What a night! It was so fabulous to host my friends, family and media contacts last week at private business club CUB in Darlinghurst.
I ummed and ahhed about hosting a book launch party for a long time and then decided that it was worth the effort and money to do it as I would probably regret not throwing a huge party to celebrate. I couldn’t let the release date pass without some sort of party so I embraced it and threw a big party.
It was a bit like when you are a child and you invite your entire class to your party and then sit and wonder if anyone will actually turn up. I was blown away when I made my speech looking around the room and seeing 50-60 of my favourite people in one place.
How I Styled The Venue
I use the CUB private business club most weeks for meetings or to work from so I was lucky to have a beautiful space that only needed a bit of styling and I could access the venue well before the event started and make a mess arranging flowers!
The book launch was on a Thursday evening so the day before I was up at 5am to go to the flower markets and purchase as many pink roses as I could find. I didn’t have a flower theme for the event, I just knew I wanted the flower to match the book and the roses at the markets kept appearing in the perfect colour combinations so roses it was. I also raced around ordering big balloons for the entry way and a few more vases from West Elm (you can never have enough vases right?!) then to buy tissue paper to wrap any book purchases in and white paper bags.
I had already ordered a Square credit card reader to take credit card payments on the night to sell the book, candles and my stationery range with Little Branch so I was all set up and ready for books to fly off the shelves.
On the Thursday morning I was up early packing the car with props, flowers and all the books ready to take to the venue. I stopped and got my hair and make up done on the way in so I didn’t need to fuss about later in the day and then Alicia (my PR manager from Harper Collective) and I picked up the balloons and headed to the venue to start setting up. We started putting the flowers together at about 3pm into all the vases and the lovely staff at CUB moved two beautiful mirrored bookshelves into the entryway ready for me to style up a storm. I roped my business pal Elyse into helping me set up the bookshelves and she did a fabulous job of collecting props and stacking the shelves with books. I varied the items on the shelves by mixing up horizontal stacks of books with vertical stacks of books, I grouped candles together and then popped the vases of roses in the blank spots. It all came together reasonably easily which was a win!
It was a bit of a pink explosion on the shelves, I don’t think I’ve ever been allowed to go SO rogue with pink ever in my life, it was so pretty!
Once the shelves were stacked with books I quickly got dressed and was ready to greet guests at the entry. One by one they all filtered in and my lovely friend Dorina came in holding the most beautiful tray of cookies she had baked for the occasion with the word HOME stamped into them and watercolour fondant in the same colours as the book. So much love!
We all chatted and mingled for an hour or so before Claire Bradley, editor of Inside Out Magazine got up and introduced me to the crowd and then I had my turn thanking all the amazing people that helped me along the book journey. It was so nice to be able to publicly thank them and acknowledge all of their efforts. It might be my name on the book title but it wasn’t a solo effort to get it onto shelves.
After speeches were done everyone ran to the shelves to buy their own copies of the book for me to sign. It was so fun being able to write little notes in my friends books and to think that they’ll have it on their shelves with a personalised message for years.
We continued to party until late and kicked on with some family and close friends at the local pizza place! It was a bit of struggle to get up the next day and pack things up but it was worth it 😉
A huge thank you to Alicia for all her efforts helping me organise and set up the event, to Elyse for hustling like there’s no tomorrow for the entire set up and at the launch and a huge thank you to everyone who came along and supported me on the night, it was so magical to share the occasion with you all. As I said in my speech, often we only stop and celebrate achievements in our personal lives rather than business or career achievements so I wanted to stop and celebrate this milestone with my favourite people.
Although the book has now sold out on my website you can pre-order a copy via this link for delivery mid-April.
I’m running our signature eCourse PLAN-DECORATE-LIVE again this month over at The Decorating School.
The 6 week course is jam packed full of juicy details teaching you exactly how I run a decorating project (hint: PLANNING IS EVERYTHING) through to actually going shopping and feeling confident in your choices.
What you’ll learn in 6 weeks…
- Week 1: Where to find inspiration + The principles of Decorating
- Week 2: What is a mood board and how to create one
- Week 3: Planning your floor plan
- Week 4: How to use colour and analysing your space
- Week 5: Going shopping without having a panic attack
- Week 6 Taking things next level
We’ve taught hundreds of students in the year that The Decorating School has been live and so often their reasons for signing up are the same….
– I have given up because I can’t figure out how to finish off my decorating project.
– My husband has banned me from buying anything else for the house because I can’t commit to anything for any longer than a week.
– I’m about to start renovating and the thought of choosing paint terrifies me.
– I’ve finally bought our dream family home but am paralysed by decorating decisions
Sound familiar?! You’re not alone. I’ve met so many clients over the years who have all doubted their ability to pull together a beautiful home but found that once they had a helping hand (AKA me!) they were much more confident in making purchase decisions and they found they learnt a few things along the way too. Many of them actually ended up enjoying the decorating process.
I’ve taken the stories I’ve heard clients tell me over the years and funnelled it into this eCourse. We teach the course via video, downloadable worksheets, module downloads and you get access to a private Facebook group where you can ask us any burning decorating questions you may have or check in with other students and see how you can help each other. It’s a great little community to be part of!
Enrolments are now open with the course kicking off on Sunday 26th March. We won’t be running the course again this year so there’s only going to be one enrolment period for 2017.
I have shared images of the front cover of my book a million times but I have hardly shared any peeks inside the book so it’s about time I showed you just how pretty it is on the inside.
How I Found My Illustrator
I’ve written previously about why I decided to have the pages illustrated rather than using photography but it’s time I told the story of how I found my illustrator, Maddison Rogers. Maddison and I met back in 2014 by chance one day when I was running a workshop in her sister’s store Gifts At Teacup in Roma, she had come to help out at the workshop. Between workshop classes Maddison and I got chatting about business and decorating. I mentioned to her that I was starting work on a book for a publisher and needed to find an illustrator to bring the vision to life. She casually mentioned that she could paint and I’m sure she’s regretting ever saying that because I put her to work almost immediately!! Maddison lives in Brisbane and I am in Sydney so we had many phone calls back and forth about the project and I flew up to Brisbane a couple of times to work on the illustrations with her. Together we put together a huge list of illustrations (almost 100) that needed to be painted to suit the content I was busy writing. Every few weeks Maddison would send me photos of the progress she was making and I would squeal and drop my phone with excitement each time she’d message me. Maddison runs her own pet product online store Forester Rogers, is working on a medical device with a couple of friends, works full-time at Coco Republic and still managed to find the time to paint for me. Oh and she’s still in her early twenties. Amazing right?!
Writing The Content
I had a 3 month time period to get the content and illustrations ready to submit to the publisher. I love procrastinating (I could write a book about how to spend your time procrastinating but I’d probably be too busy procrastinating to ever write it) so giving me a deadline is a very good thing. I think I wasted the first month thinking “yeh, yeh I’ll get to it soon”. Luckily I had worked out the table of contents for the book very early on prior to meeting with the publisher so I had the basic framework ready to go (I’d actually taken a lot of it from the workshops I run so it was rather simple to put together). The 3 month writing period fell over a Christmas break so I took the chance to write over Christmas/New Year and got about 80% of the book content finished before I had to dive straight back into client work again. I found the whole writing process relatively easy which was surprising, I always thought writing a book would be tedious and drawn out. Having a deadline significantly helped that’s for sure and knowing the topic you are writing about back to front definitely worked in my favour! The biggest challenge was motivating myself to sit down and write. I wasn’t writing all day every day, it was more like batching. I’d sit down and write for hours and hours then not touch it for a week or so.
I roped my mum and a handful of friends into reading the first draft. Mum read the manuscript three times, marking up changes in red pen as she went. I’m very grateful for her editing skills because every time I sat down to read the manuscript I’d get too caught up in judging my own work I’d forget to check spelling and grammar mistakes!
Maddison finished her illustrations a few hours before the deadline to send in the finished product. Just like Uni assignment days! Off it went to the publisher and the next stage of the journey began. I’ll write about that journey soon. I think I’ve probably bored you enough by now 😉
There are 11 chapters in the book and each one has a number of beautiful illustrators scattered throughout. One chapter that I spent a lot of time working on was the Home Office chapter. More and more my clients are converting spare rooms into a home office or study so I knew it was an important room to cover. Here’s a look at the opening pages of the Home Office chapter.
I’d be delighted if you ordered a copy of the book here.
I’m hitting the road and I’m not coming back… Jokes….. I’m gearing up for one of the biggest months in my career to date. My very first book HOME hits bookshelves on 1st March and to celebrate I thought I’d get on a plane and fly around to some of my favourite stores and thank everyone for their support. It’s been a mammoth task (to say the least) to get this book out there in the real world. For so long it was just a word document in an ugly font and a Dropbox folder full of scanned illustrations from Maddison my illustrator. So to see it in the flesh is pretty damn amazing.
If you’d like to come and join us for some fun and grab a copy of the book see the details below.
BOOK TOUR DATES
Saturday 11th March – join me at the Tara Dennis store in Sydney’s Wahroonga, there are very limited spots available for this intimate workshop. To reserve a ticket jump over to Tara’s website. If you haven’t already checked out her store you should, it’s absolutely stunning!
Thursday 16th & Friday 17th March – I’ll be setting up shop in my second home, Oaten’s store in Casino NSW (near Lismore/Ballina). You’re welcome to pop in at any time either day as I’ll be there working some styling magic in store. You can purchase a signed copy of the book too!
Saturday 18th March – come and visit me at Fine Things Gifts in Benowa on the Gold Coast from 10-12pm. Pop in between those times and chat all things decorating and books!
Sunday 19th March – my lovely friends at Sheets On The Line are putting on a little celebration for the book in their gorgeous Brisbane store at 11am. Just mosey on over to purchase a copy of the book in store and to chat all things decorating.
I’m so thrilled to announce that my book Home is officially now available to pre-order. It isn’t actually released until 1st of March however anyone who pre-orders through the site will be first to receive their copies from that date and I will even sign it for you! 😉 (What a draw card right?!)
I was lucky to receive my first author copy of the book in December and it’s been so difficult not to share a photo of it every day since then but the release date for the book is not until the 1st of March so I don’t want to bore you all with too many photos of the book until you can actually start purchasing it.
Where Is The Book Sold?
Because I have published the book with Hardie Grant Books the book will be available to purchase in all good bookstores across Australia as well as the big online book retailers,I can’t wait to walk into a bookstore and see my book on the shelf (a word to you all, if you see it on the shelf pull it to the front so it’s on full display please ;)). I will also be selling the books directly from my website which means I can sign them before I pop them in the snail mail to you.
Book Trailer Video
My videographer Lisa Zhu and I spent a long time filming a beautiful trailer to show you a bit more about what the book is about in a thinly veiled attempt to encourage you to pre-order. Take a little look below to see the inspiration behind the book as well as some peeks inside – I might be biased but I think it’s the prettiest book I have ever seen.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a long newsy blog post but it’s been for good reason, I’ve been busy writing something else… My very first decorating book!
We are a little while off pre-selling this bad boy (official release date is 1st March!) but I wanted to share the story of how this whole book came about before I start pressuring you all to buy it 😉
This is hands down the longest, largest project I’ve ever worked on. It has been full of highs as well as some significant and trying lows. This all started back in 2014 but I hardly told a soul… Looking back now I realise that’s because the first book publishing opportunity ended on a bad note and clearly I had some sort of gut instinct telling me this or I would have been shouting it from the rooftops…
Never in a million years did I expect to be the author of a decorating book by the age of 30. In fact, when I first spoke to a publisher about writing a book I even said “I always dreamed of writing a book one day” and literally meant 10 years from now! I guess the universe had other plans for me and brought that goal forward significantly. I won’t bore you with the details of the first year of the book journey because it was a long and difficult process that resulted in exiting from the contract and starting from scratch with a new publisher. Everything happens for a reason though and thanks to a number of lovely people in the industry I landed a publishing deal with Hardie Grant in February 2016.
How Did This Come About?
My vision for the book was for it to be a timeless classic full of decorating advice that follows a formula anyone can follow and something you could refer to for years and still be inspired by. This meant I wasn’t going to use photography. I’m an avid reader and have the largest collection of decorating books you could ever come across but one thing that bothers me is that some of my favourite books while the content is relevant and useful, the imagery is dated and uninspiring after a couple of years. So if I wasn’t using photography, how would I still have an engaging and useful interiors book…?
Illustrations tell such a different story to photography. They are evocative, expressive and not to mention, gorgeous to look at. My aim for the book is to spark creativity for the reader and inspire them to start a decorating project and watch their style evolve. I was worried that photography would mean readers would get caught up looking at the images and trying to find the exact same lamp/sofa/cushion for their own homes rather than using it as an opportunity to develop their skills. Illustrations allow for interpretation and they are also a timeless visual. Umm hello look at the cover, it’s beeeeautiful! (Biased much?!)
I had already started working on the book without giving much thought to who would actually illustrate the book… Luckily during a decorating workshop I was running in Roma QLD I got chatting to Maddison Rogers, who was helping out in the store during the workshop. I mentioned my book project to her and she casually mentioned she can illustrate. One thing led to another and before we knew it we were mapping out every single illustration in the book against my content plan. Maddison is based in Queensland so we worked a lot via email and hours and hours of phone calls pus a couple of flights up to see her work in the flesh to get the illustrations just right. Maddison took my vision and ran with it. Very rarely did we have to make any changes.
What’s Inside The Book?
The whole framework for the book was based around the 5 elements of decorating I teach at the decorating workshops I’ve been running for a number of years now. It was relatively easy to come up with the table of contents based on the workshops and then I expanded on each topic from there. The book starts off detailing the 5 elements of decorating and then moves room by room through the home showing you exactly how to apply the elements to each room yourself.
I will be sharing some photos of the inside of the book in the weeks leading up to the launch on March 1st so check back soon for a behind the scenes sneak peek.
Was it difficult writing a book?
I never thought I was much of a writer. I wrote countless essays at university but always left it to the last minute and took full advantage of the +/- 10% word count rule (hint, I was always in the minus 10%!). Yet writing the content for this book was not a difficult task. I certainly had moments of procrastinating but overall I quite enjoyed writing all 30,000 words. I think when you’re writing about a topic you are passionate about it comes easily. I will admit proof reading my work was a real struggle. I much preferred writing than re-reading so I enlisted the help of my very patient and clever mother who read the manuscript at least three times in full marking up her changes and advice as she read before I submitted it to the publishers. (Don’t worry, I thanked her in the book so she knows how grateful I am!)
Yes the book has my name on it but it took more than just me to get this book on shelves! Obviously the book wouldn’t be anything without the help of Maddison Rogers and her illustrative skills. There were a number of other special people who helped keep me focused and motivated to get it written and I have thanked them profusely in person and in the book.
Having now gone through the publishing process with two different publishers I can’t speak highly enough of the team at Hardie Grant. It’s a difficult thing handing over your manuscript and illustrations and entrusting your vision to come to life with a team you hardly know but the team I worked with understood what I wanted the book to be and brought it to life 100 times better than I could ever have envisaged. So many of my friends who have seen the front cover can’t believe how much it epitomises my entire being: my design aesthetic, my portfolio of work, my personal style and every photo I post on Instagram.
You’ve probably lost interest in the story now so I’ll wrap it up for now. A lot of people find the book publishing process fascinating (I certainly did) so I will share more soon.. I’ve been busy working on a super cute video to show you more of the book as well as a range of products with Little Branch and Maison Blanche. I won’t spoil the surprise yet but they are looking very very lovely so stay tuned!
If you’ve scrolled straight to the bottom, the book is released to all good book stores on 1st March. It will be available for pre-sale via this link very soon. You can enter your email address to be notified the second we are pre-selling!
Freelance Interior Stylist at emmablomfield.com – Sydney
We’re looking to expand our team with the upcoming release of Emma’s first decorating book due to hit shelves in March 2017. Emma will be shifting her focus to the book launch for the first half of 2017 so we are in need of an interior stylist to meet face to face with our clients and work directly with them to deliver above and beyond their expectations. You will work directly with Emma as well as our Assistant Stylist. Emma will oversee all decorating work and Holly will manage all client orders and invoicing so you can focus on the fun part – decorating!
This is a very rare opportunity and a great role for an experience interior stylist looking to pick up some additional hours each week.
Interior Stylist Job Description
Our ideal candidate will have at least 2 years experience in the industry, a solid understanding of the wholesale interior design supplier contacts, run their own business or a freelance stylist/decorator with own ABN. You will be independent, organised and ambitious as you will be running all projects from start to finish from initial consultations with clients, choosing furniture and decor and overseeing client relations throughout the decorating project.
You will have:
- Own ABN + Professional Indemnity Insurance – essential
- Own car + valid drivers licence – essential
- Modern, fresh and family focused eye for decorating
- Ideally qualified in interior decorating/styling/staging or similar – ideal but not necessary
- Reliable, well presented and personable with clients
- Independent and confident working on their own
- Intermediate computer literacy – specifically Microsoft Office programs + Photoshop (desired)
- Experience in the industry and proof of previous work is absolutely essential.
- Approximately 10-15 hours per week – will fluctuate throughout the year.
- Can work your own hours during the week so would suit someone part-time employed or looking for additional hours per week.
- Must be flexible with time and availability
- Job start – early-mid Feb
- Must be located in Sydney – ideally within 20km radius of Sydney CBD. Majority of work will be North Shore, Northern Beaches and Inner West.
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a phone interview.
Please submit resume along with any portfolio images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A year after launching The Decorating School’s online eCourses, I’m excited to announce we are bringing the school to life at the beautiful United Interiors showroom in Moorabbin, Melbourne on Friday 18th November.
Decorating your home is an exciting yet often daunting task. Simply moving into a new home is stressful enough, let alone thinking about how to decorate a brand new space. Whatever your decorating concerns the workshop will be beneficial for all stages of the decorating process. I’ve been teaching decorating workshops across Australia for a number of years now but haven’t made it to Melbourne yet so come and join me for a fun filled two hours to learn exactly how to turn your house into a home.
I will show you how to effortlessly put a look together, how to identify your style, plus teach you some general decorating 101 tips and tricks. You’ll walk away from the workshop with a mood board specifically created for a room in your home that you’d love to spruce up. And a head full of inspiration and ideas that can be put into action. All materials for the workshop are provided. Please feel free to bring along any photos of your home or floor plans to discuss your specific decorating concerns with me. PLACES ARE LIMITED (so that I am able to spend as much one-on-one time with each of you as possible).
Tickets cost $99 and include a welcome drink and yummy canapés as well as a $50 in-store voucher to use on the day (hello early Christmas present to yourself!)
Friday the 18th November
Location: 253 Wickham Rd, Moorabbin, VIC
I’m just back from a whirlwind trip to Melbourne where I styled up a storm at the United Interiors brand spanking new showroom which officially opens to the public on Monday 18th July. United Interiors (formerly United Artworks) hasn’t had a physical presence until now so if you’ve been lusting after a piece of their gorgeous hand painted canvases you can pop into their Moorabin store and check it out in the flesh for yourself. I’ve got my eye on quite a few pieces now I’ve spent a day playing with them.
As well as artworks, you’ll also find some beautiful rugs from my lovely friend James Treble, a framed print range from The Block stars Alisa and Lysandra and a stunning range of homewares from Basic Habitat. All of these collaborations worked so well together as I wandered around picking and choosing my props for each photo.
Photographer: Ren Pidgeon
It’s been a little quiet around here on the blog and that’s with good reason… I’ve been busy preparing the next eCourse for The Decorating School and I can reveal today that enrolments are officially open! Woohoo!
So what’s new with this eCourse you ask?
Well the first course we wrote was called Plan | Decorate | Live which was all about understanding and learning the basic principles of decorating and how to apply them to your home (like using scale and size to help you when you’re out buying new items). It focused on the preparation before decorating like where to source inspiration, how to create a mood board to guide the project and planning your furniture layout. They were all the basic details to set you up properly. Now we are digging in deep. We’re going room by room (hence the name!) and showing you exactly what you need to do in each room to have the rooms looking fabulous and magazine worthy. We’re sharing common floor plan layouts as well as furniture formulas to show you what you typically need in each room of the house. We’re also covering a bunch of important topics that I know so many of my decorating clients struggle with like “How do I pick the right mattress?”, “Where do I hang my artwork and how the hell do I hang it?!” and the all important “How many cushions are too many cushions?” (hint, you can never have too many!).
The eCourse runs for 6 weeks with each module made available on Sundays. It’s designed so that you can download and read through the course content in your own time at your own pace. You don’t have to do it all in order but it certainly helps. We also have a private Facebook group for all the students to interact in and share their decorating journey. We aren’t going to force you to share photos of your home if you don’t want to but we’ve had so many students help each other decorate their homes together in the Facebook group by providing feedback on new purchases and offering advice on where to move certain pieces too. Plus you get direct access to Sonya and I and we’ll happily help guide you in the right direction!
For all the juicy details jump on over to the enrolments page and I hope to see you in the eCourse soon! eCourse starts Sunday 24th July and we won’t be running it again this year so it’s now or never!
I’m getting set to pack my bags and head on up to Oaten’s in Casino for some brand new workshops – just outside of Lismore for those who aren’t familiar with the area. Don’t worry, I’m not packing my bags to hit up the pokies at Star City Casino 😉
I’ll be there for a few days (Thursday 23-Saturday 25th June) running various workshops from Decorating 101 classes to Vignette Styling Workshops where I’ll spill the secrets on how I set up cute little displays for photoshoots and how you can replicate them in your own home with your own pieces (like the one pictured above). I strongly encourage you to bring along a couple of your favourite pieces from home too so I can help you arrange them together beautifully.
I’ll also be in store for one-on-one consultations where we can plan your space, write up a to-do list to get your home reno or decorating plans back on track or we can walk the Oaten’s store and pick out some pieces to refresh your decor. If you’d prefer I come to you that’s fine too, I’m booking a couple of in-home consultations too.
Vignette Styling Workshop
Thursday 26th May
Friday 27th May
Class costs $39 per person.
Decorating 101 Workshop
Saturday 28th May
Class costs $149
Includes tea and treats.
As a solo business owner, I rely on a handful of other people and businesses to help me create beautiful homes for my clients. (Did I just shatter the perception that I CAN do it ALL?!). In my line of work there is never really such a thing as a decorating emergency because you can usually find a temporary solution to fix a problem (eg. using camping chairs as a sofa until the sofa arrives…) but I don’t possess every skill necessary to run a decorating business and that’s when I whip out my phone and scroll through my speed dials in order to find the right person to help me out. Often it might be a last minute request to style a catalogue or style a house for photoshoot and find a photographer – I might only have 2 or 3 days to call in products (or sometimes I will have less than 24 hours…!) So as you can see I need to have a number of people on speed dial to call up and ask for favours!
So, who do I have on speed dial to help me out?
- Cassie Smith – I seem to have a knack for forgetting to get flyers printed up before I jet off to my decorating workshops, thankfully Cassie’s always at the ready to save the day and get something designed and sent to me in time.
- Lisa Zhu – 99% of the photos in my portfolio have been shot by Lisa. She’s one of the best in the business and she’s hilarious to hang out with too.
- Urban Road – If I’m ever in need of some rugs (um, hello Emma Blomfield for Urban Road) art for a photoshoot these guys are my first port of call and somehow wave their magic wands super fast to get me my art requests on time.
- Little Flowers – When a client’s home is finally finished off I send a little bunch of flowers to make the room that tiny bit sweeter! These guys deliver a gorgeous little posy of flowers to a huge range of suburbs across Sydney for just $30.
- SOH Melbourne Candles – These literally are the perfect gift for the person who has everything (and a hint to anyone reading this who thinks I’m hard to buy for, I would very happily accept one of these!).
- Warwick Fabrics – My go to fabric house, Warwick have great sofa fabric options and some really cool patterned fabrics for custom cushions and curtains. They send out up to 6 samples too so I’m always
harassingemailing them to send my clients fabric samples.
- Sparkk – When I’m hunting for beautiful cushions to adorn a client’s sofa this is where I head first. The Sparkk cushions are excellent quality, and come with the option to buy feather or poly inserts (always go feather!!). Oh and if you want custom wallpaper, these are the guys for you too.