5 articles Articles posted in styling

How to Style Your Shelves

I’m so excited to have worked with PBTeen on this post! I share my tips for how to style your shelves and these principles apply to anything so get on over there and style something pretty!

Read the full post on PB Teen’s blog  and try not to salivate too hard over that Emily and Merrit PB Teen Maison Bookcase. Or do, it’s really none of my business.


Gilit Cooper New Signature

An Honest Look at Styling for Instagram

Sara Tramp’s Instagram feed is dreamy, colorful, and I kind of just want to bathe in it. I asked her to share what it’s really like to take a photo for Instagram and she is so hilariously honest, you need to read this.

Hello Sara Tramp Instagram: behind the scenes

People need to know that most Instagram photos are not glamorous behind the scenes! As in letting my ice cream melt down my hand while trying to get a picture while my boyfriend just stares at me in disbelief.

I’m not a colorful person, but I desperately want to be one and I think that reflects on my Instagram. I’ve chosen ice cream flavors based on what colors they are and how they’ll look on my camera.


Hello Sara Tramp Instagram: behind the scenes

This avocado (which was cut open for breakfast) was just me alone in my kitchen, contorting myself into an awkward angle to shoot my hand with my phone in front of a piece of pink poster board I keep around (I’m currently having a full blown affair with warm greens on soft blushes… but who isn’t?)

Then I edited. First I used Snapseed to get rid of marks on the paper and color edit (the app has an amazing individual color editing feature and spot editor). Second I opened it in VSCO to preview how it would look in my feed (it uses the same 3×3 scroll format as Instagram which lets me play with how pictures will look in my feed next to each other)

VSCO is also great for skin tone and shadow editing (I try and remove as much shadow as possible from my images). Finally, I brought it into Instagram which is my favorite for cooling/warming photos, sharpening, and cropping them. It takes some patience but I could do this for hours. It’s very cathartic. That along with my having a serious Instagram addiction.

Happy ‘graming!

Sara’s feed is a great example of fantastic personal branding. Not only is each individual photo beautiful and on brand, but her feed as a whole is cohesive and recognizable. Check out Sara’s blog for more gorgeous photos and DIYs and obviously you should be checking out her Insta.


Gilit Cooper New Signature

Styling Your Interior for Instagram

If you don’t know Sam Ushiro of Aww, Sam yet well then first of all, you are so so very welcome for the intro of awesome into your life and second, let me just prepare you for the insane bouts of jealousy you’ll probably experience when you look at her photos. Grab a donut, curl up into your favorite cozy blanket, and pay attention because if you have ever had to take photos of your interior for Instagram then you know that a whole new set of rules apply. And here they are:
AwwSam apartment “Having recently moved into a larger studio space, I’ve had to figure out some techniques to photographing and styling on a larger scale. I used to live in the tiniest New York apartment, so I was very restricted to certain photo crops, and I never got the chance to photograph my interior space. When it finally came time to start photographing my interior space, I faced problems that I hadn’t dealt with before. Here are a few tips to decorating your space, how to get rid of those pesky shadows, and how to take the best Instagram photos of your space!

1. Utilize your space by using multiple planes within the photo. Everyone loves photos where the foreground is in focus and the background has a soft blur. Choose objects to put in different planes of your photo and set your focal point on an object in the foreground to achieve this look. It also makes for a more interesting photo when everything is not always in a straight line!

2. I’m a huge fan of natural light! Observe when your space gets the best natural light (this is different for everyone depending on which direction the windows in your apartment face). I turn off all other lights in my apartment, so shadows don’t come from above, and I always avoid times of the day when the light is shining directly into my apartment. Really bright natural light will cause photos to be blown out and will give harsher shadows.


3. Choose a color palette that works for you and your space. I’m constantly re-arranging pillows or moving around decorations to change what colors appear in my photos. And just to mix it up a bit for my followers! Choose props that best fit the colors of the area you’re photographing, you can always move the props again so don’t get stuck on one arrangement. It’s your space, so you can go crazy moving furniture around without judgement!

4. Know your space. If you have a smaller space, you may find yourself standing on top of kitchen counters or shooting through a door frame or hallway. (Don’t worry, we’ve all done it, and nobody will know what lengths you went to to get a great photo!) :) If there’s a hallway you can head down or a doorway you can shoot through to get a better view of your living room, go for it!

AwwSam Studio

5. Move objects slightly away from the wall. This prevents shadows on the wall behind your furniture and will allow viewers to focus more on the space. If you are still getting shadows, set up a large, white poster board facing the window or a piece of cardboard wrapped in tin foil to reflect the light and soften the photo.”

For more gorgeousness and examples of why you should be listening to Sam, check out her insta @aww.sam and her new blog filled with things like pink ombre cake shots and DIY taco purses. I’m not even kidding a little bit.

Interior Styling Evolution: the end

The last two projects in the Skillshare class by Justina Blakeney were to style your bookshelf and your bed. The timing isn’t great because Mia has a double ear infection (have I mentioned that already?) and she’s on antibiotics and seems better but her sleeping is basically non-existent. Whereas before the ear infection she was sleeping 9PM to 5AM and then another two hours, now she is extremely hard to put to sleep and wakes up EVERY FEW MINUTES. We are so exhausted and my heart is just bursting for our baby.

I would have liked the chance to really spend time with the last two projects, but I did the best I could under the circumstances and I’m really grateful that we have a diagnosis for why Mia was screaming so much and hopefully she’s on the mend. Here goes…

Bookshelf Styling


Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling "before"I’d say our shelves are 90% functional, holding books, photos, and toys.


Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling Shoes Off Please | Bookshelf Styling

The “after” is less functional and I totally had to cheat by moving books to another bookcase so there’d be room for some stylin’. What I like about the “after” is that there are things that are meaningful to me and Tuvia and now they are on display. The teapot and cups are from my sister, which she got from Etsy before it was huge, the Andy Warhol toy was a birthday present from a friend (who got it from a friend who made it), the small clock is a nod to Warhol and I do believe it was headed to the trash before I saved it from an apartment cleaning by another friend.

Bed Styling


Interior Styling Evolution: Bed "before"


Interior Styling Evolution: Bed "after" Interior Styling Evolution: Bed "after"


You may notice that not much has changed. You would be correct :) The nightstand is styled, the chair is switched out from the glider we temporarily had in our room and has a sheepskin thrown over it for texture annnnnd that’s it. I played around with the bedding, but the truth is, I like this best out of what we have. It does make me want a beautiful quilt to throw over the end of the bed, but we don’t have any. I attempted this project while I was wearing Mia in the ergo rocking and shushing and trying to take pictures with my camera #ohparenthood

Conclusion: I didn’t realize that deliberate styling was so much work! I mentioned in the first styling post that it’s always been kind of an easy-do-it-as-I-go thing. This gives me new respect for stylists and people who do this every day. Emily Henderson is probably really relieved about that. Don’t worry, Emily, I’ve got your back.

All in all, I enjoyed the class and I think it gave me a new perspective on things. It pointed out some things that I knew instinctively but hadn’t ever thought out and it taught me new ones. Justina is a pleasure as a teacher, gave personal and constructive feedback (and the class is at almost 500 students!) and, most importantly in a stylist and teacher, has amazing hair. Thank you Justina!

Interior Styling Evolution: the middle

I have to confess that I sort of thought I had this Skillshare class in the bag. I move stuff around all the time and it’s kind of effortless fun. I think I never intentionally styled something before, so this very conscious effort feels completely new and completely hard.

The projects I’ve completed since the last post are: coffee table styling, console styling, and sofa styling.

Coffee Table Styling:

We don’t have a coffee table, so I used our two square ottomans that we got from Target when Missoni had their short-lived run there. In general, I love them. I love the pattern, they provide extra seating when we need it, and they’re easily moved. That last bit is important for a- pillow forts and b- Tuvia and I tend to do our work in our “spots” (which have changed over the years) and then when we’re both done or tapped out of brain juice, we sit together and watch whatever show we’re into at the moment. Right now it’s Castle– I looove Nathan Fillion (please tell me you’ve seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)! Anyway, we both take an ottoman and it’s cozy and comfortable.


Ottoman Styling Before | Shoes Off Please Ottoman Styling Before | Shoes Off Please Ottoman Styling Before | Shoes Off Please

Oh, hello toes trying not to be in the picture! The size of the carpet (DwellStudio for Target) is all wrong for the space, but it probably won’t be replaced anytime soon.

Various attempts at styling:

Ottoman Styling Before | Shoes Off Please

Ottoman Styling Before | Shoes Off Please


Ottoman Styling | Shoes Off PleaseOttoman Styling | Shoes Off Please

Ottoman Styling | Shoes Off Please

Justina suggested using only one vase and putting it on the book next to the candle. Ahhh… good call. I saw her comment after I put everything away (since we do indeed have an almost-three year old running around…and into things on a regular basis) so I don’t have a picture, but I see what she’s saying.

Next up:

Console Styling:

What we originally had:

Console Styling | Shoes Off Please

As I mentioned in my class project, it’s pretty two-dimensional but it’s necessary. We had more 3D objects there at one time, but it was too much to ask a two-year old to refrain from playing with them.


Console Styling | Shoes Off Please


Console Styling | Shoes Off Please

Sofa Styling:

I change up the pillow configuration ALL the time. But that’s mostly because I never found the one that I loved. In this process, I find that I either liked when there were two pillows for each corner of the couch, or when there were pillows across the whole thing.


Sofa Styling "before"  | Shoes Off Please


Sofa Styling | Shoes Off Please Sofa Styling | Shoes Off Please

I went with this setup in the end because I wanted to include our two main colors (And my two favorite colors) purple and blue, and we have small pops of yellow throughout the room. It took forever to get here and the funniest part is…this is what it looked like when I started :)

Also..I totally forgot to play with our throws! We have a really yummy cream one we got from Crate and Barrel when we first got married, and a plain blue one that has seen better days. This one from Joss & Main is totally my jam, but it’s too expensive and that sale ended ages ago anyway.

And secretly I want pink pillows. Don’t tell Tuvia or he might stop me from getting some… (have I mentioned how handsome he is?)

Here are some of the variations that came in between (you can see I got lazy about moving the pillows I wasn’t using out of the shot, sometimes Tuvia makes a tiny appearance too):

Sofa Styling | Shoes Off Please

Do you have a different favorite? Looking at the pictures again, I think I prefer the overloaded with pillows look, combining the blue and purple…but we do have the L-shaped couch right here and then what would we do with that? Delicious design dilemmas!

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