From an interview with Emily Westbrooks for the Irish Daily Mail You Magazine, December 2018
What's your background and how did you start Home|Lust Concept Store?
I am a linguist by profession and worked in tech corporations before I made a complete career U-turn and started blogging and writing for interiors publications. The idea for Home|Lust Concept Store came at a time when I was decorating my new home and finding it hard to source the furniture and decor I wanted. I so enjoyed the long process of finding just the right pieces for my home that I decided to do it for a living. I went on to study interior design and web design and founded home-lust.com at the end of 2015.
What does your day-to-day look like?
My days can be massively different from one to the next, but, usually, I spend my mornings either managing the store and sourcing new products, or doing some consultancy work in interior styling and content creation, as well as occasional interiors writing for various publications. Afternoons are usually spent with my daughter, staying in doing crafts or going out and having fun adventures. I think I may have stumbled on my ideal lifestyle while trying to build my business and starting a family.
What are your favorite pieces in your own home?
I’ve worked hard to create an attractive but livable interiors suitable to both family life and home entertaining. I love colour very much but favour a rather minimalist style so I’ve invested quite some time sourcing the large pieces of furniture, like my Japanese-style platform bed and our modular sofa and some fantastic mirrors. My favourite pieces in terms of decor change from year to year, as I experiment with different styles and colours. I tend to rotate and replace a lot of the ornamental accessories, but I am quite attached to my barcart, artprints, wall hangings, decorative boxes and ceramics collection. Over the last two years or so I’ve also started growing an interior garden on my terrace and living room; it takes a lot of work (and water!) but is enormously rewarding.
Can you share a few trends that you see starting to arise?
I’ve been watching the velvet furniture trend grow from strength to strength over the last three years or so. It makes me very happy as I’ve always had a weakness for luxurious, dark colours and fine textile textures. This is a new iteration of maximalism − smarter, streamlined and sophisticated, a more understated kind of opulence that is both affordable and versatile. Metallics are also having quite a moment, and are the epitome of elegance in my book, especially when used in combination with marble furniture and velvet upholstery. Organic interiors with a focus on natural materials and sustainability are also something we have been seeing during recent times, as people become more aware and responsible when it comes to the home.
As it happens, luxe minimalism is the interiors concept and guiding principle for sourcing products at Home|Lust Concept Store, where most items are ethically-sourced from sustainable sources and socially-responsible manufacturers. Combining luxury and eco-friendliness is where I see the interiors industry heading over the next few years, and it’s extremely good news for all of us.
Any winter decorating tips you swear by?
For the cold season, I like to keep it cosy but otherwise quite simple. My apartment is extremely warm even in the midst of winter, so there are no chunky textiles or warm layers, but I do like to create a chalet-like atmosphere with candles, lanterns and incense, and lots of decorative natural decor. After a great summer spent mostly outdoors (Thank you for this one, Ireland!) and holidaying abroad, I welcome this period of nesting that lasts well into the new year. I tend to focus on seasonal vignettes using foraged forest stuff like branches and cuttings, leaves, acorns and pine cones. I’m always on the lookout for fallen or cut trees while on forest or park walks, and I am obsessed with nurseries and garden centres. Large branches and oversized foliage decorated with string lights and ribbons − and then baubles around Christmas time −, as well as pine and eucalyptus wreaths are some of my favourite things to do on winter afternoons.