So you’ve decided to give your house the revamp it’s been desperately needing. Maybe you’ve just moved in? Maybe you’ve been waiting for the perfect time when your toddlers have grown out of the habit of wiping their noses on the couch, or drawing on the walls? Maybe, it’s simply time for a spruce? No matter your reasoning, you’ll need a good interior stylist on your side. But how do you know if they’re any good or not? You need someone who is going to give it to you straight. Someone who considers the practicalities of your lifestyle, not just the desired aesthetic. Someone who chooses the right pieces for the right reasons, and not simply because they are either the cheapest or most expensive.
So, how do you figure it out?
The most straightforward first step? Ask around. Ask your most stylish friends who have stylish houses to match, and have likely had help from a stylist. Ask them the who, what, why and how. Once you’re done asking your friends and you have some recommendations for a good interior stylist, start asking the stylists some questions…
- What do you take into account when you start planning a space?
- What is your approach to furniture/colour/accessory selection?
- Will this look last? (Either from a timelessness perspective or more literally from a quality perspective)
- What will it take to maintain this, day-to-day?
In return, a good interior stylist should have a lot of questions for you. Like a lot, a lot. Getting to the very heart of what your life looks like, your priorities, your budget, and your tastes is an essential factor in nailing the brief. So if a stylist you’re speaking to isn’t asking questions, pushing back where they need to, and showing a genuine interest in a collaborative approach, it might be time to look elsewhere.
Qualities of a good interior stylist
Once you’ve started asking around, the next step is to dig a little deeper. Some tell-tale signs that you’re onto a keeper are their ability to adapt the plan and to give you tiny nudges toward brave choices when they need to. A good interior stylist is an ally who steps back and takes the time to understand the full picture of what you need (not just what you think you need!).
An experienced stylist will be able to easily explain why the room is oriented a certain way, or why future you is going to LOVE the dark carpet or moose head on the wall (hey, taste is individual, right?). They understand that homes are living, breathing spaces, and not simply places to photograph and keep pristine. Each room needs to be comfortable, liveable and durable as well as stylish.
The last thing to look for in a good in a good interior stylist? Well, chances are they also have experience in property staging and styling for real estate. What does this have to do with your home? One day, maybe many years from now, you’ll need to sell your home. A good stylist keeps this in mind as they go and styles both for functionality now and ‘sellability’ later.
So, now that you have some ideas on what to look for in an exceptional interior stylist, go forth and investigate! As much as some of the decision making in stylist selection will be a gut check on how you ‘click’ and work together, going into the relationship informed and prepared is just as important.