Emily Bihl: Expressing Style — The Art of Home Decoration | Room by Room #54

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Emily Bihl, a writer with a deep fascination with aesthetics and visual design. Her background includes writing for high-end fashion brands like Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.

Finding your home style is not something you can force; it comes through trying things until you feel right. This episode will show you how to redecorate without breaking the budget and how to search through color charts, wallpapers, and knickknacks to see what sparks joy in your heart.

Meet Emily Bihl

Emily Bihl is a writer who has a strong passion for aesthetics and the visual arts. Her background includes extensive experience in the fashion industry, where she has written for prestigious luxury labels such as Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.

In addition to her fashion writing, Emily has also built a career in home decor and design journalism. She has contributed to publications like HUNKER, MyDomaine, Martha Stewart Living, and Coolhunting, where she has been able to combine her talent for writing with her deep appreciation for visual design.

Over the course of her career, which now spans over a decade, Emily has developed an extensive knowledge base in design, style, and visual culture. She now enjoys using this expertise in her personal life as she undertakes the restoration of her 1895 home in St. Louis, Missouri.

About the episode

Emily defines home organization as the systems that allow you to use your space the way you want to. She says it’s easier to notice when systems aren’t working versus when they are working well. 

She describes decorating as a way to show yourself how you like to spend time in your space, even through little details. Decoration and organization don’t necessarily conflict. When compromising styles with partners, she suggests using tools like Pinterest to collect images together to see themes emerge in what each person likes.

One of the first tips Emily shares is to take photos of your home. This can help you see your living space with fresh eyes and spot opportunities for improvement. She also recommends using the Apartment Therapy “Cure” program, which provides a step-by-step annual home reset that breaks down the process into manageable daily tasks.

When it comes to personal style, Emily suggests looking at the clothes you already feel comfortable wearing. This can help you discover and build upon your individual aesthetic preferences. She also encourages experimenting with cheaper changes like paint colors before investing in big furniture pieces. Then, if it sticks, you’re all set—and if not, no worries either!

Emily points out bathrooms as low-key labs for experimenting with different looks. Small rooms let you try without a big commitment. She talks about texture, too—how mixes of fabrics and materials and art add depth to a space.

Some key tips for home decor that listeners would learn from this podcast:

  • Look for something familiar: For decor inspiration, look at what colors, textures, and styles you already gravitate toward in your wardrobe.
  • Experiment more: Experiment with affordable changes like paint samples before committing to large purchases.
  • Make it personal: Incorporate nods to personal memories through color, fabrics, and silhouettes that remind you of meaningful items.
  • Try vintage style:  Shop vintage/antique stores to add character and unique pieces and avoid trends.
  • Compromise: Compromise with partners by finding consensus in your collective interests, not dictation.

In conclusion

Finding your personal style takes experimentation over rigidly following trends or styles. Pay attention to what you naturally gravitate towards. Small, affordable changes like paint, fabrics, and art are low-risk ways to experiment before investing in big pieces. Ultimately, prioritize what you personally connect with and enjoy living with each day over fleeting trends or other people’s opinions.

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