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Honing A Creative Vision
Her Must-Haves: Wrapping paper, plaid pants
Tip #1: Find the similarities between the visual references you gravitate towards.
"People are always saying to me, 'I don't know what I like,' and I say, 'I bet you do.' As soon as I start showing them things, they have an opinion. You have to dig into a memory. Look at magazines, explore Pinterest. Tear out or bookmark the things you like, and you'll probably find there's a pattern to it. You can also translate what you like in clothes to what you like in a room. If you have a style icon, say Katharine Hepburn, you can translate that into interiors. I did a shoot the other day where they said, 'This is Cary Grant on the Italian Riviera.' If you give a space a narrative, you can create around it."
Sweater, shoes, blanket, pillows, floor poufs, tea cup, saucer, and notebooks courtesy of T.J.Maxx. For a similar style, try:
Tip #2: Keep the color palette simple.
"Whether it's decor or present wrapping, I really think two colors is enough. Choose a motif, and then play within that. Even with my clothes, I choose mostly neutral solids. But, a subtle print like these plaid pants can be lovely. I'm Scottish, so I have my own tartan (our name for plaid). I've worn it since I had a kilt made for me in Edinburgh."
Wrapping paper, ribbons, and pants courtesy of T.J.Maxx.
Tip #3: When curating a shelf or a mantel, play with objects in a variety of sizes and metallics for a festive touch.
"For me, the holidays are all about scent and sparkle. My mantel will always have a real spruce garland. We've tried alternative trees, but nothing beats the smell of a real tree. Aside from that, all you really need are some candles of different heights and a few fiber-optic lights. Think about the scale of things. Put a busy area next to a quiet, simple area with one beautiful thing. Negative space is very important. If you want something more festive, throw something metallic, like these silver pinecones in the mix."
Bracelets, earrings, candle holder, metal tin, and pinecone decor courtesy of T.J.Maxx.
Creating A Work-Life Environment
Her Must-Haves: Colored pen and pencil set, cozy sweater cape
Tip #1: Carve out an inspiring place in your home (and spare time) to focus on passion projects.
"My background is in magazines, and what I do now is mostly designing sets and shoots. A lot of the time, I'm bringing someone else's vision to life. The only way to combine the two is to write a book, and I'm working on my next one now. Creatively, this is much more satisfying. I couldn't have done this when my son Gus was younger, because I wouldn't have had time. But, now, he's at a very easy age. If you can carve out time for it, you should."
Pants, shoes, briefcase, and vase courtesy of T.J.Maxx. For a similar style, try:
Tip #2: Color coordination isn't just for decor — it's great for organizing work projects, too.
"I'm working on my next book right now. It's all about monochrome interiors. The research process involves working online and going through this massive archive of books and magazines I have. I'm constantly marking up my captions with different colored pens and pencils to keep my thoughts organized."
Colored pen and pencil set, magnifying glass, phone case, and metal tin courtesy of T.J.Maxx.