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The Art Of Arrangement:
Behind the Scenes with our Catalog Stylist

Forgive us a momentary humblebrag, but we often hear customers wistfully sigh… >


The Art Of Arrangement:
Behind the Scenes with Our Catalog Stylist

Forgive us a momentary humblebrag, but we often hear customers wistfully sigh, “I wish I could live in Anthropologie.” Trust us, we know the feeling, especially after perusing our hot-off-the-presses House and Home catalog. Flipping through page after page of expertly curated and cozily lived-in vignettes, we had to ask the woman behind its styling, former Domino editor and co-author of The Inspired Home, Kim Ficaro, exactly how she feathered our nests. Here Kim shares her styling secrets as well as some behind-the-scenes tidbits from this epic catalog shoot.

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Where do you go back to time and again for inspiration?
I look at everything—blogs, Pinterest, Tumblrs and Instagram, an infinite explosion of visual stimulation where you can find anything and everything. Before that we used to keep tear sheets from magazines of inspirations in binders—I still go back to them, especially when I have that one image I need to find and no idea where in the world wide web it is. Art, always, every medium—for color, light, texture, materials. Books and travel, of course. Seeing how people live, what materials they use to build homes. Inspiration is everywhere, so I try and keep my eyes open. You can’t learn how to style from a photo, but you can train your eye to see.

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What was your thought process behind the styling of this room?
We wanted to keep it pretty simple because the dining table is such a statement piece. This room also lent itself to being very light and crisp, so I worked off the feel of the room and added tropical leaves on the mantle. This helped tie in the rug, while letting the furniture and the lighting speak for itself. When pieces work so well together, there is very little that needs to be added.

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Talk to us about chandeliers—where should we put them?
Usually, we see dramatic chandeliers in a big room, centered.  But sometimes it actually works really well to put a one in an unexpected place—over an entry table in a hallway or in a bathroom. I love juxtaposition. Pairing a beat-up wooden dining table with an oversized crystal chandelier can create the best kind of balance. 

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We love the way you mingled functional items and décor on the same shelf. How can we achieve this mix in our own homes?
Think about a specific area and what would fit best there. For the kitchen, mix stacks of plates and glasses next to cookbooks, tea canisters and anything kitchen-related you collect. If you have a credenza in a living room, mix coffee table books as well as a bar set-up on top.

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Mixing patterns and textures atop the bed can be tricky—what are you tips for us on how to create an artfully layered bed?
The trick is to use different scales of pattern.  If your sheets have a small-scale print, use a bigger, bolder pattern on your top layers or throw pillows. Adding a graphic pattern, like a stripe, is also is great to mix with other types of patterns like florals—especially at the end of your bed—as it has a grounding effect.

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What was it like on the catalog shoot?
We had the best crew anyone could ask for. It was a three week shoot and we were moving locations, so there were a lot of activities—World Cup fever, morning yoga and stretching followed by push-ups, cheering [the photographer] Simon on to get the shot, morning basketball, jumping off funny cliffs to a pool in our hotel, pizza party, ping-pong and a bouncy castle that Simon got everyone kicked out of! 

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What’s your favorite space you’ve ever styled?
To be totally honest, after 10 years of doing this, my most favorite space was on this shoot! The first week we shot in a small house upstate. We made garlands of carnations—the most underrated flowers—and hung them in the attic rooms, which had beautiful peeling wallpaper. The downstairs room of the house was a pale grey and we created a living room that you could stay in all day, using lush plants and the carnation garlands.

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Kim is co-author of the Inspired Home: Nests of Creatives, along with Todd Nickey, featuring photography by Ditte Isager and published by Rizzoli. 

Behind the scenes photos courtesy Kim Ficaro.

 

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