Maven to Know: Emma Rossman

Emma Rossman


For Indianapolis-based interior designer Emma Rossman, antiquing courses through her veins. 

When she was a kid, Emma would begrudgingly go with her avid antiquer mother to antique stores on the weekends. It ended up impacting her more than she could imagine, as she’s now a full-time interior designer with her own company, Emma Rossman Interior Design, making headway in New York, Los Angeles, and most recently, the Circle City. 

“It actually had a good influence on me and I just fell in love with furniture,” Emma says. “I just think it’s so interesting how we live our daily lives with all these objects that are necessary but that can also be beautiful.” 

Emma’s career has taken her all over the country, such as Dana Buchman and Charlotte Moss in New York, and ModShop in Los Angeles, where she designed custom furniture for production companies and celebrity clientele. Here in Indy, she’s been a two-time participant in the St. Margaret’s Guild Decorators’ Show House and Gardens. 

We caught up with Emma to chat about her favorite interior design trends and spots around Indy, and how to spruce up those home offices because let’s face it, working from home is the new normal. 

What is one of your favorite interior design spots in Indy?

Oh that’s easy, I love Midland Arts & Antiques downtown. It’s my absolute favorite haunt for everything from vintage furniture to antique wardrobes, mid-century lamps, quirky paintings. It’s just really a hot spot for finding very unique items that I can layer into my projects to truly make them one of a kind. 

What’s an interior design trend that you’re really into right now?

Gold! I love everything gold. Whether it’s a champagne brass kitchen faucet or a gold faux bamboo mirror, I think the brass is back attitude is so fun. It kind of evokes yesteryear a little bit, a little bit of the mid-century glamour that is just kind of fun to interject into a room. 

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

My maternal great-grandmother, Alice. She was an Illinois farmer’s wife who also happened to have studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, alongside Norman Rockwell. My family’s homes are full of her still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. I’d love to know the stories behind her pieces and what it was like being a creative at that time in her small rural town.

Who are some women entrepreneurs you look up to? Why? 

Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx. She started small and with little experience and today has a global product that makes women feel their best. She’s a big proponent of supporting other women in their business endeavors and as an entrepreneur myself, I find motivation and inspiration in her determination. 

What’s currently on your vision board? 

My current personal interior design vision board includes plans for a custom canopy bed and black kitchen cabinets. 

What’s a way people can spruce up their home offices and make them more productive amidst the ongoing pandemic? 

Start with your work surface and go from there. A work surface and a comfortable chair because if your chairs are not comfortable and you don’t have enough space on your table for what your day-to-day brings you, you will definitely not be happy in your work-from-home situation.

What would you tell other girls trying to get their names out there and go to these bigger cities like you did? 

I think the key is to read—read everything you can about designers and artists and whatever creative field that it may be that you want to go into. I read voraciously about what other designers were doing in New York and LA and actually both of the designers I worked for on each coast were heavily published in major shelter magazines. I called their offices and found out if they were needing assistance, and that boldness I guess did it. You just have to be fearless and if you want to learn from the best, you have to just go out there and contact them.

How would you describe Indy’s interior design scene?  

I think it’s quite vibrant, and what I think is really kind of beneficial to all the residents here is that there are a lot of designers and there are a lot of designers with very different esthetics. There is someone out there who can fulfill your vision, whether it’s very traditional, very modern, or someone like myself who will basically start with a blank canvas of the client and create a home for them, representative of them.

Who do you look to for inspiration? 

I say it time and time again, I take a lot of inspiration from other artists. I take great, great knowledge away from just looking at what other people are creating. It’s incredibly inspiring to see people put their thoughts and feelings to canvas. And I do the same thing, just in rooms. 

Samantha Kupiainen is a regular contributor to Indy Maven. 

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