Creative and design expert Emma Jane Palin: My Colourful World

Emma Jane Palin is a London-based creative lifestyle blogger with an avid love for design, interiors, and travel. With a penchant for all things colourful, she seeks out the best of the design world from wall murals to illustrative zines, travelling as much as possible to keep the inspiration flowing (“Colourful city guides are one of my favourite things to rattle on about,” she says.) Emma isn’t just an award-winning blogger – she’s a DOUBLE-award-winning blogger, having won in the Best Colour Inspiration and Best Designed Blog categories of the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2017 Here, Emma tells us what colour means to her…


Martha: Can you describe your first colour memory?
Emma: Starting with a tough one, eh?! I think my mother probably has a lot to do with my colourful choices – she used to dress me up in these hideous floral dresses in red and blue, and pink and green, all of which she had hand-sewn. It’s probably the reason why I’m so drawn to clashing colours and pattern though.

One of Emma’s childhood dresses: “The reason why I’m so drawn to clashing colours and pattern.”

Martha: Do you have a favourite colour and has this changed over the years? 
Emma: My favourite colour changes regularly. I used to love lilac and wanted everything in a shade of purple. My step-father wouldn’t let me paint my room purple though and instead I grew up with a mint green bedroom complete with a silver heartbeat line running through the room. It’s pretty cool looking back on it now, but I wasn’t so fussed at the time. I always hated pink but now I LOVE a good peachy shade and a mixture of pink and orange are probably the colours I’m most drawn to now.

Martha: What is your favourite colourful object/objects and why? 
Emma: These questions are tough! I think my current favourite object has to be a woven pot I picked up in Marrakech earlier this year. I like to collect things that remind me of my travels and this pot is just the ultimate Marrakech reminder. I chose the pink pom-pom for the top and watched them hand-sew it on. It makes me feel joy when I see it.

Emma's Moroccan pot
Emma’s woven Moroccan pot © Emma Jane Palin

Martha: How does colour make you feel? To what extent do you use it in your work or personal life?
I think just one look at my Instagram feed tells you how colour makes me feel. I love to seek it out and just one colourful building can make my day. It’s crazy how much joy it brings me. Occasionally people message me or tell me in real life that I brighten up their mornings. It’s something I love to hear.

Emma’s IG feed pops with colour © Emma Jane Palin

Martha: Do you have a colour you could happily do without?
Emma: MAGNOLIA! Going back to your last question, I just can’t describe the feeling of dread Magnolia gives me. Years of rented accommodation with magnolia walls has left me scarred. I just think it’s a depressing colour that is associated with lack of personality and not allowing people to express themselves – ghastly, in my opinion.

Martha: How does colour get involved in your day-to-day life? Does it permeate your life from the moment you wake to the moment you go to sleep?
Emma: I think we’re all much more physically affected by colour than we know. I am so inspired by colour out in the wild yet I have a fairly muted palette in my own home – I like white walls with lots of coloured artwork. As I work from home, I know that I wouldn’t get too much work done if they were painted crazy colours. I tend to go for walks at lunch though and am inspired by flowers, plants and natural colours. Of course, looking at colourful accounts on Instagram every so often means I’m constantly inspired.

Double-award-winning blogger Emma’s inimitable style © Emma Jane Palin

Martha: How do you choose colours for your work and where does your colour inspiration come from?
Emma: When I’m blogging I’m quite free with my choices. I generally just go with things I like when I see them. I’m not trend-led. I studied illustration and graphic design at university and in a first year project we had to create a patterned skateboard. I went for a crazy colourful geometric pattern and the rest was history.

© Emma Jane Palin

Martha: Do you think there are rules about colour? Or are rules made to be broken
Emma: Rules are certainly made to be broken. Sometimes I love garish colour choices. Never go with the safe option, always be experimental and bold.

Martha: Do you have a colour story or anecdote?
Emma: I think I’ve told a few throughout, but let’s just say that in recent years I’ve become unstoppable when it comes to colour. If there’s a colourful wall, I will photograph it, whether that involves climbing over fences or moving railings is a secret.

Martha: Do you have any colour ‘secrets’, maybe something nobody knows about you in relation to colour, or has colour ever got you into trouble?…
Emma: I’m answering questions before you ask them! I’ve never been caught on my colourful escapades but there are certainly some private (and spooky) areas that I shouldn’t have been around.

Martha: If you could give people advice about using colour, what would it be?
Emma: Again I think just be bold and experimental. And also know what’s right for the environment you’re in. Some colours evoke serious relaxation vibes while others might keep you up all night. It should never be a snap decision and if we’re talking interiors, always test lots of colours in lots of different lighting situations.

Emma’s living room: “Be bold and experimental.” © Emma Jane Palin

Martha: If you had a colour named in your honour, what colour would it be & why?
Emma: Palin Pink of course. You see it used on my blog a lot. It’s kind of a peachy/coral pink – not millennial – more orange and unique.

Emma Jane Palin


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