Tara Larkin, Interior Stylist

I'd like to highlight the work of Tara Larkin, a London-based Interior Stylist. With over ten years of experience styling for magazines such as House Beautiful (UK) and Real Homes (UK), along with companies and private clients, her portfolio contains a few images that I'm fond of, especially since I'm big on pinks and greens lately, so I'm soaking up everything that inspires me and putting them here on decor8. I hope you don't mind.

Building a room is all about layering in one element at a time, careful arrangement, and as you live in the space and time goes on, editing it from time to time to ensure that things remain somewhat neat. Of course, I couldn't live in any of these rooms, I need some of my magazines scattered about, lots of art on the walls, and piles of pillows everywhere (just ask my husband, I never tire of pillows). Although this simple, scaled down look is comforting to look at and gives me ideas -- I can see where I'd love to add or remove this or that to infuse my own style.

In the following rooms, how would you edit them to show your style? I'd love to know!

I'd replace the wood coffee table with a round glass top or a white or marble top saarinen low table. I'd also pull the side table closer in so that it's closer the sofa.

In this room, I'd add a drum pendant over the table, perhaps a geometric or leaf motif. Of course, fresh flowers in the table center, and a huge graphical plush rug to ground the space, I'm thinking 8 x 10 would work. I'd hate to cover those beautiful floors, though. I'd like to see a little more color on the bookcase, too. I love the arrangement of everything on it left alone, it's perfect.

I'd change the bedding and turn this room into an Indian escape. I love the wall as is, perfect. The tea set would be replaced by a napping kitty. The lamp would have a more substantial base, and in a color like yellow or turquoise to play off those I'd introduce through my new bedding. Lots of pillows, too! I may make a slipcover with a padded insert to conceal the headboard, unless this is a room for a little girl, then I may leave it be. I'd shop for everything at Layla, John Robshaw, Kerry Cassill, and Nomad. Remember Pink Shrink that SFGirlByBay Victoria blogged about? Something like that.

I'd love the see the wall behind the entertainment center in either tulip yellow or green (kelly or lime) OR with a big, bold wallpaper pattern in yellow and white or green and white -- geometric or a floral print. And a cozy rug of course, I love rugs against hardwood. I also think that the end table either needs to be higher, or needs a stack of books with brightly colored spines, topped with a succulent in a pretty pot.

I don't know about this room. She did a great job pulling together these two strong hues, but I'm a bit scared of them used together in a single room, both almost fighting for the spotlight. I know, I know, it's the American in me. If given the choice over a beige/cream space or a purple/red space, most of us would take the former, admit it. I'd settle somewhere in the middle with pink. :)

So, what do you think? How would you add your personal style to these rooms? Of course, Tara's work is invigorating and inspiring as is, but it's fun to play. The more you take rooms apart with you look at them, the more you are training your eye and peering a little deeper into all the beautiful images you love - there's great benefit in careful inspection! I hope you'll check out Tara's website and view all the images she has in her portfolio. Enjoy!

(images from tara larkin)