Interview with Katrien Vermeeren

It’s been a busy seven years since Katrien set up Emily’s House London in the showroom at St James’s Park, alongside her first major client HAY. Since then the brand has grown at a rapid pace and today you can find its (predominantly) Moroccan and Middle Eastern rugs in various great boutiques and larger furniture showrooms – Skandium and Designers Guild among them. As well as some inspiring private homes that we wish we could show you here.

We thought it was high time we caught up with Katrien on the blog so today we’re turning the lens inwards for a Q&A with our founding director. Below she tells us her hopes and plans for the future of Emily’s House London, which rugs she’s introducing to the collection and which pieces she loves for her own home. Here we go….

Katrien with her daughter Emily who inspired the name of the brand

How do you feel Emily’s House London has evolved since you started?

The collection has become broader. We have more styles and more variation – vintage and new pieces, Turkish, Moroccan, Persian….the more rugs I see the more I buy so the collection has grown a lot over the past few years. Of course I think about the commercial aspect but I do select rugs mostly because of what I like and not because of what sells.

Tell us about new pieces you’ve recently added and what drew you to them?

We are adding some more classic looking kilim rugs and also more new ‘made’ pieces in special XL sizes. They are great quality. You can – as we often say – layer kilims together to cover a large area, but these rugs allow you to use them as statement pieces for a large room instead.

One of the new XL rugs in the collection – a Turkish newer made pile rug in the style of a Moroccan Beni Ouarain rug

We’re also adding some new carpets to the range that are old rugs redyed in a new colour. They’re very hard wearing pieces and the perfect blend of old with new. We’re buying lots of runners now and also still focusing on very plain styles – of course the Beni Ouarain rugs are good here. But we also have Turkish kilims made from hemp, priced at around £600. They’re simple and beautiful. In future I’d also like to incorporate more Chinese or Tibetan rugs, some older Indian kilim / dhurries and more runners – especially XL ones.

A simple Turkish hemp rug with a discreet multicolour geometric pattern Vintage Turkish runner overdyed with a striking mustard – currently for sale at Designers Guild

What colours are you personally currently into for your own home?

Warm tones such as red and orange – the latter has been my favourite for a long time. For modern Hay-style interiors I know that cool colours are preferred, which I think looks great, but I personally like living with hotter dark red and warm cream – colours that are quite dominant in Morocco too.

Can you tell us more about your own rugs and how you like to use them at home?

I love a nice very large Beni Ouarain for the living room, under the sofa and all the furniture of the sitting area. I also like layering a kilim and a pile rug together – for example in the bedroom, using the kilim as a base with a fluffy runner on top either next to the bed or behind it on the wall.

Which pieces in the current collection are your favourites that we can buy?!

“Here are my top five…” 

Faded red Moroccan Berber rug with black pattern detail A soft Moroccan Marmoucha pile rug with a bold diamond pattern and apricot coloured detail Turkish Konya kilim with hot colours of orange and yellow and touches of cooler blue  An ecru wool looped pile Moroccan Beni Ouarain rug  A densely patterned Turkish Konya kilim runner

What’s the experience of selling to private buyers – do they come to you knowing what they want, are they tempted off course?

Often they have something in mind for a particular room, which is clear. However, quite frequently when they see more rugs they start to realise where else they need them or can use them. So often they leave with more than what they came for. It’s like when you go shopping for a pair of summer sandals but you come home with sandals and a pair of red high heels too. When you tune into a product you can suddenly see how that product in its different forms might work in other ways. With rugs it’s discovering how they might work in various rooms.

What’s been your proudest or most exciting moment running Emily’s House London so far?

Our rugs in Will Fisher’s house in the World of Interiors! He is a master at putting things together with perfect balance and the rugs really did look perfect! I am also so proud of Casey and how she runs the daily operation of EH!!!

Where would you love to see your pieces?

“The Battersea Decorative Antiques and Textiles fair. I hope to have a stand there soon. I’m also hoping to reach out to more interior designers, decorators and to reach more boutique hotels internationally. As well as be on 1st Dibs.”

Which (famous) interior is currently inspiring you the most?

“I really like the El Fenn in Morocco – as a boutique hotel, because it has a beautiful selection of items in the shop, it offers good food and there is great weather outside. With interiors I like a personal twist to things. I like finding the balance between practical and smart versus the personal touch.”

What should we look out for next at Emily’s House London?

“As well as the rugs mentioned above, we are also looking to produce some styles in a limited edition.”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.