Designer Crush: Emilie Munroe

1. How did you first get into the world of design? 
I fell into this dream career by complete serendipity. My father worked in marketing, and my mom was an avid reader and very crafty. I did 10 years of youth theatre, and always had a fun decorative project in the works, but never associated this with a future in the arts. During college I thought I’d end up in graduate school for law or journalism.  However a chance summer position at an interior design studio led to a design assistant position and then a love affair with the wildly artistic, yet completely grounded in rules of proportion and scale, career of designing interiors.
2. How did working under the mentorship of Jay Jeffers influence your career? 
Jay is a dream mentor: Bright, driven, talented, gorgeous and very fun at a party. Best of all, he empowers his team to be collaborative, detail-oriented and organized. My experience working with Jay not shaped my design aesthetic but also my desire to cultivate a positive, project-management driven studio team.  
3. You describe your work as that of a translator – how is interior design similar? 
With each project we work to transform a client’s lifestyle and aesthetic into a functioning physical environment. Along with using a client’s fashion choices as clues when creating our design direction, we often use fashion as a way to describe interior choices. One example is a bachelor who came into the project feeling that in order for a space to be masculine, it had to be black and grey.  We presented images of men’s suiting and leisurewear to show that navy, olive and camel are all masculine shades of color.  An ability to translate furnishing styles and color schemes into descriptions that resonate with the client is essential and has allowed us to open the door to more unique selections — ideas that clients may not have originally pursued.
4. Collaboration is an important part of your process – what’s your strategy for getting to know your clients and realizing their visions? 
Creating each project’s aesthetic is a mix of both the literal and intuitive.  We always review Pinterest or Houzz image boards and talk about room function and lifestyle, however these tangibles are balanced by unspoken clues in personality, fashion and existing furnishings. 
5. Describe one particularly memorable/unusual project. 
In 2017 we dove into commercial design on two different office spaces here in San Francisco. Working with companies to define their visual style has been a dynamic extension to the work we already do with individuals and families. It is such an exciting time in the development of a company when they are ready to prioritize integrating their corporate vision statement into a physical environment for employees and clients. We’ve loved being along for that ride. 
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 
“Your career will find you.”  I was antsy during college to connect my studies directly with  a future profession.  Looking back, I wish I had opened my mind to chance knowing that hard work and pursing genuine interests would lead to the right career.  
7. If you weren’t doing interior design, what would your dream profession be and why? 
Is it OK to say one of my favorite hobbies is talking? I would love to host a television show like Letterman’s new Netflix special where I sit down and have a candid gossip session with all my favorite design, fashion and arts buddies. My version would feature mimosas.  
Lightning round!
8. Solids or stripes?
9. Sand or snow?
10. Soft serve or gelato?
Soft serve. With toppings of course. 
11. Britney or Beyonce?
12. Chuck Taylors or Louboutins? 

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