Emily Oberg Launches Home Decor on Basic Space
Emily Oberg Launches Home Decor on Basic Space
Lifestyle and wellness guru, design nerd, fashion consultant, and founder of her own brand, Sporty & Rich, Emily Oberg has her hands in nearly every aspect of today’s fashion and contemporary culture. Most recently, Oberg’s focus has shifted towards minimal interiors and eco-conscious home decor, which she practices by purchasing pre-owned and antique furnishings. Today, she brings her love for sustainability and design to Basic Space, launching some of her favorite vintage home decor items exclusively on their site. Shop the collection below and read on as she fills us in on what she’s been up to.
You’re in Paris now right? You started dating someone out there? Yes Have you spent time there before? No, only just recently. Do you like it? Yeah. It’s a bit cold and grey, but it’s nice. Let’s talk about your furniture drop with Basic Space. How did that come about? I’d been collecting some vintage items already — I do it for fun, something to do with my spare time. I like to keep some and sell items for friends. Jesse [Lee, owner of The dFm creative agency] and I decided to do something for Basic Space. The collaboration gave my whole collecting hobby more of a purpose. So you’re always actively collecting? I’ve always done it. I like to shop online because going vintage shopping, even for clothes, is overwhelming and stressful for me. There are a lot of good auction websites where I buy my clothes. Do you have any advice on that? I’m always scared items won’t appear how they look online. Usually just reading a lot of reviews from sellers, and being in communication with them. Just putting in the time and going through things and having a good idea of what you want. A lot of good things come from Denmark and Germany, so shipping is quite expensive. If you find pieces that are cheaper, it kind of offsets the shipping costs. Can you speak on some of the particular pieces in the collection? Where do they come from? It’s a lot of Scandanavian-, Italian- and German-designed pieces from all over. I’ve found some of the best things randomly in Florida, but items came from Copenhagen, Japan, Germany — mostly Europe. It’s not really from Canada or the US, but if it is, people have hiked up the price so much trying to get it here. Is the design from those regions — Scandinavia, Italy, Germany — what you’re predominantly interested in? It’s kind of what I like from my personal taste, and I think that’s where good design has come from. What’s the most modern piece in the collection? They’re mostly from the ’70s. That was my favorite time period for design — ’70s and ’80s. The colors and materials and things that weren’t being done before. The ’90s were okay, but things got kind of tacky in a way and super bright and just kind of weird.
Yeah I’m not too into the Memphis house style. Some of Ettore’s stuff is cool and Peter Shire, but moreover it’s too much for my taste. A lot is too crazy but there are some cool things. When people try to redo it now it just doesn’t translate the right way. Do you think there are any designers today that are making things that you really love? I love Sabine Marcelis from Copenhagen. She did all the resin candy cubes in the old Celine stores. There was every color of the rainbow. And she also does tables. I think she has such a good eye. And I also love resin because you can get such cool and interesting colors. However, mostly everything I own is vintage. I go to design fairs every year. Collective Design stopped happening in New York and it would seem that no one is really innovating or doing anything interesting at the moment. Would you agree? Yeah and I feel it’s the same in fashion and in that world. I’ve been so uninspired by all of it. There are a few good things coming out, but it’s dying down a lot. Why do you think that is? I think Instagram and social media kills a lot of creativity and the need to be different and stand out. I feel like everyone wants to have a brand now and maybe not for the right reasons. It’s so diluted and what people are into is just not too refined and has no point of view. People now are just sort of following the crowd and are kind of sheepish. It’s gotten to the point where they want what their favorite celebrity or IG influencer has. And brands that feed into that make lazy design. In a way, they’re making a joke with the products they make. But they know if they can get hype around them, they can charge a bunch of money. It’s such a weird cycle. I’m an optimist in life but when it comes to that industry I’m not very optimistic. (Laughs) What do you see in your future? You’re working on another magazine right now right? I’m doing the magazine, which is more of a passion project. I’m doing something in wellness, which I think has the most longevity and potential — and it’s the most lucrative industry. That’s where I’m focusing my effort and see a lasting legacy to be built.
To turn it back to the furniture, do you think you can expand that to how people live? Like the physical objects around them? I’ve always thought your surroundings are very important and affects the way you feel and create, work and think. I’ve always loved to be surrounded by beautiful things and beauty in general. My thing is that I want to have a beautifully curated home and that’s why I started collecting. In New York it’s pretty pointless because we’re living in shitty studios and it’s temporary — everything there is. I knew I wasn’t going to stay so I never really bothered with my furniture. I had a nice place, but when I moved to LA, I knew I’d get a house and be able to collect things. I know I’m going to be there for years and it’s a solid homebase. So yeah, it’s about being surrounded by things that make you feel good. Even just small day-to-day objects. If you look at them, they make you feel good. It could be a small pen or ashtray or the colors of your sticky notes. It’s so minor, but it’ll change the way you feel if you’re a super visual person. Have your interests changed since spending so much time in Paris? It’s inspired me with some of the projects I’m working on in terms of design. It’s such an inspiring city and I see it as a smaller, cooler New York. It has that city vibe, but it’s calmer. The buildings are so beautiful and old — not like LA or New York, where things are so modernized now and the older, nicer spots have been knocked down. Are there goals outside of selling furniture that you want to accomplish with this collection? Ideally that’s what I want, to tie in the message of sustainability and buying used instead of going to Ikea. I think that’s the way of the future. First it’s reduce, then to reuse. That’s a good element of vintage and why I like it. It’s just a little bit more sustainable in a way. Purchase the collection on Basic Space here.