Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017

How to find Interiors Inspiration and channel it

Emma Painter Interiors

Inspiration can elude you just when you need it, particularly after months of exhausting building work during which you've pretty much lost the will to live. 

You start out with a clear idea of how you would like your home to look, how you would like your home to feel (just like that picture in a magazine you saw) but the grim reality of a muddy building site is guaranteed to send those images back into the realm of 'unobtainable'.

Stalling for time whilst you put together paint colours for the decorator or, before this, bathroom item final choices for the plumber and tiler, delays your build and costs money.

So, when you are stuck for inspiration what do you do to kickstart it again so that you don't keep the builders waiting? 

Here is a helpful how-to-find-it-again guide and, more importantly, how to channel it:

  • Focus - Write a list of what you need so that you can target your inspiration search.This will focus your mind and stop it flying about aimlessly when you have too many things to think about.

Imagine - In a word 'Pinterest'. This is a great place to start and to find inspiration. Set yourself up with an account and target images for each board (for eg. kitchen). Then look at your boards and ditch any maybes, just sticking with definites. 
Analyse why you like these particular images. 
For each room board also pin photographs of your actual room. Even in its unfinished state you will begin to imagine it as finished amongst all the other finished room images. 

Emma Painter Interiors
  • Search - Flip through magazines, anything and everything, to find home images you like or even pictures of things you like. Why do you like them? Why do they make you smile? Draw out items, colours and ideas from them -  could they be used in your home?
  • The 'Look' - Remind yourself of how you want your home to look and your likes and dislikes - colours, textures, patterns. Classic, contemporary, timeless. Do you want your home to be cosy, light-filled? Then choose things that fit in with this.

  • The 'Feel' - How do you want to feel when you're in your home? Snug, on trend, exciting, relaxing? Again, choose things that fit in with this feeling. Neutrals for calm. Splashes of colour for excitement.

  • Be practical - If you are choosing floor tiles for a bathroom then make sure you only look at bathroom floor tiles. ie. choose something 'fit for purpose' - a slippery floor in a bathroom is not a good idea.

Mosaic del Sur

  • Other homes - Think about people you know and the homes they live in. What do you (or don't you) like about their kitchen tiles for instance? Thinking in this way can channel your thoughts in the right direction.

Chelsea Design Harbour
Out and about - Visit shows (Grand Designs, The Ideal Home Show, London Design Week etc.) and showrooms - nothing beats actually spending a day looking  up close and touching tiles, finishes and fabrics; seeing room sets; getting ideas. 
Re-spark your interest. 
If you are able (depending on work commitments) aim for a weekday if you can to avoid the crowds. If not, allow for regular coffee breaks to assess and prevent inspiration overload. 
Ask if you can take photos of things you like and then when you are home compile a page of things you like to help guide your choices. 
If you are really time-short, take a list of requirements and measurements with you so that you don't get distracted. 
For example - I need a neutral wall tile for the utility room. 
Stick to it.

  • Putting it together - lay out any images, samples and items you love at home (even a mug or cushion) and ask yourself if they work together...or not? Do they achieve the look you want...or not?

    • Say yes - If you are offered help then take it. Have a decisive friend who knows you well? Then take them shopping with you. Don't be afraid to ask where something is from if you like it.
    • Time out - If you can, take a break. Keeping at something when you're just exhausted or not feeling it can be counter-productive. Deliberately hide samples etc. and forget about it all for a day. You will come back refreshed.

    First Aid - If you are really struggling and don't have time, call in the experts. 
    The money you pay for them to take the strain will be well worth it.

    • And finally - Remember that inspiration can come from anywhere. 
    • A day out, a film, a dress fabric, a notebook cover, wrapping paper......

    • Keep your eyes open and file images so that you can channel them for inspiration as required.

    Wednesday, 25 January 2017


    The icing on the cake at the start of 2017 is a 

    Best of Houzz Award for Customer Service

    Many thanks to all of my wonderful Clients and to Houzz itself, for being a constant source of inspiration.

    It's always a treat to look back at favourite projects from the past year and 2016 was no exception for Emma Painter Interiors
    From design advice to schemes to soft furnishings it's always a pleasure to see projects come to fruition. 
    Whatever size the client's project, that moment where everything comes together after lots of planning, discussions and decisions, is a delight.  

    Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing with you a round-up of Emma Painter Interiors' Projects 2016 starting with:

    No.1 - Master Bedroom and Bathroom Loft Conversion, 1960s home, Hampshire:

    This lovely lady called me in to help create an identity for the interior of her new home (a 1960s house) with her partner, after undertaking a loft conversion with a new Master Bedroom and en-suite Bathroom. The work was also to include refurbishing the entire house.
    My client knew that she liked 'ice-cream colours' and that she wanted to carry her 'look' throughout the house to make it feel spacious and inviting but, being a detail person, she was finding it hard to move forward and pinpoint exactly how to do this.

    My work for her (ongoing) has included Design Advice Sessions / Room Schemes / Shopping Lists of furniture, fittings and accessories to fit within the schemes / Flooring suggestions and samples (carpet, tiles, other) / Wall finishes (including tile suggestions and samples) / Paint Schemes (including an accompanying Shopping List, samples, instructions and schedule) / Bespoke Soft Furnishings (including fabric samples,Estimates and headboard design) to be installed by Emma Painter Interiors within the next  few months.



    Here is another Room Scheme put together for the downstairs Cloakroom/Shower Room which coincidentally perfectly channels this year's #Pantonecolouroftheyear #Greenery:



    Thursday, 19 January 2017


    Here is a preview of the next gorgeous collection from Linwood Fabrics & Wallpapers. #Mirabelle is available from February in time for Spring and I think it'll become a firm favourite with it's #Springfresh 100% cotton prints, which are also suitable for upholstery. Perfect for a spring refresh of your home's soft furnishings.



    Tuesday, 18 October 2016


     Thank you so much to the The Little Greene Paint Company for visiting this morning.

    I am now armed with some wonderful colour fandecks to take to clients - yay!

    This years 'Pink' colour card is glorious, with blushes of roses 'Hortense' through to bright as you like 'Carmine': truly a pink for everyone.

    The Wallpaper collections are fabulous too, from townhouses to boats to textured patterns. I can't wait to use them.

    From the same company come the Paint and Paper Library colours. (Little Greene took over this company last year).

    (You also may not know that the Little Greene paint factory manufactures the Zoffany and Sanderson paints).

    The range of tones and shades incorporated in the Paint and Paper Library archive is vast. New colours added this year include ''Blue's Blue' and 'Squid Ink'.

    An interior geek's dream, this generous colour palette is so useful to create a deft and subtle touch in any decorating scheme.

    As well as being a British company The Little Greene Paint Company have good eco credentials, including recyclable packaging and tins for all paint products. 

    Little Greene paint has over 40% more pigment than many ordinary paints and I am with them when they say that - 'the more complex the pigmentation the more interesting the colour'.



    Thursday, 18 August 2016

    FAUXLIAGE - pick of the bunch

    There's a growing trend for Fauxliage

    Cox & Cox - from their stunning collection of faux flowers and plants

    Low maintenance, long-lasting, no colour fade - just remember to dust; no water required. 

    And there are some really good blossoms, stems, plants and trees out there that 
    look like the real thing (almost).

    Ranunculus from Curated Living

    Smycka Faux - Ikea
    As a self-professed lover of fresh flowers there is a slight but in my head...

    However, if you don't have access to fresh flowers either through location or because of the cost (and let's face it, unless you grow your own, fresh flowers are pricey); or if you simply don't have the time or inclination to arrange your own then these are a great alternative.

    If you fancy yourself as a bit of a florist then you can use single foliage stems to fortify a fresh flower display.

    Faux can be instantly stylish as and when you need them; available in displays of naturalistic or colour-popping hues.

    You can keep it seasonal in a revolving set of displays or enjoy your favourite flower all year round.

    If you miss the fragrance of fresh there are a million home scents to choose from in the form of candles or diffusers (let's keep that for another time).

    Bright purple hydrangea bouquet from Amaranthine Blooms

    Munstead lavender from Wyld Home

    Create impact with a  few stems in a gorgeous vase

    This hand tied arrangement is perfect if you want instant gratification

    Spirea stem from Heals
    Sarah Raven's everlasting Hydrangea
    Faux trailing ivy by Rockett St George
    How about some faux ivy in a Macramé Hanging Planter from Mia Fleur?
    Burgundy English rose from Amaranthine Blooms

    I'm definitely coming round.

    Check out these incredible faux plants too:

    Mini Mohave Cactus from Wyld Home

    Abigail Aherne's Yakima Succulent a snip at under £20

    Faux Potted Tall Bird of Paradise from
    Rockett St George

    To channel your inner jungle try this artificial cheese plant from Blooming Artificial


    Hi all, Hope you've had a good weekend. I now have a new website so do take a look: emmapainterinteriors.com