What Is an Interior Stylist and How to Become One

In this article, we will delve into the exciting world of interior styling and explore how you can embark on a career in this creative field. Whether you're a design enthusiast or simply have a...

In this article, we will delve into the exciting world of interior styling and explore how you can embark on a career in this creative field. Whether you're a design enthusiast or simply have a passion for creating beautiful spaces, becoming an interior stylist might be the perfect choice for you.

Being an interior Stylist is all about turning a concept into a photo shoot Being an interior Stylist is all about turning a concept into a photo shoot

What's the Difference Between an Interior Stylist & an Interior Designer?

When people hear the term "Interior Stylist," they often confuse it with "Interior Designer." While there are similarities between the two professions, it's important to note the significant differences. Interior designers focus on creating permanent design solutions for people's homes, while interior stylists specialize in creating temporary, visually captivating spaces for photo shoots and events.

To draw a parallel, think of a fashion designer who creates clothes from scratch for people to wear, and a fashion stylist who styles the clothes on models for brands. Similarly, an interior stylist curates looks for brands to showcase their latest collections and inspire customers to purchase their products for their homes.

Want to be an Interior Stylist? Then you’ll need to know the hottest interior trends Want to be an Interior Stylist? Then you'll need to know the hottest interior trends

The Pre-Shoot Creative Process

Interior stylists are involved in a wide range of projects, from advertisements and press look books to magazine shoots and web campaigns. Each shoot is unique, varying in complexity, duration, and team size. As a former magazine stylist, I've learned to navigate the editorial process, package ideas, and align them with seasonal trends.

A crucial aspect of the job is handling the administrative tasks associated with a shoot, such as budgeting, cost tracking, team payment management, as well as booking hotels, locations, and transport. Despite spending only a fraction of our time on actual styling, ensuring the smooth running of shoots is vital.

The starting point for a shoot is a mood board The starting point for a shoot is a mood board

Coming Up With Creative Concepts

Before a shoot, extensive research on trends and looks is essential. The planning stage is time-consuming, involving selecting the perfect location from countless possibilities across the UK. Once the ideas and budget are approved, detailed mood boards come into play, capturing the desired looks, colors, fabrics, and lighting. Sometimes, I even sketch out the concept to ensure my clients fully grasp my vision.

The creative concept, captured on a mood board, sets the stage for styling the products in a setting that evokes desire and encourages customers to make a purchase. Bringing this concept to life during the photoshoot is where the magic happens.

Hunting the perfect location is a key skill for an interior stylist Hunting the perfect location is a key skill for an interior stylist

Location Hunting Skills

Finding the ideal location is often the inspiration behind a shoot. Collaborating closely with location agencies, I meticulously search for the perfect place that perfectly aligns with my client's vision. Whether it's a grand house, a serene garden, or an unconventional venue, it's crucial to explore various options and take photos to envision the shoot's angles and potential furniture and accessories.

Shoots can involve models (as well as pets) Shoots can involve models (as well as pets)

Sourcing Props

As an interior stylist, I'm often tasked with finding unique props that perfectly complement the shoot's theme. From medical equipment to vintage furniture, the search for the perfect items can be a thrilling adventure. Brighton, with its abundance of shops and quirky vintage stores, has become my go-to source for unusual pieces. Sometimes, I even resort to online searches or rely on prop hire services in London.

In some cases, I'm even asked to create props specifically for a shoot. Spray painting tennis rackets or customizing vintage furniture are just some examples of the diverse tasks that keep this job interesting and dynamic.

Interior Stylists can also turn their hand to styling events like this one I did for Barclays with Jasmin Hemsley Interior Stylists can also turn their hand to styling events like this one I did for Barclays with Jasmin Hemsley

Working Closely With a Team of Pros

The captivating images you see in magazines, catalogs, websites, and blogs are the result of a collaborative effort involving a talented team. Besides the interior stylist, this team typically includes a photographer and a set builder.

The photographer is a vital player, utilizing their expertise, lighting skills, and equipment to capture the perfect shot. They also handle post-production tasks such as color enhancement and editing.

A skilled assistant complements the team, assisting with prop sourcing, interior trend knowledge, and the physical demands on set. This role serves as a stepping stone for aspiring interior stylists, offering valuable insights and learning opportunities.

On editorial shoots, set builders lend their expertise to create the desired sets, constructing fake walls, fitting flooring, and assembling furniture.

Transportation is another crucial element, ensuring the safe delivery and return of all props. Shoot couriers offer specialized services, handling prop logistics efficiently.

A good interior stylist will blend new products into a location effortlessly A good interior stylist will blend new products into a location effortlessly

Shoot Day

Once all the preparations are complete, the shoot day dawns with excitement and anticipation. As an interior stylist, I arrive on set, bringing with me a car full of props, including irons, flowers, food props, and personal touches from my home.

Thorough preparation ensures a smooth shoot day, with all necessities in place. Flexibility and resourcefulness are key, as last-minute changes in client preferences are not uncommon. To stay on schedule and avoid overtime charges, a detailed spreadsheet allocates time for each shot.

Throughout the day, furniture is moved and rearranged, demanding physical strength and resilience. It often feels like moving houses twice in one day, but the satisfaction of seeing the vision come to life on screen makes it all worthwhile.

My styling work has taken me to far-flung places like South Africa (where this was photographed) My styling work has taken me to far-flung places like South Africa (where this was photographed)

The Best Part About Being an Interior Stylist

As an interior stylist, the real joy lies in seeing the final images at the end of the day. Witnessing an idea that once existed only in your mind come to life on screen is truly magical. It's a testament to the hard work and long hours invested in each project.

Months later, stumbling upon your styling work on TV or spotting it on the cover of a magazine is an exhilarating experience. Amid the challenges, the creative and rewarding nature of this profession keeps us driven and passionate.

Do you want to become an interior stylist and create images like this one? Do you want to become an interior stylist and create images like this one?

Do You Want to Become an Interior Stylist?

If this article has sparked your interest in becoming an interior stylist, there are several routes you can take. You can enroll in online or formal education courses, pursue a career as an Instagrammer or blogger, gain experience through internships with established interior stylists, or explore opportunities in TV production departments. Alternatively, you can experiment with styling ideas in your own home and see where your creativity takes you.

Becoming an interior stylist is an exciting journey that opens the door to limitless possibilities. By following your passion for design and honing your skills, you can create stunning images that inspire and captivate.

For more interior ideas & inspiration, follow me on Instagram For more interior ideas & inspiration, follow me on Instagram

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