Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Styling Takes Practice

Styling takes a lot of practice. Playing around, moving things here, there and everywhere - kind of like what I did in our bathroom. And really to see it in a different light, I think photographing and looking back at your photos helps too.

I gave a preview in my Wish & Tell guest post of my nightstand and how I was playing around with the styling. Here is where I started after I had recovered the seat - a little plain Jane right?

I probably spent a good 20 minutes playing around with this area. I just pulled some items that I had around the house and started moving things around. Things to keep in mind when styling and pulling together an area: texture, shape, and color. You also want to keep the eye moving, so positioning is also key.

The Goods and Placement:

The scarf that I had gotten from my Mom is used for some color and shiny/smooth texture.

The basket to the left is used to camouflage the cable outlet. I got the basket at Home Goods a few years ago. I like the weathered look of it and also that it introduces some roundness (is that a word?) to the area.

The cream storage bin underneath the bench is from IKEA and is used to avoid your eye from focusing on the otherwise negative space underneath there (a.k.a. the tunnel effect which I will tell you more about below). I'd like to get something else for underneath but it works for now and didn't require any extra out of pocket.

And then there is my stack of random books and magazines that need to be fixed and organized a bit more but that is how it usually looks - keeping it real friends. I actually think I would scrap the books in the next photo and maybe just do a clock for a cleaner look. We'll see.

Now about that tunnel effect...
I really enjoy reading Camille's posts (from The Vintique Object) that she writes on photo composition. Camille's post back in May on styling to avoid the tunnel effect really stuck with me. And Camille actually has a tab on her blog dedicated to photographing rooms - I highly recommend taking a browse over there. You will get hooked and I bet come away with new insight on photos and styling that you see in magazines. I look at photos in books and magazines in a completely different light now and it's so interesting.

Ok, now it's your turn, what are some of your favorite tricks or items to use when you're photographing projects in your home?


By the way, thank you so much for your support yesterday on my guest post at Emily's blog - not only did you guys have sweet things to say but I also found some great new blogs so welcome if you're newer here!


  1. Holly,
    I just clicked over to Camille and you are right - tons of great information. This is my achilles heel! And it is so important for ones portfolio. I will be reading and reading her series! thanks for sharing. M.

  2. Looks good, Holly. Styling is a constant evolution in my book.

  3. Your gossip bench is one of my favorite unique nightstands! I love styling, and have used Camille's helpful tips, those posts are so interesting!

  4. I find Camille's tips super helpful. Now, if only I could work it with the camera ;-) Love your IKEA basket under the chair - such a pretty addition for more storage!

  5. Wow, I love it -- the finished styling is so effortless! Something I strive for, but can never quite achieve. Great job! :)

  6. Love this look. The scarf really adds a pop and using the basket as camouflage is brilliant. I agree, looks effortless.

  7. Wow, thanks guys - I realized that the photos are at 2 different angles too, so I need to work on that as well. Dana is right, it is a constant evolution. But thanks for your kind words - it will probably look different again in another month - ha!

  8. Hey Holly, as you know, I love your little side table and how you've styled it. Thanks for the nice things you said about my series!

  9. Hi Holly--just catching up as usual! Such a great post and I couldn't agree more. I love the scarf--such a pretty addition draped over the back. And the little chair as side table is one of my faves! Can't wait to see more...


  10. Styling definitely takes least it's fun to play around with! I like your tips on how to fill the space. I've been discouraged in my photos and composition lately, so I can use all the tips you've got.