Artists and creatives from Australia and around the world.


Emerald Green Interiors

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Interior Designer & Colour Consultant Corinne Kowal. Her blog Emerald Green Interiors is a regular inspiration to me, so I thought I'd get to know Corinne a bit more and find out some of her hot interior tips. Here is what she had to say...

Q. What is your design background?
A. I studied fashion design and worked in the fashion industry before deciding to pursue what I truly loved: interior decoration and color in particular. I don’t have a formal training in interior design but have worked for a long period of time for a French decoration house, which allowed me to get exposition to the key players in the industry

Q. What do you do now?
A. Right now I am taking a break as I just gave birth two months ago to my second son and plan to take time off until the end of the year. I do however continue to work for a long time client in Saudi Arabia whom I am helping on a commercial project after assisting her with their home. Before my maternity leave I was also working part time on weekends as a residential color consultant for a well-known English paint brand.

Q. Why did you decide to start Emerald Green Interiors?
A. When I founded my company back in 2010 in Berlin, I was very clear about the fact that I could not exist as a company without a web presence to showcase my work.  So the website was born at the time as a static website even though I used a blog template.

Q. Why do you write a blog?
A. I didn’t write a blog at first but then started to discover and to follow interior design blogs online; With that came the fact that I also wanted to share my passion and knowledge of color as I’ve realized that people are still afraid of it. Blogging is time consuming and I have been more regular at it only for a year now but it’s a great way to connect with others and a very rewarding experience. It is also positive for me in my work as a designer: it forces me to keep my eyes wide open to new products and ideas, which I can then revert to for client’s projects.

Q. What does an average day at work look like for you?
A. Pretty busy! Usually getting my 3.5 year old son ready for school, having a quick breakfast, starting to work. I start with a quick social media roundup, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, then I read a couple of blog articles before either working on clients projects or researching material and writing my next articles on the blog. The morning is then over pretty quickly, I eat lunch at home, do some house stuff and am out by 2:30 pm to pick up my big boy at school. We then spend the afternoon together. When all goes well I get back to work after 9pm for a couple of hours. That’s a “normal” day but all of your readers who have kids know that the normality of a schedule can get turned upside down in no time. With a two-month-old boy at home, I end up doing a lot of things with one hand while I hold him in the other arm.

Q. Being an Interior Designer you would work with a range of styles... What style is seen throughout your own home?
A. My own home is quite an eclectic mix. In the previous years I have bought many items on impulse and then tried to make them work together. Impulse purchase doesn’t mean wasted purchase: Some of those furniture pieces and objects have moved with us to three different countries already and I don’t plan of getting rid of them anytime soon. Nowadays I aim for a more collected look but I still love to buy accessories on impulse. One of the biggest issues I have with our current place is that it is a rental with a very picky landlord, which means we can’t paint the walls. Pretty ironic for someone who preaches the use of color. Since we might not stay much longer it’s not really an option but our next place will have loads of color, rental or not! You can view images of my home here.

Q. Who are your 5 favourite designers/artists at the moment?
A. I really love the work of American designers Amanda Nisbet and Jamie Drake. Both are not afraid to use very bold colors that they layer for maximum impact and mix with contemporary and antiques pieces.
Jean Louis Deniot has a restrained color palette although he has done colorful interiors in the past. He is a master at mixing neutrals, which is a very difficult exercise. He also always brings a lot of texture and interesting shapes into his interiors.
I love to follow the work of Mary Douglas Drysdale. Her interiors are usually set in historic homes with beautiful classic architectural features. She has an extraordinary eye for those details and very often brings in a lot of color. The result is surprisingly restrained, timeless and elegant.
Matisse is probably the artist that has had the most influence on my love of color. I was exposed to his work at a very young age as I’ve been spending a lot of time since childhood in a village in the south of France (Collioure) where he worked and were he really started working with colors leading to the fauvism movement.

Q. If you were to give 5 tips of design advice to someone wanting to restyle or decorate their home what would they be?
  • Don’t be afraid of color. Color is such a wonderful tool to use in design and it can truly add another dimension. Start with accessories or go directly for wall color. In the worst case it’s only paint and can be changed pretty easily, just like a bad haircut except that you don’t have to wait for it to grow back.
  •       If you are completely at loss as to what color you should go with, take a look at your wardrobe. Chances are high that you’ll love the colors you wear in your home and on your walls. 
  •       Try to include vintage/antique objects or furniture in your interior. Those one of a kind pieces carry their own history and will add personality to your home. 
  •       If you see an antique piece your really love, buy it and don’t wait even if it seems too expensive. You’ll never find another one just like it. To this day I am still haunted by a 20th century portrait in a gorgeous frame I saw in a store in New York when I was 20. I returned a couple of times to the store and one day it was gone sold for a physician’s office. It was a little over a thousand US dollars at the time and I was a student so it seemed way out of reach but I should have found a way to get it.
  •       Trust your own style. If you like it then it’s just fine even if the entire universe hates it. Don’t forget that it’s YOUR home and that YOU should feel comfortable living in it.
* Photos by Holly Marder, found here.

1 comment :

  1. Great interview. I'm such a fan of Corinne's blog and she has a lovely home, especially considering it's a rental. Gorgeous blog Claire, I look forward to having a good look around. Thanks,Mel