I could barely see over her shoulder, but I could tell she was turning, tweaking, and straightening. Then she stood back less than three minutes later and the once bare console table looked amazing. I knew I needed to know more about her dark magic.
Her name is Kristen Jackson from the blog The Hunted Interior. I was introduced to her at the Haven Blogging Conference where she co-taught a class on interior styling. And right then and there I knew what my home was missing—that finishing touch. After the conference I went on a search to learn more and after some experimentation I realized it’s not magic after all and you don’t have to be a styling sorceress to pull it off.
So what is interior styling and how can you use it in your home?
Interior styling as a profession is mostly reserved for photoshoots, like those gorgeous spreads you see in magazines. But there is a place for interior styling in everyday decorating too. At it’s most basic, interior styling is about making things look good—styled.
What I learned through my own interior styling experiments is that creating a beautiful home isn’t about having designer decor (or a designer to arrange your decor), it’s about knowing how to arrange what you’ve got. When you know how, you can make all your old decor look new and interesting again.
Here’s why you need to learn interior styling if you want your home to look it’s best:
1. Interior styling helps you turn eyesores into eye-pleasing moments in your home.
You know the eyesores I am talking about—the cluttered entry table, the crammed bookshelf, or the bare end table. Interior styling can make all those spots look better. It’s a method of arranging your decor in a way that looks good to the eye. As an added bonus, simply rearranging your decor can make a space look more neat and organized, even with all the same stuff on display. Styling reduces visual clutter, creates intentional vignettes, and makes your decorating look finished.
2. Interior styling forces you to play with your decor.
But not just at random. This playground has some pretty clear guidelines to help you create a good looking arrangement. When you take a small amount of time to play with your decor, then you can see which arrangement really looks the best and is the most practical for your everyday life. I like to style a space and then live with it a few days to see how it works out. If necessary, I adjust from there…going back to the guidelines I started with and having some more playtime.
For example, when I first styled our living room ottoman, I loved these two looks.
I knew right away the large mercury glass hurricanes were out, but I thought the second look had real promise. But after just a few days, I realized it wasn’t livable for us either. So I restyled it more casually to fit better with our lifestyle, which meant less breakables for the boys and pups in our house and with items we reach for daily, like magazines and playing cards. The outcome is still beautiful, but also livable.
3. Interior styling creates that decorated, finished look you crave.
What I saw Kristen do in that conference room opened my eyes to the finishing touch my home was missing. I had lots of pretty stuff to work with, but no idea how to make it all work together. Having decorative accessories is only one part of equation. You also need to know how to arrange your accessories.
Bonus: Interior Styling techniques are reusable.
I was only planning to give you three reasons, but bonus reason #4 just popped into my head. Interior styling techniques are reusable so once you master styling an end table, you’ll be able to effortlessly style a nightstand. You can reuse your styling skills on any surface in your home. And it’ll get easier and more fun every time you do it. So much so that some of my students have reported doing flash restyles of their family and friends houses too.
Sounds great Jackie. How do I learn interior styling?
I’m so glad you asked. I approach interior styling with seven guidelines. I call them my Simple Styling Secrets. They’ve helped me style everything from bookshelves to dresser tops to console tables to ottomans and every surface in between. I teach my Seven Simple Styling Secrets inside Décorography.
You are the best person to decorate your home, Décorography will show you how.