October 7th, 2021

How to Style Your Home Like an Interior Design Professional: Imogen's Top Tips for Styling Tables, Shelves, Lighting & more

Where to start?

We all know how overwhelming it feels seeing hundreds of picture perfect homes on Instagram, and having no idea where to begin with your own. Sometimes things just aren’t looking right and you can’t work out why!

The secrets to styling a home, however, are simpler than you may think. Vases and books add height, flowers and pampas add texture, and no home is complete without a few prints on the wall and a couple of accent throws.

First Things First, Let's Add Some Drama!

We have a whole host of Home Styling Tips on our Instagram page, but I think the one I feel most passionately about is adding some drama to your home. As humans, we’re drawn to smaller objects, things we can hold in our hands, pick up and turn over. However all of a sudden, once you put all these lovely, handheld pieces on your shelves or sideboard – they start to look rather small.

Add large floor standing vases, hang oversized lampshades from the ceilings, and put those bigger-than-initially-intended prints up on the walls. These things might feel like a bit of a shock to the system at first, but the confidence involved in selecting larger items goes a long way towards giving your home that stylish touch.

How to Create Coffee Table Chic

Coffee table styling is another area that can be easily solved with just a few simple tricks. It’s easy to neglect this space and just have a few coasters and tv remotes floating around the surface.

Adding in trays or coffee table books will make the whole area feel so much more intentional, and serves as a perfect base to contain those remotes. Select large, hardback books (these can be purchased online or in charity shops if you’re on a budget!) and pile them two or three high.

Place a second pile next to the first, leaving a gap in the middle, and add any small trinkets you want to display - candles, diffusers, remotes etc - on top. Place a potted plant or vase of flowers in between the stacks and you’ve got yourself a perfectly styled coffee table. It’s as simple as that.

Styling The Perfect Shelfie Everytime

One of the most overwhelming tasks, especially in rented properties where you often have no choice on the matter, is making open shelves look stylish. These might be located in the kitchen, living room or bedroom, but you can use the same techniques regardless and end up with stunning results every time.

Start by gathering all the objects you might want to place on the shelves and organise them into larger pieces and smaller pieces. Open shelves require variation in object size and height, but don’t include anything too tiny or it will get lost in the room.

Then, evenly space all of the biggest objects on the shelving unit, putting a couple of the tallest items on the top shelf if you have the space, and the widest items on the bottom shelves. This could include large cookbooks, stacks of plates, baskets, a big plant or an oversized dish. Alternate books between lying them horizontally in stacks or keeping them vertical.

Fill in the gaps with the smaller objects, grouping a few bits together at points so they don’t look too small in the overall display. Stand back and see what you think. Sometimes you'll have to rearrange, taking a photo helps as it shows you where you might need a bit of height from a vase or you have too many pieces of the same colour in one area.  

Fill in the gaps with the smaller objects, grouping a few bits together at points so they don’t look too small in the overall display. Stand back and see what you think. You can watch how we styled this Summer Pastels inspired shelf, here on our Instagram.

Mix Up The Lighting!

Lighting is arguably one of the most important aspects to making your home feel both luxurious and cohesive, especially as the winter months draw closer! A variation of different lighting is really important, you don’t always need a side lamp on if it’s daylight but you might still need an overall glow from a floor lamp. Study the room and place the biggest light source in the darkest corner, this is often the furthest or most hidden point from the window.

Then, you can set about filling the space with smaller lamps – making sure you consider how you use the room - and not just what might look good. If you have a specific relaxing corner you like to read in, a side lamp might be a better idea than a huge floor lamp, or a smaller lamp on a sideboard in a dining room can give a different feel to the room than the main ceiling light for more intimate occasions.

Something else which is often overlooked when choosing lighting is that you can easily switch out the bulb for something that suits your vibe better. Orange or yellow glow bulbs can be cheaply found online and have the ability to completely change an atmosphere.

A pro tip is to always have bedside lamps on both sides of your bed, these don’t have to match if it’s not your style but ensure that the height and light strength of them is similar. This feels much more relaxing and balanced in the space that you sleep in.

Above all else, it's important to have fun with your styling! It’s your home, and filling it with the things that
you love should be a fun and exciting task. Try not to get too bogged down in knowing your ‘perfect style’ or having everything looking immaculate at all times. Accessorising is only temporary, you can always change it, so enjoy it! If you love the things you own then you’re sure to love the results.

Written by Imogen Hill