Are you getting a stylist, or an interior designer? Ask this question to a Maltese homeowner who’s about to do a renovation, or is planning to decorate their new home, and chances are you won’t get one straight answer. To be fair to local homeowners, it’s fair to get a little confused: There is some overlap between these two disciplines.
If you’re considering hiring a professional to help you with your home, it’s important to know what these differences are so you can choose the right service for your project. In this article, we make a pretty strong argument as to why, amongst other reasons, hiring a stylist actually saves you money.
We’ve chatted with Lucienne, a local stylist who has rose to prominence in Malta for her discerning eye and the gorgeous photos she puts up on her Facebook page, where you will find that a majority of her posts are inundated with likes and comments from local homeowners wishing to inject some of her talent into their own houses.
Let’s get the most important question out of the way: In Malta, what makes a stylist different from a designer?
“Simply put: Interior design is a science, styling is an art. Design is very much the science of how to use space and structure. Styling is a social science and the subject of study is the person who’s going to be using the space. The task is to communicate who that person is in ‘3d space’, so to speak. The tools are metals, fabrics, artefacts, and textiles – and anything considered soft furnishings.”
Has there always been this distinction between interior design and styling as careers in Malta?
“Certainly not. For a long time, stylists belonged to editorial projects, making rooms or sets look amazing for beautiful photographs that appear in magazines, advertorials, or catalogues. The first styling job for a private Maltese homeowner was really quite accidental.” Lucienne admits, “A client came to my place of work looking for an item to add to his living room. After some back and forth, he admitted to being quite unhappy with his interiors – which he had spent a lot of money on. To keep it brief, after some conversation, we decided I should go to his place. To be sure, it was an expensively furnished room, but I learned nothing about him by looking at it.”
“A cup of coffee and a chat later, I asked him to give me 1 day and a budget. If he did not like the result, I promised the money back, and to return all items myself. He agreed and absolutely enjoyed the work. I was pleased with myself, so I took some photos.”