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12 Things You SHOULD Be Doing When You Decorate Your Home

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    Photographed by Jens Ingvarsson.

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    Hilary Robertson is one of the lucky few who found her calling at a young age, and for this Kent, England native, it was the visual allure of spaces. Growing up in a mid-century home filled with Scandinavian designs of the time, she developed her trademark penchant for monochromatic, muted palettes and mixing the old and new. Today, Robertson is a sought-after interiors stylist and antiques buyer, her artistic eye landing her a slew of high-level creative positions, from set styling for photo shoots to buying and art directing for home brands.

    After 25 years in the biz, you could say she practically wrote the book on interior decor ā€” well, three books with a new one in the works, to be exact. And, if you devour decor blogs and Insta feeds like we do, chances are you've come across the famous images eye candy inside these coffee-table covers before (and instantly felt your jaw drop).

    So, how exactly does Robertson create an eclectic yet elegant aesthetic that makes us want to immediately move into every room she touches? We met up with the decor pro in her gorgeous Brooklyn home to get her expertise on designing a space, curating a wardrobe inspired by your home, and mastering her distinct style (hint: she meshes her T.J.Maxx fashion and home goods with flea-market finds). And, because the holidays are upon us, we also snagged her seasonal decorating and entertaining tricks for a festive abode that's anything but cheesy. Click on for all the must-know tips from one of the industry greats, and get a peek inside her stylishly packed life.


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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:

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    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.

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    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.

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    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:

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    Tip #2: Color coordination isn't just for decor ā€” 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.