When we entered the home of Los Angeles designer and prop stylist, Brady Tolbert on a Sunday morning we were instantly at home. Brady's spaced oozes 'cozy' with warm textiles, collected vintage art, and personal touches. We've been fans of Brady's style for years now. As creative director for Emily Henderson Design, he is an expert stylist and designer with the beautiful spaces to prove it. Brady used some of our favorite pieces to update his space for the fall season. Read on for his tips and tricks.
When updating your home for the season, where do you like to start?
Seasonal decorating is something that I can definitely get behind. I’m a stylist - a new season means a totally valid excuse to redecorate without looking like a total lunatic because you’ve swapped out your pillows for the 13th time this year. But with each season the easiest and quickest way is to swap out textiles. They are often the most accessible and affordable and can totally transform the look of a room.
What is one decor faux-pas you see all too often?
Overly decorated room. I am much more of a mad-scientist than a rocket scientist. I like to move things around, play with things that wouldn’t technically be called decor and create a space that is unique and inviting. Leanne Ford mentioned in a recent interview that “I would much rather consider myself a curator than a decorator” and I would have to agree. Decorating a space is one thing but curating the space over time to create something that is filled with pieces that tell a story and have a personality is far more interesting to me than filling it with all new pieces.
If you had to choose one "game-changer" you recommend for a space, what would it be?
Art. Never underestimate the power of a good piece of art. Fill your wall with a gallery collection, print out one huge print or even DIY something but the impact of art cannot be discounted in design.
When you're on set styling, what are pieces you always have on hand?
Textiles, Trays and Trinkets
Textiles: every single vignette can always use something organic to soften up the look. Whether that be a throw draped over the edge of a sofa, a tea towel hanging over the lip of a sink, or a napkin propped up underneith an open cookbook - textiles always add a softness and reality to a picture.
Trays: as a prop stylist you often have to curate what is already in a space and either edit it down or make it look like someone lives there. The easiest way to do that is to corral a bunch of stuff on a tray. This is a trick that I learned from my current lady-boss, Emily Henderson. Trays are one of the most versitile pieces in a stylists arsenal and can help to visually give weight to a bunch of items that would otherwise “float on a surface”.
Trinkets: If there is one thing that every space needs it is something that is unexpected, irreverent, and out of place. It helps the space feel real, interesting and gives the photo, the vignette, or the room personality. Whether that be a unique piece of art that makes people tilt their head sideways, a found object that you place on your bookshelf that starts a conversation or a bowl full of polaroids on the coffee table for people to shuffle through - create a space that tells a story - your story through what it is filled with.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Casual, Curated and Collected
Favorite account to follow on instagram?
Too many to mention - instagram is one of my main sources of inspiration. I love to keep up with what other designers, stylists, makers and artists are doing. It not distracts me from my own craft at time but gives me inspiration and a push to keep doing what I love. A few of my favorites are: @est_living for incredible home tours, @kbergart and @saarmanche for art, and @studioolivergustav who is one of my favorite designers.
Favorite restaurant in LA?
Matte Black or Antique Brass?
Velvet or Linen?
Gallery Wall or Oversized Statement Art?
Both - art on all the walls
Photos by Amy Bartlam