In conversation with stylist Courtney Favini

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Stories, updates, and interviews from Burrow

In conversation with stylist Courtney Favini

In conversation with stylist Courtney Favini

On being self-taught, and what an interior stylist actually does

I don't even think interior styling is a degree you can get; it's such a niche thing. And I honestly fell into it. I've had a lot of different jobs since graduating college, and then I went to grad school. And I don't use those degrees in any way, shape, or form. But I like to think all of it led me here. I was an event planner for New York City Ballet for a while. And while I was working there, I realized that I was much more into the tablescape of the events than I was any of the logistical bullshit that I had to do. I ended up moving to Pittsburgh and starting a lifestyle blog. I reached out to a designer there, and ended up jumping in and helping with florals and food, propping and all that stuff for photos. Then that, my blog, some good connections, and just an eye for what looks pretty on pictures, like, I found myself doing it as a career.

A stylist is actually very different than a designer or decorator. While I’ve had the privilege to design my own homes & apartments (and several clients who were wonderful enough to trust me) my real breadwinner is showing up to homes that are fully furnished and adding those last magic elements to make a house really soar for photography. Florals, greenery, food propping, pretty linens, and vessels are my jam — I still pinch myself that I get paid to do what I do.

On how the places she’s lived have shaped her idea of home

Of course, now that I got my Pittsburgh apartment fully dialed in and beautiful, and I'm photographing it, I'm like, “okay, next.” But I mean, I have so much work in Atlanta right now. I spend a lot more time there. And for me at this point, I end up traveling more frequently than I'm home.

Each place has its own little spirit to it, you know? Pittsburgh was really fun, because it's gritty and real and it like feels like Brooklyn, in a sense, except that the hobbies people talk about, at happy hours, they actually have the time and money to do. So the woodshop that they talk about or the glassblowing studio, in Pittsburgh, people actually do those things. I just know 'cause I lived in New York, and you just don't have time to do them. Pittsburgh is a very collaborative community, as opposed to New York, which is a little bit more competitive.

The thing I love about New York, is that it's like a kaleidoscope of inspiration everywhere you look: the architecture, design, fashion, being in New York is just eye candy, 24/seven, and it pushes you to try different trends. And obviously, the nightlife and food and all that is amazing.

But honestly, I mean, the Poconos and small-town Pennsylvania will always feel the most like me, I think, even though I didn't really want to end up there. I love the outdoors. I grew up, you know, kayaking and camping with my brothers. I grew up on a lake and that just kind of framed who I am. And it definitely shapes what I like in terms of interiors, because obviously I love being outside. So bringing nature and the outdoors inside is a big part of what I try to do with my designs and my styling.

On working on big TV productions, and going beyond media

I've loved working for an array of designers and photographers, and it's always good to feel challenged creatively, I actually just wrapped filming a show for Magnolia Network with a designer named Brian Patrick Flynn. And it’s fun to just see what goes into making a TV show, all the teamwork is really cool to be a part of. The showrunner, the producers, the sound crew, etc. TV is a lot more than what we watch at the end of the day.

And while I'm happy to ride the TV train as long as I can, as long as it fulfills me, I mostly want to continue to be more and more of a creator. Through COVID, I found myself playing with creating art in my basement and getting even more absorbed in curating a life that inspires me daily. I love making, I love working my hands, I love learning, I love thrifting — it educates me on styles and textures and materials from the past. Ultimately, I want to have an impact creating, I want to collaborate with other like-minded people through creating, and I want to make rad things with brands and missions that matter.

On balancing personal taste and professional requirements

My portfolio reflects my aesthetic, because that’s what I want to put out there. For me, it's sustainability, a vintage-like neutral palette, earthy goodness. But obviously I’ve worked on and styled projects that aren’t my usual go-to. I see it as a personal challenge; it helps me step out of my comfort zone and it helps my clients step out of their comfort zones, so we both grow from it.

On balancing personal taste and professional requirements

My portfolio reflects my aesthetic, because that’s what I want to put out there. For me, it's sustainability, a vintage-like neutral palette, earthy goodness. But obviously I’ve worked on and styled projects that aren’t my usual go-to. I see it as a personal challenge; it helps me step out of my comfort zone and it helps my clients step out of their comfort zones, so we both grow from it.

On choosing to work with Burrow

It’s evident through your Instagram, your website, etc. that you guys are a socially-conscious brand that creates durable, sustainably-sourced, quality furniture. Even the way you guys ship things — minimal packaging, removing the expensive freight shipment usually necessary to transport more bulky furniture — it’s cost effective for the consumer but it also reduces your carbon footprint a ton. That’s speaking my language.

And there’s the lifestyle element. People have dogs. People have friends that come over and spill wine. And these Burrow pieces are stain- and scratch- resistant but also get better with age if you ask me.

I also simply love the aesthetic of the Burrow brand. It’s simple, the lines are beautiful, the materials are natural and high quality, and they fit the vibe of my home to a tee.

On using a professional platform to advocate for social justice

I feel like if you have the platform to express and educate and inform and do the right thing, and you don't say anything, I think that's just wrong.

You guys may just be a “couch company” and I’m just an “interior stylist” but I still think every little bit counts. I notice that the Burrow Instagram features same-sex couples, that you feature biracial couples in your campaigns. It may not seem like a huge deal, but it's so important. And if I, or you, or anyone else out there can make another human feel accepted and less alone, then that’s something.

And, a lightning round, starting with linen vs. denim

So hard to choose ‘cause I love my linen, but I gotta go with denim. It’s the end-all, be-all for me.

Exposed brick vs. reclaimed wood

Exposed brick ‘cause it’s older and part of the existing structure. Exposed brick tells me history and good architecture and bones.

Pool, lake, or ocean?

Give me a lake and a kayak and IPA and I am happy gal.

Best season?

Fall, I think because I like layers. Boots and jackets and stuff like that, that's why I miss New York. There are like six days out of the year that it's awesome to be a New Yorker outside and it's the first three days in October and the last three days in May and that’s it.

Best season?

Fall, I think because I like layers. Boots and jackets and stuff like that, that's why I miss New York. There are like six days out of the year that it's awesome to be a New Yorker outside and it's the first three days in October and the last three days in May and that’s it.

Ideal food to zone out on the couch and be lost to the world?

I love Thai food, because I'm a vegetarian and all the flavors are really good. Definitely order three different Thai dishes and chill on my sectional, light candles, turn off all the lights, and avoid answering emails.

Courtney Favini is an interior stylist based in Atlanta. You can find her work here, and follow her on Instagram.