At home with…


Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: LARA WAT­SON Pho­to­graphs: RACHAEL SMITH

Take a tour of the house that in­spired Emma White’s in­te­ri­ors busi­ness

For many of us, the prospect of do­ing up a new space is the very thing that gets us through the stress of mov­ing house. For Emma White, her new home projects went a step fur­ther, in­spir­ing her blog, Apogee In­te­ri­ors, and the re­al­i­sa­tion she should re­ally be in in­te­rior de­sign. Now back at uni af­ter spend­ing years work­ing in hu­man re­sources, she’s in her el­e­ment.

The be­gin­nings of this new life started in Emma’s three-bed, 1970s semide­tached prop­erty in Es­sex, which she shares with her hus­band Dave and Teddy the cat. “We’d seen about 15 houses be­fore this one, but noth­ing was quite right. At the view­ing we made an o er im­me­di­ately, there and then. It has a south-fac­ing gar­den, big rooms… it was per­fect for us.”

The house needed very lit­tle work, mainly just re­dec­o­ra­tion – an­other plus­point for the cou­ple. The only struc­tural change was for Emma’s favourite project to date: hav­ing Crit­tall-style doors in­stalled in the liv­ing room. It’s the first thing you see on be­ing wel­comed in, and some­thing the Whites have al­ways wanted. “Be­cause this house is fairly mod­ern, there are no pe­riod fea­tures. The doors add so much char­ac­ter.”

This home is full of per­son­al­ity, and luck­ily, Emma and Dave have sim­i­lar tastes. Though it’s eclec­tic, bring­ing in Scandi-style, a bo­hemian vibe and in­dus­trial el­e­ments, the colour scheme is based around an earthy pal­ette – navy, grey, rus­sets, blush, mus­tard yel­low, moss green, an­tique brass and gold, which holds it all to­gether. Emma is much more

“The liv­ing room is a space for en­ter­tain­ing, so I’ve made room for a drinks trol­ley.”

drawn to the “au­tum­nal ver­sions” of colours rather than pas­tels. “We’re re­ally lucky that Dave and I go for the same things,” says Emma. “The only thing we’ve ar­gued about is when I wanted to paint a room the same colour as an­other – he likes each space to be to­tally di er­ent.”

And that’s gen­er­ally the ap­proach Emma takes when dec­o­rat­ing: room by room, rather than a con­tin­u­ous flow around the house. “I base a room on its func­tion­al­ity,” Emma ex­plains. “I try to think about how I want to use it first. With the liv­ing room, we have friends around a lot, so it’s an en­ter­tain­ing space. I’ve made room for a drinks trol­ley and state­ment pieces like our dual tone sofa. In the bed­room, I wanted to soften things up, so there are lots of mixed fab­rics to cre­ate a cosy at­mos­phere.” Some­thing that also adds per­son­al­ity to this home is the fur­ni­ture Dave has made. As a com­puter mod­eller in the car in­dus­try, he works in de­sign and is “quite handy,” as Emma puts it. “My hus­band makes a lot of fur­ni­ture. He made our hall­way ta­ble be­cause we couldn’t find one slim enough that we liked.” Dave made a cor­ner cup­board in the cou­ple’s bed­room too. Other fur­ni­ture comes from

“There are lots of mixed fab­rics to cre­ate a cosy at­mos­phere.”

MADE, Swoon and IKEA, but Emma does her best to up­cy­cle and thrift. “We bought Er­col-style chairs on eBay and I painted them grey and added some cop­per to them as well. We try to give things our own feel.”

For fur­nish­ings, Emma raves about the high street. “I’m 100% H&M Home. It’s good value, and they’re al­ways on top of all the styles.” Sains­bury’s Home also comes with a rec­om­men­da­tion – “I was in there to­day and picked up a ta­ble run­ner.”

Emma’s top styling tips? Plan, plan, plan. “When you’re re­dec­o­rat­ing, make sure you mea­sure ev­ery­thing, and it’s handy to cre­ate a moodboard. It’s ex­pen­sive to ‘undo’ a colour choice in a bath­room tile, for in­stance. Bring bits to­gether to help you vi­su­alise how it’s go­ing to work.” Emma’s also a fan of

‘shop­ping your home’ – look­ing around the house be­fore you buy new. “Use what you have. Buy­ing more just adds mess.”

This kind of ad­vice forms a sig­nif­i­cant part of Emma’s blog now the ren­o­va­tions are more or less fin­ished. She’ll look at trends and easy up­dates, share what she’s learning at uni, how you’d use the de­sign process in your own home, and how you might go about chang­ing ca­reers too. “When we started do­ing our house up, I en­joyed it so much I made the big de­ci­sion to re­train. It’s ex­cit­ing and time­con­sum­ing, but I love it.”

How apt then that Emma named her blog Apogee – the high­est point in the jour­ney, a cul­mi­na­tion of her pas­sions. Emma blogs about in­te­rior styling at www. apogeein­te­ri­ and shares corners of her home on In­sta­gram at @apogee_in­te­ri­ors.

01 Emma’s hus­band built this lit­tle cup­board for her “get ready” cor­ner.

03 Botan­i­cal fa­nat­i­cal – these are from De­se­nio.

02 “I love a shelf above the bed as you can eas­ily change things around!”

04 Teddy the cat is clearly the true king of the cas­tle.

01 “I do love a vi­gnette!” Emma’s con­stantly styling lit­tle corners.

03 The liv­ing room is brighter since the Crit­tall-style doors were fit­ted.

02 The moon ban­ner in Emma’s bed­room is from Ur­ban Out­fit­ters.

04 Emma likes navy blue and “old cop­per”, for a richer tone.

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