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Designer, blogger, and a self-starter—that’s how Emily Blanchard describes herself in a nutshell. “Two years ago I was folding clothes at Anthropologie. Now I manage my own design business, offer online courses to influencers, and teach my followers how to install faucets,” muses the creative behind Emily Everyday—winner for the Best New Voice Blog for the Domino Design Blog AwardsHaving recently downsized from a house to an apartment, Blanchard chronicles her journey all the while providing helpful insight on navigating the world of (relatively) small-space living. We caught up with the blogger to get the full scoop on her style and the throwback trend she’s hoping will make a comeback.

Describe your style in three words: Mid-century coastal, Evolving, Achievable

I’m 10 times more productive when: I’m in complete silence. Is that weird? I can’t have music, TV or even other people talking! Especially when I’m trying to write a blog post. There can be no other noise.

On the weekends you can find me: Reading a good book, hiking with my rescue pitbull Opal, shopping at Homegoods or Trader Joe’s and spending time with friends and family.

My biggest design splurge was: I love restoring furniture, finding it for a steal and then bringing it back to life. So spending over $1,000 on mahogany end tables with woven shelves felt like a huge splurge to me. But I love them. They’re one of my favorite investments.

The one item I can’t live without is: My blue velvet Luca Sofa from Rove Concepts. I’ve never had a piece of furniture that felt more “me,” I’ll be buried with it someday!

My work/space is inspired by: When I lived in my house, I often designed based on my mood. However, when I moved to the apartment I became inspired by the coast. I really wanted a soothing and serene space and so I decided to stick to the colors that you find in nature: Neutrals with subtle pops of blue and lots of wood.

What’s the biggest design risk you took that paid off? I painted a 4×4 foot bathroom in Salamander by Benjamin Moore. A lot of designers would shy away from painting small spaces with dark colors. However, it’s not about the square footage. It’s about the amount of light the space gets.

Who’s a designer that is currently inspiring you? Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors! I just love how she pulls together a room.

What’s a throwback design trend you’re hoping will make a return? Closed-concept living. Everyone is OBSESSED with open-concept but I actually love when rooms are cozy, enclosed, and separated.

Describe the moment you knew you wanted to do something with design. I think it’s always been an underlying dream that I didn’t quite trust my own skill in. I used to drive around town with my mom and admire the exteriors of houses and she’d tell me that I had a great eye for design and architecture. I also worked at Anthropologie for years as a merchandising manager and loved rearranging displays to make it visually appealing.

What does winning the Blogger Award mean to you? The fact that I won the Domino Design Blog Award in “Best New Voice” is beyond my wildest dreams. All I’ve ever wanted was to connect with my followers through my words. In the hopes that someone, somewhere felt a little less lonely after reading what I’d written. Interior design has always been the vehicle for delivering a far greater message and winning the Blog Award will allow me to do that on a larger scale.

The best part of doing what I do is: Connecting, networking, and meeting people that I never would have otherwise. I have an “Instagram bestie” who lives in New Jersey. I’ve never actually met her in real life but I talk to her every single day, more so than my own family!