use and reuse: storage solutions

If you’re like me, you have lots of bits and bobs that you’ve collected over the years but if you don’t find somewhere safe to put them, you know they’ll just go missing!

I have a sewing box with everything in it you’d expect to find there – but I just have too many buttons and too many threads to squeeze in without them getting in a tangle with a pair of scissors and a pin cushion.

Queue my storage solution that looks pretty enough to keep on a shelf out of the sewing box and is made from something you may have spare in your kitchen..

Storage IdeasThese clip-top jars come in a variety of sizes, aren’t costly, and with the bright colours of buttons and threads they look decorative too. I usually keep these on a shelf next to others absolutely jam-packed with buttons! You can colour code them, or make them as multi-coloured as you like! You can even use them to store things for card making or gardening – or fill them with hair bobbles or bracelets to help de-clutter your dressing table!


styling as an illusion

As much as styling is about presenting interiors at their best, sometimes, when they’re being shown through a camera lens… things aren’t always as they seem.

Room sets can be put together completely from scratch, or furniture can be arranged in a way that isn’t practical to live with, but looks better in a photograph. It can be quite deceptive, but that’s what makes those photos of gorgeous homes that adorn the magazines so desirable.

I currently work on the home department merchandising products in a way that looks fab, but also makes sense. I have to source items within the store to create a feature that fits a lifestyle and becomes something to aspire to, something that customers will desire for their own homes. It doesn’t make sense to have a feature with towelling on it as well as things from the kitchen… it’s all about creating something in-store, that could be transferred into a home and not look out of place. Cushions, storage boxes and lamps can go together, or towels, baskets and candles. The idea is to pick a room, and create something visual about it without any of the furniture you’d in that particular room.

That’s what styling is like.. creating an illusion (whether that be true-to-life or completely manufactured) of what it’s like to live in that particular house, or what the purpose of that specific room is or which rooms are family rooms and which are dedicated to just the kids.

If you had a plain room, with a neutral sofa in it – you could completely transform the message of who that room is for and what style the house is simply by the cushions you choose to put on the sofa or where in the room you choose to place it. That’s another reason I love styling – there are virtually no boundaries to creativity, and you get to indulge yourself in a lifestyle or a taste that isn’t necessarily yours..

I’m setting myself a challenge. I am going to use one surface against one neutrally-painted wall in my house, and style it up for different rooms using the knowledge I have gained from visual merchnadising – just to see how many different looks I can get. You can tell me if they translate across well in photos…

Here it is… my blank canvas…


what is interior styling?

Have you ever looked through an interior magazine and wondered how the people who own these homes keep them looking so photograph-ready?

Well, hate to burst the illusion but, they don’t. Yes, some people have beautiful homes that are kept pristine and always have that perfectly laid out pile of magazines on their coffee table or that half-eaten cupcake casually laying on the kitchen side that still looks delicious, but there is a difference between styling a room for the general presentation of it and styling it through the view-finder of a camera.

The stylist’s job varies depending on whether their work is editorial, commercial or in the area of press shows, but the general idea is that it’s down to the stylist to show a room in the best possible way; sourcing products or using available products to put the right image together for the magazine or the company catalogue etc.

My main area of interest is editorial. I love the magazines. I love the real homes and the idea of working with something someone else has created to produce achingly perfect images of homes that others will lust after. I love flitting about flea markets for good finds, or seeing something that has the potential to become something else – and I can spend hours on Pinterest looking at crafty ideas and creative ways to display or store things and I am forever rearranging my dressing table or coming up with new place settings. All of these ‘hobbies’ have built up a catalogue of ideas that I could use on the set of a shoot as a stylist. And that’s what it’s about. It’s seeing things in a different way, a way that can relate through a lens and onto the pages of a glossy interiors mag or the appropriate section of a weekend broadsheet supplement.

This image from stylist Lucyina Moodie looks effortless. It looks like the house of a family ready to share breakfast together. But everything from the number of plates on the table to the angle of the stool to how far open the door is, has been thought about.

Lucyina Moodie

I think styling is built in to some people. I am one of those people. And that’s why it’s my dream job.