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My Vintage Pad Home Tour: Emily Kumler of Prep Cosmetics

Welcome to another home tour here at Vintage Indie. Today, we have the pleasure of touring the personal home and style of  Ms. Emily Kumler who is currently at helm of Prep Cosmetics .


Hi Emily, welcome to Vintage Indie. Could you please tell us where you are from?

      I grew up in Lincoln, MA but my home is in Cambridge, Massachusetts


      How would you describe your decorating style?

      Clean and classic, blending high-end 21st century, French country, colorful Italian inspiration and ghosts of family-past (luckily they had good taste!). I’m a born entertainer, hence my kitchen, and adore hosting dinner parties with a group of best friends, showing off my style with chic, home-spun elegance. 


      Where do you find inspiration for decorating your home?

      A lot of my inspiration comes from my mother who has an exceptional eye and a terrific way of teaching design and decorating. She's always said “Your home should be a place filled with colors and objects you love.” Her trick is to copy the artists' works you enjoy staring at, so for me it was the Fauve painters, which is why i have a lot of bright contrasting colors. I hope this make people feel like they're sitting in a Matisse portrait. The time I spent in Italy as a high school student has also been a huge influence on my decor choices. No one has mastered the use of color better than the Italians -- ok maybe the Moroccans, those Moors have color combinations that are to die for--but my time in Italy was formative in so many ways and my design ideas are a tangible result of months spent wandering the streets of Rome and Venice. 


      How do vintage things play a role in your room/home?

      I'm a firm believer that mixing vintage with new is the only way to truly personalize your space. There isn't a room in my apt that doesn't have vintage items. In my kitchen I have vintage William Morris curtains. I searched and searched for them and finally on the British Ebay i found a pair and they were the perfect size -- I immediately felt so satisfied, like they were meant for my kitchen! You don't get that same feeling of satisfaction when you simply order something new – where’s the fun in that? I also have a fabulous orange couch which belonged to my grandmother. It is my favorite piece in the living room. She died before I was born, so it's incredible special to have something of hers in my apt as I never knew her. It also helps that it is a perfect match to my color scheme. My mother obviously got some of her design inspiration from my grandmother; all three of us enjoy the color orange in our homes, which is a wonderful generational link. 


      Other vintage items I adore are the blue shutters in my bedroom, which also happen to fit perfectly although I had no idea if they would work when purchasing them from a local antique shop. I have a huge armoire that looks like something out of C.S. Lewis's imagination, which is a favorite. There are also small items, like old Soviet Union cigarette cases I've collected and Henriot Quimper candlesticks that I cherish. These smaller items add subtle character to rooms, and to activities. I could go on and on...


      Do you have a favorite vintage or antique item?

      The couch would probably be my favorite. It has so much personality which only adds to the intense emotional attachment I feel because it was my grandmothers, it is definitely my favorite. However, I also have some original vintage posters that were given to me that I adore and that bring me a lot of joy.  


      Any advice on creating your look?

      Don't be scared. Play with paint. Unlike wallpaper or major construction, paint is cheap. You can mess around with colors and see what you like and what doesn't work. Also, I would warn, never pass a barn sale or antique store in rural areas without giving them a try. If you're driving to a friend’s house in Maine and the drive normally takes 2 hours, plan on 5! You don't want to miss the old magazines, rustic farm signs, funky fixtures and who knows what else you'll find along the way. 


      I know a lot of people who plan out their entire space from light fixtures to tablecloths before buying anything…this is crazy to me! The best part about personalizing your space is that you are forced to find a creative way to bring all your tastes and individual pieces together. Unless you're a really boring person (and I’m a firm believer that everyone has uniqueness and creativity) you can't plan every detail without getting out there and looking in a lot of unlikely places as well as thinking about what you already have. My biggest piece of advice is to shelve the fear or anxiety most people attach to designing their interiors, and be bold! (even if it is in your own subtle ways)

Thank you again Emily for inviting us in your amazing home. Visit Prep Cosmetics where they offer designer cosmetics including Paraben Free & Organic! Also, visit Manners101 where Emily also serves as a regular contributor.


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