Announcing Styling How To’s

The last few days i’ve sat down to blog and…. NOTHING.  Total blank.  100% not inspired.  Yes, i’m easily distracted by the Bear in my lap and pinterest and then of course my client work, but i always am and normally i can still come up with something to blog about.  

Sure, i could show you how i am very  much on the fence of buying this crazy splatter paint chair:

I mean, its definitely a ‘looking at’ chair versus a ‘sitting in’ chair.  But there is something so 80’s and awesome about it, and it wants to be in my entry so bad.  Unfortunately its $400 which is too much for a chair i don’t need.  (OR DO I NEED IT????)

But doing ‘show and tell’ everyday seems kinda boring on the blog (don’t worry, i’ll still do some…i’m too excited about stuff i buy not to show you).

This weekend i was on the blog  YoungHouseLove looking at their kitchen redo ‘how to’s’ (NICE JOB JOHN AND SHERRY, seriously) and i remember thinking, ‘These guys are crazy good at teaching what they know and showing step by step how to do it’.  They impart so much useful information – no wonder they have such a following.

And that’s when i realized that i need to be doing more ‘how to’ styling posts, because that’s what I know and thats the information that I have to impart.   

So good news, people. Hold on to your brass animals, because original styling posts are happening starting next week. 

Mr. Orlando (who is my amazing assistant and very good friend/partner in crime) is going to start joining me at least 1 – 2 days a week (starting next week, i’m headed to NYC today) at my house where i’ll do more of these kind of original ‘how to style’ posts.  I need somebody to help me focus but also to have fun with because when you work for yourself you can get easily distracted by RHOOC. 

My question to you is what do you want these styling posts to be?  

What do you feel like is the hardest thing to style?

I did a lot of styling tips on the show, but either A. you might not have caught every episode or B. seeing certain tricks again doesn’t exactly hurt anyone.  

Here are my initial thoughts:

Coffee table styling (because this is easy to get wrong)

Mantel styling


Easy flower styling

Bed styling

Gallery walls

Dining table styling (formal and casual)

The idea would be to have more ‘take away’ for you (and get more readers with original content).  

Its hard when you do something so naturally for so long to know what exactly people who don’t do it need help with.  

Oh, there will be lots of ‘Moments’.  Lots of ‘layers by layer’ jokes and yes, SECRETS…..(from a stylist)


(All photos of my old apartment and were styled Me, and shot by the awesome Terilyn fisher)

  1. Elizabeth

    That sounds great! I would love to see some posts on scale… You always talk about it and it looks so easy when you're doing it (finding the right scale of sofa/artwork/chair etc) but I sometimes don't know how big or small to go in a space. It would also be great to see one on shelves (like the picture in this post) because empty shelves are just begging to be styled. I'm sure they're going to be great!

  2. Emily E.

    SO EXCITED to read these posts. Great idea! I would love to read each and every one of your proposed topics!

  3. I would love to see:

    1) How to choose the right plants (houseplants and flowers) for the space…..
    2) How to integrate picture frames into your overall design without going all mega gallery wall or console table full of frames…
    3) Interesting ways to store books outside of bookcases
    4) How to light a space when you don't have overhead lighting

    Thanks! I am looking forward to the series…

  4. I'd love to see examples of what NOT to do, followed by a photo of the same vignette with the "nots" fixed. I love how these give a visual example of how a half eaten bagel just looks wrong, but a fresh baked muffin might look perfect. Looking forward to next week!

  5. um, YES PLEASE to all of the above! Also perhaps side/end table styling? dresser styling? bookshelf and desk styling.

    super excited about the flower styling for sure. I'm terrible at arranging flowers.

    This was always my favorite part of your show after you introduced it in the second season. Very helpful!

  6. Angela N

    I just can never seem to get my styling right, so just about anything you post would be fantastic!

  7. Emma

    throw pillow styling! like how to mix lots of fabrics without looking CRAZY! so i guess maybe sofa styling? also, esp when you have a PATTERNED sofa because lots of blogs always talk about adding throw pillows to a white slipcovered pb sofa (BORING!) but how can you add fun throw pillows to a fun patterned sofa?

  8. Hi Emily –

    I'd like some tips on how to style when you have two young, very grabby kids. Breakables and big vases full of water and flowers make me nervous. How can I style my coffee table without worrying that whatever is on it will be broken in 2.2 seconds?

  9. Desi

    I can't wait to see your styling tips. I think my bathroom has been one of the hardest things to style. My widow treatments also suck. It's hard when you rent. I hate vertical blinds, but I also don't like not being able to filter light. Ugh.

  10. C

    YES PLEASE! I religiously watch and take note of all your styling tips, and can't wait to read your upcoming blog posts. And I think you're right on about styling coffee tables, mantels, bookshelves, and consoles. In particular, I think tops of consoles, entertainment units, entry hall tables, and pianos across the country are waiting for your help and guidance! Also love the idea posted by another reader for doing "what not to do" and then corrected versions — that could be very cool and helpful I think.

  11. Robin

    First…LOVE THAT SPLATTER CHAIR! What a conversation piece, and I would SOOOO sit in it! $400 may be a bit steep for something you don't have to have, but half the stuff in my house that makes a statement (and starts conversations whenever someone new comes in) is something I didn't NEED, but just wanted to bring in to add to the "look" of my home. Whenever you love something (and that's the key here…you need to LOVE an object you are paying $400 for when you don't really need it!), and don't get it, you lose your chance to probably ever find it again. That's happened to me a couple of times, so now I seriously think it through before walking away. Hope you end up getting it!

    As for the styling tips…those are always welcome! I'm not bad at it, but I love to learn new things and when watching your show, I took away countless ideas I would probably never have thought of on my own. I'm an avid reader of your blog anyway, so to be entertained and educated at the same time is great! Can't wait to get some fresh ideas!

  12. Emily

    Yes, yes! All of the above!

  13. Fire place mantel and TV stands… (our TV stand is long and shorter with just a huge TV on it right now)

  14. GREAT suggestions. I would also love to see a post on scale, as well as choosing sizes for rugs (I recently spent an hour googling "how big should a rug be" to get some guidelines around this). Also, potentially, standard sizes for things? It sounds silly, but I swear I was about to build a super-deep bookcase until I read you saying bookcases never need to be much deeper than 18". You saved me from building a needlessly deep bookcase! For real!

    Oh, and a post on colour balance in a room. Since you talked about this in a previous post I've been using it to inform furniture choices, and it's helping enormously!

  15. Caitlin

    Oh dear god, I am so happy! Yes, please do this! Your styling tips are like gold to me. I almost got into a fight with my mother and husband when they suggested turning my bar cart at the angle. I stated, very loudly, "Emily does not recommend furniture at an angle!" Both now think I am crazy because I reffer to you as my good friend Emily. (We wold totally be good friends if we met!).

    Thanks to Secrets I have picked up a few good tips, but the more the merrier. I look forward to mantle styling, bookcases, hutches, living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. All over I guess.

    Yay for Orlando, love him!

  16. angie

    Mantels, bookshelves. I'm hopeless with my mantel. How's about taking reader submissions? I show you my mantel and my stuff and you tell me where to put it, or what other kind of stuff I should dig up. That way you won't run out of things to style.

  17. Ahhhhh! Thanks for the sweet shout out Emily! You're too kind! Come on over and hang in our kitchen whenever you'd like! Feel free to style our shelves while you're at it! Hahaha.

  18. CT

    I would love to hear any ideas/comments on styling for photos (bloggers!) versus styling for living in. And I especially like the comment above about seeing a "Don't" and then seeing (maybe the same objects rearranged into) a "Do". Styling is a visual thing, methinks, so sometimes seeing the no-nos is helpful too. (Because then you see even more why it doesn't work).

  19. KatyO

    Oh I love the idea of "how to style" posts! Yes please!

    I need help with built in bookshelves – I have two walls full and not enough books to fill (or even make a dent!) I keep trying to get that mix of books, pictures, other things just right and it looks sloppy and stupid right now. HELP!

    Also, would love ideas for guest rooms – what to do to make them inviting and useable!

  20. Julie

    Okay, good to know it's not just me getting distracted by RHOOC. Yes, yes and yes to CourtneyOutLoud's suggestions. Nightstands and bookcases would be great. Functional styling, not just photoshoot styling … ummm, do all these people in magazines sleep without clocks and alarms? And yes that floating desk looks great in the middle of the room but unless you have outlets in the floor it isn't very practical. Thanks!

  21. Kimberly

    You said it. My coffee table and console table need help. And I've tried. Just last week I ordered those male/female bust vases that I saw on one of your Secrets of a Stylist episodes (I think it was the episode with the Oh Joy blogger) because I'm desperate to get the styling correct for a big party I'm having at my house Memorial Day weekend. The console table is directly under the wall mounted TV. I'm hoping those vases with the succulents will give that section of the room a great 'moment'. The UPS tracking says they'll be here on Friday. So excited! I digress. When you put together the styling secrets can you try to include retail places where those items can be purchased (especially online for those of us on the east cost) for anything that seems specific? Books etc.. can be picked up anywhere but sometimes I see things on your blog and I want to own the same thing but have to do the mad search.

  22. Becky

    My challenge is too many windows, doors and books. I either have black holes of bookcase or gaping holes of portals. So if you can style around and with the big things I would be forever grateful. Please still keep up the sassy smaller vignette too!

  23. lizzie

    I can't wait to read these.

    What about BOOKS? How come stacks of books in design blogs and glossy mags look chic and purposeful, but in my house they look a hot mess? I've tried varying stack height, arranging by color. I'm a PhD English student so I'm surrounded by an ever-rotating pile.

    On that note, tips on styling a desk (in a home office) would be fantastic.

  24. Lilly

    I need help with bookshelves! I've seen every episode of your show and just when I think I've got it all figured out I head over to a shelf and draw a blank. I just can't wrap my brain around it! Yay so looking forward to this!

  25. Courtney

    Book shelf styling! We moved into a house with a huge amount of built-ins which sounds great but we don't have nearly enough things to fill them. I really want to be thoughtful about styling them but I don't know where to start.

  26. Helen

    ahh I am soo excited! So excited that in fact, I am holding onto my brass horse right meow.

    I would love to see styling tips for open shelving in spaces that you use most often, such as the kitchen and living room. I like my open shelves to look "styled" but still want to use everyday items and need help! YHL is my favorite DIY blog for homeowners, really pumped you're going to do your own spin with their format!

  27. HelpSavePluto

    Mantel styling please! My mantel is screaming for some EH lovin. Practical advice for the every day gal! I love the posts (and topics on your show) that I feel that I can accomplish. I get a rush when I think that I can utilize your ideas/tips in my own home and in my own way, and on a budget. Call me obsessed. My husband sure does. When I came home in December with a pair of high waisted flare jeans the hubs replies… Now you even dress like EH? Yep.

  28. Maria

    Um, WOW do I need this in my life. Accessorizing/styling is my biggest challenge…I feel like I'm pretty good at picking out the 'big' pieces, but all the little things that make it work? Not so much. We just built a console-table-style bar (here: )and yeah…the styling needs work. BIG TIME. So my vote is for console table/bar styling. How's that for a niche post? I'll also throw my hate in the ring for shelves, because who couldn't use that? Great idea, by the way!

  29. Brianna

    Mantel definitely (especially when the ceilings are LOW). Also how to figure out what walls to put pictures on and which to leave blank? I second lighting for rooms with no overhead light (or just a boob light)…um…oh, one tiny bathroom for three people…how to make it stylish and functional?

    Love the site…can't wait for these posts!

  30. Lindsay

    I love this idea. My suggestion is picture frames – I love having family photos around, and friends tend to give me framed snapshots as gifts, but I can never quite figure out how to arrange them without looking cluttered or cheesy!

  31. What about kid spaces? Keeping in mind that kids love to move things around. I gave up on trying to style anything in their rooms for this reason. I would love to see a how to on that.

  32. Oh god, bookshelves! I am fortunate to have a home that is packed with built in bookshelves, and I cannot for the life of me make them look pretty.

  33. I love everything that you and everyone else suggested. Especially: the couch/pillow conundrum; the coffee table; bookshelves; and mantels. I have kind of a weird mantel (three separate shelves; I love it, but it's odd. There's a picture in this post) and would love advice on how to approach it!

  34. Alex

    I like when there are multiple ways to style the same basic "bones," if you will. John and Sherry have done tablescapes where they reuse some of the same items, but add a different twist to give it a different feel.

  35. I am dying over that white campaign bedside table. it's glorious!

  36. Katie

    I have so many styling challenges that come from living in a small studio apartment. How do I combine some ugly things stylishly?
    For example:
    -Styling the the dish drainer that sits on top of the microwave that sits on top of a kitchen cabinet cart
    -The TV that sits on top of my dresser. Ugly and a huge nest of wires between the cable box and the router.
    -The printer and textbooks and files that take up the lowest three shelves of my built in bookcase. Hideous but all stuff that's used on a daily basis.

  37. Eileen

    GREAT idea – could you also please add book case and media center styling?


  38. Kristin

    Yes to the side table/end table styling – particularly in living rooms, for me! And definitely bookshelves. Oh, and desks – how can they be functional and not look like a hot mess? Really looking forward to these!

  39. Stacy W

    I need help with styling open shelves in my kitchen!!!

  40. Jes

    Looking forward to these posts! I always love seeing what you come up with… If possible I would suggest trying to find unique things to style. Like, mantle things will be a great help, but I have 2 very unique fireplaces (one that is field-stone, and one that is red brick/field-stone mix) that I don't know if a traditional boxy mantle-scape would suffice. I also look forward to the coffee table information =)

  41. Sarah

    Yes to everything! Haha I feel like I learn so much from your show, but it goes by too fast that sometimes it's hard for some of the tips to really sink in. I can mix & match patterns all day, but styling for me is the absolute hardest part, so would love some extra tips! I think what would also help is maybe a good list of items to have on hand when say styling a bookcase for example. I have a hard time choosing the right items, especially scale. I mean that photo above of the bookcase….I die. So amazing. :) Also, please mention your floral arrangements on the show. Using branches vs choosing the right flowers to use based on the vase shape and size. I always marveled at them on your show, but can't quite recreate that at home. That would be greatly appreciated!!

  42. Jennifer

    I would love advice on staging rooms! I am thinking about selling my home and would love to have some ideas for that. I suppose that may be sort of generic to appeal tobuyers, but I bet you have some good ideas.

  43. This might sound dumb but I am having the hardest time styling the shelves in my bathroom! Functional or pretty? I want both, but how?

    Looking forward to these how-to posts! I suck at styling so I need all the help I can get and I'm sure that's true for many of your readers!

  44. I would love a how to on building up your collection fo chotkes. Because you can't begin to style anything without a good collection of knick knacks. And as someone who doesn't like clutter I find it hard to get a good mix going so that I can even begin styling my mantel. Like I end up with a lot of small things or stuff that doesn't work together. Sort of a build it from the ground up thing. Can't wait!

  45. I can't wait for these posts! The place in my house that needs styling help is a planter ledge that runs continuously throughout the main areas of my house (kitchen, family room, breakfast nook, ends in living room.) After 10 years, the only thing up there are rope lights to add a nice glow in the evening. I have no idea what to do with it. I don't really want to fill it up with lots of junk (dust collectors) but the rooms look unfinished. They are about a foot and a half deep with about 2 feet of clearance from the ceiling.

  46. Shandi

    Way excited about this! I need help with styling my space with lots of bare walls. I have vaulted ceilings and everything feels so bare! Also help with styling a really long shelf!

  47. Holli Coats

    YAYAYAYAY! I need styling tips in a big way. On every single thing you mentioned. Also, I've said this before, but kid friendly styling! There have to be ways to style a coffee table/ bedside table/ console table/ low shelves that have items that a toddler won't totally destroy. I found these awesome toys from the MoMA online store that I think could look cool and sculptural but I haven't bought them yet. Would that be weird to style with toys? (

  48. Karen

    A- I LOVE this idea. I'm an interior designer, but my weakness is the styling, so I adore hearing your 'secrets' (pun intended)
    B- In addition to the spaces that you listed, I'd like to add the top of a wide dresser. I'm a bit stuck on mine right now. I know I just need to start playing and experimenting, but I'm not totally sure where to start. HELP!
    C- last but def not least- I love to hear your sources. I'm in Boston, so I woefully can't go to your local sources, but I'm curious to know where or HOW you find all the styling elements.

    I always look forward to your posts, looks like I'll have even more to look forward to!

  49. Christine

    I would love to see a (mirrorless!) mantel styling post. I tried pinterest and every pic seem to involve a mirror as the centerpiece. Can you please give some ideas on how to style a mantel without using a mirror? Please, please?? My fireplace is in an odd position. It's the first thing you see as soon as you enter the house. (yes, directly facing the door) I would rather not have a mirror there.

    Oh btw, I really love your blog and the show. I wish you update your blog daily though. Would love, love. love to see more of your styling how to's!

  50. hillary

    I love that you're going to do some styling how-tos. The styling problem areas in my house:

    Media stand/TV console
    Dining table (when we're not eating at it)
    Kitchen counters
    Bathroom counters/shelves

    In all of these scenarios I have a hard time balancing the practical with the aesthetically pleasing.

  51. Bring it! I would actually LOVE for you to share tips for styling for photographs not just for living. What are some of your trade secrets that you can dish. Better yet, you can just come to my house and do your posts from here! Genius, I know!

  52. Phoebe

    Coffee table and walls, for SURE! I can handle bookshelves, but my coffee table…I have a hard time trying to make it functional (aka enough room for people to put drinks down on and what not) and pretty.

    And I'm having a tough time with my walls. It feels like all of the art I have is the same size.

  53. Julie

    Yes to all! Styling is sooo hard. Seriously, blog what you know and I will eat it up. for real. Other styling conundrums I have:

    1. Couch styling. Like how do I find pillows that are different but go together and how will I know if they look good on my couch or just dumb.
    2. Furniture styling. Is this a thing? I don't know but tips and tricks for arranging furniture in a room would be super duper guper helpful!

  54. Kathleen

    How to get your husband to stop centering everything you put on a side table? I try to make little "vignettes" and I get home and everything's symmetrical.
    But seriously, though, I'd love some tips on how to style a bookshelf when you actually have books! And they're not pretty design books either.

  55. Such a great post series idea! Can't wait. Just wanted to add to the votes for help with bookshelves — but also help with getting your perfectly styled bookshelves (or coffee table or whatever other small space) to relate to the rest of the room. Case in point: Our living room has a set of built-in shelves between the fireplace/mantel and then a no-built-ins wall with a console table/TV against it. It's been such a challenge to figure out how to style the mantel and the top of the bookshelf so they flow together…and then have all of those small but can-get-busy spaces work with what's going on over on the next wall.

    Oh and I'd love to see something on home office styling — that is also functional. I have a tendency to make my workspace so pretty, no work can really get done. Problem.

  56. Claire

    Definitely styling bookshelves. But can you also give some basic rules of thumb (though these are made to be broken – rules, not thumbs…). I would like advice on scale, proportion, and balance. How to mix or match things so they are not too matchy nor too random. And how to arrange things not to look like a jumbled-up cluttered mess (e.g. my house) :).

  57. OMG! How did you know I was just staring at my empty bookcase, wondering how I'm going to style it, thinking "I wish Emily was here to help!!!" Not kidding. That really happened.

    In all seriousness, I would LOVE How To posts! Such a great idea! All the ideas you mentioned are great, and you should also include a bookcase one! (So you can really help me with my empty bookcase!)

    Love you and love your blog! :) And you totally need that rainbow chair. Definitely a need and not a want. :)

  58. Stef

    I'm going to agree with a lot of what's mentioned above –

    Lighting for people without overhead lighting
    Examples of bad vs. good
    How to deal with looong open shelving – say above a desk and bookshelves. But not bookshelves with cute little cubbies you can work in, just long bare shelves


  59. My prayers have been answered! Mantel styling for sure!! Also, side tables. I always seem to have so much trouble with those. Can't wait to read each week.

  60. Ashley

    Yayyyy!!!! I have been stalking your blog hoping for something like this!!! (I LOVE YHL) So take it from John and Sherry, you can't overshare.
    YOU CAN'T. If you have an idea to share something, don't talk yourself out of it,. We are clueless, you are an oasis in a desert of confusion.
    Even the seemingly annoyingly details HELP, US. So there.

    (totally unrelated. today I am purchasing an incredible magenta indian rug for $50 on CL and it's all your fault.)

  61. I love how-tos! So excited to have more from you! Another vote for styling coffee tables/side tables/dining tables for real life with kids and pets. Seriously, it's going to be a few more years before I can put a vase of pretty flowers on a tray on the ottoman and not have them tipped over by the kids or eaten by the cat. Also, we eat all our family meals in the dining room. I'd love to know how to style the table with things that we might actually use every day, or at least that don't have to be removed every meal and that we can see over. Practical AND pretty, please!

  62. Diane

    Coffee tables and gallery walls would be at the top of my list – help!

  63. Anna B

    Yes to all of your ideas, but please add bookcases! We have a dedicated library/office, so most of our 6 foot tall bookcases are completely full of books, but we have one or two that aren't and need a more artful arrangement. Help!

  64. Bonnie

    Eek! So excited!

    I'm currently in the final decorating process of my house, and am in a slump. Too many ideas, too many must haves, too much PINTEREST and not enough space. So it sits blank..
    I'm constantly googling your spaces, so I'm excited to hear about these!

    - Definitely coffee table – yours look so lived in, mine look full of crap.
    - How much is too much? What's the line between lived in with fun interesting pieces, and straight up tchotchke hoarder???
    - How to incorporate mutiple design styles without a room looking way too ADHD??
    - Incporporating multiple finishes in one room (multiple metals, leathers/fabrics, etc)
    - Color Pallettes (maybe what colors work best with what metals – brass, chrome. Etc)

    I could go on forever rr! So excited to see!!

  65. EmilyHS

    I love your show-and-tell posts, but tutorials will be welcomed with open arms. I liked the previous suggestion of taking reader submissions, but I can see how that could turn into a "dear Abbey" situation.

    In addition to your initial ideas, how about a few posts about the styling of an overall room? Examples of good balance and furniture/pattern/color mixing?


  66. This is already sounding awesome! I would love more "How-tos" on gallery walls. Pairing artwork and photos and frame choices, etc. There are some great Pinterest ideas, but if you don't have the same style it can get tricky and pricey. Thanks!!

  67. Christa

    This is a wonderful idea. Pretty please style a woodburning stove. Fireplaces are hard, stoves are impossible. Help!

    And yes, get that painted chair.

  68. Jenny

    I'd like to do a gallery wall with different frames but A) I don't know where to buy the frames and I don't want to spend a fortune getting multiple pieces framed professionally and B) I'm not sure what frames work together. I'd like to mix them up – styles and colors. That would be a HUGE help! I feel like everyone talks about how to hang a gallery wall but nobody discusses what makes it cohesive.


  69. Ginny

    I would LOVE help with styling the top of a console table and my buffet. I have always struggled witht that. I see pictures in magazines and I think, "how do they do that, if only mine looked like that!" Maybe you can assist us viewers :) We can send pictures of what we need to styled , along with things we already have and you can assist us with placement and maybe recommend a few additional pieces to buy :) and then use those as example in your style post. haha! Either way I can't for your stylling post! Thanks!

  70. Cindy

    Bookcases, as in a whole wall of them. We just built bookcases on either side of our fireplace and it is now an entire wall that needs styling. I try to follow tips like mixing books and objects, but I can't seem to get it right. It either looks totally crazy or too matchy-matchy. So styling tips on a wall-o-bookcases would be perfect. Oh, I did incorporate antique brass radiator grates (to build in the radiator) that I picked up Brimfield, and so far, that is about the only part of the "styling" (which is more construction, but whatevs) that I like. Help!!

  71. Lauren

    I love all of these ideas, but I'm also stumped about how to style awkwardly sized/shaped end tables. As in, one in particular that's a larger rectangle (almost square) – it's a LOT of space, even with a lamp with a wide base, and I'm not sure whether to fill all of it or break it up or what…help!

  72. Eve

    I love all of your ideas – can't wait to see them. I want to see your tips for styling a bathroom vanity. I am kind of stuck with mine.

  73. erin

    yes, i agree: even if it's something covered on SFAS, you should still do a how to. i've found that sometimes learning something again and again helps it click for me. i'd like to see all those examples of how-tos!

    also: i've struggled a lot with lighting and furniture placement.
    where should things go, and how do you decide where to put lamps? and what lamps go together, and shades too?
    how do you decide if there are too many collections in a room?
    is there anyway to style a bookcase holding dvds not look junky?


  74. totally agree with whoever suggested throw pillow styling – i am so confused with how to mix different styles of fabric with curtains, pillows, couch, rug, etc!


  75. I'd love your thoughts on console styling. It baffles me what to put on either side of my bf's 52" TV to deemphasize it's massive presence.

  76. meg

    I currently (and temporarily) live in a mid – 90's condo with no period details and it's an open floor plan. sounds great right? wrong – I have half walls separating my kitchen / den, as well as my living / dining. and my boyfriend uses them to hold his wallet/keys/pocket knives/shoot me now. i can't remove them b/c of wall-to-wall carpeting and have no money for a reno. how to deal? any advice is golden!

  77. Karin

    I would love to learn:
    How to style a console when you have a giant TV on one side of it
    How to style dead corners (like the 2 ft space between a piece of furniture and a wall, door or window
    How to style a front entryway that is just a door opening into a hall of stairs
    How to style using a pop of color- like my light grey walls, and painting that had bright yellow in it…do I have to stick with yellow as my pop color? Same exact hue of yellow? How do I weave a pop of color throughout and make it look good but not too intentional?
    How to style the top of a piano
    What to do when you have bars on your lower windows- how can I draw attention away from that
    How to style a tiny back patio….

  78. Michelle

    Yes!!! I need help in every area you listed, but most importantly mantels. You're so talented and I love your style. I've turned into a mid century modern girl. :)

  79. Lauren

    This is going to be major. Thank you!

  80. I love this idea! Can't wait to see the posts. I really like in addition to your suggestions, couch styling which was mentioned above, also options for people with kids (which I don't have) or crazy cats (which I do have!!). Also for dresser styling not just the top surface but the wall above it, maybe styling the wall above around a TV. How to pick the right sized lamps? I know some of mine are the wrong size but I don't know what is right. Styling a gallery in a staircase would be great.

    I don't know if this counts as styling but furniture placement? My husband is driving me nuts wanting to put our bed out into our room at an angle and I hate that idea, but the only other option is in front of a window and that has a whole other set of issues that are difficult to deal with, how do you style that wall and bed?

  81. amanda

    Definitely bed styling. Especially for those of us with over the top headboards inherited from family. I love my little (big) guy but it's hard to style when you already have a massive focal point in the room.

  82. Layla

    Coffee table and console are the hardest for me. Especially coffee table, because no matter what I do, it just looks like I put things on it and forgot to pick up after myself. Ugh.
    And you know what I think would be super funny? Styling tips for owners of pets that like to knock things over. =) Seriously, my two cats have me to the point where, before buying a vase, I have to make sure it's heavy enough and has a low enough center of gravity!

  83. A functional work DESK!

    My desk on our kitchen has too many papers, a phone, tape dispenser, files, pencil sharpener, computer, mouse, wacom tablet…
    Um… I am in dire need of a styling' desk.

    Thanks Em!

  84. Robin

    Okay, two things come to mind. I'm a chronological thinker. Please tell me what comes first and why. Then, what comes next and why. So then I can approach my own situation with the same "directions". Second, when styling an area, I am interested in how it fits into the whole room, like a coffee table is not an island, although it kind of is, but I guess I mean how it all relates to everything else in the room is really important. I can't live in a snapshot. I'm living in and seeing the whole room most of the time. Looking forward to it!

  85. Please do tutorials on styling all of the above! Also, bookshelves / hutches…I have my great grandmother's hutch, but don't want it to look like she styled it, so maybe how to take classic pieces of furniture like that and give them a fresh, modern, yet vintagey spin? Dressers, end tables and nightstands are so difficult for me to style to look effortless yet chic. Can't wait to see all your tips! And don't be afraid of repeating yourself…I have to see / hear design tips many, many times until they become natural and more intuitive :-)

  86. Amanda

    Sofa styling (how many of the same pillows do I need between my two sofas?), bookshelf styling (it always looks stupid), and coffee table styling (no matter how much crap I buy and throw on the table, it still doesn't look pulled together).

  87. torrie

    awesome, emily! this is going to be good!

    someone already said one thing: scale! how to choose rug sizes? BONUS? how to use rug on top of carpet?? like a beige carpet..

    and sorry, i didn't read everyone else's comments, but how about:

    dressing up emtpy walls? the four walls of our living room are just darker beige with no art, literally nothing hanging. because we moved in 2 years ago and that's recent…. did you catch the sarcasm? did you catch the double-beige going on there? yes, beige carpet and darker beige walls…with no art. sad.

    how about an outdoor area???? eh? any tips for outdoor styling? and yes, since it's been 2 years, we also haven't gotten to the backyard which is weeds and dirt and a slab of concrete.

    oohh how about an office??? i like libraries, and reading chairs! 2 years living in this home, so obviously that means i've still got all my moving-in boxes sitting in this room.

    help! and thanks for finding ways to grow and choosing to do "how-to's!"

  88. Melissa

    +1 on the mantle styling… mine is an absolute DISASTER. Actually, I feel like I can do the big stuff – wall color, furniture… but my family room is a styling desert. Any interest in a Michigan makeover?? Haha… Love the lessons on styling. Waiting with pencil in hand!

  89. I am being totally selfish and not even reading anyone else's comments. I have to get this out before I forget. I love the ideas for styling tips you have, but I'd like to add styling bookshelves that have A LOT of books. and I mean A LOT. I mean how do you make it look pretty when you have a massive amount of books and your husbands comic books too. Seond, styling around a TV. Do I treat it like a picture frame and hang art gallery wall style around it? Do I put abig vase of flowers next to it and style around that? I'm so lost with the massive TV styling thing. Third and lastly, styling kid's rooms. How do I make it look nice when I walk by, but still have to be functional for my kids. I have 3, a girl 5, a girl 10, and a boy 13. I would think it would be different for each age group, but maybe I'm wrong on that. Thanks!

  90. Hayley

    I am so excited about this! Along with the suggestions you've already listed I personally would love for you to break it down in regards to choosing a signature color and making it work in a room. For example, I love yellow but don't want the whole room yellow, but I want the yellow to make a statement..does this mean a million pillows, two pillows, or loads of art in yellow or all of the above- thanks, Emily!!

  91. Erin J

    I must say I'm pretty excited for this!!! I'm always looking for ideas so I'm welcome to anything & everything :) how about a leaning bookshelf?

  92. ROWE


  93. Edie Serkownek

    Kitchen styling– I know it sounds a bit odd, but kitchen counters– how to make both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

  94. kim

    GREAT idea! I have trouble coming up with a color palette and sticking with it. I just buy what I like and then my spaces don't look very "put together". Or maybe they do to others but not me? Definitely need help styling bed/nightstand/art above bed.
    Looking forward to these posts.
    Thank you!!!

  95. Jessica

    Absolutely loooove your styling tips! ONe thing I have always wanted to style "correctly" is my desk…where to even begin? It houses all of the necessities but also displays some special items I have collected over the years. Should I treat this space just like the space on top of a dresser?

  96. {another} Emily

    Definitely need help with

    1. figuring out my style
    I have tried googling "how to define your style/decorating style" and most of the quizzes make you choose one answer A-F for example, but at the end, I'm like one of each or 2 A's, 3 C's and then one of B and D. ie. I am not just one style! (who is?)

    2. Combing my style with my husband's in such a way that works for both of us.
    Just got introduced to your Secrets show on HGTV and I love how you can define a couples' styles so well, and combine them so perfectly. However, I do not have the mula$$$$ to go and buy new furniture and art, but if I just knew where to start, maybe I could incorporate the things we've already bought because we liked them and "style" the room with those things in a uncluttered way.

    If I had to guess, I would say I am comfortable/relaxed mixed with "classic" -not sure what to call it, I love contrast, black and white with a pop of color, yet I also love neutrals and beachy tones. It's an odd relationship. Both styles bring joy to my eyes when I see pictures of rooms with those styles, and I've rarely seen them done well together. I also love modern things with a vintage feel (old fashioned, but not "weathered" or "distressed" looking radio that is actually a CD player/iPod doc).

    My husband THINKS he is a minimalist, but if you saw his cluttered desk, you'd wonder why he thinks that (at least I do). I'd say he is modern, classy, but not necessarily "classic", techno/electronic, but also wants that element of comfort (comfy office chair/sofa vs. straight backed chair/bench). He also doesn't like my beachy colors, but he has some sort of colorblindness and he hates when he can't tell if it's blue or green (I say I don't care what color it is, it's beautiful!)

  97. {another} Emily

    PS Didn't mean I just need help with MY style, well I do, but I meant maybe you could do something about making various styles work together with things you (or someone else lol) already own.

  98. goody goody goody! I've been having trouble styling my bookshelf that has lots of books that are all different sizes and also how do you style a bookcase/curio cabinet(?) that has glass doors. everything seems to disappear in the shadows!

  99. Mary

    I would love a post or two on ways to create focal points via styling. My combo living room / kitchen / breakfast nook has no architectural focal point and I only have two walls in the living room to work with. It's driving me mad! PS I love your work and personal style Emily!

  100. Fun! Since I don't have a bunch of those things, I would want to particularly read about coffee tables, bedside tables, shelves (bookcases and single shelves), and beds. I hope to someday soon have a console table, and come to think of it, I also hope to someday have a coffee table, but my mind is anticipating it so much that it's like it's already here.

    I would enjoy looking at pretty pictures of flowers even if I know I'll never arrange them myself.

    Ooh, and kitchen counters? Aside from "put a vase of flowers on them and make that the overwhelming focal point of the picture," because I can kind of figure that one out myself.

  101. All of those sound wonderful! I do have a suggestion though for the console table post. You see, ours backs up to our couch (ya, you're probably shaking your head at that right about now). It's the only place we have room to put the table. We already have the lamps on the end tables so I'm really at a loss on how to style this thing. Every single console table I've seen is against a wall. When you back it up to the couch it has to be visually appealing from both sides. Ugh. I'm stuck so any suggestions on this would be super helpful.

    Once we move into our own place (we rent right now) I will be trying my hardest to get on your show. The boyfriend and I have such mixed feelings when it comes to design so we definitely could use your help to mesh them. We try to watch all of your episodes in hopes it will help us.

  102. Sara

    Ok, didn't read many of the previous comments (sorry!!), but I would love your tips on everything you said, and more…how about also tops of dressers, desks for real life use, side tables….oh, and I second one of the comments i did read….also examples of what NOT to do, how something is wrong. I think I have a fairly good eye, but I doubt..all the time :).

    Oh, and I I think you should buy a cheap chair and have that adorable niece of yours over to splatter paint it with you :).

  103. Jill

    I'm in desperate need of gallery wall styling – STAT. The huge white expanse I must fill would thank you. Otherwise, how about some kitchen stuff? I don't think I've seen/read you in the kitchen before. Thanks!

  104. Darlene

    Anything to do with the bathroom – sink, vanity, back of toilet, etc. Also, display spaces above kitchen cabinets.

  105. Yes! And is it weird to ask for bathroom styling tips? Seriously. That is a conundrum I'm currently working through.

  106. Megan

    This is SO EXCITING!!! Which you obviously already know with all these overwhelmingly positive comments.

    I love the initial ideas you posted. I would LOVE to see styling tips/how to's that aren't just pretty, but also functional, like styling a workspace (that isn't necessarily a gorgeous parsons home office! C'mon–we can't all work from home! but oh man do i wish.)

    I think a big one is shelf styling–and yes, scale–it's so tough to style BIG bookshelves! HELL TO THE YES on gallery walls. Mine totally needs help.

    Some other ideas–nightstands: again pretty things that make me happy, but yeah, my cell phone cord is on my nightstand and so are my books and how do i incorporate these things that aren't necessarily aesthetically pleasing but realistically necessary?

    Sofas! pillows….why are mine all blue?

    Console–also an entryway. How to define a space that isn't already in existence.




    I really think nothing is too small for you to post about styling–even the bathroom. We all crave your advice and expertise and LOVE your eye. this is SO EXCITING! I cannot WAIT to read!

  107. Katie

    So excited for these new styling posts!

  108. Sushee

    I have a Noguchi coffee table and have no idea how to style it.

  109. Bethany

    Gallery wall styling please! I want to do one in my hallway so bad but am having a hard time starting… would love some advice!

  110. Sophie

    This is very exciting!
    Putting another plug in for desks. I need my space to be functional but I want some pretty elements and I want it to look put together. I'm not asking for organizing advice… I've got that down, just pretty moments for small and primarily functional spaces!

  111. Ellen

    I would love to see some bookshelf styling. I have two expedit bookshelves (not ideal by any means) and tons of wonderful art and fashion books. Its challenging to store so many large books and not make it look heavy! I would also love to see books styled untraditionally!


    ps…This is genius. Kudos to you. Mmm…yum, Kudos! I totally forgot about those tasty treats!

  113. Melissa C.

    Any narrow surface (like a 5" deep mantle or those floating shelves) bothches me up! I was in the int. design field for several years (pre-kids) & I STILL cannot get this styling right…if you add too much, it looks cluttered…not enough accessories & it looks bad too. It's very hard to get a "layered" look working with such little depth! Help, Emily….please!

  114. Katy

    I would love to know how to style book shelves — as in, how can I display books AND art AND knick knack things so it is both beautiful and functional?

    Also, I think this is a really great idea, and I can't wait!

  115. Wow! I can't tell you how excited I am about this! You're styling is always so spot-on, and it always feels so homey…like it deserves to be in a magazine but looks like it's actually in someone's home and comprised of things people are allowed to touch. Anyway, very excited! As for my challenge, it's styling things within reach of my cat. Maybe that just isn't a winnable battle and I'll have to settle for no styling or no cat, but a girl can dream, right?

  116. Kiara

    I (and I'm sure others) need help with a few things:

    1) Pattern mixing. I don't just mean what to pillows to put on your sofa but how to think of it in a whole room. Especially if you have gallery wall, bold wall paper or curtians. How to add patterned accents without having pattern over load.

    2) Furniture finishes in a room. What's the right balance of glass, wood finishes etc? We don't want it all matchy matchy but don't want it to be a hodge podge either.

    3) MEDIA CONSOLES! Big wall mounted TV + big wall + empty space on the media console = design problem. Help!

  117. jennifer

    Another vote for nightstand styling (and can you include an alarm clock like normal people not in magazines actually have??)


    Tops of things (cupboards, amoires — how do you get scale right on top of large pieces of furniture at near ceiling heights?)

  118. I am so excited for the upcoming posts. You are the standard for all of my styling attempts, in which I always fall short. I would love to know how to style my corner built-in in my kitchen/dining room. It has doors on the bottom and the top doors have glass, but the middle is open and I am beside myself with what to do with it.

  119. I would love to understand how to pick a great sectional! There are so many different colors and patterns to chose and if you don't have a designers eye…how in the world can you decide?! HELP!

  120. Yvette

    Looking forward to your tips!! One thing I always wonder about is what to do with that awkward corner/space in the room that's just empty, where you don't necessarily need any more seating, but you also don't want it to be blank. I think it would also be super helpful to have your input on large scale issues, like room layout in general, or distributing colors around the room (which seems so easy but I can never manage to do it well), or how to choose pieces that go together (this is also difficult for me because I end up buying things I fall in love with without thinking about how it would go in my room)

  121. Wiggs

    That sounds amazing!!! One thing I have a tough time with is kitchen cabinets/shelves. We (and a lot of our friends) have the kind of cabs that don't go all the way to the ceiling. The space has become a storage space for seldom-used serving dishes, vases, candlesticks, etc…it just doesn't have any real editing. Christian Siriano's home in NYC has a beautiful kitchen that I think is styled perfectly.

    Annnyhooo, I'm so excited for these new posts!

  122. misa

    coffee table and bedside/night tables have always presented the biggest challenge to me. i want them to be somewhat minimal but still interesting. i'd also be interested in seeing some storage space styling (like how to make storage spaces look great while still being functional). garage styling?

  123. Melissa

    I have many challenges in regards to styling but the one I'm struggling with most is WHERE DO I PUT MY GD ALARM CLOCK? I like that it wakes me up and it plays my iPod but I hate that it puts something on my bedside table that's huge and obvious and is missing from my husband's side. Do people put these on bookcases across the room? Do they buy super expensive tiny ones I can't afford and can't see in blogs and in magazines?

  124. Cathy

    Hi Emily,

    Another great idea and getting quite a response. Count me in.

    I'd like your thoughts about styling with a simple, minimal look. Are there secrets for making minimal work? Also, using natural/organic elements beyond flowers or plants…stones, driftwood, pods.

    My current interest is in putting one or more styles into a space that has a different architectural style (ours is cottage). Eclectic or just wrong?

    Thanks for your great work and warm wishes,

  125. Mary

    Kitchen counters

  126. amyks

    Would love some tips on styling!!! Any and all surfaces. My husband hates clutter, but I like the little decorative bits that make a house a home. So, if I could make it look prettier may be he wouldn't think it was "clutter"

    PS. What is going on with your show? Is your contract up? I hope not because I really hate what they are showing on HGTV right now. WAAAAYYY too much "House Hunters" and junk like that. Your show was my favorite, I prefer the design shows that are more real world, and not the Million Dollar Family Room, etc! Please give us an update!


  127. sarajane

    Delurking to add another Yes! Please! Bookcases, coffee tables and dining tables! Thank you – Love your show and your blog!

  128. Alicia

    BOOKCASE SHELVING STORAGE THINGY styling. GIMME. I need it in my life.

    and more of you and orlando. obvs.

  129. Kat

    I'd like to know how to add family pictures without a gallery wall or a table full. Do I use similar frames, contrasting, black and white photos, color? How do I make it look nice and not like I just stuck some random pictures around the room.

    I'd like to know how to mix styles. I have a house full of vintage mid century modern furniture. Really like everything except the lamps, cheap rug and plants are modern. I've used bold vibrant colors. Even with all the color it feels flat to me. I want to add some traditional/hollywood regency with a modern twist items. But anytime I do it feels like I just stuck a wrong piece in the room. I don't want to live in a museum. How do you do it? I guess along with this is how to add in trendy items without breaking the bank and keep the room fresh and current looking.

    I'm in a small condo with a walk thru dining room open to the living room. You have to walk thru it to get to the kitchen and back door. I rarely actually sit at the table and eat. How do I accessorize the table? Candle sticks a runner and a bowl of fruit isn't cutting it.

    How do I pick an area rug? It's unfortunately the last thing I'm purchasing for my living room. Nothing seems to work and I can't afford to change out things like upholstery or drapes. I need an 8×10 rug and they are pricy. Do you have any cheaper alternatives? How bad would it look to have a living room with hardwood floors without an area rug?

    How do I mix color and pattern for a pleasing result? I tend to go overboard on things matching color-wise. I am drawn to spaces with unexpected colors but can't seem to replicate it in my home without it feeling random and disjointed.

    How do I add homemade art and accessories without it looking like a craft fair exploded in my home?

    I'm in a small space (600 square feet). How can I camouflage a litter box? It won't fit in the bathroom.

    I love the how-to idea and am looking forward to learning something new!

  130. Yes, yes and one more happy YES! So excited for this series. While actual placement styling (mantels, tables, etc) is muy interesante, I am also really interested in your tips for mixing and choosing patterns, fabrics, color ideas, visual layout, plus everything you mentioned in your run down. For example, I have a great suzani curtain fabric, but I'm amiss when it comes to what throw pillows will look great with that dark teal and tan/gold. I know it sounds crazy because that SHOULD be a relatively simple solution – but I've tried every pattern/color combo and nothing works. Would love to hear what comes naturally to you (maybe some sample fabric boards of fabrics you would mix together in different color palettes) to get some additional inspiration/knowledge! What about breaking down the sources for some of the photos in your gallery to point out why you made those choices and how you found those products? I adore – LOVE – your style.

  131. Hayley

    Please please please do bedside table styling! It's the one place I really struggle with, especially since I put in some drop pendant lights that hang over the space rather than a lamp that sits there. Thank you!

  132. This idea is a very good thing! My office is in the sunroom so I would love to get your tips on staging an office/desk that look and work great. xoxo

  133. 131 comments thus far and I make 132. I think everyone has it covered. I looked forward to all your wisdom! Brandy

  134. Betsy

    you are a styling genius, and i can't wait to to see what wisdom you can impart upon us all. my husband and i just bought a house and have next to nothing in the furniture department. i want to do something with a credenza/sideboard or other great pieces of garage sale or craigslist furniture, but i don't know where to put my imaginary purchases. we have so much space with these new white walls and i have no idea how to arrange my furniture.

    so, i guess what i'm saying is, furniture styling would be helpful.

  135. holly

    MANTLE MANTLE MANTLE! i need help in that area for sure! and would love to read about easy flower styling as well. :)

  136. sfred

    Great idea!

    1.) Area rugs: living room, kitchen, etc. Not only where to buy, but WHAT to buy (scale, patterns colors, natural material, how to layer, how to look good over low pile carpet, etc)

    2.) Anything DIY. How to make paint look glossy. DIY artwork, DIY anything

    3.) Patio styling

    4.) What to do with entryways and long hallways (I have a 1965 ranch)


  137. mary

    i'm so glad you posted on this. i remember a specific time watching your show (which i LOVE! you totally revamped HGTV!) and thinking that you could say something about furniture arrangement. i know that's not exactly 'styling,' but maybe it's just another blog post idea. and i thought you could go about it 'layer by layer' in that you say, 'this room/family needs a sofa and two chairs. here are our options on where to put them in this space. and, now, because of *insert secret, wonderful tip*, we know that this side table has to be here and should look like this. and this area is a place for this elephant stool. we wouldn't put it over here because of this.' too much detail?? basically, your thought process and why something would work and why another thing wouldn't work.
    also, i want to know how to do a gallery wall. not pottery barn, black matching frames, symmetrical crap; but an eclectic, interesting, well-designed gallery wall. i think a gallery wall is something that can be beautiful and really make a room, but, done poorly, they are SO cheesy! go look at pictures of every non-designer gallery wall to get ideas of how to describe what not to do. and, maybe tell what to look for in art or photographs that you choose specifically for a gallery wall.
    along that thread, i would like to know how to style walls. it seems like every place i've lived in has a huge, awkward wall that i can't seem to decorate. vignettes are great to learn about, but it always seems that i have more trouble with the big picture things, like the 4(+) walls in a room altogether.
    lastly, i want your dog painting.

  138. Dana

    Styling advice sounds great to me, especially if you can help us with 1. Mantels! (or what if it's not even a mantel, but more like a weird dark wood built-in????) 2. Coffee table 3. A way to display family photos that is not just the generic gallery wall? Thanks in advance! : )

  139. Christine

    ummm, all of the above! walls, mantels, coffee tables. putting rugs and textiles together. yes! the layers. thanks emily! love your show! can't wait for it to come back on!

  140. Candida

    I just did a very small room, and I'm happy with it, but there's nothing on the walls. I don't think a gallery wall would work because the room is oddly configured and the walls are chopped up, but I have a lot of pictures and I'm tempted to put art all around the room wherever I can find a spot. However, I don't want to put a bunch of holes in the wallpaper and then decide I don't like it. Tips on placing art in small, oddly shaped rooms would help. Any tips on small spaces would actually be really helpful. I know that small rooms don't get styled for ads or shows, and don't actually seem to exist in LA, so photos would be hard to come by but we need help! I know pictures are supposed to be hung at eye level, but say you have a strip of wall next to a doorway, could you hang pictures on it floor to ceiling? Things like that.

  141. Jonica

    hi emily! i like all the ideas that everyone has suggested so far, as well as the ones that you mention. would it also be possible to talk about furniture placement in a room particularly if it will be used for multiple purposes, like a big room or a long room that will be used as a living room, dining room and there needs to be a desk area too or something like that. i live in brooklyn, and space has multiple functions. thanks! really looking forward to your posts.

  142. Shawna

    One thing I love about your show is that every room feels full but not "filled". I'd love to see tips about how to add console tables to make use of dead space, or how to style corners and nooks. Can't wait to read these tips!

  143. cloud19th

    How to style when you have two cats who will sometimes knock things off horizontal surfaces in order to get your attention and food! They really are wonderful mre-mrows but….
    –are there ways to use the same items but different stylings would look masculine or feminine or hermaphrodite?
    –what to do with bookshelves that are really crowded? like, books are two-deep? I can't fit pretty things on the bookshelves and I haven't found a way to arrange the books to look pretty.

  144. Jane

    Yes! I love so many of these ideas. I have come to a well styled balance of books and objects on my bookcases but I am moving soon and will have more shelf space, I need help! I also love the idea of styling with plants, especially succulents. Ooo and what about layering rugs?

    I'm looking forward to your tips, Emily!

  145. jen

    dining room tables please! mine is empty right now because I don't know what to put there — I always feel like it looks contrived

  146. Carmen

    I’m SO excited you’re starting how-to styling posts, but I wanted to point out another area where you have a wealth of knowledge that your readers may need help with… (in case you ever have another what-should-i-blog-about day).

    Another commenter (named (another)Emily) mentioned she needed help defining her style – and I find I’m often not sure what a style is actually called. I love your show format now (you seem so much less rushed), but I felt I learned more about individual styles in the old format. Watching you completely do the room in one style, completely do it in the next, and then do a mix made it easier for me to see “oh, that’s what English country looks like,” AND get to see it in everything from fabrics to light fixtures to chair styles. For me, I understand how and why you’re layering certain pieces better when I know what each style really is on its own. So maybe a series of ____ Style:101 posts would be fun?

  147. Carmen

    Oh, and my favorite ideas others came up with:

    • how to choose the right plants (houseplants, flowers, and branches) for the space
    • how to light a space when you don't have overhead lighting
    • rug scale! and putting a rug over carpet
    • tricky/boring areas for apartment renters (like bland kitchens/baths) & making a white/beige box feel warm and colorful
    • adding fun and quirky pieces without looking tchochke-ish/cluttered/cheap/tacky
    • mixing furniture shapes and styles without looking ADD (like your rule about too many feet in a living room making the furniture look skittish)
    • how to define a new space/ divide a large room
    • balancing out more feminine objects (like victorian sofas) or masculine objects (like a worn leather chair) with "neutral" objects

    But whatever you do will amazing, Emily!! (sorry to be such a chatterbox)

  148. Robyn

    I like the what not to do and then fixing it as well. I used to work in retail design and then also managed a store and feel as though I am styling for a store and not my home. I am sure that I am harder on my self than others but would still love for it to be addressed. I think a lot of people see something displayed at the store and try to do the same thing at home. Sometimes it might work, and it might not. Bigger spaces, higher ceilings in stores can make a big difference. Love the blog, Emily, and love you! Watching re-runs of the show and looking forward to new episodes!

  149. Sophie

    What about tips for styling vignettes that are viewable from more than one side? I use an IKEA Expedit shelving unit as a room divider, and I have trouble figuring out how to make it look attractive and presentable from BOTH sides, since it's not up against a wall. I'd also love ideas on how to best fill a grid-like unit of shelves like the Expedit—what's the best way to create visual interest without making it look chaotic?

    Can't wait for the styling posts… your blog is already in my "Favorites" folder on my blogroll, but this is going to send your blog right up to the top of my list.

  150. Gretchen

    I have trouble even gathering the items to style, if that makes sense. So maybe you could step back and go even more basic!

  151. Heather

    Coffee table styling!!!

  152. Elle

    Emily we are following you from Brisbane, Australia where the pickings are not good for quality well-designed second hand furniture.
    Can you do styling for homes that don't have shops like LA?
    It would be so great to get tips on lighting and using vertical space for small homes…

    Thank you!

  153. Becky

    I need help styling a large wall in my living room. I have a couch and two coffee tables with lamps against it but don't really know how to fill the wall. I'd like something (slightly) more formal than a gallery wall with mismatched frames. Help!

  154. Brandon

    I would LOVE to see how you style each wall in a room…I always end up putting something on every wall in a room resulting in major clutter. Would be great to see how you take one room and decide what space can stay negative and where/what you put in the spaces that need stuff. I know not every wall can have a gallery style but I'm not sure I know which ones can and which ones can't. Love the how to idea!!!

  155. Theresa

    I could use some ideas on styling round tables. This sounds like it is going to be an exciting series!

  156. Janette

    I'm perplexed about what to do with family room walls that soar up to the second story roof, especially since the ceiling follows the pitch of the roof, so its higher on one side than the other. What can one do with such tall walls? How could I style the wall above my couch? Help!

  157. Anna Best

    Bookcase styling when you actually have books to store as well as pretty things (ie 1/2 book storage 1/2 pretty thing display).

  158. Breanna

    I love take aways! For those of us who are challenged decorators but love the way stylized rooms look, please tell us how to set up or stylize a master bedroom including how to choose key furniture pieces that do not all match (this is so challenging for those within untrained eye). I don't want to buy matchy matchy but it's so hard to pick pieces separately but know they will go together. How do you do that? Also how to create the look of various frames grouped together, particularly where do people get all the cool images they frame in a collection? I love that look but have no idea where to get various drawings, pictures, etc. Also including designing on a budget, design options for those of us who lease and cannot go as crazy. Lastly, design for small spaces. Love your blog and your style!

  159. Emily, PLEASE do a how-to on bathroom styling! I'm having the hardest time with mine.

  160. Katy

    Tables, tables, tables. And shelves. Anything really. I need help.
    Also, it would be AWESOME if people could send pictures of their badly styled whatevers and then you could showcase and give advice on your blog… :)

  161. Carolyn

    Hi Emily, I would love to see all of your styling tips for the ideas you listed! Especially bed styling, that always seem to be a tricky one. Could you also suggest ways to style furniture (i.e. sofas?), I know that sounds so simple, but I've noticed that ways pillows are arranged can make a big difference. Thanks! Love your work!! :)

  162. Megan

    I would love help styling my mantle. But, it's not just my mantle that needs some love. It's also the empty (non-working) fireplace space underneath the mantle and the enormous wall space above the mantle. My mantle (and I imagine other mantles) has the added challenge of being small in its depth, only about 7 inches, which limits the objects that I can use in styling. Looking forward to the "how-to's" Emily! Great idea!

  163. I would love if you did a 'how-to' on styling mantels/nooks. I live in a townhouse and there is a long nook/mantel above my fireplace and TV that is itching to be styled but right now is just one big mess!

  164. Lissa

    There are three spaces I continue to struggle with: my mantle, built-in book shelves and coffee table. As much as I add, take away and rearrange, something always seems to be 'off'…

    Also, great idea… I'm looking forward to these posts!

  165. Kate

    I'd love to see posts about how to style a bed/bedroom. I'd also love to get your take on coordinating colors and patterns for upholstered pieces and draperies in a room. What kind of relationship do you expect those colors and patterns to have with each other? I guess my question is, how coordinated do you think these things need to be, and if the answer is not very, what other elements do you focus on to pull them together? Can you tell I'm a design student? ;-)

  166. Emily, I'm very excited about this series! Next year, I'm going to begin my education in interior design, and styling is the part of decor that I struggle most with. Especially bed styling…
    Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.
    Tiffany {}

  167. Liz

    I'd love to see throw pillow/sofa styling, styling large, open bookcases, maybe kitchen countertop styling? I love someone's idea of bad styling and good styling in the same vignette. And I would really love advice on when to put up artwork or something and when to leave a space empty. Maybe for those of us who are "less is more" (or those of us with toddlers), different versions of a styled coffee table, for example — one with lots of things and one with fewer things.

  168. Cheryl

    So glad you are focusing on "styling" workshops! I will add a few needs but I won't repeat those you've already identified in your post (which are on my list too):
    1) styling a kitchen countertop with a vignette or two (without clutter), focal points. A corner vignette and/or back countertop in the kitchen that is visible to all.
    2) styling with plants (incl larger plants like fig trees)
    3) styling with room dividers or privacy screens (in master bedrooms with a desk that is used; in great rooms; in corners)
    4) furniture arrangement with a corner fireplace (with the big screen on the adjacent wall, not above the fireplace)
    5) do's and don'ts of furniture arranging
    6) styling the big wall that has a flat screen on it
    7) styling a bar cart
    8) styling with color in living spaces, how to spread chosen colors around a room (how does the eye travel in interior space, by the way?)
    9) using personal photos without the gallery approach; possibly how to style picture ledges with personal photos, art and decorative objects
    10) how to style with symmetry, contrast, mixing of metals and patterns — embracing the eclectic and it all looks inviting, soothing, and fun.
    11) seeing 'don't do this' and following it with 'do this' images does help, along with text to explain what's working and why in the second image
    12) styling an ottoman (large one with a tray on it, one that is also used to put our feet on in front of the sofa)
    13) how "to edit" a space
    14) the list goes on . . . .
    This SERIES is SO needed! You have an eager audience and I so appreciate your desire to teach us.

  169. Whitney

    Bed styling is so hard!! Help with that! I've already seen great examples on your website & show that are so helpful for styling bookshelves & coffee tables, but I would love to see more examples of bedrooms, especially beds & bedside tables & artwork you've styled!

    Also, agree with previous posting about house plants! So hard to get right from a design as well as "can they live here and not die?" perspective.

  170. anna

    yes to all of the above. bathroom styling would be great!

  171. Jenny

    Bookshelves styling please and thank you! Can't wait for this series, sounds wonderful!

  172. OH I can't wait for this series :) I'd like to request dining table styling, please. For a circular table if possible? I hate my circular glass table, I feel like it's not fun to style if you can see the floor beneath your plate/napkin/silverware vignette. Also looking for a deal on a rectangular table if you have any suggestions :) :)

  173. Marissa

    My husband says the tv must stay in the living room and the only option for it is above our fireplace. Its just sad. Its crying out for some cuteness but all I've got is this big black box. Help.

  174. Jasmin

    I would love help with styling the master bed and the area around it. Right now, I just have a big cal king bed, two identical end tables and ikea lamps. Not much going on. I love simple, comfortable, feminine rooms but I share the master with my geeky husband. So I guess I'm looking to mix in a little bit of my taste with a little.. just a little bit.. of his geekery (lego, star wars, etc). Probably not something you're looking to do, but it would be great if you could provide some tips on how to mesh any two styles together in and around a master bed!

  175. meg

    Yes please! Definitely need these posts. You are my go-to styling master (do you like that title?)…but step-by-steps would be extremely helpful!

  176. I could use help with styling coffee tables, shelves, table tops of any kind. But, I could use the most help with getting my rooms picture ready – what makes a good shot… and at what height should the camera be… and at what angle… and so on. I feel I fall especially short on capturing the true feel of a room in a photo. Hope you can hit on this! Maybe one post per type of room.

  177. Liz

    Yes please!! Although I always love good bookcase styling, I have the most trouble with coffee, side and console tables. Can't wait for these posts!

  178. fire place mantle with 2 sconces, please! 98% of the pics i have checked out do not have sconces included and i do. so frustrating. yes, i would love the pretty mantle with the unbalanced artwork, yet somehow balanced with the brass giraffe but i just can't see past those sconces. i'd love to see your take on it and imagine others may have my problem too. thank you!

  179. Looking forward to you bestowing more of your styling "secrets" on us. I feel comfortable with the big pieces of a room, but I never feel comfortable with vignettes, etc. I think it would be interesting for you to tell us about styling for everyday living versus styling for photos. Many of us are bloggers, so we need to style for great photos, but we also need things to look great when we have guests over in person.

  180. Alexis

    Mantel styling!! 3 years in my house and still a totally blank mantel and blank wall above. I've tried looking online for inspiration, but haven't found much.

  181. Justina

    How to's on entry ways – can't be cluttered but need to be functional.

    Also where is the bedroom campaign side table from which you styled in these photos?

  182. I found this post looking for mantle styling how-to information. Can't wait for more in this series!

  183. stumped

    Styling a console table or desk!

  184. Lynn Jimenez

    I would love a mantel/ fireplace area including a tv. The tv of course is my husbands style and everything else would be mine. I would also like helping figuring out furniture arrangement in my living room.. It is rectangular with lots of architectural features ( windows doors 11' mantel) and I am so confused by it (it is probably equally confused by me and the random items adorning it). I love the idea of styling other rooms. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider it 1) I probably couldn't afford your work but totally am obsessed 2) I have a really cute boxer named Indy 3)two even cuter lil boys and 4) I am witty and fun.
    Last idea: I am thoroughly enjoying the treasure hunt of flea markets and estate sales…. Any how to's on creating an overall plan to define my shopping? Right now I haphazardly buy whatever I like and isn't costly:)

  185. Erica Bryant


    Where did you find that adorable white with brass hardware side table? I'm drooling over it!


  186. Maddie

    I know I'm a bit late posting but I've been loving your styling tips how-to posts! I would LOVE to see any of the following:

    1. a post with the generals about lighting…what types of bulbs you use, light color and how it affects a space, installing correctly without ugly wires/cords (tips for installations with and without contractors), etc.
    2. a post with general basics of space planning.
    3. a post about scale and proportion…in different rooms in a house (ex. an island in a kitchen, a coffee table, a nightstand, etc.)
    4. a post on cohesive color palettes in terms of mixing warm and cool colors and how to mix different shades and tints of colors to better balance the color palette.
    5. a post on styling for photos verses styling for living in.

    LOVE YOUR BLOG! It is so exciting and informative! I've been just dying over it for a few weeks!

  187. Maddie

    Oooh and more posts on your design process and how you go through that process with clients!

  188. Joy

    I watched your show a long time ago, but I still think about your Style Diagnostic randomly sometimes. I would love to be able to articulate my style so I can focus on finding things that I actually really like, and I didn't just convince myself I should like! Posts on how to pinpoint taste would be amazing.