Styled By Emily Henderson

3 Clever Decorating Tips From A Celebrity Stylist

In her new book, Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, HGTV host, designer and coveted prop stylist Emily Henderson shares her savvy tips for achieving camera-ready rooms that feel curated and oh so cool. Reading the book is like taking a peek inside a stylist’s toolkit filled with tried-and-true tricks, gorgeous vignettes and sage advice on how to find your personal style. We’re sharing three of Emily’s genius decorating tips from the book below.

1. Look For Items With Function And Style 

When it comes to styling the kitchen and dining room, colorful pots, plants and artwork add energy and personality. If you’re having company over, Emily recommends setting out a drinks tray with stemware to keep guests from looking through cabinets to find a glass. “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your space is; if your dinner party guests aren’t comfortably seated with their glasses full and food within reach, you can be sure they’ll start thinking about an exit plan.”

Stylist’s tip: “Don’t pigeonhole your art to the living room or hallway. Small pieces of art can live anywhere, and guests will be much more patient while you’re cooking if they have an interesting view to keep them busy.”

Styled By Emily Henderson

2. Play With Scale When Mixing Prints 

If you’re working with a classic color palette, as this room does with red, white and blue, Emily suggests mixing patterns. “To keep prints from competing with each other, go for one large pattern, one medium scale pattern, and one small ‘bitsy’ pattern.” And if you’re having trouble telling the difference in scale? “Squint. If the patterns look similar, then they’re the same scale,” explains Emily.

Stylist’s tip: A striped rug draws the eye up to the nightstand, where a carafe of water is Emily’s go-to bedside accessory.

Styled By Emily Henderson

3. Add Interest With Variety And Contrast 

Hearing the word “neutral” can cause some people to think “boring,” but as far as Emily is concerned, layers of texture and contrast draw the eye in, no matter how neutral the palette is. “Every room needs a combo of both round and square shapes for variety,” she adds. In this space, a round leather pouf and natural wood coffee table offset the square club chair, rug and pillows.

Stylist’s tip: “Matching side tables create a uniform stage for different lamps. The larger lamp is farthest from the entrance so it doesn’t block the view.”

Styled By Emily Henderson

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Emily Evans
Photography by David Tsay; copyright © 2015
Excerpted from Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson; excerpted by permission of Potter Style, a division of The Crown Publishing Group, a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.