If there’s someone who knows a thing, or five, about designing Insta-worthy homes, it’s Priscilla Tan.
The New Zealand-based Singaporean interior stylist and designer is better known to her 40.8k Instagram followers by her handle @Styledbypt, where she documents the Instagrammable homes that she’s designed and styled in the past three years that she’s been in the business. The 36-year-old interior stylist has amassed legions of fans for her signature charming, cosy, and contemporary home design aesthetic, as well as the heaps of insightful home décor tips that she shares regularly (she also shares some home styling hacks here).
Why is interior styling key in making a house feel like a home? “After the interior designer finishes the [renovations], people realise they’re in trouble because they don’t know what furniture they should buy, what size the furniture should be, or how to hang up artworks in the house etc. That’s when an interior stylist comes in to help personalise the space,” Priscilla tells 8Days.sg over Zoom from her home in Wellington.
It may be hard to believe, but this interior aficionado is entirely self-taught, though it helps that she's always had a keen eye for design — she was formally trained in fashion design and had her own clothing line before becoming a jewellery designer. She landed her first home styling gig when a friend was so impressed by how Priscilla had zhuzhed up her own flat and asked her to give hers a makeover as well. Subsequently, as she started getting more home interior projects, Pris decided to quit her job and do this full time.
While she got her start in interior styling, Priscilla learnt the ins and outs of interior design on the job. “In Singapore, people like a bundle deal so I had to wear both the interior designer and interior stylist hats at the same time. But I would only take on a job if the client also wanted styling. If they only wanted the interior design aspect of it, I’d say no because that’s just not my forte. I made it clear to potential clients, and most people wanted to add that personal touch [to their homes] and so it slowly took off,” the vivacious Pris recalls of the beginnings of her business three years ago.
And, boy, did it take off. As her interior business boomed, it's not uncommon for Priscilla to be fully booked for months and months on end. Even now that she’s living in NZ, Priscilla’s scheduled is packed to the gills — up until next March, in fact.
An online course for you to learn how to give your home a makeover like a professional
While she can’t take on more clients at the moment, there’s still a way to get your home looking as Insta-worthy as those seen on @StyledbyPT. Priscilla is launching the inaugural StyledbyPT home styling online course, which will span over five weeks beginning Aug 16. It’s priced at $350 and registration closes Aug 14.
The course is aimed at equipping you with everything you need to dress up and style a home that isn’t just Insta-worthy, but practical as well. It covers five topics, from professional tips on mixing and matching colours, to step-by-step guides on how to dress up walls and even professional insights on picking the right furniture pieces.
Lessons and tutorials are delivered weekly via pre-recorded videos, and each week ends with a live Q&A with Priscilla and a guest speaker about the week’s topic. There are also workbooks, checklists and other resources to keep you on track, as well as a private Facebook group created for students to share ideas. On top of that, Priscilla will provide what she calls a “little black book” of resources which includes where she sources for items.
“The way that I designed the course is similar to the steps I’d go through with my clients — we’d start from the vision and theme of the house, and end with the fun part which is the styling,” she explains. The main difference here is that unlike the renovation projects she handles, course students will not get one-to-one consultations with Priscilla, though there are opportunities to ask her for advice via the private Facebook group and weekly live sessions.
The idea to launch her first online home styling course was borne out of weekly Q&A sessions she’s been doing on Instagram for the past year, where people could submit their questions about sprucing up their spaces and she’d reply with tips and pictures to illustrate.
“Some people can afford to hire an interior designer, while some can’t. Others want to work with whatever they have in their existing homes. I wanted to reach out to different groups of people like that, and I thought that by doing a course like this, people can do it in their own time, and they don’t need to spend as much money as they would if they were to engage someone [professional to do it for them],” she explains.
"It'll be my biggest joy if the course helps people to be able to create small styling corners or redo their own spaces at home with the ideas I have."
The Styling Guide by PT online course is $350. Registration ends Aug 14. Sign up here.
Photos: Courtesy of Priscilla Tan