Press Show Styling: Behind the Scenes with Argos & Habitat


Press Show Styling Behind the Scenes with Argos Habitat Dwell Sainsburys


So a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to join the wonderful Lucy Gough styling the Argos / Habitat / Sainsburys / Dwell Christmas press show with Jade Lovejoy and Laurel Chick. It was a crazy couple of days in the exhibition space of Somerset House, decorating Christmas trees & wrapping up fake presents during a mini heat-wave!

We were working with Argos styling their new kitchenware, toys, and pets toys. Unfortunately we didn’t have our products styled until the last day which was crazy busy, so I don’t have any photos!! (Rookie error, I know.) I had a few minutes spare at lunchtime on day 1 where I got a few snaps from the interiors teams who’d set up before us so at least you can enjoy those!

This is the first press show I’d worked on, so there were new lessons learned…

Argos home interior styling - scandi bedroom

Argos bedroom styling for christmas press show 2017 - close up of plants above headboard

Styling for people is different to styling for editorial

When you’re styling stills shoots, it’s all for the camera. You’re looking at everything from the perspective of the photographer, and one or two specific angles. A press shoot is different as people are going to be wondering around the installations looking from different angles. You have to think about how everything looks from 360 degrees. It’s also more important to think about the atmosphere of the space; we created a room with space for guests to sit & work with nicely styled tables & goody bags, and added a photobooth full of props to encourage engagement & social sharing (there were some amazing Barbie wigs, photo evidence to follow…).

Habitat interior styling - furniture and soft furnishings for press show 2017

Prop styling isn’t always pretty!

There was A LOT of product for the amount of space we had, and it was mostly children’s toys and kitchenware. The styling budget for the event was pretty small too, so after we’d bought rises and Christmas decorations, it was pretty much spent. While it wasn’t the most glamourous of tasks, it meant that we had to get really creative about how we were using the space and showcasing the products. I was helping Jade (absolute babe) with the kitchenware styling and she was teaching me lots of little visual merchandising tricks, like styling things in triangles to guide the eye. It might not have been the most beautiful of styling tasks but it was a really good challenge!

Somerset House exhibition space - Argos home styling

Press shows are BIG affairs

Putting together a press shoot is a pretty big task! We had all the exhibition space on the south side of Somerset House, so there were about 40 people there including us getting everything set up. I tried my best to get to know everyone (especially the movers as it’s good to have them on side when you need to attach something to the ceiling or shift a 25 kilo box up the stairs!).

Argos home interior styling - ironing bedsheets for bedroom press show

Working with different creative visions can be challenging

The stylists, project managers, event organisers, and buyers all have opinions about how the event space and products should look. And they don’t always agree! (Luckily I wasn’t the one negotiating!) For example, from a styling point of view, it’s best to pair back the amount of products on display so everything has room to breathe. But the brand’s buyers wanted all of the colourways on show; this tripled the amount of products on the table. It’s these kinds of conflicts that have to be worked around and talked through until everyone’s satisfied.


Organisation is even more important than usual

For this show, all the products had to be sent back to the warehouse. We had to keep every box so that all the items could be repackaged. Every. Single. Box. For hundreds of products. This would have literally be impossible if our  organisation hadn’t been sh*t hot. We stored all the packaging according to category and labelled to make it do-able.

Being well organised is also vital in the running of the set up, especially for stylists. We should be the last team to finish our work. (You really want to avoid that styling a load of products only to find that the wall vinyls haven’t been put up yet and you have to move everything…)

Prop styling - cushions and soft furnishings from Habitat for christmas press show 2017Habitat interior and prop styling - shelves, vases, and wall art for christmas press shoot 2017Argos interior and prop styling - brass side table and blue velvet chair with stacked magazines and books for christmas press shoot 2017 Argos prop styling - black side table and Cereal magazine for christmas press shoot 2017 Argos prop styling - black side table and Cereal magazine for christmas press shoot 2017Habitat new statement lighting Argos prop styling - black side table and Cereal magazine for christmas press shoot 2017 - copper, brass, and other metals

If you’re looking to find out more about interior styling, you might like these posts:

6 Signs That You’d Make A Great Interior Stylist

5 Important Tips for Working on Shoots

Music Video Styling for Kate Nash

Like & share for extra tips!


  1. That’s so cool! I love Habitat and always thought they had great catalogues and brochures.
    I used to style film sets a few years ago and it reminded me of that time…and the stress that goes with it.
    I hope you will get many more amazing opportunities like this,

    1. rosannaalicia

      I’m glad you liked it Rakhi! Yeah It’s a really good way for brands to showcase their next season’s products. They invite lots of journalists, bloggers, and other influencers to help with PR.

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