Styling an Instagram photo – building a picture

When I was recently interviewed by the gorgeous Luke Deal on BBC Radio Suffolk (yes I am still harping on about that) he asked me how I come up with new images every day. I had never considered this before but it has been circling my brain (along with “is it time to take the puppy outside for yet another wee?” and “I really love cakes and cups of tea”) so I have written a super quick blog on creating a scene (sorry the retired actress won’t let me drop the lingo and I do still think in terms of scenes).

I started by spotting the sunshine dappling light over the piano and was gripped with the beauty. The area was tidy (extraordinary) and the rocking chair looked super inviting so I knew this was today’s shot.

The music was already on the piano from my daughter pretending that she does still love piano and hasn’t given her heart over to the cornet and the basket of flowers lives on top with some of my gorgeous Sarah Raven Candlestick holders (40% off at the moment)

I decided to create a more romantic feel so added more flowers (fabulous faux flowers from Heavenly Homes and Gardens which brought depth, colour and some romance to the vignette (yup French now for extra fancy romance) using rustic white ceramic jugs with hearts and flowers and butterflies – so much dreamy romance (Sophie Allport).

I grabbed my gorgeously soft sheepskin from Wildash for more texture and warmth, more candles for light, romance and a cosy feel and replaced the rather “loved” (tatty) blanket with the delicious Liberty print quilt from the fabulous Kirstykins (my puppy fellow mother who has taken Dottie’s brother Jarvis into their lives) and also has an incredible sale on at the moment!

I added my current reread “The Key In the Lock” which I am looking over again before our Live discussion on Wednesday- see previous blog – and my must have cup of tea in a china cup. I stepped back and started photographing but on looking at the photos the scene felt a little empty and the floor needed something else.

I added another cushion to balance the cushion on the chair and fill the space and more books for added texture, colour and story (a relaxing spot filled with sunshine, romance and good reads). As the photo evolves so does my “story” – it started as just a sunny spot to read but was evolving into a chair of romantic escape with books a plenty to dive into.

I stepped back again and took more photos – I find that I can only work out what I want to do by looking at the photo- but the scene still wasn’t right. I realised that it was flower heavy to the left so rearranged the flowers to balance and added a couple more vases. Yes, I keep layering!!!

I also introduced more candles to the mix – my fabulous be safe faux candles but made from real wax from the super clever Candled .

The photo felt much richer and the piano top was more balanced but the floor was still pestering me so I took inspiration from my gorgeous book and threw my matching coloured Graham and Green velvet pouffe and brought the book to the foreground to match it.

The cushion looked rather over whelming so I lobbed a pretty floral cushion on to partner the pattered quilt and break up the teal as well as echoing the rug pattern.

I checked my camera photos and was finally happy. Yes, the photo has evolved from a simple pastoral scene of rocking chair and sunshine into a blowsy, romantic affair but that is my heart style and if you can’t follow your heart on Valentine’s Day then when? I ask you? When?!!!

Thank you so much for reading. I wish I could have said all this in the radio interview rather than my genius “Where do I get my ideas from? Erm..I don’t know”. I promise to be more erudite during our book review Live on Wednesday. Please join us at 7pm on Instagram- please- I am terrified!!! Xxxx

Click here to look at the book selection for Wednesday Are You Sitting Comfortably sponsored by the wonderful Natural Blanket Company whose absurdly soft and cosy blankets are all made in Britain and force one to sit comfortably..and read a book…it’s almost the law. Xxxx


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Cynthia Cranereply
February 14, 2022 at 11:14 am

Stying “scenes” is definitely an art and I’ll say you’ve nailed it! Thank you for sharing your how-to…. and the shopping links! I absolutely detest stying Instagram photos and videos… I’d much rather be crafting something… but the way you’ve pared it down makes it seem somewhat easy and fun!

Rebecca Lovattreply
February 14, 2022 at 11:16 am
– In reply to: Cynthia Crane

Ohh that’s so kind!! Thank you so much!!! Gabby says exactly the same thing! She just wants to be creating! This is my form of creating and I love it- even though I try desperately to keep it simple, I just can’t help it!! Ohh thank you so very much 🤗🤗🤗Rxxx

February 17, 2022 at 10:02 am

Hi! I am from Sweden and found your Instagram account. I do really love it 🙏 your style and cottage home gives joy and a lot of ideas. In Sweden the most homes are kind of modern and “empty”. I tried to do so but I have realised that I like it better in a cosy home with flowers, colours and so. Thank you for the colourful joy you give us 🙏🥰

Rebecca Lovattreply
February 17, 2022 at 10:22 am
– In reply to: Cecilia

Oh Cecilia! Thank you so very much for such a lovely comment!!! I too have tried to be minimalist but I always end up with colour and pattern and so many textures!!!! Oh thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment 🤗🤗🤗

February 27, 2022 at 9:43 pm

And here I thought it looked gorgeous from the start! 😉🤗 Actually, it did to me Rebecca but I see also how with additions it can be even more gorgeous! Never can have too many beautiful cushions, blankets, flowers, art and BOOKS! Love how you gave the hint about bringing some like colours together too! Each step makes a difference!

Rebecca Lovattreply
March 13, 2022 at 10:15 am
– In reply to: Jennifer

Oh Jennifer you are so lovely! Thank you so very much! It is an actual fact that one can never have too many of the above!!! 🤣🤣🤣😘

Eileen Piercereply
March 12, 2022 at 5:32 pm

I just received my Country Living magazine and saw your article. I love your style from the rocking chair in the kitchen and pine table ,mismatches chairs to the warm perch above the radiator. Thanks for all the ideas,its a style I’m most comfortable with.

Rebecca Lovattreply
March 13, 2022 at 10:14 am
– In reply to: Eileen Pierce

Oh thank you so much! This is such a lovely comment. Thank you so very much. I can’t actually believe our cottage is in this magazine!!! 💕💕😘

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