Interior Designer Emily Gillis’ Charming Victorian Terrace

Photography by Camille Moir

This week on the Journal we visit the beautiful terrace home of interior designer Emily Gillis tucked away in Carlton North. Emily and her partner Ed (along with their German shorthaired pointer Henry) have lived in the leafy property for just over four years and have cultivated a series of calming and minimal spaces filled with carefully selected pieces of furniture and art. We spoke to Emily about her considered approach to design, advice for anyone wanting to make changes in their own home, and how she likes to spend time outside of the studio.

“Our home is a beautiful little Victorian terrace situated just behind Rathdowne Village in Melbourne’s inner north. I love the house's charm, the Boston ivy, French doors and it’s cute facade.”

“Our kitchen really is the heart of the home, and our ceramics take prideful place. I’ve always loved using functional objects as art and styling items. We haven’t hung any art on our walls yet - true to the interior designer cliche of neglecting your own home while tending to everyone else's. I am particularly fond of our wrought iron chair that sits in

our garden. It’s such a lovely spot to sit, think and take in some fresh air. Another special piece is a faux ivory mirror made by a friend’s uncle, Kim, that sits proudly in our lounge room. I also love collecting lamps, you’ll find lots scattered around our house!”

“Keeping with the theme of the house, the bedroom is very minimal. It only houses a bed, bedside tables and lamps, and a chest of drawers for our linens. We use our bedroom solely for resting so you won’t find anything else in there.”

Keeping with the theme of the house, the bedroom is very minimal. It only houses a bed, bedside tables and lamps, and a chest of drawers for our linens.

“After working in the interior design industry for a number of years under the guidance of mentors, I felt inspired to start my own studio, which now operates out of Carlton North. Prior to stepping into the Interior Design industry, I worked as a graphic designer and art director, which gave me great foundational experience with designing and delivering client focused, creative outcomes. Today these skills continue to translate directly into my interior design work and the work our studio takes on.”

“Our Domain Road residence was a particularly special interior project to work on. I’ve also loved creating our handles in collaboration with friend and fellow designer, Zachary Frankel. Having the handles adorn the projects of other designers we respect and admire has been an incredibly gratifying and warming process.

Most projects begin with ensuring we get to know our client and the vision they have for their project. After making sure we have a clear brief, we discuss and work through any ideas as a team in the office and begin our research, sketching, concept design and model ideas. If we’re in need of a fresh perspective or new ideas we’ll get out from

behind the desk and visit galleries or showrooms. It really is such a collaborative process, between us, the client and our suppliers!”

Invest in fewer but quality pieces that will age well and stand the test of time.

We asked Emily what advice she would give to anyone wanting to make a few small but meaningful design changes to their space…

“Invest in fewer but quality pieces that will age well and stand the test of time. Think of your house and living space as an extension of yourself; your values, your interests and your aesthetic preferences. It has to feel right and uniquely you - steer clear from trends and tune into what you like. And lastly, lighting can have such a profound impact on a

space and can often be a great entry level way to begin creating a particular atmosphere for a space, think lamps, nice feature pendants or decorative sconces.”

“I’m really quite a social person, so I love spending lots of my time off with friends and family. Ed and I love to cook and entertain! I also love to exse, walking our dog Henry or getting in a Pilates or yoga class. I also spend lots of time sourcing inspiration - heading to furniture stores, galleries or restaurants with inspiring food and fit outs. I also

love to shop and touch things. I’m a very tactile designer and get a lot of inspiration from being out and about.”

“For the rest of the year I’m looking forward to settling into the new Emily Gillis Design office space in Carlton North, which we’ve just finished renovating. It’s such a

rewarding feeling and being in a space that inspires is such a privilege as a designer. We’ll also be completing some of our large scale residential projects which is incredibly exciting! And then, of course, enjoying the Holiday Season and taking some time off to be with family and friends.”

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