Accessories
Jul 8, 2011

behind the scenes: august high+low

By: Jessica Waks
Style at Home
Accessories
Jul 8, 2011

behind the scenes: august high+low

By: Jessica Waks

As a long time reader of STYLE AT HOME prior to joining the editorial team, I always wondered how on earth high+low was pulled off.  How could the spaces look so similar at such different price points? Well my dears, after watching senior design editor Margot Austin in action I can tell you it is no easy feat! You have to have the eyes of a hawk, the memory of an elephant and the endurance of a racehorse. Animal allusions aside, you truly do require a mental catalogue of the retail design market indexed in your head and the energy and passion to hunt down matches, organize them all into a single studio space, and then whip up two nearly identical interiors. Phew- even writing that has me exhausted…

As a high+low rookie, I was keen to observe how a cozy nook was created out of a blank canvas of studio space. Photographer extraordinaire Nina Teixeira was a superstar, helping put up wallpaper, creating a window where there wasn’t one, and unpacking and unwrapping boxes and bags of furniture and accessories like it was no one’s business! (And that's on top of her amazing photography skills of course!) Starting by laying down floating flooring, we layered the big furniture elements with accessories and human touches, such as a glass of sparkling rose, to make the space come alive and feel like a real interior. Of course there were bumps in the road, like when we realized the wrong colour rug had been delivered for our “high” and in our excitement of the proper white one arriving, put it down in the incorrect “low” setting we were shooting first– oops!

Another memorable moment was taking a 15-minute breather to catch the final minutes of Oprah’s last show while commenting on how her coral ombre L’Wren Scott ensemble totally complemented our set. O, you are always right on trend! All of the insanity that goes into creating high+low is worth its weight in gold though, because it shows that you can mix and match items at different price points and choose to invest in some pieces, and save on others - but still have a fabulous home! I also love how the feature explains reasons for the price disparity, for example, for this High/Low we explain that the white chest we used in our “high” is finished by hand in a high gloss enamel, which requires hours of work to achieve, as opposed to the “low” which is simply a matte finish. It's not just about the different numbers, it's about "the why" too- knowledge is power!
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behind the scenes: august high+low