Rugs. they really tie the room together. Dude.



After a rug shopping weekend with my L.A. B.F. a few weeks ago, i knew that a rug post was inevitable.   I could go on and on posting picture after picture of rugs that cost more than i would pay ransom for my cat.  But instead, i’m going to highlight some of my favorites for under $1000 (and in case you are curious, I would go up to $17,000 for bearcat, but not a penny more).  And i know, $1000 is still a bundle of money, but rugs are just spendy (go vintage persian, craigslist, etc and you can get some deals, like mine.)


This one above is i think Madelein Weinrib, and it’s over the budget for this post, but here are some below that have the same feel and impact, with less pressure on the old wallet, (or money clip if you are a gentleman, or piggy bank if you are a child in which case you should  probably not be thinking about rug choices so much, go have fun, build a fort, stop reading design blogs)

crate and barrel, ringo rug  $199-$899


left Ikea jorun  right Ikea stockholm
It’s ironic that i just complained about the ubiquitious black and white trend, and look what I did.
I’m a huge fan of sisal rugs too, or natural jute rugs. like so:



For me, if you are not going to get a pattern, then its nice to at least add a texture – like in the sweater rug or these jutes.  Although these jutes or sisals aren’t exactly the lay around on the floor and watch tv kind of rugs – they are pretty scratchy and have no give – a particular taste, for sure.  But they are pretty durable, stain resistant, etc.


And no, i don’t work for ikea or west elm or  C and B, they are just the best companies that still make affordable rugs.  There is a reason chains are successful, because they can mass manufacture for cheap.  If someone knows of a smaller company that makes ready to buy rugs for under $1000, let me know I would love to promote them more.  Until then, i’m ikeas, west elms and crate and barrels little lackey.


Collect yourself, for gosh sake


Collections are tricky.  Are you going to be the creepy chick who collects anything ‘cat’ or weird neighbor that has every first edition of Danielle Steel books, autographed of course (I know a chick), or are you going to have an impressive collection of beautiful shells collected from 30 years of travelling beaches around the world? (i’m talking to you, Pam Basich, such a pretty collection).  Don’t be the former, be the latter.  There are rules to collecting. (i’m making this up, you will find no documentation, fyi).  and here they are:
1. Every piece in the collection beautiful by itself ( or cool, or wierd, whatever you are going for).  don’t just buy or pick up that shell because its there,  really ask yourself if its worthy to be displayed in your house with the rest of the rare obscure shells that look like incredlble little sculptures.  Adding in less pretty pieces will dumb the whole collection and will make it look junky.
 2.  You must display them together.  This is an old design concept that a lot of small similar things displayed together can have as much impact if not more as one amazing big thing.  But if you disperse your collection around the house, then all the impact is lost and you just have a lot of crap for people to feel like they will knock off shelves.  Designate a wall, or a shelf or a credenza for the collection.  It can add such a point of interest, and it says ‘collection’, not just ‘stuff everywhere’. (woah, don’t i sound official, “point of interest”, somebody has been watching too much HGTV…)
3.  Collections don’t have to be expensive (although someday I will have a collection of rustic deep sea chinese pottery, they are crazy beautiful; all pieces found on the bottom of the ocean, normally all white, black, or grey with sooo much age that you can practically hear the chinese dynasty rulings if you put your ear up to them  – they are crazy expensive, even when we were in vietnam they were still like $150 for a small bowl, but someday… someday).  I DIGRESS.  A collection could be beautiful river rocks, leaves or flowers that you have dried,  it could be small beautiful antique salt spoons (i heart you Scott Horne) or vintage watercolor paintings of forests (keep it up Corbs).  Whatever it is, make sure its pretty or weird or says something really important to you, but don’t think it needs to be something fancy or expensive.

 This room is pretty great. except for those things hanging down from the ceiling which are reminding me a little too much of….ahem….rhymes with mesticles…(please this is a family blog, for feck sake).  


4. rule .  A collection must contain contrast no matter what the collection is.  The contrast could be size – if you collect everything the same size its very un-dynamic, and won’t look very collected, will look more like you bought them all at once at the same place – which is an anti-collection.  Collect different sizes, shapes and colors (perhaps stick within a palette), as all of these three collections have.  And base the display around the biggest one (a hero, perhaps), and style around it.

5.  don’t collect everything.  it becomes more of hoarding (not in the A&E sense, but in the ‘this person has a house full of shit that you can’t move around and he/she obsesses over’ kind of way).  There gets to be a point where you can stop the collection.   I once shot at Martha’s house in the Hamptons (yes, we are on first name basis, she calls me Ems most of the time, or Emmy, or ‘my dearest’, or just ‘beautiful’) and she collected all of this green pottery ( i don’t remember what its called, if anybody knows, tell me), it’s light green, vintage (30’s-50’s?) simple and super pretty. But she had sooooo much of it, all of her dinnerware, everywhere in her living room, dining room, bathroom and all the pots in her landscaped garden were of the same brand/color too.  I remember an insider telling me that it really was more like hoarding than collecting – she pretty much had every piece that existed.  And yes, it had big impact, but it was a one trick pony and you stopped noticing after a while – you lost interest.  As a side note she used that color green as her exact color palette for the whole house.  All the walls were a shade of it, her upholstery worked perfectly with it, all the plants indoor and outdoor were the perfect pantone chip color green to work with the pots, and get this:  she had her cruiser bike custom painted the exact same color.  We get it Marth.  you like green.

Anyway, to wrap it up:  collect only pretty, awesome things that you want to make a statement, display them together, don’t be a snob – collect anything that you find beautiful and organic, make sure there is contrast within the display and know when to stop.

not sure why  I think i’m the expert.  i’m definitely not.   Perhaps as a former collector of way too much i feel self-rightious about chastising others.  that’s kinda crappy of me, eh?


Black and white and read all over – well not exactly read ‘all over’ but a couple people anyways…


hayzoos chreesto, these stools are rad.  Does anyone know who makes them or where they are from?  I’m almost positive that i can’t afford them (again, I have a LOT of  money, tons!, swimming in it! Scrooge McDuck style, like which-trustfund-do-i-withdraw-from-today, kinda rich).  But I would kill for these stools.  I got these pictures from emma’s blog.  and per usual they are super pretty.   Sidenote:  Her blog is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. where does she find all these pretty pics?  check todays post out, she posted some more, to die for pictures (or cry for if you are unlike  me and can’t afford to have interiors like these…pity for you)
I like this huge black and white trend, i appreciate how classic it is, how simple it is, etc etc, but sometimes I want to rebel and paint my walls turquoise or cover them in blue wallpaper.
It makes me kinda want to do something less perfect, less sophisticated….anyone agree?



Una posta sobre Jose, the Mexican.


I worked with The Bearded Mexican gang last week, i didn’t name them, just passing it along.  To be technical, only one of them was Mexican, and the other two were Brooklynites and a Bostonion, but man, were they bearded – claiming no irony, bt-dubs. This included the photographer, Jose Martinez (the mexican, hola) and Eric, Pat and Anton his helpful posse.  It was pretty much un pleasure en total.

Jose shot this anthropologie catalogue last year.  Do you even know what that means? I am one step closer to an anthro (yes i call it anthro, i also call urban outfitters ‘urban’, deal) catalogue job.  My years of rubbing the photo genie lamp, throwing coins in the wishing well, and sticking pins in the homemade (i’m crafty) voodoo doll of the stylist who has been lucky (and ok, very talented) enough to book the job are coming to an end.  Sure, i still have no contacts there, they don’t know I exist, they haven’t looked at my book or passed around my name, and frankly i’m probably not ready for the kind of risk taking that they need from a stylist.  BUT, i have hugged someone that has worked with them.  I rode in his truck even, where I covertly collected his hair particles and skin cells, prior to having him autograph a bunch of copies of the catalogue.
Not to dis anyone who is into ‘the secret’ or anything,  i’m into positivity too, but sometimes you have to go back to good old fashion witchcraft to really get what you want.  I mean, put your money where you mouth is; grow a pair. Spells, chants, potions, etc, there is a reason why it’s been around for millions of years (bad with number concepts, could be 500 years, whatevs).  We all work within our own comfort levels, i suppose.
Regardless, Jose is super super awesome to work with and his pictures are really pretty. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.  i’ll post them when the catalogue comes out.
y Te amo tu trabaja, Jose. you are le bomba.


Emily had a little lamb



hmmm. i shall call this the ‘i got to hold newborn lambs all weekend’ post. whatever could it be about, you wonder?  just the fact that I, Emily Henderson, styled a shoot on a sheep farm for four days in Pendleton Oregon where i could embrace baby lambs at my leisure.  We were shooting the Pendleton Woolen Mills catalogue so we went to one of the farms that they get a lot of their wool from.  let me be clear, Pendleton (the town) doth blow hard.  But the farm  and the company are rad, americana at its best,  full of the nicest people, a bunch of awesome peruvian sheep farmers, un-ironic western shirts, rodeo gear and rolling grass hills for forever (235,000 acres) where sheep have pretty awesome lives.  if you worry about where your wool comes from, buy their products.  these sheep are happy happy happy. i saw them first hand.  They get sheared once a year (the ewes give up about 13 pounds of wool, the bucks 18lbs).  Its all totally sustainable, not sure if its organic, or what not, but the sheep really do have the lay of the lamb and roam wherever they want.


  This city slicker finds anything super authentic and americana extremely awesome, if not endearing;  the old wooden shovels, the chippy white painted fences, the sheep herding dogs that take serious pride in their ankle nipping abilities, the broken down, sun bleached sheds, the edison industrial lighting in the barns, etc. etc. If you ever wonder where John Derian and, well now, everyone gets their industrial vintage pieces, its places like Pendleton, Or.



These lambs were 2 DAYS old.  They were outrageously cute.  This guy (above) is Brian, the husband who is also the biggest animal lover I know.  He visited me over the weekend because I had already been gone for 2 weeks and i’m starting another job straight from here for a couple more weeks.




We watched the sun come up and go down most days.  It was super, super pretty.  I’m feeling a bit broke back right now.  not sure what that means.
oh and pendletonians are super super nice.  I’m not one of the city folk who gets annoyed with niceties (at least not quick niceties).  I relish in them-  the unnecessary conversations, the politeness to pure strangers, the genuine and honest food reccommendations from waitresses at restaurants.  i love it all.  I once did a shoot in Little Rock and i have to say after 3 days of being called ‘miss emily’ (by EVERYONE, randomly, there was no town meeting about it, i wore no name tag, it was as if it was my given name) i realized that i might actually prefer it and was disappointed when upon returning to LA people didn’t jump at the chance to address me as such.
yes. i like nice people.  unless they are in front in me in line making unnecessary convo with the teller.  or walking really slowly on the streets. or trying to give unsolicited advice about which shoes or clothes or jewerly i should buy in a store.  then miss emily gets a ‘lil’ bit peeved.