Behind the scenes with Jessica, head stylist at Temple & Webster

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Temple and Webster styling
Styled by Sarah Cousens and photographed by Natalie Hunfalvay

Ever wonder what it’s like to be an interior stylist? It can sound like such a glamorous job, having the chance to play around with latest season bedding and homewares to create drool-worthy imagery.

While there’s no denying it’s a rewarding and inspiring job, Jessica Bellef, head of styling at Temple & Webster let’s us in on what it’s really like.

Jess Bellef styling

There is no typical day to be honest.

“Our studio is our main office — it’s an open plan space so I’m constantly bouncing between jobs, overseeing what’s happening in the studio, scheduling stylists and photographers, and working with buyers.”

Temple & Webster is a members-only (membership is free) online shopping club, offering furniture, homewares, home décor, art, gifts and lifestyle products from well-known and up-and-coming Australian and international designers.

Their aim is to inspire you to create beautiful spaces in your home and that’s where Jess comes in — 70% of the products that appear on the site have been styled or overseen by her.

“We shoot on average 3 or 4 major set ups each day. Right now we’re styling a bedroom scene and earlier today it was an office scene.

“Some of the sets are quite simple but others are more complex and require structures to be built. Like for our office scene this morning we built a wall with a window in it!” laughs Jess.

Temple and Webster styling
Styled by Sarah Cousens and photographed by Natalie Hunfalvay
Styled by Jessica Bellef and photographed by Denise Braki
Styled by Jessica Bellef and photographed by Denise Braki

“Over the years we’ve grown our collection of props so sometimes ideas start from existing pieces and other times we’ll have some crazy new ideas where we go our and source new materials.”

How has the job changed since you started?

“In the beginning I was the only stylist and there was also a creative director. We did maybe one or two shoots a week and they were simpler. As we’ve gotten bigger, my role has become more about driving the studio team and we’ve had the freedom to do more things.”

Table and persian rug
Styled by Jessica Bellef and photographed by Denise Braki

And her greatest challenge?

“It’s important that all images are in line with the overall brand and buyers needs. Over a million Australians are members so we need to cater to a broad group — finding a balance of on trend and long lasting products is our greatest challenge.

“My aim is to also make images educational and inspirational so people can look at the images on our site and say ‘Oh, I wouldn’t have thought about putting those pieces together’.”

You can check out Temple & Webster online or follow them on Instagram.

Living room
Styled by Sarah Cousens and photographed by Natalie Hunfalvay

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