Design Star episode 6 recap/review

Well, this one was a tough one.  Wedding receptions are less about composition and design and more about style and creating an inspirational space.  

But man, i wish we had this challenge last year.  I would have killed it.  And i haven’t EVER said that about any other challenge.  

So lets start with why it failed for me.  First off, a space like this loft is really really hard and expensive to properly transform into a space that isn’t cheezy.  Especially with these two styles (victorian and rat pack) 

You need everything to be large scale, and a modern color palette (aka, not yellow, orange and purple).  Huge graphic patterns (like a large scale damask in grey and white maybe? or navy and white?) ANd then you need a ton of intimate light sources – candles, lamps, chandys.

2nd.  Mixing victorian and Mid-century is hard.  Man, i want to get my hands on this challenge, because Its not only possible to do, but it can look amazing.  It’s pretty much my dream apartment.  I’m sounding very self-righteous right now, i know, but everybody thinks that its impossible, and its not. But its not easy to do.  Mixing styles just happens to be my strength.

3rd.  a team challenge with Cathy as the leader is going to fail.  Straight up, fail.  

So while i didn’t like the result, i would have been super effing shocked if i had – the constraints and the lack of a common vision working with a team can be paralyzing. 

So here we are:

That’s who is left.  

Leslie: i like a lot.  she’s adorable.

Mark:  cutie, but he gets caught up in projects and time management.

Kevin:  sometimes his style is fun and I think he is probably a blast to hang out with, but he ‘performs’ to much in the interviews and the camera challenges.  I just want him to be himself because i bet he’s hilarious in person.

Kellie:  yep. adorable.  And she really wants to win this for her family, which is pretty hard to make you not like her.

Karl:  a front runner for me.  This week was the first week that i was kinda disappointed, but that’s because of his flowers. He was the only one that thought having a totally mid-century lounge would feel disjointed.

Meg:  growing on me, and i’m starting to really like her.  Her flowers hurt my heart, but she’s not a florist.  In general she is pretty likeable and relateable. 

Cathy:  no words. you all know how i feel.  

So we begin with the couple saying they want victorian and ‘crooner’ which they interpreted as mid-century, but i think it could have gone way more like this:

Not literally, but something less Mad Men and more Rat Pack.  A chesterfield would not have hurt, that’s for sure.  Or something more regency/deco, less danish.

One of their biggest mistakes was not dispersing the styles equally throughout the space.  The tables were totally victorian and the mens lounge was totally mid-century.  It made no sense together.  And looked accidental and disjointed.  


And then there is this.  Liberace much? White patent leather recovered faux-victorian furniture is not exactly my favorite style. I’ve rented it before from Props for Today when the clients have asked for it, but they also have  A TON of really really awesome more authentically victorian (but new looking) furniture that could have rocked this space.  This is just cheezy.

Pretty chandelier though.

ANd i like this place setting, too.  Not the flatware, but the plates are pretty.

Mark made this skateboard ladder thing.  I think that Mark has a thing for ladders.  (remember his rope ladder, eh?) It made no sense at the wedding reception, BUT it was interesting and if it was a bachelor pad, it would have been cool.

Karl, deal Karl, did this (as well as a some other good stuff)

I mean……

But here’s the deal, Karl’s show would probably be more an architecturally based design show, so flowers wouldn’t be so much involved.  

that fabric kills me, tsk tsk tsk….but i like the lanterns even though they didn’t have much to do with the styles.  

And those flower arrangements hurt my heart.  When in doubt:  grab 500 open garden roses, or branches (peonies if you can afford it), if you don’t know what you are doing with flowers, don’t try to do something like this.  Again, they are not florists, but i do think that flowers and fabrics are good indicators of good style and they failed epically on those two fronts.  

Where they did succeed:

The prettiest thing in this room are these flowers.  It they had just done a ton of these we would be in much better shape. 

And i like those mirrors.  That bar is incredibly cheesy, but the mirrors behind them made sense.  Good choice there.

I’m trying to figure out why i dislike this ceiling thing so much.  If it was navy would i have hated it? There is something so ‘prom’ about it.  But maybe if it was pretty white or gray gauzy linen and it fell all the way to the floor, then i might be able to get behind it.  I know that they were trying to lower the ceiling and make it feel more intimate and at the same time create a central dance area.  But it just reads as circus-y 90’s.  It was probably much prettier in person. i hope.

Here’s what i really think:

1. these photos are not doing them any favors.

2. in person it probably looked a lot better

3. i’m not into this style of wedding reception, ever, so the chance of me liking it was low to begin with.

4. producing something amazing and cohesive as a team is extremely hard. 

5. none of them were happy with it, either.

6. they aren’t wedding/event stylist.  Bash, Please would have KILLED this challenge.  

7. personality-wise i’m still into a few of them, but this just wasn’t their best moment. And that’ ok, we all have bad moments. 

I can’t wait to see next weeks episode. It’s an individual challenge, thank goodness.  And now that Cathy is gone, i can sleep so much better.  Ding, Dong.


I’ll be back, but for now some announcements

I know, i know.  I haven’t done a post of my show, or Designstar yet, i’m massively behind.  But i’m in Portland, pretty much kissing the trees at Laurelhurst park, sipping the wine from Clyde Commons, buying some blankets from my beloved Pendleton, listening to bands at Ron Tons all while hanging out with the family, the friends and the babies (who i might steal).  I needed a break from everything and i’m almost a human being again.  Nothing a little bit of Oregon air can’t cure.

But here are some quick announcements:

1. I am doing a Holiday Magazine.  And i’m INCREDIBLY excited about it.  It will be a gift guide (for her, for him, for the pets, for the parents, for the home, for the bedroom, etc).  Its going to have a ton, i mean A TON of original content from myself as well as some pretty dope and famous bloggers (wait for the announcement).  I can’t believe how good it is turning out.  Ad space is selling like wild fire, so if you are interested in your company buying some space email the amazing Lana (from at lana – at –  it will be out and linked for 2 months starting november first. 

2. We haven’t been officially picked up, but if/when we do i want all of you who want to audition to send in tapes ASAP.  Here are the details:

1. a video of you and your space.  and bring the personality, if you are boring in your video then you might be boring on camera, so don’t be.

2. pics of your space – and don’t try to make it look better than it is.

3. you have to be in LA or within 40 miles of LA.

4. you get everything for free, you just have to move out.

5. if you have a different kind of room (kids room, playroom, den, guesthouse, etc) that is awesome.  

6 as of right now i’m still not doing renovation, so i don’t think kitchens and bathrooms are in the works UNLESS you just need a facelift and not plumbing being moved (think style not renovation).

3. Emily Henderson as a brand and company is expanding fast.  I need interns for the blog, like yesterday (which is why i haven’t emailed anyone back in so long, so so so so sorry).  Need to be blog proficient or a crazy fast learner, need to really really want to work hard (I don’t want to feel guilty asking you to do something), need to be obsessed with style and design so work feels like fun (which it truly does for us already) and need to have a great work ethic.  This last one is bafflingly hard to find.  There is massive room for growth.  Send resumes to emily – at – with the title ‘intern’ in the subject.  I’ll start looking them over this weekend and i’ll wait a couple weeks to make a decision.  Send ANYTHING that you think could be relevant.  pictures, moodboards, references, portfolios, blog posts, ANYTHING.  

4. Hug yourself.  Because i love you.  and Portland loves you. 

photo source

Giving Thanks, Sponsor Style

so most have you have probably realized i have started accepting sponsors on my blog. i am so thrilled to have such wonderful small and large businesses advertise on my site, i wanted to bring them to your attention and formally thank them! also, if you want to join in, email lana[at] and she’ll hook you up good and proper. 

3M! if you haven’t checked out the 3M banner, go it before it’s too late! they are handing out $5,000 to two lucky couples! you can also click above to get all the details. 3M has a ton of great products for DIYers and home improvement buffs and i am excited to have them sponsor! don’t forget if you enter the contest, show me your video!

i can’t lie. i have gift-giving on the mind. how cute is this pendant above from Heart and Stone

 have you been to why not? they have a huge, huge, huge selection. trust. you’ll find something to love at a super reasonable price.

for the love of modcloth! if you missed out on the curtain giveaway above, be sure to hop on over to there site and check out the other goodies they have in store!



dressing on the side has the sweetest tees! you have to check these puppies out. super soft and full of life. yep. all that in a simple tee. 


ok. so fresh line has the cutest prints and pillows. the name of their company is seriously the most perfect name they could have come up with. they graphics are super fresh and positive. love it. 

kris. flippin. nations. seriously gorgeous jewelry. seriously affordable. i am thinking about sporting that california pendant. 

looking for something sweet? paloma’s nest will fill the void. such perfect pieces for giftgiving or being kind to yourself. 

moxiemandie just recently joined us! hop on over to this super cute etsy shop and check out her selection of hand sewn items that are well designed and made with great fabric choices!

is it obvious how much i think my sponsors rock?


WINNING!!! You pick from Saffron Marigold!

***This Giveaway is now closed!***

hi hi! today you could be winning something pretty cool! Saffrom Marigold is a unique company that hand makes all of their products. the detail and care is just off the charts. you are sure to fall in love with these guys if you haven’t already drooled over them before. they have a huge selection of curtains to tablecloths to pillows, and even more swanky stuff. lucky you, you get to pick one of three items if you win! 

1 Tablecloth 70 x 90 any print


2 Cushion covers (17 x 17) any print


1 table Runner ( 18 x 90 ) any print 

Giveaway Entry Info:

  • Prize: Pick one of the three options above from, MSRP varies.
  • How to Enter: Leave a comment and tell us which item you like best, and where you would use it if you won!
  • If you want to be fun: Like me in Facebook and come back here and tell me you did!
  • Giveaway Ends: Friday August 19th at 11:59pm EST
  • How Many Lucky Winners?!: One lucky one!
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  • 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 announce with winner on September 5th here on this very webpage, so check back to see if it’s you. 

Design Star, Kitchen Challenge

Let’s do this.  Sorry i didn’t get on it last week.  

Here’s a ‘what has Emily Henderson been up to’ update:  I finished shooting the second season a couple weeks ago and we went straight into shooting a 10 day Christmas special in Palos Verdes (1 1/2 hours away from LA).  It has been a total, total blast, and i can’t wait to show pics, but its keeping me crazy busy.  Like 13 hour days busy.  I’m a crafting, diy-ing freak right now.  

OH and by the way, for those of you who might have an etsy store (or a major store) you should email lana – at – because she is helping me put together a holiday gift guide (where i’ll be sharing all my favorite gifts, vendors as well as diy-ing a ton of ornaments and decoration) and we are accepting advertisers and products for it.  

But due to this episode i am way behind on everything else.  So if you have emailed me through the blog lately, just know that i’m too scared to check that email account but i will next week, and i’ll answer all your questions.   I’m like a little kid with my fingers in my ears, ‘lalalalala’ hoping nobody notices that i haven’t emailed anybody back in like 2 weeks.  

As for last week (the bed and breakfast episode) Design Star episode, I agreed with who went home, and liked Karl’s, Mark’s and Meg’s room the best, although Tyler and Leslie’s was pretty.  I liked Brett and was sad to see him go, but he wasn’t performing.  Sorry no review…..

Now to this week:

The kitchen challenge.  

Leslie and Tyler’s kitchen (the winner in my opinion):

Thank you for the zebra rug, the table all the West Elm goodness (the chandy’s).  I would have died to have been lucky enough to go to West Elm during this challenge.  Died.  Anyway, of course that bench is out of scale but you want to know what else it is? RAD.  Exciting.  Unexpected.  NOT BORING.  And the batik walls were a fantastic idea that didn’t pan out, but in the real world Tyler would have worked it out where it was probably awesome.  So in my opinion Tyler should not have gone home.  BUT there is always a lot that we don’t see as the viewers.  Like i said before the elimination takes a couple hours and the judges get a good sense of who the designers are, so i’m guess that they suspected something about Tyler that we didn’t get to see.  Maybe he was too reserved or quiet or something to host a show.  

also look at the leather pulls that Tyler put on the cabinets.   I like. 

So not the losing kitchen.

But for the record, i like you Tyler.  And i’m sad you are gone.  I would have much preferred it if Cathy had been eliminated.  Let me be clear – i’m sure she would be a great host on a show, just not a show i would ever watch.  Its a different kind of host, that’s all.  

Speaking of Cathy, here is her and Karl’s kitchen:

The losing kitchen in my opinion.  I like the stools and the chandelier, but thats about it. Their style was ‘contemporary’ which certainly IS NOT mine so it makes sense that i wouldn’t love it too much.  Cathy went nuts with styling but thats not the most offensive thing here. 

I  still like karl, but man i’m getting sick of that dining table really fast.  I love it, but i wish that all of the kitchens hadn’t used it.  Anyway, Cathy is a tough one for me, but i’m still liking Karl.  I feel like style-wise we are very different but he could maybe do something interesting things that i wouldn’t normally do.

Mark and Kelli’e ‘country’ kitchen. 

It looks warmish and inviting.  I’m not freaking out, but i do see some nice moments here.  

But i like both of them a lot.  she is adorable and he seems like he has good taste. 

Here is Megs and Kevin’s kitchen:  ‘industrial’

Its cute and fun.  Slightly cuckoo, but i would party in it.  I like Kevin’s stool choice. 

Not a deal breaker, but not awesome either.  Kevin is starting to bug me, not gonna lie.  I feel like in person he would be one of those that is either the most fun person in the world and such a ham, OR someone you can’t stand to be around.  I feel like he turns it on for the camera, but if he didn’t i would like him so much more.  

So that’s it.  Tyler should still be there, that’s all i’m saying.

Who do you think should have gone home?