A Day in the Life of an Interior Stylist

Lauren Powell
PHOTO:

Aimee Thompson

A career in interior styling takes skill, creativity, dedication, and hard work, among many other talents. While it may sound glamorous, it's not a job for the faint-hearted. As interior stylist Alicia Sciberras puts it, “we are basically removalists wearing nice clothing”. We spoke with the inspiring and talented stylist to find out exactly what a day looks like for her—and it sounds pretty wonderful to us. Read on to be treated to a day in a life of an interior stylist.

'I am forever chasing beauty, but more often than not I find the imperfect far more interesting. For me, good styling is a juggling act that always needs slight imperfections to make a perfect image. It is very important to me that I am always styling, rearranging, and training my eye with different compositions. I am constantly arranging objects just for fun,' says Sciberras.

'The creative process of styling interiors and spaces is a very subtle visual language that is often overlooked. Today we are challenged by the interactivity of making aspirational images for a cross-section of media platforms. When I think about my dream client it would definitely be Hermes. Although, in all honesty, I think my dream projects come everyday—I am always so genuinely excited and inspired with each new client, their brief and the challenges that come with these projects.' 

7 a.m. Yoga

'Unlike its popular sister (fashion styling), interior styling is an entirely different world of heavy lifting and moving large objects of furniture on set quickly. We are basically removalists wearing nice clothing. The only way I stay agile and capable of doing this is with constant yoga practice—it lengthens and stretches out my creaky bones. I try to go the day before and the day after a shoot, because when you are on set it is almost like a full nine-hour gym session.'

8 a.m. Breakfast at home

'Breakfast is a daily necessity—it doesn't have to be fancy but it does have to be filling in case there is no time for lunch.'

9 a.m. Coffee pit stop

'Coffee and croissant at Flour and Stone in Woolloomooloo, I mainly get takeaway but when I have time I love to sit at the bar in the window and do my set sketches and mock-ups. I also like to pick up yummy things for my crew on a shoot day from here—they do the best lamingtons.'

PHOTO:

@flourandstone

10 a.m. Sourcing

'Most interior shops do not open until 10 a.m., so I spend the day before a shoot scouring the shops. Sourcing props and picking up products for a next day shoot can be exhausting. But for me it is also the exciting part—I love seeing things before others and thinking about different compositions and ways to use an object. Styling offers so many thrills it really is not just placing nice things in a space, we are responsible for editing others options—we need to riffle through everything to know what is available. I will always find something at Becker Minty, Ginko Leaf, and Seasonal Concepts.'

11 a.m. Inspiration hunting

'I lose myself in magazines. My interest in interiors began by poring through my mother’s collection of interior magazines as a young child. So, a must-stop destination is always the Kings Cross newsagency on Victoria street, they have all the international titles.'

PHOTO:

@aliciasciberras_

12 p.m. Hardware store

'Head to the hardware store to pick up paint and extra bits and bobs.'

2 p.m. Meeting with Amber Road Design

'A new avenue for me is collaborating with the very talented girls at architecture studio Amber Road Design. We are working on a very special project for Reece Bathrooms which I cannot wait to share. We meet at their Darlinghurst studio which is always a pleasure and just up the road from the amazing furniture store Dedece, an interiors pit stop I can never resist.'

4 p.m. Florist

'Flowers, flowers, flowers. This is always my favourite part of the day because you never know what is in season or what the florist will have in their shop. My local is Hermetica Flowers in Darlinghurst, I always like to pop in and pick from the variety in-store rather than pre-ordering—too much fun!' 

PHOTO:

@hermeticaflowers

5 p.m. Studio visit

'I head to the photography studio to meet with the photographer and talk about what we are shooting the next day. We will discuss lighting, wall-flat colours, sketches, and camera angles.'

PHOTO:

Alicia Sciberras

6 p.m. Paint wall flats and boxes

'Some stylists will paint flats on the day, but colour is so important to me that I need to know that it is the exact shade I need it; I also like two to three coats so I simply cannot sleep if it is not all prepared for the next day.'

PHOTO:

Alicia Sciberras

7 p.m. Run list

'Print and confirm run list for shoot day schedule, just so that I feel under control and have a plan to work from on set.'

8 p.m. Dinner

'Cook and eat dinner, and then relax. I'll sit down and read my book, at the moment I am reading Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road.'

10 p.m. Sleep

'Bed time—I always have an early night the day before a big shoot.'

Shop at one of Sciberra's favourite stores, Becker Minty. 

Does a career in interior styling interest you? If so, tell us below and also share what else you’d love to know about this career!

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