1. Wear many hats
In any one week, a stylist can be a builder, artist, upholsterer, framer, cook, seamstress, narrator, calligrapher, carpenter, photographer's assistant – even model. Every new shoot I do sends me down the path of a new field of expertise. When it comes to your own interior decorating, it pays to do the same, as these skills, too, are the foundations of styling. Read books, search the internet, interrogate tradesmen and talented friends. Learn to hang a picture and thread a sewing machine, discover the nuances of different paint finishes and adhesives, perfect stain removal for second-hand fabrics. The more adept you are with a hammer, nails and paintbrush, the more you'll have to spend on things you love.
2. Inspiration comes in unlikely forms
Open your eyes to inspiration from anywhere and everywhere: the shade of a vintage French shelf liner could be your perfect white, a cocktail umbrella or paper patty case exactly the shade of blue you've been looking for.
3. The past has much to offer the present
My love of preloved objects is twofold. First, the patina of age gives so many things – fabric, furniture and paper, tableware and ceramics, wood and metal – unique textural and colour markings. Look at the way a silver tea set tarnishes or linen on a hardback book fades in the sun. Feel the crumbling paint on a second-hand chair or the smooth handle on an old hammer. these imperfections are hard to mass produce and the marks of age tell a story of a life lived. This is my second reason for being drawn to things of old. I look at the teacup stains on a table and wonder what conversations occured around it. I pick up a discarded leather suitcase from an op-shop and imagine the journeys it's been on. SO many stories, so many styling opportunities.
4. The simple things can be the most endearing
A little sticky putty plus a lots of paper equals an instant art installation. Begin by rummaging through your own drawers and storage boxes for invitations, cards and other memorabilia or start a collection from scratch. Seek out printed matter such as sewing patterns, maps, flashcards or loveletters made interesting by the passage of time or desirable by he idiosyncrasies of the paper itself. One of the cheapest and most rewarding interior design products is paper and paper products.
5. Your history should inform your style
Every stamp in my passport is evidence of an adventure or memory. Let your home be a place to tell stories. By surrounding yourself with objects & translations of your very own travel & day-to-day observation, you create a place full of your memories: a unique, authentic space that reflects your personality.