Q&A with Emily Todhunter


We were over the moon when interior design maven – Emily Todhunter – agreed to create a series of cushion arrangements using OKA cushion covers.

Emily founded her company, Todhunter Earle, in 1988 and has worked on projects all over the globe – from English country houses to well-known restaurants, ocean-going yachts, nightclubs, five-star hotels, ski chalets and beautiful homes worldwide.

Earlier this month, we sat down with Emily to discuss our collaboration and get the scoop on her favourite OKA pieces and a behind-the-scenes glance into her life as an interior designer.

When did you become interested in interiors?

You could say I fell into it. When I was between school and university, I started to paint. I then trained as a specialist painter decorator – something that was very fashionable at the time – which allowed me to meet the right people in the interior design world. My career really began when I went to America, where the English look was very in, and that was when I found my niche.

What are your interior design tips for having a beautiful home with children?

You just have to go with the flow and stay calm. Decorate with them in mind and anticipate the drama before it happens (picture a cricket bat hitting your precious china!). The same applies to dogs really.

What is your home like?

It’s incredibly scruffy! There are literally holes in the sofa fabric! Everyone assumes that, because I’m a decorator, my home will be pristine. It’s far from that.

What do you think is the trick to balancing career and life?

You’ve got to take a pragmatic approach. Your clients do understand that you have a life outside of work. It’s a balancing act, and family comes first. Without their happiness, you will never be that successful. Please don’t worry that you’re letting your children down if you’re not at every match – just relax, follow your instinct, and hope for the best.

What is the most important room in a home?

The kitchen – it’s the heart of the house nowadays and where most of family life happens.

Which room in a home is most important to use an interior designer?

The room with the most obstacles.

What should you spend on?

A sofa – and a comfortable one at that. They are so important and last a lifetime if they are well-made.

What should you save on?

Children’s furniture, as they grow out of it so quickly.

What are your favourite OKA pieces and why?

Firstly, I love the Araucanas Lamp. The colour is fabulous and it has a nice urban edge to it, but it could work in any home. The Lauderdale Three-Seater Sofa is super elegant and cries out for a beautifully curated cushion set.

I think the Winglefield Table is great, it’s flexible (the top folds out and is supported by two braces and two extra legs) and I love the idea that you could get 18 people around the dining table.

One piece which could work in every room (and would make the living area look comfortable and relaxing) is the Glamis Ottoman.