While catching up on the June issue of House Beautiful magazine I was captivated by photos of Jill Sharp Weeks’ tribal chic rental in Charleston, SC . Forgive me if you’ve already seen this.

An uber-talented professional prop stylist, I wasn’t surprised to see how well she created a multicultural aesthetic in her temporary home. Back in 2012 I watched her, in person, style a vacant home for a Ballard Designs catalog. The woman works magic. 

So how does one achieve this well-travelled look? For Jill, her ability came from years as a photo stylist and from being exposed to global architecture. Living abroad in earlier years has also given her a knack for flawlessly merging multicultural influences into living spaces. This time it’s a historic home and a winning combination in my eyes. 

Want to achieve “The Jill Effect?” Here are 5 tips and takeaways for styling a rental like a pro.

  1. Paint the entire space the same color, preferably a neutral shade. She used Sherwin Williams’ Pussy Willow to forge continuity throughout the home. 
  2. Replace existing lighting with new lighting in your preferred design style. 
  3. Add touches of black in each room to give the home a look of modern sophistication. 
  4. Use flowers and textiles for pops of color. Keep your foundation (furniture) in neutral territory.  
  5. Layer a room with texture by using woven baskets, heavy linens, and hearty wood furniture.  

Jill used two large pendants above this 10 foot island putting the two elements, furniture and lighting, in perfect balance. 

A prop stylists knows how to combine both old and new items to create interesting vignettes. In this office, the chairs are flea market finds from France while the straw pendant light is new from cb2. 

The dining room features a triptych containing up close photographs of tribal jewelry from her own collection. 

When entertaining she loves to keep the doors open to the gardens to make the dining room feel even more expansive. The furnished garden, she says, adds 40 feet to the space. 

The bedroom, though modest, is still lightly accessoried with Jill’s signature look. The key here is to use contrast of black and white to create graphic interest. 

Images via House Beautiful Magazine, June 2016 

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