Moving into her home in Margate only in June 2021, interior stylist and writer Emma Jane Palin has already started to stamp her signature retro-inspired style onto rooms. But it’s her living/dining room which she says makes her feel most happy – and we can see why, with pink walls and ceiling, gallery wall and mid-century furniture giving cosy, welcoming and nostalgic vibes.
“It’s probably the most ‘finished’ room in the house,” Emma explains. “Everything else is still very much a work in progress. It makes me feel relaxed but also invigorated. There’s a lot of personality in here and many of our favourite objects and artwork are in this room, so it’s like looking around at all of your favourite things. It’s also a multi-use space so we relax, entertain and sometimes work in here.”
“It’s wonderful to have a space to decompress after a busy day. Sinking into the sofa, listening to records – it just feels like the ultimate hangout space. As long as I have one room in the house that we can keep tidy and nicely styled, I’m happy. It’s wild how much painting it pink helped to improve how I felt in the room and shows that colour can have such an impact on a space.”
One of the wow-features of the room are those pink walls and ceiling, making the space extra-snuggly and cocoon-like, which was something Emma had in-mind when designing how the living/dining room would look and feel. “We used ‘DH Blossom’ by Dulux Heritage on the walls and ‘Coral Pink’ by Dulux Heritage on the woodwork. The pink changes quite drastically with lighting so it always feels a little different depending on the time of day. We painted the ceiling in the same shade so it’s very cocooning and cosy – like a big hug.”
With an eye for second hand mid-century finds and bringing these with her from her previous home, helped Emma to curate the room to feel homely: “We owned all of the pieces of furniture in here, so the general layout came together quite quickly,” she says. “The vinyl shelves are from Tylko and have been with us through multiple moves. The sofa was a bargain find on eBay – it’s my dream 70s modular piece. We bought the dining table from eBay (my favourite shopping destination!) and it turned out that we’d bought it from a friend. The vintage inspired textures in the room – such as the velvet curtain wall (in ‘’Forbidden Fruits’ from Archive by Sanderson) used across an entire wall to give the effect of full-length bifold doors – also add comfort.
The gallery wall featuring artwork sourced from artists and galleries, over many years, continues to add personality to the living/dining room, alongside Emma and her husband’s extensive record collection. “I think it’s important that interiors speak to you on a personal level, so we have loads of photos and souvenirs all over the place, and we display our favourite records on the vinyl shelving in the dining room nook,” the stylist adds.
For others thinking of creating their very own happy space, she advises to embrace all of the things that truly bring you joy, and try not to get swayed by trends. “Stay true to your style,” Emma says. “There’s tons on inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram these days but ultimately you’ll never feel satisfied with a space if it doesn’t speak to you personally. Fill your home with the things that you love and the things that spark memories when you look at them.”
What is your favourite…
Just Kids by Patti Smith
…. comfort food?
Tuna Pasta Bake
… craft/ activity?
Styling my interior, of course!
… Loungewear/ pyjama brand?
Kate Barnett x Charlotte Jacklin
… Candle scent?
Honey + Tobacco by Oré Mi
… TV series?
Currently The White Lotus