Style…it can be elusive. It’s super tough being on point, never mind ahead of the game – anyone working in a creative industry will tell you that. But what some leading entrepreneurs and creatives are increasingly good at is SHARING their top tips and insight. They are documenting their style and discussing how to block out the white noise and get on with the job in hand, and generally encouraging others who are newbies or who’ve fallen into a confidence vacuum.
I am thinking Hayley Southwood, Sarah Akwisombe and Ebonie Allard straight off the bat for some candid opinion and kick-ass advice and bags of ‘whoop whoop’ support. Check out their websites below if you need any of the above.
Also at front of field and certainly at the top of her game, is Lucy Gough, interior stylist. A force majeure in interior styling, Lucy has worked for some of the most recognisable names in the industry both in-house for some of the biggest magazines; World of Interiors, Wallpaper and Living Etc and as an independent stylist for clients such as Heals, The Sunday Times Style, Marks & Spencer and Aram Store.
When the opportunity arose to join KLC School of Design’s guest lecturer and award winning interior stylist, Lucy Gough, as she explored the world of interiors (sharing expert advice on how to style your home like the magazines, along with exclusive insight into life as an interior stylist, I was there with exquisite Conran-knobs on! From the luxury of the wonderful Heal’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, Lucy opened up her stash of top styling tips and industry secrets for us to implement and revealed her top tips for pursuing a career as an interiors stylist. We were given practical advice on how to style up your own home, exactly like Lucy does for the brands and the glossies.
As an Australian living in London, Lucy has the familiar approachable, friendly demeanour. Her amenability belies her skill set and genuine A list experience gained working on some of the most influential brands in the UK. This girl has a strong interiors game and a helluva portfolio (think Surface View, Habitat, M&S, Heals, House of Fraser, Sofa.com etc)
Lucy explained the difference between interior designers and interior stylists and the sorts of work she gets involved in; PR look-books, set design, still life, residential staging and styling, commercial/retail styling, catalogues, editorials and occasionally food and prop styling.
Lucy is currently expecting her first child – check out her nursery makeover on her website (swoon) and is, by her own admission, ‘nesting’…cue countless bags to charity and a really interesting experiment championed by The Minimalists (theminimalists.com/game) who help you de-clutter your home in increments. Day 1 you get rid of 1 thing, Day 2 you remove two things and so on ….hey presto, by day 30 you’re clutter free!!
Well, depending on how ruthless you are that is. Styling for magazines is ALL about clear surfaces. If you’re a hoarder or you have kids, this is going to be tricker for you.
A great tip Lucy shared with us is what to do with all the stuff that kids create ; drawings, paintings and pictures can be photographed and uploaded into an incredible (and space-friendly) photobooks courtesy of someone like snapfish or abelli or countless other companies. Hey presto, clear surfaces and children delighted to see their work immortalised in print.
Revealing fab tips on storage and shelving (hint: more more more) Lucy showed over door-frame bookshelves /raised storage /built-in storage and bespoke window seats and cabin beds. Paint techniques can also help ; paint a wall in colour 3/4 way up then the rest in white up to the ceiling. Conversely if you have high ceilings you can experiment with colour on those. Lighting, vignettes, plants and use of space all have a part to play in the styling of a room. Consider a feature wall, mural or a chandelier over a bath ! Lucy had us scribbling in our notebooks like a fresher at their first lecture #gemsofwisdom Another couple of insights; challenge yourself. IS it functional or beautiful? If not, its gotta go AND take your camera phone out when there are great views or you are in a cool bar or museum.
Plants (real or faux) were another recommendation as were the all important ‘vignettes’ – an edited collection of your most gorgeous things as a feature. So after some seriously helpful suggestions on where to look for inspiration (I am about twelve pages into my brand new Kate Spade notebook at this point) Lucy went on to show us some brilliant photos from her travels and how they have inspired her creative executions for her clients. Its Ahh-mazing. So a picture of an incredible sunset with a pelican in the foreground is awesome enough, but below, she features products for a scheme which are an exact homage to the colours and textures and palette in the photograph. Its so clever. You have to try it.
Lucy explained ‘’My first blog post was how to bring the outside in and I quite often will still write on that – I am always really influenced by my travels and taking elements from travel photographs I have taken. You can really use the shapes, textures and colours”.
I had to try it. Here is an example of the palette in a lounge (greys, white and pink) and photo of a spring blossom tree against a moody sky which gave the inspiration *shines nails on lapel*
We then discussed trends and themes which are currently taking centre stage in the interiors world such as minerals, metallics, mixing prints and botanics and Lucy went into more detail on how she interprets what is on-trend right now and, in addition to her exhaustive research, puts together shoots for her clients.
All fascinating and tangible insight we could take home and put into practise (my Lucy Gough inspired mountain mural is going up on the blog shortly…easy peasy and looks so fresh).
Lucy is an absolute mine of information and was really happy to chat through any questions the audience had about styling, giving her honest and charming opinion and encouraging us to both clear the clutter and pursue any career goals! A great KLC event in association with Heals – such a nice space to hang out in – and who very kindly gave us all a cute goody bag to go home with.
Check out Lucy’s awesome style and incredible work portfolio at www.lucygoughstylist.com
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