Beyond the Book: Digging into the Details of the Designs Seen in Our Book, Hygge & West Home
For this last post in our Hygge & West Home: Beyond the Book series, we wanted to focus on one of the most important parts of both interior design and book creation: the details. There are so many details that go into pulling a book like this together; from coordinating shoots to photo selection to interviews to editing to cover design, the list just goes on and on. Similarly, the details that make a room or home come to life are just as important; each small moment or object tells us something about the person or people that inhabit that space. The design—and the story—are in the details.
We loved meeting Kelly Schoeffel and Matt Murphy's adorable pup!
While capturing gorgeous wide shots of each person's home was essential to the narrative of our book, often the details were where the real beauty lived. We know that each of these small moments were lovingly and thoughtfully curated by the homeowners featured on the pages of Hygge & West Home, and feel it's important to honor and share those moments. Keep reading for detail photographs that didn't make the pages of our book, as well as what Aimee and Christiana learned from these intimate looks inside the homes and lives of the people who welcomed H&W into their worlds.
This eye-catching gallery wall in Ana Gasteyer's home has since been wallpapered.
Hygge & West: What makes for a great photo of a room's details, and why is it important to capture these small moments?
Christiana Coop: I think these shots are a nice balance with all the wider angles, and they provide a tiny, more detailed peek at something of interest in the space.
Aimee Lagos: I find that the interesting parts are always in the details—what books does someone have, what do they drink or eat, what do they choose to collect? You learn so much about someone from these things.
This shot made sense when we initially planned to highlight homeowner Viola Rouhani's collections, but we ended up going in another direction.
H&W: As any interiors lover knows, design is all about the details. What tips or tricks did you learn from being on set for curating and displaying beautiful details in your own homes?
CC: Less is more. Did I already say that? My favorite vignettes were where it was clear the homeowner had a very strong connection to the object/s we were shooting. The more meaningful and personal details are usually more interesting.
AL: I completely agree that items that held personal significance were the ones we gravitated towards when we were shooting. I think that a lot of our homeowners also did a good job of arranging and displaying their objects in a really beautiful way, which is not one of my strong suits.
Rod Hipskind's home, seen above, was the first shoot we did, so we ended up with way more photos than we needed. But of course, since he's a stylist, every single one came out beautifully.
H&W: Why did these detail shots in particular stand out to you among the many that didn't make the cut?
CC: To be honest, we probably didn’t take enough details shots, so these were most of them. We’d get pretty wrapped up in the big picture and at the end of the shoot we always had to remind ourselves to grab some details.
AL: Oddly enough, details usually are more work—there tends to be more styling that goes into these shots than the overall room ones. So I think that some of the ones here represent a lot of “fiddling” with things to get the shot just right.
This was our second photo shoot, at which point we thought the book would focus much more on DIYs—like this amazing wallpapered table—than it ultimately did.
H&W: How did the book's narrative, format, and layout influence which detail shots were used and which ones weren't?
CC: Originally the book’s concept was going to be more focused on a detailed takeaway from each homeowner, so we did take more detail shots at the beginning as well. For example, the teacup at Stephanie’s house was such a nice part of her story and I’m glad we were able to make it work. The raindrops table at Angelina’s where she and her mom are sketching was so sweet. But, over time it didn’t make sense to include in her feature because it felt a little too “crafty” and also perhaps too forced, both of which we wanted to avoid.
Glenn Lawson's home was so stunning that we couldn't stop photographing it. These were so painful to cut!
AL: The layout also influenced which shots were used. A lot of the more “detailed details” got a little too ditsy if there wasn’t space to make them big. So, we had to pick and choose based not only on the content of the image, but also how it fit within the flow of the feature.
The only thing better than a well stocked bar cart is a well stocked bar cart with a view.
H&W: Of all the detail shots shown here that didn't make the book, which one do you most wish you could sneak back in?
CC: The bar cart with the mountain view at Isabel Dahline’s was so dreamy. I also really, really loved that ham/football art piece at Kelly Schoeffel and Matt Murphy's home.
AL: The image of Rod Hipskind’s art ledge in his dining room. The art was so beautiful and they had these little animals up there that kept it from feeling too serious—it was pretty much the perfectly styled art ledge.
Interested in the rest of the Beyond the Book series? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.