How To Prep Your Space Like a Stylist

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

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Published on May 17, 2018

Many people comment that their spaces feel “unfinished” compared to the images shared by interior designers or brands. The reason, of course, is that those images are created with the help of professional stylists, who are used to thinking through every detail of the shot. The accessories, the colors, the patterns– stylists carefully consider all of these elements. Their job relies on thinking through the smallest details that make photos and experiences stand out. Keep in mind, too, that stylists create moments, and not an entire life. While these tips are great for when you’re expecting guests or trying to capture the perfect insta, don’t beat yourself up about not having a perfectly styled space at all times. It’s real life! So, without further ado, how should you prepare your space like a stylist? It all starts with a healthy dose of organization.

Keep it Clean

First of all, make sure your space is thoroughly cleaned (and don’t skip the corners). But, keeping a space clean also means visually. Don’t let personal clutter and detritus accumulate on countertops or shelves. Closed storage will help keep things looking neat, and don’t be afraid to leave a surface empty or a shelf bare. Some negative space keeps the space feeling airy and expansive. Make sure that your belongings fit in their containers, too. You don’t want to see random knick knacks spilling out of a basket or a drawer. Be sure to think about details, too– tuck away power cords, make sure your books are lined up neatly, and check that your rugs are centered under your furniture.

The bed is an area where this really counts, too. Use fresh linens, and consider purchasing a duvet and sheets that don’t wrinkle. When you make the bed, be sure to tuck in your sheet corners and smooth the coverlet under the pillows. Fluff your pillows by pulling out the upper corners and karate-chopping the center for a comfortable, lush look. Be sure to fold any blankets at the foot of the bed, or even stack them neatly in a nearby closet or shelf.

Accessorize Thoughtfully

While clearing away your personal clutter can go a long way towards making a space look styled, don’t forget that there are some accessories that can make a room feel much more complete. For a sofa, be sure to have a throw pillow or two. Mixing and matching patterns and textures helps to make the vignette feel organic. A throw blanket is useful and can be decorative, and using books to accent pieces like side tables is a classic designer trick. Try using trays to fill empty space in low-traffic areas. They can really pull together a collection of smaller items, or provide an excellent home for a stack of reading material. For bookshelves, try stacking some books horizontally and some vertically to break up the look.

The key with accessorizing is to make sure your space doesn’t look like you bought every single item at once. Combine styles, textures, and colors! Don’t be afraid of the unusual- this is a great opportunity to bring in riskier styles. Vases and vessels of fresh flowers are important too, as they bring life and movement to a space.

Embrace the Details

Take a look around your space once you think you’ve finished. Do you have a vase of fresh flowers on the table? They’re affordable at most grocery stores and make any room feel special. Have you provided light where you need it (i.e. in dark corners or in spaces with a specific purpose, like reading). Does your room feel cluttered, or is it still slightly empty? These are great clues to what still needs to be done to perfect your space. 

Ultimately, your home is your space, and what you think looks right is right. But, by putting yourself in the mindset of a stylist, you’ll be able to make your space even more personal and curated for your lifestyle.

Don’t forget that we’re always ready to help if you have a design dilemma that’s just too tough to handle. 

Words by Kate Connors