January 6, 2020

Emily and her team

In our recent Field project, Interior Styling, we were tasked with creating an image which would portray sustainable and on-trend interiors. The aim of the project was to teach us how to design and build a life-size set that could be used for either editorial or marketing purposes, using only recycled and upcycled materials.

We had to create this set in groups, with industry specialists – a professional stylist and photographer – guiding us throughout the project. One of the key parts of this project was to explore outside of our individual subjects. This meant working with students from other disciplines and learning new skills.

My group began the project by completing some initial research into our trend and the interior styles that suited it. We created group mood-boards to collate all of our research and establish the key aspects that we all wanted to involve in the set.

This was followed by the design process, where we all sketched what we envisioned our set including. This part was particularly interesting, as each subject chose different techniques to create sketches, which showed us all other techniques we could learn to use. Once we had all agreed and finalised a layout, we then began sourcing materials and making props.

We painted the set with donated paint and created realistic props from cheap materials.

This proved challenging, as we could only use recycled materials. We had to find inventive ways to make the props appear to be functional. One example of this is our stool, which is actually just a card tube, which we added foam to and upholstered using scraps of fabric.

We were also given donations of recycled fabric from John Lewis and Orangebox as well as wood from Sigma 3 Kitchens, which helped us stick to the brief of only using recycled materials and save us money from not having to buy them ourselves.

Once we had gathered our props, we began to make the life-size set. This set consisted of two 4ft x 8ft boards, creating an 8ft x 8ft back. We used recycled paint, mixing them to create our ideal colours, to paint the back boards. To complete the set we added props, which made it feel like a realistic, lived in set.

Setting up
Getting set up for the photoshoot.

Finally, we worked with the photographer Keith Davies who helped us perfect the set so that it worked on camera. This involved changing all sorts of small details, such as the placement of a pot plant, which could make a surprisingly big difference to the final shot.

The photo was then edited to create our final image, and at the end of the project we had to present our image and process to our lecturer, the photographer and an interior stylist.

This project taught me a lot of new skills and showed me how interior styling would work in industry. Working with industry specialists gave us a true insight into this as a potential career, and helped us make our set the best it could be.

Overall I really enjoyed this project. It helped me explore other subject areas and effectively work in a group to create a professional set suitable for editorial work.