Our stylist Michele creates all the beautiful vignettes you see in our photography. She's got a special je ne sais quoi that results in thoughtfully styled shelves, cabinets and tables that look like they've evolved over time. Learn how she does it and shop her favorite props.

Let's start at the beginning.  How did you become a stylist? 

My grandmother was a seamstress and my grandfather was a woodworker. I grew up around fabrics and woods and so a creative field feels like it has always been part of my destiny. 

I majored in Visual Communications, with an emphasis in Graphic Design. However, I quickly realized that sitting in front of a computer screen all day was not fulfilling my creative needs. I knew something was missing. After a few years, I made a shift and started working for a small interior design firm where I found my rhythm.  Working with color, pattern and space met my creative needs in a more wholistic way. 

Then I took some time for kids and family and when I came back to restart my career, I was introduced to Elsie Green. Here I hit the ground running. My training as a graphic designer and my experience in interior design came together in the most surprising way.  Styling for the camera was a new, fun challenge that allowed me to draw from my experience while learning a new discipline. 

  The team here at Elsie Green is so talented and the merchandise is so fun to work with, plus it just feels like home which is the best place to create…from the heart.    

If you had to boil styling a shelf or a console down to the three most important steps, what are they?  

1.  Pick a common element.
2. Put the focal points down first.  
3.  Work in odd numbers.

I like to use art, ceramics, and linens to show depth and texture. I find color helps with unity and placement helps incorporate rhythm and movement.

What are your favorite props to use?

I love using imperfect objects, so art, ceramics, aged wood, and brass or silver with a beautiful patina are my go-tos.

Where do you go for inspiration when you need some new ideas?  

In a perfect world, far away from home. The more exotic the better! Travel is so important to me. Getting outside my comfort zone is where I find the magic, the growth! If a big trip is not an option then I head to the beach or go for a trail run. I find nature to be the most inspiring source of all…It's so grounding and rejuvenating too. 

Or I seek out creative events like a potter’s demo, a theater performance, or explore a new gallery to see emerging artists.  

What's the secret to displaying a collection?  

I love texture! I look to bring in softness with linens if working with stoneware or greens like cut flowers or a plant and food props if styling cookware and kitchen items.

I know every vignette you create is very intentional.   But they all look very casual as if they've been added to over time.  What's your secret to achieving that?  

Selection, restraint, and vintage objects whenever possible! They have lived a lifetime already and have a story of their own that’s indelible. 

I love being in the moment. I’m always thinking of the end user and if they were in the space in that moment what would be the last action? Is it setting a table for an event that’s about to happen? Is it preparing a good meal, serving a great cocktail…or placing a book on a shelf slightly askew after viewing? Maybe it’s after the moment has passed like the first bite of a shared meal? 

What's in your kit? 

Always good pruning shears! Strong, sticky tape, safety pins.  Plus whatever I’m wearing must have many pockets, like a good field jacket.

Shop Michele's kit in our blog post

Stylist Secrets | Elsie's Home Survival Kit

Learn more about Michele

Laurie Furber
Tagged: inspiration