Emeny has been a director of independent brewery group Fuller, Smith and Turner since 1998. He leads the retail business at Fullers Inns in a role encompassing the group's managed pubs, tenanted pubs and hotels.
He joined Fuller, Smith and Turner in 1996 from Bass, where he progressed through various senior management roles, including strategic planning.
Dunelm chairman Geoff Cooper said: 'As well as having a wealth of experience, both of consumer-facing businesses and of PLC governance, he is a man of considerable drive and energy.'
Dunelm operates 83 stores under the Dunelm Mill fascia, the majority of which are out-of-town superstores.
It superstores sell up to 18,000 products including bedding, curtains, cushions, and kitchenware.