Interior designer Emilie Munroe describes her work as that of a translator, channeling a client’s personality and lifestyle into physical reality. Working with a curated team of craftsmen, artists, and installers, Emilie creates personal and luxurious spaces that embody her belief that a home should be the perfect backdrop for the life lived inside.
How did you discover your passion for design?
My arrival in this industry was super organic. Looking back, I had the most wildly decorated bedroom of all my friends. I always loved art and crafts, but I was rather academic, and my passion in my youth was theatre, so I figured I’d end up in broadcast journalism or advertising or maybe even become a litigator. An internship in high school led to a design assistant job during college summers, but it wasn’t until I worked for Turner Broadcasting for a couple years after school that I began to realize that interior design might actually be my calling.
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
My home is a creative lab for concepts close to my heart that have yet to find the perfect client through the studio. I’ve had amazing luck placing vivid, unique wallpapers in projects over the years, but have two in my home that brought such joy to my heart I couldn’t wait another second to be able to experience them in person. Now these rooms are my favorite in the house.
Is design an art or a science?
Science IS art! In that spirit, I believe that good design is an equal balance of both. A mix of unexpected inspired combinations of textures and colors and shapes, but always within the construct of studied proportion, flow, and function.
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
We adore using color and pattern, so I consider almost all of them our friends. Over the years, I’ve found blue can be successful in almost any space, given you find the right hue. Something about referencing the color of both sky and water leads itself to fitting into virtually every surrounding.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
My litmus test is the photo shoot. When a project is photo ready, which means accessories and art are happily in place, then it is complete. For now.
Share your biggest design secret.
Interior plants. A home with a sprinkling of thriving, shapely interior greenery, thoughtfully planted in quality pots with toppers (large river rock is our go-to) feels warm and lush and harkens to an owner that is caring and enjoys nature.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Furnishings that are out of proportion with the space they inhabit. We can make almost any style of furniture work within a home, given it isn’t too large or diminutive for the room. We see this issue pop up most frequently with clients who move from the city to the suburbs or vice versa. Sometimes you simply must let go and move on to a more appropriately scaled item.
How do you balance style, comfort, and functionality?
You learn quickly that each client has a different definition of the perfect balance between those three essential elements. So in order to create a personalized bespoke environment to match their needs, you first must truly absorb a client’s input on their goals for the various spaces and their vision for the future of their lives within the home. It’s essential to remember that homes are living entities that evolve and develop along with the inhabitants. We want to be sure we’re designing not just for today’s life, but for a client’s life in 5-10 years.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece,
After I establish a certain aesthetic for a project, we focus immediately on furniture plan development in order to establish the scale and quantity of furnishings that will provide ideal functionality and flow for the client. We then prioritize sourcing by the amount of visual space a piece inhabits — typically from largest
What do you love about Viyet?
I am a huge believer in the “inspiration image”, whether I am communicating internally about the direction for a project or working with a client to define their aesthetic. Viyet’s curated design
shops are fabulous tools to instantly hone in on pieces that fit within an established aesthetic — so efficient.