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…



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