One of the phrases that we often hear from clients is that they have troubles "finishing a project". In the past many of them have done smaller projects for themselves that can been draining. Whether it be a bathroom renovation or simply decorating a lounge but they have never quite managed for it to look magazine style finished. It is never quite finished to the level of Interior Styling. This is for a few reasons:
- Projects are long. Often much longer than you ever imagined and because of this they are also
a bit tiringexhausting. Especially if you don't really know if you are doing things the correct way around.
- Unrealistic Expectations. The images that clients are aiming for are interior styled to death and actually not how they want to live on a day to day basis.
Interior styling is a quite an art.
Styling is often overlooked as the frillier end of the design spectrum which is a shame. It is a wonderful and whimsical end of the spectrum where anything is possible. Often a lot more than people are willing to experiment with in their own home for fear of it either becoming dated. Everyone is also worried that they will become tired of it in a few months time once the excitement has worn off. However, good styling is often at the heart of projects. A well styled home will lead you on a journey and bring you joy in each area as you move through your property.
Good styling and a truly finished home often comes down to the small finishing touches. These 'touches' turn a house into a home. They also help tell a story. In general people are unaware that most of the images they see in magazines are not exactly how people live. As we often go through inspiration from clients this becomes apparent. Whether it be magazine pieces, other designers work, or previous projects we have worked on.
These images give a good backbone for the design we are going to create for this. This is because clients are often able to fully express how they want a room to fee, articulating it can be difficult. Especially when you start melding different ideas and styles that you admire. For this reason we find that looking through images is much more useful. A visual image gives a feeling instantly. One method of inspiration that continues to rise to the top of clients go-to lists for inspiration, and our own, is Pinterest.
A Magical Whimsical World
Pinterest is a magical whimsical world. Some would say it is the home of well styled shots. It is a platform where you can learn to hem a dress, bake a cake and design your en-suite as your burrow down the rabbit hole. It is important to remember that the images that we see Pinned (or saved as Pinterest would currently prefer you to say) are often highly stylised versions of living. The kind that we see in glossy magazines and are the origin of the question "yes, but how does that work every day?". Simply - it doesn't. These images are designed and styled to inspire - they are art and like art that does not mean they are functional.
A well curated pinterest board can be a thing of beauty. We are particularly happy with our 'Fun and Funky Branding Ideas' board. It is a great source of inspiration when looking at branding. These aren't all do-able on a large scale or for every business though. They are a dream.
So where should you be going if you are looking for real homes? To be able to get inspired but without doing in to an Alice in WOnderland version of what a home can be? Well, if you are looking for a more pared back version of interior styling you would be best placed to look at Houzz. It is a platform that is much more based in reality and as they tell us,
"With more than two million monthly unique users flocking to the platform every month, we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of what members of the community are desiring right now"
We find that Houzz provides a fantastic balance to the overly styled world of Pinterest and magazines. All of them have their place and we most certainly enjoy them all as inspiration. In reality clients are often looking at large problems in their homes that they don't know how to solve.
Houzz's images are full of solutions to your problems. Clever and innovative design that works hard for the people who employed a designer or architect to come up with them whilst looking gloriously effortless. Design is often about finishing. Creating a space that allows you to expand and live comfortably whilst still looking completely finished to begin with. The interior styling within these images is, for this reason, often kept to only the essentials.
Since our clients don't actually want to live in a magazine shoot that is completely unuseable our interior design service allows clients to have enough products to style their homes in a comfortable and elegant way. One that still allows them to use their home how they need to. Each piece is carefully considered to make sure it pulls together with the initial scope. Clever and innovative design brings in beauty but ultimately isn't there to simply be clutter. This is especially important when we are working with clients who have small children or a growing family - children produce a wonderful amount of clutter themselves and we don't want to be adding to it!
We love being able to flex our interior styling muscles. Recently whilst in Palm Springs for Alt Summit Kia was able to hone some of her styling skills so create some beautifully curated table settings. Using our brand colours of fuchsia and cobalt together with bold prints and gold cutlery to create this wonderful scheme. It has a casual dining feel and you could imagine sitting on a terrace somewhere overlooking the sea with a glass of prosecco in one hand and that amazing looking donut in the other! All those feelings and that idea has been given through the subtle but distinct styling that has created the shot.
Curating a shot like that is often what people think of when they think of 'interior styling'. It can be a huge part of it styling but it's not the full story. In fact many stylists look to create a story with each and every shot they create with a photographer. This story is clear and well executed and are extremely stylists who are very successful at doing this. The story unfolds as you take in the images, whether it be for only a split second or when you are immersed in the design as we are often able to be at specialist design shows.
This kind of styling can require weeks of work to get the right products that are evocative to that feeling or a few hours. It depends on who the project is for. A good stylist will turn a drab and unimaginative advertised campaign into one that creates rapture amongst their selected audience.