As a child, Emilie spent her summer days at the beach searching for shells and watching boats sail toward the horizon of Long Island Sound. She would retreat to a home full of ikat upholstery, blue and white ginger jars, and Chinoiserie wall coverings. She loved to get lost in the bustling world of the pagodas and people who lived in those Asian villages.
Her recent honeymoon in Thailand reignited a nostalgia for shells and Chinoiserie, and Emilie’s inspiration for her blog was born. Her childhood pastime had grown into an adult pursuit to find this familiar, yet faraway combination of the beach and Asian inspired design. Through Shell & Chinoiserie, Emilie writes about her design interests, ranging from flea-market finds, to DIY crafts, to travel.
I adore Emilie's budget-friendly design "Monday Makeovers"... Here is an amazing remake of one of my favorite rooms by Barclay Butera, proving that high style can be achieved at low cost.
Click here for additional information and pricing. And check out this stunning wallpaper Emilie found at The Home Depot! What a deal!!
China Toile Wallpaper from The Home Depot
Here, Emilie recreates the cover of the June issue of Coastal Living for less than $1,800!
Intrigued by her story and her blog, I asked to conduct a Q&A with Emilie to learn more!
Q: Do you have any professional decorating experience?
A: None at all whatsoever (but my husband says he’ll give me five dollars for our apartment so I can call myself a professional).
Long story short: I have always found myself impacted by my environment and place much value on creating beautiful and inviting spaces through interior decorating.
In college I came within a hair of becoming a wedding planner, but ultimately took another job at a women’s fashion/lifestyle magazine in New Orleans, which folded after Katrina. Somehow I ended up in Boston with a master’s degree in clinical social work and a certificate in family therapy, so sadly my decorating has always been confined within the walls of my own home, but I certainly would love to expand to other homes, as well!
Q: It sounds like your Mother has fantastic taste! Would you say she has been the primary influence for your design style? Any other decorators who have influenced you?
A: My mother had fantastic taste—and it was taste, as it just came naturally to her because she never seemed to have to try. She inherited some beautiful pieces (including a five foot tall porcelain pagoda!), and she would incorporate them seamlessly with current pieces, making our home beautiful and comfortable. She really had an eye for mixing patterns, too—floral, tartan, ikat, toile, and Chinoiserie...
I also have four older sisters and they all have fabulous taste as well, but we all have such different styles! It’s fun to see how we have each been influenced by our upbringing and applied it in our homes.
My mother had the biggest influence on my style, but I have also been influenced by travel, and certainly by professional decorators. My first love was Rachel Ashwell with her Shabby Chic empire, but my style is evolving as I mature and also attempt to incorporate a man (my husband) into my once very soft style. These days I am gravitating toward bolder colors and more tailored interiors. Right now I am obsessed with John Knott and John Fondas of Quadrille. I love Meg Braff, Barclay Butera, India Hicks, and Mary McDonald. I am also keeping a close eye on Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home, and Anna Spiro of Black and Spiro.
Q: You are currently living in Boston, but moving to Charleston… What brings you to Charleston, and will you be sharing your decorating adventures with your readers?
A:Yes, we are currently in Boston, but we recently made the decision to move back to Charleston, where I spent much of my later childhood, where my husband and I went to college, and where my father still lives. I will miss so much about Boston, but really look forward to the endless inspiration and sophistication that Charleston has to offer in the form of architecture, antiques, boutiques, and—of course—the beach!
I am hopeful this transition in our lives will also allow me to pursue my passion for interior decorating in a more professional manner, and I absolutely plan to share our journey with my readers! It is always so much fun to get a glimpse into someone else’s life—to see how they interpret and approach things—especially decorating! I think you will see my posts getting a bit more personal as we search for and (eventually) find a home, and then decorate! Stay tuned!
Thank you, Emilie, for sharing with us your impeccable taste, and for taking us inside your personal life! I’m so excited to follow your journey!
Click here to visit Shell & Chinoiserie, and make sure to follow Emilie on Pinterest! She is one of my absolute favorite Pinners!
Emilie from Shell & Chinoiserie