Podcast, Ep. 174: photographer Alyssa Rosenheck

Photographer and author Alyssa Rosenheck joins us to talk about her new book, The New Southern Style

Photo: Alyssa Rosenheck


Today’s episode features the multi-talented Alyssa Rosenheck.  Alyssa is a renowned interior and architectural photographer, stylist, a cancer survivor, a lifestyle expert, and best-selling author of The New Southern Style.  Alyssa shares her inspiring background and life pivots, and she encourages us all to tap into our creativity; whatever that means for us.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Alyssa’s story; including growing up as one of the only Jewish families in OK, life pivots, cancer, and staying YES to herself.
  • Alyssa left high stress corporate jobs and started helping build small businesses about 7 years ago.
  • What is “The New Southern” movement and where was Alyssa when she came up with it?
  • Alyssa describes what her new book The New Southern Style is; not just a picture book!
  • Why rituals are so important and what some of our favorites are.
  • What “living in the light” means to Alyssa.
  • Alyssa shares some tips on how to counteract burnout with creativity.
  • The different ways you can define “creativity”.
  • Alyssa’s process for writing, and photographing, her book.
  • How Alyssa does the job of two people both styling and photographing her shoots.
  • Why you should be flowering your home with Israeli Ruscus.
  • How Alyssa picked the people she would feature in her book.
  • Alyssa’s book inspires and nurtures the idea that you can make a living being a creative.

Decorating Dilemma

Hi, Ladies!

I love your podcast! I discovered it earlier this summer and I instantly became addicted! Here is my decorating dilemma. I hope you can help!   

We have been doing some updating at our home during these crazy times and my current dilemma is the great room. We recently replaced the carpet with hardwood, got a new sofa and love seat, stained the concrete hearth top, painted the piano black and replaced some track lights above the fireplace with can lights (so we definitely have to paint the ceiling too).  We still plan to remove the carpet from the steps between the foyer and great room and update the balusters with iron spindles and new newel posts. 

Now I’m stuck regarding paint for walls and trim (and, of course, any other suggestions you might have!).  Please see the pictures attached. As you can see, there are a lot of windows, natural light and angles.   

Our house has a unique floor plan and once you start painting, it goes on and on. (HaHa) Are accent walls “out”? Should we paint the cabinets in the bar area and if so, what color? What are your color suggestions for trim and walls? Also, the front door area? Fireplace? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated! 

Thank you so much!


Hi Cindy,

I think this is a really great open space.  I would love for it to all be one color and be light, bright, open and airy to reflect all the windows in the house.  We all agree that statement walls need to be very intentional and think white walls with white trim in a different sheen will work wonders.  I think this will be the biggest bang for your buck then you can bring in in textures and layered accessories within the same tonal family.  Use art for pops of color.  You can really change the meaning of this room by bringing the furniture in closer to the fireplace.   Adding another chair and maybe a little card table would be good because this is a great room for people to gather.  Add some more lamps with the plants on that table behind that long sofa, as well. 

I do like the bar area, but I almost want to see those top cabinets gone and do shelving above it instead.  The important thing is to make this room more intimate.

We’d also suggest checking out Lauren Liess; a designer in Washington, DC that specializes in this style house and uses an earthy, 7os color palette in a really modern way.  Consider investing in your art collection.  You have a lot of blank walls, so find something very large to make an impact here. It doesn’t need to be expensive!  I know you have a lot of windows, but 2-3 pieces above the TV, flanking the windows, above the bar or above the dresser could be great places.  Think outside the box!  I also with giant ceilings like this you could get some great, large light fixtures.  We’re not sure about painting the brick around fireplace; start with painting the room one color first. 

Good luck, Cindy!  We really like this room and its architecture and can’t wait to see what you do with it.

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.