Lucy Gough | Interview with a Leading Interior Stylist
By James Wilson
Lucy Gough is one of the UK’s leading interior stylists and works on projects for major interiors magazines and high street brands. Lucy's website here shows some of her amazing work across a diverse range of projects. Lucy regularly chooses our industrial lighting products for her projects. Lucy visited the Old Trouser Factory in June 2015 to view products in the Factorylux collection and build her own light with our technicians. We managed to catch an interview with her.
It’s a pleasure to have you here Lucy. First question: what do interior stylists do?
We style interiors features and photoshoots for magazines and we also create lifestyle imagery for catalogues, advertising, lookbooks and website campaigns for retailers and businesses. Every project is diferent, but generally an editor or brand comes to me with an idea for a feature and I prepare a concept, sketches and mood boards. When the concept is agreed, I find and book the locations, hire the photographer, get the featured products, source the props, set everything up, etc. It’s all about managing the process so the clients get what they need for their campaign. Projects vary hugely in scale - from just a couple of products to styling entire rooms. Some clients already have a clear idea of products and styling, and others arrive with no views about what should be shot and where. I prefer the open approach because it’s more interesting.
Styling by Lucy | Photography by Xavier Young | Sunday Times Style
Being an interior stylist is similar to an interior designer but it’s much faster paced - start to finish in a few weeks - and generally is focussed on a particular product or range rather than a whole home. At this point in my career I’m too impatient to be an interior designer!
And how did you get to be an interior stylist?
I’m originally from Sydney Australia and grew up in the suburbs - a magical Australian childhood. I was working in publishing in Sydney when I met my partner - she’s English - fell in love and came to London so we could be together. When I arrived in London six years ago I did a series of internships at places like Wallpaper*, Country Living and World of Interiors and then landed a job working as the style assistant at Living Etc magazine. I worked there in the style team for two or three years and then went freelance. I received my first commission before leaving Living Etc and then took it from there. I started my blog as soon as I went freelance and has helped to build my profle as a stylist. My website and interiors blog are now my CV and portfolio. The interior styling industy is a small and supportive one. We all know the same people and pass work onto each other.
What have been your best projects/who would you like to work for?
I’m probably most proud of the work I did for the M&S AW15 look book. It was a high profle commission, a major project, the photographer was Simon Bevan who's amazing, and we worked with a great team for a week! My dream commission would be for Gubi, the Danish design house which produces a collection of interiors products - lighting, tables, chairs, sofas, storage etc. I completely love their ‘look’ which is basically traditional spaces with modernist furniture. Their catalogue is amazing.
And your tips for people styling their homes?
Don’t rush in. Live in the house for six months so you can get used to the space and work out how best to use it. Get to know entry points and exit points and which rooms get used the most. Work out the light sources. Paint it all white if you have to but live in it before you decide what to do. When it comes to decorating, paint is your best friend! It can transform a room and it’s not permanent. And people should go with what they like and not what other people like. By all means be inspired by other people's looks, but individuality is important. I definitely go with what I want - I’ve blue, green and grey rooms, and even a walnut coloured room! A real trend in the industry at the moment is to use a palette of turquoise and reds. If that seems to bold to you, another trend that has been around for a couple of seasons and is still hugely popular is blush pink with a hint of metallics like copper and brass.
Styling by Lucy | Photography by Simon Bevan | Marks & Spencer
Styling by Lucy | Photography by Christina Bull | Surface View