Gain the confidence and tools needed to hone in on your ideas and make your home complete.
Your professional designer BFF here to guide you through pulling together an entire home or a single room.
Pull up a kitchen stool and let's sip on some iced coffee while we work through all of your
home decor questions.
I love when I walk into a home with nearly empty built-ins or free & clear tabletop surfaces because there is no doubt that the space will feel fully transformed by the time I leave.
Styling is an instant (and non-committal) way to bring a space to life, add personality, and display thoughtful collections of goodness.
I’ve known plenty of friends and clients to be daunted by the process of styling to bring a room full to life. Keep in mind that styling a space is a step-by-step journey that can be accomplished by ANY homeowner (I believe in you wholeheartedly 🤩), as long as you process the layout vs. scale of each item.
Similar to any room layout in your home…. scale, scale, scale 🙌 If you missed my breakdown of the importance of scale you can catch it HERE.
Let’s dive into my quick tips to styling any surface in your home…
PREP YOUR SPACE FOR STYLING
Clearing out all of the excess to make room for the new is one of my favorite tips. If you are working on styling shelves, a fireplace mantle or even a coffee table, I recommend moving all of the accessory items to the other side of the room. If you’re working with a full room design, I recommend taking all of the items out of the room. Even taking out the things that you know you’ll keep and use in the space doesn’t hurt—it just gives you room to be more thoughtful about how those items are arranged once they come back into play.
GATHER ITEMS FROM AROUND THE HOUSE
You can never have too many accessories to start your styling process. I can roll into a bookshelf styling session with a carload of accessories, and juuuust make it filling the shelves. Collect books, small artwork, vases, trinkets, bowls, baskets, toys, magazines… really anything that would fit on a shelf or surface that you like the looks of or makes you smile.
PLACE ONE ITEM AT A TIME
Begin to place stacks of books and larger items that can stand on their own. Continue to bring in your smaller accessories, one at a time. Group accessories that vary in height or shape to add sculptural interest. Where groupings feel small or short, ground them with a leaning frame behind them, or a stack of books under them. If you have small collections of items like matchbooks or rocks, ground them in a clear vase or a mounding basket that helps feature and organize them. Play around with color and shape to your liking. Nothing is set in stone until you put a nail in the wall, and even then, you can massage it all as you go.
STYLING IS ALL ABOUT TRIAL AND ERROR
Shift a few inches here and there and make sure each item feels purposeful.
I’ve been testing out placing trinkets on shelves since I was in grade school. I’ve been a collector for as long as I can remember – AND I STILL play around with scale and color and texture every time I style bookshelves and surfaces.
There is not a designer or stylist in the world who would style a set of shelves in one swoop without shifting items as they go… even when they have done this for decades!
We move things to different shelves, test things stacked, shift things legitimately an inch until it all feels complete.
Each styling session is made up of one of a kind vignettes that take thoughtful action to make happen. Every combo of items on every bookshelf in the world is unique. That’s the beauty of styling… it makes your home customized to YOU!
Give yourself grace and start to fill those empty shelves with items you have around the house!
Styling any space can easily be the most rewarding step of the design process. It takes some practice to build confidence, although you will be surprised at how quickly you catch on when you give it the ol’ college try!
I’m dishing out design tips every week in our newsletter! If you haven’t signed up yet, click the link below to receive one of our FREE design guides and you will automatically be added to our newsletter mailing list.
SHOP THE MMDH LOOK
Lots of fresh home inspo and decorating tips are to be discovered on our Pinterest boards!
INTERIOR DESIGNER, EDUCATOR, MOM OF 2, CURATOR, HOMEBODY, ANTHEM LOVER, OPEN-MINDED LEARNER, AND RESOURCE FOR YOU...
I love the hunt for diamonds in the rough, the art of styling unexpected combinations that speak to you, and the process of helping you curate a home that basically gives you a massive hug as you walk in the door.