Sarita Sharma is a freelance stylist specialising in interiors, lifestyle and food. She has styled and directed shoots for magazines including Ideal Home, House Beautiful, Country Homes & Interiors and S Mag.
We talked to Sarita about her typical working day, what she loves about her job and her advice to all budding young stylists.
- Tell us about what you do:
I am a London based interiors stylist and am lucky enough to have a good variety of clients that keep my job really interesting. I particularly enjoy producing editorial features as I find the work to be very creative – I think of an idea for the feature, present it to the editor, spend time designing the sets or selecting locations, source the props and then finally style the shoot.
- Describe your interiors style in 5 words:
I would describe my interiors style as modern rustic, eclectic, industrial, textural and simple.
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
Although I live in a Victorian house I feel my style would be best suited to an old French chateau with crumbling paintwork and worn floors. My husband is from Zimbabwe and we have taken inspiration from his mother’s house for our concrete kitchen.
- Which trends are you most looking forward to styling/having in your home in 2014?
I am really looking forward to using some bright colours – I love the mix of pastels and neon combined with bright florals. I won’t be introducing any to my house as love the calm colour scheme that I have got, but will definitely be doing some summer features using them.
- Who or what has been your biggest influence in the design world?
I started my styling career off working on the Habitat catalogue – it was an amazing start to my career as Sir Terrance Conran was in charge and he inspected every single transparency. He would reject shots he didn’t like and from that I learnt a few lessons very quickly. I think that was the best training I could have asked for and I still have great admiration for him.
- What’s your most prized accessory or piece of furniture?
I would have to say my most prized accessory is a large painting I have above my fireplace. We were staying in a chateau in France where they were holding an exhibition. When we arrived the artist was setting it up so we were able to view it before the private viewing. We had spent ages trying to find something that was large enough for the space and this was the perfect painting which we bought home tied to the roof rack of our car!
- Describe a typical working day:
As a freelancer no day is typical – I am lucky enough to work from home so I start off by getting my son up and off to school. I then check my emails and either start to organise the shoot by booking set builders and assistants, designing the sets and sourcing props on the internet. Some days are spent going from shop to shop looking for inspiration for my next shoot and doing press loans. If I am working on an ad or catalogue I visit the prop hire companies where almost anything can be hired for a shoot. If I can I try and fit in a quick trip to the gym but this seems to be a bit rare at the moment. My day ends quite often with me tucked up in bed putting together moodboards on my pad. Creative ideas seem to come to me first thing in the morning and last thing at night and I couldn’t live without my iPad which I do all my work on.
- What do you love about your job?
I enjoy the variety, creativity and working with gorgeous products. It is also fantastic to work with a lovely team of people including set builders, assistants, my props transport guy and of course my husband Dominic who is a photographer!
- What advice would you give to somebody looking to get into the interiors industry?
If they were trying to get into styling I would suggest they get in touch with as many stylists as possible to get some work experience. It’s quite tough now and takes a long time for assistants to move on to become stylists. They have to be prepared to do all of the boring bits like packing and unpacking and work long days. Try making moodboards using the incredible amount of imagery available on the internet.
- When you’re not styling, how do you like to spend your time?
When I am not styling and have a day off I like to meet friends for lunch and do a bit of shopping. Now it’s getting lighter I can come out of hibernation and start doing long walks is Richmond Park which isn’t too far from where I live. As a stylist a big part of the job is being able to organise things so I always have a holiday, party or friend’s birthday to sort out!