Sunday, February 16, 2014

Get To Know: Emily McCarthy

The multi-hyphenate that is THE Emily McCarthy (brand stylist - lifestyle designer - curator - blogger) is set to take Savannah and the Coastal Empire by storm. Her beautiful website is a blend of Lilly Pulitzer funk, Tory Burch sophistication, and Emily's own fanciful flavor. If you're looking for a custom monogram or just some design inspiration, look no further than Savannah's own, Mrs. McCarthy. Get to know a little bit more about her and her amazing company, Emma J Designs, below:

CF&I: What all encompasses the job of “Lifestyle Designer”? It sounds amazing.  
EMILY MCCARTHY: I love the term Lifestyle Designer because it encompasses everything I love to design. I have a degree in Graphic Design and Photography, but “Graphic Designer” always felt like it didn’t explain my full realm of design. Although I am designing the visual graphic elements of a product, brand or wedding, I feel that the materials and overall aesthetic of the final product are just as important. There are designers that produce beautiful graphics; however, I feel that I’m able to bring product design and printing experience to the table, which allows me to provide a wider array of attention to detail. I like to believe that I’m styling an entire brand from the logo down to the paper selection and packaging for the product. The client receives a more cohesive final product by working this way.  I’m also designing a lifestyle brand for my own collection – I hope to bring a new version of southern style to the market. 

CF&I: What are your go-to design elements right now? We know you’re a Greek Key girl…any other signature Emily McCarthy looks of the moment.
EM:  You’re right! Greek key is a go to and has been for years – long before it flooded our pinterest feeds. But what I love about my signature greek key pattern is that I created it out of my initials – so it’s classic greek key but a different twist. I feel like it’s a bit more authentic this way and I often design for my branding clients this way. I incorporate elements of their logo into classic pattern design to compliment their brand. This way, the client receives original patterns – not stock that is accessible to everyone.  Going back to patterns, cheetah and animal prints have always been a love of mine too. We just painted a cheetah accent wall in my studio and I adore it. We also just had Daisy Sullivant hand-paint our dining room – a huge orange Kelly Wearstler inspired accent wall and a gold brushed wall to anchor the surrounding walls. Daisy used to work for Kelly and she is UBER talented. I adore geometrics – much more than florals. I like clean repeats and 1-2 color patterns. 

CF&I: If you could give a Lifestyle makeover to any celebrity, who would it be and why?
EM: I would love to do a Dorothy Draper twist on someone – maybe someone drastic…cough cough...Miley.

CF&I: Your home is beautiful…we professionally stalk you on Instagram. What is your favorite room in your house at the moment? What elements really stand out? 
EM: You are too funny! I stalk your instagram too! Of course for new goodies for my home! I would say it’s a toss up between the living room and dining room.  The living room has freshly painted floor to ceiling pure white paint, black and white striped window treatments from Carlette and lots of gold, emerald green and black accents with the help of Kathryn Myrick and Clutter! I also love the oversized gallery wall that I keep adding to – everything from black and white darkroom prints, block prints, quotes to my son’s silhouette. Then….there’s the dining room that I talked about earlier. The white, orange and gold accents make my heart sing. Besides Daisy’s masterpiece, I love my Imperial Trellis accent chairs from Alison Seeger and World’s Away bar cart set up. I’m a sucker for vintage mid-century barware – it’s a serious problem. 

CF&I: What style rules do you live by? Any that you love to break?!
EM: No rules necessary, I just wear what I like – don’t really care what anyone else thinks. I love mixing patterns, chunky jewelry, statement glasses and classic silhouettes. I also wish there were more bold patterns in women’s apparel. I often want to take some of my favorite interior fabrics and have dresses made from them – imagine a classic sheath in imperial trellis – delish! I also love wearing white year round – I think it’s all about the execution and the pairing of color and texture. 

CF&I: Where can we shop Emily McCarthy products?
EM: You can shop online at or attend one of our Prosecco Parties! We are planning a few for Spring so make sure and join our mailing list to receive an invitation. We hope to eventually have a retail space but I’m waiting for the right spot to pop open. 

CF&I: What does 2014 hold for the Emily McCarthy brand?  
EM: Lots of new products! We are working on quite a few partnerships with companies to produce more serving pieces, glassware, linens, candles, accessories and maybe even apparel. Time will tell! 

CF&I: Describe THE Emily McCarthy design in five words. 
EM: Timeless. Stylish. Colorful. Gold. Bold.

Find more of Emily on her beautiful website and give her a follow on Twitter!

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