MargotAustin_portrait

Welcome.

My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor and founder of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, get a first look at innovative new products and maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. 

You'll Never Be Younger to Learn

You'll Never Be Younger to Learn

A shot that inspired one of the sets I styled for a recent assignment. Styling by Glen Proebstel

A shot that inspired one of the sets I styled for a recent assignment. Styling by Glen Proebstel

When I was little and my Mom would ask me to do a particular task I would always try to get out of it by saying "But I don't know how." She would reply immediately, "You'll never be younger to learn." In other words, nice try kid, but get to it and here's how. Somehow her magic Mom psychology worked on me and I became the person who always jumps at the chance to take a stab at a new experience or skill. As you might know, I'm in a period of career reinvention and renewal right now (and I am amazed to find so many of my contemporaries in the same boat, by the way). New experiences are popping up everywhere and I'm loving it!

Last week I dove into a giant new-to-me assignment. I produced and styled a fall ad campaign for a major national home brand. Of course styling is nothing new to me. I've been at that game since the turn of the century, but styling for advertising is a very different beast than styling for editorial. It was so fulfilling to get a feel for this new environment, which, BTW was full of people half my age and was one factor in my digging it. Once the ads start hitting the media I will give you the head's up. I can't imagine how it will feel to see something I styled up on a massive highway billboard, but apparently that will be happening. In the mean time, here are a couple of BTS shots.

foraged flowers standing by

foraged flowers standing by

One of the pronounced differences between editorial and ad styling is the dearth of flowers. Styling homes usually involves hauling in a few buckets of blooms and flower arranging on the fly. Ads are about the product and selling the product and no blowsy bloom dare try to divert attention. Fair enough. Still, during the shoot I started to feel the need for a little life so I foraged (can you say stole) the blooms above from the studio garden. It's not the first time I have been struck by how gorgeous the flowers look in their temporary makeshift vases awaiting proper arranging for the camera. Ultimately just this white rose and a few springs made it into a shot. I'll be curious to see if they make the final version or if they get retouched out of the shot. Ha!  

shoot leftovers find a new home

shoot leftovers find a new home

I also potted up some succulents in a wooden bowl for one shot, then unpotted them at the end of the shoot and repotted them in one of my Sophie Conran faux bois white bowls. This is another new thing I've been learning — keeping plants alive. Hopefully I can keep it up because I quite like this texture and colour in my workspace.

The Ghost chair by Paola Navone for Gervasoni, Italy.

The Ghost chair by Paola Navone for Gervasoni, Italy.

But sometimes old habits die hard. Shopping the shoot is an occupational hazard/perk. For the most part I'm not in acquisition mode, but I've been pining over the Gervasoni Ghost collection by Paola Navone since experiencing the sofa at our Paris Airbnb last Oct. For last week's shoot I hit the jackpot when I found a chair "in the spirit of" the original. I bought it right off the shoot set. Once the ads hit I look forward to filling you in on it some more.  

Design Exchange Auction Win: EQ3 Assembly Candleholders

Design Exchange Auction Win: EQ3 Assembly Candleholders

DIY Chalk Paint Dye Dish Towels

DIY Chalk Paint Dye Dish Towels