Training The Eye: Styling Tips

When I’m training a new stylist to work at my studio I often take him/her to a store like Homesense where there’s a deluge of product to choose from –  equally good and bad…okay, maybe more bad than good. It’s an art to know what is tasteful and what is not, but even for the naturally inclined it takes practice to know how to weed out the items that border on being tacky. I talk a lot about using my instinct and how I let my gut be my guide when choosing items. But, to be a successful shopper, I’ve learned to preplan. Before I head out to shop, I know what I need as far as scale, style, mood and budget.  I thought it would be fun to show you a selection of things I found at Homesense on one of my styling hunts and to give you a few tips on successfully finding some gems. Tip 1: Preplan before you head out to the store: I bring along thumbnail pictures of all the areas I'm styling. I even sketch ideas on top of the photos of how I want to style the space ahead of time. I'll have key measurements listed and a quick check list of items I need for each area.

Tip 2: Super scan the aisles first.  Rather than look specifically, I take 10 minutes and walk quickly up and down the aisles and take pictures of anything that catches my eye right off the bat. You can get overwhelmed quickly if you pause too long at each piece.

Tip 3: Refine my selection: I take a few minutes to look through my pictures and narrow down my selection and put them into different categories; what items are for specific project areas and what I have to buy for my studio inventory because it's too good to pass up.

Tip 4: Grab and go:  I collect everything I need and have been known to pull 3 carts at a time to checkout...crazy but true. I generally over-buy so I have lots to choose from when styling a project. You can use that same principle when you style your home. I purchase without hesitation at a store like Homesense because they have a great return policy.  If I'm purchasing at a higher-end store or buying directly from a supplier, I am a lot more careful and take more time to be specific with details. It all depends on the budget I've been given for the project.

Here are some pictures of items that caught my eye on my 10 minute super scan at Homesense recently. This particular day I was looking for three different projects with three different styles: East Coast, Classic and Boho Chic. Pictures are in no particular order.IMG_3469 IMG_3468 IMG_3467 IMG_3466 IMG_3465 IMG_3464  IMG_3460  IMG_3457 IMG_3456 IMG_3455 IMG_3454 IMG_3453 IMG_3452 IMG_3451 IMG_3450 IMG_3449 IMG_3446 IMG_3445Happy shopping!