At Home with Emily Gillis

As Melbourne descended into yet another lockdown, we all instinctively started rethinking our seasonal working-from-home spaces. Those dormant desires for home improvement had been reawoken, and it was an opportune moment to check in with our favourite local interior designer Emily Gillis. Here, she shares what inspires her beautiful concepts, recounts her time well-spent at home and makes a strong case for adding warmth to your space this winter.

You've got a great design eye and a real earthy, minimalist aesthetic. What interior design trend are you doting on right now? 

I aim to steer away from trends, instead focusing on classic, timeless designs that suit their environments and the people that use them. Lately, I have been researching the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy and how it translates into design I like that it accepts imperfections and commits to the notion that nothing is ever complete or permanent.

Two weeks in Melbourne's lockdown are behind us, but we must ask, what have you been up to at home in your Montes?

I have been tapping away at the keys while working on designs for various residential and commercial spaces. My Montes have accompanied me on trips to the kitchen for tea and back to the desk. I’ve found I can wear them with my work attire during the day and transition with them into the evening when I’m wearing my pjs, sitting down to watch many a flick with my partner Curly (aka Edward) and German Shorthaired Pointer, Henry.  

Do you have a go-to palette when designing or do changing trends influence your colourplay? And which Monte hue did you choose to pair with your own interiors?

I am continuously inspired by the natural environment, and I have always been drawn to warm, neutral palettes that enhance the materials’ sensory aspects of touch and feel. I chose Peacoat Navy for my Monte slippers, as I often wear light, tonal clothing and I like to anchor my palettes with darker accents. 

You’ve just launched your latest custom hardware piece with Zachary Frankel - croissant-shaped handles. We’re completely obsessed. Where’s your favourite spot in Melbourne for a perfectly buttery croissant?

Florian, my new local, which serves Austrian-style pastries from Austro Bakery.

With a bit of freedom returning in Melbs, where's the first place you're going in your Montes?

My local pub, ‘The Brandon’, for a gin & tonic!

For home renovation projects this winter, what are your top three tips for cosying up a cold space?

Ethically sourced textiles such as cashmere blankets, woollen floor rugs and soft drapery are a great way to bring warmth to the living space. Jute rugs, create a simple and comforting layer over floorboards or tiles in winter. Instead of only using bright overhead lights, I suggest aiming to have a range of light sources— natural, overhead, a couple of lamps and a candle for some gentle movement. I would also suggest incorporating timber elements into your space rather than chrome or stone. Timber has a softer surface and soaks up sound differently to glass, tiles or stone — creating a cosier feel. 

Follow Emily on Instagram at @emilygillis  and shop Peacoat Navy here

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