Aotearoa Artist, Designer, Maximalist and Interiors rebel Evie Kemp spills the most colourful tea on embracing colour in every aspect of life. With a recipe to experience the utter joy of being just a bit too much, Evie welcomes you to join her in adding spice and personality to our wardrobe and home!
Read on as Evie shares insights on bringing personality to your space and wardrobe. Be sure to check out her new book MUCH for full journey into bring your dream home to life, creating a space that grows with you and a space to call home. Thanks Evie!
Can you tell us about yourself and how you began your journey as Artist, Designer, Maximalist and Interiors rebel!?
I grew up in a very creative household, where my mum was always decorating. I studied graphic design at university but ended up focussing on illustration - it was there that I really started to explore colour and pattern. I found as I became more confident as an adult I embraced more and more colour. I’d definitely been repressing my love of colour as not being “cool” and once I started letting go of that everything started to slot in to place.
I’ve built a large part of my art and interiors business online - sharing my style and work on Instagram and making connections through that. These days my work involves a bit of everything, I make and sell my art, design textiles, do interior design and styling, and create and share DIY content. I feel incredibly lucky to do what I do and to be able to continually adapt.
You bring colour into your wardrobe and decor so confidently! How would you go about introducing colour into our everyday? Is there such a thing as too much?
There is no such thing as too much colour, but we all have our own sweet spot. I like a lot of colour but I don’t wear many super bright or “pure” colours much. I think that’s key to finding your own way with colour - you don’t need to wear hot pink if that’s not your thing. Start with colours you absolutely love, and start with an accessory - shoes, a bag, a jacket are all good intros to colour. Once you realise how almost all colours look best with other colours (instead of black) you’ll start branching out! The same applies to adding colour in your home, forget trends and focus on colours that make you feel something - introduce them in accessories (cushions, rugs, lampshades) and then start looking for inspiration that combines that colour with another and push yourself.
Can you share some tips for creating a home with love and adding your own personality?
- Start with something you LOVE and work from there. A piece of art can be a great place to start, use colours within that piece to start adding to a room.
- If you love everything in a room, then that can be the connection you need for it to feel cohesive. Interior trends can lead us to hide away the things that mean something to us, to make way for the generic. Great interior design tells a story of those that live there so prioritise the things that matter! Because “She bought everything from one store on one day” does not make for a good story.
- When you’re trying to figure out what other colours and patterns might look good in a room - use your clothes! I’ll wrap a top around a throw cushion to get a feel for how the colours look before going out and buying a new cushion (a benefit of having lovely colours in your wardrobe too!).
What are your favourite styles to wear, and what brings you the most joy in your wardrobe?
I love a good blouse, the puffier the better! Wide leg pants, and a coloured ankle boot are my “uniform”. As a textile designer myself, pattern and beautiful fabrics are what I’m most drawn to. I like to look through my wardrobe and get inspired in all sorts of ways. I’m more and more drawn to quality pieces from beautiful brands like Nancybird, clothes that I will wear year after year and are luxurious in their choice of fabrics and construction.
What’s your favourite room in your house? How often would you update it?
Ooh that’s a tough one! It’s always the last one I’ve decorated. I really love our pink kitchen though, we painted the cabinets ourselves about 2 years ago, and I customised the tiles with paint too. I like to change the art around in here and I can feel the itch to give it a bit of a shake up. The current art on the walls are photographs of vintage coffee machines I found at the op shop (the photographs, not the coffee machines sadly). Most recently I painted a cabinet in a full tennis ball yellow gloss to go with the pink, and the Moroccan rug. I’m really enjoying this new colour combination and it makes the pink feel fresh again.
Follow Evie: instagram.com/eviekemp