Styling & Photo by Maria Killam
I recently bought Barbara Barry’s book Around Beauty and became completely obsessed!
In the introduction, the author writes that after you read Barbara Barry’s book, you become even more aware of simply finding the beauty in every day, and that is exactly what happens when you read her book.
You suddenly find yourself dusting off your teacups (or buying some if you don’t have any).
Barbara Barry Photography by David Meredith
I am also convinced that Barbara Barry was one of the originators of the overhead-shot,-tabletop-vignette that’s found all over Instagram. I’ve been a big fan of hers for years and she’s always created beautiful overhead-style vignettes (above) to show off her work.
A recent vignette I styled for my Instagram
When I decorated my dining table outside for Mother Day brunch with Terreeia’s deconstructed nicoise salad, my guests walked into the backyard (where they knew lunch would be served) and found me standing on the dining chairs taking this photo (below):
It would NEVER have occurred to me to do that before Instagram.
Pages from Barbara Barry’s book
It takes 59 pages before you even get to a project in Barbara’s book. All the images prior to that chapter are like this (above) with her musings on everything from white dishes to blank sheets of paper waiting for inspiration.
TIP TO STEAL:
If you are a new designer with a small portfolio, take some of these kinds of photos to go with it. Even you have a big portfolio, gorgeous extremely close up photos of the rooms you are decorating look beautiful on a website and of course on Instagram.
Photo and styling by Maria Killam
Barbara Barry has an overhead shot similar to this (above) in her book which you’ll have to buy in order to see (couldn’t find it on-line to show you) but that’s what inspired this photograph I took this weekend of masses of yellow roses from my backyard along with some pink peonies and roses from my sisters garden.
Notice the teacup (above)? It’s new 🙂 Barbara says if they’re mismatched, that’s even better.
I stopped in at Granny & Grumpa’s Antiques which is located close to where I live and walked out with 8 teacups and saucers as well as a treasure trove of brass. Candlesticks, an owl (here on my Instagram) and a pair of brass pheasants (keep reading you’ll see them shortly).
When my Mom came over Sunday evening and saw my attempts at cleaning it all, she laughed and said, “You’ll be doing that all night!”, she immediately found a natural recipe on the web (of COURSE my Mother would find a natural solution) which is 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 tsp salt and add white flour until it becomes a paste. Brush it on, and 10 minutes later, wash it off! Brilliant.
What exactly does a girl do without her Mom? I’m so lucky that I don’t know what that’s like.
Now that I have some new brass pieces and a garden full of roses, as well as some new throw pillows I ordered from Blush Label when I was at High Point Market they gave me an excuse to create some new vignettes and tablescapes this weekend.
Other than the fact that there are small ants, earwigs and miniature bugs walking all over my kitchen eeeek, here’s another photo of them in my sink.
Can you spy the teacup?
I moved the pink lady from my family room and installed her over my mantle for a change.
Vignette on the left side of the sofa. With more of my brass finds this weekend!
I love my new pillows from Blush Label they have some gorgeous colours!
The black and white scribbly one reminds me of Kelly Wearstler’s new tile pattern from Ann Sacks. That’s as far as I’ll go with a trendy pattern, as many of you know, haha.
And my freshly polished brass pheasants found a home on my coffee table.
Photos & Styling by Maria Killam
I have three dining chairs with striped upholstered backs and three with polka dots. I could not decide on either so I mixed them. You never see them all at the same time anyway so the end result is they all look the same.
Love my faux cantaloupes! As I’ve mentioned before, my nephews know when they see fruit at my house to ask decorator Auntie Maria, ‘Is this fake or is it real? ; ) ; )
If a book jacket is not the right colour, the right one might be underneath it (above)!
An overhead (Barbary Barry inspired) shot of some polished stones from a friend. I bought this gorgeous tray at Christmas time from a local potter.
I have only recently jumped on board the Instagram bandwagon when I finally came to the conclusion that ignoring it is like trying to ignore Pinterest for a designer (the best place to find my curated aesthetic). I’m not an expert yet, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Being on Instagram gets more fun when you get more followers, so hang in there. It’s fun to wake up in the morning and be in Venice where my friend @lholtinteriors was recently, in a showhouse interior in New Orleans by @lisamendedesign or just get a giggle from @nataliereddell. Or check in with my client Crystal Hassel at her yoga studio @yogastudiob
If you’re a designer, don’t post photos of your clients demolition, that’s a lesson on your blog, NOT something that should be seen in your feed or forever on your wall. And also, keep your lunch pics on Facebook, they aren’t usually attractive unless you are a food stylist.
Pay attention to how your wall looks (below).
Do you want 756,000 followers like one of my favourite fashion bloggers @rachparcell at Pink Peonies? Keep it beautiful, light and fresh looking and try to coordinate the colours that show up all together.
And here’s my Instagram, see my lowly number! I have a ways to go to hit 756,000 🙂 🙂 so please go here and follow me!
When I travel to lead my Specify Colour with Confidence™ events, I post my trips and adventures on Instagram so follow me here.
Are you following me yet, haha? Go here. Actually I’m not really kidding.
Have a wonderful week everyone!! xoxo
My Family Room Inside Style at Home (Including the Befores & Afters)
Maria’s Guide to Starting a Design Blog
Maria, You are the most amazing person I know!! I love all of your posts and gain so much from them. This post is spectacular! You must stay up all night posting all the things you do. I first saw this post on my facebook this morning and shared it with everyone. Seeing all of the color just makes you want to smile. It makes you feel alive. Also I love peonies so I was happy to see yours. They don’t grow well in California altho I did buy a plant & put it in a pot. Hope it grows. I did however buy some at Trader Joes and I just love the fragrance!
Keep up the good work!
Maria, your house looks beautiful. So fresh and colorful.
Beautiful teacups are a necessity if you give tea parties. I finally bought a collection of different cups united by their shadings of blue and turquoise and simply love them. When I set a (preferably low) table with them, people choose their places based on the cup they like best!
I absolutely love the bright colours in your house. I wish I was brave enough to copy. Gorgeous pictures, Maria.
Just don’t ever use or look for the hashtag eyecandy on instagram thinking you’ll find pretty houses!!! Lesson learned! And please, for all children’s sake, don’t add the word “porn” to the end of a word to make a “cute” hashtag (i.e., windowporn, houseporn, etc….). It sets such a bad example. Not that you do.
I always love seeing pictures of your house! Beautiful and colorful, which I love! I’m new to Instagram too, so I may have to check out Barbara’s book. Thanks for the inspiration!
Those photos are so gorgeous, I’m dying of envy! Great job, seriously beautiful!
An entire room without any beige. Now there’s a gal I can relate to. ; )
I’m not a big fan of most social media, but I love instagram! I guess I’m more a visual person. I have seen so much beauty on instagram that I truly find it inspirational. I don’t just follow designers, though I love them. I also follow world travellers, farmers, artists, weavers, food lovers and minimalists. So I disagree, absolutely go ahead and put that lunch pic on instagram, that’s what instagram is all about, photo sharing. And yes, I started following you last week!
Where did you buy your end table next to the yellow sofa? Love it. I must say that you have
done a bang up job of decorating your house.
Love the yellow sofa and your color mixtures…
not the ever trendy grey sofa and walls.
You are an inspiration to branch out. What
I appreciate the most about you is the idea
of not having to rip everything out when you
move in…go with the medium brown floors
and the white which stand the test of time.
This is truly what decorating is to me…
classic, elegant and timeless…you are
doing a great job blogging about what
is timeless…and you are so young but
have got it. We are neighbors and you
should come visit…lovely Sequim…
think about it…more later.
Please do not forget the end table..
I got off topic.
Hi Ophelia, I picked it up from HomeSense a few years ago! Thanks for your sweet comment! Maria
Love the way you’re working brass (especially those pheasants!) into your rooms!
Beautiful photos! Maria, I love that you combined the different patterns on your chairs, I think you should let the mix show at the same time!
Beautiful flowers, Maria! Your passion for gardening really shows! Roses are my favourite, too, and I built our kitchen around mis-matched teacups given to me by my Father. He’d purchased them at a garage sale many years ago. I love them so much, they are showcased on a display shelf that is within easy reach for daily use. Enjoy all the sunshine in your lovely garden! Looking forward to seeing more of your pics!
Your garden is outrageously spectacular!!!!! The photography is fantastic…..love it!
Teacups are truly beautiful….each one has a particular personality all of its own.. I must confess it takes me forever to set my table when using mine…….. I end up playing with each little beauty.
Packing sounds familiar……..I am pretty sure I’m going to see a very lovely yellow purse in a few days!!!!
Maria this is a post of pure GORGEOUSNESS thanks for sharing your fresh colors and fresh tips too. Love!
Maria, is that a quartz or real marble in your Instagram pic?
My countertops are Caesarstone 6600 Nougat. They are quartz. Maria
I meant the counter sample in the picture with White Is Complicated.
David Meredith is the photographer for the book Around Beauty. It is quite possible he is to be credited for creating the beauty that makes her book so spectacular. As a photographer it is our job to make our clients standout, in this case I think he deserves a mention at least.
Thanks Patricia, I totally agree, I posted a link to his amazing site! Thanks for your contribution to this post! Maria
Maria, as always, your posts make me smile. Love the photography and all the colour. Thank you for sharing Barbara Barry with us. I thought of your comment about needing to learn about art. I still haven’t found a good blog but I just found this book “A Guide to Art,” by Sandro Sproccati. Learning lots about art history. Have fun in TO and NJ!
Beautiful Maria. You are an inspiration for all of us! I love your styled shots!
These photo’s were a feast for the eyes! Thank you for being such an inspiration for us all. I know nothing about Instagram, and will probably not go there if it requires a Smart Phone. I can see the appeal though;)
You can check it out on a computer too:
Maria- gorgeous room. May I ask what the paint colour is on the walls?
I’m not Maria, but you can find it here:
Gorgeous!! What is the color of your living room walls?
I’m not Maria, but you can find it here:
Gorgeous images, Maria! With the exception of blogs, am not so much into social media but on occasion I do check out Instagram postings when a link is provided. That said; find it encouraging that you are into brass and tea cups as I am a big fan of both … ☺. -Brenda-
P.S.: Have fun in T.O. and N.J. and don’t work too, too hard. (Hope you can get a bit of shopping in.)
Your room makes me happy just looking at it. Can you tell me where you found the rug? Thank you
It was from Pier 1 but it’s a few years old! Thanks! Maria
I would like the yellow loveseat on your home page, I am trying to decorate my living room which revolves around a huge black grand piano. I cannot locate the love seat/ sofa. Thanks
I’m so glad you have the picture and the pillows now to tie in your curtains now! Your living room is really lovely.
I love Barbara Barry’s book too, have read it several times. The amazing thing is how observant she is, and how calm her interiors look.
Your article is such an informative article. It is glad to read such those articles. Thanks for sharing.