i heart home

January 10, 2012  in interior styling, news

heart home

I’m sure many of you will be aware of Heart Home magazine that launched in September last year. It’s a new quarterly digital publication founded by Arianna Trapani, Carole King and Daniel Nelson and showcases British homes and designers. Snippets of my home were featured in the Winter issue last month in a story called ‘A little something from nothing‘.

I wanted to create a different slant to the shoot so I styled mini displays around my home using the objects around me, each with its own little story. Many of the objects are inexpensive car boot sale finds, holiday treasures and trinkets, but I wanted to show how pleasing displays and vignettes can be made from very little. Small pockets of detail, where everyday items can become stars. It is about embracing a pinch of handmade, a touch of homemade, nature, new items and vintage treasures – mixing them together to create new scenes, all of which should feel very personal and give joy when seen.

heart home magazine

This shelf is in my bedroom. An empty picture frame creates a focal point and gives height to the display. You can see an earlier incarnation of this shelf in a previous blog post here.

a little something from nothing

In my living room I evoked a 1950s sculptural feel with objects like old polo and billiards balls and vintage geometry sets in different woods and neutral tones.

heart home magazine

This is an Ikea chair that I revamped a while back with a fun skirt in St Jude’s fabric and a giant silk bow.

heart home magazine

Vintage flea market perfume bottles sit with contemporary vases and bottles and a necklace by Emma Cassi.

heart home magazine

Here a painted canvas acts as a backdrop to vintage clay bottles used as vases for flowers painted with fluorescent paint. Old books with the pages facing out add height and natural finds in similar tones add quirky interest – a deer skull that my husband and young son found on a walk in the countryside and beach-combed pebbles with holes in simply strung together.

heart home magazine

Here my collection of old chemistry and laboratory equipment become unexpected vases for interesting flora and fauna. All of these were items were bought at car boot sales.

heart home magazine

In my work room, displays of objects I use and work in progress become inspiration in themselves. For more tips on how to achieve interesting, fun displays in your home head over to Heart Home to read the full article.

heart home magazine

The day of the photo shoot was a pleasure with lovely photographer James Balston taking all of these images. You can see James’s work over on his blog.

If you haven’t seen Heart Home yet do go and take a look at the Winter issue and the first issue and the Heart Home blog. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Spring issue has in store!


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  1. Arianna says:

    Thank you Sania for this lovely post. We had a lovely day and I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality – tea & biscuits always win me over! It was a pleasure to work with such a talented stylist as yourself and with an amazing photographer as James. It’s people like you that make my job the ultimate ‘Dream’- Thank you A x

  2. Rona says:

    Hi Sania

    What a gorgeous blog post! I’ve printed it off to inspire me to start displays in our home.

    Also, I’m planning on visiting Sunbury Antiques Market soon to find some treasures :-).

    And the images by James Balston are stunning…

    Rona x

  3. GawgusThings says:

    Fabulous shots, I love how you’ve styled your home!

  4. You are amazing! You can even make a pair of scissors look good! Also love the display of vases and bottles! x

  5. Michelle says:

    What a lovely inspiring post and a lovely blog – such lovely images. There are many elements I love about it but I smiled when I saw your string of beach pebbles. We have a similar one (my daughter calls it “giant’s necklace”). We are always trawling the beach for pebbles with holes in to add to it! I also love the grey tone – is it an identifiable paint or one you’ve mixed yourself?

    thanks for a lovely blog

  6. emma says:

    Lovely! Love your brown and mustard together with the great light and Dyptique candle…

  7. Your article was my favourite in this issue of Heart Home Magazine – thank you for the inspiration! I love your display in grey and yellow, and the painted flowers.

  8. Just love your styling, always so fresh and hip. Love the lamp…vintage?

  9. Sania Pell says:

    Thank you all for your lovely comments!

    @Arianna It was a fun day and a pleasure to have you and James here.

    @Rona Have fun at Sunbury, I love it!

    @Michelle – A “Giant’s necklace”!! I love that, how sweet? The grey was an old tester pot from Little Greene Paint Company I think. They have several greys but I can’t remember which mine is I’m afraid.

    @Deborah – Yes, the standard lamp base was from a car boot sale, bought for £10, topped with a new shade from Habitat. The side light in the bedroom was also from a car boot sale for £5 I think. That one has a simple, linen shade from John Lewis.


  10. elisa says:

    sania, it was a great article, always lovely to get another peek into your amazing space and see how you work. x

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

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.

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