Style Icons: Emma Clapham

Style icon Emma Clapham is a regular contributor to the Geelong Advertiser Homes Magazine, after spending two years working with Australian Gourmet Traveller, Real Living and Belle. She is passionate about all things related to home décor, design, food, wine and entertaining and now spends her time between Melbourne and Geelong, where she shares a home with her partner AFL player Tom Hawkins and their Aussie bulldog Oscar.

Describe your personal style?

My style is constantly evolving. I love classic and old school elegance, however with a touch of modern edge through something like a statement piece. I grew up in the country and my parents are still on the farm but I have lived in the city for ten years now. I think that’s why I like combining the classics with modern and retro pieces. It’s funny, I also usually find myself comparing my home décor to what I like wearing fashion-wise, my styles are very similar in regards to what I am comfortable wearing, and what I love having in our home.

What are the key essentials for a home office space?

An Amazing desk: A desk that’s practical to work on but one that also excites you and is comfortable, because let’s face it, sitting at a desk day in, day out means you are going to become very close with it.

Stationary: I have always been passionate about beautiful and practical stationary. Your first stop should be Kikki K or Typo.

Mood Board:  I have two mood boards in my office, and depending on the seasons, what colours I am in to, or just my general mood – I update them frequently. Mood boards contribute to your general style of the office, whilst making it appealing but they also offer inspiration, motivation and sometimes escapism.

What are your three top tips for styling a home office to make it a positive working environment?

Firstly and most importantly eliminate distractions, it can be easy when styling your office to firstly think of what you like and what looks good so it’s important to differentiate what is a potential distraction compared to something that is not only fabulous, but also inspiring and practical.

This brings me to my second tip, which is seeking inspiration in your styling. You may find inspiration in cafes and restaurants, Pinterest, museums, magazines and e-books the list goes on. Try and think back to those spaces that made you feel inspired and ask yourself was it the colours, was it the furniture or could it have been the lighting?

Thirdly, understand who you are don’t feel you need to style your office all in one go. Give yourself plenty of time and be patient. Start with the basics e.g. a fabulous desk that will most likely be the main piece of furniture that you’ll be spending most of your time on in your office. Then through your inspiration start collecting pieces that will not only suit your personality but your space. For me personally, I am usually all about natural and neutral tones, but lately have started experimenting with colour throughout the house and have found that I am attracted to yellow. I find it stimulating, motivating, fresh and happy.

What should be added to your desk space?

It really depends on your personal style, I get distracted easily so I try and have minimal items on my desk. As mentioned, I love the colour yellow and it’s included on my Retrojan desk drawers, so I have placed a yellow candle, vase and jellybeans on my desk. If I had to list the absolute essentials they would be; computer, notepad, candle or fresh flowers and some yummy lollies (always need lollies!).


How can you get a great looking home office space on a budget?

My biggest tip would be to resist buying expensive pieces just because they are in fashion, firstly assess your budget and what’s important to you. My Josephine office desk is the statement piece in my office and all of the items I have used for styling are pieces, I have used throughout the house before. Instead of buying art and frames, I printed off colourful quotes onto plain A4 paper and stuck them on my wall.

Take your time when styling your office, if you buy everything at once you do tend to spend more money. Give yourself the time you, and your office deserve and you might pick up an item from somewhere you were least expecting to.


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