At Home With: Emily Murray
If you’re forever hunting for homeware inspo (any excuse for some retail therapy, right?), then get your shopping list ready. Our new "At Home With" series has led us down a cobbled Scottish path to the wonderful pink house of Emily Murray. For an expert opinion on how to easily update our interiors and "who to follow" in the design world, we asked our fave pink lady for the 411. Get ready for lots of giggling and serious décor lusting, as Emily shows us how to sass up your living space for summer – this grrl knows how to decorate…
First off, we have to ask: is your house pink?
It definitely is! It’s rather a pale pink, though – Farrow & Ball’s Cinder Rose – and it’s faded a bit in the sun. “Thank goodness for that!” says the Pink House Husband. (He’s kinda had enough of pink, poor guy…)
You’re the face behind the space, so tell us a little about yourself.
Where do we start? Well…I’m a thirty-something mum to two crazy, gorgeous little boys and I love doing handstands on tables (I used to do gymnastics for Scotland and was a sponsored freerunner back in the day). I’m also the founder/editor of the interior design inspiration blog The Pink House, which is all about having a fun, fabulous home. And I’m a lifestyle journalist who has written for lots of different magazines like Glamour, Grazia, Cosmopolitan and Stylist.
Who else lives with you in the fabulous Pink House?
The aforementioned crazy little boys, plus a slightly less crazy big boy, AKA the long-suffering Pink House Husband.
How would you describe your design style in three words?
Fun, fabulous, pink!
What does "home" mean to you?
A place where you can truly express yourself and find inspiration every day. And a place where the crunch of Cheerios can be heard underfoot, morning, noon and night!
Where do you get the inspo for your dreamy décor?
So many different places: Instagram; magazines (especially Livingetc – I’m obsessed); blogs (Kate Watson-Smyth’s "Mad About The House" has so many great ideas); Pinterest; brands’ press days; the houses I visit and write about for The Pink House…
We’ve spent a whole lotta time stalking your Insta feed and blog pics – it’s totally impossible for us to a pick a fave room in the Pink House! Which is yours?
It’s our open-plan kitchen/family/living room. I love the big, south-facing bay window looking out over the trees and hills, and how the green velvet sofa picks up the green of the leaves. There are so many pretty period details in this room that give the space character, like the mouldings, the mantelpiece, the original floorboards and the paneling around the windows. I’ve picked these out in a creamy white that contrasts against the darker gray walls, to really draw attention to them.
Faux plant $4
What has always traveled with you from home to home?
My ancient yellow security blanket, "Blankie"! Sadly, Blankie was banished from the marital bed more than 10 years ago, but I still keep him (yes, he’s male) in his very own personalized blue satin pouch in my wardrobe. I shouldn’t really be telling you this...!
What’s your advice for crafting a home that stands the test of time?
Look at how you like to dress. What color are you most comfortable wearing? That will work nicely on your walls. Your fave "dressing up" colors? They’ll be great for fabrics and cushions. And your go-to accessory color will be perfect for color pops in your home, too. OK, maybe this is over-simplifying things: but looking at how you decorate your body is definitely a good place to start when it comes to decorating your home in a way you’ll feel comfortable with every day.
Can you give us an interior insider hack?
I’m a huge fan of Valtti paint – it’s amazing for transforming cheap, nasty kitchen cabinets because it sticks to laminate.
How do you spend your time outside the home?
You can often find me working at the offices of Scotland’s largest lifestyle magazine, "i-on": I write a décor column for them. Or jetting back and forth to London for press events/cheeky nights out with friends! I’d like to say I go to the gym regularly too, but sadly that would be a lie...
Okay, quick-fire round:
Tea or coffee? Tea, unless it’s a caramel latte with whipped cream.
Appetizer or dessert? Dessert.
Beach or adventure? Adventure, followed by beach.
Candles or cushions? Cushions. Oh no – I mean candles... Both?!
If you were to throw a Pink House dinner party, who’d be at your table? (Past or present, it’s up to you).
Tom Hardy (obvs), Channing Tatum (please don’t show this to my husband), Emmeline Pankhurst (the suffragette – props to her), Madonna, Russell Brand, Sheryl Sandberg, UK comic Russell Howard.
What’s your fave memory living in the Pink House?
So many! It’s been a privilege to come home to this very special, multi-colored street every day (we’re the pink house – the other 14 houses are green, blue, yellow, orange, etc). But one particular dinner party which ended with our guests firing whipped cream at each other does spring to mind…
As total blog addicts, we’re always looking for new sites to drool over! Who should we be following right now for interior design inspo?
You can’t go wrong with the brilliantly-written Swoon Worthy, run by style genius Kimberly who's all about "eclectic boho glam". For pretty-as-a-picture rooms that give you the feels, try Little Big Bell (owner Geraldine is a fellow pink lover). And I’d definitely recommend checking out Sarah Akwisombe, not just for her unique, don’t-give-a-damn style, but for her excellent advice if you're an aspiring blogger too.
"Beautiful encaustic tiles, reclaimed parquet, plush carpet – these are the bones of a beautiful house for me"
You’re about to embark on one heck of a move (from Edinburgh to London!): where will you start in decorating your new home? Will you recreate any of the original Pink House décor?
There are a few bits of building work I’d like to get out of the way first, like knocking down a bathroom to make the hallway bigger and building a new one by extending the house sideways. Then I want to tackle the floors – beautiful encaustic tiles, reclaimed parquet, plush carpet – these are the bones of a beautiful house for me. Décor-wise, I’m definitely planning to use gray paint on some of the walls like in our current house: it really helps bright colors pop out. And of course all our furniture and accessories are coming with us. Just need to figure out where to put my pink neon "play" sign for maximum irritation of the Pink House Husband…
Thanks Emily – we’re more obsessed with the Pink House than ever! Tell us one more thing: where else can we stalk you?!
Please be my Pink House Guest! Join me on Instagram at @pinkhouseliving, where I hang out a lot of the time! I’m also on Pinterest, @pinkhousechats on Twitter and on Facebook. See you soon – I’ll make tea!
To see just how Emily and Susie pulled together this beautiful shoot with Primark, click here for some behind the scenes action in ThePink House's latest post!