Introducing Amsterdam Modern

We’ve been shooting at some pretty amazing houses for the book lately so I figured it was time to call people out, feature them and thank them. The first one is Ellen, the owner of Amsterdam Modern, a mid-century Dutch import store that I love and have purchased quite a bit from (including my new sofa, yet to be revealed). Her stuff is always beautiful and so interesting, not cheap mind you because they are the real deal (imported, well cared for, original, etc) and just oh so beautiful.

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Those are some of my favorite pieces she has right now. That denim patchwork chaise is beyond words (I know many of you will think its hideous but in the right space I think its AMAZING).

Check out the rest of her inventory here, and yes she ships nationwide … Happy Tuesday y’all. xx

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Artisanal Antiquing in Portland

We arrived into beautiful artisanal Portland yesterday, scouted some houses (including one by Jessica Helgerson which is INCREDIBLE) and then naturally had to stop by the Stars antique malls for a cool hour and a half to hoard some beautiful pieces for this week (and life, in general).

Here’s what we scored:

antique finds

Huge pink Moroccan pillows, $85, weird architectural lamp, $75, berry baskets $2, vintage pink tassels ($22  … I mean, I spent $22 dollars on these tassels? … but wait, they will come so in handy for the perfect shot where we just need a tassel to hang on a door knob and boom, we’ll be in business). Ironstone platter $20, weird ruler sculpture, $12, gold paper clip holder $6, weird horoscope book $6.

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Best score of the day is that brass and wood lamp $75, (and yes its coming home with me) little panting $6, wood plates $14, brass tray $20, blue vase 18, teal pottery pitcher $22, blue blanket with fringe, $38.
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Twig basket $8, gray platter $10, petrified wood $28, blue pottery $3, amber vase $18, vintage quilt (but in such pretty condition) $36.
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Black fountain bowl $19, boring wood bowl $22, vintage dominos $8, black candelabra $26, rustic pot $8.

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Teak tray $28, white pottery cylander vase $10, low pottery bowl $12, oil portrait $32, huge jug $48, vintage jump rope, $6, little gold tea kettle $18 (It might have been cheaper, i’m forgetting).

Without knowing exactly what we need we bought things that we just really liked and would keep, or things that we know are photogenic. Like that brass teapot – i don’t drink tea, but on a kitchen island with some pretty mugs and newspaper and you have what we like to call the perfect “lifestyle moment’.  After styling said moment we will then try to build a time machine and go back in time to stop ourselves from ever using that douchey phrase again – even though we will mostly say it again.

The black candelabra is probably the only thing that I don’t really want to own, but one of the houses we are doing has this beautiful church feel with a lot of black and I can see this on their dining table with candles in it next to a beautiful bespoke bowl of artisanal fruit. Plus we haven’t done candlesticks on a dining table yet.

We are going back out shopping today after we scout a couple more houses. The shopping here is VERY good and everything is about 1/3 cheaper than LA, plus there is just so much of it.  Not all of the above were priced right or cheap, but I could see all of them in shots. That huge pottery jug, for instance, it was almost $50 which is a lot, but with a big artisanal branch in it, its kinda perfect for all you need on a dining table. And having a blank dining table is not an option for the book, or in life.  Its a style crime, and you simply can’t be the perp.

Must use the word perp as much as possible, it’s just wonderful.

Speaking of words we are playing a drinking game while we are here where every time we read or hear the word ‘artisanal’ we are taking a shot of, yes, artisanal homebrewed small batch bespoke bourbon.

We are already WASTED and its only 10:05am. Its going to be a very fun week.  (Just joking, folks … we are strictly business up in here).

So which is your favorite? What do you want to hoard? And again, if you know of any new stores in Portland, leave them in the comments, y’all.

To see what we bought last week go HERE. 

Organized chaos …

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I wish I could say that this was just a particularly messy day, but every day here feels totally insane. Yesterday we shot the new Redbook DIYs and in order to clear a side of the room to shoo them everything was placed on the other side, burying me. It would be appropriate that I would be buried alive by my props. ‘She lived a good life. She loved her things. And she died underneath them’.

Happy Friday, y’all.

Oh! And Portlanders, give me the scoop on any new stores, restaurants, bars, kids places, etc. We’ll be there sunday to sunday shooting the book and I want to show Charlie what being an Oregon Baby is all about. I already taught him the word ‘artisinal’, so he’s in pretty good shape to order just about anything. Have a good sunny, happy full of relaxation weekend. xx

Reader Question: Objective Advice on Living Room

Oh sure, I LOVE being objective. Just remember, you asked :)
This weeks READER QUESTION is more like a few questions, but here we go. (‘Reader’ is in green, i’m in black)

I’m hoping for a little objective advice on my living room… I’m attaching some not-so-great iPhone photos, and hope ya’ll can get an idea of my space + stuff.

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I’m not sure how to describe my style….comfortable modern, a little minimalist? I love mid-century stuff, but more importantly I like a mix, and I’m worried that this room is getting too mid-centuryish.  We use this room a lot-kids practice piano here, we read in here, play board games on the floor.  

QUESTIONS:
Fabric for sofa reupholstery? bluish tealish from the rug? keep in mind out 100+ pound dog and two elementary aged kids and that I hate being careful with things all the time.
First off – you are in VERY good shape, here. You have awesome furniture and I don’t feel sorry for you at all. But choosing a sofa fabric can be scary – especially kid-friendly. I would know, i just did it. I really like the idea of pulling the teal or a dark green out of your rug – its kid friendly and it’ll work with the room and contrast nicely with the teak chairs with the light upholstery. I secretly like that plaid, but I know it’s probably dated in person – that sofa is just so awesome. I recently redid my new sofa in Sunbrella fabric (outdoor) and they had a pretty big range of colors. It’s not as soft as most fabrics, but its crazy durable, has a decent weave that kinda looks like linen and you don’t really have to worry about it. A good polyester velvet or linen that has a lot of polyester in it will hold up nicely, too. But that sofa is a gem. It reminds me of an Adrian Persall or my former sofa  - I can’t say ex-sofa, I just can’t … it was sooo hard to part with it!!! I’m still mourning its loss (but sooo loving my new sofa).

What should I do for pillows?
The shape of this sofa is super beautiful – you could probably get away with just a couple of pillows and a throw and nothing too big or bulky. Maybe this is where you can bring in some other styles that you like to help it not feel too midcentury (your words, not mine, I love how midcentury it is).

pillow-roundup

(Clockwise from top left: Etsy pillow, Target chunky knit throw, West Elm Pillow, Target chevron pillow)

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I’m thinking about redoing the plycraft chair in caramel leather…it’s seems like there is too much fabric in the room now with the non leather sofa. Or I can redo it in any other fabric-so easy and I’ve done a bunch of them so it only takes a couple hours!
Um, what are you? Some sort of upholstery wizard? You can just reupholster a plycraft chair in a couple of hours? Amazing. Move to LA. I’ll board you, and you can just be my personal upholsterer.

I totally agree with you about the leather. I don’t mind all the fabric necessarily but I think the upholstery on the Plycraft should be more classic and caramel or black leather is just so fitting for this chair. This chair is like Kim K – it doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles, It already has a lot going on, so its best when its simple and you just show off those pretty lines.

Should I get rid of one or both of the ottomans and get a coffee table?
I do think you could use a coffee table – I could see one of these in your space:

coffee table roundup

If you don’t want to commit to a whole table I really like those little gold stools from Crate and Barrel (or you could get two). The midcentury oval table (top right) would be totally appropriate and seamless. The raffia wrapped Serena and Lily table is pretty amazing and i’ve wanted it for a few projects (although its $1200 price tag is hard for clients). The bentwood table would ground the seating area nicely and add some heft to all the leggy chairs. And the mid-century inspired Target bench is a super affordable option ($150) that is simple, pretty and would work seamlessly in there as well (and you wouldn’t have to be so precious around it).

I have pretty thick skin, so all critiques welcome, too!
The only thing I will say (and I hate unsolicited criticism although you did email me :)) is that in these shots it seems like you could lose a chair. I LOVE your chairs, but the mid-century chair next to your sofa seems a bit crowded. You could either face both mid-century chairs opposite your sofa or put one in another room and pair the other with the eames chair. Again, I love them all but I wonder if that would still provide a lot of seating and help open up the space. Also maybe try putting the fig tree in the corner (to help draw your eye to the corners which makes your room appear bigger) and then put the money tree where the fig tree is.

I hope I answered all your questions (well, I know I didn’t answer a couple, but I kinda ran out of time so I deleted them. Sorry!)

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

I have approximately 400 of these to answer, but if you want yours to make it to a post be sure to take good big pulled back photos (of different angles), ask very specific questions (not just ‘how can i make it look better?’ but more, ‘what color should I paint my wall and should I burn that ugly chair or recover it?’. And original questions that I haven’t addressed before are better – like since I’ve done ‘how to style a mantel’ video, I probably won’t do another post on that.

But bring ‘em on.

To submit your reader questions, email them to brady@emilyhendersondesign.com

We be thriftin’ – our newest finds

When we were shooting the show we would shop with clients in mind but also we would just buy whatever was awesome because we needed so much for styling every week. So every pretty box, vase, vessel, piece of art, sculpture, etc we would hoard. But I’ve had to curb that joy and be more discerning I would end up spending way too much money, hoarding too much and not needing enough of it – it’s just too wasteful … even though it fed the addiction.

Well now that I’m shooting the book and have gone through my inventory I’m back into that mode for the next month and it’s terribly exciting. So last night after we got finished shooting we stopped by a thrift store and CLEANED UP!!! Here’s what we got (some pieces I bought over the weekend, too), with rough prices.

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This thrift store isn’t cheap, it’s actually kinda over priced. But it’s still cheaper than new pieces and mostly more unique.

wicker vase $15, painting (that is actually from ShopClass that I purchased over the weekend, it was $90 but I LOVE it), black/brass horn $10, woven placemat $8, wood pedestal $16, basket trio $4, the camera bag was actually a gift from my best friend.

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Large paper mache camel $50  - this came in VERY handy today where we happened to need a large whimsical global object – as you do. so WHAM, we had it.

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Footed pedestal thing (from ShopClass), tray $12, pot $3, roll of hand-dyed fabric $60 – from the flea market and its about 12 yards, wooden bowl $10, green napkins $8, basket $15, little wicker basket $2.

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Little pottery tray $7, white and blue stripe bowl $15, brass lamp $30, little vase $5, tall white vase $18, huge blue vase $40, vintage blue/gray/striped patchworked fabric is from the flea market and was $110, same dude/dealer as my new pink runner. Expensive, i know, but they come sooo in handy as a tapestry on the wall, tablecloth, throw or rug in a shot. So when its pretty, i just buy right now.

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White lamp $40 (overpriced, but such a good unique shape), wood vessel $12, ceramic pitcher $18 (way too much, but again it came in handy today), wood/brass boxed $5, pottery vessel $18 (overpriced), little ceramic bud vase $7, hand colored photograph of ship, $15.

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Brass lamp $40 (we got them down from $60), painting $160 (total splurge from Shopclass but I love it and i’ll keep it after), 3 bowls $6 each, little blue vase $12, white vessel $8, weird wooden hammer $5.

So there you have it. My hoarding for you blog reading pleasure. We shot these with our iphone on set yesterday while we were shooting the book. Double timing it over here. And the only way that we can afford to purchase so much for the book is knowing that we are gonna have a massive garage sale at the end. Get prepared, folks. I’ll keep you updated on the deets.

So which is your favorite? Which one do you wish that you had scored?