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Secrets from a stylist

Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2013

I have expensive taste, far beyond my budget. As a movie set and photo stylist in California and now in Wisconsin, Iíve learned some trade secrets on how to satisfy my designer tastes without sacrificing budget or style.

Bargain Hunt

Splurge on one or two statement pieces and supplement with bargain finds that are on trend. Even with high-end items, you donít have to pay full price. I found two almost new Baker chairs designed by Barbara Barry on Craigslist. Next to these stunning chairs, who would know that the Hollywood Regency style, mirrored side table is from Target? One of my favorite, not-so-guilty pleasures is to browse the Baker Odds & Ends showroom in Kohler.

A high-end antique desk from a movie set is complemented by a bargain-find Cynthia Rowley desk chair from Marshalls. Ikat pillow,; brass etagere, Designer Consigner, Hartland.


His and Hers

In decorating, as in life, balance is important. Elegant, soft feminine lines are alluring but can be overdone. Mixing in some sturdy masculine elements keeps it relaxed. My husband, Jeff, and I found a chunky brown leather ottoman on Craigslist, originally from Pottery Barn and practically new. Our sofa, with its rich taupe-gray fabric and clean lines, was our first investment piece. The silvery blue satin curtains from Restoration Hardware add a feminine touch without being too flowery.

CREATE A MOOD BOARD: Gather fabric and wallpaper swatches, paint chips, objects of nature, interior or fashion photos, a piece of art, an architectural element, etc. You will be able to edit and refine as you hone in on the feeling you want to create.

Old and New

When Iím creating a lifestyle set, whether for photography or film, my goal is to create a space that feels collected over time. Mixing vintage pieces with more modern elements makes the movie magic happen. In my office, I created a gallery wall over my desk, a chic way to display a collection of art. In the gallery, I have some cherished pieces: an abstract painting from my dad, a watercolor painted by my mother-in-law. Alongside these heirloom pieces is a mixture of contemporary art creations: a fine art print from my husband, a graphic Golden Retriever silhouette from Mod Dog/, "Fruit of the Spirit" print from Olive Manna online, Spin Art from a friend (I just love kidís art) and a DIY project I created on a whim.

When it comes to your personal space, surround yourself with colors and things that make you happy.



This story ran in the December 2013 issue of: