“It’s not about perfection or staging,” insists interior stylist Noelle Wright, who curates the charming details and finishing touches in many of your favorite décor photos. “Instead, it’s about helping elevate the look and luxury of a beautiful, lived-in space—one that draws you into the room and inserts you into the photograph,” she says. Wright shares tips to help you create and artfully arrange photo-worthy moments in your home, snapped or not.
Head outdoors to find the fresh branches, flowers and foliage that add natural beauty to a setting. Arrangements and centerpieces don’t have to be expensive or elaborate to make an impact.
People tend to skimp and accessorize with pieces that are too small. One large piece is more visually powerful than lots of little things. Wright loves big florals and branches for adding instant volume to a space.
MUSS THE PILLOWS
Don’t perfect your pillows. For an effortless, lived-in look, lay them on their sides, casually toss them or layer them loosely. And please, no karate-chopped propping.
HIT THE PRODUCE AISLE
Fruits and vegetables can be as eye-catching as flowers. Consider adding a bowl of nectarines, basket of apples or tray of artichokes to deliver a pop of color and texture.
ADD SOME AGE
No matter how modern or sleek a home is, add something old or used to introduce a piece of history and patina to the mix. Shop secondhand and antique stores for a one-of-a-kind find that adds timeworn charm.
Relax the placement of furniture to suggest and encourage a comfortable, lived-in style. Pull the chair out from under the desk, open a dining chair away from the table or let the ottoman or stool wander away from its sidekick sofa.
THROW IN THE TOWEL
Use textiles to soften any hard-edged décor. Stack kitchen towels on a marble countertop, drape a throw across a sofa arm or hang a fluffy bath towel loosely from a hook—they all do the job effortlessly.
HIT THE BOOKS
Mix decorative objects with books on shelves. Lay books flat and use them as stages for favorite accessories, or display them with pages (rather than the spine) facing outward for an unexpected twist. For a casual, lived-in look, leave a book open on a table. A tall stack of books can even serve as an impromptu side table beside a favorite lounge chair.
Mix materials to avoid a one-dimensional look. Wood bowls and boards, for example, instantly ease and elevate the style of a kitchen dominated by stone surfaces and metal appliances.
PULL IT TOGETHER
Avoid the chaotic look of scattered objects. Gather small items into a single collection to create a focal point. Use trays, cutting boards and even stacked books to help anchor and confine grouped pieces.
Use utilitarian items as eye-catching accessories and wall art. Ceramic bowls, old cutting boards, woven baskets and copper pots are just a few pieces that can add instant authenticity and character.
Combine fine and found pieces for a personalized look. Peruse high-end shops as well as secondhand stores to find the pieces for your curated mix.
SURPRISE WITH COLOR
Introduce an unexpected shot of color. Wright loves to add a hot pink item to make a room come alive, whether it’s flowers, a pillow, a throw or even a book.
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT
Wright says her job is to highlight a great décor, not detract from it. She will often style a space and then remove some of the elements to see if it looks and feels better with less. Remember, it’s important to let the details breathe.
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