Interior Designer Emilie Delalande has always had a penchant for objects, so much so that as a child her sister called her ‘the antique dealer’. Cutting her teeth as an intern with famous classical French interior designer Jacques Grange, she moved to Sydney to work first with SJB and then Akin Atelier. Since setting up her own practice, Etic, she has an impressive portfolio of retail and hospitality projects under her belt, not to mention the signature ease of her own Art Deco home.
I have always felt incredibly lucky growing up on my farm. As a little girl, evolving in nature was very formative. It gave me both a sense of freedom, calm and resourcefulness. I spent most of my time outside observing life around me and my dad working. Driving tractors, making things in his shed or building treehouses gave me a real appreciation for how things come together. The farm was built in the 17th century and every space and material had its own history. There was a dip in the entry terracotta tiles where people had walked for centuries and the doors had natural brass handles which left a metallic smell on my hands for hours after touching them. There were so many powerful moments; it’s like the building was talking to me. It was a very sensory house which is the main reason why I became an interior designer.
"I feel like success has been achieved when I reach the point when I can put aside my personal sensibility and channel that of my client."
It is paramount in the way I work. I thrive on getting to fully understand the person who will use the space I design. I feel like success has been achieved when I reach the point when I can put aside my personal sensibility and channel that of my client.
To me, what matters the most is to always refer back to the brand’s core values and who the end user will be. Analysing a site and creating an offering from the beginning ensures there are solid foundations and coherence in a space. Understanding what elements are essential to the experience within the space should always be the main focus. A retail store, restaurant or house can’t be designed in the same way - it is all about the level of details and what details the user will interact with most.
I was so green when I first landed in Australia. I could barely speak English so it was definitely a challenge! Jonathan and Kirsten were so patient and generous with their time. They gently introduced me to both Australia and interior design. Then, moving to Akin Atelier was an absolute revelation. Before meeting Kelvin, I had never stopped to think of what kind of interior designer I wanted to be. He has been a true mentor for me. He believed in me and put me in charge of the Merivale projects we had at the time. The level of trust he had in me was mind blowing. This experience allowed me to have direct contact with amazing clients and learn that details make perfection. Working with Kelvin changed everything for me. Before I moved to Australia, I did an internship in Paris with Jacques Grange who is an absolute legend in France. We were drawing everything by hand and had a more classical approach to design. Polar opposites!
My current place happened by chance. A friend shared the ad with me and I instantly fell under its spell. I didn’t have any intentions to move but it was too good to pass up. What drew me to the place is the Art Deco building, its location, the high ceilings and the generous windows. I have a pet hate for new buildings that don’t provide cross ventilation. I love the juxtaposition of classical spaces with modern furniture. Growing up, I always pictured myself living in a grand Haussmann-style building in Paris. To me, Art Deco buildings are the Australian counterparts.
That’s a lovely compliment, thank you. I believe in organic-ness in life in general and that translates brilliantly spatially. Most of the pieces in my apartment have been collected over the years, some are family heirlooms and others are recent acquisitions. Everything I own has a purpose and so my apartment is very much lived in.
Timelessness is something I strive to deliver in my professional projects. Like many of my peers, I can’t stand the idea of waste and bad quality. In France, we have a very strong sense of intellectual property so brands and products are fiercely protected. This must be in my DNA so I only own original pieces. Some are classic and others are one offs, made by local artisans, people I admire or even, made myself!
Absolutely. I always have been. It started as a child being fascinated by family heirlooms. My sister used to call me “the antique dealer” as my room was full of random objects. She wasn’t wrong. Today, I still carefully select and curate objects, artwork and furniture. My favourite pieces are the ones passed on by my parents and grandparents as well as the random objects collected during my travels.
The way I dress depends on my mood that morning. Some days, I want to be comfortable and classic and others, I decide to be a bit more unconventional. That applies both to work and play.
Comfort and quality.
Considerate, open-minded, adventurous, honest, empathetic.