The View From My Window:
At home with lifestyle blogger Emily Murray ...
HEN you are a successful lifestyle journalist, living the high life at glamorous parties in fabulous bars and stylish hotels, life is busy. Life is sparkly. Life is full of fabulousness.
So when real life, in the shape of parenthood, brings you back down to earth with a baby-sized bump, what do you do?
You don’t give up on the fabulous, according to awardwinning blogger and interiors specialist Emily Murray. You just change the focus - and let your house take up the slack.
“The parties, posh hotels and late nights are less frequent,” admits Emily, who has written for and edited a vast collection of publications, including national newspapers and glossy magazines like Glamour, Grazia and Cosmopolitan.
“The blog was the next big step for me – I knew after I had kids I wanted to pour everything into a business of my own, and I’m delighted with the response I’ve had.”
The blog, which covers everything from travel, food and drink to interior design, art and expert advice, is called The Pink House and within a year of launching, Emily has picked up a raft of impressive clients and a prestigious bloggers’ award.
“Winning the Amara Interior award for best newcomer was fantastic, and I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing clients, from M&S and Laing the Jeweller to River Island,” she explains.
“The Pink House is all about taking interiors inspiration and advice from fabulous people and places and using it to make your own place amazing.”
The Pink House is also the name of Emily’s home in Edinburgh, where she lives with husband Euan and sons Oscar, 7, and four-yearold Zac.
It’s a spectacular Victorian terraced house, on a hidden gem of a street called Glenisla Gardens in the Grange area of the city.
The Pink House is now on the market (offers over £740,000 with Coulter’s, 0131 603 7333, www. coultersproperty.co.uk) as the Murrays are moving back to London, where they lived for several years before their children were born.
“Our friends all think we’re a bit mad to leave, but we miss London,” smiles Emily.
“My older son just didn’t sleep. After 10 months we conceded defeat and fled north to Edinburgh, which is where I grew up and where my parents and my husband’s parents aka childcare and help are. This was the first house we saw and I’ll be honest, it had me at hallway. I just felt instantly moved by it.
"I loved the whole street, actually – it reminded us of London because of all the different coloured fronts.”
The Pink House wasn’t always pink, as Emily explains.
“I painted it pink,” she says, proudly. “It was white when we moved in. I painted it around the time I was thinking about starting my blog and wondering what to call it – I knew it would have an interior design focus, I wanted it to encapsulate fun and colour and all the things you love about your home, so The Pink House seemed to fit.
“At the very least, and I can say this now Euan has left the room, our new house will have a pink front door….” Emily and Euan made some changes to the Edinburgh house – replacing the roof, restoring old fireplaces, knocking through the kitchen to make a larger, open plan area – but many fine period features such as original brass lightswitches and cornicing remain intact.
“It’s a big house, with plenty of space and high ceilings, but it’s not too imposing,” explains Emily.
“I like the open plan space, but I also like feeling cosy in the winter, which seems to go on forever in this part of the world. It’s what I call a human-sized house.” Emily features her own home on her blog, which also showcases some of the most exciting new design talent from around the country. Recently, she took part in one of the panel discussions at Scotland Re:Designed, the annual national showcase of fashion, accessories and interior design held in Glasgow. The future for the industry in Scotland, she says, is bright.
“One of the interesting things about Scottish designers is their willingness to embrace the country’s rich textile heritage, but to move it forward at the same time,” she says.“Scotland a very exciting place to be for new talent.”
AT HOME WITH EMILY
HOME IS ... A five-bedroomed, pink-ish Victorian terraced house in an Edinburgh cul de sac, with lots of Arts and Crafts details and a fine view of Blackford Hill. MY FAVOURITE ROOM IS … The living room, with its green sofa and fireplace and bay window overlooking the garden and trees and the hills beyond. GARDEN OR WINDOW BOX? I love my garden, but I’m not a gardener. I’m the opposite of green-fingered, which means I am pink-fingered. My mother, who is a brilliant gardener, despairs of me. At the moment, the garden is bare, full of discarded space hoppers and climbing frames, waiting for spring. THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW IS… Beautiful, over the garden to Blackford Hill. I love being cosy and warm inside and looking out on to the cold outside – I can see people walking on the crest of the hill, and a chilly pigeon shivering on a branch nearby. FAVOURITE PLACE NEARBY? My parents’ house because they will cook for me and look after the kids and I get time to drink tea and check Instagram.
‘‘ This was the first house we saw and I’ll be honest, it had me at hallway. I just felt instantly moved by it. I loved the whole street, actually – it reminded us of London.
IF I DIDN’T LIVE HERE, I’D WANT TO LIVE London. I love it and I miss it, so I’m going back….. Emily was interviewed by Ann Fotheringham. Read more on Emily’s blog at www.pinkhouse. co.uk