Dear 2010, you rocked my world.

No you did not, 2010.  You crazy year, you. You are officially my favorite year ever. Sure, 2000 was rad, it was the last year of college, living with my 5 best friends, falling in love with my now husband:

(yep, we are one of those ‘been together forever’ couples, although we did take a year break at 24, btdubs. and i know, he’s like kinda really hot).  And then, 2007 you were effing awesome too, living in Brooklyn, working on exciting photo shoots, traveling, feeling young but grown up at the same time.  Oh and 2008?  I’ve been meaning to tell you something: you sucked.  Leaving friends, great clients and New York was a recipe for bittter and always slightly annoyed tear soup.  ick.  glad you are over.

But 2010, you done done it.  Congratulations, best year so far.  

So some of you know that i fear cheesiness more than The Real Housewives fear the natural aging process. But, Emily, you ask,  isn’t The Notebook your favorite movie and haven’t you read the Twilight Series and isn’t Veronica Mars and Felicity still dueling it out for your favorite TV series ever?  Why yes, these things are true, but in general there is often a lack of authenticity or originality when normal people blog/tweet or facebook about how happy or grateful they are.  I hope you know what i mean. BUT that being said, i’m about to go ahead and annoy myself with some fondue, cause when it comes to this last year I get all Glen beck with happiness all over the place (the crying, not the ‘politics’).  

So if you easily gag at people recapping the positives of their year, stop reading now.  and i’m sorry.

So what was different about 2010, eh?  Well, for starters i woke up January 1st, and was all, ‘ok, life, fine, you asked for it, Emily Henderson is about to care less about what people think and take a few risks’.  Cause, you want to know the real truth?  I was sick of people that are less smart and less talented being more successful because they have less fear. You heard me, and you know what i’m talking about.  Big words from a little blonde, i know.  I hope that doesn’t come across boastful, cause i’m not saying i’m the smartest or most talented, but I kept seeing the same thing over and over, and was a little tired of wondering why it wasn’t happening to me.

So i started a blog.  Read the first post here.  And i liked doing it a lot.  And then i auditioned for a Reality competition: Design star, bitches.  Got through 3 months of interviews, landed on the show and, well, you know the rest.  I remember the night before the first day of shooting, thinking, ‘ this will be interesting’.  And let me tell you fellas and the ladies, it was effing interesting.  The most exciting thing i’ve ever done.  

And it ended well as you probably know.

Three years ago i would have never auditioned for a reality show competition, no way, i would have been too embarrassed and frankly i probably would have thought i was too hip to be on one.  So instead i watched them all and mocked their generous use of duct tape and hemming glue.  But truth is, as we all know, i’m not too cool to be on a reality show, clearly, and hemming glue and I now have a pretty intense relationship.

I thought that by taking myself more seriously, people would take me less seriously.  And i’m already a friendly little blonde, so believe me, people don’t need help not taking me seriously.  But, lo and behold, by taking myself SLIGHTLY more seriously, putting myself out there, and by being willing to take some risks that could potentially be embarrassing, some pretty darned good stuff happened and people actually take me more seriously…..who da thunk.  

So here’s what they don’t teach you in high school or college or in your twenties: its not the smartest people that succeed, its the ones that have the least fear and take risks.  

 Or maybe i just wasn’t ready to hear it, then.

Woah, intense much, Emily?  expound unsolicited wisdom much, Emily?  Geez.  Lo Siento.   But i seriously wish someone had told me five years ago that taking risks is the key to faster career happiness.  Sure, of course thats not it and then boom you are done, you have to follow it up with crazy hard work, dedication and treating everyone with respect, or you will fail, but its the initial risk taking part that never really was on my radar.  

 Anyway, so this happened:

 2010 you gave me my dream job.  Hosting and Designing for Secrets from a Stylist is incomprehensably fun.  I will always be extremely grateful for HGTV, Design Star, Tricon films (my awesome canadian production company, eh) and all of you who have been reading this blog, who had my back when i blew it on the first episode of DS, who were easy on me in the blogs and comments, then full on amazing to me in the blogs and comments, and who tuned in to watch the Secrets From a Stylist Special (which because of the good ratings and reviews by blogs as well as traditional media was picked up for 2 seasons).  Oh and ‘Luck’, i love you too, cause you brought your A game this year.

But move on over, cause 2011 is here, and full of hopefully even more possibilities, perhaps these possibilities might include someone volunteering weekly free on-set massages, or my hair getting lighter naturally, or even possibly veronica mars coming back for a fourth season.  Here’s to hoping.  

So, here are my goals for 2011, just as simple as  last years goals.

1. Work as hard as I healthily can on Secrets From a Stylist. 

2. 1 date night out a week with Brian, that poor dude is getting sick of the vapid and vacuous look in my eye at 9pm every night. 

3. Oh and maybe, just maybe try to save some money, perhaps the American dream can be ours. 

4. Back to blogging, 4 times a week – I know i’ve been bad, but i’m back, i promise, with some help.  

 I know i’ve lost a lot of you the past couple months with less blogging, but please come back.  For now it will be usual pretty pics, mixed in with personal ‘how its all going’ kinda thoughts.  Once the show starts airing in a couple months, expect behind the scenes, how-to’s, inspiration pics, mood boards, shopping resources, photographs of the spaces and general amazingness.  In a perfect world there will be flip cam stuff, too.  Oh and i’ll want feedback, the good the bad and the…wait, maybe just the good and the constructive.  When i said i care less about what people think, i didn’t mean completely.  I’m not a sociopath, you know.  And as far as answering all your emails, please please forgive me, i do the best i can but i know there are like 100 of you who i haven’t emailed back yet.  So sorry.

So have a great New Years Eve, i’ll be going to bed at 10 because i’m on the HGTV float tomorrow with Antonio and john Gidding.  My call time is 4am.  We had the rehearsal/judging today:

You can watch it without commercials on HGTV from 8am to 11am tomorrow.  I’ve had three wave training sessions, so expect my arm to be doing something quite magical.

Happy New Year.  You are the cats pajamas, which i just googled, and here is what I got:

 May every year be as good to you as 2010 was to me.  seriously. 

Flea Market Finds Monday

Oh my it was such a good Rose Bowl.  I went late with the rif raf, no offense, at like 9:30 am and I was all, ‘oh snap everything is gonna be gone’.  But you know what?  it wasn’t.  And here are my beauties:

Hi little old french wood beat up table, aren’t you going to be a warm little addition to a special home.


uh huh.  upholstery is perfect.  and for $250 its worth every penny.  Pretty stained carved wood, cream linen.  little frenchy chair for my little frenchy behind.  er oregon behind.

Barthelona chairs.  los dos.  And for $150 for the pair i can afford to reupholster, which is badly needed.  I’m pretty sure they are vintage knockoffs, but at that price, what do you expect me to do?

and yes please.  worn grey leather, rosewood frame and THE MOST COMFORTABLE CHAIR IN THE WORLD.

When i saw this I was like, oh glorious glorious flea market god, what did i do so right to deserve this chair.  And later i found out that i bought it from a vendor who already had bought it from a vendor earlier that morning, so i did get kinda screwed for going late, but it was $360, which i know is a lot, but it is a show stopper.  er, a show go-er in this case.



The Brick House is in the Hizouse, again

Alright so i know its like blog suicide to let one of the best bloggers with one of the best blogs do rad posts for you.  But the content is so good, that i can’t help but post it.  

So here you are:  

Another post by Morgan from The Brick House.  And y’all know i’m not a big endorser of things i don’t like, so listen up when i say its in my top five favorite blogs.  Always original content, and totally inventive designs, with hilarious and very smart writing.  

Take her away, Morgan:

Going out thrifting during the crazed weeks around the holidays is just asking for trouble. Donations are low, low, low and stress is high, high, high.  Plus all the good furniture space is filled with fake Christmas trees and half glittered broken Santa statues. 

In other words, pickings have been slim. Fortunately I did spot a couple of pieces at the Salvation Army that were just wackadoo/awesome enough to inspire a pretty funkified design scheme that’s a bit out of my normal colorless mid century comfort zone.


First up was this pair of elaborately embroidered wing back chairs. While the shape is definitely yawn worthy parlor schlock, the elaborate embroidery read much more psycho Anthropology. Someone else must have agreed with me seeing as they were already sold. 

The goose down blue velvet sofa made me immediately think of Don and Betty’s old tufted headboard in time period, color and texture.

It had just enough of that good ol’ 60’s regency charm mixed with a healthy dose of repression. At only $60, a rolled arm didn’t seem so bad (and it was super cushy).


Emily herself owns a pretty incredible blue velvet sofa, but I pulled a couple of other rooms that incorporate an eclectic mix of vintage pieces with some lux velvet sofa action.  





These chairs are almost wingbacks. Almost. The brass Platner style coffee table makes my knees weak. 

Here’s what I came up with:


Using my thrifty psycho embroidery wingbacks and the plush velvet sofa beast, I threw together what I’m thinking is a Stella meets Regency meets Travelers delight sort of vibe. Mixing it all up in these decades and styles. 

Lighting wise I’ve been kind of dying to throw one of those long capiz shell drapery chandelier lamps off to the side of a sofa while a Stilnovo brass fixture takes the central ceiling spot and a pair of chrome Laurel lamps get relegated to the top of a campaign style dresser. Multiple points of light making it all dramatic in here.

A chunky redwood slab would be the poop as a coffee table. I know, I know, something all lucite and glass and brass would be the typical choice, but the organic wood mound is a curve ball to the regency mafia.

Chuck in a vintage spindly leg Moroccan style table and this room gets all sorts of weird. Layered more with a shaggy white rug for cozy feet, a mix of modernly planted cacti and some Turkish graphic pillows and we are winding this thing down.

Art of course makes a room, but come on, a real Frank Stella painting from the Protractor series isn’t in any of our price range. But guess what, sometimes you can make your own art. I know! Sacrilege. It’s true though, I’ve been known to make a few knock off pieces from artists I love but could never afford. There is a wicked David Shrigley drawing in my kitchen and a real fake Luc Tuymans in my living room…

A stretched canvas, some tape, and a bit of acrylic paint and you can make a DIY Stella. One of the Black paintings would probably be the easiest; I’ve been considering making one for my office. Trying to bring in a bit of modernist class to that joint.

So yeah, it’s a tad all over the place, but I think it could be a great room to sit back with friends turn on The Clash real loud and stay up way past your bedtime.

Flea Market Mondays

i’m pretty excited about my night tonight.  Brian and I have romantic plans. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemens, i am getting fed, i am getting cuddled and i am getting my twilight on – the third in the series of one intellectually indefensable yet unrelentingly addictive vampire series that i already saw in the theatre by myself, but Brian has yet to have the privelidge.  Brian pretends like he’s not into it, but then i remind him that sometimes when he’s feeling sentimental for high school he listens to Counting Crows, so its ok feel emotional emotions.  My emotions are super emotional, by the way. 

 Why I do digress don’t i?

PCC kinda blew (for those of you who don’t know, the flea market travels around every sunday – Rose bowl is the best, then long beach, then PCC, then Santa monica).  The real dealers aren’t really there, but sometimes there are people who are just trying to sell their parents stuff and they don’t know what they should be selling them for, so it can be cheap.

Introducing my new 80’s peacock blue throne!

I am the queen!  i know, there is something super cheesy about it, but something pretty attractive, too. It’s velvet, worn, super comfy and was $15.  not a bad price, my friends.  it’s going to make my rump pretty happy,

I love this little burl table. I know that there are strong feelings against these guys, but i’m into em.

I think it was $25 or $35, without the glass. and then i got the glass for fifty cents at a different vendor.  

Such a cutie.  like a little old man in a little pointy hat. 

Finished up Joy and Bob’s room and let me  tell you that a whole room of a certain wallpaper looks effing amazing.  

Off to a huge loft in Long Beach.  Which might involve gnomes.  

Now leave me be with my teenage dramas.  



Turns out Bob doesn’t like clowns

Oops.  Well, you win some you lose some.  JUST KIDDING.  Bob still loves clowns.  

Also kidding. 

Heres a sneaky peaky into what may or may not have made it into Joy and Bob’s living room: 

I love them.  From the 70’s, original hot pink upholstery in really good condition.  and kerazy comfortable.  These two were hard to give up….

The question is:  will they stay for the second look?