Interior Decorator Emma Welman Reveals: How to Choose A Decorator, Mixing Florals With Block Prints & She Gives Us a Sneak Peak Into A Client’s Home Revamp
No Chintz Interior Decorator Emma Welman has spent her entire career immersed in beautiful fabrics and interior styling, so we pinned her down to find out some insider styling secrets. Check out Emma’s tips on using colour in the home, her all-time favourite fabrics and the background on some of the interiors she has decorated…
What is your background?
“I studied a Bachelor of Interior Design and have worked in interior property styling and home interiors, as well as working with fabrics and fabric houses ever since!”
Emma and No Chintz Creative Director Chrissie Jeffery have created looks for many client’s homes, including this one in Sydney’s leafy suburbs. “This room was designed for a client who had a teenage son. She wanted a colourful room that suited a growing boy. The room had very little wall space on either side of the window, so instead of using curtains, which would have reduced the visible window, it made sense to go with blinds. Stripes are quite unisex and ageless. We upholstered the chair in a hard wearing bright orange fabric with contrast piping to add definition to the outline of the chair and a pop of colour. The orange chair also works back with the orange stripe in the blind.”
Who are your clients?
“We usually work with clients who have an appreciation for fabrics and colour. They’re often Architects and Interior Designers, but we also have clients who aren’t in the industry, who wish to be involved in the final choice and finish of their home interiors. Many of our wonderful clients are repeat customers – as we have been in business for over 25 years – who appreciate the skills and attention we bring to transforming their home.”
The client’s brief for this living room was to look “casually elegant”. “This is a formal sitting room. The look needed to feel homely, sophisticated and elegant – not too formal. There’s a beautiful outlook to the pool, so we used historic headed linen curtains with a hand-stitched detail on the hem to frame the window and add a softness to the view. Linen has a particular look that’s earthy and natural. The Roman blind is white bamboo and provides privacy from the other direction. We re-covered the sofa in a durable taupe fabric, then added bright contrasting colours that the client loved. She was inspired by similar cushion designs she had seen at a hotel while travelling overseas, so we designed a similar look and feel for her.”
What are your favourite fabrics to work with?
“I personally love Deck Chair Stripe in Denim and Ivory, $66/m. It looks great. I have it in my home as cushions on our sofa. Ribble is another favourite. It has a pleated texture, so you get colour and texture without pattern. And the Ikat, Bindi in Surf, looks amazing mixed with plains, stripes and textures.”
What three qualities should people look for when choosing an interior decorator?
“For me, the most important qualities are someone with a love of colour, creativity and organisation – without organisation you end up with a big muddle. Our job is putting things together that work and follow through.”
“This is a guest room. Our brief was to create a room that was unisex, as our client has a lot of guests and she wanted something to appeal to both young teenagers and older people. Our colour palette was pale blue, cream and stone with accents of the raspberry in the valance and cushions. We custom made and upholstered the bedhead in our Ikat Spot in Clay –a bedhead creates the look of the room and transforms the bed. In this case, it was a very small room with only a desk as furniture, so it made the room look ‘finished’. We also custom made the bed valance and pale blue patterned blind to complete the look.”
Why did you join the No Chintz team?
“I joined No Chintz six years ago and love the creativity of the job and the exceptional quality of the fabrics and soft furnishings. No Chintz specialise in textiles and their use in the home. We offer the best in soft furnishing manufacturing in Australia through our design services, carry a great stock fabric range, as well as leading Australian and overseas designers and suppliers. We also carry quality craft, DIY Kits, home decorating products and soft furnishings – a one-stop style shop.”
Your favourite colour palette?
“My favourite colour is blue – all shades, from darks and vibrants to aqua mixed with white. It’s fresh and light.”
What inspires you as a designer?
“I often draw inspiration from beautiful fabrics, architecture and the way colour works in nature. I am also inspired when I travel to other parts of the world – I like seeing international designers and how they interpret their own environments.”
“We created bright tribal pattern ottomans for this client’s living space, picking up on the colours in the cushions we designed and custom-made. The client has a lot of guests so it was important for them to have extra seating if required. When the ottomans aren’t in use, they can be removed and the table used as a coffee table.”
Mixing florals and block prints: is it good or bad home decorating tool?
“Good! I don’t like everything to look the same. I love Indian block prints on an off-white background mixed with softer colours, so the colour is diffused. It looks amazing against stripes, florals, almost anything…”
What attracted you to interior design?
“I love creating homes for people. The client gives me a brief or we work together to identify their practical and aesthetic requirements, then I present the ideas to them. It’s an amazingly creative process to work together and create exactly what they want.”
“This was for a client’s daughters’ bedroom. We used raspberry and grey in a mix of small block prints and stripes. We custom made the bedhead, blinds, cushions and valance in the same colour story.”
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