressing the peeling paint near the furnace vent, and having a few window sills and plinths replaced. I also wrote about our attempts at pruning, and growing grass in the shade of our “beautiful mature ash tree.” I loved that tree. Sadly, the village removed it last month because of emerald ash borer.

Repairing Subfloor and Replacing Wood FlooringMature Ash Tree, Lost to Emerald Ash Borer

We finished Calvin’s nursery earlier this year when he was just a couple of months old. It took a while because we had to knock down walls and reconfigure the hallway to turn the second floor’s former kitchen into a bedroom. Doors were moved, plumbing was taken out, walls were added, wallpaper was stripped, walls were painted. Big changes! I also continued my monthly photo project with Calvin, but instead of sharing them here every month I switched to quarterly updates. Of course the most fun ones are when there’s a full year to look back at.

Calvin's NurseryCalvin's Monthly Baby Pictures Series

We got a new bed, a new-to-us table, and swapped out the lighting in the double parlor. Plus there were all of those aforementioned rugs (not all of which were mine to keep). Two steps forward, two steps back. But mostly forward! Hey, sometimes done is better than perfect. (I need to remind myself of this often.)

Vintage Red Console TableDouble Parlor Pendant Lights

I had fun adding drawing and painting into my posts, putting together some tips on designing with tile, and continuing to add to my Making it Yours series. I still love all of these clothes from a few months ago when all the fall collections came out (I wore that tie back trapeze dress yesterday and felt cute), but 2015 is also the year I accidentally dressed like Velma. Jinkies!

Sketching DesignsAccidental Velma

And with that, I’m signing off until the new year. Brandon is taking Eleanor and August to see Star Wars today, we’ll be preparing to host family for Christmas, and then the plan is to enjoy a little time off. Just the five of us, plus a rotating crew of electricians. (I’m just glad the work is moving along.)

Thank you for being here, and happy holidays, everyone! Can’t wait to see you again in January!

Our Home, Featured in HGTV Magazine’s Christmas Issue

Someone from HGTV Magazine reached out to me back in December of last year. Would we be interested in having our home featured? Yes! Scouting shots were sent, the initial contact person passed them on to their editor, and by January we had signed an agreement. They wanted to feature our house “all dressed up for the holidays,” so they sent a wreath for the front door and arranged for an exterior shot to be taken while we still had snow.

Making it Lovely's Victorian Home in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

There was an initial interview in March over the phone (how did you find your home, where did you get this, why did you decide on that, etc.), and then a date was set for the shoot in April. I spoke with Heather Bullard, the stylist, and she mentioned that boxes would start to arrive and I should just set them to the side. So many boxes! And rugs! (Because if there’s anything our house is lacking, surely it’s rugs.) I’m sure our delivery guy loved us — especially since he later picked it all up again when everything was being returned.

The Boxes Begin Arriving for Our HGTV Magazine Shoot

Four months and many phone calls, emails, and boxes later, it was time for the shoot. Our house was about to be filled with people from all over the country for a few days. The stylist and her assistants, the photographer, Kim Cornelison, and her team, and of course a team of people from the magazine. The Christmas trees (one large, one teeny) and all of the greenery was driven down from Wisconsin.

The stylists started with the tree and the brought bags of empty boxes wrapped in very cute paper. None of those ornaments on the tree were ours! That rug you can see peeking out isn’t ours either.

Bags of Fake Presents for a Christmas Photo Shoot

The library shot is my favorite. The brass coffee table is really a side table that’s usually tucked alongside the teal couch. The floral chair was swapped out for one stolen from the next room, and the pillows were mine except for the one trimmed in white ribbon.

Making it Lovely's Home Library in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

The secretary got a bit of greenery, and the stylist grabbed a chair that’s usually in the dining room.

Making it Lovely's Secretary Desk in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

And here’s where the floral chair ended up. This shot is the strangest one to see because while the shell is the same (only the rug, coffee table, and three of those pillows were brought in for the shoot), the overall effect is that it’s my house… but not.

Making it Lovely's Living Room in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

The fireplace looked mostly like it did when I decorated it last year. Same vintage painting of Venice with my sparkly HAPPY HOLIDAYS banner and vintage deer. Those are our stockings too, though we usually put five out — one for each member of the family instead of just the three kids. This shot was in the table of contents.

Making it Lovely's Fireplace in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

Our dining room is a chameleon. I change it up all the time with different tablecloths and settings, so while this room looks different too, it isn’t as jarring.

Making it Lovely's Dining Room in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

Everything looks so pretty. And then behind the camera, you’ve got a whole lot of this going on.

Behind the Scenes at a Photo Shoot for HGTV Magazine

Photographing the House for a Magazine

Two more rooms were shot on the first floor, but didn’t make the magazine. One was the bathroom. The stylist brought in some flowers and a couple of pink towels — which led me to pick up a few pink towels of our own. I hadn’t shown the bathroom after doing that because I didn’t want to ‘scoop’ the magazine, but then the shots weren’t in there! And then the other room was the kitchen. It looked so cute the way it was set up. There was berry garland along the glass shelf in front of the windows, the counter was cleared and styled up with pancakes, and they brought in a colorful rug. I don’t know why the other shot was cut, but I heard that the kitchen didn’t make it “because it didn’t look kitchen-y enough.” Ha! Are hundred-year-old stoves not in these days?

Next is the entryway. That rug is one of two that I brought back with me from Morocco, but it isn’t practical to actually have it there — it would get trashed pretty quickly with muddy shoes and winter salt. They wanted to switch our usual runner for one of theirs though, and I suggested this one instead. That chair is mine too, picked up a couple of years ago at Divine Consign. It’s super cute but also super wobbly.

Making it Lovely's Victorian Stairway and Front Entryway in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

Family shot! ↑ Calvin was just a little peanut! He was six months old when we shot everything. I put him in a union suit, and the little buttons on the butt flap kept opening up.

Six Month Old Baby in a Red Union Suit

Heading upstairs. The bedroom looks completely different now! The only thing that remains is the wall color, which isn’t nearly as green in real life as it looks in the photo here (it’s more of a soft gray/blue.) We have, since the shoot, sold the bed, rolled up the carpet, and changed everything around. Aside from the wreath though, there wasn’t anything changed just for the shoot.

Making it Lovely's Bedroom in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

Eleanor’s room looks pretty much like it always looks, with the addition of three DIY Christmas trees that I made a few years back. And the ‘e’ is balanced on her headboard but is usually on the wall.

Making it Lovely's Daughter's Bedroom in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

The other bedrooms weren’t photographed, but the playroom on the third floor was. The play kitchen was moved and a little Christmas tree was setup in its place. The kids liked those bean bags and the magazine copy states that they’re their favorite spots for reading, but they were only on loan for the shoot and the magazine had them sent back along with everything else. The kids really did like them though, so I went out after the shoot and bought a kid-sized chair.

Making it Lovely's Playroom in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

The issue is out now and the whole thing is fantastic, so please do pick it up and see it in person. Thank you to the team at HGTV Magazine for featuring our house! It’s an honor to be in the Christmas issue, and so fun to see our house in print, all decked out in its holiday splendor.

Making it Lovely (Nicole Balch) featured in HGTV Magazine's Christmas 2015 Issue

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