What I Learned Watching a Stylist at Work

I’m still not over the guest room. I’m just so proud of it, y’all! Last week, I broke down all the details and the decisions I made for the room. This week I want to tell you about the process of styling it.

Let me start by saying that decorating a room and styling a room are two totally different beasts. I feel pretty confident in my decorating abilities and my eye for design. But styling? Wow. That is a creative muscle I’ve never tried to flex before. And because I know that this is an area in my creativity that needs exercising, I called in the big guns for my guest room reveal. One of my best friends is an incredibly talented stylist… and florist. And party planner. And just creative visionary in general. In other words, I look up to and respect her creativity immensely.

Kayla came over one morning, flowers in hand, and took my work of art to the next level. She made it really sing. I watched her tinker with tchotchkes and fiddle with fabrics. I saw her brain work as corner by corner, she brought the room to life. She transformed it from a pretty room and made it homey. She made it look inviting. She gave it soul. I watched her for hours. As I fetched her bobbles and scarfs and pillows, I started to understand a little more how this whole styling thing works.

No, I’m not suddenly an expert. But I learned from her and now I want to share with you some of the things I learned!

LAYERING: Layering creates dimension! Dimension creates that feeling of coziness that we’re all drawn to! I also learned that layering can totally solve some awkward spots you may encounter – like my hanging chair, for instance. We put a pillow in the chair and then there was a weird gap we couldn’t get rid of below the pillow and above the bottom of the chair! So what did Kayla do? She threw in a blanket! Problem solved.

I learned that you rarely want something to be by itself in a space and that odds are typically easier to take in visually than evens.

Height: Varying heights are good. Competing heights are bad. Like the flowers on the dresser – One vase held a big explosive show of pompous grass and the other, smaller vase held dainty sprigs of little bunny tails. Big and little, right next to each other. It’s so sweet! She also used the low height of my platform bed to make the duvet look lush and romantic falling all the way to the floor. It made the room look more inviting and cozy.

Textures: This was an important element in my all one color room. Textures help because you can have the same tones and colors but the different textures allow your eye to move around the space. In other words, the textures help the room flow instead of looking stagnant and stale. I watched her play with soft and hard textures. Organic and modern texture. Old and new textures. Lots of unexpected and interesting pairings!

Functionality: Above all else, I want my guests to feel invited and safe and comfortable in this room. I made every design choice asking the question: is it inviting and comfortable? Kayla took it further in her styling by thinking through what a person’s life would look like in this room and made it feel like just that. She put a cup of tea on a trey at the foot of the bed with a journal. She added a crystal and sage to the countertop. She made it feel “lived-in” in the way that I hope it will be lived in.

And to place a golden cherry on all of it, Kayla also slept in the room that night!

Taking on this blog, I feel like I’m learning something new every single day and styling is a huge one. I’m drinking in all the information that I can and I’m bringing in help when I know someone else’s strengths will far outshine mine.

If you want to know more about my dear friend Kayla, go check out her Instagram! (linking it here) . She is a stylist and a creative consultant. If that’s something you need, hit her up! She does virtual and in person consultations. Chat with her here: kaylamariehenley@gmail.com

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