1 Dresser styled 4 different Ways

Much like my love for Fresca, Vietnamese food, marathon-ing tv shows (strangely into The Arrow and The Affair right now) and thrifting, my love for mixing all styles together never wanes. Sure, there are times when one style get more attention, or a new style captures my eye, but ultimately as long as its good, I don’t care what style it is. Of course mixing them together does get tricky at times (which is one of the biggest chapters in my upcoming book), but it can be done.

Welcome to 1 dresser, styled four different ways:


Click through to break down these style and vote for your favorite!


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Target Chapter 7; Navy blue Accent Wall Bedroom Makeover

The 90’s ruined ‘the accent wall’. It just got too wacky and people were putting them everywhere and not following the rules. In fact, maybe there were no ‘accent wall’ rules so people were just running around their house, carrying 4 different paint colors, screaming ‘Paint that wall coral! Paint that wall chocolate-brown! Paint that wall sage!!!’ It  became a wacky gimmick instead of an appropriate design decision. But lately it has made a small comeback. A careful, well-thought out, small comeback.

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For this Target video we transformed this bedroom (below) in one afternoon, mainly by adding an accent wall. And I’m pretty into it.

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Click through for the whole post.


Rustic California Home – Reading Nook

Have you ever dreamt of having a cozy little reading nook in the middle of your house? Have you ever dreamt of curling up in it and reading Sydney Shelton books back to back whilst pretending that your screaming children are tended to in the next room? Backtrack question: Have you ever even read a Sydney Shelton book? Fun fact about me: I have read EVERY SINGLE ONE that was written by the time I was 18. And Danielle Steele. And V.C. Andrews. In fact,  I know in my heart and brain that I will someday write a romance novel. It’s actually not a joke; I’ve talked about it for 15 years now. Ironically, I got my degree in English. As in literature. Kill me.

When I’m done with my novel, I will knock on this house’s door and invite myself to sit in this reading nook and read said novel. Where else should one read an epic love triangle/forbidden love story?

Until then, I’ll keep on designing and shooting makeovers. So lets get on with it:

Reading Nook Before

When we started this house it was under construction, which made my job easier (read the back story here). All the contractors were in place and the schedule was dictated. This room was particularily easy as far as construction – the built-ins were happening, then we’d paint and refinish the floor (which we did, throughout the house).

Reading Nook Before 1

We painted it my favorite blue – Hague Blue from Farrow and Ball. Those sconces were temporary. We had to have sconces in for inspections but our sconces hadn’t arrived yet so I picked up these piece of garbage sconces for like $12 from Home Depot. The electrician put white plates on the outlets, when they still need to be traded out for darker ones.

Then it was time to play with furniture.

Reading Nook Progress 1

I really like the theater seats that they bought in there because its an appropriate space for them – its a hallway, and these seats were more sculptural than functional. They just kinda fit. That little green dresser in there was so cute, for sure (and now lives in the dining room), but once they decided they wanted it to be a reading nook/library we changed it up and put that leather chair in there.

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Here she is now. They switched out the leather chairs. They sold me back my vintage 70’s leather one because they already had this bad boy that was originally downstairs and it looked pretty good up here. So to save some dough we switched it out. And no, I don’t make it a habit of ‘buying things back from clients’, but I actually LOVED that chair and knew I could sell it. I think I bought it originally for $350 from a vintage store, sold it to them for $800 (I sell things based on how much its worth not any formula from purchase price) and then I sold it for $1200 at the end (I think the OKL sale). Not a bad profit. Although I secretly still wish I had it.

Anyway, thats how it looks now, and its just this jewel of a room in the middle of the house. This room opens to the kitchen, master bedroom, nursery, dining room and the guest bathroom. So its the perfect pass through with that awesome navy blue. They have tones of this going throughout the house so its not jarring, its just kinda wonderful.

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Yes, that is my side table up there that I’d had for years, but it just looked really good here so I sold it to them. I forget how much I charged them but probably around $200 because I’m a terrible business person and when I want a project to look good I somehow come down in price at the last minute.

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I wish I could take credit for that family photo wall, but she actually did it without me. I told you she had good taste. We moved some around so it felt more balanced. She used a variety of frame finishes and colors, but all white, black or wood, so it looks cohesive and totally home-y, homey.

The shots above are from a couple weeks ago. We reshot it because Country Living only shot/published one photo, and that didn’t seem like a complete makeover for the blog (magazines tend to run few photos because of page space). But this is how they shot it (below), not too different but so fun to see:


You might be thinking that they de-saturated the colors in the rug (or that we saturated them) but i’m pretty sure they just used the rug from the living room. It’s hard to tell. I like the other rug more here because, as you know, I love color. Since they wanted to shoot from that angle they moved the side table which makes sense for the shot, but less sense for the space (because it ended up being basically in front of the chair).

Reading nook

Wall color – Farrow & Ball Hague Blue

For those of you who want to recreate this look, get to it:

Get the Look Reading Nook_Combined

Get the Look:

1. Wall Sconce | 2. Leather Club Chair  | 3. Side Table | 4. Black and White Art | 5. Rug | 6. Decorative Books | 7. Wood Object | 8. Woven Basket | 9. Blue Throw

Get the Look for Less:

1. Wall Sconce |2. Leather Club Chair | 3.  Side Table | 4. Black and White Art | 5. Rug | 6. Decorative Books | 7. Wood Object | 8. Woven Basket | 9. Blue Throw

We shot a video in there over a year ago (I think I was 3 months pregnant here) so you can see the space, although the propping is way different. xx

Reading Nook Before_after

All before photos by my terrible iphone, the Country Living photo by Max Kim Bee, and all my after photos by Tessa Neustadt.  Video by Sharkpig. 

Check out the living room, guest room and master bedroom, too!

Pop of Gold! A girl’s room makeover

Welcome to a special guest post by my dear friend Orlando Soria, the creative director of the L.A. Homepolish team and the founder of Hommemaker blog. We don’t work together every day anymore but our addiction to each other hasn’t waned. So, every now and again we simply must collaborate even if its just a guest post by him here on the blog. Take it away, Landy.

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Dear Emily,

One of my favorite projects to date has been the glamortransformation of my La Habra clients’ gorgeous Spanish revival home. I love these clients and was sad when I finished designing their home. (Sidenote: These clients wish to remain nameless because they are way too humble to brag about their home online. I’m going to refer to their daughter as Brenda Walsh, for simplicity’s sake and because I love the 90z TV program ‘90210’). Luckily, in addition to being totally sweet, they’re also insane and have been continually renovating their home since I met them, so there’s always a new space to decorate and I get to see them all the time.

Most recently, I worked on a makeover for their nine year old daughter, Brenda Walsh, who is an awesome little girl who loves design and wanted to be part of the process. She’s such a cool person and it was fun asking her questions about what she wanted to see in her space.

Before I came in, Brenda’s room was still in little kid mode, with a bright pink bedspread and a matching black bedroom set (we’d moved in her new and awesome brass bed when we took these shots). She was kind of over her pink phase, so she wanted to update her color palette and give her room a bit more pizazz. An important sidenote is that children LOVE pizazz, so if you’re decorating a child’s room, add pizazz wherever possible. Also, the more you repeat the word “pizazz” the more you realize it’s the most important word ever. PIZAZZ.

bedroom before

Click through to see the full makeover …


We’re hiring – designers, photo assistants, admin, writers …

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Its time again, folks. We need more help in a few different categories and we are looking for the right people, with the right chemistry to have fun with Ginny, Brady and me. Know anyone?

1. Design writers/contributors. I’m looking for people who know design/style obviously, but who can write about it in a really engaging, fun and just edgy voice. This is EXTREMELY hard to find (online, in general) and who knows, we might not find the right people, but if we could then that would be amazing. So I figured why not try. You’d have a column – and I’m open to anything that is fun to read about. It could be  tech, interviews, trends, moodboards of personalities, home tours, etc. It just needs to be in the design/style category and engaging and funny. Allowing someone else to write here has been a super hard decision to make, so I’m going to be CRAZY picky to make sure its the right fit. Orlando, is a good example of good and he is coming back more often! The pay depends on what the post is and how much experience you have. If you think you fit these qualifications please send a sample post to us. This is something we’ll always be looking for so if you are just stumbling upon this post don’t think that its been filled. This can be done remotely.

2. Admin/photo assistant. Skills needed are basic admin/organization, adobe suite, and basic photo skills. We have a good camera, so don’t worry about that. Just looking for the right person with the right chemistry to help us run our vintage e-commerce site that will be launching soon and help with admin/emails/blog content, etc. This is entry-level, pay based on experience, and could be part-time (but every part-time job turns into full-time over here).

3. Assistant, junior and senior designers. As soon as the rebrand is launched we will have design services for all budgets and we need more designers to help with the needs. You could work remotely on our new E-design packages, or if you are in LA then you would be in on the LA design projects. This is freelance and project based for now. We need all levels – assistants, juniors (project managers) and senior designers (who have worked at a firm or for themselves and can run the whole project).

We’ll start taking applications and set up interviews in a couple of weeks. Or if you know anyone who fits any of these qualifications please forward them this post. Email: jobs@emilyhendersondesign.com

photo by Stephanie Todaro