Focus on Photography (Part 1): Creating a Romantic Bedroom with Couples Photos

You've done a wonderful job creating the most beautiful home. Every room is comfy and now you're ready; your focus has turned to your bedroom. I will be explaining about how to create the perfect bedroom space in a future post, but today my purpose is to spark the romance in a space that is the most intimate place in your home. 

The rest of your home is a showcase for your visitors to see but your bedroom and master bath are for your eyes only. That doesn't mean it should lack style or art. It should be just as amazing a space and one of the best and most intimate ways to do this is with photography that shows off your love. 

Couple's photos are a way to showcase the beautiful tone of your relationship with your significant other. They can be sexy and steamy or just capture the love and tenderness you feel in a moment in time. Gone are the days of posed photos in front of a boring backdrop. Welcome to some of the most amazingly well captured snaps into your relationship, done through photos and film and in Arizona, I am blessed to work with a man who knows the best way to create this form of art. His name is Robert Billings and he's the owner of Robert Billings Photography. I asked him to show off a few pieces of his work and for some insight into how he creates such beautiful memories for his clients. 

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography

Me: What is the mindset you have when meeting with a couple or individual for a more romantic style of photo shoot?

Robert: "The truth is that in both boudoir and a typical couples shoot the subjects tend to look for the same thing, intimacy.  They want what they consider and feel to be the "real" them captured and viewable (and understandable) by anyone who sees it.  What I mean is that in these types of shoots the product is extremely personal to the client.  Both types of shoots reveal a softer and more vulnerable side to them (usually).  Each of these shots belong to them 100% because it is them and yet anyone looking at these photographs, even people that do not know the subjects, understand something about them.  They feel that moment and can relate to that moment.  Its familiar to them and it resonates.  Its why I call my particular style of boudoir and couples shooting "Nostalgia".

That's the hope anyway.  That's the goal."

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography

Me: I love how you seem to catch the couples in silent moments that you create a story around. They are so natural, versus posed couple shots. Why do you prefer to shoot this way?

Robert: "Very rarely will I pose someone. People naturally move at their own pace and with their own rhythm.  My job is to match their rhythm, not change it.  Its why I mentioned heart beats before.  A lot of photographers, especially in the digital age, just click click click away hoping to capture something awesome in between the heart beats.  It works, but there is too much luck involved.  Too much uncertainty and wasted moments.  I started out on film.  The kind where you had anywhere from 10 to 36 shots only and you couldn't see a single one of them until later.  You learn to slow down, to wait.  To watch and click at the right time.  My shift to digital hasn't changed that mindset.  I move slower than most photographers I think.  Also, I still shoot a lot of film."

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography   

Photo courtesy of Robert Billings Photography


As a fan of his creations, Robert brings a lot for me to work with when designing a romantic space. I can work with him directly on creating a theme or color scheme for the photos to be placed on the walls of the room I'm working in, but most love working from what he creates in it's natural state and drawing inspiration for my rooms from the work itself. The above three photos are of one couple's shoot, yet each one has an entirely different mood, all personal and gorgeous. I can frame these photos or they can be mounted on canvas. I can play with different matte applications and group them as a gallery, or hang them in different areas for individual focus. The photos are not steamy, yet the love and intensity of the connection between these two shows blatantly in these subtle moments captured so perfectly by Robert. I love what he does for his couple clients and nothing speaks more romantically in decor than reminiscing your own love each time you look around your bedroom. 

If you'd like to create some beautiful, intimate art with Robert, you can reach him by phone at 480-666-1076, on his website or at 

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we discuss his boudoir shoots.

Studying My Inner D.J.- Dorm Decor For Guys (#Oliohop 4)

As always, I am honored to be a member of's monthly Blog Hop (lovingly referred to as our #Oliohop). This month I share the stage with ten other design bloggers, many of whom I have had the pleasure of joining forces with before. Our oliohops are a fun way to see one design concept in many different professional perspectives, seeing our creative minds in action on 2D and 3D boards. So hop around with us today, as we tackle one of the happiest times of the year for parents... Back To School!

With two kids in college, creating a dorm room design is a bittersweet subject matter. Sweet because I have two wonderful daughters in college; bitter because they both still live at home, but hey, a gal can dream! 

I decided to venture out to a world that I love, a world of urban decor and music. Whether your child is a mixmaster himself, a closet bedroom d.j. or just appreciates music as much as I do, he will love the D.J. inspired room I created for this dorm.

Dorm rooms follow a few basic principles that we cannot escape; but instead play up within a design.

1. Dorm room space is limited- You only get half a room, and sometimes just a third. Make it work by maximizing spaces with items that are as shallow as possible, layering when you can. Here I added storage without adding furniture. By taking a basic shelf from Ikea and stacking them, I've provided a way to store books, equipment or decorative items without sucking up valuable floor space.

2. Pre-furnished versus adding furniture- Thankfully, most dorm rooms come pre-furnished with your basics; a bed, a desk and closet. For those that don't I suggest a simply framed bed, such as the Malm from Ikea. Lacking a box spring, the malm promotes a somewhat tidy bed, allows a great backdrop for decorative sheet sets and coordinates with most modern, transitional and even traditional decor.

3. Dorm room space is REALLY limited- (definitely worth repeating)Whether you've added your own furnishings or have brought in your own, adjust your layout to create the illusion of space as best as possible. By placing a desk at the foot of this bed, we've squeezed out a bit more wall space, which a dorm never has enough of. Here we've focused it on a fun way to hide your laundry, which very rarely fits in your micro-sized closet. This washing machine looking basket is from Modcloth for just $27.99.

4. Stretch Your Budget- With as little time as you'll spend in your dorm room, shop smart and decorate with in stock items as lower priced stores. Consider that you won't be the only one in your space, so high dollar decor is not only unecessary, it's unsafe to have.

5. Find A Theme You Love & Almost Go Nuts- Notice I say almost... There really can be too much of a good thing. Designers know how to edit, but often times someone gets an idea in their head and goes far too overboard with it, making every piece in that room focus on that one color or theme. This room is a good example of working with a theme without becoming a slave to it.

Hey Mr. D.J.

So, how do you get this funky D.J. look in your dorm room? Start with this fun wall applique by Etsy for $120.00. It's one of the most expensive pieces in the room, but takes up a great deal of space and creates an amazing backdrop for your theme. It comes in many different colors, so find one you want and build your accents around that color palette. Here I used blues. Best of all, it adds color and pattern to your walls that's easily removed when you're done learning!

For far less money, and a little labor, create this great equalizer look on your wall and make the buttons into hooks for your jackets, hats or headphones.

On the left of the wall are speaker box interiors that double as coat racks, also found at If you enter d.j. decor into the search, you'll find many of the items that I've used to create this room. Etsy is a fantastic source to support smal businesses and individuals who create handmade, quality goods from home decor to jewelry. It's a favorite source of mine when shopping for my design clients!

Tie in your decor by using a few pieces of art that continue your look along with a few pieces of decor that mimic your color sheme. 

Add Fun- College is an amazing time in your life. Bring in elements that show your personality, like these fun balloon dog pillows. Play games with your roomate or other room visitors with this great Scrabble wall mounted board by Entertainmenthearth for just $27.99. Both fun and educational, play a lifesized game of Words With Friends or total strangers. Feeling creative? Take some CD jewel cases and create a chandelier with a simple light kit.

This room will be your home for the next two to four years, so make it comfortable, but stylish with my help and the help of my ten other partners in #Oliohop 4. Find them below and see what they've created! If you liked my space, please let me know below. Don't forget to see my other boards at Olioboard.

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