styling room by room: bathroom

Of all the rooms in the house, this one is by far the most difficult to style and probably to photograph too. It’s hard to make the space where your toilet lives look luxury and inviting..

As always, I have gathered together some images that I’ll post below. I always try to get a mix of design styles in there, and also different ways in which the same room has been styled for the photo. I don’t always like what I put up, but that’s part of the point. Analysing what someone else has done and deciding whether you would do it the same way and if not, what you’d do differently.

Of all of the bathroom ones, there are very few I would use as styling inspiration. I think in most, if not all of them, the towels need looking at again. They just don’t hang right – and my eye is drawn to them in a negative way. In saying that, I do think towels are a very important aspect of styling for a bathroom, and so I am glad they are featured. They just need folding a bit more neatly.

Other than towels, it’s difficult to know what to put in a bathroom. In some of the images below, I feel a lot of the items in there just don’t sit quite right – but I understand that sometimes you don’t want it to appear like nothing has been added or no effort has been made. This isn’t always such a negative thing. In kitchens the rule of ‘less is more’ applies, and I think the same goes for a bathroom.

Cleanliness is paramount, so clean that shower screen like you never have before! And break up the lines using height and texture. Texture can be added through towelling and other bathroom accessories, and height can be added with maybe a plant or some flowers. In my opinion, these things work in a bathroom – and sometimes candles and diffusers too – but too many trinkets and shampoo bottles don’t. Some things just need to be put out of sight so that the bathroom can really be looked at for it’s design rather than it’s purpose.

I’d love to style my own bathroom. It’s so easy to look at other people’s work and say what you wouldn’t do.. but knowing what you would do instead is another matter.

Have a look and see what you think..

Black-and-Silver-Bathroom-Livingetc-Housetohome Cobalt-Blue-and-White-Roll-top-Bathroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Concrete-theme-and-White-Bathroom-Livingetc-Housetohome Cream-Shabby-Chic-Bathroom-Style-At-Home-Housetohome Dark-Grey-and-Green-Mosaic-Tiled-Bathroom-Style-At-Home-Housetohome Distressed-Basin-Table-Bathroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Floral-Screen-and-Cream-Bathroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Green-Toile-and-White-Roll-top-bathroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Pale-Grey-and-White-Roll-Top-Bathroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Roll-Top-and-Wood-Bathroom-25-Beautiful-Homes-Housetohome Tonal-Grey-Tiled-Bathroom-Ideal-Home-Housetohome White-Shower-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome

styling room by room: dining room

The dining room. This is a space where you eat, you entertain, and in family homes, can be a great place to spend quality time together particularly after a meal. The dining table is undoubtedly the biggest feature of this room. It’s what gives it the primary purpose and use it has. So the table is the main focus of this room.

There are two main scenarios for this space. 1. That the table is the centrepiece and this is what needs the most styling. 2. That the room has many interesting features and so the idea of styling the actual table is to keep it clean and simple so that the focus is allowed to be elsewhere in the room.

For scenario number one, it’s important to decide what your preference is. What do I mean by that? Well… do you like formally setting the table or do you like it to be more of a placement of objects?

When I talked about styling kitchens, I mentioned that it is a bit of a no-no in the styling world to formally set the table. It is seen as unrealistic, and in a lot of cases you want the home being photographed to be believable and welcoming. I do stand by this rule, but in my opinion, you can be a bit more lenient with it in a dining room. For one thing, a dining room is a more formal eating area than a table in a kitchen, and so I do think setting the table becomes acceptable. Again, my preference is to keep a middle-ground. In my bedroom post, I said I didn’t like a bed to be too perfect nor too messy. I am the same with a table setting. I want more than a pile of plates, but I don’t want tableware for a five course dinner laid out in your average family home.

For scenario number two, imagine a space that has dramatic wall coverings, a statement lighting feature and some really unique and decorative dining furniture. Now picture adding lots of ‘stuff’ to the table top. It makes me wince a bit. There’s too much in the space. Keep the table clean, and focus your styling on the rest of the room. The other surfaces on the dresser and the mantle piece. The arrangement and positioning of the chairs. Whether there’s a door in the shot and is this open or closed?

When it comes to considering these aspects, again, you need to find your preference. I like to look at the furniture and see what works best. Sometimes, depending on the shape of the table, the chairs look best tucked in neatly, whereas other times, it look great to have all the chairs neatly around the table except one, that is slightly angled, inviting the viewer into the home they are looking at.

I think the dining room is one of the hardest rooms to come up with a set formula in. They all differ so much, it’s often a case of seeing what you’ve got to work with and making up the rules as you go along.

As always, there are a selection of images below showing different decorative tastes and ways to style. It’s only a fragment of what you can do in this space, but it gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Blackboard-Wall-Dining-Room-Ideal-Home-Housetohome Cream-and-Oak-Wood-Country-Dining-Room-25-Beautiful-Homes-Housetohome Cream-LivingDining-Room-25-Beautiful-Homes-Housetohome Eclectic-Dining-Living-Room-Style-At-Home-Housetohome Oak-Floor-and-White-Dining-Room-25-Beautiful-Homes-Housetohome Pale-Grey-and-Gingham-Panelled-Dining-Room-Ideal-Home-Housetohome Peacock-Coloured-Dining-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome White-and-Mahogany-Floor-Dining-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome Wood-and-Slate-tiled-Dining-Room-Livingetc-HousetohomeBlue-and-White-Dining-Room-Homes-and-Gardens-Housetohome Pale-Pink-Sideboard-Dining-Room-Ideal-Home-Housetohome White-Beamed-Dinin-Room-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Eclectic-Dining-Room-Livingetc-Housetohome

styling room by room: bedroom

As I write more and more of these posts on styling rooms, some of the same things pop up again and again.

So check out one of my previous posts on what to consider when styling for a photo shoot. Here you’ll find the basics rules that apply to every room. Keep things clean. Think of the purpose of the room etc.

For each room, while there are many styling similarities, and lots of the same rules apply, there are still a number of differences. For example, when I looked at kitchens an important aspect of that is breaking up the horizontal lines of the kitchen worktops and units by using height in the frame.

What do we need to consider for bedrooms then?

First of all, you need to think about what will be photographed. In a bedroom, the bed is more often than not, the main feature. Below I have examples of when this isn’t the case – it might be that there is an interesting feature in the room like an unusual exposed beam or a really extraordinary piece of furniture. In these shots, the bed will only be a part of the whole picture. Maybe just one section of the bedstead might be caught in the frame, or a reflection of the bed in a mirror. But more commonly, the bed is the focus.

So when styling for a bedroom, you want the bed to be a consideration regardless of whether it is the main feature of the room. And what do we do here? Well in my opinion, this is all about texture. A bedroom needs to be inviting. And bedrooms are more inviting when the bed is inviting. There are situations when clean lines and pure white sheets are the only thing that’s needed (mainly because of the style of the room) but in most circumstances, this is not the image you want to create. Beds can have duvets, cushions, pillows, throws and blankets – all at once if you want – and this just cries out for a number of different textures. It makes it interesting, gives it depth, and becomes an inviting space.

Other considerations might present themselves when it comes to actually taking the photos. You might find unexpected angles you want to shoot from, and so you have to alter what you plan to do when you look through the lens. Also, before I forget, a door is usually VERY present in a bedroom. Because of the layout of the room, they are often in the shot, and so finding the perfect angle for the door to be open at is key. It might be closed, it might be fully open because of an interesting feature on the landing. Just make sure it’s part of the thought process, and not an after-thought.

There are differing opinions in the styling world about making the bed. Some people feel that in photo shoots, the bed must be perfect. For a hotel website, yes this should definitely be the case. Some people hate things to be too ‘perfect’ and they prefer an unmade bed. I have thrown in an example of this below that I believe is just too much. It’s so unmade it looks messy. But that’s my opinion. I like them to either be perfectly made, or a teeny bit out of place. Depending on what the photos are for.

I think if the bed is the main feature, the styling of the rest of the room should be minimal. Just a few items on the beside tables, a couple of things hanging on the back of the door and only one cushion on the arm chair. You don’t want it to look cluttered.

Apart from that, bedrooms are fairly easy to style. Keep the surfaces simple, and put on them only things that make sense to be in a bedroom. Make the bed, but don’t be too particular about it unless you’re shooting for a hotel or holiday home. Make it personal – a bedroom is a personal space after all. And finally, make it inviting.

Below are examples of where beds are the main feature and also when they’re not. Where the beds are made and also the opposite end of the spectrum. But in all of them, similar rules will apply. Textured and not too cluttered. The jury’s out on whether it’s ok to have a tray of breakfast food on the bed. I’m not convinced…

Cream-Bedroom-Style-At-Home-Housetohome Dusty-Pink-and-White-Bedroom-Livingetc-Housetohome Grey-and-Fuchsia-Bedroom-Style-At-Home-Housetohome Leather-and-Tweed-Wardrobe-Trunk-Livingetc-Housetohome Mixed-Floral-Bedroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Natural-Brickwork-Bedroom-Livingetc-Housetohome Neutral-Toned-Bedroom-Ideal-Home-Housetohome Oak-Floor-and-Faux-Fur-Bedroom-Livingetc-Housetohome Pale-Pink-and-Cream-Floral-Bedroom-25-Beautiful-Homes-Housetohome Tartan-and-Chunky-Knits-Bedroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome Tonal-Blue-Bedroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome White-and-Leather-Headboard-Bedroom-Country-Homes-and-Interiors-Housetohome