This week we spoke to Emma the founder of Form and Balance about why she's is trying to reduce her consumption in the home, how patience is the key to interior design success and her recent work with our lovely brand Piglet In Bed...
Tell us a little about how you started as an interiors stylist; have you always been interested in interiors?
I started working in an independent lifestyle store as a Saturday girl and instantly fell in love with all things interiors. Since then I’ve always had a quite eclectic style and been inspired by many an interior look.
As a Visual Interior Stylist, my ambition is to create striking, and inspiring visuals that help to showcase a brand, a story and a home. With 15 years of multi-disciplined styling experience, I have worked with individual clients, independent brands and global companies in helping to convey their narrative.
What is your current favourite interior trend?
I wouldn’t say I am a big trend person in general. I normally buy things that I like and I think my whole house is a reflection of this. As we renovate the house I am leaning more towards a slightly less boho look and going for a more modern and paired back approach.
Where do you look for creative trends?
I spend so much time on Pinterest - it’s great for keeping in the loop when it comes to Interiors but feels a bit more personal and attainable to achieve. I use it a lot of client work as well as there is some great inspiration and trend info on there. I always get asked how do you start a room and I always tell clients to look at what sort of things they like. I am still a big fan of print, I love reading the likes of 91 Magazine or Cereal Mag to inspire me.
Which room is the most important part of your home?
For us as a family, it has to be the living room. We spend so much time in here with the kids. It’s never tidy, we are either watching movies or have colouring pencils and paper strewn across the floor. For me though, it has to be our new bathroom. We have just recently renovated it which was a huge project and it’s become a bit of a haven for me now. Door locked, bath run, candles lit and audiobook on. It’s a small and welcome sanctuary for every day busy family life.
How do you decide which products to buy and from where?
I buy so much from charity shops and thrift stores to furnish our house. I try to vary where I buy from but most of the time it comes down to how it will fit in our house and aesthetic. I never really buy anything I know I won’t use or love.
What are your top tips for styling a home sustainably?
I think rather than recycling (that’s a given) or the use biodegradable products. I am more concerned about consumption. I think there are a lot of people out there who buy sustainable products but still at the rate they used to buy. Buying sustainable is best where possible however I think that for a lot of people it’s about affordability. Make use of what you buy and keep it for the longest time possible. If there is still life in it donate it to charity or sell on a second-hand site. Buy less and buy better.
How do you try and lead a more conscious lifestyle?
I am aware of what we use in our daily lives that could be replaced with more sustainable alternatives. I now use bamboo pads for makeup removal, keep cups for takeaway coffees etc. We are trying to cut down food waste which has been a big learning curve for us. I hate food waste so we are eating a lot of leftovers lunches, freezing extra and measuring portions where possible. I feel making small changes like this can add up to a lot.
What sustainable brands are you loving at the moment?
I recently had the opportunity to work with Piglet In Bed – their bed linen is gorgeous and it feels like a treat sleeping in it every night. I’m also a big fan of sustainable candle brands such as Handmade Candle Company and Find Candles. As I am allergic to a lot of heavily scented products, these candles are made from soy wax and natural essential oils which are perfect for giving your house a gorgeous small while being kinder to the atmosphere.
Any top sustainable tips for people styling their homes?
I have so many, I wrote a whole blog piece about this but my main tip is patience is a virtue – I know it’s probably thrown about a lot however in the modern-day everything is now instant so when it comes to buying second hand or pre-loved items then patience is your friend. Try to look out for items that would suit any room in your house, not just the one you’re currently decorating. You might be looking for a dining table one day but see the perfect bedside for that spare room.
What is your must-have Zero-Living product?
The whole Tabitha Eve collection offers some great every day basic alternatives, like the leather lunch bags or the bamboo makeup remover pads. For more decorative items, I am into buying lots of ceramics so for me it would have to be the Kitty Leonard handmade Face Pot. It’s the perfect size for sitting on our fireplace mantel and the timeless design means that it is a keeper.