Emilie Fournet

In Conversation with Emilie Fournet

We are mindful of always banging the same drum on this site.

That’s why, when we see an opportunity to stray from our normal path, we try to take it.

This happened recently when we read an article about supremely talented interior designer Emilie Fournet.

Yes, there was mid century furniture. However, there was also a bold use of prints, objects and plants that really caught our eye.

This wasn't Scandinavian or minimalist, which is where we usually find the kind of items we sell. This was something altogether different and we liked what we saw.  

So, we decided to see if Emilie would be willing to share some of the secrets behind what makes her themes tick.

Thankfully, she agreed and this is what we learned.


Emilie Fournet interior with Ercol sofa

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge

EBTD: We came across your work in a recent Observer article. Two things stood out: 1) the featured themes worked brilliantly; 2) there was lots of mid-century furniture in them. We’re asking this question in the hope you say yes: do the two go hand-in-hand?

EF: In short, yes but no. I use a lot of mid-century furniture in my interiors simply because I love the lines and aesthetics of them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it only works with mid-century furniture. I think you can incorporate any era into your designs as long as you find the piece beautiful and you can see its place within the overall scheme. Let it be Art Deco, Arts & Crafts or even Antiques. It’s about how the furniture will stand out in its surrounding, rather than applying a kind of formula.

Emilie Fournet Ercol dropleaf

Credit: Kasia Fiszer

EBTD: On a serious note, how do you work furniture into your themes? Is it a starting point, an end point or do you find your way with it as you go?

EF: All of the above! It completely depends on the brief. For example, if a client has a particular item they want to see included, then that can be the starting point and the inspiration behind a design. Equally, when I know I need to bring something specific within a scheme, that’s when I put my sourcing hat on and get on the hunt for the perfect piece of furniture. It has to be the right shape, size, colour and it also needs to fit within the budget. And then sometimes, you can be just strolling along when you come across an item that is too good to pass on. In this instance, you let it settle into a place within the design.

Emilie Fournet Ercol blonde

Credit: Rachael Smith

EBTD: As we scoured though your Instagram profile, we got the impression that you like to give your themes an organic/ verdant feel. If we’re right, can you describe why you go this way and what our readers can do to achieve the same look? 

EF: I think it would almost be impossible for me to design a space that didn’t include a plant or some sort of greenery! I grew up in a house full of plants, my house is full of them now, they are an integral part of my surroundings. Plants add texture, colours, layers and interest to a room. Just get a plant and find the right spot for it. It will bring you joy every time you look at it.

Emilie Fournet terrazzo

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge

EBTD: We also note that you don’t seem scared of using large, bold prints. We must admit, we’d be terrified about trying it and getting it badly ­­­­wrong, but you clearly know how to get results. Is there a rule or two we should be following here?

EF: That’s true, I’m not shy about bold print or colour. I guess the rule here is to try to find the right balance. If you go bold somewhere, tone it down somewhere else. If you go for a smooth finish somewhere, make sure you introduce some rough textures in as well. And then sometimes, just go for the element of surprise and add the unexpected.

Emilie Fournet objects

Credit: Rachael Smith

EBTD: When discussing your own home, you claimed to identify with the Victorian idea of collecting and displaying objects. As we look through your work, we think we know what you mean. What we don’t know, however, is how you make so many competing elements come together so deliberately. Can you join the dots for us?

EF: If a piece is beautiful and interesting, there’s a good chance it will enhance your space. As long as you find the right balance, you can collect and display anything from golden pineapples to ceramic glove models.

Emilie Fournet front room

Credit: Kasia Fiszer

EBTD: And it wouldn’t be fair to go through this piece without asking you the same question we ask everyone else: what do you expect to be 2018’s big trend?

EF: Warm hues like terracotta, mustard and aubergine. People are moving on from the cooler greys, it’s all about the softer brown. But equally, pastels are making a big come back. Terrazzo is everywhere (yes, I have got my eye on those stools of yours EBTD!).

EBTD: My, what wonderful taste you have!


If you'd like to find our more about Emilie and her portfolio, visit her website or head to her thoroughly enjoyable Instagram profile.

If all this talk of furniture, stools and more has left you hankering for a bite of our MCM pie, head to our mid century furniture collection without delay.

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