Beyond the Book: What Didn't Make the Pages of Our Book, Hygge & West Home
This wallpaper has been discontinued, but we love how it makes this cozy corner feel even more special.
Creating a book requires putting in a lot of hard work, but it also requires taking a lot out, too. In publishing, as in decorating a home, editing is the name of the game, and sometimes that means making some tough decisions—particularly when it comes to choosing photography.
The selection process for Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life book imagery was a tough, albeit fun one, and as much as we wish could have seen every single photograph appear in print, we knew we would have to leave some behind. But luckily, these gorgeous photos will still get their time to shine, as we've rounded up a few of our favorite images of entire rooms or spaces that didn't make the cut here in this post. Keep scrolling for H&W Home interior eye candy and to read an interview with Christiana and Aimee about the ins and outs of the book process and what they've learned along the way.
Whether it's on the walls or the floors, we love a good statement pattern.
Hygge & West: How did you select final images for the book? Did you ever disagree—either with each other, Chronicle, or the interview subject—and if so, how did you resolve it?
Christiana Coop: During our first few shoots, we took way too many images, so it was more challenging to narrow down. But we quickly realized about 8-10 was our limit, so we usually only ended up having to cut a couple per chapter. I can’t think of an instance where Aimee and I disagreed strongly about a particular image. We did have a few instances with Chronicle where they thought certain images told the story better and we preferred others. If we felt very strongly, we’d vocalize our opinion and explain our reasoning. I can only think of a couple images that we were really bummed didn’t make it, but ultimately we were really happy with how each chapter turned out.
Aimee Lagos: Completely agree—it was really a collaboration during the shoot between us, James (our photographer), and the homeowners. We feel like we landed in a place that made everyone happy and told the story of each home in a compelling way.
H&W: Of the many images that didn't make the book, why do you love these spaces photos in particular?
CC: I think they were beautifully photographed and furthered each homeowner’s overall story. But there just wasn’t room for them all—so sad!
A collection of dishware this good was hard to pass up!
AL: Because we spent time in the homes, we heard all the stories behind why the homeowners loved certain spaces, or what went into the design of the room. So, given their backstories, it was hard not to get attached to all of the images.
H&W: What about them stood out to you among the rest?
CC: We pretty much loved all the photos that were finalized in the hopes of being included.
AL: A lot of them are exteriors. As this was our first book, we didn’t really think about interiors versus exteriors, but Chronicle had the feedback that interior shots were better—people can recreate things they see from interiors in their own space, whereas exteriors are a bit more limiting. We definitely had not considered that!
H&W: Which of these images was the most painful for you to cut? What do you love most about it?
CC: I thought it was sad to cut Julie Backer’s other daughter’s room (above). I really loved the symmetry of the two rooms taken at the same corner angle, with so much pretty pattern and colors, but both feeling completely unique. Losing that one hurt a bit.
AL: Probably Glenn Lawson’s outdoor shower. His entire backyard was perfection, and that shower with the amazing foliage around it was really something.
Sometimes the homeowner's preferences affect the decision to include or cut an image, as was the case with this stunning dressing room in Slice (Gray).
H&W: After being on set for so many home photo shoots, what do you think makes a great room photo?
CC: I think there has to be something unique and eye-catching. If that element were to be wallpaper, we wouldn’t be mad :)
AL: It’s interesting that sometimes what makes a great photo isn’t what makes a great room—sometimes things have to be moved a bit, the right angle has to be found. Great photos strike a balance between being photo styled, yet still authentic. And good natural light, of course!
This unique entry was especially painful to leave behind.
H&W: Did you learn any tips or tricks for composing a great room photo that translates to creating a beautiful space in real life?
CC: Less is more. The eye needs spaces to rest in. I am seriously going to try so hard to apply this principle to the interior design of my next place.
AL: I’d say having a point of view that carries through the space. I was chuckling over Christiana’s response, but it’s a great example of my tip—she may have a lot of things (albeit beautiful ones) in her space, but they all feel intentional and blend into something greater than the sum of it’s parts.
For more behind-the-scenes at our book creation process, check out Hygge & West Home Beyond the Book Part 1 and Part 2.