The Insider: How to get the interiors-mag look


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The Independent Online

Unsurprisingly, I could spend hours, possibly weeks, poring over pictures of hip homes in interiors magazines, and dreaming... If you've ever pondered the secrets of these pads' photogenic success and wanted to emulate them, here's what the experts advise...

Story time

"Most photoshoots capture pictorial vignettes – the sofa, the casually draped throw," says Beth Worth, who provides affordable home makeovers at "So it's not just about furniture; create a little narrative."

Go into detail

"A photographer's nightmare," explains Rachael Smith, who takes pictures for magazines such as World of Interiors, "is a room with no possessions on show. Editors love details – knick-knacks make a home a home."

Set great store

Smith also values good storage. "But not expensively built-in: photographically that's dull. Try a 1950s junk-shop cabinet for books or a haberdasher's cupboard for clothes."

Show time

"Try different ways of displaying," suggests Emily Blunden, a stylist for Homes and Gardens among others. "Old apple crates make lovely shelves." (See

All the little things

Bold doesn't have to equal expensive, believes Worth. "If you're nervous, build on a neutral base, then take risks with accessories: zingy cushions or throws, a ceramic jar – cheaper than getting the wrong sofa."

Screened off

Rachael Smith's biggest bête noire? "TVs! They're so huge now – and not pretty. Hide giants in a cupboard – and never hang one over a fireplace."

Personal appearance

"Forget having the 'right' or fashionable thing," says Blunden. "The best style is your own personality. And nothing is forever."

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at