Better Homes and Gardens tour

August 26, 2014

I was approached by Better Homes and Gardens recently asking if I wanted to help promote their products at Walmart and then TAKE A TRIP TO THE BHG HEADQUARTERS.

Uh. Yes, I would like to take a trip to the Better Homes and Gardens headquarters, thank you very much. It is an honor and I’m so excited about this partnership:


I took a TON of pictures and this is only half of them – but still a lot of pics! The headquarters are located in Des Moines Iowa – which is really weird because the only two times I’ve stayed in Iowa in my life were this summer.

They truly went all out for us:

BHG bloggers

We got to see so many of their current and future products and in addition got a grand tour of the facilities. It was so fun.

Nancy Hopkins, the food and entertaining editor, gave us a beautiful presentation in one of their test kitchens:

BHG headquarters

Do you see the cutie fall cookie jars? Adorable. They’ll be out in stores soon. :)

Nancy did the easiest, most beautiful entertaining displays using basic dishes and food. It was so simple, seriously. I think we way over think things when it comes to decorating sometimes. The simplest are often the prettiest:

That was a plate, an upside down bowl and then another stacked on top. (She suggested using something like Velcro to make them stay put when entertaining.)

We got a peek at the fall and holiday products that will be in stores soon:

BHG Christmas products

We also got a tour through the test kitchens – it smelled AMAZING:

BHG test kitchen

What’s funny is they were making this shrimp and pesto meal and Christmas cookies – and the combo still worked. ;)

One of the most exciting parts of the tour for us bloggers was seeing where the shoot spreads and advertisements for the magazine. Rooms were built everywhere with fake window and “natural” light. You can’t even tell they weren’t real!:


And we got to tour the prop room. People. We could have spent hours in there poking around – it was crazy!:

BHG headquarters

And really, so well organized too. Everything down to the cutlery was organized by color. So cool.

We got to see some photo shoots in action too. We walked in to one and the space was so dark, I didn’t think there was any way they would get a good shot:

But the images were coming up on the monitor and were stunning. It was fascinating to watch!

One of my favorite areas was the workshop:

Gah. This girl was in heaven! It smelled so good in there too. Pesto and wood – good smells. ;)

They had a room filled with just walls – exterior and interior. My favorite was the board and batten wall:

There’s a planked on there in the back too. ;) The exterior walls even had lights and doors, it was so cool.

The part of the tour I was most looking forward to was the test garden and it did not disappoint!:

BHG test garden

This is another spot I could have walked around in forever. It was beautiful:

lily pads

I think the shade garden was my favorite. I want to create one in our backyard just like this:

shade garden

Easy, right? I love that they use this garden to see what plants work – how well they grow, what kind of light they need. I’ve become a bit of a gardening nut over the past few years so I was all geeked out. :)

We finished up the day with a trip to the Iowa State Fair – we had dinner and then had a couple hours to play:

Iowa state fair

We rode a bunch of rides and had an absolute blast.

I have to tell you, I was SO impressed with the products – I was surprised more than once at what was available and the price. This bedding was one of my favorites:

colorful bedding

I don’t know why but I was obsessed with it. I just think it is so pretty – perfect for a girl’s room. Or an adult girl’s room. ;) I LOVE all the colors. OH and the headboard – (with nail head trim!) starts at $150 and comes in two different colors!

I was so, so impressed with their lighting. I bought a very similar lamp for NOT $60 a couple years ago:

Here is the wood one and I believe the swing arm lamp will be coming out soon.

Their weathered wood pieces had us all excited – they look SO good and this finish is so popular right now:

That console on the left is really for TV components but I loved it as a sofa table – or in a dining room as a buffet.

Their slip covered sofas and chairs were comfy and didn’t have that slipcovered look at all – I didn’t believe them at first. ;)

fish pillow

And I wouldn’t think I would like a fish pillow but those looked pretty adorable.

Their dishes were gorgeous (very Pottery Barn-like) and that little tray in the middle with the candles was so versatile:

It would be so easy to decorate your table for the fall or Christmas with that! I can’t find it online but I’ll do some checking and see if I can find it.

Talk about knocking one off the bucket list! It was an absolute honor to be invited and they treated us so well. I can’t wait to show you more of the products in a couple months! If you want a link for anything you see here just let me know. :)

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  1. Wow! That's my dream job. So lucky of you and your friends. Can't wait to see some of it on shelves.

  2. Would love that tour! We have that headboard...the gray one with the nail trim? We got it from Walmart online about two years ago...for $60! After seeing it for $150 I think I got a bargain! It's held up so well, and I love it. Can't wait to see other products hit the shelf!

  3. Wow! What an amazing experience! I can't believe you can get that stuff at Walmart! That headboard! I need to get my hands on one of those! What a great opportunity!

  4. Very cool!!

    In the picture of the 'wall room' is that woman in the green skirt barefoot?? LOLOL

    1. Yes, she was in major pain by that point in the day. ;)

  5. So cool! I live in the Des Moines area and I actually know the managing editor at Midwest Living (also owned by Meredith Corporation) - he goes to my church. But I've never seen their headquarters! What a great opportunity!

  6. BHG should considering doing better staging at Walmart. I've seen cute stuff from their line there but it's never presented so that I can easily put stuff together like at Target. ;)

  7. This looks like an amazing day! So fun to see behind the scenes and all the new products coming out!

  8. Looks like it was a lot of fun! I adore that sleigh centerpiece!

  9. How nifty!!! So cool to be able to see behind the scenes of how everything is tweaked & worked in!


  10. I am not a fan of Walmart, but do love that bedding! May have to go check it out. What a fun experience for you!

  11. How cool is that? I often wondered where they found all the different homes for all the ideas in the magazines. Duh. I would have LOVED that tour (especially the prop room - I need to build my own).

  12. Is the table and chairs in the last picture Walmart as well?

  13. Looks like a blast! Glad you got to have the opportunity!

  14. OM Goodness! I would so love that!!! I recently stumbled upon some great pantry storage contaiiners at Walmart and I went back and second and third time to convert my pantry. When I saw that it was Better Homes and Garden, a light bulb when over my head. If the other items are anything like the containers, Walmart will be my "go to" place from now on.

  15. I love those dishes and have been looking for a good white dinnerware set. Are they more white or cream? I can't find them on Walmart's website via the link you have!

  16. Ok. I NEED a link to that white puckered bedspread. Like seriously NEED it. Matter of life and death here. :) Just can't get it out of my head.

    1. I found it! :)
      It comes in two colors.

  17. WOW Gorgeous everything! I live in Iowa, just 2 hours from Des Moines and seriously had no idea the BHG headquarters was located there.

  18. So cool! You were right down the street from me! I could have ran into you at the fair. That makes me smile! No, we've never met----but you know the whole I read your blog so I feel like I know you thing. *wink*
    Des Moines, IA

  19. HA! I love that you got a picture of me walking barefoot! Those darn heels.... :)

  20. So much fun! It was great to see you again :)

  21. Oh, PLEASE find the link to the candle tray in the last picture. I want to get that sooooo bad. Perfectly my style. Thank you so much for this post. Very inspiring.

  22. Yes, I want that candle tray, too. It's awesome and has to be cheaper than Pottery Barn! So versatile...


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