I was so enamored by Erin Swift's book French accents, which I blogged about a few weeks ago, that I just had to have her on radio show. As a prop stylist and set designer, Erin knows all about the search for the crucial piece that "makes" a room. Check out some highlights from our chat:
Tell me about your new book "French Accents:"
It's really out to answer the age old question of how to get French style. I wanted to take French style and make it accessible to America. We really wanted to show how the French pull from all the different periods of their history and tweak it for today. This book is a bit more young, fresh, and timeless. French style is really about being daring a willing to take a risk. Even in their simplest moments, they bring things from the past and they layer on top of them.
What would be your dream decorating project?
I would want to do something in mid-century style, but always I would update it. I would throw in lots of dark grays – make it more masculine and modern. I get to play pretend every day and that's what I love about my job.
One of Erin's beautifully styled sets.
How do you find and source props for your shoots?
For me it's kind of the gut feeling. It's an innate "do I love it or do I hate it?" I'll know it when I see and that is the bottom line. Sometimes you could be in the most beautiful, amazing store, but if it's not giving you that feeling, it's not for you. You can finds things anywhere, it doesn't have to be in a store or a fancy place. There are plenty of times I've found beautiful things in the garbage.
What is your go-to work uniform?
100% black. When I wear color people think it's funny. They ask if something's wrong. Sometimes white, but it's usually some kind of t-shirt, black jeans, and heels, even when I'm working.
Where do you find inspiration?
I look for inspiration everywhere. I'm looking in this room right now. It's extra-special when you get to go to a beautiful far away place, but I don't think there's a time or place, something specific that I would say. You can find it anywhere.