The Fig House, update #1

The Fig House has broken ground — literally — the ground is all jacked up … and I mean literally jacked up, as they are using jack hammers today. Meanwhile we are busy planning, designing, shopping, and generally adjusting to the fact that I have bangs. It’s like how wood flooring has to acclimate in your house for three weeks before you can install it; I, and a crew, have to stare at my face for three months before it’s not totally weird that these things are crowding my forehead.

But while that is happening, this is happening:
Fig House

That’s Steve and I meeting with the talented dudes from Judson Studios — a 150-year-old, family-owned stained glass studio that is around the corner from our space. Stained glass can get a bad rap, but it’s normally just applied in ways we don’t often associate with “cool.” Still working on the design, but it’s going to be 1930’s meets 2013; Frank Lloyd Wright meets Andy Warhol, except with a splash of neon. Judson Studios meets Emily von Henderson and The Fig House. Stay tuned.

Fig House 2

Meanwhile we are down to the studs, you studs.

Fig House 3 Fig House Fig House

It’s very exciting to see things transform. We are finalizing the mood boards (shoring up some partners :)) and will have the design plan for your viewing pleasure very shortly. With bangs.

If you missed the first post about The Fig House, check it out HERE. It’s my new favorite thing to talk about. Also, I have bangs.

All fun and arty photos by the lovely Tessa Neustadt.

Boys room makeover

Two kids rooms in two weeks, folks. I’m practicing for the real deal; when Emily and/or Brian Junior grace us with their presence, then I’ll have like, five kids rooms under my belt so I can properly torture them with my unhealthy obsession of having their rooms be painfully adorable. But first, I must blog about Graham’s room, who lives across the hall from Grace (the tween bedroom from last week).

Graham is five and likes “Star Wars” and ninjas, rightfully so — those are both cool kid things to like. Thank God his obsession wasn’t Barney, because that could have been terrifying. Do kids even know who Barney is? Am I ancient? Although I’ll have you know that Grace (the tween girl) called me a “hipster,” which I instantly mouthed “Is that good?” to her mom, and got an “Oh yeah” as a response. Then days later she asked Orlando if he was a model, in which case he said, “Yes, of course.” Point being I’m pretty sure they don’t think we’re as old as we are, although that could be because I listen to One Direction with her, wear mid-riffs (no I don’t), watch “Vampire Diaries” (did, but don’t now) and generally act like an idiot most days to prove my immaturity around cool kids. I’m terrified about my mothering with my future uber-cool teenage daughter. I’m surely going to screw that one up. Grace asked me how old I was, I made her guess (of course), and she guessed 23. She’s a genius really and 100 percent correct. I am 23, Grace.


I’ll be posting Graham’s finished bedroom, photos by David Tsay, this week (hoping for Wednesday, Thursday at latest) but for now, please enjoy the mood board and the before photos for Graham’s bedroom makeover.

boys star wars bedroom

1. Hanging Solar System , 2. Hanging Around Lamp, 3. Faculty Mixer Graphic Bedding 4. C3PO and R2D2 decal 5. Black Isosceles Table Lamp, 6. Boom Box Throw Pillow, 7. Globe nightlight no longer available but I love this Elephant Nightlight, 8. Three Cube Storage Bench, 9. Pastel Plaid Rug

The dresser is an antique piece from the family’s grandparent’s country farm in Oklahoma. As a big fan of making a kid’s room feel timeless, I was happy to bring this piece into the design.

WAIT … Strangely the nightstand wasn’t numbered/linked so I apologize. It’s the Blake Nightstand, from Land of Nod.

So here is the before photo, which is not bad, just that the room is clearly not addressed yet since their house flooded:

before bedroom

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek into the finished space:

boys bedroom redo

So cute. Him and the room. :)

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the $250 Land of Nod gift card. All you have to do is tweet it out or Facebook it and then write it in the comments that you did so on FRIDAY’S POST

And don’t forget to check out Grace’s Tween Bedroom redone by me in collaboration with Land of Nod. Follow me on YouTube for behind-the-scenes videos of these makeovers as well. Come back Wednesday/Thursday for the full reveal. xx

Tween bedroom makeover with Land of Nod

A designer designing a cool 9-year-old girl’s room is like Kobe Bryant playing one day for the Harlem Globe trotters; It’s all the same skills, all the same challenges, but somehow just way more fun (or maybe it’s a total joke to him, I don’t know, I’ve never made a sports analogy in my life and don’t really plan to again). I mean, it’s always fun, but there is something about designing a kid’s space that lets you not take it so seriously, which can be refreshing when you obviously do have to take it all pretty seriously normally.

I pretty much just channeled my inner tween, then went back in time and designed my dream bedroom. Luckily my client, Grace, had a lot of great opinions, totally enjoyed the process, and helped me along the whole way. It’s our dream bedroom, together, except I’m 33 and she’s 9. By the way, I’m 33, THIRTY THREE — that is just terrible. Where did it go? How? Why? Excuse me while I lotion the hell out of my face. While I do that, please look at my dream bedroom, AKA Grace’s new bedroom.

teen girl bedroom

Photo by David Tsay

Here’s how it went down: I got a call to design a house, just the final layer, some paint colors/wallpaper, furniture and accessories, but no renovation. It came at the end of the year last year when we did 10 houses and we were kinda burned out, ready to take a break, but I met with the client and all the factors were there. The clients were super lovely, had great taste, had hired a designer before so they weren’t going to be freaked out at the fact that it cost money (because yes, some people are like shocked that it costs), and lived 1/2 mile away. It just seemed like the right project, and Orlando and I were totally excited to get back into the game.

The house had just flooded and the kids’ rooms were in shambles. Before they moved back in (after staying in a hotel for months), they wanted the kids rooms to be finished, spaces that would make them really happy. I had done a nursery and one kid’s room and loved it both times, so I was psyched. I’m pretty sure they wanted their other rooms done at the same time, but of course we honed in immediately on the kids’ rooms. And we finished them in a few weeks because they were so strangely satisfying.

Here’s what Grace’s room looked like before:


Well, technically that’s not fair because that is after the flood and even before the new floors. Obviously this isn’t where she slept before we redid her room. But this is what it looked like when we got our grubby little paws on it so this is my “before” photo. Basically, they already had the antique bed, nightstand (which is vintage and I LOVE IT), the dresser, and the Michelle Armas print. Everything else was our job to bring in.


Grace had a pin board where she pinned amazing photos of Hanna Montana’s bedroom, sofas in the shape of ice cream sandwiches, and gummy bear chandeliers, but ultimately what inspired the room was the Michelle Armas large canvas print. They had just bought it (which was another big clue that we should take this job) and we all loved the amazing colors that were in it. So that was the beginning of the design. Then as I was brainstorming and pinning for the project I realized I was pinning a ton from Land of Nod, so I approached them and asked if they wanted to partner on this project so I could show how to mix antique and big box store products to create a kid’s room that is totally unique and timeless.

vintage nightstand, gold lamp

Photo by David Tsay

They were into the idea and off we went. The color palette was inspired by the Michelle Armas print and that helped inform the shopping — remember that the easiest/fastest way to create a cohesive room with many different styles it so have a simple color palette. So for Grace it was hot pink and aqua, with hits of light pink, yellow, gold, and gray.

tween bedroom makeover

Photo by David Tsay

The curtains are Land of Nod and we bought the blackout curtains from them, too, but had them sewn together instead of doing a double rod because there were a lot of windows. Plus, two were close to each other so we didn’t want eight panels in that corner. But a word to the wise, even going to a tailor will cost you about $60 each panel just to sew, so it was not a cheap option and I highly recommend doing it yourself. Although I’m pretty sure it was worth every penny because she can sleep so much longer, especially on the weekends.

Storage trunk, Land of Nod

Photo by David Tsay

Note the ruffle on those curtains, VERY cute indeed. Not overly girly, but definitely feminine. That trunk housed her collection of dolls, which apparently is overflowing in the cutest way possible.

On the other side of the room is her vintage desk (that was her grandmother’s) that we dressed up with some adorable wall art, gold clip lamp, and of COURSE a fairy door. What is a fairy door you ask? Only the door that fairies can go in and out of at night, hello. There are two of them in her room, both kinda hidden but she knows where they are.

desk area, vintage

Photo by David Tsay

Land of Nod bedroom

Finally for added storage we brought in this very adorable bookcase that houses her miniature Japanese eraser collection that is kinda amazing and her Sweet Valley High books, plus that toy on top that doesn’t stop talking or moving even when you turn it off. It’s totally insane and weird. In fact, if you try to cover its eyes or be really quiet so it will shut up, that’s when it sings the most. Baffling.

Jenny Lind bookcase

Photo by David Tsay

tween bedroom

Photo by David Tsay

See, look! She loves doing her homework now, JUST LOVES IT. But seriously, she does love her room and wants to hang out in it, play in it all the time, and even keep it really clean. Every time we go by the house to check in on other rooms I pop my head in, just to say hello to my childhood fantasy, and it’s always so well kept, which makes a designer VERY happy.

Of course we, (thank you Tessa) made a video highlighting how to design a girls room that is both timeless and “kid” by mixing antiques and modern pieces. Check ‘er out, folks:

Here are all the resources, all Land of Nod except for the Michelle Armas print and the antiques:

Desk organizer: I Could’ve Been A Container. Curtains: Ruffle Curtains, map: Hue-Nighted Nations Map, hanging pendant: Perfectly Perforated Pendant, bedding: Singing in the Rain Forest , gold lamp:  Between a Rock Lamp, gold pillow: Sparkle Pillow, teal poufs:  Pull Up a Pouf, nightlight: Gummy Bear Lamp, pink rug: Rags to Riches Rug, trunk:  As You Wish Storage Bench, gold clip lamps: Modern Clip Lamp, artwork: Fall Foliage Leaf Wall Art 15. Jenny Lind Bookcase

I was impressed with ALL of the Land of Nod pieces and what’s so great is that most of these are pretty ageless — she’s not going to need to redo her Dora the Explorer themed room in a year. This room will last her through her teens, with maybe the addition of some One Direction posters here and there …

But that’s not all:

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 6.59.27 AM

Land of Nod has been generous enough to give away a $250 gift certificate to one lucky reader. All you have to do is tweet out this post, to get other people to read it, tagging both me and Land of Nod in the tweet (@LandOfNod and @em_henderson…make sure you follow us both, too!), and then come back and comment that you did. If you aren’t on Twitter, then Facebook this bad boy — the point is lots-o-readers. And yes, OF COURSE you can do both and get two entries. Contest will end next Wednesday at 5pm, winner will be picked by and will be announced on the blog.

Good luck, and what did you think of this room? I’m pretty sure this is why we have daughters — to decorate their rooms so we can relive the childhood of our fantasies. I can’t tell if my future daughter is going to be the luckiest or most annoyed child ever. But I’d be happy if she was a little bit like Grace. :)

UPDATE: Holly Foxen Wells, you are the winner! Nice job, entering twice. Your second one was the random one picked.  Congratulations and Land of Nod will be emailing you soon!!!!

This post was in collaboration with Land of Nod, but obviously all those designs, thoughts, and words were totally mine.

All amazing photos shot by the very talented David Tsay, styled by yours truly.

Tween bedroom redesign, sneak peek

Remember when I posted about this tween room like three months ago? Well she is all done, shot (by David Tsay), video’d, and ready to go … tomorrow. But to remind you of what is about to happen:

tween girl bedroom

Come back tomorrow and see the afters of one of my favorite rooms EVER. I partnered up with Land of Nod to create this tween bedroom that makes me want to go back in time, be a 9-year-old, and live the life that all 9-year-old girls should live — surrounded by aqua and pink and gold, but somehow in a not overly “princess” kinda way.

Also, maybe due to her influence I might now listen to One Direction a little too much …


Mid-Century Texan Outback Baby Shower

It’s a baby shower, folks. Except I’m officially renaming this one to “Send Off to Parenting Party” because that’s more what we decided to do. It’s not that anything is wrong with the more traditional baby showers, truly, but sometimes I think traditions don’t make much sense for everyone in every situation. First off, Leigh (the dad — yes, they both have strangely asexual names) is having a baby, too; he loves a good party; and he deserves a good party before life all changes. Also, Corbett has a lot of close male friends so it’s just kinda weird to make it solely a girl thing and leave all the boys out. Then thirdly, why do they always have to be during the day when people aren’t really ready to get rowdy? So we — myself, and Corbett’s three closest ladies in her life — decided to throw a joint baby shower — er , PARTY, at 5pm, which is an appropriate hour to get your crunk on. And we did.

Corbett Tuck's baby shower

But of course, it had to be a surprise. Not the date or time, but everything else. Leigh and Corbs are very generous and throw awesome parties, sometimes including custom scavenger hunts, magicians, or yachts. And I promise you, being at what you think is a normal party and then having a magician randomly pull a bird out of his pocket next to you is VERY exciting, indeed. So we wanted to go all out and spare no expense for them.

The theme was “MidCentury Texan Outback,” naturally. It’s trending. They both love mid-century, she is from Texas, and he is from Australia, so that is kinda the best we could come up with. Basically it just means a casual desert vibe with delicious beer and BBQ.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

I enlisted help from Yeah! Rentals because even though I’m a stylist you can’t take a backyard that looks like this at 8am …

Image 3

… and turn it into everything you see below without help from an awesome rental company like YEAH!. They provided the furniture, rugs, pillows (except a few of mine), and poufs. Pretty much the whole party. You go to their warehouse, pick out what you want (they’ll help you make decisions based on how many people you have, how big the party area is, etc.), and then they deliver, set up, and remove all in the same day. (And yes, they remove as late as you want — ish. We had them come at 11pm and it was fine). Also, anybody who reads this and books a party before August 1st can get 15 percent off the rental with them, as long as you say “Emily loves Yeah!” in your email.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

For flowers, I vacillated between these Proteus and other desert flowers or doing just succulents. Ultimately I liked the height and color variation of the Proteus, but the succulents would have been less wasteful, so they would have been just as good of an option and not that much more expensive. That awesome fringe situation up there is from Geronimo, which was supposed to be on the balloons that we got from them, BUT, we loved them in the more blank places of the party.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

When it comes to the patterns and colors, we decided to not try to art direct it too much and just mix all of these together, with the main color palette being desert colors, with hits of hot pink and teal (duh). Somehow throwing it all together looks way better and more fun than going through and perfectly picking out all the colors that matched, etc. Stylistically, they all look good together because the they all fell within our mid-century Texan outback theme.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

Oh, and I added Billy Balls because I wanted more texture and something really graphic to contrast against the Proteus. Plus, I love saying and buying “Billy Balls.”

Corbett's baby shower geronimo balloons cake

I enlisted help from my friends at Geronimo Balloons, which are those famous huge and round balloons floating around at parties. They were a massive hit, cut to six hours into the party, and yes, “lollipop kids” may have been sung with the help of some helium, that oh-so-precious resource. That beautiful ‘smores cake is a genius creation by Tara at HeirloomLA and was insanely delicious (and while it looks not that big, it served all 75 people). It has all the elements of ‘smores inside it — chocolate, salty graham cracker and marshmallow. VERY Good. I kept meaning to buy or make a cake topper but the day totally got away from us.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower


corbett tuck baby shower with emily henderson

We stole the name game idea from Bash, Please (only the hippest party planners in town) when they did it for Margaux and Max’s beautiful shower. Basically you guess (or pick) what name you think they should name their baby. Their last name is Whannell so I chose “1L” (get it “One L” Whannell) and I won. I mean, they aren’t going to name her that, but I still kinda “won” if you know what I mean. I apparently think I’m terribly clever at times. Although Orlando also won by choosing “Orlanda,” which never ceases to make us laugh.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

baby shower cake

I mean, look at that cake. HeirloomLA, you killed it. I want it in my cake hole now.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

The party was big, at 75 people, so we obviously had to get a group shot. It was a total success and such a blast. Obviously I didn’t do this alone or even close to it. Corbett’s cousin (who-is-basically-her-sister), Hillary hosted it (Secrets from a Stylist, season one episode one, anyone?), and her best friends Anne and Meredith helped an intense amount as well. We didn’t get any proper shots of the delicious BBQ food because it was served inside after dark where the light was bad and wasn’t styled all pretty (but was delicious). Instead, we focused on shooting more of the party and decor. A big trivia game was played, music spun all night, and a week later this happened:

newborn photo

Baby Sabine was born. Everybody is extremely healthy and totally perfect.

Happy Birthday, Sabine. Your aunts really love you very much already. Now to start planning your first birthday party …  I’m thinking “Vintage Victorian Trojan” …

Thanks so much to Monica Wang who shot those lovely party photos; Yeah! Rentals for the awesome furniture and accessories; Geronimo balloons for the insane balloons; HeirloomLA for that cake; and Tessa Neaustadt for the birth photo. And yes, ALL of those people just mentioned are for hire and I strongly recommend hiring them.  :)