September 24, 2014 in interior styling
Earlier in the year I worked with Beth Evans on this colour story. I had been styling a lot of food and tabletop shoots and this influenced the story and led to using Nature Paint‘s powdered paint products. The act of mixing the paint became similar to cooking and baking. We decided to make the story pale and neutral – the soft colours of pastel confectionary, sugared almonds, pale pinks sitting next to tangerine and aubergine. Soft whites like meringue, whipped from powder into paint. I made little dishes, bowls and discs from air-drying clay that I could paint in the pale tones and food was used to prop the story and create an ambiguity between the processes.
We created a short Issuu publication to show the images. Please click to view it full screen.
We hope you enjoy it.
Thank you to Nature Paint for providing the paint for this story. Find out more about their ethos and colour range on the Nature Paint website.
To see more of Beth Evan’s work please click here.
I had the pleasure of being asked to style this month’s Style Steal for Elle Decoration magazine as part of their 25 year anniversary celebration. My brief was to scour the major brands from the British high street for the best 100 finds under £100 and to celebrate accessible, affordable and stylish products for our homes in a unified photo story. We all need a fix of newness in our home every now and again and most of the time practicality calls, but sometimes a new piece of beautiful crockery, some storage, a cushion or new light can give our home a lift especially when they don’t break the bank.
I shot with the talented Danish interiors photographer Heidi Lerkenfeldt who flew over to shoot the story especially for Elle Deco.
I divided the story into, shelving, kitchen/dining, living/study, bedroom and bathroom over 9 pages and found lots of great products that belie their super value.
The products featured are high street brands including Anthropologie, BHS, The Conran Shop, Debenhams, French Connection, Habitat, H&M, Heal’s, House of Fraser, Ikea, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Muji, Next, Toast, The White Company and Zara Home.
The June issue of Elle Decoration magazine is out now.
What would you choose?
February 27, 2014 in interior styling
These images are from a collaboration with photographer Joanna Henderson, taken last Autumn. I worked with Jo on a few projects last year, firstly a perfume book by Karen Gilbert which I will post about another time, another title for Cico Books that will come out later this year and also the Liberty Christmas stocking images. We ended the year off with this shoot – an experiment with paint and paper.
Objects were sourced from around my house: my Croatian grandmother’s trinkets, a glittered leaf purchased at Sibella Court’s shop The Society Inc in Sydney last year, a pile of vintage labels bought at Kempton Park antique fair. I painted canvases, wooden cubes and discs in a selection of coloured emulsions and Jo and I created the still life images up in my loft room. The paper adds great texture, crinkled up sheets or in piles like the labels.
Paints included Little Greene‘s Heat (rust orange), Roman Plaster (biscuit/taupe) and Pink Slip (dusky pink) and Farrow & Ball‘s Downpipe (dark grey), Pelt (dark aubergine) and Strong White (the wall colour).
With Spring approaching I am ready to embrace softer colours, pinks with taupe, aubergine with rust, cream with bronze and a little sparkle sprinkled on top for good measure.
February 9, 2014 in interior styling
Even now, after more than 12 years of working for Elle Decoration magazine, I am always excited to see a story I worked on in print and my latest story is in the new March issue which dropped through my letterbox this week. This story – entitled Modern Minimal – was inspired by a trip to Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art which I visited just after it had opened. I loved the newly-opened gallery space, the art hung there and the way it was displayed. Having been inspired by a gallery I wanted the style of this story and arrangement of furniture to look like a design. The furniture is boxy, graphic and monochrome, with hits of bold colour in amongst this. I styled the shoot just before Christmas and it was shot by the talented Uli Schade.
“Modern Minimal – For strong Spring style contrast clean lined monochrome pieces with blocks of bright colour and bold geometrics…”
The location we used had a great balcony which meant we could look at shots from directly overhead, like the table shot above.
The Modern Minimal shoot is in the March 2014 issue of the UK’s Elle Decoration magazine which also features a catwalk to couch article and ideas to update your kitchens and bathrooms.
Have a peek inside the magazine in the video below:
For a full credit and contact list of the fab furniture, products, decorating materials and artworks I used in the shoot please look in the magazine.
The magazine is available at all good newsagents now.
There is something about the intensity of a really electric blue in a paint or a flower that just sings when placed against a pure deep black. Recently photographer Beth Evans and I spent a day testing some ideas we wanted to explore for still life images, one of which was using this vivid but moody combination of blue on black. Here are some of the results.
I used some of my paintings on canvas that I had done previously using oil, acrylic, spray paint and household paint as as backdrops. The flowers in such dramatic colours were purchased at Scarlet and Violet and Beth worked her magic creating a richness with her camera.
There is another food-related series we shot that I will share soon, so do pop back.
With New Year’s Eve coming up, I wanted to share a shoot I worked on recently with the talented photographer Beth Evans for The Observer Food Monthly in conjunction with John Lewis. Although this was Part 2 of ideas for a stylish Christmas it’s also perfect for New Year. The theme was cocktails in the jazz age, so think The Great Gatsby to get you into the party mood.
Drinks were served in cut glass tumblers and hi balls, food served in stainless steel bowls, set on geometric fabric tablecloths to set the scene. Cocktail shakers with their timeless and elegant shape were necessary to make the drinks and added a sculptural shape to the images.
I wrapped gifts in silver paper with strings of sequins wound round them and topped with feathers. Party food was luscious and luxuriant; deep, dark velvety grapes, devils on horseback, smoked salmon blinis and juicy vibrant olives, pomegranates and Pavlova all set in low light with twinkling candles. Recipes include Between The Sheets, Gin Rickey and Mint Julep. All quite potent from the small sips I tried!
As part of the overall feature I also styled and prepped the set for three short films for John Lewis with writer and presenter Felicity Cloake. Here Felicity shows you how to mix the perfect cocktail:
You can read the full story and see other images, ideas, tips, recipes and a competition to win a cookery class and a set of copper cookware! now over on The Guardian Online. There is also a great interactive version with high res images and videos:
All the props are available to buy at John Lewis so if you want to know what any of the products featured are the click on the main image on that page and you can see the product names and prices.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the very best for the new year!
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.