Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop recap

This year was my second in a row of traveling to Italy, but my first time teaching a styling workshop there! I’ve shared lots of info in the past about the Style Your Life workshop that I co-taught with food stylist Maren Ellingboe King and Sarah Abare of The Stemmery. After being back for just over 2 weeks, I have mentally processed everything from the trip and wanted to offer you a glimpse into it! At the very least, this post will probably inspire a bit of Italian wanderlust, too.

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy

Teaching a workshop is such an honor, especially when it comes to interior styling. I really enjoyed myself! It’s been great to connect with other creatives and learn about their business and passions.

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

The Location

First, let’s talk about the overall property where the styling workshop was held. We were hosted by Annette Joseph at her incredible property called. at La Fortezza. I shared it last year, but what a Freaking DREAM it is. Plus, it’s fun to see all the changes Annette has made to the property. There is a stunning (and well-stocked) classroom/studio space, luxurious guest quarters, and beautiful grounds with olive trees and a vineyard. It’s truly something to experience at least once… and I was lucky enough to go twice!

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

The Food

Next, let’s talk about something very important when traveling in Italy: the food! We ate some meals out at restaurants and cafes, but the majority of what we ate during the styling workshop was prepared by a private chef named Philip Meeker. His food is out of this world! Every meal that he prepared utilized fresh, locally sourced ingredients — in fact, some were grown right on Annette’s property in her vegetable garden.

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

My Takeaways

Back when I was a product designer at Anthropologie, our creative director shared some wisdom that has really stuck with me. He encouraged us to identify ‘that one thing that makes the trip.’ It’s like the key element that really solidified the experience, the key takeaway, the moment that made the cost and energy of the trip totally worthwhile.

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

For me, this styling workshop and retreat was a chance to actually PLAY. I am constantly setting up shots, shooting, writing, and planning… but when do I ever get time to just take photos and have fun? Those creative outlets are something I’ve been missing a lot in my life lately. So while I was there, I just started taking pictures because I felt like it. I didn’t worry about whether an image would perform well on social media, whether it’s Instagram-able… instead, it was about trying something new and exploring what else my camera offers. That’s why so many of these photos are darker and moodier than what I normally share.

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling
A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

Because of my budget this year after the renovation and the wedding, I didn’t have much capacity to travel through Italy like I did last year. I did go to Rome, which was a first for me! I’m working on a travel guide for that to share soon.

For more travel guides for Italy, check out these posts:

A Glimpse into Our Style Your Life Retreat & Styling Workshop in Italy for floral, food, and interior styling. #italy #workshop #retreat #foodstyling #floralstyling #floraldesign #tuscany #creativeretreat #interiorstyling

Interested in attending another styling workshop in Tuscany? Check out Annette Joseph’s site for more options and availability.

Photography by Jojotastic.

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Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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