Design Star, Episode 6 Recap.

So sorry that this took me so long. I’ve been on the road and my computer has a weird virus where i can’t view any videos online.  So i just watched this episode and i loved it.  The big winners this week are the producers in my mind for sending the designers to prop houses and giving them what seemed like a lot of help from contractors.  The prop houses have EVERYTHING you can think of, although i’m sure there were some restrictions – i saw very little accessorizing this week so maybe they didn’t have the time to shop and wrap them up, but otherwise it seemed like skys the limit.  

Here’s the challenge:  They designers had to create a loungy party space based on a time period/style in 2 days in celebration of hollywoods 125th birthday.  That is not very many days, you guys.  The ‘before’ space looked like this:

It’s pretty daunting.  No sense of intimacy at all.  But i love this challenge so much….I think it shows knowledge of time periods as well as taste and style.  They had lots of resources and lots of help.  
There were some superior rooms, soooo great. But also some kinda big failures.  
We’ll start with the good ones…
Britany lucked out and drew Hollywood Regency, a style she knows and loves.  Here’s what she did:
It’s good.  Super strong, high contrast colors, obvious focal point, tons of architectural details.  You could take ‘hollywood regency’ in so many different ways, and possibly crazier ways, but in two days i think she did a killer job.  
As a monday morning quarterback i do of course wish there were more vintage items and the color palette isn’t totally my jam, but again i think its a super pulled together, well balanced, well composed room for 2 days.  
They clearly had a florist this week.  Remind me never to hire him or her.  
Britany should have won this week but her ‘live hosting’ was off and she flubbed a bunch.  Speaking in front of a huge audience and cameras with a days notice is very, very hard.  I think with practice she could be great. Yes, i would like to see more personality from her, but it could also all be in the editing. 
Danielle scored art deco which i’m a massive fan of, by the way.  Always have been.  And i like her room, i do.  
Those sofa/chairs are pretty dope, and the room is totally well composed.  I love the shell focal point (in theory more than in actuality).  She chose to do the floors in peach and black which i thought was EXTREMELY risky but i liked how it turned out.  
Brown, black, peach and creams…..i don’t know, the color palette isn’t doing it for me. its just not ma thing.   It’s sophisticated and moody, but just so dark and masculine.  Brown is the one color that i just never want to be around or design with. I use wood tones instead and natural fibers to bring in that warmth, but i think i just don’t really like brown that much.  Personal preference.  

Art deco was full of dark greens and dark red tones, which can be scary but can also be beautiful if done right.  Her hosting was fine.  But again, they had to do live hosting – public speaking basically which can be extremely nerve racking if you aren’t used to it.  (i’ve since gone to coaching for it and have improved like 1 million percent, by the way….so practice kinda does work).  Regardless, i like Danielle.  She’s a good designer, she has good style and i think she is likeable.  
Yeah!!! I love Hilary, i do.  Personality-wise she is who i want to watch the most right now. I get excited when she comes on camera and she is my new prediction to take it home.  
She drew the 80’s time period and while i iked her room on the show, in these pics I’m way less into it. She painted the floor all mondrian-like and i liked it.  She put pvc piping as the ‘walls’ with studded trimming.  Overall design wise it was a fun reference to the 80’s and definitely had a lot of cheese like the 80’s, too.  I”m not freaking out, but there are some good moments here.
But she’s funny and her Deloreon joke was good – just sadly not so well received.  I want her on the network.  
And then there is Khris.  He chose the 70’s.  
Yes Khris, i agree we should all have more mirrored balls.  I mean, look how gorgous these massive mirrored graphic spheres are.  
It just doesn’t feel like the 70’s. Its way more 60’s.  I love some of the furniture he chose, don’t get me wrong. But they aren’t iconic furniture from the 70’s.  The wood walls are 70’s, sure, the colors are a bit cuckoo.  And the kicker is the sofa shoved in the corner.  Totally baffling. Why is the hanging chair so high? dunno.   I love that hot pink chair and ottoman, that might be the 70’s, not sure…but i like it. 
Whatever, i don’t want to beat a dead horse.  With the way the others said goodbye to him i’m assuming he’s actually a really great person – they all loved him.  His live hosting was not exactly easy to watch.  Lets just say it was his time.  
I think he is creative and has a point of view. This week, though, his hosting and weird room doomed him.  
Ah, Mikkel. 
i’m slightly confused with what ‘midcentury contemporary’ means.  Those are two words that connote very different style ideas.  
Not awesome, Mikkel. But he knew that.  I like him too much to go on and on about it, but its disappointing to say the least. I love his personality and his style, but he froze up this week. And i’ve totally been there.  This is also a good lesson of what works on TV. White just doesn’t work very well without pretty natural sunlight.  White works in beautifully photographed rooms with lots of controlled light bouncing around and photoshop to give it more texture and depth, but not in spaces with florescent lights. it just looks laboratory.  
It’s not great. But i’m still rooting for him.  He’s gotta step it up, which is what i’m sure everyone was saying about me at the time.  Don’t freeze, Mikkel.  You can do it. 
Up next:  Rachel.  
Rachel pulled ‘victorian’ which she was unhappy about, but i would have been PSYCHED.  Sure, it can be terrible and cheezy and full of dust and bunnies and doilies.  But it can also be so beautiful and old world and romantic and feminine full of beautiful florals and ornate tufted furniture.  I have a crazy english grandma inside of me, that’s no secret so i could have killed this one. 
But rachel didn’t, unfortunately.  
 I’m so not in the mood to tear this room apart, she’s too nice. The one thing about the challenge that i didn’t understand was whether the styles were supposed to be totally accurate to that time period or a modern version of it.  Maybe Rachel didn’t understand either.  It looks like she was trying to do a modern take on it, but it just no worky. 
I think she is missing her family and sabotaging this competition a little.  She’s freezing and it makes me sad. Pull yourself together, Rachel, you killed it the first two challenges, don’t give up now.  
Stanley drew ‘Futuristic’.   
I like that sofa and two chairs – totally weird and sculptural.  But how he laid it out……oh man….
Furniture on angles = weird…… Just don’t do it.  
Look at that table.  i instinctually clench every orifice in my body when i see it.  
Such a labial tabial.  
Also maybe don’t use those fingers next to that table, Stan.  Shocker. 
But he’s still growing on me and he seems to get along with everyone else so i like that.  
All in all, such a good episode.  We saw real design chops considering the time constraint was TWO DAYS. Thank you so much HGTV for letting them go to a prop house, it showed us such variety and really set the best apart from the not so best.
My current wants/hopes/predictions:
1. Hilary
2. Britany/Mikkel
3. Danielle
4. Rachel
Hilary and Mikkel have the most likeable personalities but i know how editing works and yes, its tricky. I think i came off kinda boring and wide-eyed and bumbling on my season.  And i’m not.  So while i like Danielle and Britany’s styles the most, i just want to see more personality, more humor, more something.  
But we have 4 more weeks and as it gets down to the final 6 you do end up seeing so much more of their personalities so stay tuned.  
As of right now, though, who do you guys want to win?

My top 10 pins of the week

Sometimes you travel on planes all the time and sometimes you don’t have time to blog so you just put your favorite pinned images as a blog post.  Rumour has it.  

At least this time.  

Anyway, these pics inspired me and got me all hot and bothered.  

Follow me on Pinterest for all the credits.  Emily Henderson is my name (no doy). Oh and on instagram i’m emhenderson and i’ve been seriously trying to instagram like 5 times a day.  i just instagrammed now. and now. and now. 

yellow painted radiator

Repaint it every 5 years a fun color….. 


That painting kills me.  Via Apartment Therapy

Minakani wall. Minakani is a Paris based studio.   Frédéric Bonnin and Cécile Figuette have launched their walldecor line 2 years ago and offer custom size and exclusive motifs printed onto high quality non-woven paper. (via Le divan Fumoir Bohemien. 12/02/2012

Mural or tapestry, i don’t care i need it. And that green velvet sofa? shut up. 

Rue Magazine (January/February 2011). Decorated by Anna Klossowski. Photographed by Emily Anderson.


awesome painting



this person is interesting.

this is ridiculous.


such a good mural

amazing magenta shelves

such a pretty plant wall

Such a pretty photo.

And sometimes all you need is a pretty crepe paper garland on a simple chair….and a talented photographer. 

I fly back home tomorrow and god willing i’ll have internet on the plane and can work during those 6 hours.  Otherwise i will be watching Dawson’s Creek – a show i thought i was way too cool for in college but now I see the errors of my ways and am watching it for the first time.  I’m not cool enough for Michelle Williams circa ’98. 

Design Star review tomorrow, hoping to watch it online tonight…..

Short little vacay in Portland

Dear Portland,  

I like you. You and me make sense.  I want to have your little indie baby.  Like this dude:

please notice the bird on his shoulder.  We plan on putting lots of birds on our children.  

You have many ‘pros’ and only a couple ‘cons’.  

Pro: I have tons of family and some of my best friends here.

Pro: I can even afford to buy a house here. And the houses here are beautiful. I can’t believe how well kept every single person’s yard is.  Crazy home pride. 

Pro: I can send my future kids to public school here….and they may even turn out normal and we can avoid our biggest fear of them being corrupted by Hollywood. 

Pro: I can stay as pale as i want here and not look weird.  

Pro: The shopping here is crazy good, the food is delicious and the nightlife is so fun and chill.    

But, please figure out a way that Brian and I can actually work here.  

Also please tell my awesome Los Angeles friends that they have to move here, too because i like them too much to leave them right now. 

OH and also please let it rain less because while i love almost everything about you, the rain is a massive, MASSIVE bummer.  

Love, Emily. 

(i’ll be back to work tomorrow…..)

Design Star, season 7 episode 4 recap

Down to 8.  This week the challenge was the redesign real people in their real houses in pairs.  I don’t remember what the constraints were, probably 3 days and 7 stores.  Two of them got to do the interiors and 2 pairs had to do the outdoors.  They all turned out to be vast improvements.

I think I miss Luca. 

He was good tv, folks, you have to admit.  Dramatic, egotistical, full of earrings….


Up first is Stanley and Britany. Stanley is growing on me, but a slow grow – more like a redwood tree, less like a chia pet.  

I’d like to see what he could do if he had unlimited resources. If he got a show i don’t think it would be a traditional interior design show – more like ‘crazy dude doing crazy things’ kinda show -which could be entertaining, for sure.  Don’t get me wrong i would most likely never let him into my house, but i do think he has some good skills and ideas.  And tattoos. And an extensive necklace collection. I wonder if he and Luca share jewelry in Pittsburg.


Here’s the space before:


And after.  Britany designed the chevron wall whilst Stanley built it.  He kinda got screwed here, but its a story we all know. When you work as teams and you have no contractor then yes, the dudes end up doing the manual labor.  It turned out well.  I wanted it stained or painted or something – the raw wood will probably age nicely but the tone of it right now i kinda hate.  It’s a good idea and it changed the space a lot.  But i’d be fine if i never saw another chevron again, right now. 

Ooh, a deck….  shocking.  Wait!!! There are some chairs!!!!

It’s a nice deck, though.  Decks are trending.

I appreciate that they brought that detail over to this side, but thats about it. 

Good, fine, safe, finished…..not too much to say.  I don’t think you can redo outdoors really well without real time and/or real money, so for the time and money they had they did a good job.  Thank god that house had a ton of climbing jasmine. I would kill for that. 


Ah, the cuties. Personality-wise i’m LOVING these two, together and seperate.  

The ‘before’ space. 

And the after.  Wildly better.  And kinda good.  I saw where they had to shop and i think one of the stores was called ‘Al’s furniture’, which i think is one of those places where you can buy a knock off of a knock off of a 1992 Crate and Barrel piece.  So considering they didn’t get to shop at any vintage stores, i think this space has a lot of character.  Kudos to those ming chairs – they do it for me.  

Like the idea, but not whats in them.  I’m sure they didn’t either, just needed to stick things in things to fill the space….so they stuck book pages in one and corks in another.  I totally get it, they had to…. but don’t do this at home.  

When they first started painting i thought that color was going to go super ‘suburban’, and maybe it does a bit, but combined with all the whites and woods it looks good. It’s a pulled together room, for sure.  Nice job, friends. 

Huh.  THese chairs don’t want any pillows (blocks all the pretty lines) but certainly not two each.  It’s causing a ‘where do i put my butt’ problem….one that i live through every day whether a chair has pillows or not.  I simply have no idea where to put my butt.  Ever.  Thank god there is a support group.

 But im just looking for things to criticize really because this post is boring me.  I miss Luca. 

Good. Fine.  I always think they should do a challenge where they have to design their dream room – something that represents them completely and looks like them.  Give them 4 days, $5000 and at least 1 antique mall or huge thrift store. As much as i like this space it looks like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware had a less-expensive-and-slightly-more-hip, baby. Its just not doing anything particularily exciting.  The homeowners scored and i’m sure its what they wanted (which is ultimately the most important thing) but hopefully we’ll see more crazy stuff next week.  

Meanwhile these two are supes adorbes.  Mikkel is climbing that ladder and is making his way to the top.

Rachel and Kris.


And after:

Sure. Its fine.  Designated spaces, sense of intimacy, yadda yadda.

I mean. 

This is a huge like tumbleweedy thing and i thought Kris was going to turn it into a chandelier but instead its in this wooden box? Dunno.  I liked the idea behind it and i think he’s creative, but in this box it looks weird and 100% flammable.  

He also used stumps as side tables, not inventing anything new here, but then he drilled holes to put succulents in them. When he started doing this i was psyched….well thats a strong word but i’m desperate for real strong emotion right now….maybe ‘kinda excited’ or even ‘slightly awake’ is more like it.

My problem is that they are super dinky holes with really sad succulents and it turned out like a kids project.  But it was a good idea and he should get props for doing it.  

Fine. Bulding out the pillars was smart, but otherwise it doesn’t feel like  a designer has been here. More like your friend that has a good eye came over and helped you pull things together.  But i don’t think its their fault, its hard to do a huge backyard on a budget – hardscaping and softscaping is either expensive or you need years for things to grow.  So basically this is just a bunch of furniture, placed outside.  

Rachel did this becasue she missed her daughter.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to not see your kids for weeks. At least they let them call home unlike our year. (that last photo actually looks like some crazy piece of modern art). 

I bet the daughter of the homeowner was psyched about this little corner, but yeah, it looked kinda trashy and dummed the whole space down.  Plus it was near the trash so that’s not awesome.  

Speaking of trash cans did i tell you how i sprained my wrist last year? We were playing hide and go seek with a bunch of drunk adults at our friends house in the middle of the night  – total horror movie premise, i know – and I, being a mother loving hide and go seek genius, decided to catapult myself into a green recycling bin to hide.  Oh, i’m very smart.  For the record it was fairly new, not particularily dirty, totally empty (it was the day after the trash day) and i really wanted to win.  I landed on my wrist (although didn’t really feel the pain til the next day).  

Nobody found me, but that could be because THEY STOPPED PLAYING AND WERE JUST DRINKING while i was in a trash can.  I crawled out after 1/2 hour, probably smelled really good and went back to the party.  It was truly a special experience.  

Bandanas are trending. Rachel is still cute. Kris is getting warmer. #imissluca

And then we have these two.  Danielle and Melba.  Maybe the reason this week was so non-eventful was because i figured she would go home.  If she had all of a sudden turned into Kathy Griffin or even better, Carrot Top (can we all start referencing him more PLEASE???) during the hosting portion then she might have bought herself a couple weeks, but otherwise the last thing HGTV needs is another designer doing traditional albeit tasteful designs for the masses.  Well, thats my opinion, obviuosly.  


And after:

The judges loved that chandelier and i want to burn it.  I’m assuming they loved the scale of it and what it does for the space, they have too good of taste to actually want to own it.  

Big improvement, appropriate layout, decent color palette,  yadda yadda.  

The chinese restaurant napkin folding is the most interesting part of this room. Are they being ironic? Or does one of them have restaurant experience from 1987?  i’ll explore….

Their whole drama was that Melba wanted to do an extensive custom built shelving unit around the tv that took up virtually all of the time, so they didn’t really finish.  And yeah, it looks unfinished.  

Those shelves needs some secrets…..from a stylist.  

This is the moment that the judges loved the  most and yeah, its fine, but i think they were fishing for positives here. It’s not a bad room, its totally fine and WAYYYY better than 75% of American’s living rooms, but there just isn’t anything to talk about.   Not finishing isn’t the worst thing that they can do, those constraints are hard….

Adios, Melba.  

I have no idea who is going to take this thing. Personality-wise i’m hoping for Hilary or Mikkel.  Rachel, Britany and Danielle are good designers but i want some more attitude from them – more, i dont’ know, pizazz?? Something that would be make me tune in.  It’s probably how they are edited, but i’m a little bored.

I miss Luca. 

He was just so fun to hate.  Wait….is that a hypercolor t-shirt??? ah, sh*t! Amazing.  He gets props for being memorable, that guy.  

Here’s to hoping the designers can go to a thrift store next week……or two of them make out…. or three of them make out….. 

Who are you guys picking now? Did it change from last week? and the question of all questions….how much do you miss Luca?  

Colorblocking my walls

… on the agenda today for my guest room.  

modern bedroom

But im trying to come up with an interesting way to do it.


and i’m strangely attracted to the diagonal:

// pink and yellow colorblock

My headboard is begin upholstered right now in this fabric:

and my walls are going to be these two colors:


Valspar ‘Four Leaf Clover’ and ‘Deep Sea Diving':

You’ll see in about 10 days.  Follow me on instagram for progress snapshots:  emhenderson is my username.