Having worked as a buyer for some of the UK's top luxury interior retailers, Homewings designer Emma Robinson is an interior designer like no other. She founded Oh I Love That in 2012, with the desire to provide great design for any budget, and this philosophy has become imbedded in her always impeccable interiors. "I always aim to design functional spaces that have an added touch of something special" she says, "making a home a real joy to live in". We sat down with her to talk all things interiors, inspiration and to get to know the woman behind the designs.
"I think that good design is a backdrop to your life. It is functional, beautiful and allows you to be yourself."
What is your favourite space to design?
I love designing bedrooms and living rooms. Bedrooms are such personal spaces and are generally not seen by all guests, so it's a chance to make a very personal statement. Living rooms by contrast are seen by most guests, so it's a real chance to show who you are on a more public scale. I love filling all rooms I design with the owner's personality.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself as a designer?
I am a listener, a creative, and very determined.
If you could travel to any point in time - what era would you love to live and design in?
I'd actually like to stay here! My personal style is definitely eclectic and I love borrowing pieces from years gone by and pairing them with new things. I'm not sure that was really possible/applauded at any other time and I really enjoy the perspective that we have today.
What drew you to become an interior designer?
I've had a love for interiors from before I fully understood what 'design' was. I was forever moving furniture around my room at my parents house and my lovely dad would often come home to find me in a half painted room looking for help with the other half!
Tell us about a project, or projects, that you feel have shaped you as a designer.
Children's bedrooms force me to be my most creative. They are often not the largest of spaces, and you really need to make the most of every inch. I designed a bedroom for a client's son who was fascinated with space. The greatest challenge was to balance practical, height-appropriate storage with a fun vibe, whilst ensuring the design stood the test of time and didn't require a complete refit in a year or two. I also had to make sure that my real client (a 5 year old boy) loved the room just as much as his mum did! I love a challenge, and seeing the end result and receiving great feedback from client always reminds me why I started.
What are your top 5 failsafe tips for making a statement?
Mirrors, Oversized Art, Statement lighting, Bold colours (dark or bright) and Fresh flowers (lots of them!).
What is one of your favourite interior trend crushes?
Forest green walls with brass accents!
If you could only decorate with one colour for the rest of your life - what would it be?
Grey. It's the perfect backdrop. Hopefully I'd still be allowed some colourful cushions and throws!
What is your favourite item or material to work with?
Paint - it can completely transform almost anything. It still amazes me how colour can completely transform a room and even just moving furniture around can change how you feel about a space.
I think it is so important to feel solace at home, whatever that means for you. Everyone deserves to walk into a home that reflects them and puts a smile on their face - that is why I became a designer. It may sound cheesy but design to me is more than just a look. It's a feeling.
In your opinion, what are the most common interior design myths?
There are 3 main ones. The first is that great design is expensive. You really do not need to spend a fortune to have a beautiful home. There are affordable retailers creating some fantastic pieces.
The second is that you can't personalise rental spaces. You might not be able to decorate your space exactly how you want it but there are always ways to let your personality shine through wherever you are. If you aren't allowed to repaint, then temporary wallpaper or large pieces of art might do the trick! And don't underestimate the difference some cushions and throws can make.
And lastly, that you have to do it all at once! Creating a home that truly reflects you takes time. Yes, you can buy your larger pieces all at once but creating a collection of objects that you love or finding a piece of art that really sings to you can take some time - but that is all part of the joy!
Dream big - what would your ideal design project be and who would you be designing for?
I'd love to design a city apartment for Tracee Ellis Ross. I am a colour fiend and I absolutely love her style and use of colour in fashion so I hope that would extend to her home. Something really edgy and fun!
In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
Ultimately the people in it... but it helps when it's beautiful! I think that good design is a backdrop to your life. It is functional, beautiful and allows you to be yourself.
If you’re loving what you see, why not start your one-on-one home transformation with Emma today? Click here to learn how it works, or enquire now to put us to the test and learn more about how we can transform your home into your happy place!