New Orleans-based Lifestyle Journalist and Interiors Stylist MARGARET ZAINEY ROUX has an eye for detail and a fresh approach to styling.
Her storied career has led her to collaborate with some of the country’s most celebrated interior designers and publications from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and New York. Her unique approach to styling is intimately connected with her work as a writer, drawing her towards pieces that tell a story. Speaking of stories, she is also known for a number of her published projects in magazines including Traditional Home, Southern Home, and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles. Read on as Margaret Zainey Roux shares the inside scoop on her best-kept secrets, upcoming projects, work methods, and insight into her editorial process.
1. Tell us about your origins and how you became an interior stylist.
I’ve been obsessed with all things design since childhood. According to my mother, I would spend hours rearranging the furniture in my old-school Victorian dollhouse and even begged her to let me repaint the walls and add wallpaper! In college. I studied interior design but ultimately switched gears and earned my degree in journalism. I have so many passions: travel, art, fashion, and entertaining, just to name a few. As a writer, I can immerse myself in those worlds and in the design world as well. After graduating, I was chosen for a post-graduate editorial internship with Coastal Living magazine which was an invaluable experience for me. Upon completion, I had done a little bit of everything and loved it all so I started scouting, writing, and styling on a freelance basis for various shelter magazines.
Through those projects, I met and collaborated with so many talented (and busy) interior designers and I am blessed to have forged many incredible working relationships and friendships with some of them. Beyond those shoots, I have continued to help style their own portfolios and even for some of their private clients. I am often asked why an interior designer would hire an interiors stylist, and that’s because we both look at things through different lenses. Interior designers focus on “the big picture.” They take a very holistic approach to design to ensure that the rooms in a house visually connect with one another and that each room’s individual elements connect within that room. Interiors stylists see “snapshots” and style the individual elements within a room—the coffee table, bookshelf, or mantel—as a means to enhance it without overshadowing it.