As a designer I don’t always get asked to style my clients homes. By that I mean I will design kitchens and bathrooms, furnish bedrooms, lounges and dining rooms, and even source artwork, cushions, and accent lights. But often my clients have décor items, books, personal treasures that they like to display in their home. So I may go back to help them place these to create a curated feel, but I don’t always get asked to shop for these décor items.
I’ve been asked by a client whose new home I recently furnished to style for them. This was a family who were upsizing so had very little furniture to fit their new rooms. Once all of the furniture, rugs, artwork and lighting was delivered we soon realised they also had very little to style their home with. I am a big believer in collecting on your travels, displaying photo’s of loved ones, using lots of candles and books to create a story about the people that live in the space, but for this family we need to make a start on this because right now the home doesn’t feel lived in.
So over the past few weeks, with a set budget from my client I’ve had the privilege of shopping for them. I have 3 consoles to style, 2 coffee tables, a dining table, master bedroom besides and tallboy and also 4 bathrooms to purchase new towels and décor for. It’s been quite a task, so if you ever find yourself in a position where you’re starting from scratch and it’s all a bit overwhelming I would suggest breaking it down like this:
- Create a document breaking down by room and photograph each space that needs styling, make sure you have these to hand when shopping
- Next to each area create a budget that you would like to stick to
- Make a list of items for each surface area, if you’re struggling to know what you need research through Pinterest and create a board for styling. Note how to create vignettes of items (see below tips on this also)
- If you have specific fabrics in your rooms take these shopping with you
- When you go shopping focus on one area at a time and allocate several shopping trips to cover all areas
- Pick items that mean something to you and the people that live there, coffee table books that are of interest, pieces that evoke happy feelings, colours that you love!
- Once you get back from each shopping trip take stock of what you have purchased, note in your document what you have spent and also take photo’s of what you have (ideally in situ if you are already living in your new space). Then you can work out if you need anything more for that surface.
How to create a vignette
So you have bought your pieces, next question is how do you go about placing them? I’m looking forward to taking everything over to my clients home in a few weeks and getting everything in it’s place. Here are some tips on how to create great vignettes:
Create different heights in your groupings, so tall plants or a tall lamp with lower level vases, books and frames
Layer your pieces such as stacking a few coffee table books with a candle and coasters on top, on a coffee table this is a perfect combo
If possible create your groupings around a light source, for two reasons, the light will create height visually and also light up your curated pieces.
Group odd numbers of items together and mix up the materials and textures to add interest, groups of 3’s and 5’s work well.
Make sure that the colours, materials and style of the items work with the overall look and feel of your room.
Create depth by placing items back and front and not just in one long line say on a shelf or console, and by overlapping say a light or plant with the artwork above, this create connection and depth to a vignette.
I hope this helps you to tell your personal story through styling your home. We all do it without realising it so by adding a little method to the process you will gain even better results.