Can you style your home like a pro even if you’re not one? Of course the biggest most important trick in the book is to tell a story with the stuff you’ve got. Stylists and designers tell a narrative with not just product selection but also arranging. Not a fake story mind – once working as a designer in America I had to source a vintage tea set which the client set out on a coffee table (year round) in the drawing room – even though they never drunk tea! Seriously – forget faking up some life you don’t ever live be authentic. My house looks like my house whether you bash on the door now or you come over for Design School, nothing gets brought out or put ‘especially away’. What’s the point?
So below some techniques we use as designers and stylists (pretty self explanatory actually) oh and I should mention have patience. You won’t always throw something together in a second it takes time!
First thing we have to tackle is the overall composition
Try this Experiment!
Close your eyes walk to the entrance of your room (actually walk first then close eyes) and at that first instant glance what stands out? What does your eye go to first? Does anything feel like its not working – not enough stuff, too much stuff, furniture against the perimeter? The biggest no no in the decorating book is the furniture again the perimeter thing (go straight to jail if that is the case)! Being serious now – because I know it feels like your getting more physical space when furniture butts the walls but actually you’re losing masses of visual space. I’m not talking bringing them out much just enough for maybe a skinny shelf or console to go behind. Angle chairs and suddenly you’ve created something a little magical – promise (image domainehome.com).
Once you’ve nailed the composition drill down into the smaller objects. As stylists and designers we group things all the time – creating vignettes, juggling around with height and plopping things in front of things to create intrigue.
As an example say you’ve got a couple of vases and candles on the mantle rather than having gaps between put candles in front of vases (odd numbers are always more engaging) even numbers are static and dull. Cluster so no gaps and no rows (back to jail if so) gaps and rows make the whole thing feel lonely and uninterestingly. The theory behind this is that when you group and cluster things together it reads as far more engaging, tantalizing and exciting, detail of my mantle below which I know is an even number of things but the whole arrangement is odd if that makes sense.
As for symmetry – ditch it too boring!
Need more? Pop over to Gwyneth Paltrows’ blog Goop – where you’ll see some before and after’s in my pad, coffee table, mantles etc. all the low down you’ll ever need to style like a Pro!
Back later with a sneak peak of our latest flowers AMAZEBALLS