cassina zig zag chairs in yellow, blue, and red

A Choreography of Care: An Interview With Emily Sewell


As a well-rounded artist with a background in performance, music, and textiles, Studio Como design consultant Emily Sewell is attuned to the spatial elements of experience.

She understands how design details, especially furniture placement, can change paths of motion, affecting the daily rhythms that ultimately choreograph a life. While at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Emily studied fiber arts and performance art, which gave her a unique appreciation for textiles and the embodied processes that go into producing various material finishes.

When Emily joined Studio Como in 2022, she brought a decade of industry experience with her. While living in Honolulu, Emily worked as a lead designer and department manager at Inspiration Interiors, a Danish-owned company steeped in European design with tones of Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics. In the year prior to her relocation to Denver, Emily took a temporary contract in Denmark, working for iconic chair maker J.L. Møllers Møbelfabrik. While there, she set up their showroom and assisted with cataloging their historical archive.

I fell in love with the romance of furniture design and the history of European furniture.

studio come design consultant emily sewell

As a design consultant, Emily is mindful and heart-centered. Serving the Denver,  Boulder, and Front Range markets, she works to build trust and assurance with her clients, providing design insights as well as seamless customer service from beginning to end. We talked with Emily about her trajectory from fine art to interior design and why she believes a slow, patient design process yields the most satisfaction.

Having come from a conceptual art background, what drew you to interior design?
Interior design came up naturally for me because it’s about your body in space and the things that impact it—it was a pretty fluid transition from the concepts I was working with as an artist. Once I started working in the industry, I fell in love with the romance of furniture design and the history of European furniture specifically. The market has a lot to offer in terms of history, research, and development, not to mention its ability to dramatically impact people’s lifestyles. I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back in eleven years.

I’m truly invested in representing every aspect of the industry and am especially moved by the level of specialized craft and care European design companies put into their collections. They are the trendsetters, the innovators, the masters. They have really long, historic lineages when it comes to craft, materiality, and the trades, and yet they continue to be the ones pushing boundaries, advancing technologies, and diving into sustainability. I am so impressed by how much these companies prioritize the R&D needed to solve really complex issues, or to create missing niches in the market. Their work influences the world, which is quite amazing.

You just celebrated your one-year anniversary as a Studio Como design consultant. What were your biggest learnings in the last year?
Coming from Hawaii, working at Studio Como has meant learning a new territory, a different type of business operation, and a new product catalog. I have a very Eastern outlook on life and truly appreciate the opportunity to learn and bring a humble beginner’s mindset to my work. Colorado and Hawaii obviously have very different climates, and ways of living, which affects a lot of components when it comes to furnishings and material selections. Bridging the two has allowed me more awareness of the vastness of our industry, and taught me how to connect clients to their cultural contexts.

I’ve really enjoyed working with some of the bigger architectural and interior design firms here and learning from them as I watch how they create a mountain modern aesthetic. Being able to pull from all 40+ brands Studio Como represents to create a custom look is really exciting and rewarding.

Tell us a little bit about your approach to design consultancy.
I’m big on having an open, kind heart. Ultimately, I am here to serve my clients by being supportive, knowledgeable, creative, and patient. Patience is really key when you’re working in the European furniture sector because you want clients to have the space and time to be informed, thoughtful, and intentional about their selections. These aren’t impulse purchases, these are special pieces that become a part of a client’s life story.

I see myself as an advisor and as a resource for all the knowledge stored in this industry. In addition to advising on design choices, as consultants we need to provide technical information and oversee logistics. It’s very detail-oriented, which is something we want to handle completely for our clients so they can focus on big-picture preferences. We make sure everything’s checked off the list—ideally three times—to ensure it’s all smooth sailing.

cassina maralunga sofa and 9 side table in situ

What can you tell us about a project you’ve worked on at Studio Como that you’re particularly proud of?
I recently partnered with our design director Laura [Folgoni] on a residential project in the Central Park neighborhood. We furnished the whole house and were able to focus on each room of the interior as well as create some unique outdoor living spaces. The client was shifting her personal aesthetic to something more contemporary and minimal. Making that adjustment with her, we were able to bring in pieces that offered balance, simplicity, and organic shapes. She really embraced what Studio Como has to offer, and we helped her choose pieces from B&B Italia, Minotti, Poliform, and Riva 1920, and lighting from Bocci and Apparatus. We wanted to place unique pieces that spoke to each other in the space and reflected our client’s personality and taste.

Outside of that project, I’ve been focusing on working in support of the trade—so supporting architecture and design firms—and doing the work to familiarize myself with all of our brands and manufacturers. I want to find out what’s at the heart of each product in terms of how it’s made, the production process, the material palette, how it sits, how it feels, and what you’re able to experience when you’re using it or near it.

How have you approached interior design in your own home?
I have an appreciation for several different styles so each room in my home has a unique feel and design concept, from Scandinavian to industrial to bohemian. Because I’m a textile artist, I see a throughline in my home that is very colorful and material-driven. I’m very interested in the poetry and rhythm of fiber-minded processes and keen on the Japanese principle of wabi-sabi, where imperfection has its own integrity. These fascinations show up in many of my spaces. We love to host people and it’s fun to see who’s attracted to which space and where people want to spend time—it goes to show how much design impacts us even if we’re not hyper-aware of it.

I have lighting from Flos, a few furniture pieces from B&B Italia, and some accents from Cassina. My dining room has a good amount of Moooi. Right there, you can see that I have a very blended style—which reflects my personality, life, and family.

Is there anything you’re working on right now that you’re especially excited about?
I’m really excited about an installation we’re working on that’s coming up at the end of this summer. We’re working with a local developer who’s moving their headquarters to a larger office space with public spaces on the lower level. We’re bringing a very unique, playful style, using Poliform, Moooi, Moroso, and De La Espada, to name a few.

I’m also working on some smaller-scale jobs, like a living room project where we’re problem-solving to find what will work with some preexisting architectural elements. I love jobs like this where I’m focused on one specific space and working closely with the clients to really understand the objectives in terms of design and function. In some ways, a smaller space gives a bigger window to look through.

What do you find meaningful about the showroom experience at Studio Como?
Everything is really beautifully curated through a reputable lens. There is a lot of room for each piece, almost as though it has its own stage to be seen on, which is quite lovely. I describe many of our pieces as 360° designs, meaning there’s something unique about each side or aspect of them and that they can be experienced differently depending on where you are in relation to them. I think the showroom offers clients and designers the opportunity to really understand this and see how one piece can affect the whole layout of a space. When it’s feasible, I urge people to make the trip, to experience the showroom firsthand, to meet the wonderful and talented team we have here, and to be inspired!

Thank you, Emily!

Photo of Emily Sewell by Kimber Shaw

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