New Shots of Our Den & Kitchen

Hey peeps! Did you have a great weekend?  We had beautiful weather here in Dallas, and we took full advantage of it.  We’d planned on taking a road trip to the Texas hill country (it was my birthday), but the trip only lasted about 19 hours – we learned the hard way that we are not cut out for a road trip with a baby.  Lesson learned.  :)

I took a few shots of our kitchen and den last week to prep for a new venture and I thought I’d share them with you!


breakfast nook & den



detail den & kitchen


den & fireplace


kitchen & den


This is the first time I’ve tried to shoot our home with my new camera, so there’s a bit of a learning curve.  If you have any tips you’d like to share, especially for getting great focus with a DSLR, I’m all ears!  :)

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  1. Such pretty shots! I’ll have to learn how to put the pin it button on all my photos! Also… ONLY 19 hours? Pheww!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Ha, driving was only about 12 hours of it – we actually got 7 hours in Fredericksburg, but not the intended 3 days. Oh well!!

      • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

        Oh, and I use the “Pinterest Pin It” WordPress plugin for the button. Hope that helps!! :)

  2. Oh no! I remember learning that very same lesson when my oldest was a baby- listening to everyone else’s travel tales made it seem super easy and fun, and well…it wasn’t at all, ha!

    Your photos look so pretty! I crank my ISO up to 800 when shooting indoors (in manual mode, without using lights) to try to get a great close-up– sometimes I use the counter or a chair to stabilize the camera, too; and I tend to shoot from many different angles, then delete all the ones that aren’t speaking to me. I don’t know if that qualifies for advice, but… =)

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that learned the hard way, ha!

      I think that definitely qualifies as advice! I have a hard time getting a properly exposed shot in our house without having the lights on, even though I know that’s idea – our house is just dark, I guess! Even when I crank up the ISO as high as possible (which I don’t like since it gets grainy) and use a tripod with a super low shutter speed. Our next house will have better natural light! Or I will become a better photographer – one of the two. :)

  3. Gordon Kennedy says:

    My top tip for you would be to get a really good understanding of the aperture setting. Play with the camera in Aperture Priority mode (AV on Canon, I believe A on Nikon). This means that you set the Aperture size, and the camera figures out an appropriate shutter speed. Experiment with different aperture values. A low number means that the aperture is wide open, this will lead to a really bright image but a very shallow depth of focus (e.g. sharp foreground, blurred background). This can be attractive for showing details, but perhaps not an entire room scene. A good compromise might be something like F11 for the aperture, but experimentation is key. In this mode you could also play with the exposure compensation controls. Adjusting this will allow you to brighten or darken the scene, without going fully into manual mode.

    You might also find you’d benefit from a wider angle lens… something like the Canon 10-22mm or Nikon 12-24mm. They’re not cheap to buy outright, but you could rent one from Dallas Camera for $23/day to test it out.

    Hope this is useful – I find your blog truly inspiring, and wish I could pull off similar flipping-feats here in Austin.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Gordon, thanks for sharing such awesome info! That’s a great tip to shoot on A mode (I’ve been trying to stay on manual mode) – when trying to shoot a room scene, as opposed to a portrait, I have a really hard time figuring out the shutter speed. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Amanda says:

    So…where do you hide baby’s toys in that gorgeous room? And how do you keep flowers in there? What’s your secret? LOL!
    I think the photos are lovely – can’t wait to see what you do with the space.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Ha, I was waiting for someone to ask about that! My secret is . . . normally our den looks much crazier, and we now use a storage ottoman as our coffee table. (These pics are more for portfolio purposes.) If I get up the nerve, I’ll post a pic of what our den actually looks like on most days. :)

      • Amanda says:

        Ok, good – just checking to see if you not only had fabulous decorating taste, but also had discovered the secret of making a house with a baby/toddler look like there isn’t one there! ;) I’ve been contemplating a storage ottoman – a couple of nights ago I discovered my 6 month old had crawled on the shelf under the coffee table and was “delicately” sampling our wedding album…!

  5. James says:

    Wow your kitchen, and den area are beautifully done! Did you DIY or hire a professional remodel contractor?

  6. jenn says:

    It looks great, and i loved reading the photography tips in the comments :) I really really love those chairs in your kitchen, the blue and white ones… Do you mind sharing where you purchased them?
    thank you!

  7. These images are gorgeous. Wow! Like something out of House Beautiful. I love the open space you have and am wishing and hoping that some day I get a beautiful open layout like this. I won’t even bother to wish for such beautiful styling, because I know my limits. =)

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Thanks Kim, you’re so sweet! I love your current house, and I can’t wait to see what you BUILD one day!!

  8. Aimee says:

    Totally gorgeous pictures! Every setting conveys your personal touch and makes the home so uniquely yours.
    I agree with others that these look like a decorating magazine — great job! Besides your furnishings, the flowers are beautiful. If I took a picture of my kitchen/den today, you would run screaming into the darkness.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Ha! My house goes from presentable to nightmarish in the blink of an eye, so I’m pretty sure YOU would run screaming if you saw my kitchen/den today. :)

  9. Loving your blog and your home is so lovely, light, and welcoming. I think your photos are wonderful, but I’m certainly no pro.

    Thought I’d let you know that I’m mentioning your blog in a post I’m publishing on my blog tomorrow (3/23).