What does an interior stylist do?

Sophie Hitchens Tuesday 14th July 2015 0 Comments

At Light Locations, our clients include photographers, home owners, magazines, catalogues and PR agencies. One of the key people we work with are interior stylists - the people who make the locations look fabulous for the shoots. An interior stylist is sometimes confused with an interior designer, but they really are two very different jobs. We interviewed lovely interior stylist Marie Nichols to give us a little insight in to what it’s like to be a stylist and what her job entails. The images below show some examples of her work shot at various locations of ours by clients such as Christy and Sofa.com.

What made you become a stylist?

I stumbled across styling by accident (back in the days before blogs and social media) I did work experience at a magazine and had wanted to be in the art team  (with the thought that I wanted to get into Creative Direction), but ended up in the Style team and discovered my dream job… A Stylist! . For me it combined three of my favourite things Photography (i’d just graduated from a photography degree) Interior Design and Magazines.

Would you give a broad overview explaining what an interior stylist does?
It’s tricky because it can vary so much from each commission. I guess, very loosely,  a stylist interprets a clients brief and provides the “ideas and stuff” within the shots,  working alongside photographers to create beautiful pictures…So that means sourcing locations, designing rooms / sets and sourcing the props within them. I then create moodboards and sketches to demonstrate to the client how my concepts will translate into shots. Then there is commissioning a set builder; booking assistants and photographers and arranging the logistics.

What makes you choose a certain shoot location?
It really depends upon the brief. The look and style we are trying to achieve; whether or not we need to decorate; how much space we need a) for full pull back in the shots or b) simple the props we will be bringing in and logistics - if we need to stick within London or if we have the freedom to travel further afield.

What’s important on the day of a shoot?
Being organised. There’s so much more to styling and a great shoot than the creative stuff! As the stylist I see myself as being responsible for the smooth running of a shoot. You have a lot of people all awaiting instruction, homeowners; client; couriers; set builders; assistants and if you don’t have the luxury of a set up day then the photographer too. I generally write a lot of lists! It’s also important to have a plan B! However organised you are there are always times when a key product or prop doesn’t show up and you need to think on your feet. A great assistant, great setbuilder and great photographer are all key, as is a cup of tea ; supply of chocolate and comfy shoes!  

What have been some of your favourite projects and why?
It’s really hard to pick.  For me one of the joys of being a freelance stylist is the variety. In all honesty some of my favourite projects have been when I was working in Sydney. The brief’s were so open and really allowed me to be creative. I love projects which I can fully immerse myself in so not just “prop styling”. I love getting involved in the creative direction, selecting locations, deciding shots , choosing the team to work with.

Which are your favourite Light Locations and why?
It’s so hard to choose (mostly because I’m fickle and it’s always changing) On a personal level at the moment I love Hawkhurst House,  probably because its most similar to my own style - I love the mix of old and new and splashes of colour ( and it’s filled with lots of lovely props) I’m yet to shoot at Wray Crescent but it looks great - it’s got “beautiful bones” but is neutral and clear enough to bring in your own props and add your own style.

What is it like working with Light Locations?
A joy! Always my first port of call on the location search because I feel like it’s the “best” in terms of quality. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of “average” houses - they’re all beautiful. Website is really clear and easy to use and the girls are lovely too!

To contact Marie please see link to her website:

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