Finding Inspiration Indoors: My Every Room Project | by Krista Cox
January 30, 2023
Finding Inspiration Indoors
My Every Room Project
One of my 2022 projects involved capturing every space in my home. I want my kids to remember the home they grew up in. The details of the rugs in the different rooms. The lofted beds my older boys use. The fun in closets that can only be had by small children. I ended up really enjoying this project and it evolved over the course of the year. It was a challenge to find ways to capture closets and hallways, rooms that I normally don’t shoot in. Intentionally shooting every room of my home made me fall in love with my home all over again. Even the dark rooms that I previously did not prefer to shoot in. In this post, I’ll share my tips on finding inspiration indoors through My Every Room Project!
My daughter coloring on the living room floor
Evolution of the project
When I initially began my every room project, my goal was to capture every room in my home. The bedrooms, the living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, basement, mudroom and bathrooms – 14 rooms in total.
I realized that I actually shoot in our hallway a fair amount and had a few images I wanted to capture involving our stairs. With that realization I expanded beyond traditional rooms and ended up adding our stairways, hallways, foyer, and closets in each of the bedrooms to the project, bringing the total up to 25 “rooms.”
My oldest reading on the stairs – I now also have a series of my oldest child reading in strange places
These additional “rooms” – the stairways and hallways and closets ended up being some of my favorites. They forced me to be more creative and see ordinary things in a new way.
My daughter walking down the hallway to her room
Then, I got really ambitious and decided I wanted to capture every space of every room in my home. I wanted to capture every window in every room, every wall, the stair landing in addition to the actual stairs, the doorways, the unfinished attic, etc.
Here are some tips on Finding Inspiration Indoors if you’re interested in completing a similar project:
Preparation: As you may have gathered from the above, I made a list of every room I wanted to capture. Then I added to that list with additional spaces. I had a list of ideas of images that I wanted to capture based on things I’d observed in the past. For example, the shadows on the wall of our kitchen. Or my kids climbing onto kitchen counters. Or my daughter playing with magnatiles by the window. This preparation allowed me to have a clear idea of what I wanted to capture in each room. And it also helped me to be prepared with my camera when I anticipated those moments would happen.
My daughter playing magnatiles in the beautiful afternoon light of our family room
Look for the light: I absolutely adore the winter and early spring light in my home. The low sun and the lack of leaves on the massive trees outside our home allows so much more light into our home and beautiful, interesting shadows. I love to use pocket light and I wanted to capture every bit of it. Looking for the light helped hide the distractions of my messy home. It also provided natural framing for my subjects, and lent itself to shadow play. Over the course of the previous year, I took note of beautiful lighting and the time of year and day a particular pocket of light appeared. Therefore, I was well aware of what rooms I’d want to shoot in and what times of day.
I had my camera ready because I knew my daughter’s bedroom gets beautiful light during at this time of year and predicted that at some point she’d step into the pocket of light
Don’t be afraid of artificial light:Not all of the rooms in my home get beautiful natural light. Some are very dark, others get some pockets of natural light but other areas are dark. Some of my favorite images ended up being ones taken at 6400 ISO with overhead ceiling lights.
For some unknown reason, my middle son decided he wanted to brush his teeth while holding a lantern
Let this project allow you to experiment with less than ideal lighting circumstances that are nevertheless true to your home. Don’t be afraid to push your ISO to capture the beautiful moments unfolding in a dark room. Get creative with alternative light sources such as flashlights, headlamps, cell phones, iPads, and more.
Find different perspectives: I have four kids and my house is often a mess. While sometimes the mess and chaos add to the story, other times it can be a distraction. I often play around with different perspectives to clean up the mess. For example, I’ll take an overhead shot of the dining table which avoids the chair in the corner piled with toys. I’ve gotten low and used the kitchen island to block out all the clutter around the kitchen (and also avoid the clutter on top of the counters).
My kitchen surfaces are often pretty cluttered, much to my dismay, but you can’t really tell with this perspective
Changing perspectives allowed me to see my home in a completely new way. If I hadn’t been getting down on the floor to shoot in my kitchen, I would never have found the fall kitchen light coming down in front of the pantry.
Don’t forget about the details: When I started on this project, it was less ambitious. My sole goal was to take one image in every room during the year. As the project grew to include every space, I realized that it wasn’t enough for me to just capture the window above the sofa or the stove in the kitchen. I wanted to include the details of particular rooms as a time capsule of this point in my family’s life.
I’m only giving this rug another couple of years of life
We won’t always have the blue patterned rug in the family room (with four kids, it’s already showing signs of wear just a few years after purchasing it). We know we’ll need to get new couches soon as the ones we currently own have seen almost ten years and four homes. My kids picked out their own bedsheets – sharks for my oldest, knights for my second oldest, constellations for my daughter. But someday they’ll probably choose plain, solid colored sheets like I do.
The clutter of the abandoned toys on the floor, my oldest son’s models cluttering the art table, the shoes with holes worn into the toe boxes lined up in the mudroom, and my older boys’ shared room with their lofted beds – these are all details that make our home what it is at this point in our lives.
We line succulents on our kitchen windowsill and the afternoon light in the spring and fall hit the kitchen wall beautifully
As I note above, this project made me appreciate my home in new ways. I found the light in different rooms and now look forward to the darker months because the light changes in my home in a really lovely way. I also have a time capsule for the year and the little details (and moments) that will remind us of all the wonderful memories we made in this home.
I love our postcard wall in the dining room, but it’s often “in the way” and chaotic for pictures; this project pushed me to find ways to embrace it and love the wall even more
What beautiful and inspiring images. Thank you for sharing your tips, Krista 🙏🏻