BeSo chic. BeSo organic. BeSo boho. BeSo YOU. ...thoughts on design, fresh interiors + style from a photo stylist.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

secrets from a stylist: MIX IT UP!

Hi all!

Today, I'm handing it off to a special guest twin sister Pam Stasney.  She too is a photo stylist {+ set decorator}.  She has designed sets for film, television + NYC + LA...and has currently landed in Milwaukee. She was recently featured in the December issue of M Magazine: Milwaukee's Lifestyle Magazine {click here to read the full article.}

Take a peek at some of her interior spaces + listen to her insights into interior styling + design.  Here she is...

{Pam Stasney, as seen in M Magazine December 2013.  Photographer: Dan Bishop. Sources: Sofa from Architexture Home (Studio City, CA),Baker Chair designed by Barbara Barry and found on Craigslist, Sunburst Mirror from Plantation Home Los Angeles, Throw pillows from OneKingsLane, allmodern, etsy and Target. Area rug designed by Dwell and available at McNabb & Risley.  Turquoise Lamps from Target, White Ceramic Pagoda from Design Xchange, Pewaukee, WI.}

With years of experience decorating sets for film and styling photographs in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and now Milwaukee, I have learned a few trade secrets that I'd love to share with BeSoStyle readers.

First and foremost. It's all about mixing it up!

Mix High + Low

Ok, I admit, I have expensive taste, far beyond my budget.  I've learned that if you splurge on one or two statement pieces, you can supplement with bargain finds, without sacrificing style. 

In my office, I have a high-end, antique desk from a movie set I decorated (one of the perks of working in the film industry). 

{Pam Stasney Style Office.  Photographer: Dan Bishop.
As seen in M Magazine, December 2013.}
...but, my desk chair is a bargain find from Marshalls, designed by Cynthia Rowley.  Ikat pillow from OneKingsLane (an amazing resource).  And the stunning brass étagère is a second-hand find from Designer Consigner in Hartland, WI.

Another great way to MIX IT UP...


Mix Old + New

When I’m creating a lifestyle set, whether for photography or film, my goal is to create a space that feels collected over time.  Mixing vintage pieces with more modern elements makes the movie magic happen.  In my office, I created a gallery wall over my desk, a chic way to display a collection of art.  In the gallery, I have some cherished heirloom pieces:  an abstract painting from my Dad (Dancing Rainbow) and a small watercolor painted by my mother-in-law.  Alongside these heirloom pieces, is a mixture of contemporary art creations: a fine art print from my husband (Butterfly Peonia by Jeff Stasney), a graphic Golden Retriever Silhouette from Mod Dog/, Fruit of the Spirit Print from Olive Manna, Spin Art from a friend (I just love kid’s art) and a DIY project I created on a whim.

Mixing old with new works when styling your bookshelves too.  Intermingle interesting objects alongside your books to keep it visually intriguing.

{Pam Stasney Style Office, Etagere Detail.  Photographer: Dan Bishop}

Mix Neutrals + Patterns

A neutral base is timeless and opens the way for color flexibility.  For my interior design clients, I usually recommend neutral colors and great textured fabric for the cornerstone pieces of a room. My sofa is a deep neutral grey.  Because I’m a California girl (at heart), my color accents are primarily the colors of sun and surf.  It’s what makes me happy.  With a neutral base, you are free to change up your throw pillows with colors and patterns to suit your mood-of-the-moment.  Simply changing the accessories can create a whole new feeling in your space, without having to spend a lot.

Before you begin your design project…

Create a Mood Board for Inspiration.

Here's mine for my office space...

Creating a mood board is definitely something I’ve learned from my work in film and photo styling.  Whenever I am creating a space or story, I first gather inspirations: fabric & wallpaper swatches, paint chips, objects of nature, interior or fashion photos that have a certain vibe, a piece of art, an architectural element etc…As you gather, see how it flows.  You will be able to edit and refine as you narrow down the feeling you want to create. 

When it comes to your personal space, surround yourself with colors and things that make you happy.




  1. Great tips and I'm definitely one for mixing things up - items that I've inherited, find from ebay, flea markets, France, Germany, the UK, Ikea - it all sits (more or less) happily together in my home and I'm perfectly happy with my imperfect mix. Funny though, I have the same problem: champagne taste and beer money... ;-)

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