Stylist Tara Swennen Debuts French Connection Home Collab at Stylish At-Home Birthday Party

Courtesy of French Connection
Hollywood stylist Tara Swennen at her backyard birthday bash in August, decorated with French Connection's home line.

Allison Janney’s go-to glam gal loves home decor. Who knew?

Though she primarily works as a fashion stylist to the stars, with clients including Allison Janney and Kristen Stewart, Tara Swennen has loved interior decorating and home decor from the “get-go,” Swennen tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Honestly I'm a huge decor fan."

“I think it goes hand-in-hand with someone who is in the creative field that I'm in. I have an eye for things that are beautiful and that make me happy, so I like to surround myself with things that literally liven up my day.”

From a young age, Swennen often changed her room, redecorating every three weeks or painting the walls every month. “My mom still makes fun of me,” she says.

So it’s only fitting that now she’s the ambassador for French Connection’s first home collection (suitably called Home), launching Sept. 17 in partnership with Creative Home Ideas. The pillows, rugs and bedding range from $49 to $499. 

After attending a preview event in the spring, Swennen decided to decorate her 39th birthday party with French Connection Home goods, turning her Studio City backyard into a Moroccan-inspired bohemian bash Aug. 25.

“I saw all the cute little pouffes and ottomans and rugs, and sort of fell in love with it there. I really love the colors that they use in the first collection, and it's got that bohemian vibe, but it's not aggressive. You could still use it in a lot of different types of decor,” Swennen says of the pieces, placed inside and outside her home.

For her birthday gig, she invited about 125 fashion and entertainment industry guests — and friends, family and her two pet pigs, “which was a big hit.” Stewart and Stella Maxwell showed up late night.

"We had a lot of candles, we had all the rugs, we had throws. The ottomans were used to sit on and we just complemented everything with some beautiful bouquets of flowers and Moroccan lamps. We had lots of those hanging from my trees, so it was a very lovely, romantic evening,” Swennen tells THR of the party (plus Ruffino wine). Some of her fave pieces are the blush and light gray throw pillows, perfect for adding texture: “I happened to snag a lot of those for my daughter's room.”

She describes her house as typically “eclectic.” The stylist rents it out for productions because “every room is quite different, so [it’s good] when they want to do many scenes and they need a variety of looks. Every room sort of has its own theme.” Overall her digs have a more modern contemporary feel — “I really do like a nice homey vibe” — and she’s influenced by her European father’s taste to add a classical touch. “My child has a circus-themed bathroom. So it's literally all over the place.” Her go-to spot is the library and most guests rave about her screening room.

Despite her hectic schedule as a stylist — with TIFF and Emmys in full swing — Swennen says at some point she'd like to do other decor collaborations where she does the designing: “Life is still very long.… It's a much longer commitment to do a room though than a red carpet, so you know I would need to carve out some time in my schedule.… It's just a different art form for me, but I love it.”

Recently, star stylists have flexed their design muscles on other creative collaborations, including Ilaria Urbinati collaborating on menswear with Strong Suit, Karla Welch partnering with Levi's and then with Cole Haan to design a footwear capsule alongside Erin Walsh (Alison Brie) and Simone Harouche (Miley Cyrus).

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