3 Brilliant Design Tips from a Prop Stylist’s Kitchen in Atlanta

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Prop stylist and cookbook author Annette Joseph‘s number-one “rule for life” is to make your home a sanctuary. It’s advice she’s taken to heart in the design of her own homes.

Off and on for the last 21 years, Joseph has lived in a stylishly beautiful Atlanta, Georgia, home. Her other house, if you can imagine, is in northern Tuscany. Throughout her long, well-respected career, Joseph has amassed quite a collection of envy-inducing items to showcase, along with plenty of her own design and organizing wisdom. “I love efficiency so my homes are always very functional and well-edited,” says Joseph, who has regularly appeared on the Today show.

Joseph’s dreamy, if not movie scene-worthy, Atlanta kitchen is a perfect example of her style. While touring her space over on our sister site, Apartment Therapy, we picked up on three brilliant pieces of design advice that everyone can steal. Let’s take a look!

1. Display items that mean something to you.

One look at Joseph’s kitchen, and any guest can see it embodies the spirit of richly curated, unique objects. Joseph’s decor inspiration largely comes from the time spent at her family’s Italian villa, as well as memories of childhood summers spent with her Hungarian grandmother. “I like home decor to be very personal. Of course, European influence has played an important role in my personal style,” she explains.

Take a cue from Joseph, and curate items you are personally attached to and pay attention to your gut instinct. How you feel about an object usually determines if it should receive top billing on your shelves.

As you put together your own kitchen, be sure to display your favorite items, such as bowls, plates, or a stunning tray. Feel free to rotate your collection as the season changes. “I’m always moving things around,” Joseph says. “Editing is the most important design tip. Buy what you love. Be very selective, and try to buy things that will last.”

2. Keep the stuff you use within reach.

As the heart of your home, the kitchen is meant to be used and celebrated with friends and family. While beauty and style are indeed important design elements, assess the way you live and organize your home so that it is also practical and functional. For example, Joseph organizes her essential kitchen tools, such as rolling pins and spatulas, in a convenient, rustic crock along with an assortment of everyday wooden spoons. Plus, she keeps the equipment she uses most, such as her KitchenAid stand mixer and citrus press, within easy reach on her credenza.

3. Give everything a home — and return things where they belong.

As a cookbook author, Joseph keeps her kitchen fully stocked and ready for the unexpected, including a separate mini-fridge for just beverages. Every item in Joseph’s kitchen has its place — for wine bottles, plates, and stemware. She even has a coffee station, perfectly ready for that morning brew. Awkward-shaped items, like a bread basket, are stored at the top of the shelf, where they are still eye-catching, but out of the way.

Having everything in its place can have a huge payoff. It allows you to cut down on kitchen prep time and slow down when it’s time to eat, so you’re not, say, scrounging around for coffee mugs or locating the perfect serving platter.

Are you inspired by this beautiful kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.