Many clients wonder what to expect when they book a Styling Session. We would too! So we thought it would be fun to share a recent session from start to finish- including a few behind the scenes peeks at how we approach the process.

Ryan and Kathi have great style and great stuff, but needed a little help refreshing their family room. They were ready to choose a new paint color, had a DIY in mind they wanted some help planning, and wanted some tips on how to best arrange their current accessories.

We always ask our clients for photos of their space before their session, and if possible, pictures of accessories they’ll have available for us to use. We also look through our clients’ Pinterest boards to get a sense of their style, and ask a few questions to understand the needs we’ll be addressing during our session.

Kathi sent us these pictures of her family room before we met:

family room BEFORE
chicago interior styling help
interior styling help
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After looking through the pictures, we both agreed that the furniture needed a more symmetrical layout, and that the sofa and the piano were competing for attention on the focal wall. We tossed around the idea of moving the sofa in front of the window, and did some quick sketches so we’d have a few things to try right away when we arrived.

styling session sketches

On the day of the session, after Kathi and Ryan gave us a little tour of the rest of their home (which immediately made us question why they needed us at all), we talked through our ideas and got started rearranging their furniture.

It became clear that both of their large chairs would not fit in the room if we moved the sofa. We talked about relocating the piano instead, but in the end Ryan and Kathi liked the sofa in front of the window and how open the room felt by removing one recliner.

styling session in progress

LP (that’s what we call Laura Peacock around here) suggested we try the entry cabinet next to the sofa, which ended up filling that spot perfectly. It fit the style of their home a little better than the wire bookcase, which we found a perfect home for on the covered deck instead!

Laura Design Company Styling Session

Kathi was tired of the burnt orange and brick colors of the cabinet, so we suggested chalk painting it in a two-tone charcoal and cream, and we showed her how to style the top. A tip: You can compensate for an undersized art piece by hanging it low enough to make it part of the tabletop vignette.

Next, we talked about the wall color. We all felt that the current color had too much of a yellow base and chose Everyday White by Sherwin Williams to brighten the space up.

Once all of the major pieces were arranged and our paint colors were nailed down, we collected accessories from around the house to add the finishing layer of decorating to the room.

While LP and Ryan relocated artwork, the other Laura (that’s Laura Irion) set to work with Kathi editing the bookcase.

Chicago Interior Styling

There was a large wall space in between the family room and dining room that Kathi wanted to turn into a gallery wall, but she wasn’t sure what sizes or prints would look right. We pulled out our brown kraft paper so that we could map a plan for her.

how to plan a gallery wall

We then tackled the entry wall. This space was at the top of their stairs and was the first wall you would see when you entered the house, so we really wanted to make it a focal point. We suggested relocating their arched mirror, and placing it over a DIY console table they were planning to build. We used blue tape to map out the size the console table should be, and where to hang the mirror.

styling session

More styling suggestions were made for the dining table and coffee table, and we filled a terrarium with mini succulents we brought from the garden center.

coffee table styling

In our remaining time, we looked online at pillows for the sofa, and talked about what accent colors Kathi could pull in with accessories. We also looked at Pinterest together for some vignettes and styling inspiration for her dining room buffet.

When we left it looked like this:

furniture rearrangement
styling session after

After 3 hours, the room had been updated with a more symmetrical and open furniture layout, surfaces were styled, and Ryan and Kathi had a plan for wall paint, furniture paint, artwork placement, and additional accessories.

We were so tickled to hear that Ryan set out to painting almost as soon as we were out the door, and the brighter white walls were done within a week. They also completed the cabinet painting and the console table DIY and hung the mirror, artwork and gallery wall. They were busy!

Here are the follow up pictures that we received a few weeks after our session:

console table styling
cabinet with chalk paint
eclectic gallery wall

Whoa! What a difference! That mirror as you enter up the stairs makes such a HUGE impact, and the way it reflects the sofa in front of the window is absolutely stunning. And check out those DIY skills! The console turned out beautifully, and we did a little happy dance when we saw these.

Here is a glance back at the room before:

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And here is the room now:

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Remember the entry wall before?

entry before

And the entry wall after:

entry decorating

Ryan and Kathi, you guys did such a great job! Thanks again for inviting us into your beautiful home.

Laura Design Company











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AuthorLaura Irion