2018 was a funny one.. It started very differently to how it finished. I had grand ideas at the start of the year about how things would work out and as the saying goes… “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. I am an avid to-do list writer and planner so nothing pleases me more than when all of my plans and goals work out how I planned. I’m slowly learning that sometimes you have to let things run their course (even if that’s a painful road to take) however, they can work out even better than you’d imagined. I also moved house this year to Sydney’s inner west, if you’d told me that in January I would have told you I’d never leave the North Shore… best laid plans right…!!

One of the biggest changes to business this year was the closing of The Decorating School (of which I was a co-founder). The business was founded in 2015 and successfully taught hundreds of students but after a few years in business things needed to change and that meant reimagining my dreams for eLearning and creating new content under my own branding.

So as the year comes to a close I thought I’d write up a little summary of some of the most memorable moments so here goes…!

Client Love

This year was my 7th year in business and as always I’m so grateful for the lovely clients who enter my life each year and allow me to work magic on their most precious spaces and havens. I work on projects from designing family homes on Sydney’s north shore (the bulk of my business), through to styling dinner tables for huge media launches. This year in particular I’ve had the pleasure of working with some wonderful clients who trust me implicitly to bring their homes to life. I’ve also been fortunate to work with some top name brands on event styling jobs such as AMP, The Athlete’s Foot and Ferrari (more on that one next year…!!)

Giving Back

One of the things on my to-do list for 2018 was to find a way to give back to those less fortunate so it was lovely to be involved in the makeover of Sydney women’s refuge Lou’s Place to make their common room and healing room more pleasurable for women in need. I also worked with The Royal Flying Doctor’s on their Flick us a Flynn campaign to raise money for much needed emergency medical services in rural and regional Australia. I’m thrilled to be coming back on board in 2019 to help again.

Speaking Opportunities

I’m not the biggest fan of public speaking but 2018 has seen me speaking to more and more audiences all over Australia so I guess I can’t avoid that one! I flew to Melbourne twice to work with Mercer School of Interior Design and speak to their grads about the benefits of Instagram and visited Brosa to speak to their team about popular design trends. I also taught a number of workshops through Seed & Spark for mum’s wanting to learn more about decorating whilst in house nannies took care of the kiddies.


My eCourse Decorate with Intention was born mid year and will continue to run in 2019. Stay tuned for more details!

Mentor Programs

I also taught a mentor program twice in 2018, guiding 20 students through the process of starting a creative business. I absolutely love teaching these programs and often wonder if I’m getting more out of it by giving back after years of blinding fumbling in the dark to get my business off the ground than the students do. But the feedback after each program is SO positive and each and every one of the students have gone on to create their websites, price their services and lock in their first PAYING clients and that makes me SO happy!

Book Love

And last but not least, it was a big year on the book front with HOME launching into the US market in Feb. I started writing my second book in January, had the manuscript submitted by May and the VERY first copy arrived on my doorstep last week. Keeping House will be launching in to bookstores on March 1st 2019 which I’m absolutely dying to come sooner so I can share it with you all!! It’s a very different book to Home and I think you’re going to love it…

What’s ahead for 2019?

I generally only plan in quarters and do this with my publicist at the start of each new quarter because things change so rapidly from month to month and we like to be able to adapt and change to demand. So my first goal for early 2019 is to get Keeping House launched. I’m in full planning mode for the book party (all ideas welcome!). I’m also going to run the first mentor program for 2019 in February. I have just opened up enrolments and look forward to teaching a whole new batch of students. If you’re interested you can sign up here.

I’ll share a lot more early in the new year about Keeping House I promise but for now I need to go and lie on the beach in Byron Bay and plan world domination from my beach towel….

I’m back at it from Monday 7th Jan and am only taking on a handful more clients because of the book launch in March so if you’re thinking about working with me to decorate your home, learn about starting a decorating business or to style contact us here and we will get back to you with all the details.

See you all refreshed and ready for action in 2019!

Emma x

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