a new approach

Have you ever wondered why your house doesn’t look like the ones in magazines despite your best efforts? Author and stylist Emily Henderson offers refreshing solutions for doable self home revitalization in her book Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves. This is not your typical decorating how-to guide filled with expensive trends sitting on expiration dates; rather, Henderson has created an imaginative styling bible—rich with affordable and creative ways to style what you already own.

Henderson began her career as a prop stylist, which led to a hosting gig on HGTV’s Secrets from a Stylist, where she started helping homeowners tailor rooms to their personal styles. Henderson opts out of the overwhelming process of complete redecoration, expressing that the secret to styling is to focus on the details. She notes the arrangement of objects such as vases, pillows, and throws as the key to creating beautiful, livable spaces. The job of a stylist, Henderson explains, is “obsessing over a room’s details and tweaking them in order to bring the room to life.”

The beauty of this book rests not only in its overall design and stunning interior photos, but also in its encouraging tone. “By approaching a room from a stylist’s point of view, you free yourself from any anxiety or fear about getting anything wrong,” says the author. Manageable solutions and styling ideas, such as wrapping a blanket around a couch cushion rather than splurging for a reupholster, are abundant.

Styled is divided into three sections. “The Stylist’s Toolkit” features a fun quiz that identifies your style. “Style Secrets for Every Room” relays the thought process behind various styling decisions that you can easily transfer to your home. Finally, “The Stylist’s Notebook” gives you the resources to become a styling expert, with information on flea market shopping, paint colors, and DIY ideas.

Henderson’s love for her career radiates from the book, resulting in a wholesome and happy read. She is kind in her descriptions—and the added touch of humor regarding her mistakes and successes as a stylist leaves you inspired and feeling like the author has become a close friend.—Mikala Sterling