It's A New Beginning for EmmaShea Interiors, Inc.

After having spent many years in the corporate world, in September 1999 with a three year old daughter at home, I launched EmmaShea Interiors with the specific mission of helping all of my clients have a home they love to live in.

Like many women in this day and age, I wanted to be able to spend quality time with my daughter, be there for the big and little important moments of her life, generate income and have a creative outlet.  I continue to love creating beautiful spaces for myuself and my clients.  And through this wonderful endeavor, I have been able to be all that I wanted to be. 

Well ... here I am 16 years later ... my precious three-year old daughter is now nearly 20 and entering her sophomore year of college ... I couldn't be prouder of her efforts and achievements over these years.  I recently relocated from the suburbs to the Pearl in NW Portland and am loving all of the wonderful inspiration I see each and every day that I am out and about in our fair city!

I continue to serve my wonderful clients, many who have become like family over the many years we've continued to work together.  I maintain an amazing team of construction trades who provide the highest quality of service on every construction project and allow our vision to become reality.  And, I continue to give back to my community through my partnership with Bridge Meadows ...  a unique and innovative solution to the current foster care crisis. Located in the Portsmouth Neighborhood of Portland, Bridge Meadows is a three-generation housing community consisting of homes for adoptive families and apartments for elders 55 and older. - See more at:

I look forward to helping more individuals and families create homes they love to live in.

What you need to know about Interior Design

Interior Designer
Interior Designer

Who doesn’t enjoy the prestige and recognition of living in a beautiful home that makes an impression? Or the energy of a home designed for entertaining large or intimate groups? Or the sanctuary of a restful home?

EmmaShea Interiors will collaborate with you to translate your wants, needs and desires for how you live, work and play in your house into reality. We’ll create an overall plan to transform your space into a home that reflects your own personal style. The right design will give your space the form, function and beauty that turns a house into a home you love to live in. Interior design is the art of bringing together the aesthetic, practical and technical expertise, incorporating the best possible use of your space, making the home uniquely your own.

Home you Love to Live In

At EmmaShea Interiors, we have lots of interior design experience.  We can employ different styles of decoration and collaborate with you on the best way to use your available space. At the same time, keeping in mind factors like load-bearing walls, floor construction, budget, the light and weather here in the Northwest and the function of the room. There are many things that contribute to the feel and mood of your home: the `theme' for the décor, color schemes, paint, wallpaper and wall decoration, carpeting and flooring, furnishings, in addition to window treatments, lighting and plumbing fixtures, among other components, The wrong combination will make the room look like a “hodge podge” while the right combination of changes will incorporate the components of scale, balance and proportion, in each and every decision made with give you the home you love to live in.

Spectacular Results

The challenge:  You love the “bones” of the house but it’s a daunting task to pull all the elements together to create the feeling you want to have when you enter your home. EmmaShea Interior design team is in the position to collaborate with you on fresh ideas for your space. We will work together to create a plan that includes all of the necessary components that will have you loving your home every day.  We possess a wealth of practical knowledge and experience in addition to fresh ideas from the market, and relationships with expert crafts people, manufacturers and vendors.

Browse through my portfolio and see how I have helped others create homes they love to live in. Also, be sure to check out my Pinterest site.

Secret Language of Color Consulting

What Do We Mean by "Colors Evoke Feelings"Play this game with me; see if you can name 5 more feelings that come to mind -

Red - Love, Stimulated, Physical, Strength, Danger - try Pink or Brick

Orange - Warm, Active, Dynamic, Welcoming, Boldness - try Pale or Light Orange

Yellow – Cheerful, Optimism, Positive, Sunshine, Light Source - try Pale or LightYellow

Green – Wealth, Cool, Envy, Expansiveness, Harmony – try Hunter or Yellow Green

Blue - Cool, Peaceful, Water, Loyalty, Protecting - try Ice Blue or Denim

Purple - Regal, Power, Sophistication, Creativity, Reverence – try Eggplant or Lavender

Black - Dramatic, Mystery, Empty, Dark, Finality – try Glossy or Matte

White - Clinical, Innocence, Purity, Enlightenment Reflective -Try Pearl or Lace

Brown - Earth, Casual, Natural, Dull, Sturdy – try Sandy or Chocolate

Gray – Ill, Deliberate, Steady, Resolute, Neutral – try Battleship or Slate

How did you do with our game? I bet 5 feelings were too easy!

Questions Color Consultants Ask How do you want to feel when we are in the room? Which colors will help achieve that mood? Do you want the room to relax or excite? Do you want the room as a setting for reading and conversing or do we want to utilize the room for playing video games and exercising?

Next we will turn our attention to the Atmosphere of colors.

Secret to a Quick Home Sale - Staging

Spade and Archer Before
Spade and Archer Before

Want to Sell Your Home Quickly

Having your home professionally staged is one of two critical factors in selling your home within the first 4 weeks on the market.

~ First: Setting a realistic and accurate price.

~ Second: Staging the home for sale.

After Spade and Archer Professional Staging
After Spade and Archer Professional Staging

How Valuable is Staging Recently, the National Association of Realtors reported that 94% of homes staged by a professional staging company sell in 29 days or less for a full price offer. The average un-staged home? 145 days for 5-6% less than the asking price!

Staging Always Costs Less Staging is worth your investment. Five percent of a $250,000 property is $12,500. Investing in staging always costs less than the average 5% price reduction of your asking price.

What is Staging The property must be move in ready. People looking at your property are buying space that they can envision themselves enjoying, living in and making a new beginning. Most people have difficulty imagining their belongings where yours are so dominant ... so they are limited by what they see. Staging a home for sale makes use of proven techniques to present your property in the best possible light.

Getting People In the Front Door When people arrive at your property, the first thing they see is the landscape, the exterior paint and roof. If the property isn't attractive and well-maintained, people assume the inside looks even worse. It’s like going to a hotel or motel, the rooms are never, ever in better condition than the lobby. If the potential buyer's impression is "it does not come up to standard", most simply don’t bother unlocking the door and simply move along to the next property on their tour. At the Front Door Once prospective buyers get to the front door, the exterior and interior entrance should be set memorably and create a visual impact. The entrance sets the mood for the home ... for their visit and their later discussion of your home.   Hiring a Staging Professional We have outlined here the benefits of hiring a staging professional and outlined some general tips. To tailor staging and design principles to your situation and budget, EmmaShea Interiors encourages you to contact our strategic partner, Spade and Archer, who excel in staging homes 503.841.7506. Current data shows that Spade and Archer staged homes average 18.6 days on the market versus 112 currently in the Portland metro area!

Color Can Change Perception

Color Affects More Than Mood and Atmosphere

Color has the power to change the perceived shape and size of the room itself. The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in a room [the fifth wall] and paint transforms it more quickly than anything else. A darker color ceiling is often perceived as lower and evokes a sense of intimacy. A lighter color makes the ceiling appear distant and expansive … unless of course you have too much contrast between light and dark and then it can make a room feel small and top-heavy.

Tricks with Colors We perceive warm colors and dark tones as nearer which create a cozier atmosphere in a space. Cool colors and pale tones recede; creating an atmosphere of openness and spaciousness. Combine cool wall colors with cool wall-to-wall carpet color and, an even greater sense of space is created even more so if the walls are painted to closely match the carpet. A bright color next to a contrasting color creates movement and vitality.

Tricks of Perception A rectangular room will look more square, if the two smaller end walls are painted a darker color and have the long walls a light color. This will move the end walls forward and make the room appear more square in appearance than it is.

Wall colors can be used to alter the perceived shape and size of furnishings as well. Creating monochromatic looks can expand a small space; using more intense color in walls and furnishings can create spaces that invite you to curl up with a good book or movie and feel cocooned.

Effects of Wall Patterns A vertical wall pattern will drawing the eye up to the ceiling creating the illusion of greater height. Horizontal wall patterns, especially coupled with a light colored accent wall will make the room feel longer and more spacious. The direction of the floor covering also influences your perception of the shape of a room. For instance, tile laid on the diagonal can increase the appearance of floor space; whereas a light colored rug on a dark toned floor will help create more intimate areas in a large room. Creating Movement Using color effectively in a home can create literal and figurative movement. Placing an accent wall will draw the eye to a particular focal point a homeowner may want to feature. A accent at the end of a hallway will draw people in that direction. Keeping the walls and ceiling the same color (when using lighter tones) will help a space feel more expansive and the eye will move around the room not feeling the limitations of ceilings or room transitions.

Next we will look at The Secrets of Balance

The Secret of Balance

Balance in Design. You know it when you walk into a room ... the space feels inviting and comfortable. If balance is absent, you might feel fidgety ... uneasy and not quite right. Appropriately balanced color together with balance in furnishings, textures and patterns offers a harmonious environment.


Accents also help to balance patterns and add visual excitement that completes a theme. Accents come in many forms, including window treatments, rugs, artwork, pillows, bedding, and linens, not to mention the countless accessory options possible for every room. These contribute to the overall balance of a room. As well, paint colors for walls, ceilings, and trimwork have to be carefully chosen to complement the overall design.

A Secret Tool

No matter what your color preferences, bold or subtle, color balance is the most important secret in achieving your desired effect. Colors should be carefully balanced ... too many colors and the mood created will be one of chaos and stress. The color consultant’s secret tool? Visual talent.

How To Find Color Inspiration

Now that we have considered mood, atmosphere, movement, balance and light, it's time to select a color scheme. Choosing a look for your home interior is a significant and long-lasting decision; and with the endless array of colors to choose from, where do you begin? The advantage of consulting with the color experts at EmmaShea Interiors is the depth of knowledge and understanding of the hue and value options available within each color and which will work best for you and your environment. Choosing a new color scheme can be a daunting task and your local paint store or paint contractor usually will recommend the safe colors for interiors .. multiple shade of white or beige. Walls may look fresh and clean, but the room can feel cold and bland. After all your efforts, you want a space that enlivens you!

Questions Color Consultants Ask

What colors are in your closet? What favorite colors do you gravitate to? What color groups are in the rugs and art pieces in the room? What colors are in the fabrics of the furniture? Based on the light and lighting a color consultant will begin with just one color and then will then begin to layer in: floor coverings, furnishings and draperies. This new color must be in harmony with the feel of the rest of the home.

Color Consulting

We have just scratched the surface of the factors that need to be considered, and begun to clarify how a color consultant's expert eye can bring all the rooms in your home into a feeling of harmony and unity. Call EmmaShea Interiors and we will consult with you to create the perfect color scheme, taking into account all of the aspects of your home ... from the flooring to the countertops, the furnishings and art to the exterior components including the amount of natural light in your home and what views your windows provide. And then collaborating with you on colors to complement you and your family's personal style. We'll help you create the mood and atmosphere to go with the flow of your home.

Call EmmaShea Interiors at 503.928.1641 to schedule a color consultation.

City Condo Living

This client acquired a small secondary home in the developing heart of downtown Vancouver.  Since this is an "occasional use" home, we used a combination of custom and ready-made furniture pieces.  They wanted the ability to have entertaining space, comfortable TV viewing furniture, and work space since the couple both work from home on occasion.  The art is a reproduction that has been transferred to canvas and had brush strokes added ... looks like a million bucks for a couple of hundred dollars!

Got Gross Grout?

Tile and Grout If you have old, unsightly ... OK, let's be honest Gross Grout, you'll want to contact Scott Carden, owner of MarbleLife 503.758.8901. As you can see from the photos attached they have the ability to rejuvenate old, stained, dirty grout, tile and stone and restore its luster and beauty.

I can testify to the quality of their products and workmanship … they have taken care of two clients … one who had old stained grout … we thought we were going to have to replace the floor since we had already tried scraping out the grout and putting in new … Ather Williams, MarbleLife’s residential craftsman, was able to clean and seal (I mean REALLY seal) the product and the kitchen floor is completely revitalized.

An acidic product had been used on another client's newly remodeled master bath … etching all of the beautiful white marble surface.   Once again, Ather came in, came up with a solution and again revitalized a bathroom to its original showcase appearance.

Marblelife also has a great lineup of home care products ... check out their website at or call Scott today for your complimentary consultation.

Sweet Little Wine Cellar Design

The client had a small unused hallway in the basement that was really just dead space. With collaborative planning between EmmaShea, the cabinetmaker and our electrician we created a perfect wine "cellar". Using a combination of ready-made and custom components we provided the client with sufficient storage for:

* 150 chilled bottles * 300 standard bottles * 40 magnums

Great lighting makes each selection easy to see and a beautiful remnant of satin-finished granite makes a perfect counter to open the bottles.

So ... let's create better access to those wine bottles currently sitting in boxes in a dark closet  ... EmmaShea Interiors will help you discover unused spaces and design a gem for your wine storage.  Contact EmmaShea Interiors, we're enthusiastic about helping people create homes they love to live in!

EmmaShea Interiors Sweet Little Cellar Design

EmmaShea Interiors Sweet Little Wine Cellar Design

Bungalow Fireplace Facelift

EmmaShea Interiors Bungalow Fireplace Redesign The client recently acquired a charming 1936 bungalow which was in dire need of a facelift.  The focal point of the sitting room was an oversized, out-of-proportion fireplace.  We talked with the client about his needs for the room, which included television viewing, space for a baby grand piano and a conversation area for up to 8 people sitting comfortably.

We removed the outdated, inefficient fireplace insert, the big box store cabinets and a small stone "backsplash" tile which flanked the enormous brick fireplace surround and mantel.   We then designed and built a beautiful surround incorporating base cabinetry, shelving for books and accessories, a place for the television and a beautiful mantel with a showcase area for a major piece of art.  The glass mosaic surrounding the fireplace opening was the perfect frame for a new gas log set.

EmmaShea Interiors Bungalow Fireplace Redesign

The end result -- you be the judge.  Call me if your fireplace or your family room needs a face-lift.

Sometimes The Most Difficult Part Of Designing A Room Is Knowing Where To Start

We begin by listening to your needs.  We evaluate your lifestyle preferences, inventory existing furnishings and accessories and then determine your decorating priorities.  We’ll work with you to define a realistic budget – with realistic expectations – that addresses those priorities.   After all, it’s an investment in the way you want to live. We carefully consider your design challenges from as many perspectives as possible. We listen, ask questions, think, research, ask more questions and then take action.  We’ll guide you hand-in-hand through the design process to help you uncover your own unique style and color preferences.   And then we’ll work with you to translate your vision into visual form.

Because we champion innovation and work in an environment characterized by creativity and continuous improvement, we consistently deliver results of the highest standards.  Yours.

4 Items To Check Before Working With Your Interior Designer

If you’ve never worked with an interior designer before, you may not understand exactly what to expect.  Let me share with you how the interior design process works. In short, you are investing in professional (sometimes intangible) services – people hire designers for their talent, industry knowledge, acquired experience, and the established relationships they have with preferred vendors and subcontractors. Here are four items to review before starting work with your dream interior designer:

  • A professional interior designer has been specifically educated in this field.
  • Be informed about whom you hire.
  • Have everything in a written contract.
  • Check references.

If you are interviewing several designers, you will find that no two designers work in the same way and that fee structures vary greatly.  It is acceptable in this industry to charge by the hour, per square foot, per project, or on markup of goods sold, such as furnishings and fabric.

Most people do not understand how much actual time it takes for client/vendor/subcontractor meetings, researching and sourcing products and materials, putting together a comprehensive design plan for the space, the actual purchasing/installation of all products and materials, the coordination of all outside parties involved, not to mention, the follow-up and endless paper trail that goes along with every job.  There really is a lot more to any given project than you may recognize.  Yes, it’s a stimulating, exciting career, but it is a lot of work, too.

Communication between the designer and the client is crucial.  As your design advocate, it is my responsibility to provide you the information you require and clarify details until you are absolutely comfortable with the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and understand who is responsible for what.

Understand your roles and responsibilities when you sign the contract.

Have more questions? Call me at 503.928.1641 or email me at

Interior Design Service

I am constantly asked "what interior design or decorating services do you offer." Here's an almost-comprehensive list of the services I regularly handle.

  • Decorate or Redecorate
  • Repurpose Existing Furnishings, Art, & Accessories
  • Move-In Services For New Home
  • Design Color Plans
  • Design Furniture
  • Work W/Architect To Design New Construction Or Remodel
  • Hire Tradesmen And Contractors
  • Specify Decorative And Finish Materials
  • Specify Flooring Including Carpet, Hardwood, Stone
  • Design Window Treatments
  • Specify Permanent Window Treatments Incl Blinds, Shutters, Shades, Window Tinting For UV Protection
  • Design Holiday Decorations And Displays
  • Edit Furniture And Collections
  • Accessorize Home And Offices
  • Art Consultation

While this is a pretty good list to start with, I'll work on adding more items. I'll also add more detail in this blog on many of these items, so check my other blog entries or stay connected using my RSS feed.

Have more questions? Call me at 503.928.1641 or email me at

Hello world!

This is the traditional first blog entry, so I thought I would leave it here and just edit. You should find the blog entries here helpful and informational. I'll post entries on working with interior designers, interior decoration, custom furniture, current projects, recently completed projects, and other ideas I find interesting.

I you have any suggestions, questions, or ideas that you want me to address, please call me at 503.928.1641 or email me,