Having completed degrees in furniture design and architecture, Emma Fishman always knew she was destined for something artistic. It was whilst working at an architectural company that she began to feel that she could possibly use her skills in a more creative way, and when someone suggested interior design, she jumped at the chance.
After gaining work experience at Country Homes and Interiors magazine, she then got her first proper styling job as Homes Assistant at Best Magazine.
“I sort of fell into this job really. I was getting frustrated at not being able to develop as a furniture designer or architect, but this job is ideal for me, and it’s so much fun.”
She worked at Best Magazine for around 10 years, working her way up from Homes Assistant to Deputy Homes Editor. In that time, she also had three children with her husband David, so she had to juggle a busy work life with her busy home life. Whilst she was pregnant with her third child, Sadie, she decided to go freelance, so that she was able to spend more time with her young children. Since making this decision, she has worked for various magazine styling rooms for decorating shoots, as well as doing makeover features in people’s homes.
“My job can be really exciting and very varied, from writing articles, being invited to press launches, and working with photographers.”
Emma also writes a regular feature for Home Style magazine, creating different looks and room set-ups and offering tips to readers. She is responsible for creating the looks, putting together mood boards, sourcing all the props and furniture from suppliers, as well as finding the location to shoot it in. She works closely with a small team consisting of an assistant, a decorator and a photographer to create beautifully composed room set-ups. The preparation to get it all together can take up to 3 weeks for each shoot, so she is kept very busy.
“I love the chance to do interior styling where I can start from scratch with a blank canvas, and come up with ideas, themes and colours, and add my own creativity to a space.”
She also does makeover features for magazines on real people’s houses and finds this side of her job really rewarding. It was the positive feedback she received from homeowners that encouraged her to develop this side of her business, and she now offers private commissions for people to help transform their own homes.
Using her many years of styling and design experience, she works closely with clients to create the look they want. She offers advice and knowledge on the best way to decorate and furnish rooms, and she works with top quality suppliers to transform a home into something beautiful and stylish.
Emma’s key styling tip when decorating a room is to not make everything too white and neutral, but instead be a bit bolder. Find a piece of fabric or furniture that you like, and use this to help create the colour scheme and theming for the room. She understands current trends as well as more classic looks, and she attends many press launches and trade shows so she always knows what is new in the world of design.
“People are becoming a bit braver with colour and patterns now, and I love it. There are lots of great wallpapers and exciting colours that look great in any room.”
Yellow seems to be a bit of a favourite for Emma at the moment, and she recently decorated her youngest daughter’s room in a bright yellow spotty wallpaper, mixed with pink pom poms and funky furniture, which her daughter thinks is really cool.
For those just starting out in the world of interior design and styling, Emma’s advice would be to be as proactive as possible, and to get work experience to help build up skills. She also suggests that if you really want to stand out, sending examples of your work to particular magazines on spec, shows that you are enthusiastic and keen to get on.
Talking to Emma it is clear that she loves what she does and gets great pleasure in being able to share this with people, whether through her magazine features and writing, or on a more personal level by working with people in their homes.
If you would like Emma’s interior styling and design help in your own home, check out her website www.creativemakeovers.co.uk
or contact her on 07980 614 415.
As a special offer to readers of The Jewish Weekly, Emma is offering an hour-long one-to-one consultation for just £75. Remember to quote “Jewish Weekly” when making the booking.
Do you know anyone who specialises in an area of female expertise and would like to be featured on this page? Let us know by emailing