We chat to Emma Blomfield as she travels around America sourcing fresh inspiration, discovering the latest trends and developing creative new ideas for The Decorating School.
How has your journey been travelling around the USA?
America fascinates me on so many levels, I’ve seen so many different parts of the country this trip (12 states to be exact) and each state is so different to the next. I started in Yellowstone National Park where we were lucky enough to experience the park in snow - it was just so magical seeing the pine tree forests under a blanket of snow and seeing the elk and bison with a dusting of snow on their backs.
From there we headed down to the southern states to Nashville - the most bustling country music town ever, what fun that was! Then on to Kentucky through Bourbon distilling and horse ranch country! We also travelled through North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and on to New York and the Hamptons.
As you can imagine the scenery changes so much along the way, as does the architecture. Exploring the tiny towns and their beautiful homes has been so much fun. I’ve taken a million and one photos of the houses to refer to for my client’s decorating inspiration, especially while I was in the Hamptons as that is my own personal favourite style and the most requested style from my clients - probably because it is a style that can be seamlessly integrated into the Australian coastal lifestyle.
Which destinations have been your favourite so far and why?
This is like choosing a favourite child! Each city and town has brought it’s own fun and adventures but New York will always have my heart. The next favourites are the Hamptons and Nashville.
New York is just so unique and iconic with it’s busy streets, buzzing nightlife and endless shopping options! The Brownstone terrace houses and Fifth Avenue apartments are so inspiring too.
Have you had any funny moments along the way?
Plenty of funny moments, I’m not sure I’m ready to laugh at the navigation issues we’ve had along the way - each time we got in the car there were heated debates about which way was the right way to go to get to the next destination but I’m sure I’ll be laughing about it soon enough…. Just think National Lampoons Vacation!
What design trends are you loving over in the USA?
I have seen crystals EVERYWHERE. Literally in every town I’ve visited gemstones and semi precious crystals have featured in the interior decorating. In the Hamptons it was clear quartz crystal tea light candleholders. In Jackson Hole Wyoming there were open cut geodes, in Kentucky (of all places) there were tonnes of Himalayan Salt Lamps and in New York I’ve seen a million and one agate drink coasters. Anthropologie in particular has heavily featured the crystal element - even offering doorknobs in different gemstone colours.
The other trends I’ve noticed featured a lot are watercolours and floral elements. Good news for me as my decorating book coming out in March next year is hand illustrated watercolours of gorgeous interiors, so I was snapping loads of photos of this trend.
Have you had any fresh ideas for The Decorating School while being overseas?
Yes! Having some time away from actually working “in” the business is a great opportunity to think about the business as a whole and where to take it next and being in one of the world’s largest countries that is so progressive in their attitudes to online business has been amazing. I’ve gathered up so many interior decorating magazines that I’ll probably have to pay the excess baggage fee but I’m not giving them up!
In terms of fresh ideas, they will all be revealed in good time, like bringing the school into the real world but for now the focus is on launching Plan Decorate Live again in early October. I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the sales period and then interact with our students and see their decorating plans come to life!
Follow more of Emma’s adventures on Instagram at – www.instagram.com/emma.blomfield