Refresh Feature

By Kate Riley May 30, 2013

Hey everyone, I was excited to see the new BH&G special interest publication Refresh was finally out on newsstands and happy to be a part of the Premier Issue. It’s always flattering to be considered for a magazine feature and this one happened as a result of working with Sarah of Albaworks, a Bay Area scout and stylist who I interviewed a few months ago (read her industry insight here) – she found me through the blog then did all the work to get it featured, thanks Sarah!

refresh cover

The focus of this publication is exactly what the title conveys, ways to refresh your home in a creative and budget friendly way. Only my favorite topic of all time. :) The team came to shoot the house in early January and took pictures of nine different rooms and worked so amazingly fast to do it.

The editors have this down to a science and to make it less stressful, you receive what’s called a photo order with all the notes as to what angles they prefer and what props if any to add. They used mostly images from the blog and a few Sarah took on her visit to our house last year. It helps reduce anxiety because all the other rooms could be a disaster and it didn’t matter as long as the rooms being featured were cleaned up and styled.

sample photo order


The photographer brings in all the necessary equipment to get the lighting just right and anything not wanted in the shot gets removed or simply pushed to the side.

objects pushed to side


We turned the living room into a dumping zone after it was photographed, with all the extra flowers or props that weren’t needed. I move stuff around a lot, especially on the mantel and the pillows too, so you’ll see a slightly different group of accessories in the living room in the mag.

dumping zone


The stylists that work for BH&G are really great about working with 95% of what is already there and they do stay true to the homeowner’s style. Here’s an example. The editors liked our master bedroom but wanted a touch of color, so the aqua pillow and vase of flowers were added. It’s a small difference, but I love it!

master bedroom two ways


A separate team came to photograph my kids’ rooms in April for an online feature and the same approach was taken, work with what I already had but mix it up a little for a slightly different look. In my daughter’s room we included a few more pieces of art and a jewelry box. Our things, just rearranged a bit. And I managed to get the hardware fixed that so many of you teased me about – the upside down pulls that can be seen here. :)

styled blue desk


Capture One is the software the photographers use to take the images and also Photoshop if necessary to edit as they go along, like fixing blown out windows or other tiny edits like eliminating a few of the nail holes in the wall I hadn’t bothered to patch and paint yet. But no serious or severe editing like you read or hear about in the fashion or modeling industry, they really do keep it all very real.

girls room desk on mac


Pick up an issue of Refresh wherever BH&G Special Interest publications are sold, I saw this one at Safeway and Borders.  

refresh feature


Thanks so much BH&G for including me in the Refresh Premier Issue!




  1. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing and what a beautiful house you have.

    • I don’t know how you do it Emily, congrats on the little ones turning one, wow that happened so fast!

  2. It’s amazing what a difference a vase and a pillow can make in a room! I love the side by side comparison! Congrats on the feature, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy!

  3. I agree. The pillow and vase make a huge difference. It’s nice to know that they didn’t completely restyle your room though. I like that they feature how your house actually looks. Congrats for being part of their first issue.

  4. Can’t wait to pick up the issue. Congratulations on being featured! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and a half now. Always love what you do.

  5. Congratulations on your feature Kate! I look forward to picking up the magazine. I liked the pulls upside down. :) Either way works and looks great!

  6. Congrats! I love how you show the behind the scene pics. :) And I agree, that touch of aqua in the master bedroom is a terrific POC.

    Hey – I think I was in your neck of the woods last weekend. I did a tour of Petaluma. No Centsational Girl sightings though… maybe next time.

    • Ha, sorry I missed you Juice, I still remember how you won my very first ever giveaway! Hope you enjoyed my little town, we love it here!

  7. Congratulations! The part about the real pillow and vase was so interesting. It was gorgeous to begin with, but that small little change made the room look like it belonged in a magazine. It’s the little things…

  8. Congrats!Looking forward to pick up the issue. Very good taste , the pictures looks amazing. I have the same orange external hard drive :)

  9. Hi Kate,

    That’s a great achievement! Congratulations! You deserved to be featured in BH&G special publication. Keep on posting! :-D

  10. Well-deserved honor for you and your home Kate! How I wish my home or a part of it will be published in a publication someday! Congratulations!!!!

  11. Congratulations! Well deserved as you have such a beautiful home. I agree, that little pop of color in the master was the icing on the cake!

  12. Congratulations, Kate! I’ll be picking up a copy! By the way, I LOVE your blog, and your style! You have a beautiful home, and thanks for all the wonderful painting tips.

  13. I actually picked up a copy of the magazine at the store today – it caught my eye as we just bought a new home and I’m on the hunt for decorating inspiration. I was so excited to see your home featured when I was flipping through. It looks fabulous – I will definitely be taking some tips from you. :)

  14. Congratulations Kate – how very cool!!! I hope this will be a quarterly mag….. will give us all time to incorporate the ideas into our homes. I am coming up on one year ago of stumbling upon Centsational Girl (just googled “how to make a fixed roman shade”!!!) I have since shared my discovery with so many friends and family and everyone just LOVES your world.
    I just wish I could get more done at home but my three young boys make it hard. I have to find a balance this summer of happy parenting and happy home refreshing / entertaining…. I am trying to do too much of the latter and it results in my short fuse and frustration. I’ll get there….
    Have a great weekend!!!!!

  15. This is amazing! Congratulations! My copy is in the mail (hopefully) so I’ll get to check it all out! Your home is beautifully styled even before the pros – you are truly an inspiration!

  16. I will try to pick this up this weekend, how exciting and fun for you! When I lived in Novato, we had a crew come out and film a bedroom makeover for an old HGTV show called Sensible Chic, which happened to be produced in Marin (lucky for us!) and it was so interesting to see all that goes into making a show. I imagine it’s not all that different from a photo shoot. They did the makeover for free and even paid us a location fee. It felt weird taking money from them after they had done so much for us! Anywho, I got my 15 seconds of fame on that episode when they filmed the “unveiling” (at least 3 times) to be sure I reacted to all the right things in the room. We ended up selling that house 7 years ago to a wonderfully chic gay couple who bought the house AND all the furniture, so I have nothing to show for my fleeting fame :o)

  17. Fantastic! I’ll be looking out for a copy now. I can’t wait to get my hands on one and see all the pretties inside. xx

  18. Congratulations!! You certainly deserve it because you’ve worked so hard on your house and it really looks fantastic!!! I’m definitely running out today to pick up a copy of the magazine – and copy some of your ideas!!!

  19. Congrats! I can’t wait to put my hands on that magazine. The pics came out lovely and I do agree the pillow and the vase make a huge difference!

  20. yay — that’s so exciting and cool, Kate!! They knew what they were doing picking you and your gorgeous house!!! I can’t wait to pick up the issue and tell people, ‘I know her, kind of!” :)

  21. Wow! Congratulations on your feature, what a great experience to have blogging and print media come together under one roof!

  22. I thought I’d see if I could get it online and there is another magazine called reFRESH that’s a UK magazine. Let’s just say it wasn’t what I was looking for! Lots of mens’ abs, hmmm. So I will try to find it at a store. Just thought I’d let you know I got a laugh out of that!! I love the pics from your blog and the styling is so spot-on!

  23. Looking forward to a new shelter magazine finally! Also love that blue painted desk you did.

  24. Your house was my favorite in the magazine! What paint color did you use in your bedroom?

    • Thanks Meg! All the paint colors used in my house can be seen by clicking on the button in my sidebar.

  25. Congratulations, Kate! I LOVE the pop of aqua in the master. I would never have thought to add it. And I LOVE your daughter’s room every time I see it!

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