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April 2019 / Homes & Interiors / by Ali Howard

AT HOME WITH: Emily Murray, Blogger and Author

This uniquely styled London pad mixes influencer Emily’s penchant for all things pink with a shrewd eye for design.

What do you usually look for in a property?

I’m a sucker for a period property. I always lived in characterful homes as a kid, and the two London flats and Edinburgh terrace I owned before buying this house were both Victorian. I guess I look for a sense of history; a personality. I like my home to connect me to the lives that have gone before. Other than that, our main requirement in this house was that it had access to a great outdoor space for the boys. We certainly found that!

Tell me about the property

It’s a five-bed Edwardian house built on top of a hill. It backs onto a beautiful private park, which plays hosts to parties, camping weekends, tennis tournaments and barbecues. The park is accessible only from the houses on its perimeter and it’s the main reason we bought the property. That, and the amazing views of the city on the other side.

AHW Emily Murray Fabric Magazine

How have you personalised the space?

By adding lots of colour (including plenty of pink!), texture, pattern, some off-beat, unexpected touches, and a whole load of books, some of which are colour-coded. I also wanted to bring nature into the house as a reminder of the beautiful space outside. It’s like an oasis of countryside in the big city.

Have you done any structural work?

No, although we did replace the existing kitchen worktop with a gorgeous slab of Carrara marble; reinstate Edwardian-style cornicing; uncover and polish original floorboards; and have had various fitted cupboards, shelves and wardrobes installed throughout the house. The structural work starts this summer, when we plan to add a shower room extension and open up the middle of the house to create a much bigger hallway, with more storage for the huge piles of football kit our kids now own.

AHW Emily Murray Fabric Magazine

How does your online presence inform your interiors choices?

I’m always catching sight of a gorgeous room on Instagram and thinking, ooh, that’s a clever idea – I’ve started saving my favourites. But I try not to take too much from Insta as it can become a bit of an echo chamber where the same ideas keep circulating. I get fresh inspiration from hotels, bars and restaurants, as well as travel and fashion. I also love discovering new brands as a way of keeping things interesting.

Which brands are your favourites?

For all I like to discover new brands, there are a number I keep coming back to because they always get it right. These include Bert & May (dreamy encaustic tiles and beautiful bathroom fittings), Buster + Punch (the coolest brass handles and light switches), House of Hackney (kings of maximalism), Cole & Son (they have an amazing wallpaper for every occasion), Graham & Green (their catalogue sucks me in every time), Muck N Brass (luxe-cyclers who live down the road) and Alternative Flooring (stunning patterned carpets). My new favourite is River Island Home for fun affordable bits that make a statement.

AHW Emily Murray Fabric Magazine

What was your best thrifty find for the house?

The vintage corner drinks cabinet I picked up for a steal in Edinburgh and which Muck N Brass luxe-cycled for me. In the photoshoot for Pink House Living it’s painted green and gold, but I recently got them to paint pink over the green and now I love it even more. It looks lush against my Farrow & Ball Hague Blue sitting room walls.

And the most extravagant?

The most extravagant items in the house are the two House of Hackney ceramic cheetah lamp-stands with fringed lampshades, which we use as bedside lamps. They were a 40th birthday present from the husband (he took the subtle hint) and they take the room to the next level.

AHW Emily Murray Fabric Magazine

Which is your favourite room?

The kitchen. It’s got everything going for it: a pink and green colour scheme (my favourite combination); loads of plants and planty prints; beautiful ceramic tiles and marble worktops; my incredible De’Longhi coffee machine, which I can operate remotely with my phone; a view out over our south-facing back garden and the park beyond. It’s pretty much my favourite place in the whole world, especially if there’s an open bottle of pink Champagne kicking about…

Pink House Living is out now, published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99 (rylandpeters.com; pinkhouse.co.uk)