Join us as we go behind the scenes of our home magazine photo shoot with Country Sampler Magazine, capturing the beauty of our Maine home.

Magazine Photo Shoot: Country Sampler

Country Sampler Magazine

Country Sampler is a popular magazine that focuses on country-style home decor and lifestyle. It is known for showcasing rustic, farmhouse, and traditional country design and providing inspiration for readers who love the cozy and inviting charm of country living.

The magazine typically features articles and photos of beautifully decorated homes, showcasing various styles of country decor. It covers a wide range of topics, including interior design, DIY projects, home organization, gardening, recipes, and entertaining ideas. Country Sampler often highlights unique and handmade items, showcasing the talents of artisans and crafters with magazine photo shoots.

One of the main attractions of Country Sampler is its emphasis on showcasing real homes and spaces. Readers can explore different styles and get ideas for incorporating country decor into their own homes. The magazine often includes tips and tricks for achieving a specific look, as well as recommendations for where to find the featured products.

In addition to home decor, Country Sampler also provides inspiration for seasonal decorating, with special issues dedicated to holidays such as Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. These issues feature craft ideas, recipes, and festive home tours to help readers create a warm and inviting atmosphere for their celebrations.

Country Sampler magazine is a favorite among those who appreciate the timeless appeal of country-style living. It offers a wealth of ideas and inspiration for creating a cozy and welcoming home that reflects a love for rustic charm and traditional design. Whether you’re looking for new decorating ideas, DIY projects, or simply enjoy exploring beautiful homes, Country Sampler is a great resource for all things country decor.

Flower Centerpiece

First Magazine Feature

I was first introduced to Country Sampler Magazine a couple of years ago when they featured a few of my flower arrangements in their Romantic Fall Florals article.

Magazine Photo Shoot Photographers

Country Sampler Magazine’s freelance photographer, Anne from Gridley + Graves Photographers, contacted me around this same time and asked if I would be interested in having our home here in Maine photographed for the magazine.

Well, of course, I would be! But I wasn’t ready just yet…

Cedar Shake Maine Home

Coastal Maine Home Renovation

We had just finished the interior renovations on our home, and the furniture and appliances we had ordered had all been delayed due to the pandemic. So we had a ways to go before I would really be comfortable sharing our home for a national magazine photo shoot.

And we still needed to restore the outside cedar shakes and repaint the trim. If you are new to my blog, you may read more about this family home we inherited almost 3 years ago HERE.

Magazine Photo Shoot, it’s time

Now, two years later, we are feeling excited and ready for our first-ever national magazine photo shoot with Country Sampler Magazine.

Behind the Scenes Magazine Photo Shoot

The day of our magazine photo shoot had arrived, and I really had no idea what to expect. But I was getting the feeling that it could be pretty laid back and not to make too much of a fuss over it. And you know what? I was right…

Home Cleaning

But of course, I cleaned the house from top to bottom.

Country kitchen cleaned for home magazine photo shoot.

See more of this home’s country kitchen in the Vintage Rug Runner – One of a Kind Rugs and 6 Best Country Kitchen Counter Decor Ideas posts.

I hired someone to clean all our windows inside and outside and removed all the window screens. It’s amazing how professionally cleaned windows without screens can brighten up your home. I would also recommend hiring someone to clean your home prior to a magazine photo shoot, as it will alleviate much of the stress you may be feeling.

Editorial Calendar

The photographers informed me ahead of time that they would arrive around 9:00 AM and work straight through the day until around 7:00 PM that same evening. They would take interior and exterior shots, along with a few portraits of myself and our Berner, Ella.

The magazine’s editor gave the photographers a layout of the specific photos they wanted to be taken based on earlier scouting photos that she had reviewed of our home.

Photo Props: Magazine Photo Shoot

The photographers also informed me that they would be bringing all the flowers and food props to style each room’s photo. Did you know that the magazine designates a stylist to assist photographers in styling each photo? In our case, Gridley + Graves were both the photographers and stylists.

Exterior Magazine Photo Shoot

The morning started out with a few exterior shots of the house, our Bernese Mountain Dog, Ella, and myself sitting in the sunroom.

Cedar Shake Maine Home with White Van, and Bernese Mountain Dog for magazine photo shoot.

All photos, angles, and styling were magazine-copyrighted, so I wasn’t able to take too many behind-the-scenes photos to share until the magazine officially published our feature story.

Sometime in 2023 or even 2024…

White Tea Set with Country Sampler Contract

Interior Magazine Photo Shoot

Gridley + Graves Photographers then moved into the interior of the home, styling and photographing each room on their schedule based on the scouting shots that I had sent over to them. The living room, dining room, kitchen, guest bedroom, and attic bedroom would all be photographed.

Living Room with Bernese Mountain Dog after magazine photo shoot.

See more in our Coastal Maine Home Tour.

A Friendly Visit

My girlfriend, Lisa, stopped by to bring lunch and to check in on all the happenings. We ate lunch in the sunroom, one of the only rooms not being photographed that day, only for my portrait shot.

Friend in Chair during magazine photo shoot.

The Day’s Vibe

On the day of the photo shoot, there was really not much for me to do. The photographers had everything under control and knew exactly what they were doing.

We chatted the day away, hearing all about their adventures and the fascinating people they had met along the way. Anne grew up skiing in Vermont and vacationing in Maine. So there was really so much for us to yap about…

As I mentioned above, our photo shoot was laid back, well organized, and such a pleasant and calming day. There was no need to be nervous or anxious at all.

Behind the Scenes Photo Shoot with Country Sampler Magazine Exterior

Once the photo shoot ended, just about 7:00 PM that same evening, Ella took back to her cozy comfy pillow corner on the couch.

Living room with Bernese Mountain Dog after magazine photo shoot.

Now, we eagerly await the amazing photos that we know Gridley + Graves Photographers took of our home for the pages of Country Sampler Magazine.

Vintage Style living room after magazine photo shoot.
My mother’s favorite antique hutch.


As I reflect back on this day, I wonder what my parents would have thought of their home being photographed for a national home magazine. I truly believe they would have adored every single second of it. And I don’t think Anne and Gary would have left here by 7:00 PM.

I believe they would have all gabbed well into the evening…

Day After Flower Bouquets

Remnants of the magazine’s photo shoot stayed with us for days. The beautifully arranged flowers were scattered in every room throughout our home.

It was all so exciting yet very nostalgic.

We are feeling very blessed today reflecting back on it all.

Old Snapshots

It’s now early August in 2023, and the editor of Country Sampler Magazine called looking for a few snapshots of my parents and the home as they knew it. Ella, our Bernese Mountain Dog and I spent the day going through old photos, picking out just the right ones.

“A Makeover in Maine” Feature Story

Our magazine photo shoot’s feature story was published on January 9, 2024, in Country Sampler’s Magazine 40-year celebration edition. I hope you’ll find it on a newsstand near you or view it online, too.

Country Sampler Magazine Maine Home Feature, "A Makeover in Maine"
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  1. How exciting for you! Congratulations. I used to our over the decorating section of this magazine years ago when I had a country home …drooling. Looking forward to seeing your home in print. I found your blog shortly after you inherited this home. Was this your parents full time home?

    1. Thanks so much Pamela. Yes this was their full time home🙏

  2. It sounds like it was a great day.! Your home was looking fabulous! So happy for you!

  3. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to see the photos, as I’m a subscriber to Country Sampler!! And I love Ella!

  4. Congratulations Ann! What a wonderful experience! I love how you wrote about the day, and how much you enjoyed the whole process! There is something about you that I find to be so down-to-earth (which is why I follow you!) and you conveyed that completely in this post!! So excited to see your photo shoot….sometime in the next 1-2 years!!

  5. Michelle Michaud says:

    Ann, thank you for sharing the photo shoot with us. How exciting this is. And Ms Ella certainly enjoyed her day in front of the camera.
    Please let us know when you are notified that the magazine hits the stands
    Michelle Michaud

  6. I’ve been receiving Country Sampler magazine for years. It is my favorite, as well as your blog. I cannot wait to see your home featured in the magazine! Congratulations to you and your Mom and Dad. The home is such a lovely representation of all of you. Also, who could not adore Ella.

  7. Christine says:

    I’m so happy for you ! A dream come true!! Looking forward to the issue releaxe.

  8. I can’t wait to see the photos of your home in Country Sampler!!! I love that magazine! I’m so excited for you all❤️

  9. Peggy Lowe says:

    I can’t wait for 2023 to 2024! I haven’t purchased Country Sampler Magazine, but I am looking forward to doing so (starting now if this is what I can look forward to!).

    1. Awww what a wonderful thing to say 💙💙💙

  10. Congratulations and know it will be wonderful pictures and article. I love your home and the way you decorate it.

  11. Lori houseonwren says:

    I think my favorite thing about this post was when you mentioned your parents and how they would feel knowing a magazine was featuring their home. So touching Ann! Love your style!

  12. Ann this is just so exciting! I can’t wait to see the pictures and I’m glad you had fun! Congratulations!

  13. Ann, this is wonderful! You’ll have to give us all a heads up when the magazine with your home comes out!!!

  14. How exciting for you Ann! Both of your homes are just so beautiful and I can’t wait to see your home in the magazine! Thanks for sharing your experience and a big congratulations to you!!😊