When your fingers are stopped in their tracks mid-Instagram scroll by an impossibly gorgeous room, there are generally a few thoughts that cross your mind – first, why doesn’t my living room look like that, second, this must have been done by a stylist and third, but how do they make it look like that?

Interior stylists work with a tried-and-tested process whether updating a home for sale (known in the industry as property styling) or prettifying a space for the current occupants (known as interior decoration). Yet exactly how it works can seem a little hush-hush unless you’re among the ranks of the impossibly creative, cool and stylish yourself, so in the name of sharing, we take you behind the scenes of a day in the life of an interior stylist to unveil the ins and outs of the styling process.

Interior Stylist 101: The Consultation

Once a new project has kicked off, the stylist will meet with her client to view the space and conduct a thorough assessment. In the case of interior decoration, the stylist will ask her client a series of questions about their lifestyle and preferences (think kids or no kids, entertainers vs. Netflix addicts, Scandi vs. French provincial) to thoroughly understand their personal style and design objectives.

Design Development

Once she’s armed with all of the essential information, the stylist returns to her own (impeccably styled, of course) workspace and for a brainstorming session. She’ll start nutting out a creative vision for transforming the space in question, often drawing on difference sources of inspiration such as Pinterest to develop concepts for various elements, including furnishings, colours, textures and styles. She’ll then create moodboards to showcase these concepts to the client.

Final Sign-off

The stylist now presents a final and comprehensive design plan for the client to sign off on, ensuring they’re delighted with everything from the colour palette to the couch fabric. (Note: if a stylist is doing property styling for sale, rather than interior decoration, the two previous stages won’t apply as she’ll be styling to satisfy the potential buyer demographic, rather than the current owners themselves).

Delivery & Installation

The stylist will bring her creative vision to life by overseeing delivery and installation of furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories in the client’s home. She’ll direct the team as they hang artwork and mirrors and position the armchairs just so and ensure that the objectives crystallised during the briefing process have been fully realised.

Collection

When an interior stylist is doing property styling, once the home is sold she (or her team) will return to the property to collect and remove all installed goods so the owners can begin the packing process. (Of course, in the case of interior decoration, the owners can now simply sit back and enjoy their new abode!) Stylists generally have an extensive assortment of furnishings and accessories that they call on when styling each new space (yep, imagine shopping for cute cushions – when you already own 247, literally – and calling it work) so she’ll then return the pieces to her warehouse or storage space.

Have more questions? Give our interior stylists a call and we’d be happy to share some more tips.