Design Feature with Emily Gillis

We recently had the pleasure of spending some time with one of our favourite Interior Designers – the wonderfully talented Emily Gillis.

Based in Melbourne, Emily revealed the inspiration and design philosophy that drives her distinctive style, centred on ‘less is more’ and ‘quality over quantity.’ Emily believes in simplicity, durability, and sourcing materials sustainably for all her projects. Having worked in the interior design industry for several years, Emily started her studio, Emily Gillis Design, to focus on multidisciplinary design services for residential and commercial interior architecture, design, and styling.


Emily’s talent and passion shines through in her work and commitment to collaborating with like-minded partners, like Circa, who can help to deliver her vision. Emily took us deep into her creative approach and shared her inspiration sources, including visiting showrooms and galleries worldwide, booking design-forward accommodations while travelling, and observing the details that elevate everyday spaces. She believes that original thinking usually originates outside of existing frameworks, requiring the support of those around them to nurture creativity and design.

Enduring Design.

A Circa favourite, Emily’s recent Como Avenue project is a wonderful case study of timeless contemporary interior living. Emily explained that the brief was to upgrade a townhouse to suit a family’s needs, reconfiguring the proportions of the existing rooms and layouts. The design specification was driven by practicality, materiality, aesthetics, and function simultaneously. Emily created a timeless neutral palette with warm and subtle texture, including Circa’s exclusive Monde French Oak Engineered Timber flooring. Gillis also collaborated with furniture maker and sculptor Zachary Frankel to design a bespoke range of brass hardware for fixtures. This beautiful handcrafted hardware collection can be seen at our Port Melbourne showroom.

Team Building.

Finally, Emily credited Steven Waters Builders, who helped bring the project to life with their attention to detail. She emphasised the importance of good builders in the design process, stating that a good builder is worth their weight in gold.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.



Photography by Sean Fennessy.