Nothing wrong with loving cats.

I woke up sad. and then this happened:

It’s by stylist Emily Chalmers. And i love her. like a lot. She was the first trendsetter that gave me permission to display my crazy hoarding collection of vintage floral and fauna. I had been collecting from 14-26, secretly obviously…sure i would put a few out here and there, test the waters, but in general it was just my own little treasure. As long as it was bright, feminine and one of a kind I hoarded anything i could. But it was considered weird, my friends just thought it was random, and when I saw Emily’s apartment in Elle Decor like 5 years ago, it gave me permission to own my love of baubles. Sometimes, especially when you are young, you feel like you need ‘permission’ from somebody you admire to really love what you already love. (of course this is just in your head and you don’t actually need permission) And in this case, it was Emily.

Remember when Vern Yip told me on the glass house challenge that i was ‘one whisker away from being a crazy cat lady’? I remember thinking, ‘its not for everyone, but it is for me, and Emily Chalmers would get it’. Also, WHAT IS WRONG WITH LOVING CATS??? Cats are dope little creatures and i hate that you have to apologize for having them. Which i never do, btdubs.

You know what i think about this person? She probably drinks champagne in bed. And reads teen love trilogies, and watches Sound of Music, and wears vintage 60’s turbans around the house.

She probably wears bright lipstick, throws impromtu dance parties, listens to Sara Barrealis, celebrates the weekend like its the last weekend in her life. She goes to brunch in her pajamas or a maxi-gown, depending on her mood, she buys what she feels like is too many magazines, and only allows herself to watch her favorite movie twice a year so she doesn’t get sick of it. And she rarely takes herself seriously, and when she does she regrets it immediately. Oh, and she has a sh*t ton of fun.

Some people might consider this style messy and unrefined, but all i know is the person that lives there is rad. I have no proof of that, i’ve never met Emily, but based on her style we would be best friends.

(full disclosure, all those hobbies described above might be mine (or my fantasy version of me), but you get the idea).

Here’s my general philosophy: Your house should be an amplification of your favorite feeling. I know i sound like i’m 6, and i’m all ‘mrs. johnson my favorite feeling is ‘happy’, but whether you want it more calm and comforting or loud and engaging, it should be a strong version of that.

For me its totally ‘happy, with a little bit of the crazy’.

And yes, probably weird and at times not totally sophisticated.

But if Emily Chalmers can do it, so can we, right?

So, friends, what is your ‘favorite feeling’? That’s the most ridiculous question i’ve ever written, i sound like a little kid pretending to be a psychiatrist, but you know what i mean….

Also did you love anything secretly until you got permission to come out with it?


***This Giveaway is Now Closed***

Not just a pretty package! Mrs. Jones Soapbox uses coconut and citronella soap, borax, washing soda, baking soda, essential oil blend of lavender, tea tree & citrus oils in thie heavenly detergent. She has also been kind enough to give away Three of these puppies. That’s right! Three winners!

The Pert Plus of laundry detergents, this is a cleaner, deodorizer and softener all-in-one. Clothes come out soft and free from the waxy residues left behind by traditional detergents and fabric softeners. The mild ingredients make it the ideal product for babies and people with allergies and skin conditions. You need just one heaping spoonful of detergent for each wash so this product will cost you less and last longer than any other on the market. A little bit goes a long way! And there’s no need to use fabric softener or softener sheets. This is a laundry soap & fabric softener all-in-one so your clothes come out of the dryer soft, fresh and static-free. 

Safe for HE, top or front loaders, baby clothing, cloth diapers, sensitive skin, skin allergies, skin conditions and septic tanks. This product is readily biodegradable.

Detergent for 80 loads laundry (160 for HE machines)
Biodegradable bamboo measuring spoon
75 mL reusable/refillable glass jar 


Giveaway Entry Info:

  • Prize: One (1) a Laundry Soap & Fabric Softener (all in one) by Mrs Jones Soapbox. 80 loads, $25 MSRP
  • How to Enter: Leave a comment and tell me if you prefer handmade or store bought cleaning supplies and why!
  • If you want to be fun (extra entry): Tweet: I’m getting my clean on #SBEH with @em_henderson & @mrsjonessoapbox!
  • Giveaway Ends: Friday September 2nd at 11:59pm EST
  • How Many Lucky Winners?!: Three! (3!)
  • Ships to: US Only
  • Also: Please be kind and only enter once, unless you used the extra entry option, you can enter twice. I will select the winner using and will notify the winner by September 6th via email. You will have 2 weeks to respond with your info, or we will select another winner.  


Design Star, Episode 7.

I dunno.  When i watched this episode i thought that some things were good,  but now as i’m looking at the pictures i have some worries, and i’m just generally…unexcited.  Yes, thats a good word for it. Here’s what i’m trying to constantly remind myself of:  a. their individual stregnths and b. the shopping constraints. 

So here we are:

Mark, Meg, Karl, Tanika, Kellie, Leslie and Kevin.

The challenge: a whole house, divided up by rooms – and they each get their own room.  They are all on their own, yes!

Karl got the master bedroom: (before)

And here is what he did:

Drastically better.   I love the West Elm bedding, and those side tables are cute, too.  The taupe/blue color palette is fine, and the chandy works.

I have never and will never be a ‘basket on the wall’ kind of girl, but its also very very hard to fill the wall space on TV, so i don’t hate them.

I like the stool but hate that chaise.  Ultimately without West Elm, this room would be way too ‘contemporary’ for me.  And by contemporary i mean stuff that is out on the shelves in stores right now that barely references any past styles or any global styles.  It’s the stuff that dudes love, dark woods, dark leathers with top-seams and sleek lines, just overall so personality-less.  Like the bench at the end of the bed. 

The headboard he made was good, the lamps work and the side tables are cute.  Overall, it feels very catalogue to me, BUT it is probably exactly what the homeowners want and its the most pulled together, with the fewest red flags.  I like Karl on camera.  He is very personal and engaging and just overall adorable.  I just think style-wise we speak different languages.  ‘Contemporary’ is the style i like the least. It’s the style that gets dated the fastest in my opinion.

Alright here is Kellie’s kids room before. She had the little boy who wanted a ‘locker room themed room with bunk beds’.  And here is the after:

I like her 10 million times more than i like this room.  Yes, i remember that these challenges are hard, but man that rug on the angle, the drapery thats hung short, and the fact that the kid is going to absolutely fall off his bed on night number one, all make me sad.  I see her thought process – she didn’t want to do anything too literal for the boy – nothing that would be too juvenile in a couple years, but this is no ‘locker room bunk bed’ room.

It’s totally underwhelming. 

This is a cute idea, though.

It’s kind of a disaster, even though she is pretty adorable.  It’s too bad because kids rooms can be super fun because you can go out there a little more than adult spaces. 

Below is Kevin’s ‘before’ living room:

And here is what he did:

And over here:

And he turned it into this:

The room does look pulled together.  I don’t mind that he painted the brick, but that mantle is totally Mr. McDinkersons.  So small, but i think he knew it..he was desperate.  The coffee table in front of the fireplace is weird, all the accessories, excpet the West Elm stuff, was meh.  On TV, it looked pulled together, but when you stare at the pictures i realize there is nothing I really want to take home with me. 

Instead, Kevin went home.  I’m sure he’s hilarious, but i was a little ready. 

Here is Leslie’s kids room, ‘before':

And here is waht she did:

Its pretty unfortunate.  It looks messy, accidental and the judges were right – not very ‘kid’.

The gigham drapery is cute, though.  The rest of it looks like every kid bedroom in america – just kinda messy and accidental.

I don’t want to rake this across the coals.  I just didn’t like it one bit and clearly she didn’t either, and that is the worst feeling, knowing that you are going to dissapoint not only yourself but the homeowner.  Ick.

I didn’t mind the closet doors, though.  There, i said something kinda positive.  Poor Leslie had to go home. It was her time.

Next Up? Mark.

Here is his ‘before’ dining room.   And here is the after:

Much, much better, but i’m pretty over him using so much reclaimed wood.  In fact i’m over everyone in the world using reclaimed wood so much.  BUT, i think that this room is more successful than a lot of others.  His slab table will be coveted.  i just don’t know why the wood starts and stops over there.  God, i’m being so negative, i just feel a little  ‘meh’ about the whole thing. I feel like we’ve seen the raw edge table three times in the kitchen challenge.

That wood partition that seperated the dining room from the living room was smart.  And I think a lot of people would totally want this.  I like him.  Here’s the rest of the before and afters:


I have no idea what is happening on the floor with those rugs.  I think i might like the leather ottomon, though.  Super simple, low and looks high quality.  I can’t believe they take the ‘before’ photos with more natural light than the ‘afters’. I’m sure its a timing thing, but my god, its not doing these rooms any favors.

I don’t mind this record wall.  Whatever.

I hate to rake Mark across the coals because i do like him, but that side table on an angle, the styling of the coffee table and the rug pushed up against the sofa are all three major problems for me.  I’m asssuming they didn’t have access to good rugs (although they did get to go to West Elm) because those two next to eachother aren’t exactly working for me.  BUT, maybe they took this picture before he finished.  Regardless, i still like him and this room made the home-owners really happy.  Just not me.

Lastly Meg.  She had the foyer area. Before:


All the furniture is tasteful, it just looks super unfinished.  And generally unexciting.

Here’s the sitting area upstairs before:

And after:

And the other side, before:

And after:

I mean, nothing happened. She must have spendt her time shopping and didn’t find what she needed.  I don’t mind her lantern wall, It’s very Pottery Barn, but its fine.  I like that ottomon, and her paint choice and huge pendant light was good.  But where did the time and money go?

I liked Meg on the camera challenge, though.  She’s comfortable and likeable and seems like she genuinely wants to win this thing. 

But overall, there was really nothing in this house that i wanted in my own except for the West Elm accessories.  I don’t know if they didn’t have the proper resources or what.  Mark and Karl definitely did the best and Leslie and Kevin failed on both the design and the camera challenges, so Kellie and Meg remained safe because i think ultimately the judges kinda like them.

Sorry this post is so boring.  I leave for New York in 6 hours on an early flight, my computer is broken (being fixed) and i can’t seem to blog from my ipad because squarespace is at times very user unfriendly, so i’m trying to squeeze some posts in, otherwise no bloggity blog for me and you the next few days. 

I know i’ve been phoning it in lately and i’m so sorry….the Holiday special totally killed me time-wise, then i went to Portland to see my family/get away where i didn’t have wi-fi at my brothers house, then i broke my computer the day before i came home.  Starting next week i will be back at it, full content, daily with pretty pics and some, oh i don’t know, maybe even some personality.  These designs bored me, my blog is boring me, even bearcat is just sitting here yawning, so i guess its all appropriate. 

Back to the post….who do you guys want to win right now? We are down to Mark, Kellie, Meg and Karl. 

Who do you think will be crowned DS 6?

Retro Polynesian Kitsch

When i first met these guys they told me they were ‘Tiki meets vintage Japanese cowboy meets atomic kitsch’ which was partly awesome (at least they didn’t show me pictures from a catalog, i don’t want to name names, but sooo many people want rustic traditional these days that i was starting to get really, i mean, really over it) but it was also a little frightening.  Kitsch isn’t really my thing, and while there is something about vintage Hawaii that I totally love (which is ironic because i actually don’t totally like going to Hawaii very much) i kinda feel like Tiki needs a specific context, and it can be done very badly.  I was super afraid that David wanted me to build a Tiki hut/bar in their dining room.  He kept saying over and over that he wanted me to go over the top, and I’m not particularly good at going over the top.  But what came out of it, i kinda love.  The only part of their style that i nixed was the ‘cowboy’ thing and that is because for the sake of TV i can’t mix 6 different styles, it gets really confusing, so i paired it back a bit. 

I wish i had before pictures (computer still being fixed) but here are the afters:

They needed a dining room where they could eat but that could also function as a ‘jam session’ space.  David is super into this old timey music – god he’s going to kill me, i forget what type of music its called – but its that awesome style that sounds like it Mississippi and you can square dance to it (the Appalachians come to mind). 

The sectional/booth was custom made by Room Service, and man did they kill it.  I gave them an inspirational pic and dimensions and they turned it around in 2 weeks.  I think it ended up being over $5000, but it was the main piece in the space, so it was worth the splurge.   It was inspired by old diner booths from the 50’s and 60’s, and i chose to do it in hot red vinyl so it would wipe up really easily, be kid friendly and i love the red with the gold and white wallpaper. They both loved the oil cloth in the diagnostic and there is something so playful about the red vinyl that seemed appropriate and a good contrast with the more sophisticated wallpaper.

Speaking of wallpaper.  Man, i love this stuff. It is Florence Broadhurst from Australia, and i would honestly use every single one of her papers if i could afford them. They are always feminine, but the color palettes are simple enough that they don’t feel too ornate and overworked.  They are incredibly expensive, but so freaking good that if you feel like splurging, i would recommend it.  You can buy them through Walnut Wallpaper.  It reminds me of an old Hollywood bar from the 60’s, like Tiki tee’s.  And i think that gold and white is kinda my thing.  The gold almost becomes a neutral and while it is a statement, its a lot quieter than most wallpapers.

The table was purchased on Craigslist for $100 then lacquered for $200.  The drapery was custom-made from blue canvas. 

The carpet tiles are of course Flor.  These guys are insanely practical and while i chose a solid for this room, they have a ton of amazing patterns.  And yes, the huge benefit is that if they spill on one and can’t get the stain out, they only have to replace that one, which is $15. 

The chairs are cb2, and are $89.99 each.  I love how graphic and fresh they feel in this space. 

The stools are from the Rose Bowl and we had the tops reupholstered. The hanging chair is from Amazon if you can believe that, $400.

The barcart is from the Rose Bowl, $300, which was a splurge but i love the lines of it.  The owners had all the Tiki cups and atomic lamp, and i just brought in the wooden cups and the painting. 

This credenza was a boring gross wood that i got at a thrift store for $80, then had my guy lacquer it red (its actually a darker red then this – this looks more coral) for $200.  The gold paint on the walls is Martha Stewart’s metallic line (the true gold) and its kinda amazing – perfect for a bathroom, hallway or dining room (if it was just on the top half).  I love me some gold walls, yes i do.  The masks were the homeowners, and i grew to love them in this space, they just needed to be paired down a bit.

Placemats from CB2, glassware from Long Beach flea market, flatware and red plastic canisters from Wertz Brothers antique mall. 

I’m kinda obsessed with that painting of the girl.  It was controversial on set, some thought it was super tacky, but I loved it and so did David. 

The stools are from the Rose Bowl as well, $50 each, i believe. 

So while ‘Retro Polynesian Kitsch isn’t exactly how i would describe my style, i tried to do exactly what i would do if i had to do it for me, and i’m not gonna lie, i love this space.  It’s a total throw-back, but in a good way and still feels pretty current. 

What did you guys think?

And all pretty pics by the talented and handsome Mark Champion. Also his name is Mark Champion, and that’s pretty awesome already. 

WINNING!!! With West Elm!


                                          ***This Giveaway Is Now Closed***

Yep. It’s the rug. The rug everyone was like “where did you get that rug from, Emily?”. It’s no secret that West Elm is and has always been a huge go-to for me with accessories and textiles  – the perfect modern combo to all my vintage furniture pieces.  Plus since they don’t keep things for too long, its hard to get sick of them.  Get them while you can, folks. 

Here it is from the show: 

I know, i know.  It’s awesome.  photos by Laure Joliet

So, thanks to West Elm and their kindness, you can totally put your name in the hat to take this puppy home.  The color is that perfect color to mix with your sophisticated blues or greys. The scale is huge and modern and graphic, guaranteed to work well with most styles.   


    Giveaway Entry Info:

  • Prize: One (1) 5X8 Andalucia Rug from West Elm, Retails; $249 
  • How to Enter: Be the stylist! What from West Elm would you pick to go with this rug? Comment on this post and tell me!
  • If you want to be fun: Tweet: I #lovetherug giveaway @westelm is hosting on #SBEH, @em_henderson as well!
  • Giveaway Ends: Friday August 26th at 11:59pm EST
  • How Many Lucky Winners?!: One lucky one!
  • Ships to: US Only
  • Also: Please be kind and only enter once, unless you used the extra entry option, you can enter twice. I will select the winner using and will notify the winner by August 29th via email. You will have 2 weeks to respond with your info, or we will select another winner.