Behind the scenes with a stylist

Find out what goes on behind the scenes when we photograph a reader's home for Style at Home magazine

We love our job, not only do we spend our days discovering the fab new interiors products that hit the high street, we also get to see some beautiful homes. But have you ever wondered what it's like to be a home interiors stylist? Come and take a sneak peek behind-the-scenes and find out what it takes...


(Image credit: Future PLC/simon)



All the props for tomorrow's shoot are packed up along with the stylist's essential kit (think florists wire, scissors, picture hanging strips), and it's a three-hour drive up to Birmingham for an overnight stay. Much of a stylist's job is spent travelling the country to different homes across the UK.



It's up and out early to our first stop, the local supermarket. We pick up some lunch for the troops. It's hungry work styling a shoot and there's a few people to feed. Plus we pick up any food props we need like cakes, fruit and biscuits.


Next stop is to a florist to pick up some fresh flowers - today's home has lots of pretty pastels, so we're on the hunt for something pale pink that would be in season in August (when the issue will be out on sale). We finally settle on some pretty roses and pussy willow.


We arrive at the house and meet homeowner Aneesha. We have a cup of tea as she shows us around and we discuss how the day will work. We talk to photographer Simon about how many shots we need in each room and where we will start.

room with candle and table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon)


It's time to get the props unpacked, including a couple of throws (to cover up creases in duvets and large expanses of sofa arm), fresh towels, tea towels and a couple of cushions to add to Aneesha's already fab collection.

room with two men with laptop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon)


Photographer Simon sets up his camera gear and chooses the best angle for the first shot. He takes a few dummy shots so stylist Laurie can take a look and rearrange any props or furniture to get the picture perfect. Then he gets snapping!

photographer clicking a photo of woman

(Image credit: Future PLC/simon)


We've photographed most of the downstairs of the home, and we've taken about 10 shots. Each one has taken lots of tweaking, pulling furniture into place and teasing curtains and rugs until they look magazine ready. Being ‘magazine ready' means hiding any unsightly plugs, wires and clutter.


Time for everyone to break for lunch, have a bite to eat and recharge. We have a chat about how the morning has gone and what needs to be done this afternoon.

room with camera and white door

(Image credit: Future PLC/simon)


Time to head upstairs and shoot the remaining rooms. First it's the bathroom, where we position a pretty towel over the bath and straighten out the shower curtain. We add interest to the windowsill with a cute candle and remove any toiletries on show.


Lastly we shoot the bedrooms and office.
The bedding is smoothed out as much as possible and a stylish throw over the end of the bed covers any creases. Cushions are plumped and the bedside tables organized, with a few props added to finish off Aneesha's beautiful scheme. Aneesha's office looks so good we keep it as it is and just pop a basket with a few pretty craft papers rolled up in to finish off the room.


That's a wrap! We check through Simon's photos to make sure we have a good selection and then it's time to pack up all the props and move furniture back to its original position.


Time to hit the road and drive back to London!

Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.