Meet the interior designer: Emma Merry

Our exclusive Q&A with interior stylist Emma Merry…

Emma Merry is an interior designer who makes beautiful, unique, even exotic rooms - with an emphasis on bespoke but affordable home styling. We talked to Emma about collecting colours, European islands and why it’s all about ‘inspiration not trends’...

How did you get started in interior design and styling?

I started my design life in the world of luxury exhibitions, working for Quintessentially. I created experiential feature spaces showcasing luxury fashion and homewares that were all British made. My remit was to keep visitors intrigued, engaged and inspired. I have always had a love of color and texture, interior design and styling seemed like a natural progression to make my creations more permanent.

How would you describe your interior design style?

My motto is ‘Inspiration not trends’! My style is inspired by my clients and the way they live, by the unusual items I find in their homes and the subsequent creative placement within my design. I’m a huge lover of fresh, clean spaces, with clean lines, paired with intriguing patterns that are unexpected. European colour plays a huge part; lemon and pale blues I find utterly delicious and often use a pinch of these in detailing.

Dining room - Photo: Emma Merry

Living room. Photo: Emma Merry

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I feel that inspiration is something you collect, much like stamps! I have a colour book that I started when living in Spain 10 years ago and in it I’ve collected bottle tops, magazine adverts, drift wood chips, shells...anything that intrigued me went into the book with a brief explanation as to why it deserved its place. For me the Mediterranean island villages like Mallorca and Sardinia are just so authentic, with all the local craftsmanship. It’s the infectious enthusiasm for simple design that’s so enchanting. It all forms part of my design process.

Photo: Emma Merry
Photo: Emma Merry

Which recent projects are you particularly proud of?

‘Yew tree house’ is a project in Surrey, due for completion towards the end of the year. It has been a journey through every era of design, working with my clients to achieve a sleek and modern aesthetic in their renovated home with a touch of warmth and humility. The overall emphasis is on the clients’ values, like sustainability. We’ve looked at using mainly natural finishes, with flashes of high quality hybrid materials. I’m excited to get tactile with the finished space...hopefully in time for Christmas drinks!

How does lighting play a part in your work?

Lighting is usually my starting point; Lighting for me must strike, amaze and draw your attention to itself in order to attract the right atmosphere; depending on the feeling you’re trying to convey. It’s a critical element in achieving a night to day transformation and therefore a space that can be used for eat, work sleep or play.

Do you have a particular favourite cosy corner or room that you feel is 'all your own'?

Oh gosh, my home...well yes I’m a serial re-decorator! I’m often preparing the children’s dinner while holding a paintbrush in my hand….However I do love our living room at the front of our home. It’s my little piece of Europe: we have a huge bay window with full high glazing. The sun streams through, late afternoon and illuminates bounces off the vintage mirrors to illuminate the room and making it warm and inviting.

Do you have any tips for creating a 'cosy' space? Flank your cozy corner with identical lamps, ad this will create an eye catching feature and anchor the space each time you enter the room. Cozy is a feeling so ensure your lighting can be controlled with dimmer switches and use bulbs in warm colours.

Emma's cosy corner (complete with Wisteria lamp!). Photo: Emma Merry

Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light (and if so, why that one?)

All of them….! No, If I had to had to choose it would be the Wisteria glass table lamps, they are so effortlessly chic, classically timeless and for me the hero piece in any design set.

You can see more about Emma Merry's interior design service on her website, and follow her on Instagram here.