...because home doesn't happen overnight.
01.10.13 / The Photo Shoot

Peeps from The Tile Shop were at our house earlier this week.


That’s Brian on the left and Megan on the right. Oh, and that’s me in the middle. Brian and Megan work in marketing for The Tile Shop. In the midst of our demolition in 2011, Megan contacted me about collaborating with The Tile Shop. At the time, I had never heard of The Tile Shop. But after checking out a local store {which happens to be only five minutes from our house} and discovering their huge inventory {I’m talking TONS of different materials and aesthetics} and excellent customer service {not only do they suggest tile that fits your needs & desired look but they have DIY tutorials and workshops going on most weekends}, HH and I were more than thrilled to jump on board.

A year and a half later, we still have nothing but good things to say about The Tile Shop. More than once, we called our local store right in the middle of a project to ask how-to questions. We were given on-the-spot advice without any hemming or hawing or “I don’t know. Let me get someone else.” We’ve been around the home improvement store block ifyaknowwhatimean a few times over the last 11 years as homeowners and avid DIYers. Nothing is more frustrating than going into one of those businesses and the most the employees know is what aisle what product is in – if that. Sure, they might be able to point you towards the floor tile and grout but beyond that they’re pretty much useless. Now, I’m not saying that’s been our experience every time but A LOT, yes. Our experience with The Tile Shop was nothing like that. And it can’t be chalked up to brown-nosing either. 95% of the time we called anonymously {meaning they had no idea ‘the blogger’ – that’s what they call me – was on the other end of the line} and had our answer in less than five minutes. Done-zo. So, yeah, we like The Tile Shop. And I wasn’t paid to say that.

Anyway, now that most of the tiling projects are complete and the rooms around them are taking shape, Megan asked if we’d be up for a photo shoot to feature the tile in vivo. It sounded like fun plus we liked the idea of a fire being lit under our youknowwhats to get a few rooms in order. We said yes. For the past six weeks, we’ve been stuffing in as many projects as possible to get a few rooms shoot-worthy. It was a ton of work but it was so fulfilling to see it all come together.

I have to be honest. I did have a minor meltdown right before the shoot. Other than my own photos for the blog, I’ve never been part of a real photo shoot. As the day of the photo shoot neared, I got more and more overwhelmed. I didn’t like not knowing exactly what to expect. I was embarrassed about our unfinished projects – like the exterior, messy garage, non-working front door, gutted bathroom, etc. They weren’t going to be a part of the shoot so it didn’t really matter but I started second-guessing our decision to go through with the shoot. I’m sad to say that I took out my frustrations on HH which was totally awful of me. He was helping out so much – with the kids, the neverending list of projects, meals, cleaning, everything. I was mean to him and I regret it. There you have it. Proof that I’m far, far, far from perfect. I’m not proud of the way I treated him and told him so. We’ve since made up ;) but I owe him big time. HH, you’re the best.

Luckily, by the time the actual shoot rolled around I was over my not-so-perfect hump and things played out smoothly from there on out. Megan and Brian were in town for two days and they were so wonderful to work with! They were very easygoing and not at all stuffy or pushy as I had feared they might be. The first day we made a list of accessories {mostly fresh flowers and greenery} that we needed to style the rooms. Then we spent a few hours shopping around for said accessories. It was during this first day that I mentioned something about a gallery wall {hello, New Year’s resolution!} in the mudroom. {Btw, Megan asked me what we officially call this room. I told her it depends on what we’re using it for at the time. Sometimes it’s a mudroom, sometimes a dining room, sometimes a laundry room. Sometimes we just call it the everything room!} Megan thought it was a good idea and encouraged me to give it a go. So we picked up some frames for the gallery wall too. That night HH and I stayed up late working on the wall. More deets in a forthcoming post but here’s a sneak peek…


Then I was up waaaaaay before dawn cleaning, styling and accessorizing the other spaces.

Now, mind you, we still had three kids at the house during the prep and shoot and had to work around naps, feedings, school drop-offs & pick-ups and even gymnastics practice. The logistics of it all had me in a tizzy but it went better than I could have ever imagined. Layne was at school most of the time. Mabrey was Nap Champion the day of the shoot and that made things easier. She LOVES being around people so she was more than happy to have extra faces to smile at when she was awake. Megan had her giggling on her lap. Everett is pretty much the life of any party. Megan and Brian were really good about letting him ‘entertain’ them with his costumes, fake mustaches and constant questions. At one point, Brian may or may not have had on a stormtrooper helmet.


They let him play photographer at the end of the day which he thoroughly enjoyed. He thought it was pretty funny that I took a picture of him taking a picture. We even managed to get a pic of the entire family together. Can’t wait to see that one.

tileshop 2

Everything you’ve read about behind the scenes of a photo shoot are true. One part of the house looks magazine-worthy while there’s a disaster just outside the camera’s view. Photo shoots make you do weird things too.


Like bust out your iron for the first time in over a year. I ironed shirts, towels, even my slipcovered sofa. See above. I washed all the windows inside and out in below freezing temps a few days before the shoot. My hands were frostbitten afterwards. I’m lucky I didn’t have to get all 172 Hours and self amputate. Just kidding. That’s not funny.

For surprise’s sake, I won’t divulge exactly which spaces were photographed but you could probably figure it out. Just think about which rooms have tile in them. As for the pictures themselves, I can’t say just yet where they’ll pop up but I will be sharing them with you when they go live so you can check them out. Sorry. I like surprises.

Megan and Brian are still on the road hitting up some of their stores for photos. Megan texted me this picture today…


It’s a display bathroom in one of their other stores and it was inspired by our master bathroom. Notice the penny tile floor, the textured shower tile, the floating vanity, the round wood mirror and the industrial wall sconce.

Fun fact: The Tile Shop names all of their displays. This one is named “The Dana.” Craziness.

Thanks Megan and Brian! I had a blast. Please come back when our other bathroom is finished.

images: 1-5) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 6) Megan Hoy for The Tile Shop


Oh my goodness, how crazy awesome is that display?!!


Love the sneak peeks and can’t wait to see the rest! What an exciting opportunity for you guys!!!


I can’t wait to see the final photos! Every space looks so beautiful!!


So excited to see the rest..Amazing you can’t fit so many uses into your dining, mud and laundry room and it still looks like a room out of a magazine.. We bought a small vacation home and are following along, hoping to use some of yours and handy hubby’s great ideas..


This must be so exciting! I love that they used your bathroom as display inspiration, that’s awesome!


What awesome news! I can’t wait to see more pictures! The display inspired by your bathroom is really cool! What a fun honor to receive!

P.S. Your hair is GORGE! Very Kate Middleton! :)


Sorry, this should say can not can’t

Love this! I’ve been very curious about this photoshoot, glad we’ve learned one very big piece of the puzzle today, I can’t wait for the photos. And I love your honesty on how the experience wasn’t all fun and games. Don’t we all take it out on our man sometimes?


How awesome is that? I can’t wait to see all the pics. Until this post I never noticed how much I love your light fixture in the everything room.


I love that your dreams are coming true…it wouldn’t be quite as fun or true to your family without the craziness of the day! As always, you inspire me.

How fun! I love The Tile Shop. I like to walk around and touch the tiles and check out the displays and think of all the places in my house I’d love to put some tile…………..

This is once again amazing! OMG so cool having a display named after you! I love that all this is happening. Excited to see the shoot!


Wow, congratulations! Pat yourselves in the back, you deserve it! Much continued success and happiness to you in 2013!



Wow Dana, that’s really awesome for you and your family! Congratulations!


Love how the mudroom is coming together! How awesome that they named it after you! what an honor!


kudos!bravo! good for you!


That new floating buffet in the “everything” room is just terrific. Love that you have a “the Dana”. Lol. Congratulations!!


“The Dana” OH MY GOSH that is amazing.
Love love love the new gallery wall and i can’t wait to see full pictures of it! Knowing your design, i’m positive everything looked beyond beautiful! :)


Did you post about the hutch underneath the gallery wall? I love it!


Not yet! I’ll be telling you all about it next week.


Congratulations! What an honor! Your home is beautiful and you deserve tons of recognition for your vision AND hard work!


So exciting!!! The mudroom looks incredible with that new area! Can’t wait to see all the pictures! Great job!!!

Very cool. Hadn’t heard of the tile shop either before this post. Apparently there are a couple near me in NJ. We’ll check them out next time we have a tile job (hopefully in a year or two when we redo our master bath).

How you know you are doing well: You have displays at home improvement suppliers names after you. Well done!


the photo of you in this photo in your kitchen is a great photo of you and what you should use as your profile photo.. IMHO… love your blog.


Ahhh! You’re going to be in a magazine! Everything looks amazing… even the messy parts!

I can totally relate with taking blogger anger out on the hubs. It’s so weird because I don’t think many can relate to the problems of blogging. Oh the blog hubbys and what they go through! At least you made up ;)

And even though the shot of the gallery was blurry to keep me in the dark… I’m in absolute love. Like show it all to me now. I’m going to to go to target and buy frames with money i dont have because I want that. absolute gorgeous mix of textures etc!


I am an interior design student and I read dozens of design related blogs but nothing compares to your style. I am not the least bit surprised that The Tile shop wanted to use your beautiful home (and even created a display inspired by you)! You are totally rad in my book.

You have a bathroom named after you….I think that is your biggest accomplishment to date (you know besides the whole beautiful family thing you got going on)! CONGRATS, you totally deserve all the good in life :)

This is fantastic! I can’t wait for more updates…the sneak peeks have me on the edge of my seat!

And really…a display named after you?!?! That’s freakin’ amazing! :)


That’s what I want to know about!


Dana, I must say you look absolutely lovely and so does your house! Thank you for showing the behind the scenes too! It makes one feel a little bit better about their own spaces when they know not everything is perfect in those magazine shoots :)


How exciting, I’ve been so curious what you were up to! I’m glad it all went well, can’t wait to see all the details. I am in love with that light fixture.


So exciting! You all have done an amazing job on your house. . . I can’t wait to see the pictures!


How exciting! I love that your bathroom inspired a display. I was excited to discover that The Tile Shop recently opened a store near me, and I can honestly say I’m in love!


Hola hola!, I love your blog and it is so exiting to see the progress on your house, We are planning to build a house and all your ideas are great! I’m from Mexico and wish we had more options for tiles and stuff like you do. I just started a blog and hopefully I will be posting my journey like you do :)


SO excited for you!! Yayayayay! You are so talented!


Wow, this looks like it was such an awesome experience! Congrats on your forthcoming feature. I can’t wait to see more pictures.

How cool that you have a store feature named after you! Can’t wait to see the photos once they’re out.

It is good to remember that we’re all human… even blessing out our poor, sweet, unsuspecting husbands from time to time. Good thing a heart-felt apology (and some make-up yaknowhatImean) usually do the trick. :-)


Looks great! How fun! But you were mean to HH? That almost sounds like blasphemy –
Dear HH – on behalf of all women everywhere, please accept this apology for how, well, just goofy we can be – Sincerely, Women
Just kidding girl – it’s so stressful getting a house ready for photo shoots – everything looks so nice – I really love that red high chair – such a perfect addition of color


Now that is flattery!

I’m really enjoying your style in this house. Maybe it’s that the shape of the rooms, windows etc is a bit different, but with your old house you could see you were working inside a builder basic shell. This house is more aspirational.


I know. I felt awful. HH is so supportive. That was no way to show my gratitude!


I bet you are a great wife though – everyone comes unhinged now and again – what I like is that you are honest and real, which I think that is what your readers really like about you. And probably one of HH’s favorite things about you, too!


I must add to this, kudos to you, Dana, for putting such an apology to your spouse in public words. It takes a lot for me to apologize to my husband sometimes, because it means admitting that I was wrong. Of course I do it, because I love and respect him.
The fact that you mentioned this in the post at all shows what a very real blogger you are. And I admire you for that. :)


Totally agree Sarah! Many of us are reluctant to say anything negative on our blogs for fear of not appearing to “have it all together”, whatever that means. I love to read Housetweaking because it is interesting, informative and emotionally real. Go Dana!


OOPS! My comment was suppose to go here, not on the post below! Sorry! Anyways, Can’t wait to see the photos from your shoot! Please post how you did your gallery wall and where you found those lovely gallery frames! I’ve searched and searched looking for unqiue gallery walls and never found something quite what I was looking for until now! Love yours!!!


It looks beautiful! And I am loving your loose wave hair! How do you style it? Rollers? Curling iron? Please tell! :)


Wow! Your house is amazing!!! Loved looking at your blog


me too! Can’t wait to hear about the hutch. Congrats on all your success. You have amazing talent – glad you’re sharing it with us.