Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

April 27, 2010

Whenever an email arrives from Pale & Interesting to introduce something new I feel this sense of excitement wash over me as I really adore their online shop and look books. I have about 10 favorite photographers in the world and one is definitely Polly Wreford who shot all of the photographs that you see on the Pale & Interesting site. She is so talented, I love how sharp and crisp her photographs are but also that they don’t feel lonely or cold — which is a challenge when you are shooting rooms with a mostly white/neutral palette!

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

There is a difference, to me, in interiors photography these days that stands out quickly whenever I pick up an interiors magazine or book — perhaps you can spot it too… the welcoming and the not-so welcoming imagery of homes. For instance, in Polly’s work it feels like the homeowner is off to the side cooking or chatting around the dining room table as Polly works her magic in another room to create a beautiful composed photograph. But in some portfolios I see, it feels like no one lives in the home at all — that the photographer is there all alone creating a beautiful photograph but there is something missing… a feeling of warmth and comfort, a feeling that people actually live and dream and work and play in that space once the photographer wraps up the shoot and leaves.

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

And though many photographers shoot styled work in hired spaces used solely for location shoots and not inhabited at all, I think the skill of the photography in such surroundings is to make them feel like people do live there. Does this make sense to you? Do you know what I mean?

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

Pale & Interesting (and decorating tips with glass)

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled program — Pale & Interesting. They just rolled out their 2010 look book which is a bit like a magazine online that you can click through to get some decorating tips and to explore ideas on how to use specific products that they carry in your own home. I noticed in several of the photos above that many glass bottles were reused in different ways and as a result, they take on a whole new look. For instance, the bottles with the butterfly are the same as the bottles with the flowers and those shot with the glass cloches which is a great example of how some simple glass bottles can be a great investment as there are many different uses and ideas for arranging them in your home. One week they can be on your fireplace mantle, the next on your dining table, and quite possibly the next week they could be arranged on your entryway table in the hallway. So many options without running out to buy new things constantly – look for ones that are versatile and nothing is more versatile than transparent glass as they are subtle and understated, changing color and pattern according to what you place on, in, around or beneath them. Beautiful!

(images: polly wreford)


  • Reply juliette April 27, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I know what you mean about the photography, but I’m also reminded of those rooms I’ve been in that are just stuffy when I walk in them, let alone if were to try photographing them! It seems light and scale would be two things photographers could use to make a room more warm and personable, but I wonder if that’s enough in some settings.

    Really looking at a picture – like you’ve done here – is great. It gives me another level of appreciation for stylists. Honestly, fresh flowers can make a room feel more lived-in. Take it a step further and an informal arrangement of the flowers – like the one or 2 blooms hanging out in an seemingly-repurposed vessel like above – make it that much more of an inviting space.

    So, as an amateur photographer, I’m curious: what else could a photographer do to warm up a space besides using light and scale? Anybody have tips? It seems to me that styling is really important in otherwise sterile spaces.
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Sewing a tunic: gathering inspiration =-.

  • Reply juliette April 27, 2010 at 4:02 am

    PS – not that any of these spaces looks sterile! =) I’d love to live in any of them!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Sewing a tunic: gathering inspiration =-.

  • Reply michelle April 27, 2010 at 4:09 am

    it looks beautiful and as you say, so homely and welcoming. Can almost smell the food cooking :-)
    Id love, love, love one of David’s outhouses as my home office – especially with the wood burners!
    thanks for brightening my day!

  • Reply ishatr olivera April 27, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Hi Holly!
    Yes i also agree with you! I dont like to see Photos of homes that might look pretty styled but artificial, with no life or soul, so empty..Instead of real living spaces, where you can feel the laughter and palyfulness. This are the ones that make you dream and giggle.
    The glass bottles with the flowers and butterflies is just beautiful!
    .-= ishatr olivera´s last blog ..Natures Treasures =-.

  • Reply Ludmila {} April 27, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Aw, Holly, I understand what you mean! It’s such a big disappointment to notice the fake room in a picture! Is always way more pleasant to feel that the design of a room is created for living and not just for photo shoots! xo
    .-= Ludmila {}´s last blog ..Color+Inspiration: Green+Orange =-.

  • Reply laura trevey April 27, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Beautiful photographs of the mix matched glasses and flowers… So Springy and cheerful :)
    .-= laura trevey´s last blog ..In the Garden =-.

  • Reply Karen Sperling April 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Love the photos…. I really like different glasses with flowers makes the house more cute!!!
    .-= Karen Sperling´s last blog ..Minha Obra =-.

  • Reply Cheryl April 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Pale and Interesting — a beautiful, soulful aesthetic. Loved browsing through their website and reading about their design philosophy. That’s the interior of styling.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente April 27, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I know exactly what you mean! These images are beautiful and I am looking forward to checking out their lookbook. I always feel similarly when I walk into someone’s home….I have such a visceral reaction when the home doesn’t seem to be a home but, just a place to dump or display stuff. Hope you are having a great week sweetie!
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..Cheap & Chic: A reunion =-.

  • Reply Tricia Rose April 27, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I wonder how much influence blogging has had on the increasing hominess and quirkiness of rooms we see? Blogging is so personal, and I increasingly find magazine photos lack intimacy and intrigue. I am letting my subscriptions lapse because I prefer the vitality on-line.
    .-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Unexpected Fun =-.

  • Reply Nicole Leigh Smith April 27, 2010 at 11:12 am

    These images could have been pulled out of my dream home!!! Someday soon I will start my home makeover, thank you for the inspiration!!!
    .-= Nicole Leigh Smith´s last blog ..outfit poladroids =-.

  • Reply Ana April 27, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I do understand exactly what you mean. Even worst: I know some homes that look like nobody lives in there! That’s why I gave up buying some decoration mags as their pictures lacked realism and the styling was something unattainable from the everyday life point of view. I’m off to check Pale and Interesting’s look book! Thanks for the tip!
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Sunday Snack =-.

  • Reply Naomi April 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I never heard about this shop Pale & Interesting. Thank you!
    .-= Naomi´s last blog ..Wedding Dress Spotlight – Emilio Pucci =-.

  • Reply April 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Love all these images! Thx for sharing and for sure checking out the boutique!
    .-=´s last blog ..Banners: Decor Inspiration =-.

  • Reply Janine April 28, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Now those are some must-have bottles I could add to my collection!
    .-= Janine´s last blog ..Vintage Breeze : ColourLovers Palette =-.

  • Reply Leigha April 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for the introduction to Pale & Interesting (how did I not know of them?!?!). Lots of inspiration from you every time I stop in.
    .-= Leigha´s last blog ..Oh, those walls, too… =-.

  • Reply nicole May 1, 2010 at 2:17 am

    the apothacary bottles – the ones with flowers and the butterfly in the frame- do you have any idea on where to get bottles like that?
    beautiful site & ideas. thank you.

  • Reply nicole May 1, 2010 at 2:20 am

    sorry, i should clarify my comment before- if there is any place in the states that has those types of bottles. thanks.
    .-= nicole´s last blog ..tidbit: free mother’s day book =-.

  • Reply Tanya May 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Definitely not boring whatsoever. There is so much class and elegance in these rooms
    .-= Tanya´s last blog ..Recently in My Camera and Now Onto My Computer =-.

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