Trolling Craiglist … Tucson, Arizona

I’m at the late stage of my shopaholicism where I’m less interested in amazing pieces in perfect condition from Lawson Fenning or one of my other favorite Los Angeles digs. My addiction has gone “street” — really dirty and really secretive — shopping Craigslist late at night in cities that I don’t live in and have no intention of buying and shipping from. It’s a bizarre exercise of just looking and then feeling a satisfaction from finding. The rush — oh the high that is a good CL find.

We were supposed to take an Arizona thrift store road trip last month that got cancelled due to cost of trucking/gas and assistance fees, especially since I’m preggos. :( But I’m still a little intrigued by that state and all it’s delicious used goods. So these finds are from Tucson. I forgot to keep the links, but I’ll try to have them entered by the end of the day, meanwhile they were all still for sale as of late last night so go for it!

Tucson w:prices

1. Those crazy rattan chairs are too expensive, they are. I would offer $150 for both and see what happens. But they are wacky and tickle my inner crazy lady bone. The cushions are cheap to reupholster and I like the finish of the bamboo (or whatever they are).

2. I want those two mirrors above matching vanities in my make believe master bathroom real bad. And while I’m usually anti-other people painting out pieces, I actually really like this color. These seem expensive, but interesting mirrors aren’t cheap.

3. We’ve been looking and looking and looking for interesting sofas for The Fig House project. This one is pretty cool. It may not be the art sofa that I like, but it’s proportions and it’s chunky little shape is fulfilling the ’30s/’80s vibe that we are looking for.


1. I think the yellow chair is overpriced (for CL), but it’s a pretty shaped chair. If you just reupholstered it in a pretty new coral velvet (or any fresh color) it will be beautiful.

2. That ‘80s chair, like Miley Cyrus, is on the border of ugly, but I think that if redone she can totally striking. If the feet/legs weren’t upholstered I would be WAY less interested in it, but the upholstery makes it go full ’80s, which I like. I’m interested in adding some button tufts, but maybe keeping the clean ’80s vibe is smart. Maybe it’s all about getting an awesome pattern that does something to the very simple, borderline-boring, shape.

3. Those key lamps are J’adorbes in a very Jonathan Adler way. Kill me if that word escapes my pretentious little mouth again. Love that guy but the Francophile language must stop. I hope these are metal, in which case don’t touch them (they are awesome as is) and all they need are new shades. Read my resource guide for the best readymade or custom lamp shades. 

4. The weird set of furniture is intriguing to me, for sure. The shape is great, but I’m not convinced about the finish. I can’t tell if they are plastic or wood, though I highly doubt wood. I would get all three and separate them; use the nightstand in the bedroom (man, I wish there were two) painted out to highlight that adorable brass toe-kick. Depending on the quality of the other two pieces I’d play around with the finish. The shape is so cute and Parsons-y, maybe it just needs a great lacquer job in the perfect color (slate? aqua?) to make it a statement.

tuscon craiglist

1. That first chair is extremely questionable, I know, but it’s a rocker/glider and could be sooo cute for a nursery if it were redone right. So here’s what I’d do: take off the skirt, IMMEDIATELY.  Strip that lady. Then I’d reupholster it in a fabric, and I think you could go nuts and do a small pattern if you want OR if you want to jump on the train to crazy town with me, do each scallop in a different color. Wha what? I’ve wanted to do this to a piece for a while, where the bulk of the piece is in a solid, then the scallop part could be in an ombre of the same color or in stripes or something super fun and playful — especially for a nursery. It’s kookie, but also very exciting and totally surprising. Do it. Crazy town is just beautiful this time of year.

2. VINTAGE LAZY BOY; I’m kinda obsessed with the idea of. It’s ’80s but not crazy overstuffed and could satisfy your dude or your inner dude. It reclines and all that necessary TV watching goodness.

3. That tufted sofa is a FANTASTIC price but you will have to invest in it. These sofas are anywhere from $650 – $1200 to reupholster (well, could even be more but that is a very expensive job), plus the cost of fabric. (It looks to be around 10 yards at no less than $15/yd normally.) The shape of this is great and it has a ton of potential. I’d do it in a coral velvet or linen and fringe the bottom of it — channel your inner chic grandma on this one. Fringe can be your new best friend … the kind of friend that drinks too much gin and wears inappropriately tight clothes to funerals, but is still fun.

Don’t forget to read my “Everything You Need to Know About Reupholstering Vintage Furniture” post to help you make some decisions, and I also have “How to Shop Craigslist” and “How to Shop the Flea Market” posts as well. Giving away secrets like a wall street dude gives away bottles of Cristal in 1985. I’m a thrifting baller.

I think I’m headed to CL Seattle next week (virtually, not physically) so tell all of your Seattle friends. If you are selling anything and want to submit it as a potential posting email through the contact list! (And don’t overprice — the fun of this is deals, not just awesome furniture).

xx (and thanks Abby for your help!)

Country Living House of the Year Makeover

There’s a lot to tell you about this project, for sure. But there’s a lot that’s still kinda secret. So for now, you are going to get a sneak peek into the Country Living House of the Year project that I was so honored to be asked to do. It was a house that was totally destroyed by Hurricane Sandy last year in the Rockaways. Every year Country Living asks a designer to be part of this project and they selected me this time. Pretty awesome. So I’ve been flying to New York back and forth designing this adorable house and I’m real real real proud of it.

I’ll be posting about the whole thing, obviously, but for now here’s a little sneak peek into the before and after:

breezy point house destroyed


bright airy living room

photo by Alec Hemer for Country Living

There will be whole posts on each room, with all the resources, processes, behind the scenes etc., but for now, enjoy this space that I want for myself VERY badly. This project was super rewarding to do, and I’m just so happy to have been a part of it. That stupid hurricane really ruined some lives, so I’m very happy that one less life has to try to rebuild.


Happy Monday … From Las Vegas

how to style a table

I’m in Las Vegas, folks. I’m here to speak at World Market (10 a.m. today if you want to spread the word). To kill some time while the world is having fun drinking without me, I decided to organize my photos on my computer instead of reading how Kim Kardashian lost 50 pounds in 40 days as Star Magazine claims she did.

So I found some old photos that I styled that David Tsay shot. I think I’ve posted them, but it’s been years if I did.

dresser in foyer

weiss+3 Now, let me be clear: I didn’t design this house. I wish. I simply styled the hell out of it. They were all shot by David Tsay for Coastal Living (the first one for Domino).

Meanwhile being pregnant in Vegas is like being the biggest dog lover in the world, who all of a sudden was told that for nine months you are deathly allergic to dogs; if you dare pet one you will die, and then being stuck in a cage with 100 adorable puppies. My inner party girl is being tortured being here whilst pregnant.

Luckily the hotel room is super nice (The Cosmopolitan) and I’m reading The Fault in Our Stars which is keeping me fairly distracted from the fun that Sin City is offering 14 floors below me. Nothing like terminally ill teenagers falling in love to make me engrossed. If only they were also somehow vampires, supernatural, or post-apocalyptic …

Happy Monday.

Little friday update … ramblings of an expectant career mom

My life is a lot like The Bachelorette, except the men that i’m juggling are more design projects and i have a way shorter torso. About 4 months ago I found myself with 27 projects. This post is already so boring and trite, i’m SO SORRY.  I hate it when people talk about how busy they are as if other people aren’t busy, because EVERYONE is busy … but i have a point, I think. Who knows, this whole post might be the most annoying and cliche’d blogger thing you’ve ever read.

But anyway … I had all these projects written up on a huge floor to ceiling white board, with various people  helping me on each, all the deadlines, shoot dates, boxes to check, status, etc. These projects were all awesome, including the West Elm series, The Land of Nod series, The Country Living House of the Year renovation project in New York (you haven’t seen that one yet, but out in 2 weeks!!!), the Lorey’s living room, dining room and den/office, The Sunrise makeover, One Kings Lane videos, the Fig House, The Americasmart presentation, Oh Joy’s studio design, plus 20 more that are still coming up to post about.

While writing them all somewhere together helped keep things mentally manageable, every time I looked at the board I was like ‘HOW am I going to sustain this with a baby?’. The answer is ‘I’m not’.

Its constant project ADD. I can barely hold a conversation on one of them without something triggering a thought about another one and me leaping on to that project leaving my team totally annoyed. And while I have some amazing people that work with me (Orlando, Dean, Ginny, Sam, Abby to name a few), most projects and clients want me to be heavily involved and sending someone to meetings on my behalf bums them out.

oh joy office shoot  – Random moments from yesterdays shoot with Zeke Ruelas and Orlando at Joy’s studio.

So I decided to start saying ‘no’ to EVERYTHING (well, not everything, little Charlie/Oliver/Starke still needs some vintage cognac leather oxfords to wear). My 10 year ‘YES’ phase has ended. Ryan Gosling could have asked me to redesign his living room, in fact he actually could have insisted that I stay there while doing it, and he’ll make me all my meals and massage me in between coats of paint, and I would have said ‘No’.

HA!! I just reread that and thats the funniest thing i’ve ever written and obviously highly untrue. But you get the point. I realized that I needed some serious time and brain space in order to figure out what is next in my career and how I can streamline everything to make sure its sustainable with a baby.

oh joy studio

Without a baby I can handle it all, truly. I’m a machine. I suffer from high energy, and I truly LOVE doing what I do. All of the above projects were fun and good for me. But the last ten years of being in a ‘yes phase’ have ended in order to figure out how to be a good mom.

It’s all about saying yes to a few large things that are large and sustainable. Or maybe not. Maybe that will be more stressful and less interesting and i’ll miss having 27 projects. But Its just what i’m going to try right now.  Ah the experiment that is life …

I know that a lot of you are in creative fields and can understand this, but just because you love designing, its your favorite thing to think about and do doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your brain. Every day I had to look at the board and first try to remember what i’m forgetting that is urgent and behind for each project, then try to stay on top of things that are current and happening today and then think about what is happening next week – what i need to order, coordinate, source now that will take 4 weeks to get here, etc. Thinking about what is happening next year or anything ‘Big Picture’ wasn’t really an option; My tv career wasn’t even a thought, let alone trying to please all the personalities involved, and lets face it, there are a lot of ‘interesting’ personalities out there.

Brain. Was. Full.  (i just read that putting dramatic periods is ‘out’ and very ‘last year’, so i do apologize for being off-trend on that one. How embarrassing).

But never fear, folks. I think i’ve figured it out (‘think’ being the operative word, here). Nothing I can announce yet, but hopefully by next year life will be sustainable. I’m not looking for balance – i’ve talked to enough of you to know that it doesn’t exist. And i’m CERTAINLY not looking for perfection, lord knows that ain’t happening as i can barely use good grammar right now – but just a career that is sustainable and doable … with a baby boy.

Thats all of a sudden striking me as hilarious; that ‘sustainability’ is my goal. Way to really reach for the stars, Emily. That sounds so shitty, but I think you guys know what I mean. It just would be so great if while at dinner with Brian, i’m actually thinking about the conversation that i’m robotically having with him and not whether the wood flooring in the Lambeth house should be oriented horizontally or vertically; or whether we should have used suspender material on Joy’s art installation, even though its more expensive than ribbon, it is more saturated in color and I could probably order it in bulk, but the stretch will make it less easy to manage or maybe it will make it more easy to manage …

Because Brian doesn’t exactly care about whether the wallpaper in the guest room of the Hollywood project has too much yellow in it and its going more towards to the taupe world than the gray world that I intended and if it is then do I need to change out the curtains to bring out the cool tones in the paper? I mean, I haven’t exactly gauged his interest in that conundrum, but i’d imagine his reaction would be full of dramatic eye blinks. I can feel his eyes glazing over just as i’m typing this.

oh joy emily henderson Again, I know this is all trite, but i’m just starting to feel totally on top of things and NOT overwhelmed and its VERY exciting.

Its a lot like how Des, the Bachelorette, feels right about now – she’s finally narrowed her male choices down to 3 and i’d imagine that only making out with those three (although DRAMA THIS WEEK) is a lot less emotionally confusing than the 24 she started with.

But then there is also the fear of just getting old, lazy and less motivated. Should ‘career sustainability’ be the goal when you have kids? Or is that not really reaching high enough? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still have things long term goals of being the go-to home style expert in the universe, but there is something very attractive to actually being able to stay on top of things and even have time and the know-how to pay my quarterly taxes (which yes, I paid FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS  QUARTER).

Or is this just another phase? From my ‘yes’ phase, to my ‘no’ phase, is this just my ‘sustainability’ phase that will only last a few months because its boring? I think I just fell asleep between typing ‘sustainability’ and ‘phase’.

What started out as a post with a clear thesis about how i’m only going to say yes to a few HUGE projects, has now made me question it all and now i’m rambling like Fran Drescher on adderall.

Is career sustainability with a young child satisfying enough? Or does it just depend on what those projects are if they are exciting enough (and lucrative enough) then maybe its all good?  I think i’ve just heard from so many career moms with babies that the first year is so hard that i’m trying to prepare myself and avoid the nervous breakdowns, but is it possible to avoid them or are the inevitable anyway?

Help. Advice. Please.

Radio Silence and Ryan Reynolds

… Sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s probably because I’m busy hiking Runyan Canyon with Ryan Reynolds.

who is ryan reynolds dating

Thank you Green Canary for emailing this to me. We are busy, clearly, and I haven’t had a chance to post the last couple of days. But meanwhile, Ryan says “Hi,” whilst nuzzling my hair …  whilst hiking.