Emma Jane Palin on her new Kalinko collection and how to make seasonal changes to your home

Interiors stylist and blogger Emma Jane Palin has teamed up with Kalinko, a sustainable homeware brand made by artisans in Burma. In the collection, you’ll find recycled glass lamps, handmade cushions and hand-blown glass mugs, all inspired by an era she knows only too well.

Interiors Coordinator Charlotte Page (@stylingyourhome), finds out everything you need to know…

Your finger is always on the pulse, interiors-wise. Can you tell us about this year’s spring trends?

I think as an industry we’re slowly moving away from trends in the home. It’s not a catwalk, we can’t be changing up our houses twice a year to match what’s popular. Trends are more long lasting these days. Taking it back to the collection as an example, the nod to the 1970s started emerging as a trend in 2021 and is still going strong. As a blogger, I like to think I’m helping to champion ‘unique homes that reflect your personality’ as a trend.

That being said, there are ways to change it up seasonally and tap into some more long lasting and meaningful trends. For example, shopping sustainably for handmade and artisanal products. They tell a story and tend to add texture and interest to any space.

As a colour lover, I also tend to veer towards colour trends. A lick of paint, or a change of soft furnishings can really have impact on a space. I’ve really grown fond of soft muted blues being paired with rich reds, and similarly I’ve been experimenting with pale pinks, deep plums and chocolate browns. Sometimes that just means adding a new cushion or throw to a space. Can I say that being bold and experimenting with your home is a trend? I think the past two years have brought that all out of us.

You certainly can! It’s great to experiment. Have you got any tips on how to incorporate this into our homes?

I think it’s important to recognise whether something is going to be loved for a long time in your home. It is totally fine to tap into trends and micro trends, but because you really like them and not because you’re seeing them a lot on Instagram. I was thrilled when 70s’ style came back as it meant it was a lot more accessible for me. It’s just about being mindful of what works with your core interior style.

One of my top tips is to look for trend-led pieces in charity shops, vintage stores and car boot fairs. We know that we’re at the point where these trends are being constantly recycled so it’s relatively easy to pick things up. Again, colour trends are easy work here! That way, if you decide you don’t dig it, you can rehome it and nothing new will have been produced.

We all love a spring refresh, do you have any tips for the new season?

Small changes are key. A simple change of soft furnishings can really change how you feel about a space. I often ‘shop my own home’ and simply switch things over in rooms to give them a new lease of life. Just playing around and re-styling can stop you from feeling bored. My husband always jokes that he often comes home from work looking for things that have moved. That’s how I solve any feelings of frustration in my home and I know that when I do buy something, it has to be something fabulous. Hopefully my first collection represents exactly that!

How are you feeling about launching your inaugural 70s-inspired bedroom collection for Kalinko?

Absolutely buzzing! I started designing this collection back in August 2020 so it’s been a process and a long time coming. As well as a global pandemic and worldwide shipping issues to contend with, the military coup in Myanmar has added to the already challenging political landscape, where the products are made. It’s never been more important to support the artisans creating these incredible pieces so I’m thrilled to bring a spotlight onto the craftsmanship behind Kalinko and supporting the work they do.

The collection consists of five pieces, can you tell us a little bit about how they evolved?

When I first set about designing the pieces, I was determined to bring to life the dream interior pieces that I had previously imagined but hadn’t been able to source. I wanted it to give a nod to vintage style but still feel current, much like how I choose to decorate at home.

With Burmese craft naturally celebrating all things 70s, it made sense for me to really channel the era that inspires me so deeply. I drew inspiration from furniture that I already owned, pieces that I saw in musicians’ homes, memories of vintage furniture that I’d seen online. The collection is named after the ladies that inspire me – we’ve got the Patti (Boyd) Side Table, Marianne (Faithfull) Amber Lamp, Anita (Pallenberg) Rattan Lampshade, Jane (Birkin) Cushion and Linda (McCartney) Mug. When I was designing it I was thinking of them as my customers. I like to think that they would have found it on their travels, popped it in their home and spoken about how they found it.

Sophie Garnier (Kalinko’s founder) had told me that things often come back from the makers quite different to the original designs due to the techniques used, but all of my products came back looking like my original drawings. I like to think it’s testament to how much of a natural fit they are!

Do you have a favourite?

I love every piece for different reasons but the Marianne Amber Lamp Base is truly special. I adore smoked glass, and thankfully two years on from the initial sketch, the love for that is still as strong. When I opened the prototype for this back in November, I literally squealed with delight.

Oversized lamps can be hard to come by and this was the only piece that did take a lot more back and forth with the makers. It was very nearly pulled before the most perfect shape came back. As well as this tall cylindrical base, you’ve got these gorgeous orange and brown bubbles within the design. Every piece will be different and I just think that’s so unbelievably exceptional for the price.

Kalinko’s ethos for sustainability has always been at the forefront of the brand, is this something that attracted you to collaborate?

Absolutely. As with most consumers I’m making a conscious effort to reduce my environmental impact. I have always been someone who has shopped second-hand and considered if a product is made to last, but there’s always more that we can be doing. Sustainability can be thrown around as a buzzword, but to be truly sustainable you need to pay employees fairly and think beyond materials as an example.

Kalinko is a sustainable brand in every sense, and it’s accessible, which doesn’t often go hand in hand with sustainable sentiments. In the collection, we’ve used sustainable materials such as locally grown rattan and recycled glass. It’s handmade by small family groups working on a cottage-industry scale and they’re paid well. Kalinko’s main motivation as a company is to ensure that the craft families they work with are best placed, socially and economically, to prosper and have a sustainable future – it’s so important! Of course, I’ve also sought to design a collection that will last the test of time and will work in lots of different interior setups. That was really crucial to me.

Would you say the collection was versatile or solely for the boudoir?

Considering it’s already in various places around my home, I’d say it’s extremely versatile! When I was coming up with ideas for the collection I was really focused on the bedroom vignette. I love a bedside table shot on my own Instagram and I thought it was perfect for a five piece capsule collection. Yes, you could buy it all and create the ultimate bedside setup, but you could also have the cushion on your sofa, the table as a side table and the lamp on your desk…it’s made to go anywhere you see fit.

 To shop visit Kalinko.com