As an architectural photographer and stylist, I see through my lens how we create and combine elements of a room to express our style or capture a feeling of warmth. Whether hanging drapes high for drama or small vintage touches that add just the right patina and personality, there are a few tricks of the trade to create a space that’s warm, welcoming, and soulful. Naturally, I particularly love spaces centered around community, comfort, and connection. So when U.S. News and World Report asked me to contribute a few tips to style a living room, I was happy to share what makes this communal space so special. Head to their site to read a few tips and hopefully add even more style and substance to your beloved space.
Traveling across the country to shoot and style homes for leading designers, architects, and celebrities pushes me to go deeper than the walls and capture the light and life giving moments each space embodies. In the process, I’ve come to realize that styling and shooting a home for editorial is not so different from prepping a home before it hits the market. With hundreds of miles in experience under my belt, I’ve put together my Top Five Tips for Staging a Home for one of my favorite blogs and Interior’s Enthusiast, Zhush!!
Much like readers, new homebuyers want to be captivated by a space. To do this, I focus on establishing a feeling of stillness and pause so that each viewer is able to slow down and connect. Our homes are where some of our most precious work begins. Within these four walls we build our dreams, harness our passions, hone our creativity, and take the time we need to rest.
My go-to tips make it easy for another family to step in and imagine themselves writing their own, unique story within the space. Selling a home means closing a chapter but for another family, you are helping to lay the foundation for their next. When it comes time for your home to hit the market—let’s make sure it’s a space that redefines traditional methods of staging to feel welcoming, warm, and full of love and gratitude!
The New Southern is all about living our best life with what we have… AND we all have love and light within each of us 365 days of the year! So, let’s gently say sayonara to a 24-hour notion of celebrating love this Valentine’s Day! While red hearts and roses are symbolic this week, there’s nothing sweeter than a creative way of expressing appreciation for your loved ones each and every day with a little style and substance. As a leading photographer and stylist…. I am constantly challenging myself to think outside the box… to tap into my creativity, to extend my businesses and craft to be more of service. This mindful practice of living a creative life is an extension of self-love. For me, creativity is love… creativity is light. So, for the holidays, I love giving gifts that keep on giving throughout the year. Books are the easiest way to achieve this…. Check out a few of my favorites below with Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk and Melody Beattie’s Journey to The Heart. Also, let’s discuss art! I am leaning into color more and more for my walls (Hello Hayley Mitchell and One Kings Lane!!!!) This is one of the best ways to incorporate personality to a space. My walls are filling up with visual memories that I either aspire to achieve or take me back to a special heart filled moment. Regardless, find the pieces that will energize you, evoke emotion and inspiration for you and your loved ones.
By filling our homes and our souls with loving sentiments that we can set our sights on every morning and every night before we go to sleep, we can extend the love of Valentine’s Day far beyond February 14th. To help get you started, here is a fun New Southern gift guide for SIGHT AND SOUL. Full of substance — you can share the love with these punchy, thoughtful ideas, any day of the year!
Simplification. . .the art of editing. . .a sense of ease. . .aspirations of intention and effortlessness. There is beauty in substance. As a creative, I gravitate towards clean lines, simple geometries and negative space. As an entrepreneur, I invest in being efficient without compromising life-giving moments. This is an all year round approach for me and simplicity with great substance is intuitive and a daily practice.
Due to this being a season filled with extremes—extreme spending, excessive schedules—I am wanting to share a little visual relief along with a simple centerpiece idea for you and your families for the holidays! You all do so much and I am talking a ONE STOP grocery shop for your centerpiece decor and holiday meal planning!!! Yep, it is that simple. No more Pinterest fails here, or complex inspiration holiday tables. For me and my schedule, keeping it simple, classic and achievable is KEY!
My thoughts about holiday decor: I love organic elements and the best way to decorate for the season is through fruit and greenery. The middle of your table is an incredible opportunity for a beautiful flat lay in addition to candlesticks!!
Think about color and scale. My home is light, bright and airy; I love incorporating fun pops of color with art and florals. My grocery store had the most perfect shade of pink peonies and I scooped them up along with these beautiful clementines! Great color combinations for your table also include Bosc pears/greenery/with cut orchids….. I encourage you to experiment!! Also, think about scale and composition. For centerpieces, a visual high / low is important. Visually this keeps your eye moving around… the candlesticks on my table help achieve height while the greenery and buds ground the center of the table. The focus is on company and conversation and with my easy breezy centerpiece, it allows for some room to breathe and will not compete with our table talk!!
Add this to your grocery list to achieve this look:
Centerpiece INGREDIENTS (found at Whole Foods Market):
6 Satsumas or Clementines (with the leaves attached if possible)
Filler—My favorite types of filler to style with for a flat lay are any type of fern leaves, seeded eucalyptus, Nageia Nagi, Jade Palm, Eucalyptus Silver Dollar. . .Hello Filler is the New Floral!!
Arrange candlesticks first—the more the merrier.
Arrange the flat filler over and around the candlesticks to create a good base; stems go in towards the middle.
Sprinkle conservatively with fruit and flowers.
For a little extra extra, you can add fresh basil leaves or rosemary to appeal to all the senses.