Holiday Gift Guide is LIVE, and to celebrate i’m having an extra tuesday and Wednesday giveaway.

If you have trouble seeing it above, go to this link:
She’s alive folks
The massive Holiday Gift Guide is up and running for the next two months,
til January 1st.
Such a  big day for the blog today.  I mean, we (and by we i mean, Creative Director/blogger, Lana, Art Director/blogger, Lindsay, overall amazing dude/assistant and blogger, Orlando, and stellar new interns, Whitney and Bonnie) have all been working our little tooshes off on this thing the last two months.  Here’s what it is:  tons and tons of gift recommendations – for her, him, dad, mom, boss, tween, kid, pet, etc.  PLUS tons of original content from a bunch of extremely smart, witty, talented, funny, creative and diverse bloggers.  
Check out the list:
There is holiday DIY, entertaining tips and behind the scenes of the Holiday Special for HGTV that i filmed (i’ll announce the date as soon as they give it to me – you better watch it, i’m serious, that’s all i want for christmas).
But mostly its a gift guide. Over 400 gifts handpicked.  A lot of big companies you’ll know and a lot from etsy (these grab asap because they are all handmade so there are guaranteed to be 20 but maybe not that much more of them).
In case you aren’t familiar with this format, its basically a virtual magazine, and you can click on ANYTHING and have it link to the product or store that it came from – then purchase it.  Boom, holiday shopping dunzo.  
Of course i learned a ton and when we do this again it will already be massively improved on, but i kinda can’t believe how good it looks all together.  (This is thanks to mainly Lana and Lindsay – this is Lana’s baby and Lindsay designed the entire thing – extremely impressive).
Meanwhile to celebrate this holiday guide as well as just good wallpaper in general, Hygge and West is doing a special giveaway today on my blog, Oh Joy and Ally from From the Right Bank.  
Rules: Each person has three chances to win. To enter they just have to answer the question below in the comments of your post (and can answer the other 2 questions by Joy and Ally on and for 2 more chances.
The giveaway ends at midnight on Nov 3 when we’ll pick one random winner from each blog.  We will contact the winners, and they’ll be able to pick any three rolls of H&W wallpaper that they’d like. And stop by their blog blog, Picnics Under the Moon (www.picnicsunderthemoon,com), we’ll be giving away some of our favorite bird items from here, and launching some new colorways of our very first wallpaper design, Daydream, but Julia Rothman.

The question: The closest translation for the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is cozy, but it means so much more than that.  It means surrounding yourself with people and things you love, deeply appreciating what you have in the present, and finding joy in the smallest of moments. We want to learn more about and be inspired by the hygge in other people’s life, so in the comments have your readers tell you/us about what makes their home joyful and cozy?

In case you need some convincing, here is a pic of Joy’s wallpaper i did for Secrets from Hygge and West:
It’s still seriously my favorite wallpaper i’ve ever used and i would kill for three free rolls.  And yes, i think there is a cat underneath the coffee table.  
SPEAKING OF GIVEAWAYS!!!! There are 5 giveaways listed at the end of the guide- so make sure to read all the way through and click the giveaway items to enter!  

Watch my friends show today, plus should i be a carrot for halloween?

Remember this chick from Design Star? 

I know, she’s super hard to look at.

Well she booked the re-incarnation of ‘Design On a Dime’ on HGTV and it is premiering today, Saturday at 4pm (so like 7 east coast).  I have no idea if its good, i haven’t seen it so i can’t endorse it, but she is effing awesome, hilarious, funny, smart, nice and she has great taste and style so i can endorse her 100%.

And check this out:  she went to SCHOOL for interior design.  Ha!!!! I know. Weird.  So she might know what she’s talking about.  

Watch her new show today, support my truly very good friend who i wish i could see more.  I was so happy when she booked the show, she totally deserves it and it makes the HGTV functions extra fun knowing that a really good friend of mine is there.  Also if you ever see her on the street, go up to her and tell her how much you love her show ‘Secrets from a Stylist’. The amount of times that has happened to her (or some other way of being mistaken for me) is hilarious. 

Also on another note remember these two?  Michael came in 2nd in Design Star season 5, and Nina was, …..well, memorable.

Well they are now these two:

Yup. They booked ‘Clean House’ New York on ‘Style Network’.  I’m psyched for Michael, he’s a  seriously awesome guy that deserves a lot of success.  He came off on Design Star as super bitchy, and yeah, sure he can be, he’s also super self-depricating, smart, kind and has really good taste and style.  These two were more determined to win Design Star than any of us, so kudos to them for booking a show.  Again, this is NOT an endorsement, i’m just bragging about my friend and wanted you to have the info.

So that makes 4 of us that have shows out of the 12 on Design Star my season. And i’m still rooting for very handesome and talented Dan Faires to get a show (he makes a really good appearance on my holiday episode, by the way, stay tuned AND he’s making and selling really beautiful furniture by the way, check the link above).

 So what i am endorsing? auditioning for Design Star because turns out even if you don’t win, it seriously opens doors.  

In other news, should i go as 1978 Dolly Parton or ‘a carrot’ for halloween?

Last year i was Judith Light which entailed going into my closet and getting dressed. (Yes Corbett was a chicken, Leigh was a tea-bagger, Brian was ‘Oats’ from Hall and Oats and Ian was a bumble bee)

I know dolly isn’t a stretch, i’ve got the 2/3rds the hair, 2/3rds the boobs and a ton of 70’s – 80’s clothes, but i do love her:

Look how pretty she is, though. Seriously.  I love you Dolly.  

But a carrot would be really fun, too.  I think we all need to be food more often.  I want Orlando do go as a triscuit, but he wants to be ‘bone didion’ (yes a skeleton version of Joan Didion).

Winning!!! With Paloma’s Nest!

Paloma’s nest is one of those companies where you ask yourself why you would buy stuff at big box stores when you could have handmade beautiful objects for not much more.   It’s really beautiful stuff, totally chic, modern, organic and homespun.  I’m a 100% fan.  And you know you want those stockings. 

Giveaway Entry Info:

  • Prize: $100 to spend as you wish at
  • How to Enter: Leave a comment and tell me what two items you like best at Paloms’a Nest! (I love EVERYTHING!) 
  • Giveaway Ends: Friday November 4th at 11:59pm EST
  • How Many Lucky Winners?!: One! (1)
  • 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 November 11th via email. You will have 2 weeks to respond with your info, or we will select another winner.

Dear Quilts, you get a bad rap, but i like you.

I quilted my first quilt at 10, i think.  I remember going to the fabric store and picking out every single pink and blue calico that existed (if you aren’t familiar with calico its the printed cotton that has a lot of small scale patterns on them – used A LOT for quilting)  this stuff:

Not awesome, but can be adorable – especially for a 10 year old.  I wish i had the quilt to show you – its up in Portland and next time I go i’ll take a pic of this baby pink thing. I can’t wait to force it on my daughter.  She will like it, oh yes she will, just like she will play with the dollhouse,YES SHE WILL!!!!

What if i turn into some crazy crafting mommy dearest who martyrs herself constantly by making ‘MEANINGFUL’ things for my kids, only for them to want to play ‘World of Stupidcraft or god forbid sports – UGH, oh the horror…..(kidding)  It’s like some weird Martha Stewart version of Flowers in the Attic, where if they are good I let them out to go to Michaels and maybe on their birthday i take them to the fabric district to splurge on ball fringe to trim out their drapes that open to non-existent windows….otherwise they are forced to play with mommy’s pretty things she crafted for them.  

It’s kinda going in that direction i think.  

Anyway, I have a potential new client who has a BEAUTIFUL  modern farmhouse in L.A.  It’s an insanely awesome renovation job (yes i’ll show pics at some point soon) full of a ton of real reclaimed wood, hand-blown lighting, and just really, really good taste all around.  So i’m brainstorming for what would look appropriate in a farmhouse but feel really modern, fresh and young.  

ANd i love me some modern quilts (not so much the one above, but i love that too).  Now i think that quilts get a bad rap…much like dollhouses. People associate them with being really really granny, but they don’t have to be.  

I love the romance of them – the time and effort and love that goes into them, and how they really can last so long if done right.  They become pieces of art, just as much as functional blankets.  So here we go:

This was is a typical more ‘granny’ style quilt, but its styled to look pretty great in my book.  Here’s why i love using quilts as a piece of art –

1. they are handmade and have a ton of detail, like a piece of art. But,

2, they are kinda cheap because people discard them because they are ‘old’.  So as far as ‘art’ goes they are really good bang for your buck.  yes i just said ‘bang for your buck’.  deal with it. 

And 3. they can be used as upholstery for a custom headboard, ottoman, pillow or best as artwork.  

To prove this, i went on Etsy and Ebay and found a ton that are absolutely affordable as large scale pieces of art. And you don’t even have to frame them. You could build out a simple wood frame like i did with my flag, or just hang them on the wall with maybe some rope and bolts.

Alright here are a bunch that i now want to own:

This one is from Etsy, for $129.99  I’m VERY VERY tempted to get this because it is quite cheap, i only wish it was vintage:

I know.  This technique is called ‘Bargello’ and its refreshingly different.  Link HERE. 

Then there is this one, forget about it.  

Seriously? I love it and want it in my kids room (or the attic where i’ll keep them). Link, Here It’s $800, which isn’t nothing, obviously, but its really beautiful. C Collier, the etsy artist from Portland also did this one:


Then there is this one that is super cute, kinda  modern take on the traditional quilt, but feels  a little ‘kid’ to me, not quite right for my client.  But you can buy HERE.   It’s $150 and pretty big (3×4 feet).  So great for a kids room.

But then i love a traditional quilt like this one above.  It has to be styled right, in the right environment, but its undeniably beautiful – it just needs the right space.  But i’m looking for something with more age to it or else with less ‘calico’, more solids.  This feels a bit too ‘new trying to be old’ for this house.  

Now this one was made in 1860’s and it’s kind of ideal. It has some age and its 100% authentic, BUT it has a really modern color palette (just navy and ivory) and modern graphic.  It’s unfortunately a museum  piece so i can’t buy it, but its more what i’m looking for.

 This one is cute and modern, but again, not right for us.  

This one above is intense and awesome.  It’s MASSIVE and definitely not your grandma’s quilt.  I might be able to swing this.  It’s $1500, but it’s an 8×10 (well they listed it in centimeters which is annoying so i’m guestimating).  I LOVE this and so far the best fit.  Those colors are so saturated and it feels modern, but since its a quilt it could still work really well in this modern farmhouse.  See link here

This is undeniably adorable.  I mean, give me a kid right now and i’ll put this in their bedroom.  

Link Here. 

So here are some vintage ones from EBAY that i love:

 Picture grey walls, indigo accents and a modern brass mushroom lamp? Hello, beautiful.  Bid here.  

OOOH, and this one might be the winner:

It has a ton of age, the color palette is perfect and its really graphic so it feels modern even though its over 100 years old.  I will be bidding, so i’m not sharing the link. Lo siento.

And don’t forget these guys:

Always winners, but more predictable than a ‘quilt turned modern’.  I actually worked on this shoot, it was for Domino when i worked for Cindy DiPrima, shot by the master Roland Bello, in Dara Caponigro’s house.  How is something shot 6 years ago so timeless?

This one has more age to it, which i like.  

Then finally there are the ‘yo yo’ style quilts that i secretly love when done right and styled right:


I actually really like this for the right space, but how beautiful would this be if it was done as a gradient of colors, or if it was mainly one color with a contrasting color moving through it, fluidly.  Or even something as simple as all white with a huge graphic circle or rectangle or diamond in the middle that is navy or hot pink.  
This is the one i’m hoarding:
I got it at the rose bowl for $50 and it hangs on a rod, which i want to someday use in a doorway or behind a bed.  Its my crazy cat lady inside me, but it makes me happy. 
But this one is my all time favorite quilt that i’m hoarding, its the ‘pine cone’ method and its beautiful:
It will be framed in my apartment someday, but i need the wall space first.  It has a lot of satin in it, so its really reflective in a good way, too.  
So can you guys get on board with the right quilts? Do you have any all hoarded away waiting for the right space for them? Wanna sell them to me? 



My first big glossy fashion Magazine plug, InStyle

There i am.  I’ve gone blonder, tanner and famouser.  

Nope. Here i am:

Under ‘TrendSetter Web Faves’   BOOM!

I did the interview a few months ago where i gave them my top 50 favorite online places to shop, and they chose these two to feature – and sprinkled a bunch of them throughout the magazine.  (OpenSky is a flash sale sight that is curated by ‘celebrity’ curators as opposed to submissions and sales, so its more hand-picked.  We are starting to work together so as soon as its official, i’ll announce it and y’all can ‘follow’ me).  And you know Velocity, they are generally great source for all things modern.  

As most of you know, i’ve worked for magazines for years, but being in them feels completely different.  

So when i opened this up and saw that i was in there grouped in under ‘Trendsetters’ with Zooey Deschanel, Tori Burch, Todd Selby, Andy Spade and ModCloth i was EXTREMELY happy – like as happy as Bearcat is when  I tell her that she and I are going to have a Vampire Diaries marathon all night including massive amounts of cuddling.  That, is very very happy my friends.

 I know you guys love me and i know my friends and family love me, but to get national press from a big glossy magazine that is more fashion than home, feels amazing.

I guess what i’m so proud of is that its from my hard work on the blog, its a ‘best of the web‘ and the blog is 100% my baby that i spend 10-20 hours (until 3 months ago unpaid) a week on.  I have to defend spending time on the blog all the time to people who don’t get it – people think its silly or cute or a waste of time, and yes it is a massive amount of work as a lot of you know – but its extremely rewarding, and totally worth it. 

It’s become something that has helped me support Brian and I (Thanks to Lana), something that i can control completely, something that helps me sleep at night because i know that no matter what happens to the show, i have this business that can thrive independently.  It actually gives me the freedom to feel like i can start a family because i can always blog whilst 9 months pregnant or with a 2 month old, whereas shooting might be more difficult.  

Let me be clear, obviously HGTV, Design Star and Secrets From a Stylist have had a lot to do with the blogs success, they have driven a ton of traffic my way and from the show i have a lot of original content which is what makes a successful blog.  So they pretty much propelled me a couple years ahead, traffic wise.  Thanks, boss.

And lastly, its from the blog i have gotten all my awesome new ‘Real People’ Clients and created a design company with a staff even, and business is a-booming.

So in case you have a blog and you think its going to go nowhere, think again.  Seriously.  The amount of people i know that have created their own success out of simply writing a blog is kinda crazy – A LOT.  The key is being yourself and not overanalyzing it.  

I just wish we could come up with a better word than BLOG, its not doing us any favors….

OK, enough boasting for the year.  And thank you ModCloth and InStyle.  Very Much.  I owe you one.

In case you find this fun, read my very first blog entry ever – not even 2 years ago.   I was a little blogging baby, wearing my little blogging ones-y, finally taking the plunge that i had wanted to for years.  Nice job, past Emily, you done did it.