Emily Claire Ballou, artist, interior stylist and photographer, has managed to succeed a quite challenging task:
to decorate a truly beautiful and inspiring space, with a creative touch, inspired by her love for Japanese culture.

The outcome I absolutely adore and I’m very happy to feature an interview with her on EC.


[All images courtesy of Emily Claire Ballou]

Hello Emily Claire and welcome to EyeCandies. You are our first interviewee in the field of interior design. Do tell us how your fascination with decorating began?

Hello! Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog!

As a child, I always loved the idea that you could personalize your living space to reflect your interests and style. I find it fascinating to see how other people live and what treasures they choose to display. It really wasn’t until I moved into an apartment after I got married that I discovered my passion for interior design. I decorated my apartment before I started staging, so that didn’t influence this particular design. However, I have learned a great deal from my current position. Whenever I walk into any home or decorated space, my mind immediately starts buzzing as to what I could do to fix, stage, or improve the area.
You have done exceptional work in decorating your home. What was the most challenging part and your main inspirations and influences?

The most challenging part was probably our newlywed budget, but this also made it fun to hunt for the right pieces. I had to search all over Craig’s List, the flea market, and thrift stores in order to find items that I thought had good design, shape, and quality. It was important to me to take a box without any architectural interest and make it into a home. My main inspiration was Japanese design, especially for the bedroom. I wanted the apartment to feel serene and uncluttered. It was very freeing to part with excess personal items. I feel such a sense of calmness while at home because I know there isn’t an intimidating pile of junk hiding under my bed or in my closets. I also adore the clean lines in Scandinavian design and I hope to incorporate more of this influence over time.

You currently work in an interior design and home staging company. What would you say are your most fulfilling and creative tasks?

I love to help people “move on” with their lives. It is gratifying when we get a positive reaction from clients who are shocked with the transformation of their personal space. We just finished staging a house last week and while I was photographing the finished project the owner walked in with the realtor. She was literally screaming she was so happy. I felt like I was on HGTV revealing her home to her! Another fulfilling moment is when we complete an incredible transformation at the end of the day. While we do a lot of million dollar homes that are rather “cookie cutter”, my favorite projects are the older homes that need a lot of updating. I love a challenge and these houses have both charm and character that is not often found in the brand new homes. These also have the best “before and after” reveals.
Blogs are currently quite influential in the fields of arts, crafts and design. What are your views concerning online media?

I think blogs are a fabulous resource and I take advantage of them daily. They have inspired people to be much more creative and to share ideas publicly. You can receive constructive criticism and input on your own work from people who are honest because they don’t know you personally. Many are exercising their creativity through Etsy, which is a useful international resource for online crafting, vintage, and handmade items. There are so many wonderful blogs and websites out there that I get inspiration from. With that being said, there is still nothing like a magazine or a book to me. There is something about the experience of turning the physical pages and being able to look back at your favorite images or putting them up on an inspiration board.
What would you say are the latest trends in interior design and what are your favorite blogs / sites for inspiration?

Trends seem to come and go so quickly. I believe it is best to apply the foundation of good design rather than being current with all the latest fads. I ascribe to classic design that has stood the test of time. Bold, graphic wallpaper on a feature wall is in right now but wallpaper seems to bounce in and out of style, so keep this in mind. I also think it is best to save trends for accessories or something that you can easily switch out once it is considered passé.

Some of my favorite blogs:
Design Sponge
Oh, Hello Friend
Centsational Girl

They all have very talented and creative ladies behind them!
What advice would you give a person who asked you for tips in renewing or redecorating their space? What should we keep in mind?
    • Tackle your clutter first. It makes it much easier to plan a space.
    • Shop around your home and consider either re-purposing items or giving new life to something you haven’t used in a while.
    • Don’t be afraid to move your furniture around. Sometimes people are too comfortable with what is familiar. Change things up a little and you could be surprised what will work.
    • Only display items that you truly love and cherish. You will be happier with your space in the long run.
    • Don’t be afraid to switch out accessories seasonally (decorative pillows, throws, vases, table settings, linens, florals, etc.) This will keep you from getting bored.
    • Color and paint are the easiest way to transform a room. Purchase MULTIPLE small paint samples before you tackle a space. The color on that small sample paper often looks quite different when on an entire wall. Paint a 2’x2’ square and observe it throughout the day and through different forms of light. This will save you the expense of common painting mistakes. Use hues that resonate with you.
    • If you come across a particular item that really speaks to you while you are out and about shopping, go ahead and buy it if it is within your budget. A single item can truly complete or transform a room.
    • While there are plenty of rules people love to follow with interior design, it is most important that you create a space that makes you happy and reflects your personality and taste.
Give us an overview of your latest creative project.

I have a lot of fun photo shoots planned for the future focusing on vignettes, so come back and see!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

I would love to be a photo stylist that takes an initial idea and turns it into reality. I also want to continue my own work and create images that give me artistic satisfaction.
And last but not least, is there something we should look forward to? Feel free to add anything else you want us to know.

I want to expand on my subjects and I hope to provide more recipes on the blog.

Anyone can decorate their home. While there are rules that make visual and practical sense in interior design, there really is no right or wrong when decorating your own home. As long as you are content with the final product, that is what truly matters.

Thank you so much for interviewing me. It truly is an honor because I love your blog so much!


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