Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Behind the Scenes...with our Holiday Home Contest shoot!


What do you get when you combine one of my dog Oscar's neck pain flair-ups with a tropical storm headed up the east coast?

It must be time for a location shoot where I need to be away for a few days! That's just what happened when we recently went to shoot our HOUSE TOUR contest winner in Providence, Rhode Island. Oscar was too uncomfortable to leave with anyone but Jenny, so my travel assistant Sally and I packed ourselves up for a speedy trip and shoot at the home of Christine Chitnis

Christine was the winner of our house tour contest in which hundreds of readers across the U.S. and Canada sent entries to have their home photographed and featured in HOLIDAY. Christine had just the right mix of very fresh and personal Indie style that drew us to her lovely home in Providence.

Here is how it went:

Day before shoot: Jenny and I evaluate Oscar who has not been doing well for the past few weeks. My parents have a very hard time watching him if he is not up to snuff and we have an equally hard time leaving him. We look to postpone the shoot with Christine but she, like us, has a very busy schedule and is nearly 8 months pregnant. We decide to shorten the shoot to a day and a half. I give Jenny and Oscar big kisses and hit the road with a van full of props.

Day of Shoot: I rise extra early to meet my trainer to help stretch out my back and keep me limber for at least the first day. Sally and I meet near Boston and make our way to Providence. By 9:30 am we have reached Christine's house and unloaded the van contents into the garage and are back on the road (with Christine in tow) to cut a fresh tree at a tree farm about 30 minutes away. We twist and turn thru the countryside and make a few wrong turns and then arrive at a very tall meadow (did I mention it is high humidity and 96 degrees?). We jump in the farm owner's truck and four-wheel through tall meadow grasses and beautiful trees. It is truly lovely but a bit surreal. We arrive at a small patch of trees and under a bit of pressure (the farmer is running late and has another place to be) I select a tree. Within seconds -and the use of a chain saw - it is on the ground. We drive back to the van, load it up and off to WHOLE FOODS for food props and lunch... and yes, lots and lots of water!

After lunch, we decide to tackle the tree. We are literally sweating buckets as we cut limbs from the tree and erect it in a small galvanized pail. Sally adds ornaments to the tree while I find the angle and ready cookies to be hung from the branches. Christine is a dream: rolling with the punches and watching us move through her house like a mini hurricane (no pun intended). Her color palette is beautiful, refreshing and orderly while at the same time interesting and comfortable. We feel right at home and begin to set the dining room table for a holiday dinner.

**Speaking of dinner, Christine and her husband Vijay have arranged for us to dine that evening at AL FORNO a well know restaurant in Providence - one that I have always wanted to try.
I really miss Jenny at this point, but Sally and I are riding high on the impending culinary experience.

In a nutshell, dinner was amazing...magical...a dream.
Just like I know the house will be for readers!

The Props:

Christine's House:

To read Christine's take on the shoot head here!


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  1. oooh la la...I am loving all that lime to take a peek to hear what Christine thinks about it all...xoxo

  2. You know, most of us out here in "reader-land" forget what it take to pull off something like a HOLIDAY issue! I know I do! Cutting a Christmas tree down in 96 degree weather! Thank you for doing what you do! We look forward to the issue!
    Carol in GA

  3. i knew the winner was christine because i have visited her blog before. but RATS! i wish i knew when you were in town because i would've loved to meet you, even offer myself as a PA! LOL

    i'm off to read christine's post.



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