Home Life: Picture Perfect With Wedding Photographer Abby Jiu

by Contributor

Wedding Photographer, Abby Jiu

Wedding Photographer Abby Jiu’s chic, light-filled home
Photos Courtesy of Lisa Ziesing


From an opulent downtown Washington wedding, to royal-like nuptials in Sicily, photographer Abby Jiu, owner  and  principal  of  Abby  Jiu  photography,  has been called the “queen of capturing magic.” Named a top wedding  photographer  by  Martha  Stewart  Weddings  and  gushed over by countless brides for her signature aesthetic of “timeless, light-filled, and boldly romantic” images, Jiu’s career is surrounded by beautiful decor, rich textures and colors and grand setups.

From  a  design  perspective,  Jiu  admits  it’s  been  very  inspiring. So,  after  buying  a  new  six-bedroom,  six  full-bath  residence in Pimmit Hills, she knew she wanted it to be chic and well-designed.  It also had to be practical for a young family of three and their dog Penelope.  In  the  spirit  of  collaboration  similar  to  wedding  teams  involving  couples,  event  designers  and  caterers  to  perfectly  encapsulate the fluidity of that special day, Jiu was eager to collaborate with interior designer and stylist Shannon Claire Smith for a smooth, effortless interior design process.

LIVING ROOM: “Overall, Smith says the space is “crisp and chic,” adding “we didn’t want the space to feel too precious, as they’re a growing family who lives and relaxes in this space on a daily basis.” A gilt mirror by Arhaus adds patina and age to the room.

“I  know  just  how  valuable  it  is  for  clients  to  have  complete  trust  in  me,  and  that’s  exactly  what  I  have  in  Shannon,”  Jiu  says.  “She  just  gets  me!  I  can  articulate  a  few words and some pictures and she absolutely nails the design.” One  of  the  first  things  Smith  focused  on  was  light.  “Because  Abby  is  a  photographer,  we  really  wanted  the bones and the foundation of the space to feel light and airy. Not only because the home would be a backdrop for some of her photography, but also because she craves that light and bright natural light.”

To do that, and without making the modern and open house feel washed out, Smith layered in “cozy” texture and contrast, such as black accents, unlacquered brass, natural wood and tone-on-tone wallpaper patterns. An Eddy chandelier over the breakfast table by Schoolhouse Electric broke up the open concept plan. In the kitchen, pendant lights from circa lighting elevated the space. “Who says you can’t have bejeweled lights in the kitchen?” Smith quips. The formal dining room features a statement chandelier from Arteriors and is one of Jiu’s favorite pieces.

Kitchen: Abby Jiu says her style is minimalistic and normally has a hard time committing to colors. To help with that, designer Shannon Claire Smith added texture and layers, such as these bejeweled pendant lights. “[Shannon] took my direction to keep it neutral, but not boring,” Jiu says.

“The room is so large that we wanted to really emphasize the tall ceilings,” Smith says. (There are 10-foot ceilings and 8-foot doors throughout the main and second levels.) She also added oversized accent lamps from Visual Comfort for a slight edge to a light and airy room. In Jiu’s home office, Smith added a white lacquer console for office storage that didn’t look too corporate and a tonal organic wallpaper from Anthropologie.“I took the approach of each space overall as if I was looking through a camera lens, [asking] what pops out in a really great photo? How can we layer in depth and texture to make the space feel multi-dimensional?” Smith says.

Home Office: “We made sure to make the office space feel like it was separate from the house but … almost another living room of sorts,” Smith says. “We used comfy furniture that’s not typically found in an office environment as the foundation, and then decorated with large scale art pieces to give the room a collected feel.”

“We really leaned on a neutral foundation that most photographers gravitate towards. And in the end, I was mostly inspired by all of the fantastic natural light!”In this happily ever after, no filter is needed.


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