Style that lasts is key for Hampstead interior designer Emma Farkas

Storage by Emma Farkas

Storage by Emma Farkas - Credit: Archant

Practicality, longevity, comfort: throwaway culture and fast fashion have made these concepts something of an endangered species, even in interior design.

Living room by Emma Farkas

Living room by Emma Farkas - Credit: Archant

It is something of a motto for Hampstead-based designer Emma Farkas, who likes to apply it to all the projects she works on, adding style, personality and flair through accents.

“If you’ve got good bones you can update a look quite easily. At the moment, cushions are popular, or you can make a change of a colour on the wall; you don’t have to start all over again,” she says.

“I’m very keen to keep up with trends and know what’s new and what’s going on – I eat magazines – but I prefer to work with very lovely materials, not necessarily expensive, but lasting.”

Farkas says that for clients, everything depends on budget and she insists that she can create a house that looks almost as good with items sourced from Habitat or IKEA as from specialist dealers and antique shops.

Bathroom, Emma Farkas

Bathroom, Emma Farkas - Credit: Archant

And if time rather than money is in short supply, she recommends heading to brands such as Christian Liagre for furniture that won’t date.

“It’s a big outlay initially, but if you buy a chair, say, it will always be a beautiful smart chair.

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“If you have to do a project quickly, that’s the best way. It takes much longer to go and collect pieces, to go to that French dealer and order from that website, when you can elect for a stylish piece that will work straight away.”

Indeed, with this emphasis on longevity, sourcing specialist pieces and a network of reliable contractors, Farkas says that working with a designer should represent a long-term saving for clients.

“They’re paying you, but actually if you get it right and you get good builders and a good product that lasts a while and use sensible products – you wouldn’t choose a white carpet for a family – then in the long run, despite the outlay, it should actually save clients money.”


If you splurge on just one thing...


Always go for the best bed you can possibly afford. Comfort as well as look is so important for beds. It’s amazing how many people will just buy over the internet and not even sit on the thing first. Go to a well-known make and then spend as much as you can.


If you invest in a good one it will last you. I use and am a huge fan of David Seyfried. He’s exceptionally good.

Dining table and chairs

These days people usually have a large, open-plan kitchen-dining room. The dining table and chairs will inevitably be a focal point in here so make a statement but again, invest in quality.

Wool carpet

Buy a really good wool carpet for your stairs. It will last you years and years. Train your family to take their shoes off. You can clean it, you can brush it and it will last and last.