Designer Hilary Rose Walker Tells Her Style Story

Meet the prop stylist who hit it big with Magnolia Home.

| photography by Emily Stoker |

Local design guru Hilary Rose Walker was working as junior designer for a Dallas firm and just about ready to leave the world of interior design altogether. “I wanted to be up on my feet more, working with a team and making things with my hands,” she says. That’s when a friend introduced her to a local agency that opened up the world of prop and interior styling. Since then she has worked as a prop stylist for Loloi Rugs, Earthbound Trading and Erdos at Home, while expanding her blog, ourstylestories.com, where she documents the crazy life of a prop stylist and interviews others with an eye for style. Her styling has landed in the pages of Domino Magazine and on the cover of D Home. Most recently, a year of freelance work for Magnolia, the on-a-roll Waco company owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, landed her a full-time gig with the company. We like to think we knew her when, as she was featured as a local blogger worth knowing in our March 2016 issue. Hilary found time to fit us into her very busy schedule to answer a few questions about life, style and her lifestyle before she becomes a Waco resident.

Let’s get right to the good stuff. Tell me a little bit about your home?
Our house is a simple 1960s home. But what it lacks in architectural character and interest, I’ve tried to improve with color and layers and artwork we love. It’s full of things that are very personal to us and suits both our style of living and our individual aesthetics.

What's your favorite piece of furniture that you own?
Our dining table, which my younger brother built for us this winter. The craftsmanship is spectacular!

Are there similarities between your design style and your fashion choices?
Generally, yes. I love mixing colors and patterns and adding unexpected details. But because of the nature of my work, I tend to be more practical and understated with my weekly outfits.

Where do you shop for clothes?
Mostly thrift stores. I love a good hunt!

What books or resources do you lean on for new ideas?
It’s always changing, but I’m very inspired by publications such as Darling Magazine. Anthology was such a favorite for interior stories, and I was so sad to see them go. BluDot has the most incredible catalog, and I’m frequently amazed at that post-modern approach to commercial styling. Domino is still a classic that I enjoy keeping up with. And, of course, The Magnolia Journal is doing some really exciting things in editorial publishing. Beyond that, I think I get the most inspiration from being out in the world and seeing how other creative people live and think.

What about places? How has Nashville influenced your design style? Fort Worth?
I think I get my love of folk and craft arts from growing up in Nashville. There is so much rich history of those things there. I’m not entirely sure how Texas is rubbing off on me, but time will tell.

Many designers believe in some basic design rules? Are you a rule-follower? If so, which ones are important?
I’m a rule-follower only for the bones of a space. Beyond that, I like to mix things up and march to the beat of my own decorative “drum."

What are some of the most important tips you have learned as a stylist?
Pay attention to the details but learn when it’s time to move on. You’ll never feel ready.

Where do you shop for accessories for your own home?
All over the place. Thrift stores, estate sales. HomeGoods is a great source for new items. And, of course, I’ve fallen victim to my fair share of Nate Berkus impulse buys as well.

What should every room have?
Unique art that speaks to you personally and a sense of flexibility. Homes are changing, growing, evolving spaces, and your approach to decorating should be too.

What should every outfit have?
Great fit and one unexpected detail.

One of the best parts of your blog is Style Stories where you highlight an interesting person's style story. Which one is your favorite so far?
I really don’t have a favorite. I feel like each new person I meet becomes a new friend, and I love stepping into their world and learning about the ways they live, create, entertain, decorate and dress. A few recent features that I recommend checking out are Jamie Lyons [Dallas fashion stylist] and Ziza Bauer’s [director of digital content for Darling Magazine] Style Stories, on the blog now.

What's your style story?
Gosh. That’s the hardest question yet. I don’t know… ask my husband or my friends!

What's your next big project in your own home, if any?
The next big thing in our house also happens to be the next big thing in our life. This summer, our family will be relocating to Waco and creating a new home for ourselves there. It’s stressful to think about all the logistics involved, but the decorating opportunities make for a great silver lining.

For tips from Hilary Rose Walker on selecting the ideal combination of houseplants for your home, turn to page 88 in the Summer issue of Fort Worth HOME.

photography by Emily Stoker