Returning home from a whirlwind treasure hunting trip to Round Top, with all the fabulous finds you scored, brings it’s own challenges. Now, you need to blend these new treasures with what you already have.

How do you make a statement and display your new favorite pieces in a style that’s uniquely your own? What are the keys to styling your space so it looks as inviting as a magazine spread?

Houston-based prop stylist and creative consultant Becki Griffin is ready to provide answers. Griffin is someone who designers, builders and shopkeepers turn to when they need to build a professional portfolio of images.

Griffin has styled many of the spaces at Round Top that inspire. Including her curated displays at The Vintage over the years. You might have also admired her work in national magazines such as Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens. Now, she’s ready to share her professional tips of the trade.

“Prop styling is both technical and creative work,” Griffin tells

“I think incorporating antiques helps you define your personal style. Adding in vintage pieces, brings to life a story that contemporary elements alone can’t match. You can’t get that look from Pottery Barn.”


Griffin admits her antique education began at a young age. “I’m the daughter of antique dealers, so my parents used to haul me from flea markets to estate sales as a child,” she says.

Once you crack the styling code, you’ll begin to spot Griffin’s tips in use throughout many well-healed spaces. You can even put them to use in your own home.

Give Your Room a Mini-Facelift

Begin styling with a mini-facelift. Photo credit Kerry Kirk, Design by Emily June Designs.
(Prop styling by Becki Griffin).

Every room Becki Griffin styles, getting it ready for its close up during professional shoots, gets this treatment and so should yours. This is a great place to start.

  • Let the light flow in by lifting shades, opening curtains, and adding lamps for less direct lighting.
  • Flip the cushions on seating and fluff the pillows for a fresh and more plush feeling.
  • Give attention to the coffee table. Add a pretty tray or decorative bowl. Stack a few books and add a candle.
  • Layer on a seasonal weight throw to make it feel lived in.

Make a Color Connection

Color repetition of vintage brass candle sticks, heirloom china, green tulipieries holding colorful tulips, and scattered fresh oranges. Photo credit Kerry Kirk. Design by Cathy Robinson Hutton of Renovate Houston. (Prop styling by Becki Griffin)

Designers often speak of a “color story” that ties a room together. Although that sounds tricky and reserved for the pros, Griffin says it’s not that difficult.

“We think of the large swaths of color on walls, in fabrics or rugs, but don’t forget that art is a major player as well,” she says.

Art sets the tone of a room and it’s simple to use that as your starting point for a color connection. Griffin suggests finding smaller objects that carry the same color throughout.

Colors don’t have to be exact matches either. The connection can be in shades of orange, or variations of blue green tones that range from teals to seafoam. They’ll still register harmoniously as they flow throughout the space.

The Power of Scale

The “just right” amount of accessories in the right scale create a pleasing visual balance. Photo credit Kerry Kirk, Design by Elizabeth Garrett Interiors, (Prop styling by Becki Griffin)

“Right sizing art, rugs and lighting keeps a room from looking flat,” Griffin says.

This is the most common thing that people get wrong according to Griffin. If you have a large kitchen island, try displaying a big wooden bowl. Something too small will get lost, or look out of place.

“Styling is all about adding and taking away. It requires both practice and patience to get the right piece,” she says.

The prop stylist suggests experimenting with dimensions by crafting mock-ups and using painter’s tape to help visualize layouts before putting holes in the wall. The most important thing is to remain committed to editing the small details, and being willing to try them out and then trade them out as needed.

Collections ― Sometimes Less Is More

A beautiful mix of styles – French antique pottery displayed in a contemporary hutch.
(Photo credit Kerry Kirk, Design by MMI Design. Prop styling by Becki Griffin)

Just because you have collected 15 antique bread boards, 12 copper kettles and nine wooden rolling pins doesn’t mean you have to display them all together or all at once. Collections don’t have to be vast to make a statement. Griffin says it can be a few as four of five similar items.

Items don’t need to be nearly identical either. “Think about patina and texture, that’s when collections start to feel effortless,” Griffin advises.

Finding the perfect place to display your collection is far more important than its vastness. Mixing old and new is always best.

“When I use antiques in an unexpected way, it adds interest,” Griffin says. “Don’t be afraid to display items that are not typically intended for a particular space.”

One good example is a colorful collection of French pottery that Griffin displayed in a contemporary hutch.

Add Life To Every Room

Olive branches in matching pitchers are long lasting, and add beautiful symmetry.
Photo credit Kerry Kirk, Design by Cathy Robinson Hutton of Renovate Houston,
(Prop styling by Becki Griffin)

When styling for clients, Griffin never fails to add greenery, florals or cuttings from live branches. They add a much needed natural element — and a spark of life to every space.

“I don’t travel without my clippers,” she says. She has been known to “borrow” branches from neighboring bushes. “Style it like you stole it,” she laughs.

Adding living elements, even a budding springtime branch, brings a beautiful layer and softness to a space. “We hear about bringing the outdoors in ― that’s because it feels good and fills the home with another kind of life,” Griffin says.

Repeat To Add Visual Movement

Repeated elements include a mix of metals. a collection of cutting boards, and contemporary pottery. Photo credit Kerry Kirk, Design by Elizabeth Garrett Interiors.
(Prop styling by Becki Griffin)

Having a common thread that helps your eye unconsciously move through a space makes it feel cohesive. This is a key element of Griffin’s styling.

“Using metallics, like brass candlesticks, are a great way to mix old and new,” she says. “It has a timeless appeal that adds warmth to any space, and repeats the resurgence of brass in modern lighting and hardware choices.”

You can also mix metals, woods, shapes or textures as your repeated element. The idea is not to match, but to repeat elements.

By employing Becki Griffin’s professional styling tips, you can become your home’s own personal prop stylist.

“If last year taught us anything, it’s that our homes are our safe space — and they should feel both warm and welcoming,” Griffin says. “They should be personal as well.

“It’s all about learning how to tell your own story.”

More styling inspiration can be found at Becki Griffin’s website Curious Details.