Decorate your home. “It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.” So said Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist and creator of the Peanuts comic strip. This quote resonates with Priscilla Tan, whose practice StyledbyPT is registered here and in New Zealand.
Trained as a fashion designer, she pivoted to interior styling in 2018 with her company, which quickly gained followers online and off. A house, she says, is never complete until it becomes a home – and that’s where interior styling comes in.
INTERIOR STYLIST, DECORATOR AND DESIGNER: WHAT MAKES EACH ONE DIFFERENT?
Interior stylists beautify a home by adding, editing or collating decorative items such as furnishings, window treatments and bedding. While the duties of a decorator and a stylist are similar, the former also works closely with design professionals such as architects, lighting and kitchen designers, and suppliers to deliver the client’s requirements.
An interior designer’s responsibilities begin once the floor plan is approved. They include focusing on all aspects of the interior structure. Not just how a room is decorated or how it looks in the end, but the plumbing and carpentry design works and more.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR STYLING PROCESS.
My team and I always start with confirming the dream floor plan and understanding the client’s lifestyle habits and needs. Next, we ensure that all the interior components are well-designed before introducing new or existing furniture and decorative items. Due to Covid, many clients have had to style their spaces with me via Zoom instead of having me take charge of the styling in person.
HOW DOES ONE KNOW THAT IT IS TIME FOR A RESTYLE?
Say you buy a new artwork and realise how much better it makes a room look or add a new piece of furniture that makes everything else look dingy or old. When you’ve had the same look for the last five to 10 years, these are signs that it is time to refresh your home.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE HOME STYLING TIPS?
Firstly, shop according to the dimensions of your floor plan to make sure any furniture you buy fits the space.
Secondly, focus on the walls. Explore hanging artworks, adding shelves or getting furniture that maximises their height and width. Compact elements visually minimise their height.
Finally, avoid getting a rug that is disproportionate to your space. The front legs of the furniture must sit on it. As with art and most decorative items, it is better to go larger than smaller to balance out a space.
WHAT MUST-HAVES SHOULD A STYLISH HOME POSSESS?
For starters, a tray! It should be the No 1 item in any home as it helps with the grouping of objects and makes styling a breeze. I recommend having three to seven trays so you can create different styling vignettes whenever you feel like it.
Plus, at least three different styles of bedsheets, dinnerware and table runners to keep things looking stylish and fresh. And, if you don’t want to paint your walls, add a rug for instant colour, warmth and zoning. Fresh flowers or plants also energise a space and one’s mood.
HOW MUCH SHOULD WE BUDGET FOR RESTYLING?
Leave at least 10 to 30 per cent of the reno budget to cover dressing up your home with lighting, wallpaper or paint, curtains or blinds, furniture and other decorative items that make it look instantly inviting.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE.
I love contemporary modern styles with classic black and white touches. It is an evergreen scheme and style that I find comforting and timeless even as trends come and go. In my line of work, while I have to embrace colours all the time, a muted palette clears my mind and calms my soul when I am home resting or chilling with my family.