Set Stylist Tips to Steal 10 secrets to get magazine-ready

Ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram and wondering why your home doesn’t look like a page out of a magazine? Then you’ll be happy to know we’re ready to spill all the tricks of the trade.

This probably comes as no surprise, but a big reason these rooms look so darn good is because they’re staged by professionals. Set stylists and decorators know just how to make a room look beautiful and interesting, and the good news is that’s it’s easier than you think. Read on for all the top set stylist tips to steal!

1. Style Your Coffee Table


See how this otherwise simple living room setup feels polished and camera-ready with just a few simple additions? And whether you go with a stack of books, some greenery, or a few decorative accents, it’s impossible to go wrong—and the casually draped throw adds the perfect finishing touch. It’s one of our easiest set stylist tips!

2. Drape Your Throws


About that drape—this go-to trick is a popular one among set stylists. And that’s because the secret to a perfectly styled room is not making it TOO perfect. Just place the throw at an angle opposite to the rest of the lines in the room, because this everything more visually interesting. Don’t be afraid to pile on the pillows either and make that a little messy too!

3. Open the Curtains and Blinds


Chances are you’ll have some trouble finding a professionally styled room with drawn curtains or blinds, and that’s because natural light is your living room’s best friend. This is one of our favorite set stylist tips because it brightens the entire room, which makes it great for photos. Plus it’s totally free!

4. Add Greenery


This kind of green goes with every décor. Foliage, whether fake or real, adds life to any room. Yes, our gorgeous bedroom example would still be an enviable room on its own. But add the tree and you have a pop of color, plenty of height, and something to fill the space.

5. Create Height


Speaking of adding height, this one’s a must for any stylist because it keeps the eye moving and makes the room feel bigger. Most furniture is only about half the height of the room (or less), so you need something to expand the plane. A floor lamp next to the sofa or a chandelier above the dining table is an easy solution.

6. Open Shelving


No shocker here, but accessories and décor are a key part of making any room feel styled. That’s why open shelving is so great, simply because they give more space to develop your room’s look and feel. And if you aren’t lucky enough to have built-in shelves, an open bookcase or console table will do quite nicely.

7. Add Color Contrast


Sometimes, it’s all about adding a little drama to take your room to the next level, and nothing adds drama like color contrast. See how this navy wall makes the white furniture pop, taking it from ordinary to totally Instagram-worthy.

8. Rule of 3


It’s one of the oldest design tricks in the book, and most designers swear there is something magical about the number three. This means arranging your home accents, such as lighting or décor, in groups of three. The theory is that odd numbers are more interesting to look at, and that one is too little while five is too much.

9. Layer Your Area Rugs


You’ve probably noticed by now that a common theme to professionally styled rooms is making small tweaks to add visual interest—and this set stylist tip is no different. Layering one area rug on top of another adds an eclectic cool factor to your living room, and it’s easy to pull off. You can use two rugs of the same size and layer at an angle, or take a smaller rug and layer at one of the corners.

10. Swap Chairs for Benches


Swap out two of your dining chairs for a bench, and—you guessed it—the dining room becomes instantly more engaging and compelling. Which is everything you want in a magazine-worthy room. You can even take it step further by mixing up your side chairs with arm chairs, as well as mixing upholstery with wood frames.

And just like that, your room will look like it came straight out of a magazine! The whole idea is that it doesn’t have to be expensive to get a home that looks professionally styled. You just have to get the right set stylists tips!