At Home With: Emily Murray
If you’re forever on the hunt for homeware inspiration (any excuse to hit the shops, right?), then have your shopping list at the 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 update our interiors with ease, and ‘who to follow’ in the interior world, we asked our favourite pink lady for the low-down. Prepare for lots of giggling, and serious interior lusting, as Emily shows us how to sass up your living space for summer - this gal knows how to decorate…
First up, we have to ask… is your house pink?
It certainly 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 a bit fed up of pink, poor lamb…
You’re the face behind the space, tell us a little about yourself…
Where to 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 inspiration blog The Pink House which is all about having a fun, fabulous home. And I’m a lifestyle journalist who has written for loads of different magazines including 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 interior 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 find the inspiration 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 pictures, it’s impossible for us to a pick a favourite 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, including the cornicing, the mantelpiece, the original floorboards and the panelling round the windows. I’ve picked these out in a creamy white that contrasts against the darker grey walls, to really draw attention to them.
What has always travelled 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 personalised 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 colour are you most comfortable with wearing? That will work nicely on your walls. Your favourite ‘dressing up’ colours? They’ll be great for soft furnishings. And your go-to accessory colour pops will be perfect for colour 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 tip?
I’m a huge fan of Valtti paint – it’s amazing for transforming cheap, nasty kitchen cupboards as it sticks to laminate.
How do you spend your time outside the home?
I’m often to be found working at the offices of Scotland’s largest lifestyle magazine, i-on, for whom I write an interiors column. 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:
Tea or coffee? Tea, unless it’s a caramel latte with whipped cream
Starter 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, Russell Howard
What’s your favourite memory from living in the Pink House?
So many! It’s been a privilege to come home to this very special, multi-coloured 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 covering each other with squirty cream does spring to mind…
As relentless blog readers, we’re always looking for new sites to drool over! Who should we be following right now for interior inspo?
You can’t go wrong with the brilliantly-written Swoon Worthy, run by style genius Kimberly who is all about ‘eclectic boho glam’. For pretty-as-a-picture rooms with that feel-good factor, try Little Big Bell - plus owner Geraldine is a fellow pink lover. And I’d definitely recommend checking out Sarah Akwisombe, not just for Sarah’s unique, don’t-give-a-damn style, but for her excellent advice if you, too, are an aspiring blogger.
'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, including knocking down one 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 grey paint on some of the walls like in our current house, as it really helps bright colours to pop out. And of course all our furniture and accessories are coming with us. Just need to work 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 and join me over on Instagram at @pinkhouseliving, where I’m to be found hanging out a lot of the time! I’m also on Pinterest, @pinkhousechats on Twitter and on Facebook. See you soon – I’ll get the kettle on!
To see just how Emily and Susie pulled together this beautiful shoot with Primark, click here for some behind the scenes action in The Pink House's latest post!