My Kitchen In Ladies' Home Journal

About a year ago, I got an email from an editor at Ladies' Home Journal. She'd found my DIY kitchen renovation online, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in having it featured in the magazine. We exchanged a few notes back and forth—I was very interested; I am, after all, a lady (with a home) (who reads journals)—and then I didn't hear from her for a few months. Eh, the deal's off, I thought. You win some, you lose some. But in late September, she emailed again. Everything was all set, and if I was still up for it, my kitchen would be featured in the March issue. And oh, would I be interested in writing the story as well? 

Perhaps you do not know this about me, but having a story published in a major national magazine is the number one item on my life list.

And now I can cross that sucker off.

Plans were made for a photo shoot in mid-October, and Sean and I proceeded to panic, and then—after we'd panicked—to clean the everloving heck out of our kitchen. And we didn't just clean the kitchen; we repainted parts of it. The cabinets, for instance, got a fresh coat of Ultra White, and the chalkboard also benefited from a little sprucing up. An hour before the team was set to arrive, we even decided to paint a shelf that was looking a little worse for wear, and when the poor unknowing photographer went to set her coffee cup down on it, Sean had to dive across the kitchen in slow-motion—noooooooooooo!—to intercept. "Uh," he said. "You might not want to lean against that either. It may still be a little damp."

And that, my friends, is how you do things at the last minute.

As well as the photographer and the photographer's assistant, there was a prop stylist—who came equipped with bread, cheese, wine, and more salad bowls and cake stands than the entire San Francisco headquarters of Williams-Sonoma—and a hair and make-up artist, who gave me the only blackmail material I'll ever need for the rest of my marriage.

I called in Luke and Maggie as extras, and together we passed a very pleasant Sunday afternoon alternating between posing for pictures, and sitting around in full make-up waiting to be told how to pose for pictures.

Then, when it was all over, we devoured an entire pizza without worrying that we were messing up our hair. We didn't even use napkins.

It was such an enjoyable afternoon, and the team that came over was so much fun to work with: true professionals, all of them.

If you'd like to read the story yourself, the March issue of Ladies' Home Journal should be out now wherever you buy magazines, which, if you are me, is in the airport or at the grocery store (I also wrote a post for the Ladies' Home Journal blog, which you can read here.) This particular issue has Kate Winslet on the cover, and sometimes I like to imagine her opening up the magazine in her movie trailer, looking at my kitchen, and saying "you know, she's right. White subway tile is an inexpensive way to get a nice, clean look if you want to free up your budget for other things. Also, get Leonardo DiCaprio on the line. No reason. Just wanted to say hi. Don't worry, I'm Kate Winslet." 

Anyway, that's my exciting news, and I'm thrilled to bits. Too bad my kitchen will never, ever be that clean again. 

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Feb 13, 2012

Oh wow Holly! What a great thing to cross off your life list. Am always envious of those people in magazines who show off their homes but can honestly say I could never achieve that - I'm much to scared of what people think of my design attempts. Was it nerve-racking?
Will have to check out the blog only alas as I can't get that mag in Australia.

Feb 13, 2012


Feb 13, 2012

Congratulations! How cool to be featured in a magazine- and get to write the story!

Feb 13, 2012

Ahh I saw that magazine in line at the grocery store the other day! Kicking myself now for not flipping through. :)

Feb 13, 2012

You get space in Ladies' Home Journal for your beautiful kitchen. Mine would be the cover story in Hoarders-R-Us. Well, if my kids had anything to do with it. And if there were actually such a magazine.

What a wonderful thing to cross of your list. Well done, you!

Feb 13, 2012

how fun! i love how so many magazines now feature a blogger and i'm so glad one smart magazine decided to feature you! i love nearly everything you do in your house - the kitchen no exception. congratulations on the feature and the published article!

Feb 13, 2012

Holly! Wow! That is amazing. Congratulations--on the kitchen, on the story, on crossing things off life lists. Many many congratulations (and to Shawn too!)

Feb 13, 2012

You just increased LHJ's March sales by one. I'm definitely going to check out the story.

Anna Louisa
Feb 13, 2012

Ahh that's so exciting! I've been waiting for this since your teaser last fall...and with Kate on the cover I definitely have to buy it :). Congrats!

Alison Presley
Feb 13, 2012

HUGE check off the old list. Congratulations! And it's well deserved. Your kitchen is stunning.

Feb 13, 2012

How exciting!! I don't think I've ever read Ladies Home Journal before (though I did have a subscription to Good Housekeeping when I bought my first condo at age 24!) but I will definitely be picking up a copy.

Feb 13, 2012

I was flipping through this magazine in the checkout and when I was looking at the page at first all I saw was the map wall and I thought, that reminds me of you! Then awkwardly I saw your husbands name (another lightbulb) and then looked closer at the page and there you were! Haha it was such a surprise, I was like oh!oh! I know this girl! (got some strange looks from the other shoppers..)

Beautiful kitchen! Congrats!

Thespian Libby
Feb 13, 2012

Brava you!!!!

Feb 13, 2012

I got a gift subscription of LHJ from my mother-in-law, so I was flipping through the March issue and came across the story. My first thought was, "Hey, why does she look familiar?" And then I realized it was you! Congratulations!

Feb 13, 2012

Jealouscakes! I'm so glad you get to cross that off your life list. And as always, your kitchen blows me away. You really can't go wrong with white subway tile. I'm pretty sure my kitchen and bath will end up getting subway tile once I can afford to tackle those projects.

Feb 13, 2012

Yay!!! Congrats!

Feb 13, 2012

Fantastic! Can't wait to read the article.

Feb 13, 2012


Feb 13, 2012

The LHJ blog was great - and your slideshow as well!

Feb 13, 2012

congratulations it's finally out!!! :D been looking forward to it. will have to try finding it in hong kong!

Feb 13, 2012

Congratulations, Holly.

Feb 13, 2012

Congratulations! How exciting and very well deserved. Adore that kitchen. :)

Feb 13, 2012

How awesome! Congrats!!

Feb 13, 2012

Oooh! Looking good ladies, I'm so happy you got to cross something so awesome off your list.

Feb 13, 2012

This is awesome, Holly!!! I can't wait to read it and check out all the photos. Speaking of which, I almost feel badly asking a question that is not about your fabulous kitchen or your hair and makeup and perhaps this is a photo for Sean... but in the photo of you guys hanging out on the couch waiting for posing direction, there's the photogrpaher's light stand and on the left. I'm wondering if it is a kino light? Or what it is. Do you or Sean know.

Feb 13, 2012

Yey! So glad to see the mag spread! Been looking forward to it!

Kimberley S
Feb 13, 2012

You look great in green!!! What a fantastic experience! The magazine I meant. I mean anybody can buy a greet sweater. But then again, they might not look great in it! Well done all around!

Feb 13, 2012

That is so awesome. I hope Evan Dando buys that issue and reads it. LOL I'm in complete agreement about that flattering green sweater too. Congrats!

Feb 13, 2012

Hooray!!! So excited for/proud of you!

Feb 13, 2012

that is so very exciting! and of course well deserving as your kitchen is fabulous!

Barbara Lopez
Feb 13, 2012

Congratulations, Holly! How exciting, can't wait to see it!

Feb 13, 2012

Amazing!! Congratulations x

Feb 13, 2012


Feb 13, 2012


Hey guess what I got in the mail late last week?! Haven't had the chance to look at it so I didn't know it was YOUR issue. How cool is that?!

Feb 13, 2012

congratulations!! I've been looking forward to this post, and now I will be stalking for this issue in grocery stores everywhere...

sensibly sassy
Feb 13, 2012

That is so cool, congratulations!

Feb 13, 2012

Way to go, girl!

This kinda makes me semi-famous, because I'm leaving a comment on your blog, right? Six degrees of Ladies' Home Journal? And because Kate Winslet is on the cover, then we can all do lunch together! YEAH!!!

Savvy in San Francisco
Feb 13, 2012

Congratulations! That is so exciting! Not just being featured but being able to write the article is a huge accomplishment! I'm sure that you have purchased 25 copies or so!

Feb 13, 2012

I can't believe they managed to keep it to your kitchen. The entire house is so gorgeous, I'm shocked they could control those clicking shutter fingers.

Congratulations! Can't wait to read the story.

Camels & Chocolate
Feb 13, 2012

Awww yay! I can't wait to read it. Now you've had your wedding AND your home renos featured in national magazines ;-)

Feb 14, 2012

Congrats on being published! Is this like a Good Housekeeping mag? Will have a look for it in WH Smiths!

Feb 14, 2012

That's right. It is a LADIES' journal. You know, for LADIES. Which you are.

Feb 14, 2012

Congrats! I can't wait to read the article. :)

Pickles & Dimes
Feb 14, 2012

That is so awesome! Congrats!

Feb 14, 2012

Holly my love, your kitchen is gorgeous, you are stunning and those blackmail pics? PRICELESS!!! Congratulations. Mine could be featured on the article of "Extreme Kitchening" where people can't believe you make edible food in such a wee / outside space. But I've yet to see LHJ do such a thing.

Feb 14, 2012

Holly my love, your kitchen is gorgeous, you are stunning and those blackmail pics? PRICELESS!!! Congratulations. Mine could be featured on the article of "Extreme Kitchening" where people can't believe you make edible food in such a wee / outside space. But I've yet to see LHJ do such a thing.

Feb 15, 2012

Fabulous! A well deserved strike off the life list, and I can't wait to buy it!

Jenn A.
Feb 16, 2012

How fun! I love getting to cross things off of the life list, even if it does require a little last-minute sprucing. :)

Feb 16, 2012

ahhh, how fun! a feature on your kitchen AND you get published in a national magazine? so excited for you!

Yay bucket list! Congrats!!

Feb 17, 2012

I am so thrilled for you! You look gorgeous!

Feb 19, 2012

So very cool! Congrats!

Feb 19, 2012

That is so exciting! Wow-- congratulations!

Kelly @ Love Well
Feb 21, 2012

I actually subscribe to Ladies Home Journal, and I was halfway through the first page, thinking to myself, "Heh. This writer has more witty chutzpah than typical LHJ," when I saw your name: Oh of course. It's Holly.

Your kitchen is lovely and the article was a fun read. It totally distracted me from the Plague which was currently trying to kill me by extracting a lung without anesthetic. Delightful!

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