Emily Wallace Wood, owner of Wallace Wood Interiors, is best known for designing interiors that achieve a “perfectly imperfect” mix of art, accessories and furnishings. She combines the more traditional East Coast style of her childhood with the more laid-back vibe acquired from her years living and working in Australia to achieve balanced and liveable spaces. A mix of high-end and low-end pieces allows her rooms to feel elegant and refreshingly casual at the same time. Read on to learn more about Emily’s background and approach to decorating.
How did your childhood influence your love of interior design?
I was so lucky to work with Kate Nixon - everything she touched was exquisite yet felt so effortless; a need for things to feel more lived-in, layered, and loved, less perfect, was good for me. Especially during House & Garden shoots, I was trained to have an editing eye, understanding that taking something away is just as important as adding to. The Aussies are also so adept at providing seamless transitions from interior and exterior spaces. Even living in a climate not as conducive to year-round outdoor entertaining, it has made me consider outdoor spaces as additional "rooms" for a home.
Absolutely. There is so much chaos (visually and mentally!) involved in life with young kids, so I try to create rooms that feel carefree and kid-friendly during the day while also offering a place to relax and rewind post bedtime. Hide the "stuff" with builtin storage, baskets, and storage ottomans. Add custom pillows in gorgeous prints on pieces upholstered in practical, stain resistant fabrics. I am a huge fan of indoor/outdoor vendors like Perennials. One of my favorite things to do is "spill tests" to show clients how ketchup, coffee, crayons, and mud wipes off easily!
It can go either way. There's nothing better than having a piece of art as inspiration for a room. Yet, it is also very special when the perfect piece lands in a room organically after a trip to a gallery while on vacation. The only instance that does NOT work is when art is not considered whatsoever. My goal for every project is for art to be a comprehensive part of the space and to make the selection process less daunting for clients.
A collection of favorite things- art, photos, books, flowers, candles. It should feel like you from the front door knocker to the soap in the powder room.
My work largely revolves around juxtaposition- I love to find the sweet spot between high/low, patterned/plain, complex/simple, shiny/matte , new/old, original pieces/off-the-shelf finds. It's a constant effort to make sure there is a healthy combination of comfort + beauty depending on how the room is used. Even spaces where kids roam free can feel sophisticated and pulled together-- keep the ginger jars on the top shelf; use an ottoman instead of a glass coffee table. It's simple changes that can make a world of difference.
To see more of Emily’s masterful use of art in designing the perfect spaces, click here. We can’t wait to see more from this talented designer!
Photos taken by Betty Clicker Photography