Do you want to have your home featured in Better Homes and Gardens? Here’s how I got a magazine feature & details about the BHG photo shoot!
Better Homes and Gardens I Did It Magazine Feature
Hello, hello again. I have some crazy news for you all today. My blog has just been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine! I’m still a little shocked and pinching myself.
This post is all about how BHG found me for an I Did It feature. AND, what the magazine photo shoot in my home was like.
I also have some tips for other bloggers about how to get a magazine feature in Better Homes and Gardens. And, the truth about whether or not it actually helps a blog.
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How I Got My Blog Featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
It seems that the Better Homes and Gardens Editor actually found my DIY project through an Instagram post that I used the hashtag #BHGIDidIt on.
I had only used the hashtag a few times at that point. But I’m pretty sure 1 of them was my mudroom. If you want one of your DIY projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, that is how they suggest submitting a project.
Actually, if you open any monthly issue of BHG and flip to the “I Did it!” feature, you can find a little note somewhere on the feature about using the hashtag to try to be featured.
NOW, tons of IG posts are using that hashtag. So, it’s pretty hard to catch the BHG Editor’s attention. AND, if you do catch their attention, they’ll only pick certain projects.
Better Homes and Gardens tries to pick DIY projects that are UNIQUE, NEWLY TRENDING, or EYE-CATCHING. So, you can hashtag an amazing DIY project, but if they have recently shared a similar project, yours probably won’t be picked.
It can be tough, you never know what they might be looking for. They want to share DIY projects with their readers that the readers haven’t seen OR at least a common DIY project with a unique spin or choice of colors.
Try to hashtag IG posts that might catch the BHG Editor’s eye as a ‘new’ DIY. Include a before or process picture and be sure to write a good description on your IG post too.
Sometimes it’s easier for people to understand the DIY project with full details about how you did it. Keep scrolling to see how Better Homes and Gardens contacted me AND what the photo shoot was like!
How My Featured Project Is Unique
Here’s a little history on my DIY project that was in the Better Homes and Gardens DIY Feature. I converted some built-in cabinets in my Laundry Room into a Mudroom in early 2015.
Then I blogged the mudroom makeover tutorial for it in mid-2017. I’ve been tweaking the room and design since then.
The BHG editorial team thought my project was unique because I cut existing cabinets in half to turn them into something else. They hadn’t featured anything quite like that before.
The key to that feature was the uniqueness. So the best way to get that magazine feature is to use that Better Homes and Gardens hashtag on IG for the projects you’ve done that no one has seen before!
It Started With An Email From Better Homes and Gardens
I got the email from Better Homes and Gardens editor Kit Selzer one night, in early June. It was short and to the point.
She said she was an editor at BHG and wanted to possibly feature my mudroom in the ‘I Did It’ section of the magazine.
So, of course, my instant reaction is excitement and disbelief. I was more than a little afraid it was a fake email. After a quick Google search, I found out Kit was definitely the real deal. Eek!
I showed my husband the email, excitedly. Then realized I had to explain to him how cool this was because he’s English and didn’t grow up reading Better Homes and Gardens, like I did.
LOL. I have to do this for a lot of things, being married to a non-American.
I mean, he has no idea about some very American things from my childhood. Commercial jingles that are forever stuck in my head, 80’s and 90’s TV Sitcoms, the cartoons I grew up with, Pretty in Pink.
Pretty in Pink, guys! In fact, every John Hughes film is basically a new thing to him. What!!
After explaining how cool this was to my husband, I said I was going to wait until the next day to reply to the email. I was worried that a quick reply to a BHG editor might be like a quick reply to an email from a guy you like.
I didn’t want to seem too anxious and scare her off. My husband basically told me to stop being crazy and reply already. 🙂
After a week of emails with Kit, we had set up a photo shoot date and gone over the details about the day and shoot. They’d be coming in early July. Yea!!
Getting my House Ready for the Magazine Photo Shoot
During that month of waiting for the shoot, a lot was going on. I sent a few test shots from different angles in the room.
A few included me in the shot so that Kit could get a good idea of the scale and where she wanted the picture taken. They were busy scheduling a photographer and stylist from my area too.
Kit also had me answer a bunch of questions about the changes I made in the Mudroom, other DIY info, and some facts about myself.
She asked a lot of questions, then picked a handful of answers that her team thought would be good in the story.
Meanwhile, I’m in full on ‘my house isn’t ready’ mode. In the month before the photo shoot, I finished a bunch of projects I had on my to-do list. I was in overdrive, guys.
Here’s what I did before the photo shoot for the Better Homes and Gardens DIY Feature.
- Built a new, prettier version of my DIY Laundry Table
- Painted the lower Laundry Room Cabinets Teal
- Added Plywood Liners to the boring open coat cabinet
- Finished the last shoe storage box and shelf
- Added a new decorative shelf in our Powder Room
- Plus, finishing up a change to my DIY Teal Console with Drawers
- AND almost wallpapered our Powder Room. But I ran out of time and did it after they left. It’s so pretty!
While all of that was happening, I also had to clean my whole house. You know how it is when you have little kids.
AND, I needed to find something to wear for the photo shoot. They suggested long-sleeves and slightly fitted. You know, the camera always adds 10 pounds, even in the arms.
I ended up picking up a few things and took pictures of the shirts in the Laundry Room. This helped me pick a favorite and I had photos ready to send the stylist when she contacted me.
I was finally ready, with just 24 hours to spare.
Better Homes and Gardens Photo Shoot in my Home
The day before the photo shoot the stylist came by with loads of potential props to use in the magazine. They like to add color and fun objects to the scene to make it look more homey and lived in.
You can see in my pictures how I normally have it and how they ended up staging it for the picture. Everything just looks a bit fuller in their picture. But you can picture a family living there.
The stylist was only at my house for about 30 minutes. She quickly tried a few props to get an idea of what they might use. I asked her about what to wear and recommendations for hair and makeup and that was it.
She felt like they were ready for the next day. I was totally excited and ready too.
The photographer, her assistant, and the stylist came back around 9 the next morning. Better Homes and Gardens had already sent them a shot list for the I Did It Feature.
They knew exactly where to set up the camera for the day. I showed them where everything was and got out of their way while they worked. The Midwestern in me wouldn’t want to get in the way of people hard at work.
They spent about 3 hours setting up their equipment, the room, and the props. Lots of pictures were being sent to the Better Homes and Gardens DIY Feature editors and evaluated by what sounded like a team.
The Editorial team would evaluate the sample pictures, then call back with suggestions to move a prop, or change colors on something. It was pretty cool to see it in action.
When they finally thought they had the room ready, they added me to the picture. Then it got even more awkward, for me.
Basically the same process of taking sample pictures to send to the editorial team happened with me this time.
The team made suggestions about where I should stand and sit, the position of my hands, etc. Luckily for me, that only took about 20 minutes of awkward poses and weird smiles.
I tend to hide from cameras, IRL. Once BHG gave the green light, the photographer took a ton of photos in a few minutes and saw enough she was happy with. So, we headed outside for another shot.
This time she just held the camera for a quick shot outside. Then they spent another hour or so grabbing the detail shots of the mudroom (on the 2nd page of the article).
That’s pretty much what the photo shoot for the magazine was like.
The BHG editorial team was happy with what they had. The photography team and the stylist packed up all those props and headed home around 2 PM.
Now I just had to wait a couple months for the magazine to be published. It’s all been pretty exciting and I’m so thankful for this great opportunity. You know I’ll be telling my grandchildren this story, over and over again!
That’s it! So glad you stopped by to find out all the behind the scene details about my Better Homes and Gardens I Did It Magazine Feature.
More Room Makeovers On This Blog
I LOVE this Before & After DIY Home Living Room Makeover.
Check out the big changes I made in this Before and After 2 Story Foyer Makeover with Molding.
This was a huge improvement – Before and After Family Room Makeover On A Budget!
Check out our whole Colorful Laundry Room Makeover too.
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