An interior designer has shared the simple styling tricks she uses to create her picture-perfect snaps of her family’s rental home.
Tara Wokulski, from Melbourne, said one of the most common questions she gets asked on social media is: ‘Where are your sheer curtains from?’
The 29-year-old mother-of-two – who has more than 58,000 Instagram followers @coco.camellia_ – admitted she used linen bed sheets to replace the ‘hideous blockout blinds’ after her landlord wouldn’t allow her to replace them.
‘There are all sorts of sneaky tricks that go on behind the scenes to create the perfect image for your Instagram viewing pleasure,’ Tara told Daily Mail Australia.
‘One of my biggest tricks would have to be using linen bed sheets and tucking them over my blockout blinds to create the look of linen sheers within the home.
‘Our previous landlord wouldn’t allow us to put any up but I was super determined to create the ever so beautiful filtered lighting look for my images, so bed sheets it is.’
Here, she revealed what really goes on behind her carefully-curated Instagram grid.
Interior designer Tara Wokulski (pictured) has revealed the simple styling tricks she uses to create her picture-perfect snaps of her family’s rental home
The 29-year-old mother-of-two admitted she used linen bed sheets (far left) to replace the ‘hideous blockout blinds’ after her landlord wouldn’t allow her to replace them
Tara’s top three styling tips for anyone who’s renting
Sheer curtains: Adding sheer curtains instantly makes the space feel light and bright and can also make the space feel larger and more grand and most importantly more like a home
Artworks: Feature artwork is a great way to inject personality into a rental home. Going larger can help create the illusion of a bigger space and also helps draw your eyes away from possible bad carpets, flooring or curtains if they can’t be changed
Creating a cohesive theme throughout your rental can make it feel more relaxing and more like a home. You can do this through incorporating similar colour palettes from the front of the home right through to the rear
‘One of my other little tricks is stacking books in an upright fashion for my shelf styling images. If you’ve ever tried to do this at home, you’ll well know that they almost always split apart, creating gaps, or fall over,’ she said.
‘Not anymore… some trusty Blu Tack and some tape makes sure those bad boys stay in place for the perfect photo opportunity. I use Blu Tack for all kinds of smaller décor items to make sure they don’t move out of place while photographing.’
Tara – who has a three-year-old son named Ollie and a daughter named Scarlett, aged four – said she uses Lightroom to edit all her pictures.
‘Now we have two young kids at home. So naturally there are spills all over the couch… say hello to Lightroom for all your instant spill removals – no need for a new couch, spilt milk be gone,’ Tara said.
‘Lightroom is also great for removing pesky marks on walls and terribly placed power points, amongst with straightening, brightening images on darker days and sharpening images. It’s my editing tool of choice that’s for sure, saving the day every day.’
The interior designer (pictured) has amassed 58,000 Instagram followers for sharing beautiful snaps of her stunningly-decorated family home
Before and after: Tara said she uses Lightroom to edit all her pictures – turning a dull room into a stunning space
What are the budget items to add value to your home instantly?
There are so many that spring to mind but my top five would have to be:
- A good shelving system or unit
- Quality cushions that will last the test of time
- Feature art work, indoor plants or flowers to instantly liven the space
- Invaluable items that really make you smile each time you walk past them – like family photos and heirlooms
And while her followers only get to see the perfect pictures on Instagram, Tara admitted she’s suffered a few injuries trying to set up her decorated space.
‘The behind the scenes in my house can be somewhat funny,’ she said.
‘There’s been a few injuries, including a few leg cramps from leaning awkwardly between doorways to obtain the perfect snap believe me.
‘Probably one of the most embarrassing things would have to be where I attempted to hang a print in a really tricky spot behind the sofa.
‘Naturally I stood on the sofa as I’m super short, but within an instant, I fell very quickly in between my sofa and the glass door, smashing my wrist on the doorway.
‘A broken wrist was the result… which made taking pictures even more awkward for the next 12 to 16 weeks.’
Besides the injuries, Tara said her followers will never get to see is the ‘mammoth amounts of cushions all laid out waiting to see if they make the cut’ for the shoot.
The interior stylist said putting giant artworks on walls does wonders to your home – it’s a great way to add ‘personality’ to your space, and ‘help create the illusion of a bigger space’
The three things to add to your living space
1. BASKETS: Baskets are always high in texture, whether they be woven, felt, Seagrass or rattan, they instantly add texture. You can easily use them for housing a plant
2. FOLIAGE: Whether it’s plants, florals, pampas, gum, greenery, you name it – they all add volume and texture. Use flowers or gum on a coffee table, and place taller plants or trees in the area. Taller plants also create height which is an added bonus
3: RUGS: Choosing a rug that may be patterned or have a higher pile or intricate weave can really add texture to the space
But one of the biggest things she’s always fidgeting with behind her camera are the readjustments of objects around the room.
‘It’s one thing to take an image once the space is styled – that’s the easy part – but it’s another to re-position items so they’re all facing the angle of the camera perfectly,’ she said
‘You’ll probably notice if you follow me that all my objects face the angle of the camera to create that first impression as if you were stepping into the room for the very first time.
‘Sometimes armchairs are pulled closer into the shot to create an image that replicates the space in real life but can always be captured in the one image from the angle it’s taken from.’
Surprisingly, Tara said her home looks exactly like what you see on her feed.
‘I hate to disappoint but our house is pretty much as you see it, without the odd load of washing on the spare couch waiting to be put away,’ she said.
‘My in-laws from intestate recently texted me saying: ‘We can’t wait to see some pictures of the new place… with mess’.
‘The reason for being so structured, clean and routine is mainly due to my workload, having two young kids and a husband that travels a lot for work, so staying on top of everything and having a place for everything helps maximise the time we all have to enjoy together.’
One of the biggest things she’s always fidgeting with behind her camera are the readjustments of objects around the room. Here she used Blu Tack to keep the wooden door handles in place
If you’re looking to decorate your rental home, Tara said: ‘Adding sheer curtains to your home instantly makes the space feel light and bright.
‘See if your landlord will let you put up some sheer curtains, ones straight from the packet that are DIY like IKEA, Spotlight or Bunnings – and you can always take them with you at the end of your lease,’ she said.
‘The sheer material lets in stunning filtered light and can also make the space feel larger and more grand and most importantly more like a home.’
She said featuring artworks, especially large pieces, around the home are a ‘great way to inject personality into a rental space’.
‘Going larger can help create the illusion of a bigger space and also helps draw your eyes away from possible bad carpets, flooring or curtains if they can’t be changed,’ she said.
Finally, she said ‘creating a cohesive theme throughout your rental can make it feel more relaxing and more like a home.
‘You can do this through incorporating similar colour palettes from the front of the home right through to the rear,’ she said.
‘If you try to have too many colours and random colours throughout a home, it can feel a little unbalanced and it also takes away that calm feeling, making it seem more chaotic than calm.’