Bold Homeware : An Interview with Edge of Home

We were very excited to talk to the wonderful Emily Rees who has recently launched the fun homeware brand, Edge of Home. We have a passion for graphic design and mid-century design so, naturally, we fell in love with Edge of Home. The online boutique is bursting with treasures for your home, adorned with fun and retro prints. Emily spills the beans with us on her inspirations, using social media and following your dreams.

1. What gave you the drive to set up your online boutique and homeware label, Edge of Home?

Primarily, just wanting to do something I totally love! Interiors have always been a kind of an obsession for me – I relax by dreaming up fantasy room schemes. It was the same even way back when I was at university – once we’d handed in our final assessments, I went back to rearrange my room, while all my friends went to the pub! After renovating three houses, I was so immersed in thinking about homeware, and interior styling, I felt I just had to start designing my own homeware. 

Plus I just really believe if you want to do something badly enough, and you work hard enough – it will happen. At least that’s what I’ve told my kids, so I really hope it’s true!

2. How did it feel to launch your brand?

It’s strange really because the launch is only just the start... I can’t allow myself to be proud, because I know this next bit is the uphill struggle – getting your work out there and seen by the right people!

3. What inspires your work?

I originally studied art history, so I guess some inspiration comes from art movements or artists I like – Nicolas Krushenick, Richard Hamilton, Constructivism, Van Doesburg, Memphis Milano, Abstraction. But on a daily basis my influences are more low brow – moving to Hasting’s crazy British coastline was the biggest influence on my most recent collection for example: ice cream, fun fairs, clashing colours. And others are more silly – 80s cardigans, the Puma shell suit I had when I was 10, 70s and 80s fashion. I’m currently flicking through a 1979 Habitat catalogue which is great for inspiration!

4. Do you prefer traditional media or digital media when creating your designs?

Usually digital – although sometimes I will sketch out patterns first. My Mum used to say that you should butter your toast by piling it all on and then scraping most of it off. God know what the point of that was, but it seems to be pretty much how I work! Using layers on Photoshop for example allows you to do this easily.  I need to pile everything on, and then I usually end up taking most of it away, and going back to an earlier version. I don’t know why this is!

5. Have you got any new ranges or projects coming soon?

Yes – even though I have only just launched our summer collection ‘Nice Day Out’, I have set myself the task of designing our AW15/16 collection to launch in October. I figure you just have to keep moving! This time it’s all about having fun in your home – the working title is ‘A Big Night In’ inspired by Abigail’s Party, 70s cocktails and 80s loud colour. 

6. We love how you collaborate with other artists through product styling and photography, how do these projects come about?

Through Instagram! It’s a great for artists / photographers / stylists  to see your work and if it fits with their style. On the most recent occasion fashion photographer Aleksandra Kingo was working on a Memphis inspired editorial for Pitch Magazine and she asked if I wanted to collaborate. The photos turned out amazingly – she is so talented.

7. Do you see yourself branching out into other homewares?

Yes – I have some plans for a whole host of homewares for next year... We are a print led brand so our prints can be applied to lots of lovely things! I am just fastidious with each product so it’s best to take my time and make sure everything is of extremely high quality rather than just rushing to get everything out now.  

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8. It was Instagram where your work really caught our eye, do you feel that social media has helped to launch your label?

100% yes. It’s not really the amount of people that connect with you that is important, it’s the fact that the right people connect with you. Our first stockist Unlimited Shop in Brighton actually found us in Instagram. If you don’t have a huge PR team or marketing budget it’s a Godsend.

9. Do you believe creatives have a natural instinct for entrepreneurship?

I don’t know really. I guess there will be some that do and some that don’t... There are so many amazing artists and makers out there who don’t know how to market themselves. But we are lucky to live in a time where entrepeneurship is becoming actively encouraged – and with sites like society6 and printalloverme, there are readymade platforms for artists to get their work produced as finished products really easily and seen by a big audience – I think it’s great.

10. What advice would you give to budding designers and artists?

I am quite bad at taking advice, so I wouldn’t like to presume that people should follow mine ;) But what has worked for me is just sheer hard work – and not finding excuses to put off starting! It’s amazing what you can get done if you get up at 5am ;) When I started working on our first collection I was living in and renovating a house with no heating or electrics, working as a freelance graphic designer, and my youngest daughter hadn’t started school yet. It really was madness, but sometimes you have to just go for it!

Thank you very much to Edge of Home for talking to us! If you would like to see more of Emily's work please visit the online boutique.

Photography by James Robertshaw with Edge of Home