Tag Archives: props

IKEA’s Jassa Collection: A Colorful Bazaar

Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar.

As you all know, Ikea is one of my stylist’s secrets. It’s a great place to find funky, affordable, and chic items for your home and beyond. I’ve even been known to use Ikea items for photoshoots from time to time.

Ikea’s latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It’s colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. It just screams outdoor entertaining and summer style.

Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar.

The textiles are bold, and the furniture is so fun. It’s just a little bit vintage, but full of modernity. I just love it all.

Toss the oversized pillows on the floor for additional cozy seating, grab a large basket or two to hold blankets or beach towels around the pool, or plan an dinner party around the royal blue splattered serving wear. Most of all, plan some springtime fun!

xx Annette

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Roundtop TX, The Antique Show that is Texas B I G

props props props; I bought lots of great utensils for upcoming styling workshops.

props props props; I bought lots of great utensils for upcoming styling workshops.

Have you ever wanted to do something for many years, and then finally you are there, and it’s bigger and better than you imagined? Well that was my experience last weekend when I finally attended the Roundtop Antiques Show, in Roundtop TX. I am super lucky. My sweet designer friend, Kelly, who lives and works in Texas, was my amazing tour guide. In Roundtop, a tour guide is worth its weight in gold. It’s big; TEXAS B I G!!! So knowing where to start, and where to quit was extremely valuable.

We started at the Marburger Farm series of tents and buildings chocked full of antique dealers from all over the country. They were beautifully appointed booths filled to the brim with antiques from all over the globe.

Marburger Farm

Marburger Farm is a great first stop

hunting trophy collection

Amazing finds like this hunting trophy collection from Germany

Wear your cowboy boots; it's dusty and dirty.

Wear your cowboy boots; it’s dusty and dirty.

We spent about 3 hours walking from tent to tent. We hit the Uncommon Objects tent, and then went to Ex-Cess, where I found things from Marrakech and Hungary. Roundtop is something that should be on your bucket list if you’re like me and love beauty and interesting wares. I will say wear your cowboy boots as it’s dusty, drink plenty of water, and don’t over do it. Roundtop would take a few weeks to see everything, so curate your tour, and if you can, go with an expert. Thanks to Kelly for the fantastic day. I will never forget it, and I will be back. xx

One of my regrets is not buying one of these cleavers...

One of my regrets is not buying one of these cleavers…

One pro tip is to buy items as you see them because you most likely will not go back to buy them. I will say, I did not follow my own advice as these cleavers are something I should have picked up. But it’s a great reason to go back in the spring, right?  If you want to see my Roundtop day on Instagram, check me out here, to see what I bought.

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Starbright Farm Maryland Style + Photo Workshop

Maryland Workshop

When I asked my dear friend and talented photographer Helen Norman if we could do a workshop together at her farm, Starbright Farm, imagine my joy when she said YES without any hesitation.

Starbright Farm, is a magical location. Helen and her family have lived there for close to 20 years. This stellar place is located outside of Baltimore. We decided that the end of September would be the perfect time to teach and photograph all over the property.

We could not ask for more ideal weather. This farm to forage workshop was amazing as all the food and the props were locally sourced. In fact, they were all picked right outside the door of the picture perfect barn where all the styling and photography lessons were conducted.

Maryland Workshop




Our group, as always, had the most interesting people in attendance. I am often asked who attends my workshops. This time we had a fine art still life painter, a chef, an interior designer, from Wyoming an artisan manufacturer, an small boutique owner, a lifestyle blogger, a photography student, and serious hobbyist photographer that was an ex-CEO of one of America’s major corporations from California. Everyone was delightful and by the end of the weekend, we were all good friends. Honestly the best thing about my workshops for me are the new friendships formed, for attendees and for me.

img_3245-e1474978469599 img_3339-e1474978546524



We had gorgeous vegetables to work with. Helen has a veggie farm as does her brother right down the road, One Straw Farm, one of the nation’s first organic farms. We were able to pick everything right from the garden for our shoots. Truly a fantasy for a prop / food stylist.

img_3167-690x518 img_3162-e1474978561445 img_3163-e1474978577846 We had a Farm to Table dinner to welcome attendees on Friday night prepared by Chef Denny from James Beard Award Winning, Woodberry Kitchen. Needless to say it was spectacular!


Maryland Workshop

Thank you to all of our attendees for making the weekend so special for me. Helen, you are the best, and such a gracious hostess and an amazing photographer and teacher. Thanks to FJ who I met when he was Helen’s assistant many years ago. Although you no longer work side by side, it was fun having you join us and offer your vast technical knowledge and support.

Maryland Workshop

Starbright Farm is a gorgeous location; make sure to watch their progress as it will soon become the “it” location for weddings and events. Fingers crossed Helen will have me back again for another Style + Photo Workshop…maybe in the spring?

Maryland Workshop

Until then follow Starbright Farm and Helen on her adventures.

Join me in Italy, too. Helen will be teaching a Workshop in June 2017 at the Fortress in Tuscany. Come along… what are you waiting for?


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Photography Tip:: Build a Prop Stash

First things first…when you build a prop stash, you need to make sure you shop like a stylist. Pick props that are basic as well as pick props that are unique. You should have a complete color wheel of fabrics and napkins to coordinate with plates and bowls of all sizes and colors. I keep buying white and natural napkins which I do not need! Don’t be like me! Shop for what you don’t have, and when you see napkins to add to your collection, grab them. My message here is don’t keep buying the same napkins (or props) over and over again.

The numero uno rule of being a professional stylist is to be efficient and organized. Once you start to seriously collect your prop inventory, you will find that storage is key. It’s important that everything is easy to access and most important is that you see everything displayed clearly. Pay attention to this tip! 

*(I will never forget looking into an (ex) assistant’s van and seeing everything thrown into the back and all over the backseat like it was garbage, when in fact they were gorgeous props. Message here? Be organized…even in the backseat of your van, treat every prop like it’s a treasure, because it is!)

Utilize amazing storage! Having a great place to pull from when you need accessories to style a room or to prop a recipe is key. I use metro fixtures which are available online or from The Container Store. They are sturdy and affordable. I also use vintage bakers racks. As long as you have a centralized location for your prop stash, you’re in business.

For example: here is a great collection of unique props. Store them all together, in a safe location on your shelves. Here’s another tip: use them a couple of times and then trade them with another stylist or antique dealer. I keep the ones that are so special I will never come across them again and rent them to other stylists. Having a unique vintage scale is a must, old pitchers, and a stash of vintage bake goods. Store these items together. When thinking about organizing, store like with like. In other words, I store all my galvanized props together, and plates stacked by color and size. Think like a retail store and create color stories and stories by material.


For storing fabric: I think airtight see-through boxes are an easy solution. I stack the boxes on shelves and they are organized by color. Because I can see through the boxes I know which color napkins to pull down for a shoot. (*Remember to air them out regularly to prevent mold and mildew and wash them after every use.) A dresser will work as well for this kind of storage just make sure to colorize your napkins and tablecloths and remnants.


Here’s how I organize my prop stash: I have shelves in my garage, and I merchandise my shelves neatly by color and material. I also purge regularly. Just like styling a photograph, it’s important to edit your props as well. I try not to use a prop more than twice, you’d be surprised how many people notice when you use the same prop over and over again. You don’t want to be that photo stylist; you’re a pro.

My prop room looks like this:


I store all my flatware in a filing cabinet, with narrow drawers Like this one from the Container Store.


I like to store trays and surfaces stacked in a rack and store small things in jars and vases.


Remember you are spending lots of money on your things (even if you’re shopping flea markets… it adds up!), so take good care of your prop stash. Let me know if you have any organizational questions in the comments below, and I will be happy to answer them. Happy Shopping and Propping!


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Color I’m Crushing On:: Buttercup


Whenever I see yellow appear in stores, I know spring is officially here. While yellow can be quite bright, it’s also incredibly cheery and manages to punch up a room or outfit easily. Yellow is one of those colors you can’t help but to smile at; it’s such a mood lifter. This season, it’s all about buttercup. 

Add yellow to your wardrobe and your kitchen with anything from a pair of sneakers to a set of linen napkins. Below are some of my buttercup picks:

  1. Linen Market Napkin – a subtle color for a garden party
  2. Lemon Juicer – for all of those lemon twists this summer
  3. Superga sneakers – this subtle yellow tone in these is so fun
  4. Beautiful Briny Sea – salt made locally
  5. Le Creuset Dutch Oven – I love the idea of using your dutch oven both to cook in and serve in
  6. Nail Polish – I’ve been known to rock a fun color on my nails
  7. Tory Burch cross body – You can’t beat a cross body for any travel you have planned
  8. Empire State Finery necklace – this duo from Atlanta has some of the most fun and funky pieces
  9. Capri Blue Candles – one of my favorite scents to light and a favorite gift to give

xx, Annette



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