Make Your Home Look Like You Hired An Interior Designer - Interview With Emma Clanfield

Make Your Home Look Like You Hired An Interior Designer - Interview With Emma Clanfield

Scouring social media provides ample opportunity for some great interior design inspiration. More than ever, people are craving stunning rooms that reflect their personal style while also exuding the elegance provided by professional interior design.

We recently spoke to interior designer Emma Clanfield about how she uses our industrial-style lights to create beautiful and unique spaces to give you an insight into what needs to be considered when taking on a room in your home.

Emma has designed for individual homes, holiday cottages and boutique hotels across the UK, her latest hotel project being The Custom House on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

Getting Started as an Interior Designer

Interior design is all about using colours, lighting and furniture to reflect character or invoke feeling. Here, Emma highlights the importance of finding your own style through what you love and how that can be used to inspire a new design perspective.

“Originally starting out as a textile designer, moving into interior design seemed like a natural progression."

“I love using pattern and colour, and when I first started my interior design business, the emphasis was on using handprinted fabrics and interesting weaves as I wanted to offer something a bit different to what was already on offer where I lived at the time in Aberdeenshire.”

A bedroom with yellow walls and vintage lighting by IndustvilleBrooklyn Glass Funnel Wall Light - 7 Inch, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Designing For a Home Vs Commercial Property

How a designer creates an interior scheme for a personal house can differ considerably when compared to designing commercial properties like hotels.

“I enjoy being able to design for individuals as well as for hotels. When I design homes, I enjoy interacting with the client, finding out what they need and how we can incorporate much-loved items into a scheme to express who they are, where they have travelled and how they like to live.”

“As well as searching out unusual fabrics and wallpapers to decorate with, I love to rearrange an interior to suit how the client now lives. A lot of the time, the design is sparked off by doing layouts of the property and making better use of the space already there. When designing homes, I like the design to be easy to live with and easy to update in the long term.”

“In contrast to this, the small hotels and holiday cottages I work on can be more unusual and quirky and have a theme to them as guests are only there for a short time and enjoy staying in a room that is as comfortable as home but so very different.”

A pastel-coloured interior with glass lighting by IndustvilleSwan Neck Glass Funnel Wall Light - 7 Inch – Brass, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Selecting Themes and Colour Schemes

Creating themes that tie a space together is a key element of a professional designer’s work. Emma gives us some insight into how she went about developing a nautical theme and colour scheme for her recent project in Glasgow.

“I have worked with the same client, Scottish Canals, on numerous properties over the last 10 years and so was given free rein to do what I wanted with the interior decoration of the rooms. The property is an old Custom House at Bowling Harbour where the Forth and Clyde canal, the River Clyde and the Caledonian and Dumbartonshire railway all meet so I wanted to celebrate this and took inspiration from the historic ships and the pleasure boats used on the canal and Clyde today.”

“The rooms range from the largest, airiest room being based on a Liner to the smallest being modelled on a Narrowboat (which is something that I have previously designed for the same clients). I also had fun with the paddle steamer room using old steamer timetables and a singer sewing machine base for a desk as the Singer sewing machine factory was on the banks of the Clyde and the workers would go “doon the watter” on the paddle steamers for their holidays.”

“The colours for the project just came together naturally following on from the themes. A colour for the bathroom pod in each room was chosen, and this highlighted the addition of the bathrooms to the historic structure. The two rooms on the top floor - the Yacht and the Steamer are mirror images of each other in size and layout but completely different in feel due to the colours and patterns used.”

A nautical bedroom with bulkhead industrial lights by IndustvilleBulkhead Outdoor & Bathroom Sconce Wall Light - 12 Inch – Gunmetal, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Choosing the Right Lighting

Lighting is a crucial element of any room, whether your design calls for a statement piece, something purely functional or a combination of the two. Our industrial lights can finish off a room perfectly, just as Emma found out!

“I started off using reclaimed ship lights but found these were getting harder to source, especially in bulk and not at all liked by the electricians, so I was really pleased to discover Industville’s range. I find I use the same lights for both commercial and private interiors, and the light choice is decided by the feel I am trying to create. The fact that all of Industville's designs come in a choice of finishes makes this easy.”

A traditional interior with wooden furnishingsSwan Neck Glass Funnel Wall Light - 7 Inch – Brass, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Finding Inspiration

Creative minds find inspiration in many places; sometimes from somewhere unexpected and other times right in front of you. This is no different when it comes to developing interiors.

“This project was easy to be inspired by as it was a beautiful building with a fascinating history and location. I am inspired a lot of the time by the building and find that inspiration just happens when you put together the building, the history and client, this is further helped by pulling together colours and fabrics.”

“I am obviously influenced by social media but find a lot of the time it backs up what up I am feeling at the time especially with colour – I am loving a strong green which catches my eye everywhere I look right now.”
A bedroom with blue, nautical wallsSwan Neck Glass Dome Wall Light - 8 inch – Pewter, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Interior Design in 2020

As with every other industry, interior designers faced some delays as the pandemic brought the world to a stop.

“I was lucky that although this project was put on hold over lockdown, I had it to come back to and finish off.”

Due to the pandemic, 2020 has been the year of DIY-ing during lockdown and finessing the home office workspace. Relaxing living spaces have become more desirable than ever as we collectively spend more time at home.

“Homes have become more important to people as have home workspaces, but with the financial uncertainty and time on their hands, they are choosing to do more DIY.”

“My garden was very important to me over lockdown but with winter coming there should certainly be more interest in interior design.”

A modern bedroom with traditional featuresSwan Neck Glass Funnel Wall Light - 7 Inch – Brass, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

Interior Design in The Future

As 2020 wraps up, we look to the future of home renovations and question what 2021 and beyond will bring.

Trends towards sustainability and greener living grow every year; many wonder whether renovations with greener homes in mind should be the next step or if a slightly different direction should be taken.

“I have heard of the green homes grant but have yet to look properly into it. Sometimes rushing in to replace something you already have is not always the greenest solution. I think the focus should be on new home builders to produce more environmentally thoughtful and better-designed homes with more outdoor space.”

Many people will want to leave 2020 as a distant memory and create bold, fresh interiors to ring in 2021. Emma elaborates on what she believes next year’s trends will be and the direction that interior design is headed.

“More colour, pattern, individuality and upcycling. A return to craft and DIY. I sourced a lot of my room accessories and prints for this project from Etsy and enjoyed going to my local antiques warehouse for props for the photoshoot.”

A traditional bedroom with patterned walls and antique lights by IndustvilleSwan Neck Glass Dome Wall Light - 8 inch – Pewter, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors)

When creating stylish, professional interiors, a lot must be taken into consideration. Rooms can be designed to embody a particular character, personal style or theme – rooms can tell a story.

From furniture to colours and lighting, every element in a room must strike the right balance and faithfully represent your style if you want to achieve professional-looking interiors in your own home.

If you’re looking to channel your inner designer, check out our Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages to get some lighting inspiration. You can also download or order our catalogue to explore our extensive range of stunning industrial style lights to fit every space!

Header image supplied by @emmaclanfieldinteriors