Directorio Deco by Gloria Gonzalez

In Conversation: Todhunter Earle

 Emily Todhunter founded her interior design business in 1988, with Kate Earle joining as her partner in 1998. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly both in size and scope. Projects range from English country houses to well-known restaurants, yachts, 5-star hotels and beautiful homes worldwide. 

Emily Todhunter, one half of this talented design duo, shares challenges, inspiration and more in today’s conversation.

Dear  Emily, first of all, I would like to know what are your biggest sources of inspiration.

I think I find inspiration in everything and anything that I am doing – all day long. Whether I am nosing through a coffee table book or Instagram, going for a walk on the downs, visiting an old English country house, in a museum, an art fair…wherever I am I am thinking about colour combinations and styles. If it had to be one source of inspiration, I suppose I would say that it was being brought up in lovely houses. I was very lucky.

Watercolor of a dining room in Scotland designed by Todhunter EarleWatercolor of a dining room in Scotland designed by Todhunter Earle


Over the years I’m sure that you have had many challenging projects, is there one that was particularly difficult?

I can’t think of any physical situation that has been too challenging. I am not at all fazed by the size or complexity of a project. What makes a project difficult is if there is an underlying family unhappiness that no amount of decorating can heal. We get so close to our clients and usually, we pride ourselves on our ability to lift and lighten everyone’s mood. We like to design happy houses and we usually do. But occasionally, (actually, only once I think!) the family dynamic was beyond repair. That was a real challenge!

A glamorous yet comfortable home in Belgravia by Todhunter EarleA glamorous yet comfortable home in Belgravia.


Favourite London interior

It’s probably very unimaginative but I do love the interior of the 5 Hertford Street. It’s so cosy and spoiling.

5 Hertford Street, London5 Hertford Street. Gloria González photography


  A colour you would never be tired of.

As a wall colour, I suppose I would never be tired of a Farrow and Ball’s ‘Downpipe’

Country home in Yorkshire by Todhunter Earle Countryhouse in Berkshire


Yachts, ski chalets, family homes…What’s your best advice to be able to do such diverse projects yet maintain a signature style in all of them?

I don’t think about it! I just follow my instinct and do whatever feels right at the time. I am not sure why I make the decisions I do. I just hurl it all together and hope for the best!

Swiss Chalet by Todhunter Earle                                                                      Swiss Chalet                                                                           

Any tips to adapt the English Country Style to modern times?

Yes – just simplify, reduce, lighten…but keep the character, keep the mementoes, don’t lose that evolved relaxed atmosphere, don’t be too precious. Reorganise the space so that the kitchen becomes the heart of the house. Gone are the days (sadly!) of having staff behind the green baize door. Open the house more to the garden, maximise the views through the windows. We used to need heavy curtains over the windows to keep out the draughts, but times have changed now, we have such good insulation so we ought to change our decorating accordingly and use lighter curtains and let the light flood in

Madresfield Court. Todhunter Earle Madresfield Court. Todhunter Earle
Madresfield Court

 Thank you so much, Emily!

For more information visit:

Images: Todhunter Earle unless otherwise specifically stated.


September favourites

Frances Palmer & Charlie McCormick pop-up store at Pentreath & Hall – The pretty homegrown dahlias by Charlie McCormick paired with Frances Palmer stunning pottery was a match made in heaven.



Landofbelle – Discovering @landofbelle Instagram account was one of the highlights of the month. Annabelle Moehlmann lives a very stylish NY life (and a Vogue-worthy wedding) and her @landofbelle account is basically filled with all the things I love. She is definitely one to follow!

Annabelle Moelhmann
Annabelle was recently featured on Tory Burch’s blog


A summer table setting by Annabelle Moehlmann
A summer table setting by Annabelle Moehlmann



Luke Edward Hall for Stubbs and Wotton: Luke Edward Hall’s meteoric career adds yet another great collaboration, this time with the classic slipper’s brand Stubbs and Wotton.

Luke Edward Hall for Stubbs & Wotton

Luke Edward Hall for Stubbs & Wotton

Luke Edward Hall for Stubbs & Wotton


Matilda Goad’s ribbed beeswax candles: Probably the chicest dinner candles that I’ve seen in a long time. 100% beeswax and made in England.

Matilda Goad ribbed beeswax candle

Matilda Goad ribbed beeswax candle Matilda Goad ribbed beeswax candle


Hibiscus Linen’s hand-smocked dresses. I have a pending post about the amazing work of Mariana Barran Goodall and her  embroidery company ‘Hibiscus Linens ‘ but  I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to recommend you the beautiful children dresses they have created for this season. All hand smocked, hand embroidered and with hem finished by hand.

Hibiscus Linen's hand-smocked dress

Hibiscus Linen's hand-smocked dresses


A dreamy Italian wedding by Fiona Leahy: if there’s an event organizer of the moment, that is Fiona Leahy. She creates magic in everything she does and this Italian wedding was no exception.

Italian wedding by Fiona Leahy. Laboratorio Paravicini plates

Italian wedding by Fiona Leahy. Laboratorio Paravicini plates

Laboratorio Paravicini plate available at Bonadea
Play Swallow Plate by Laboratorio Paravicini available at Bonadea (psst they ship worldwide!)

Indian Summer

While I can’t complain about the Indian Summer in Madrid (known in Spanish as ‘Veranillo de San Miguel) I must admit that this month some of my favourite Instagram feeds were giving me major envy with their travels to India. The explosion of colours, fabrics and patterns is difficult to beat.

Caution: seeing these images can make you feel an inevitable force to take the next plane to Delhi.

Hand block printing
As Diana Vreeland said  ‘Pink is the navy blue of India’  @mollymahonblockprinting


Molly Mahon at the Jaipur flower market wearind Day Dress
Molly Mahon in the Jaipur flower market wearing a dress by Day Dress (a brand every ‘hand block-printed’ lover needs to know!) Read my conversation with Molly here 


' If you've run out of time and the blocks aren't ready, pick up a brush'
‘ If you’ve run out of time and the blocks aren’t ready, pick up a brush’ @mollymahonblockprinting


The Sujan Rajmahal Palace
The Sujan Rajmahal Palace couldn’t be any more perfect @auntyb_madrid



The Sujan Rajmahal Palace
Sujan Rajmahal Palace @auntyb_madrid


Aunty b Madrid choosing colors in India
Decisions, Decisions… @auntyb_madrid choosing colours




The Samode Palace
Samode Palace @johnrobshaw


Amber Fort
Amber Fort @johnrobshaw