The Blog

other work: stylin’ saturday

It all started a few months back when Pomme was anointed by uber-blog Design*Sponge and asked to share photos of her home. Sure, she said, in a moment of drunken weakness, which she instantly regretted. Because, as anyone knows, you can’t just share any old photos you take of your home; they have to be styled. Which is where my story starts:

7:30 – wake up, make a quick latte. Shoot day with Elle and Pomme and Brick. Stress about the piles of laundry that will have to wait yet another day to have their turn on the rollercoaster of clean. Time to pack. What do I need?

Styling’s all about props. Some people have big closets full of stuff they might need on a shoot — vases and lamps, pillows and rugs. Some props are ubiqutious (Ikea sheepskin) or are getting there (terrariums), some of them are having an especially big moment (kilim pillows). Since I don’t have a closet, I did the next best thing: I ran around the house, pulling things I already own. Into the bags went all my kilim pillows, a sheepskin pillow, a sheepskin, throws, and most of the little knick-knacks scattered around my living room: two little vases I’d found when I went thrifting with Brick, the white faux-log vase from a delivery of Martha Stewart flowers, pristine Vera napkins I found at the Rosebowl and love but never use, latte bowls from Anthropologies, silverware.

9:00 – Pack the car. Note to self — never pack an Ikea bag with as much stuff as it can hold. Sucker be heavy. I carry out my three terrariums, one by one and put them on the floor in the backseat, carefully wrapped in towels I found in the trunk of my car where they’d been for months, destined for Goodwill. Text Pomme and Elle: Oranges? Lemons?

9:45 – Car packed, I’m off. Reply text from Elle: Yes to all of it. I turn right instead of left. Up to Trader Joe’s instead of down to the freeway.

10:00 – TJ’s. Grab lemons (beautiful thin-skinned bright Meyer lemons), oranges and flowers. Do I need anything else? Why is it that when you stand on the 12 and under line, there is, invariably either someone who didn’t read the sign and has a cart with a week’s worth of groceries or someone super chatty. My line this morning has both. I’m going to be late. Oh well. What else is new? People expect it by now. No need to start by disappointing them.

10:15 – and I’m off. Pull out of the parking lot before I realize I forgot the bacon. Oh well. Pomme’s promised Nutella cupcakes. They will have to sub as the breakfast of champions. Check my phone. Five texts from Pomme and Elle. Pomme’s forgotten the champagne, Elle’s on the road.

10:20 – Pomme lives way the hell out there, in the other ‘dena, Altadena. I weigh my options and head across Melrose and grab the 101. In an inspired moment, I pull off the 101 at Alvarado to catch the 2 from Glenddale Blvd. I’m taking the northern route and skipping the 101/110 logjam. If you’re ever headed someplace in a hurry, you’d be well advised to do the same.

10:25 – I’m about the hit the entrance to the 2 when another text from Elle pops up. She just got there. Damn it. Though not unexpected. Elle’s always on time. I am not. The IPhone puts me 19 minutes behind her.

10:35 – Wow, I’m already on the 134. I’ve gotta remember this route the next time I need to head out this way.

10:45 – 210 and zooming. My exit’s coming up. Will I make it? I cut across four lanes of traffic, nimbly sidestepping a truck.

10:50 – Damn it. I have a feeling I was supposed to make a left off the end of the freeway ramp up Altadena Drive. It’s okay. I’ll just make the next left.

10:55 – I’m now circling around Atladena.

11:05 – I’m here! Elle’s walking the house, determining the schedule of events for the next few hours. We’re looking for the best light so we’ll follow the sun, shooting the house from east to west, living room, dining room, den, and then the two bedrooms. I drag in the bags and grab a cup of coffee. Brick hasn’t arrived yet. She’s coming in from Palm Springs so we’ve got a while yet. I sit down for a Nutella cupcake and then another one. Pomme, Elle and I catch up. Elle digs through my stuff, exclaiming. I’ve brought a good selection to choose from. We set up the lights though we won’t end up using them — Elle prefers natural light — and style the dining room table for the first shot. Pomme’s house is lovely and livable and comfortable with her dogs — two extraordinarily cute huskies — and her boyfriend of the ready laugh and bright shiny eyes.

12:00 – Brick arrives. and join the Womb chair / Eames chair debate. The next few hours will be spent moving around furniture, plumping pillows, in a perpetual conference of what looks right. It’s a long day but it never feels quite like work when you’re working with friends. Then it feels very, “let’s put on a show!”

8:00 — Day over. Car repacked. I head for home and bed.


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  1. Grace says:

    nice photos Abby! love the behind the scenes 🙂

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