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How to Build a Successful Home Design Business: Tips and Tricks from Emma Blomfield

Posted by The Canningvale Team on

This week for our Get Inspired series we interviewed Emma Blomfield. Obsessed with Interior design since day 1, Emma the co-founder of The Decorating School, stylist and author has found it no surprise to be completely immersed in the design world. She discussed her book and her passion for interior decorating and the founding of The Decorating School. Happy and maintaining a work-life balance Emma offers amazing inspiration for anyone wanting that extra push to pursue a career but not wanting to lose themselves to the workaholics’ curse.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an interior stylist and decorator. In addition to decorating residential homes around Australia I am also co-founder of The Decorating School which is an online school teaching homeowners how to decorate their home room by room. I live in Sydney but spend a fair amount of time travelling around the place for work and pleasure, when I can I escape to the family farm in the Hunter Valley where I have four furry and very loveable donkeys.

Interview with Emma Blomfield

2. How did you get into interior design?

I actually did a Bachelor of Business and majored in Marketing. Finished the degree and promptly decided I didn't want to work in marketing and started applying for interior design jobs with zero experience. Eventually I was given a chance with an interior design boutique on Sydney's North Shore and I learnt the ins and outs of the industry.

3. Of all your career achievements to date, which are you most proud of?

I'd have to say my book is my proudest achievement, seeing it for sale in bookstores still excites me and I love seeing people tagging me in posts about how much they are enjoying the book.

4. How did you decide to write a book? What is it about?

I have been running interior decorating workshops all over Australia for a number of years so the framework for the book came together from the workshop topics. The book details the 5 elements of decorating I use with every client project I work on and then goes room by room through the home showing you how to apply those elements to each room. It's fully illustrated rather than photographs because I wanted the reader to use their imagination and be a little bit more creative with their decorating projects.

5. Tell us about The Decorating School. What is it? Who is it for?

The Decorating School started in 2015, we run two eCourses through the school, and they both run for 6 weeks and comprise of interactive modules as well as a weekly video and downloadable worksheets for our students to complete in their own time. We're all about empowering the homeowner (and renters!) to feel confident to walk into a furniture store and purchase items for their home without second guessing their purchases. It's all about educating and sharing our knowledge to help others live happily ever after in a home they're proud of.

6. Being an entrepreneur you probably came across a lot of challenges. What were the main challenges and how did you manage to resolve them?

I sure do!! I used to get very stressed in the early days of running my business about things I look at now and think are so insignificant. I've learnt that when problems arise, there's always a way to solve it, it just might not be solvable immediately but eventually the right solution will appear. Every day a new lesson is learnt and you learn to adapt and grow along the way.

7. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

I'm lucky to have crafted a job I don't need to escape from (it has it's moments though!), I love getting up each day and meeting clients, styling photo-shoots or working on design concepts. I also love the business development side of things too. Getting up each day and being excited to see what the day brings makes things a lot easier.

8. What are your tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?

I have a pretty good work life balance but only after working it out the hard way (many late nights). I don't reply to client emails on weekends unless it's urgent (yes I still check them but I don't always respond), setting boundaries with clients is important because I could work until dawn if I didn't.

Sometimes I meet clients in the evenings or on weekends but I have the flexibility to take time out during the week for personal appointments or catch ups with friends so it all works out in the long run. I travel a lot for work but always try to tack on an extra day for winding down and enjoying the area I'm visiting.

9. What are your ways to relax and unwind?

Weekends away with friends or family in the country with giant cheese boards and lots of wine!

10. How would you describe your personal style?

I'm a neutral and navy kind of girl. Jeans, a white t-shirt and white converse are my go-tos.

11. At Canningvale, home is a heart of everything that we do - a place of true comfort and relaxation. What does home mean to you?

I think our homes are truly an extension of ourselves and the life we want to lead. I tell our students it's important to surround yourself with things that make you happy; we spend so much time at home it's important to feel safe, secure, calm and happy there.

Quick fire questions:

How would you describe yourself in one word?:  Happy

Bright or pastels?:  Pastel

Beach or mountains?:  Mountains

Cotton or silk?: Silk

Fast or slow?: Fast

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