Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design | Emily Henderson | Skillshare

Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques for Interior Design

Emily Henderson, Stylist, Author, Host

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13 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:42
    • 2. What is Styling?

      4:56
    • 3. Quiz: Find Your Style

      5:12
    • 4. Identify Your Style

      6:00
    • 5. Develop Your Style Confidence

      3:25
    • 6. Stick to a Color Palette

      3:12
    • 7. Mix Your Favorite Styles

      4:04
    • 8. Use Trends Wisely

      6:52
    • 9. Source Items You'll Love

      3:53
    • 10. Shop for Vintage Finds

      7:38
    • 11. Style a Space with Emily

      12:44
    • 12. Final Thoughts

      0:32
    • 13. Explore More Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
495 students are watching this class

About This Class

Discover simple, practical ways to create a space that’s uniquely yours with acclaimed stylist Emily Henderson!

From her days on HGTV’s Design Star to her infinitely hilarious and helpful style blog today, Emily is one of the most well-known and popular interior stylists on the internet. In fact, there’s a good chance the rooms you keep pinning on Pinterest were styled by Emily! 

Now, go behind the scenes with Emily as she reveals how she creates rooms and spaces that feel fun, creative and unique for every friend and client she works with—and guides you to do the same. No matter your style or budget, you’ll discover tips and techniques you can use to make any space feel like home.

Drawing from 20+ examples of her own designs throughout the class, Emily shares how to:

  • Find your interior style with an in-class quiz
  • Mix and match your favorite styles
  • Implement style trends—the right way
  • Choose pieces you’ll love for a lifetime

Plus, Emily styles the living room of her mountain house retreat in California in real time from start to finish, so you’ll see how to transform a pile of stuff into a beautifully designed room in no time flat!

Every lesson is fun, fresh and packed with Emily’s creative style and signature humor. By the end, you’ll have the inspiration, understanding and skills you need to create a space that feels unique to you—and that you can’t wait to share!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: When you are in a space that represents your personality that looks like you, it is wildly fulfilling, and you just feel at home. I'm Emily Henderson, I'm a stylist and an author. Today, I'm going to bring you through everything, the entire process of styling. Today, we're in a mountain house. It's this cabin that we've been renovating for the past year. It's finally finished and it's pretty much my favorite place on the whole planet. So I wanted to teach this class here because it really represents the style that I love right now. It's like a big show-and-tell basically. Today's class is all about styling. It's how to find it, how to implement it, rules, tips, trends, all the things I've learned in the last 15 years about styling. So essentially, this class is for anybody looking for a creative outlet, that likes to experiment in their home, that maybe has a lot of cool stuff, doesn't really know how to put it where it's going to look good. I'm hoping that through this class, you can feel more empowered to walk around your home and be like, "I think I can put this here, and now I know why it's going to look good there." Throughout this class, we're going to be doing some fun projects. There's going to be a style quiz, there's going to be a trends scavenger hunt. There's going to be a lot of activities, so I would love for you guys to upload anything that you're doing to the project gallery. If you value style, if you value aesthetics and how things look and what they represent and your home, then, yeah, it's going to make you a happier person. It just will. All right, guys. I'm very excited you're here. So let's get started. 2. What is Styling?: It's one of those buzzwords styling stylers that came out maybe 15 years ago which was right when I entered the styling game. But essentially what stylist do is they infuse spaces with personality and they care a little bit more about how a space it feels than functions. They're playing with things. They're caring more about like the accessories the details. How much personality a chair can give a room whereas an interior designer their focus first is function, and then look and then feel. So style is just kind of reverse it. Generally, we think about how a room looks and feels before function. But really it's all different ways to tell a story. So that could be from your past from your travels. It could be related to your family. If you have kids that's going to be different story, it's going to be styled differently than if you don't have kids most likely. So you're really trying to figure out, what is my story? Because that will help you figure out your style. In your house, you have full creative control. That is the most empowering and fun thing about styling is that first off it's fun. It can be so experimental and you can use your house as your own laboratory. I do all the time. I never finish a room and then like, "Never going to touch that again." It's definitely how I play. It's my creative outlet. So I will switch out that lamp and I'm okay with it. Again, this is not renovation. You're not going to switch out your tile every two years, but you can switch out your pillows, and it makes you feel ownership of your home and ownership of your story. So I grew up in a small town in Oregon and it's really just like teacher, doctor, lawyer like that's what you were. But I knew they liked shopping and thrifting and my parents had six kids. They were both teachers, so it's not like we had very many options to buy new everything. So we would thrift a lot. I honestly had terrible tastes entire, I was like 22. I would buy really random things at thrift stores and put it all together in my college dorm and it did not look good, but this was before the Internet, so I didn't have any references to make it look good. I certainly didn't know that there was a career where you could play with weird things and with cool things and for the rest of your life. I moved to New York when I was 22 and I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I was walking dogs and bar-attending and teaching piano, I was finding myself. So I went to a design trade show and I saw Jonathan Adler. His stuff was just soulful whimsy, it was very vintage-inspired. So I reached out and I became a shop girl at one of his first shops. Working at a design store, I met a ton of stylists, and they would come through and rent things and shop. I was like, what do you do? They said I shop for magazines and all day long. Basically, I hounded all of these stylists and I wrote them so many letters. I wish I had that cover letter so bad because I had no skills. I just convinced them that this is what I should be doing. So I got hired by an awesome stylist who was one of the best in the business. She had been taught at Martha Stewart which is basically grad school for styling and I assisted her for five years. She taught me everything. I was a stylist in New York and then moved to LA in 2007. There was way less styling work here, so I was just like watching a lot of TV, HGTV specifically and I thought wouldn't it be hilarious if I moved to LA and tried to get on a reality show because that's what you do when you're in LA apparently. In 2010, I started the blog in January and then I went on Design Star in April. It was crazy because it's like who goes on a reality show and I'm the least competitive person on the planet. I played it to have fun, like I don't care necessarily about winning, but I ended up winning which was awesome. Then what you win with a Design Star is the opportunity to have your own show. So after Design Star, I started my show called Secrets From a Stylist. It was really the first and maybe even only at this point show about styling versus design. Renovation took over. [inaudible] renovation took over. So they canceled all the design shows that were more about decorating and styling. So I didn't really know what to do next. I could go back and be a stylist which I did some for sure, but meanwhile, the blog was blowing up and was like what if I just took on some residential interior design clients like an actual interior designer and that's it. 3. Quiz: Find Your Style: Your style is the visual representation of your personality in your home. I think people know their fashion style a lot, they are more in tune with their fashion style than they are with their home-style. And yes, they can be similar but your home-style is really like, does my home look like me? Would your friends walk in and be like, "Oh, this is Emily's house", or would they walk in and be like, "Huh, that's okay" you know, which happens a lot by the way because people got another style, they're paralyzed they just end up not doing anything and then you walk in and be like, "Oh, this does not look like this person at all. They're hilarious, they're young and fun, and this looks not like that." You need to know your style in order to even start and that's what gets a lot of people. It's called Style paralysis. It's a thing. I have helped so many people through it. One of the things I like to do, how I like to help people figure out their style is through a quiz. It's very fun because everybody likes doing quizzes you know, it's like one of those Cosmo quizzes in a magazine except this is going to help you figure out your style. So we've narrowed it down to 12 different styles and we have found visual representations of each style in either furniture or accessories. So what's gonna happen in this quiz is, four are going to pop up. So let's just say four lamps, and I want you to choose which one you want the most instantly. Don't think like, "That lamp will give me the best lighting on my bedside table." Really it's like, "Oh my God I love the lamp", and that's the one you choose. There are a few rules to this. I don't want you to focus on the function of it, I don't want you to focus on color. So you can change the color of anything, right? It's really more about the shape of the piece and the style of the piece. So if you see a sofa and it's bright red and you're like, "Oh, I would never have a bright red sofa." Just picture blue. Like it's more about the style and the shape. So all you have to do is use a pen and paper or if you want to be fancy you can go to the site and you can actually download the quiz and check off as I'm showing it to you. Alright guys, so we're ready. Let's go. That's the end. So hopefully you have a filled out sheet. Hopefully it was really easy and instinctual for you. But if it wasn't, that's okay. You can go back and you can take it again and if you want to change your mind, you can totally change your mind. To find out what style you are, just score the quiz, you need to count how many of each letter you have and write that down because that's going to determine what style you are. So in the next video, you're going to find out what style you are, and then I will walk you through what that even means. 4. Identify Your Style: All right. So we're back and we're ready to find out what style you are. What you need to do is take all the letters, add them up and whatever letter you have the most, that represents the style. Today what I'm going to do is I'm going to break down what the twelve are in just a few sentences, and you need to figure out what feels the most right to you. The quiz, it's fun, it's helpful, it's not going to be 100 percent accurate, you don't now go away from your instincts and you're just like, "Well, never mind. I guess I have to just buy this now". If it doesn't feel right, then listen to what I'm about to tell you which is really breaking down the styles that might help you more, and we're going to show you some visuals so that it will help you even more. A lot of this is really just giving you a vocabulary to help speak about your style and to now have a reference word for when you're out there shopping, there's so much information on this. It could be a two week class but in the book and on the blog, it really dives into each style way deeper than we're going to do today. So if you still have questions, you feel unclear, or if you just are really into this, which hopefully you are, head to the book or the blog to learn more. So if you've got a lot of A's, then you are drawn to things that are contemporary. What contemporary means is, it means designed now. So contemporary tends to be more sleek, casual, minimal, nothing too decorative, nothing too over the top and it really means that it's designed now and it is not referenced to past. All right. If you got mostly B's, that represents industrial. So what industrial means it's a little bit more urban, more found objects, rough finishes. It's a little edgier, more masculine and I mean think of like old factories and taking elements from an old factory and putting in your home, exposed pipes, that kind of vibe. If you got mostly C's, that's traditional. Now traditional is about rap because people think it's like old-fashioned, and yes it does reference, basically anything before 1930's feels more traditional, maybe 1940's, don't quote me on that by the way but you get it. Before mid-century modern everything was a little bit more traditional. It's where things match more, it's a lot of decorative details, a lot of carved woods, it's more warm, inviting, like maybe your curtains would match your pillows for instance. So traditional is basically what design was for centuries and tell recently when all these trends exploded. If you're mostly D's then that means seventies. Seventies was a fantastic decade for design. It's really casual and fun and full of color, and it's very hippie, very funky, but it can translate into a modern style now, but it's really eclectic and kind of wild. E's are Bohemian, and how that translates into the home is it's a lot of layering, a lot of casual things collected from around the world, it's displaying your hobbies, it's a very creative style that doesn't have a lot of rules, that's for sure. So it's a really fun layered casual style. If you've got mostly F's, you're Scandinavian. Scandinavian style celebrates nature with clean lines, light woods and warm color accents. It's a minimal style that doesn't have too many accessories or extra details. G's are mid-century modern. Mid-century has been very popular for probably 25 years now, it's more straight lined, not necessarily sleek, but like not a lot of decorative details. Mid-century is definitely a rejection of traditional, like that's what came out and was just like," I don't want any of those fluffy decorative details anymore, we are going to go straight and simple", that's what mid-century is, and it definitely has a retro, kind of mad many vibe. H's are Zen. Now what that means it's an eastern approach to decorating where it's a lot of warm finishes but it's minimal. It's like warm minimalism and it's very intentional. There's not a lot of extra things just for fun. If you are zen, you might care more about the balance of the room and creating harmony and a feeling of relaxation. It's definitely not stark and it's a rejection of that type of minimalism but it's still really simple, just warm. I's are Rustic. Rustic seems self explanatory, it's definitely more country but not in a traditional way, more in a farmhouse way. It's like casual patterns and unfinished words, and it's really cozy laid back country but a little bit more masculine than your typical country. J's are Modern Glam. It's feminine, it's a little over the top, it's a lot of rich fabrics and colors and patterns, a lot of metallics. It came around in the '50's in Hollywood and it's like that, kind of opulence, but there is a way to do it also restrained and pulled back too. K's are eighties. So the eighties are really round, overscale furniture, really bright colors, geometric shapes and patterns, it's very poppy, it's loud and it's cool. Now I will say this about '80's, I think that when my book came out five years ago, the '80's weren't back yet and so a lot of people didn't relate to the '80's but the '80's are so back that I'm hoping that at least some of you chose '80's. I have a lot of friends that are really into the '80's. Anyway the '80's are awesome. We hated them for a while, we thought that they were so cheesy and now they're back. For all you L's, that's minimalism. What minimalism means is that you really don't have anything that you don't need, anything decorative you aren't into. You don't want to style out your book shelves with tchotchkes because you're like, "Well, I don't need tchotchkes, why do I have them?" You want what functions really well and generally that means it's going to be more simple and sleek. 5. Develop Your Style Confidence: If you feel like, "Okay, well, I've figured out my style, now what?" The first step is go to Pinterest. That's what we do when we're doing any project, and just put it in the search box and so many images of that style will come up, and then you can just start pinning and creating a board that is more customized to you and curated. It will just really help you get to the next step. So if you put in Scandinavian, trust me, you're going to get 500,000 photos of Scandinavian inspiration, and then you start pinning the ones you like. So once you've created a pin board, then what I do with any project is I look at it and I'm like, "What does all this have in common?" What is the through line? Is it the colors, the patterns? It's probably the feeling is that that you like light wood over dark, and you really try and analyze it objectively, and say clearly, I'm into this. Just figuring out what you're into is going to help you move forward to actually taking action and just knowing I really like stripes. I am a style chameleon. I mean, I've said this, I can shift easily. So it's been extra hard for me to figure out what other three or four styles that I will love forever. Emily, just don't stray from those, just stay there because it's really easy for me to be like, "Oh my God, I love the '80s now." Again, things look good together, but it's tricky. So for you, you might go into a store, and it might be really a modern store and you're like, "Oh my God, I love this. This is what I love." So what you need to ask yourself is, "What about this do I love?" First off, it's probably very pulled together and that's how it's attractive. But is it the colors? Is it the styles of the furniture? Is it the vibe? Don't just immediately shift like, this is what I love now, when you need to analyze why. A good example is a lot of people want their houses to look like pottery barn and they're not even traditional necessarily. What they really are responding to is warmth, and having a feel really inviting and pulled together. So it's not that I don't think, well, I want to live in a pottery barn so that I'm traditional. It's like ask yourself what about that style or that store or whatever it's tempting you what about it? Is that you love because that is an indicator of what you should be leaning towards. Given that style is so nuanced and it is. There are other ways than then just going to add a home store or just going on Pinterest to help you figure out your style. I call these style indicators. They're not home related necessarily, it's fashion for sure, it's even like, how you do your hair l if somebody is, they can tie button on top of their head that's going to be different than someone that has, that is as a wavy messy hair, or it could be a movie that you really love that you want to live in that always helps, and it could be the drink that you drink. It could be where you want to travel. Do you prefer to stay in a tent on the beach or a high-rise hotel. So there's all these other little ways if you're still stuck or if you wanting to really get narrow it down even further, look at all the style indicators in your in your life and they will give you more information. 6. Stick to a Color Palette: I'm about to drop the number one tip of life. It is, as long as you have a consistent color palette, you can mix any styles together, and it doesn't matter how much of that style you're putting into your home. So here's how you go about pulling together a color palette. First, you want to remember how you want it to feel before look. So cooler colors will make it feel more calming than warmer colors. Cooler colors by the way are like blues, greens, grays, whites, and the warmer colors are red, orange, yellow, pink. I'm sure I'm missing some but you get the point. Cooler colors are more blue-gray family. So those colors definitely make you feel more calm than really bright colors. Really, bright colors are very energizing. So you need to ask yourself, do I want the space to feel calm or do I want it to feel really exciting and then draw from each side of the color wheel based on that. I typically, pull from both sides of the color wheel, so if the main colors are blues and grays then I have to have some warmth otherwise that can feel very cold. It's calm but it's cold. So I'll pull woods, leathers, it doesn't have to be bright, oranges or yellows, it just has to be a warm tone. Brown is very warm tone. I don't like brown. Although I started liking brown this year. Anyway, historically, I haven't loved brown but I love wood and I love leather and I love gold. Those are all like warm tones that I tend to bring into projects. So it doesn't have to be colors. It's really just making sure you have both sides of the color wheel addressed. I will say this. If you just have warm tones, just be a little careful because it can feel a little dated. Right now warm tones, warm colors are like russ and burgundies, and all of these more '90s colors to be honest and they're beautiful. Just make sure you are still making it feel modern with a couple cooler tones to balance it. So I always say three to five colors. You have more flexibility than that, and I really don't want you guys to think that you have to have this blue has to match this blue. In fact, it won't look good. It will look false. It will look try hard. So it's a world of colors. If you want to challenge yourself and bring in more you can, but I like to stick to three to five. If you don't stick with their neck cohesive color palettes and you are just adding and adding different styles, different patterns, it's just going to look either messy, junkie or crazy. So a no fail is for you to look at the color palette and if blue is over here and know that orange is over here and those will compliment each other. That's for sure. But if you don't like orange you don't have to use it. If you would rather use. I use a lot of blue and pink together. I use a lot of like raws or blush with my blues, that's my warm color because I don't like orange. So don't think that you have to go exactly across the color wheel. In fact, that can actually produce to very, if they're complimentary. But if you use them equally, they can actually be really competitive. So just be flexible. 7. Mix Your Favorite Styles: So most of you are probably a mix of styles, you had two or three that you got a lot of. That's good. It means your house can feel very layered and full of personality and eclectic, and even more unique. There are of course rules to how you mix the styles together. Because I know it can feel like panicking, and she's like, "Okay, now I have like three styles I need to start shopping for." That seems overwhelming. But there is a science behind mixing styles to make sure it looks cohesive and good. One thing they tend to do but you don't have to is, if you are a mix of say something that's more streamlined and something that is more decorative, I tend to choose the main pieces to be more streamlined and then I lay on the crazy, a lay on the things that are a little bit more decorative. It's a little bit harder to take a really ornate sofa, and then layer on a minimalist pillow than it is a really simple sofa and lay out a bunch of floral pillows. Will a house look a little bit more cohesive if it's a equal balance of say minimalism and Bohemian? Sure, you do want to pepper it around evenly. You don't want to have one corner of your house traditional, and then the other corner being mid-century, that's weird. But if you mix them together and it's balanced and even, then it will look totally cohesive. I think it's also important you have to consider the architecture of your home. If you buy a Victorian home, be careful what light fixtures, tile, flooring that you put in there. You should not put all these mid-century finishes in a Victorian home. Likewise, if you have more of a mid-century ranch house, stick to lighting and all these permanent finishes that at least reference the era of the house, even if your style is very traditional. Just don't necessarily put crazy ornate sconces in a mid-century house. But with French or accessories textiles or it's like all of that stuff, you can mix together. I mean, you can have so much fun. That's where you have a lot of freedom. My stylist boss of five years, she always had a phrase that was pretty looks good next to pretty. It's like if you love it and you love what's next to it. I mean, is this a foolproof thing? No. But generally, if you love everything in the house and it's within the color palettes, then it can look good together or at least it will feel good together, I should say. Well, I know what I'm doing and talking about. It's still a challenge to figure out how to infuse some of the different styles that you love into a home. My house is a 1920s English tutors. It's very traditional, and I'm not necessarily stylistically that traditional, but I wanted to infuse that into the space. So my house right now is mostly a mix of traditional and mid-century, because that's what I love more, and I tried to marry those together. It's challenging. I'm not saying I'm perfect, and there are some things that I have changed. But generally, throughout every single room, I've tried to have some elements that felt it's more primitive and traditional like a tufted sofa. Then I also paired it with a mid-century arm chairs. When we first moved into this house, I thought that I was like traditional now because our last house before that was very mid-century, and I thought I was over it. I was like, oh, know, I'm done doing that. I'm just doing traditional now. So I went very traditional and it was not me, and it was not us. So there's so many elements that I have that I do regret because I strayed from my style. I love, I mean, I'm truly a mix of every single style. 100 percent I think more than anybody I've ever met. But I went far to into traditional in this house. So it's really important to remember who you are guys. I think that I forgot because I moved into a really old house, and was like I'm going to do old-style now, and I regret it. 8. Use Trends Wisely: Trends, it's one of those words that people have, often, a negative response to it or a positive response but it's a little bit controversial because what a trend is, it's a movement, it's a collective movement towards a certain style or towards a certain anything. But it's this cultural movement that makes us all aware of something that all of a sudden we're a little bit more attracted to. Every day, every week, every month, every year, there's different trends, things we find ourselves just attracted to, that's different than the year before. Now, the tricky part is trying to figure out what trends should influence your decisions and what trends are fun. How to decipher the trend movement, especially in design is very tricky because in design, it's not buying a bracelet, it's buying a sofa. So you don't want to instantly glum onto a trend that you're going to be bummed about in three years. So let's just say that no matter what we do we're part of the zeitgeist and we're probably going to start liking something, not everything, but we're probably going to be more open to something because of a trend. Then what do you do? What's your next behavior? I have some rules and some tips that help me that I've learned from experience that I think you should know. All right guys, so first just experiment with the trends on a small scale. Do not jump into buying the neon sofa or like what's something big right now that people do? Five years ago, everybody clad their walls in wood, which is fine if you have a cabin or if it lends itself to that style, but it was the trend that you just put wood all over your walls. Don't do that yet. If you're into the rustic trend, just bring in a rustic side table. If you find yourself into a trend, just don't invest before you test. It's like a little rule. So what that means is, sure, buy a few little pieces, sprinkle them around and live with that before you get deeper into it. I think generally you should not shift your entire house due to a trend, ever. It's really just about accessories and shifting, but don't ever redo your house based on a current trend. So when you dabble in trends, just make sure that it still fits within your flexible color palette. The best example I can give you is years ago when I started loving really bright saturated colors which I historically had never really liked. It was because I was working on a project, but it also was really trending, it was when the '80s were first coming back. Anyway, I just wish that I had just done less of it in the house. Just like I put in a couple of pieces that I could have switched out because I did one massive custom piece of art that was awesome, but I was over it within three years and that was a bummer. You don't want to chase all trends. That seems kind of obvious but just be careful because when you mix it into your house, you want the trendier pieces to be mixed with pieces that are more timeless. Also something to think about which is also good for our earth is with most trends it's typically is based on the past. So there's a vintage version of it. If you can opt for that, you're a little bit more guaranteed to have a bit timeless. Like there's a lot of knockoffs that will come out based on a trend and so look at that and say like, "What was that trend trying to reference or copy?" Go for that instead because it will be more of a classic. One trend that I'm really into right now, I think I will be for my entire life, but it is having a moment, is '70s modernism or postmodernism like early '80s. So the section that I found for this house is from the late '70s, early '80s. It's vintage and instead of getting it in a in a fabric that was really '70s or really '80s, I just got it in a really simple cream. So that way it does feel more timeless and it doesn't scream a trend. The shape of it is, but it's actually really subtle. So I want to give you a few examples of what that looks like in real life and in real projects that we have worked on. This room was designed by our Editorial Director, Arlene, it's awesome. It's super stylish, it's beautiful, but there are some trends in there and they are working. So how do you create a whole room that is stylish and cool but isn't screaming certain trends? You don't want your room to scream your year. I will say that. Like there are some rooms that I've done, that I'm like, "Oh, that was very 2013." That's okay, but ideally, you don't want it to happen. So this room has a really dark moody blue, which dark moody colors are very in. But this one, we chose to go a little bit more subtle than bright which is going to keep it a little bit more timeless. This gallery wall is excellent. The main reason it's excellent is because it's all personal items. So that's another tip, is that if you want to dabble in a trend, make sure that if you can personalize it in any way, it will be more successful. So this gallery wall is a floor to ceiling wall to wall, full of a variety of different mediums and different frames and different orientations and that's why it works. It's a very well executed wall but it's also very personal to her. A way to avoid your room screaming 2019 is to mix pieces from different eras. So in this room, there is a vintage cabinet, I think from the '50s and '60s, there's a contemporary dining table, there's all sorts of styles and eras, which is going to help it look more timeless and not scream the year that she designed it. For this room which I think might be one of the trendiest rooms that we've done, I love it by the way, but there are a lot of trends going on in it. The sofa is kind of an early '80s, I know. It's a weird '80s sofa, but we reupholstered it in a really subtle fabric. So while it's still trendy, I think it has a lot longer life than if we had upholstery in a really '80s fabric. We brought in two elements of this electric blue, which is definitely trending right now but we did it in a vase and a mug, so it's obvious that's going to be really easy to tend to switch out. Trends are meant to be fun. This is not meant to stress you out. So it's really just trying now to find a few trends that you are into and do some research and figure out what it is you like about them, how you can implement them into your home in a way that is more timeless, and having fun. Trends can be fun if you don't let them stress you out too much. 9. Source Items You'll Love: Okay guys you've figured out your style or gotten closer anyway and at this point it's like how do you find the pieces that are in your style? How do you put them together? How do you know what to invest in? It's the fun part. When it comes to putting a room together I really want pieces to come from many different sources both high low, vintage new, custom, something that I could buy a big box store. The more different sources you have the more personal and eclectic it look. What I don't want to happen is generic. It's like you have all this you've done all this work you figured out your style, you want to tell your own story and then you end up just buying pieces that are generic and basic and looking at your home and being like wait this doesn't have any of the personality that I wanted to infuse into it. Some weird pieces, some vintage pieces and some conversation pieces are going to take the most basic sofa. You can buy a generic sofa and it will elevate it to look really stylish. Just like you don't want your house to feel really generic with only big box pieces, you also don't want your house to be full of 100 percent thrifted finds because it can just look junkie. So you want to mix and these days stuff at big box stores is really good and all you have to do is pair it with something that is more vintage or custom or really personal to you and it instantly elevates that piece. This is what we do all the time, there's just too much of good stuff that's affordable these days to buy high-end everything, but those pieces that are a little simpler and more basic and just need the help of something vintage. One of the biggest questions I get all the time is, what do you splurge on? So people would tell you all different answers and I don't agree with most of them. So they'll say splurge on your sofa, could you sit on it like nine hours a day or splurge on your bed because you're in it one-third of your life. I think that these days there are such good, affordable sofas beds like major pieces that I think what you should splurge on is what is going to create a conversation in your house and make your house feel more unique to you. So that could be an amazing mentors rug, a huge piece of art, a collection of a sculptural chair. It just it's that thing that you're like that's so rad, who are these people? And it just it instantly tells somebody when they walk in that this is a unique home. Before you splurge on where are these conversation pieces, just make sure that you know your style. I mean at this point you guys do, you're students but you don't want to make that mistake. So just feel confident in your style before you make an investment. There are definitely some things that you can save on that we do all the time: textiles, pillow sheets, throw pillows, those things can be switched out and they probably after a while should be. So I don't see the point of splurging on those. I have in my past splurged on spaces where I'm just like nobody's ever going to see that scans and that closet, like why would that be where you would spend a little extra money. So just also I mean that's common senses. That's just my mistake, but just know that there are some areas that are probably more splurge worthy than some rooms that you can save a lot. So there's a phrase called the jumping off point. It's like from http shows and it's a little cheesy because it's so trite but you need a jumping off point. What that means is you need a piece that gets you so excited that you're like, "Okay, now I know how to pull the room together." Typically, that could be a rug, it could be a piece of art, it could be a statement sofa, but you need one thing to start with to give the room intention. Otherwise, you're just like, "I guess I like this lamp and I like that," and you're piecemealing it together, and it's not going to have such successful result. 10. Shop for Vintage Finds: So I know that searching for vintage pieces tend to feel overwhelming and can be challenging, but I've been doing it for years and I've definitely honed the craft. So I'm going to show you some of my tips to make sure that you feel confident and sure of the purchases because it can be a little bit scary. So I think the easiest way to do this is to go on Craigslist because it's on the Internet. I'll walk you through some pieces like, what I would buy, what I would ask more questions on, what most people would buy that I would skip and just walk you through my process. One of my biggest tips on buying a vintage is that you can always change the finish but you can't change the shape. So you really need to not respond to something because of the color or maybe you think you hate something because it's a shiny wood finish. Any finish can be changed but the shape of it, can't. These chairs are a very good example. The shape is awesome, but the finishes are not. So they're Russell Wright chairs. So they are an important designer. They are 850 for a pair chairs, which is a lot, But I always think of, "Okay, if I were to buy these new club chairs generally around 500." That's a decent chair. Had anything less might not be something that you keep for 20 years. So these chairs are great, because they're an important designer. They're classic. I love the shape. The price is just a little expensive. It's 850. Then you're going to have to reupholster it, which would be another, for these are just cushions, they are not a full chair. So that's probably 300. So then 1,150. Is that worth two important vintage chairs? I think yes. If they were not such awesome chairs, I would not get vintage chairs for $500 for sure. Like a club chair, most of them, you have to put at least three to $500 into them, between the fabric, the foam, and the labor. So when it's just cushions like this, it's way less and you might even be able to do it yourself. This coffee table. This one is $800. It's by Vejle Stole and Mobelfabrik. I don't know who that is, but they sound Danish. So what you need to do is, Google them, which I did and they are important Danish mid-century designers. So now I understand why this table is so expensive. One thing you can do is, you can go to 1stdibs or Chairish and look up their other work and we did, and some of the coffee table itself like 2,100. So while it's an expensive coffee table, it actually might be worth the investment because it's a piece that will gain value. When you're shopping for a vintage, you really want to make sure you're getting something unique and interesting. That sounds obvious, but there are a lot of mid-century that it's just almost like the IKEA version of the 1950s. It's just actually not the high-quality, and it's not that interesting. Just because it's vintage, it doesn't make it necessarily something you should get. It should also be special. Sounds so basic, but I've bought pieces before where I've been like, "But, it's vintage." I'm like, "But that's actually not that cool. It just is vintage." So I bought it. Okay. Two, '80s suede chairs. Now, these are ugly but awesome, which is probably not the best response you should have when you are buying something for $800, but they have potential, and that's what you have to think about it. It's like, the shape of these is pretty rad, it's just the finish that isn't. It's a beige suede. Reupholstering these again would be four or 500 each to 800. So 800 plus, so you're looking around 1,600. Now, 1,600 worth it for two pretty rad huge club chairs, it might be actually, plus fabric. But, another thing you could do is, this is one that I like to say, ask more questions about it because I want to see more of these of the fabric. How bad a condition are you in? Is it just dirty some places? So you can ask for additional photos, obviously, or more importantly, you can also just google how to clean suede, maybe something you can do yourself and you don't have to reupholster it. This pendant is a good example of something that I think a lot of people would be drawn to and be like, "Oh, that's great. I'm going to get that." But what you should know is, it's mid-century style, that does not mean mid-century. That means it's a version in the style of mid-century. So it doesn't really have a vintage quality about it at all. It's $200 which is not cheap for a single pendant and you can find a ton on the market right now. They are $100 if they are new from stores. So I don't really see a compelling reason why I would buy a mid-century style brass pendant light for $200 and then have to go and pick it up. But I can see why someone would. So just be careful, making sure that you're truly getting something vintage and that you're not paying over what would be new in a store. One thing you've got to think about with Craigslist is, you have to go and actually pick up these pieces. So that's why flea markets or Antique malls are just generally a way better use of your time because you can have a ton of pieces in one place. If you're new at the flea market game, it's really important to bring photos of your space and a list of what you need. You'll think like, "Oh, no I don't need photos of my space. I know what my living room looks like." No, you need photos of your living room. I can promise you you're going to wish you had them. I think if you're just starting out, focus on accessories, art, lighting, the things that are just a little bit less of a commitment. I wouldn't go full force into buying a vintage sofa, because if you're not experienced enough, it might end up being a mistake. So just get your feet wet by just buying a few smaller things and playing with them and being like, "Oh okay, I like how this vintage whatever is changing the space. I'm ready to go have more." Some of the challenges that I've had, some of the pitfalls that I've even fallen into is buying case goods. So what a case good is, is like dressers, credenzas, wooden pieces of furniture that don't function that well that are vintage, and they're really expensive to repair. You don't want a dresser that doesn't really open. I know, because I have definitely sacrificed function before. I have been like, "But it's such an awesome dresser." But the drawers don't work. So definitely test out the quality of the piece at the flea market. What I buy the most at the flea market, bar none, is art. Because, first off, you tend to have a lot of vertical space in a house that's not filled. So you can always use more art, but also it's affordable, it's unique, generally art, modern art isn't affordable. It's unique but not affordable. I feel like there's two kinds of people in this world. There's trigger pullers or non-trigger pullers. I don't know what they would be called. I'm a trigger puller, and it's dangerous. So I'll be at a flea market or an antique mall, and which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Every single piece is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I will pull so many triggers and I get them home, and often they're great. Sometimes I'm just like, "Oh man." For me to try and tell you what to not pull triggers on is, it's challenging. But I've learned a lot, and I've definitely changed. The older I get and whatever, I'm just more experience now. There's benefits of both. If you're a trigger puller, your house will put people together faster, and you probably don't have style paralysis. But if you're a non-trigger puller, you're probably being more thoughtful about your purchases. So ideally we'd be somewhere in the middle. 11. Style a Space with Emily: Figure out, what to do with all the things that you shop or that you love that you don't know how to arrange them together. So we move into the living room, where I'm going to go through my process, show you how I take all this awesome stuff that I love, and really create a room that is cohesive. First way I always do is, I gather everything that I love. I think might work in a room. Now, some of these can be new, it can also obviously be anything that you have in other rooms. When you see it all together, you get a better sense of what's going to work. Even if you're doing a bookshelf and you want to restyle it, I take everything off in order to restyle it. So sometimes you really need to create a massive storm of things before you can really figure out how it's going to look good. I wish that there was a formula that's first do the mantle, then do sofa, but there's really none. You just have to play. Obviously, when I bought art for this house, I knew that a piece of art would go up there and not on the sofa, but otherwise, a lot of the accessories can move around based on just me styling and playing. The first thing, you have all this stuff, but you want to make sure it still fits within your style. For this house, it is a modern mountains Scandinavian rustic style. So I want everything in here to fit within those parameters. Next is color palette. You don't want anything that's too jarring and a different way, unless that's your thing which is fine. But in this room, I really want it to be a lot of neutrals, blues, grays, some hits a black maybe there's some green, but I don't want there to be a lot of loud colors. So now I'm going to go through, choose what isn't working essentially. Like this cute, but it's not working and the colors are not in my color palette that I want right now. By the way, I might change this next season. I might all of a sudden be like,"I want some peach in my room." I will say this, if you do want to have that flexibility, having a neutral sofa and a neutral rug does give you more seasonal flexibility with colors. So for the arts, all of these I love, all of these I bought intentionally. But as you can tell, some fit more in the vibe then others, like this scene, I love this, but it seems more just and tiki country just not the style of his house. So I eliminate that. I like this piece a lot, and it's in my color pallets, fits this style. But it's a little small on its own. Now is something I could layer with, but if I just want one piece that's too small. Eliminated. This piece also feels a little to you like older. It's not Scandinavian or mountain. So I'm going to get rid of that temporarily. I'm really down to these two for the mantle. Now, this is quite, this is more textural, it's not going to grab your attention. This obviously has more color. So then it's just a matter of asking yourself how do I want it to feel. Do I want to feel happy and bright and little bit happier right now, or do I want it to go more sophisticated and quiet. I'm going to opt for this. I like the color. I like to jump around, I don't necessarily do the entire mantle and then the pillow escape on the sofa. Part of planning is really just like seeing something that you really want to use and like, "Where can I put this." So I'm going to figure out. What our pattern here is going to be because I have lots of options. I know that to many of you these blankets are not different, but to me they do. This one is a little and more high-contrast than I want in this room, get rid of that. So down to these three. Now obviously if you are actually putting the room together, you put the furniture in place first. So do that step before you put on throws. One thing that I was debating is this side table, or this one. Now, in a way if this one's next to there, it's a better scale, but this is a good example of when something is really rad, even if it's a little bit too big, I would still use it versus something that is technically a better scale, but a little bit more basic. I saved four options of lamps for the side table. Here's how I'm eliminating them. First off, I generally don't like brass on wood because they've had the same tone family. So I eliminate this even though I love it. This sky could work. It's obviously small, but I could style it in a way that they would look good, but I think it's just too small, I'd rather use something that's a better scale. This is another choice of just what do I feel like because both of these work perfectly in this room, there in our styles, in the color palette, and they are the right scale and your type of lamp. So I feel like right now, I'm going to opt for the black and white one. Because my stomach tells me too. It's just that's what I want right now. I love you lamp. Some down to the accessories. Let's just say that most coffee tables want a tray, some objects, and something sculptural. So we have three trays. Either these could work, they're both really pretty, they're both Scandinavian, there in our color story. The gold is a little bit glam for me because that's not what I'm going for in this house. Let see. Most of these vessels actually could work. Let's see why would I eliminate? It seems I don't really have any of this color. So I'm going to just go ahead and remove it. This might be a little bit tall she gets branches and you can actually have a conversation. Done. This I could put a plant in, that would be cute, but I don't have a plant so I will go with the vase. So we're down to these three. This one is also a little bit too tall for being on a coffee table, but I like it. So down to this two. This is really simple. This one is still simple, but it's really graphic and sculptural. I love it so much. I'm going to choose this one, but this could totally work too. But I do like this how this lifts off the table. So your eye goes under it. It's exciting for your eye rather than this just sits on it. So since we're using this black vessel, I'm going to opt for the lighter tray. So it feels mix up again. Okay. So the next part is for those of us that like accessories and little pretty details like me. So for instance, this leather wrapped rock. I love it, is something that you need now. So what I'll do is a candle. So pretty and cute. Some coasters, some matches for the candle, and then I might top it off with a book. All right. So here's a hot styling tip, you do not need to go to the forest, or even buy flowers, we just go outside and clip branches all the time. They're big and sculptural and so pretty. I might have to play around with it a little bit. All right. So I feel the mantle could use a little bit more love. We always say that things need friends. So not everything has to have a friend, but it did feel lonely, so I'm giving it a friend. They like three friends. Groups of three is a thing. It's just easy for your eye to understand. I don't know why necessarily, and then what I'm going to do here, is most likely add a branch there. Or at least that's what I would do is if I was having friends over. Generally for any surfaces, I try and do something flat, like a tray, or an open book. Something tall like a vase, or a lamp, and then something sculptural, that connects the two. Then we got books, then a lamp, and a rack. So I'm not happy with this book, but you get the idea. Those three create this world, this little vignette. At a certain point, you do have to start eliminating everything because you might get what's called clutter body. It's where you have so much stuff and that you can't actually see the whole space, and you get claustrophobic. So that's where I am right now. When it comes to finishing touches, I want a pillow on this chair, and so I have a pattern throw. So I might not want something patterns like this, because that looks really busy. When two patterns are too close together, they competes and they may confuse your eye. So I want a salad. So I have this or this. They're virtually the same pillow, but I will choose this one, because it's newer to me and I like it. Obviously, balance is a thing in design. You want your room to feel balance. You don't want all the blue, dark patterns on one side of the room and on the other. So I have this blue throw over here, which I love. Now I need to add something over here that speaks to it. I do love this one a lot, but it feels a little bit more bold that I'm going in this space. So I might just go with the simple blue throw because then I had the opportunity to bring in some pattern in the pillow that is more subtle. Because I'm a stylist and I'm used to selling for photography, I find it super helpful to actually take a photo of this space. It gives me more of an objective point of view, or I'm, "I like that room or no, I don't." When I can get a picture, it almost like in a magazine. So that's what we do. What I try and do is shoot the room, but not the entire room, because it gets really busy and you can't really tell what's happening. So I go for a vignettes at a time, and I always shoot in natural lights. Then I like the camera to be lower so that it helps you feel intimate, like a shot from up here even though it might give you more information. It's just not going to feel like you really want to be in the room. So I always try and get down in there. Then that's exactly what I ask myself. I'll look at the photo and be like, "Do I want to be here? Is this a room that I would pin in the end on Pinterest? Do I want to hang out here?" If the answer is not yet, then I keep tweaking. Sometimes it takes a while. Stylists sometimes put a ton of stuff on the coffee table, and nine pillows on the sofa, a lot of that is for editorial reasons meaning it's the magazine wants to tell the stories. So you can add more layers, but it's not necessarily something you can live with every day. So this is actually a good example of I can live with this. It makes me happy. Do I need this book? Emotionally I do. I can felt sad without it. But for magazine, I might even add three or four more things. If you enjoy the process, good news it's never really over. Most things can actually be moved from room to room and when it does, it makes that room feeling simply refresh. Like pillows that are on the sofa, you can put them on your bed. Lamps that are in your bedroom, you can bring them into living. So playing around the whole house, is part of it. You do not need to go and buy everything new. So I would love if you guys just challenge yourself and try to style a vignette, maybe it's a bookshelf, maybe it's just a chair inside table. Give yourself just a small project, and see how you do. Because I hopefully you'll find that really fun, and that you've learned a lot, and that it becomes a lot easier than you thought it was going to be. I would love to see them if you guys take any photos, upload them to the project page. Because it would be fun to just see what you guys are working on after all of this. 12. Final Thoughts: All right, guys. That concludes my first ever styling class series. I hope it was fun because I really do think that styling your space and having your home look like you, it does do something to your soul. It makes you feel a lot happier. So hopefully you get something out of that, but I'd love to see your projects if you could upload your color palettes, your styles. Just show me anything that inspired you during this class. I would love to see it. Thanks very much, guys. Bye. 13. Explore More Classes on Skillshare: