It has been a busy time here with work and family. Following a couple of shoots for Waitrose recently, I have been prepping for next week’s shoot for Karen Gilbert’s new perfume book with CICO Books (I styled Karen’s last book which you can see here) as well as planning other upcoming projects. I have also been working on updating my portfolio and this website and have started a photography evening course to improve my technical ability, which is really fun and the technical aspects are falling into place. We also have a big, exciting family holiday adventure coming up soon, so lots of organising involved with that too!
I thought I would share some pictures I took of my home for a post on Holly Becker’s Decor8 blog. Holly is interviewing some of the homeowners that feature in her new book Decorate Workshop in a series called ‘Snapshots of home’ and I was happy Holly asked me. If you’ve not seen it head over to read the full interview on Decor8 here. Holly’s new book is a great resource for tips and techniques to decorate you home. It is packed full of exciting visual reference to inspire anyone who needs a point in the right direction. It is also practical with guidance and advice to help the reader through every step of a decorating project. Holly explains all about her book here.
If you want to know more about these photos and where they are taken in my home, I talk about them in the Decor8 post.
We’ve started planning our own re-decorating project too. After seven years with small children our family home needs a refresh so I’ve been looking at paint colours, floor finishes, sofas, coffee tables, fabrics… the list goes on!
I hope Spring has sprung in your part of the world. We are still waiting for its arrival in a rather chilly, blustery England… though at least the sun has appeared after what seems like weeks of grey skies.
February 18, 2013 in news
I was recently interviewed by journalist Jennifer Gaskin for the new February issue of Making magazine as part of their ‘Meet the makers’ series. Jennifer popped over to my home one chilly winter’s day and, over a cup of coffee and biscuits at my kitchen table, asked me a series of questions. She made me feel very comfortable and the article is really lovely – thank you Jennifer!
Issue 31 of Making magazine – Beautiful crafts for your home, is also packed with lots of ideas for projects, diy instructions and crafty articles. You can pick up a copy at WH Smiths and all good newsagents now.
I had the pleasure of being asked by Grazia magazine’s Rachel Loos to be part of their Christmas special, in a feature on their favourite bloggers’ crafty Christmas ideas. I was asked if I could come up with and create a bauble idea and, as is my way, I created lots of variations of the same idea for the photo shoot and thought I would share them with you. I worked with photographer Chris Tubbs on the shoot for the magazine but I also I took a few snaps at home that you can see below, they are so easy to make why not give them a go yourself?
As it was Grazia, I wanted to break away from the traditional Christmas colours and give my baubles a fashion edge as well as a seasonal feel. Using basic plain glass baubles as my starting point I combined disco sparkle in the form of glitter and sequins in silvers and greys, with Pop-inspired fluorescent neon paint and ribbon made from strips of some of my favourite fashion fabrics by Liberty. In others I tipped tiny beads topped by ribbon from VV Rouleaux and applied embossed black and white messages giving them a kind of disco/80s/punky feel.
The Dymo message tape and labelmakers can be bought from places like WH Smiths and is a fun way of encorporating messages on all sorts of things like labels for jam jars of collected treasures or name tags on gifts.
I was quoted in Grazia saying “I like taking something plain and giving it a twist” and that is really my approach to making and creating as well as for interiors and styling.
The great thing about making your own decorations is you can choose colour combinations that work with your Christmas theme and interior style, and change things around each year if you wish. With plain glass baubles you can use whatever beads, sequins and ribbons you have to create unique and personal decorations that will catch your guests’ eyes when they visit over the festive holidays.
Have a lovely Christmas everyone.
November 28, 2012 in news
I had the pleasure of having photographer Akemi Kurosaka and writer Miyuki Sakamoto from Madame Figaro magazine in Japan pop over one day a couple of months ago to interview me and photograph the house. Along with another team they were photographing homes in London and Paris for this special issue.
It was a pleasure having them here and as always, it is interesting to see what they pick up and photograph in the house. This time my collection of rulers were spotted along my studio window sill and different views of the rooms were shot. And although I can’t understand any of the writing (I will ask a Japanese-speaking friend to translate!) it is really interesting seeing another country’s visual view on fashion, food (sushi is one of my favourites) and the photographic style and illustrations.
Madame Figaro is a high-circulation Japanese glossy lifestyle magazine with sections on fashion, interiors and food. It’s an international edition of the French Madame Figaro magazine.
I love to look at foreign magazines and buy them whenever I’m abroad and I came back with a copy of this magazine several years ago when I visited Japan for work. So it was with joy that I opened the package that fell through the letter box with a copy enclosed featuring my home and I.
It just reminds me I would love to visit Japan again soon, I’ll have to start saving my pennies.
August 2, 2012 in news
Over the next couple of weeks I will be on summer holiday with my husband and children in Croatia, in our family’s little holiday home by the sea. It is a special place that I love and have been to since I was a child. We have spent the last couple of years putting our stamp on it with a lick of paint and a few small home improvements and it is now a joy to visit (you can see and read about it on a previous post here). I am looking forward to the sea, beautiful weather (fingers crossed), delicious food, reading books and relaxing with my family. There is minimal phone reception and no internet connection at the house so checking email means a half day trip to the ice cream parlour in the town, so I will switch off and relax. I’m sure things will inspire me while I am away, as they always do, which I will share with you on my return.
I hope the sun is shining where you are too. Happy holidays.
July 24, 2012 in news
Phew, it’s been busy! Work seems to have taken over my life over the past few months so I thought I would share a little update of what I have been up to. It has been a case of head down, work hard and any free time spent with my family. I feel my blog, emails, twitter and facebook have all had to take a back seat as there just aren’t enough hours in the day. My apologies to those of you I haven’t responded to, it has been on my conscience. The children are now on their school holidays though and so am I! I made a decision not to take on commercial shoots during school holidays while they are young so we can enjoy being a family.
So what has been keeping me busy? Prepping and styling for lots of projects and new clients. Being a stylist means preparation is key – sourcing, selecting, calling in, location finding, drafting image layouts and making bespoke elements which I like to do to add a personal touch, can take much more time than the shoot days themselves. It all began in February when I went in to see the Elle Decoration team to come up with a new six page story for the magazine. We shot it in March and last week I saw the draft page layouts which look wonderful. I’ll be able to share this with you in September when the October issue hits the stores.
At the same time I worked with an award-winning architectural practice as an interior styling and design consultant on a large member’s club and spa in a very smart part of London, sourcing and selecting furniture choices and putting together the overall colour schemes and fabric choices for this exciting project. It is due to open at the end of the Summer and I hope we will have some images to share.
I have also worked on several different shoots for the lovely team at not on the high street.com, including their father’s day catalogue, and also an eight day shoot for Waitrose, styling the images for their autumn/winter flower and plant range which was a joy to work on. I slipped in the little shoot at home with Remodelista and recently took Decor8‘s Blogging Your Way 2.0 online course which had great tutorials and advice, although with everything else going on I wasn’t able to participate like I would have liked (I will have to do the next one too!)
The biggest project has been working with interiors mail order company Cox & Cox, where between us we have come up with a new look for the imagery in the autumn/winter catalogue. This was three weeks of shooting spread out over three months including the last eight days away on location, and involved a large amount of preparation and making for the shoots and then styling with the photographer and art director to help give it its new look. We have lots of gorgeous images which I will share when they are released.
I almost forgot that amongst all of these projects my new book was released, I held the launch event at Liberty, which was such a special day, and made a video of how to make the floral headband with the Liberty team. Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy so far and those who have reviewed and blogged about it, it is really appreciated. A big thank you also goes to Mollie Makes magazine who featured the fish bowl mobile project from my new book in issue 15.
It has been so busy and I am always appreciative of the wonderful creative work that I am involved with, but for now I am loving seeing my children properly again, catching up online and am really looking forward to my annual summer trip to Croatia next month. I can’t wait.
I have a few blog posts planned before I go away which I am looking forward to sharing with you. Thank you for stopping by.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. 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.