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Get the look: interior design blogger Emily Murray on her home playground

‘It is a room of many names,’ says Emily Murray, interior design blogger and author.

‘It has been called the football room, the family room and used to be used as the corridor that took you from the front to the back of the house. Now I just like to call it the playroom.’

The large space, now connected to the kitchen, isn’t called the playroom because it’s full of toys and a great place to get a piece of Lego in your foot, but because it embodies an attitude that is close to Emily’s heart.

After all, the Edwardian property itself is called The Pink House on account of a large part of it being painted pink – Emily is not someone who tries to take life too seriously.

‘I was a gymnast when younger and became a stuntwoman, so playfulness is the best attitude to get the best out of my life. It sounds frivolous but it is crucial for children and adults.

‘Using the environment as a playground always resonates with me – I like to see the world through the eyes of a child. I’ve always been a physical person and love the feeling of being able to run and jump and have a playful attitude.’

Of course, then, Emily would have a trapeze bolted to the ceiling above the sofa. While walking in Ruskin Park in Lambeth a few years ago she saw an outdoor circus school and she spontaneously signed up for a trapeze course.

Find them above

No Cats On This Sofa cushion, by Barbara Coupe

Buy it for £55 from Barbara Coupe.

The Pattern Project Play Pattern Chair

Emily says: ‘I wanted to create a collection of armchairs that encapsulated positive feelings and attitudes, to bring this positivity into people’s homes with a variety of designs that appealed to various tastes and worked with different décor schemes.’

Buy it for £419 from DFS.

Firetoys Cotton Classic Trapeze

Emily says: ‘I tried it in the park and it was such a thrill, scary but amazing. I wanted more trapeze.’

(It’s worth noting, though, that any rigging points you use to attach to should be checked and certified by a competent rigger or structural engineer.)

Buy it for £159 from Firetoys.

Fast forward to the renovation of her semi in Honor Oak in 2019 and the trapeze had to be a fixture in the playroom.

But it is the electric blue and pink chair that best encapsulates Emily’s mood and approach to this room. The Play Pattern Chair was part of a collaboration of six designs with DFS created by Emily and blogger Katie Woods.

It is inspired by Emily’s love for getting a bit wild, with subtle textured circles offset by a bold new take on animal print, with a mixture of bright zebra and leopard motifs emblazoned onto a cream background.

Much like the style of the room, which shows a disregard for conventional grown-up rules, there is an attitude of anything goes, whether it is the kids kicking a football around or the cat jumping on the sofa – despite the warning on the cushion from independent designer Barbara Coupe.

‘I like to take all the “do not do that” and reverse it – I try not to have anything I am precious about.

‘When you are creative person you have to be in touch with playful side – the more playful I am the happier I am.’

Choose Love print – Katie Killip 2021

Emily says: ‘The proceeds go to the refugee charity – my grandparents were refugees so it is something personal to me.’

Buy for £230 from Print Club.

Mylands Eaton Square Paint

Emily says: ‘I love pink and blue and green together.’

Buy it from £5 from My Lands.

Vintage rug from Larusi

Buy for £660 from Larusi.

Isaac pink desk lamp

Buy it for £10 from Dunelm.

Side table – Rockett St George

Emily says: ‘This is a great jumping off point for the trapeze.’

Alternative option: Andrew Martin Brancusi Side Table, Solid Wood.

Buy for £425 from Olivias.

Palmeral Wallpaper by House of Hackney

Buy from £185, from House of Hackney.

The Pattern Project collection has been designed by Emily Murray and Katie Woods in partnership with DFS and is available exclusively in store and online now.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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