What Secrets Is Zara Home Hiding from Us?


When Colin King got the call (or, more accurately, Instagram message) to style a recent Zara Home campaign, he thought it was a joke. “This woman slid into my DMs,” says the set designer. “I thought it was too good to be true!”

We get the excitement—here at Domino, new Zara Home editorials are akin to Beyoncé album drops. They don’t look like the cold, overly styled catalogues many big box retailers put out. Instead, each campaign feels somewhere between a dreamy escape and a cozy, lived-in home. These are no staged sets either. They’re real-life locations, ranging from Greek island mansions to Tuscan villas to cool Copenhagen apartments—the latter was the scene of King’s shoot, for the fall “A Life of Simplicity” collection.
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse for Zara Home
“My challenge was to express a narrative without it feeling like a corny vignette,” says King. The space was Danish architect Danielle Siggerud’s house, which creative director Rosie Seabrook found through mutual friends. Add those arched windows and textured plaster walls to anything and, as King points out, a story instantly falls into place. 

“It’s the idea of being ‘aspirtainable’—aspirational, but also attainable,” explains King of the campaign’s appeal. “If you wait for the customer to ask for something, then you’re too late. It’s about showing people how to use pieces in their space, mixed with furniture that maybe Zara doesn’t sell, but the person can think, oh, I have a similar piece I can use.” 
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse for Zara Home
He worked with Seabrook and an international creative team to achieve that goal with just four days of prep work (yes, you read that right). They pulled inspiration images from the likes of Belgian architect Vincent Van Duyson and designer Axel Vervoordt, and combed Copenhagen for vintage pieces to balance out the new launches. They ended up spending around €15,000—around 70 percent of the furniture was sourced, as Zara specializes in decorative accents—on rentals.

“It’s the idea of being ‘aspirtainable’—aspirational, but also attainable.”

If the aspirational part is linked to the drama of the surroundings, the attainable side is all in the details. It’s the glass carafe filled with water on a bedside table that’s really just a block of wood. It’s the Brutalist sculpture positioned right next to a $100 lamp (“I always look at shape first,” says King). It’s the kitchen counter littered with egg shells and ceramic mixing bowls of flour, positioned so it’s like you’re peering into a family’s Sunday morning brunch. (“The kitchen was challenging for me because I’m not a food stylist—I don’t even know how to cook!” he admits.) There are always ideas to steal that go beyond “I want to buy this pillow;” these are photos you want to bookmark for design ideas. 

The team shot the whole thing over the Fourth of July weekend, and the editorial went live a mere two weeks later. Styling the Zara Home editorial was a whirlwind experience, not that you would ever be able to tell judging from the final result. 
Photography by Frederik Vercruysse for Zara Home
One of our favorite moments in A Life of Simplicity has to be the tablescapes. With fall entertaining on the horizon, we picked King’s brain for his tips on styling an effortlessly chic table.  We’re happy to report that you can easily implement these, even if you don’t live in a plaster-walled Danish home. 
Cover up   Photography by Frederik Vercruysse for Zara Home
“I don’t know if it’s the Ohio in me, but I love tablescapes with tablecloths,” says King. Not only are you protecting your surface, but it instantly adds some contrast to whatever dinnerware and glasses you choose. 
Dine by candlelight
Or at least by one singular tapered candle. “I love Denmark because, whether it’s breakfast or dinner, there’s candlelight,” says King. We’d guess this is a by-product of the fact that, in the winters, it’s dark there by 4 p.m., but the effect instantly creates an intimate atmosphere no matter where you live. 

“I don’t know if it’s the Ohio in me, but I love tablescapes with tablecloths.”

Don’t buy that matching set Photography by Frederik Vercruysse for Zara Home
It’s how you get that relaxed, layered look. “When I grew up, my parents would go to Macy’s and buy a bedroom set, a living room set, a china set… but I love mixing,” says King. Ditch the uniform glassware and opt for a combo of stemware and tumblers. Apply the same philosophy to your materials: Balance out your recycled glass chargers with a soft linen napkins. 
Forget the floral arrangements
“One, cut flowers are expensive, and two, they’re a mess to clean up,” points out King. Instead, scatter your favorite vessels about the table for a minimalist centerpiece that you don’t have to spend a penny on. Or if you, must, use dried florals or branches. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner—why not make it a Danish-themed shindig? 

See more fall decor ideas:
22 Patterned Cushions for Reaching Peak Cozy
Everything Team Domino Wants to Buy This Fall
7 Design Insiders Predict the Biggest Fall Color Trends
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ZaraHomeStylist Tablescape TopStory ZaraHome Stories

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