My design inspiration: Kitsch, colourful flamingos and pineapples

PUBLISHED: 09:11 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:11 14 July 2017

This flamingo-print creates an unforgettable en-suite (Emma Kosh)

This flamingo-print creates an unforgettable en-suite (Emma Kosh)


St Albans-based interior designer Emma Kosh is renowned for her bold use of pattern and colour. It’s no surprise, then, that flamingos and pineapples are her design inspiration...

This pineapple-print wallpaper makes a strong impression (Emma Kosh)This pineapple-print wallpaper makes a strong impression (Emma Kosh)

I don’t really know how I evolved to be the flamingo and pineapple advocate, but they do keep popping up in my designs and in my shopping basket!

I think it goes back to them being a bit kitsch; my favourite film growing up was Grease and I am drawn to anything brightly coloured or 1950s in style - some may call it ’tacky’ or ‘cheap’ but I really don’t care, I won’t pretend to love something I don’t. They make me smile and that’s all that matters. The shape, colour and elegance of the flamingo is aesthetically pleasing. The pineapple makes me think of holidays sipping on a pina colada - what could be better?

I remember seeing a Cole and Son flamingo wallpaper in a magazine about 15 years ago and thinking that I would love to use that in a house I owned one day. I later used the very same paper in the first house I bought in St Albans. It remains one of my all-time favourite wallpaper prints.

The striking wallpaper continues in the bedroom (Emma Kosh)The striking wallpaper continues in the bedroom (Emma Kosh)

My personal style in my home makes a statement, so flamingos and pineapples feature heavily and unashamedly but it is not something I force on clients - their home, their choice.

If it is client-appropriate, like with a tropical-style bedroom and lounge I worked on recently, flamingos and pineapples can slip into anything from the wallpaper to the accessories. The client in this instance already had flamingos and pineapples dotted around her home so I knew she would be open to more making an appearance.

I think my bold design choices attract clients as they can see an eye-catching use of colour and pattern, but whether they are brave enough to go for that look in their own home is another matter!

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