interior stylist profession and work process by crimson april blog


Hi friends! Since the moment I have been blogging about interiors, I have enjoyed being an interior stylist.  I thought, all the tips and knowledge I pursued from an institute, work experience and greatest Interior Stylists around the world must be shared with you.

So, if you are reading this post I assume, you are very much willing to know, what goes into making an interior stylist a well-known person in this highly demanding world of interiors.

Generally, they work with photographers, because they are majorly demanded in home staging services, home makeover, seasonal event decor and magazine shots. I have already elaborated about an Interior Stylist’s job role.

This post is about the process of their work for still life shots. Let me guide you point-by-point to cover the topic: (Psst. this is going to be long)

Styling Props:

The styling props majorly consist of platters, throws, flowers, books, tchotchkes, mirror, artwork, vases, candles, and bowls; especially to style a table or shelf.

And stylists also play a lot with colours to create a beautiful story around. Their sound knowledge regarding shape and size is also vital to arrange the props and focal elements on a piece of furniture and in a room.


Initially, they make an inspiration- board for the photos with respective to a demanded theme. And irrespective of the vast collection of props (mentioned above) that they usually have, they have to rent furniture and/or decor pieces from collaborated (or not) shops and stores.

They then take the tags off from each product carefully and load them in a vehicle to transport it to the shooting place. At times they are given the authority of creating a theme and selecting a destination for the shoot. For which they also have to coordinate with the photographer to get proper light and effect at shooting time.

They hustle a lot because of trips to the flower market, bakery, pick-ups, painting walls, building sets, dismantling furniture, repackaging and for returns. Most of the materials they use are consumer end, to make a room or space look alive in an image.

Further, they take a good lot of time in arranging the pieces and products, to make it look pleasing and stylish. They sell lifestyle this way.

You might have seen images of luxurious apartments, high-end furnishing companies and likewise, the photography makes an image in mind about its pristine value and allures their audience to buy them. An interior stylist is required to portray and uplift the entire look around the subject matter to make the photograph look so worthy of notice.

Interior Stylist 101

Some valuable tips from well-known stylists:

  • If the two surfaces meet the same colour/finish e.g. wooden nightstand over wooden flooring, then put a bright rug in between.
  • Vary the heights of lamp, books, vases and candles on any tabletop.
  • Place the vignettes in different angles too e.g. books horizontally placed and boxes diagonally placed… likewise.
  • Every photo must have an artwork if needed, one must be behind a side-table too.
  • Keep feminine pieces over masculine furniture, instead of vice versa.
  • Practice on vignettes to get a hang on interior styling.
  • The styling must not look like “do-not-touch sign”. For making a space look lived-in, pull a chair out a li’l away from the dining table, ruffle the sheets for a bed and karate chop cushions for a sofa.
  • Use striking colours in blunt visuals by adding chartreuse vases and cobalt pillow covers.
  • Use 80% of ceiling lights and 20% of wall sconces, table lamps, decorative lighting which will add layers of lighting.
  • The space below a console must not be kept empty.
  • Add topiaries or candles on as/symmetrical way on either side of the focal piece.
  • 60% dominant colour, 30% similar shades and 10% blingy accents.
  • For accessorizing with vignettes “always put them in odd numbers”.
  • Place faux greenery in a photosynthesis area for a natural and logical look
  • A mirror should either be a deco art or its function should be to reflect a beautiful area or piece.
  • Mix up perspective and proportion.
  • For a kitchen, do add a cookbook, a herb pot, fresh fruits/vegetables, a good-looking chopping board and an open view of dishware.
  • Include potpourri, wherever the accent for texture fall short of.
  • Mess things up a little viz. feminine with a masculine, practical product with accessories, retro with contemporary etc.
  • Use of flowers brings massive attraction both virtually and physically.

The pointers above are just a few pearls from the sea of interior stylist’s profession. There is so much more to it. And like in any other skill the more time spent experiencing it, the much better.

After some time your own style and creativity will spark up and bring in something new in the industry. Thus some interior stylists become trendsetters. Remember the example of flamingo and pineapple prints? Yes, that is where I am pointing you to 🙂

Hope this post has been useful to you. And if you are the one who is not willing to pursue styling as a career, well at least you can bring in great good-looks in your home. Happy decorating!!


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