How To Make Your Home Instaworthy

Posted on: Aug 19, 2018

Hands up if scrolling through Instagram can often have you glancing around your gaff and feeling a sense of dissatisfaction. Heck, I’m sure that there are a few of you out there who have looked at my feed and wondered how the devil I keep it so pristine. As much as I adore Instagram, I can’t help but feel that at times it has the ability to ignite a bout of Insta-envy. The type of feelings that have you questioning all of your design choices and reaching for the paint chart.

So today, I’m sharing my recipe for the perfect interior Instagram shots. The scroll stopping ones, the kind that stop you in your tracks and have you falling down insta rabbit holes only coming up for a cuppa and a phone charger. Here’s what you’ll need.

The might of 3 removal men

My typical instagram shot starts with the removal of 2 1/2 tonnes of general mess. Think plastic toys, abandoned articles of clothing and general detritus. It’s then followed by a serious amount of floor scratching furniture and object rearranging, the type that will most certainly require guns of steel.

Powerful deodorant

Be prepared to sweat, in fact be prepared to sweat in places that you never knew you had places. I used to be pretty fit, I used to #runswimgym back in the day when I only had my own heartbeat to take care of. Now the nearest I get to raising my pulse is the stress of an instagram shot. The hauling and shunting of furniture coupled with the worry of the imminent wrecking of the shot by dogs/kids/fading light is enough to make even your eyeballs sweat.

A pocket full of bribes

If you’ve met my children you will know they are cute. You will also know that they are able to destroy a room with the force of a plague of locusts within seconds. The evacuation process often starts with a bribe. I’ve found haribo, screen time and ice cream to all be very effective. I’ve even been known to slip them the odd quid just to get them to stay away from the picture zone.

A very understanding other half

Failing that a decent marriage guidance counsellor will do. Mr Peach is an understanding old soul, he has been nothing but supportive since I started this crazy journey but even his patience is tested. The eye rolls when I ask him to quickly rearrange the furniture are real. The tuts when he waits for me to finish are audible. He’s a good egg that one, I should probably be nicer to him.


And by that I mean, be prepared to find your body contorted into positions you never knew it capable of. Yoga has nothing on some of the bends, stretches and angles that this weary nearly 40 year old body has found itself in just to grab the perfect shot. Strain inducing? Sometimes. A shock to the system? Always, and all in the name of banishing that pesky reflection or cutting out the stained bit of carpet.

The ability to forage

There is nothing wrong with swapping things around. I may give the impression that my house is a treasure trove of goodies but if you look closely Inspector Clouseau you’ll have me sussed.  A spot of interiors foraging is a necessity and consequently you’ll find the same pieces popping up all over the place. The disco balls are right floozies, they certainly get around and don’t get me started on the chunky knit blankets, they’d drape themselves over anything.

A great editing app

Not enough light? Want to eliminate the lego mini figures you forgot to shove under the sofa? Don’t worry, there’s an app to edit out real life, hurrah! If only we could just turn up the brightness of our mood as easily.

The Truth

If you’ve not worked it out by now, I’ll let you in to a little secret. It’s all a big Instasham. My carefully curated grid that you see on a daily basis is mighty different to the everyday view. The clear surfaces and toy free carpets are all an enigma. The made beds, the perfectly positioned cushions, all for the camera. If there is one thing  for certain it’s that just out of shot there will be a pile of plastic toys, a mountain of dirty laundry and one very sweaty middle aged woman holding the camera.

You see, this is our HOME. We live here, we have fun here and we make one heck of a lot of mess here. The strive for perfection is futile and totally unattainable especially in a busy family home. If we live our lives trying to ‘keep up’ with other peoples’ squares, it’ll have us crying into our scatter cushions every day.

Let’s explore some insta cliches:

  • fairy lights draped on beds (surely a fire hazard?)
  • fresh eucalyptus on every shelf (brown bread within a week)
  • a tray of coffee and croissants atop tousled sheets (think of the crumbs!)
  • casual tea towel draped over the work top (hang it up, it’ll smell foisty!)
  • the perfect positioning of a disco ball to catch the light (4 minutes until it’s used as a football)

Let me be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these shots, they make beautiful images, just know that they aren’t real. They are little works of art and likely bear zero resemblance to the scene ten minutes before or after the shot was taken. Comparisons are futile, they will only serve to make you feel rubbish.

Just for you, I’m sharing the reality of the peach palace. Want to feel better about your washing pile? Then feast your eyes on this…………..

For those of you that feel that I’ve brought you here under false pretences, #sorrynotsorry. It’s so important that we see the reality behind this pictures. We might not live in THE perfect house but we live in OUR perfect house. It’s full of noise, laughter and heartbeats. It’s those heartbeats that make all of the crazy amounts of mess but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I have been lucky enough to be nominated for an Amara Interior Blog award for ‘Best Written Blog’. I am thrilled. If you enjoy reading my blog I would really appreciate your vote to help me make the shortlist of 5. It takes less than a minute and you can do it here. Thanks in advance.


    31 responses to “How To Make Your Home Instaworthy”

    1. I really like this post. It’s honest and open and it’s a good reminder for us all to remember the work that goes into the photos. Thanks 😊

      • comedowntothewoods says:

        Thank you so much!! I loved writing it. So much pressure on us all. It’s nothing but an #instasham 😘😘

    2. Anna-Louise Coupland says:

      Fabulous read. I love your #instashams and often wonder what has gone on in the execution of your wonderful shots x

    3. Fiona says:

      So .,. That’s how you do it ha…..thanks for the fabulous tips excellent reading your blogs x good luck with winning “best written blog” nominees voted…👌👏👏👏👏❤

    4. Deb Meehan says:

      Fab blog, first one I’ve read but as a relative newbie to Instagramworld it was heartwarming to know those of you who are super successful have a messy home too….thanks for sharing 🙏💕 PS there’s a great saying which goes like this “comparison is the thief of joy” which is what I think your whole message is 😄

    5. nets says:

      Even ur messy photos look incredibly tidy compared to our gaff! Enjoy this week my love. Welcome to the club xxx

    6. fsje says:

      A perfect house and a perfect home. Love the small squares of art that Instagram provides, but love your unfailing honesty more. Fab! xx

    7. Gemma Northam says:

      Nice midnight read. I LOVE that you are keeping it real. Just voted for you aswell. X

    8. Emma black says:

      Brilliant! I love this house messy or tidy xxxx

    9. Sarah Twigg Doyle says:

      So glad to read this honest post and know I’m not alone. We’re still a long way from perfect with our interior and it’s so much work to get those insta shots. Thank you for this 😎

    10. Meera says:

      Love this post Katie! The fairy lights on floors and beds really get me 😆. For what its worth, your instareality is pretty gorgeous too. Voting for you now xxx

    11. Emma says:

      You’re a woman after my own heart 😂 A pile of nappies (both fresh and used), wet wipes (also both fresh and used), and “stuff” (think elastic bands, junk mail, bobby pins, tissues, remote controls etc) are ALWAYS just out of shot in my photos #keepingitreal !!

      • comedowntothewoods says:

        Gotta keep it real!! No point striving for the impossible right??
        Thanks so much for reading and for your comment x

    12. Danielle le-petit says:

      Loved reading this Katie, made me chuckle.. but I also loved both shots, the styled and non styled, as you say our homes are loved and lived in but of course we want to show the best side of them. Your home is up there as one of the most beautiful on here I must say.xx

    13. Make says:

      Brilliant! I laughed so much at this (guilty!!!)

    14. Just got here from your instagram and am enjoying myself enormously daydreaming while in the eye of a tornado aka living room re-design by our two year old twins. Bliss.

      • comedowntothewoods says:

        What a lovely comment, thank you xx
        We have twins too, I’d like to say it gets easier and in many ways it does BUT the bigger they get, the bigger the mess gets! X

    15. Amy Edwards says:

      The shot of your littlees jumping on the bed needs framing! So heartwarming and sweet ☺️
      Stunning home x

    16. Elle says:

      This is so funny and so true! I’ve only just started and absolutely all of this happens in my house. So glad it’s not just me!! ?

    17. Gaye Robinson says:

      I discovered you as a feature in Self Build and Design mag (I think. I have a stack of so many mags on the same subject) and took a look. I made me laugh out loud and got me thinking about recording our own doer upper. We are OAPs and as the house is currently uninhabitable the prospect is a bit scary – the fact that after 5 months we still haven’t exchanged (never get in a chain with a flat plus management company in it) has not stopped me gathering more grand designs than size of house (1750 2 up 2 down) or budget has a hope in hell of ever realising. Just gotta keep dreaming big though. Your house puts a big smile on my face and keeps my dreams alive.

    18. This is fantastic! So interesting to get behind your story. And thank you for your honesty. It IS a minefield out there and so hard to know what to do. It’s such a changing landscape and a lot of it doesn’t make any sense to me. Thanks for explaining it all so clearly.

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