This week, we met with renowned Interior Stylist, Helena Hill, to hear how she broke into the styling world and find out exactly what it takes to become an Interior Stylist...
1. Did you always want to be an Interior Stylist?
No, I didn't even know the job existed until I left Art College. I attended a 'Start Your Own Business' course after I'd graduated and subsequently learned more about the world of styling and its role within the creative industry.
2. What path did you take to get your role?
Once I'd decided that I wanted to be an interior stylist, I wrote to several editors of homes / lifestyle magazines and was lucky enough to get some assisting work. Within three months, I was offered a full time job at a home interest magazine as a style assistant. I worked in the publishing industry for a few years before deciding to go it alone.
Image: Helena's styling for the New England range shoot. Product used - Hartford Sofa
3. What does your typical day look like?
No two days are the same, they are wide and varied and always long. If I'm on location, I spend the early hours of the morning packing my car with props for the shoot. My job is very physical, lots of lifting and carrying! The actual styling for a shoot doesn't start until all the furniture is in place and props have been unpacked
4. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
The creative aspect: researching, planning and styling are the best, it's all about focusing on the end product, envisaging the end product, and when clients say they are happy with the end result, that makes all the effort worthwhile.
5. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
The endless packing and unpacking at the each end of the day - no one realises how much effort it takes. A driveway with a garage would be a dream!
6. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
As far as awards are concerned, winning Crown Paints 'Stylist of The Year' in 2004 was pretty good; but I'm not one for accolades, the satisfaction comes from seeing a good job in print and a happy client.
7. What advice would you give to anybody who wants to be an Interior Stylist, what do you wish you had known?
It may seem glamorous but there's a lot of production and planning involved - it's not just about choosing a colour scheme and arranging cushions. Be prepared to assist as many stylists as possible and try and get an internship on a homes magazine as this is a great way to get a good grounding of how the styling world works. Be creative, do styling tests with photographers and be adaptable as things often change during the course of a shoot day.
8. To you, what makes the ideal home?
An ideal home is a reflection of the person or family who live there. A home is just a house until you add the personal touches: collectables and simple styling. Homemade things / shelves with books / a gallery wall with framed photos / art always tell a story. A pet makes a home too, nothing beats a welcome home from a furry friend...
9. Describe your personal interior style.
I love a pale muted colour scheme with painted wood paneling and adding pops of bright colours with fabrics and textures. Added styling inspiration comes from personal photos, old cameras, typewriters and framed art.
10. Favourite furniture village piece?
The New England Range, the linen textures and leather fabrics are perfect for a Scottish Island Croft!
Quick fire questions
Metal or wood? Wood
Modern or vintage? Vintage
Warm or cool? Seasonally adjusted!
Refined or rustic? Rustic
Simple or eclectic? Simply eclectic!
Minimalist or opulent? Minimalist
Image: Helena's styling for the New England Chesterfield Newport sofa shoot