Emily Murray is a superstar... in pink! Founding The Pink House just over two and a half years ago, Emily has grown her business exponentially and created a recognisable brand and fabulous blog that we just love. With a background in journalism, advertising and stunt work (how cool is that?!!) the fabulous Emily is unafraid of a new challenge and embraces new projects with energy and optimism that really makes her unique. Living in London with her family, Emily's home decor is a true testament to her fearless sense of style and willingness to reject the status quo in favour of individuality and personality.
Looking to expand The Pink House from a blog/social channel to an inspiring brand, Emily is in the midst of a busy year with many exciting things ahead of her. So with a fantastic sense of humour, a whole lot of colourful energy and of course plenty of pink fabulousness we couldn't wait to catch up with Emily to ask her all about her house, her business and her favourite RSG treasures....
1. Let’s start at the very beginning. Tell us about yourself?
Hey! I’m an easily-bored, pink-loving adrenaline junkie who has worked as a stuntwoman, an advertising executive, a punt chauffeur and a journalist. But having my own business – The Pink House, which I launched nearly 2.5 years ago – is my best job ever; no two days – or two minutes! – are the same.
I have two boys aged 8 and 5, a long-suffering Pink House Husband and a love of gorgeous interiors that make you want to lick the walls. I grew up in Edinburgh, met the Pink House Husband in Cambridge, moved to London for 12 years, back to Edinburgh for 7 years while the kids were little, and a year ago we moved back to London again, this time to the South East. And I couldn’t be happier!
2. Before you launched The Pink House, you worked as a lifestyle journalist writing for magazines such as Stylist and Grazia. What inspired you to make a career move and launch The Pink House?
I always knew I wanted to start my own business after having kids. And it just so happened that the demise of print media coincided with me procreating. I decided to use my love of and experience with words to launch a business based initially on a blog. I decided to focus on interiors because I knew I’d never get bored of them – from my first childhood gang hut with its carefully curated display shelves and guest bathroom, through colour-coordinated student digs where I brought in my own furniture, to a lifelong love of fabulous hotel décor and doing up my own properties to reflect this love, home décor just does it for me. It’s been a joy sharing my aesthetic with the world and finding loads of likeminded pink fanatics!
3. 2017 was a big year for you – your blog, The Pink House, won best-written blog in the Amara Blog Awards and you have been listed by Stella Magazine as one of the Top 50 Instagram Influencers… that is seriously impressive! What exciting things does 2018 have in store for The Pink House?
My focus in 2018 is taking The Pink House offline (while maintaining the blog and @pinkhouseliving Insta account) and building a beautiful, inspiring brand that doesn’t rely on a digital presence. Social media is great for putting yourself out there, but ultimately it’s a platform owned by someone else. I want to build something that’s owned by me! My first offline venture (although you can buy them online) is a delicious limited edition range of handmade-in-Britain armchairs and cushions in collaboration with Sofas & Stuff. It’s such a thrill to see The Pink House branding embroidered on a hot pink label! Click here for more info.
4. Tell us a little about your home. What is it like? How does it reflect your personality and style?
It’s a series of spaces filled with things that make me - and the other inhabitants - happy. OK, so the Pink House Husband might prefer things to be a little more minimalist, but colour and pattern, plants and pink make ME happy, and you know what they say? Happy wife, happy life. Now I have my new range of The Pink House X Sofas & Stuff pink velvet and fern print armchairs and cushions, my home reflects my pink-and-plant-loving personality even better!
5. You moved back to London after living in Edinburgh. What was the first thing that you did when you moved into your Edwardian property?
I tackled the sitting room first – I needed a space for Christmas photoshoots! So weeks after moving in I was ripping up laminate to reveal original floorboards, reinstalling period-style cornicing, building in shelves and cupboards, and painting the whole thing a rich, dark blue. Special shout out to the stunning pink velvet curtains made by the clever London Curtain Girls for this room. They’re two of the most luxurious things I’ve ever owned.
6. What was the inspiration behind the re-design of your kitchen?
My kitchen, which Herringbone Kitchens helped me sort out - they were incredibly patient with me! Pink and green and plants and marble and brass are all the reasons why I love this room. And I’m obsessed with my Bert & May tiles. And the gold Bend Goods bar stools. And the Buster + Punch cabinet handles. And...
7. You’ve recently redecorated your kitchen and the transformation is amazing! What was the inspiration behind the design?
The private woodland outside my back garden - I wanted to bring it into the house. And what better colour to pair with greenery? I think we all know the answer...
8. You are not afraid of colour when it comes to interior design. What would be your key piece of advice for someone who wants to incorporate more colour into their home?
Just choose your favourite shade and go for it! Honestly, there’s no trick, and it’s much harder to get wrong than you might think.
9. A lot of people live in homes that do not match up to the interior style that they truly want. Can you give us your three top tips for someone who is struggling to get the look they love?
1) Work out what truly makes you happy – make a Pinterest board or a good old-fashioned scrapbook of things that make your heart sing. Or even just use the Notes function on your phone. Use this as the basis for designing your home. No need to rush this – just keep your eyes open for those flashes of delight and note them down.
2) Use a simple mood boarding or designing tool – I love Canva – to see what colours and images look good together.
3) You don’t need to design the whole room at once. I’ve often started with one wallpaper of piece or art I’ve loved, put that up, then layered the décor bit by bit. Everything you add changes the look of the room, and doing it bit by bit means you do what feels right for YOU at every stage.
Oh and I have a tip 4: try not to compromise on the design of a room with the person you live with. Compromise in design usually ends in disaster – no-one ends up liking it. For tips on how to win the interior war see this blog post, I wrote: Getting Your Own Way.
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love?
The starburst pendant lamp- just what I’m looking for to glam up my family room. I love the vintage bus blinds - we bought the Archway Station one to remind us of our North London home when we moved to Edinburgh. Now we’re in South London it’s a daily reminder of the delights that lie north of the river! Thirdly, I’ve always wanted an indoor swing and the Swing With The Plants - Green would do very nicely.
Quick Fire Questions
- I am happiest when… I’m anticipating a risky-yet-exciting new venture while eating Galaxy Cookie Crumble and drinking Laurent Perrier Rose.
- My favourite magazine is… Livingetc.
- My dream holiday would be… Joali Maldives – I was sent a press release about it recently and it soundly heavenly. They had me at ‘liquid nitrogen ice cream corner’.
- My ideal day would be spent…. mountain biking fast downhill at Glentress in Scotland then lunch at Marcus at the Berkeley with the husband (helicopter/time travel machine required here). Followed by an afternoon in the Mandarin Oriental ESPA spa with girlfriends, afternoon tea and cake with my kids at Ham Yard, a dance class at Pineapple Studios then the evening spent watching Game of Thrones while drinking pink champagne. Then nightcaps in Soho House Greek Street’s circle bar with mates and a bed for the night at Claridges. Not that I’ve given it much thought…
- My personal motto is… you get out what you put in.
- My guilty pleasure is… I don’t feel guilt over pleasure.
- The last film I saw was… Tully. I cried during the entire film. In a good way.
- My favourite book is… The Rainbow, by D.H. Lawrence.
- In five years’ time, I want to be… running a team of people who work for The Pink House; writing my 3rd book; still able to do a backflip.
- The three things I can’t live without are… heart, lungs, Chloe boots (that’s 5 – sorry)