There are certain universal truths when it comes to props you're gonna need when photographing a home/hotel/restaurant etc. Most of these work for real life too. I wouldn't be able to do my job without all the talented stylists I work with. This is what I have learned with my own pictures for reference.
  1. Use what you have!
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    A lot of times if you look around a house there are all sorts of collections or weird objects that can just rearrange to make look good. No need to necessarily go out and buy stuff.
  2. Think about scale
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    Big mirror, big palm leaf, small glass ball, little crystals, lots of white. ✨✨✨
  3. FIDDLE LEAF
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    I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hardest working plant in interior design. No not succulents or cactus. a fiddle leaf fig. This is my house. I have 2.
  4. Your cat
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    Duh
  5. Think in triangles
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    See the stuff on those shelves? They make a visual triangle. This works every time (also books) (also green).
  6. Seriously think in triangle vignettes
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    Use objects to make a visual triangle. (Objects like books (see below) and stuff you can find around the house!)
  7. Drapey or casual flowers
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    Gotta keep it looking like you just threw it together but really it took like an hour.
  8. Cut a branch from outside
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    Add a plant or a leaf or flowers to credenza tops, night stands etc. Keeps it interesting. Bonus points if the green itself is sculptural. But always brings life to a scene.
  9. Something brass/shiny metal
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    Even in a v minimal space you need something to catch the eye.
  10. More brass!
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    Example of using shiny in a big interior, not just minimal spaces ✨✨✨ (also flowers, sheepskin, casual blanket and books 🙌)
  11. Basket or natural elements
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    Any kind of woven/rattan/dried plant is gonna help make things feel current. In this case the pendant light. Also a great example of keeping the styling kind of "off" to keep it real.
  12. Keep empty spaces
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    All that white with hits of color makes the space feel goooood.
  13. Leaned artwork
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    Fills up space, doesn't put holes in walls.
  14. Messy bed
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    Beds are HARD to make look right. They normally look like big white boats floating in a room unless you do a lot of work to them. So as long as it's editorial, I like to encourage the prop stylist to embrace the unmade bed.
  15. Made bed
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    But if you have time, layer that bed, you can leave some wrinkles (if it makes sense) and show the whole thing from an angle that doesn't make it feel insane.
  16. Odd numbered little things
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    Overlapping little objects in odd numbers add all kinds of visual interest. Plus Memphis is in. This is also a variation on thinking in triangles or "vignettes".
  17. Books!
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    A stack of art books will solve any flat surface problem.
  18. Subtle books, shhhh.
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    You'd be surprised how few books people have anymore. Art books or reading books. Stylists always bring a stack of their own just in case.
  19. Put a sheepskin on it
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    It works every time a scene feels like it's missing something.
  20. Have fun!
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    Dont make it too perfect otherwise you want to kill yourself. Some slap dashery makes it feel like home. The pillows being piled and the stuff on the coffee table keeps it loose!