Target Styling Chapter 5: black/white and teal holiday living room

It’s happening, folks. Christmas, I mean … is happening. I’m like a walking hallmark movie over here, getting crazy sentimental about this Christmas. I could cry at any moment because I’m just so excited to make/force memories on everyone in my life. You’ve been warned.

These photos are all from the video shoots in September, but I did start decorating our house last week which is so early but my excuses are that I’m a blogger (so the posts need to be up soon) and I’m a new mom and therefore am obsessed with creating and solidifying manipulative holiday memories in that little almost-one-year-old brain. Sure, he won’t remember it on his own but with me shoving the photos and videos of his first Christmas in his face all year, for the next 5 years, I’ll make him remember. I’m just that good of a parent.

Anyway, enough about that kid and my neurosis. What about the first Target Holiday video?

_Holiday Target Emily Henderson Holding Ornaments

That’s me. Hosting away, looking all ‘wanna be 80’s Martha’ – in a good way. I loved 80’s Martha. Heck, I love current Martha. Wait. Sit down. HOW HAVE I NOT DRESSED AS 80’S MARTHA FOR HALLOWEEN BEFORE!!!!??? I practically have her wardrobe in my closet, right. now. How different could it possibly be from my Judith Light costume? Or my 1982 ‘Breaking News Reporter Costume?‘ Not that different, folks. Just a tweak of the hair and a pop of collar. God some things in life are just so easy while other things are just so hard. This is easy, now waiting now til Halloween to debut said costume will be haaaarrrdddd.

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Christmas Tree

Anyway, friends, the holiday product from Target is soooooo good. But you need to know this – THE BEST STUFF WILL SELL OUT. I’m warning you because so many of you were bummed that the gold ball task lamp, cement vases and the rose gold flatware all sold out so fast. So this is me, telling you, my friends, to go ahead and buy now even if you aren’t going to decorate til normal people do (the day after Thanksgiving, right?).  All the links are at the bottom of the photos (if they’re are sold online) or obviously go to your local store. It doesn’t matter, just do it fast if you want them before all those white and gold pedestal candle holders, white resin deers, garlands and gold candle holders are gone. There is a ton of other really cute things too, just not in this color palette so if this style isn’t your thing they have a ton more. I should know, I bought it all (steer clear of the Eagle Rock Target til they restock).

Check out the video folks, and then keep reading the post for all the photos and resources:

Furthermore, I firmly believe that the only way that we can really justify the time/effort/money it takes to decorate for the holidays is to start as early as possible so that you really get to enjoy it. If you wait til December 20th, then you have like only 5 days of enjoying it – well you can do the math, obviously. I’m just so excited!!!!

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Wrapped Boxes Side Table

This is our  ‘Yes and Noir’ Christmas – because we wanted to bring in a bit of black into this holiday scheme – I’m punk rock like that. At first it was just black, white and gold but it was a bit harsh so we added all these aquas and teals and it became much more lively and happy. It’s like I’m unable to not have color.

And yes, we put wrapping paper underneath the glass in the coffee table and the barcart. So easy, festive, cute and cheap. Do that.

_Holiday Target Emily Henderson Coffee Table and Presents

In fact I like to take larger boxes (they could be actual presents or not) and wrap them as fun/whimsical makeshift cocktail tables, for some serious bang for your buck holiday decor. You can stack them in the shape of a tree in the corner (or for your photos backdrop) – you can put them near your entrance, or next to your sofa. Of course your young children will be taunted and teased and then gutted when they find out it’s the empty box to your dustbuster from 4 years ago. But meanwhile you got some pretty big fun boxes to prop around your house in whatever colors you want. You don’t have to put a huge bow on top if you want to use it as a table, but I do like to use ribbon so it really looks like a gift.

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Decorating Tree

Christmas Tree: Silver and Gold Ornaments: Target | Blue Ornaments: Vintage | Crate Paper Garland: custom-made with white and black crate paper from Target | Tree Topper: Target | Mini Paper Bowties: Target

_Holiday Target Emily Henderson Bar Cart and Presents

That barcart was barely seen in the video so no, that is not a fully styled barcart. To check out my barcarting skills you can watch The View today (11am on abc) and then you’ll really see what you can do to your barcart. Because I can really DO THINGS to barcarts.

Black and Silver Tree Wrapping Paper: Target | Silver and Gold Dot Wrapping Paper: Target | Gold Grain Wrapping Paper: Target.  Gold Tray: Target |Mercury Glass Mason Jar: Target |Bottle Brush Tree: Target | Mercury Glass Owl: Target | Barcart: Target |White Ice Bucket: Target | Gold Rimmed Wine Glasses: Vintage | LED Birch Tree: Target | Black and White Dinner Plates: Target

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Holding Present

Oh hey, wanna-be-80’s Martha. Why don’t you decorate your tree with that soft little smile on your face (also thank you Danielle for doing my hair and makeup all natural like that – stay tuned for the video we just shot that shows how to put natural looking makeup on your face).

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Decorating Tree BTS

I’ve learned to ‘always look pleasant’ even when I’m concentrating hard, because you never know when the camera is going to get that best shot and you don’t want to be the one that ruins the photo. I mean, let’s be honest, I’m generally pretty chipper (please don’t utter that word that rhymes with ‘ubbly’) – as you probably suspect, so it’s not uncommon for me to have a smile on my face, but I’m still conscious to have a ‘pleasant’ look on my face. When you are by yourself in a shot you don’t want to be maniacally laughing or goofily grinning because then it’s just sooo obvious that it’s set up.

Meanwhile if I don’t keep that pleasant look on my face I look either a. disinterested, b. asleep or c. like a sociopath – as exhibited by these three photos.

_Holiday Target Emily Henderson Outtakes

I love a good outtake. Almost as much as I love a bookcase full of holiday cheer:

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Shelf Styling

Top Shelf: Gold Hurricane: Target | Silver Mercury Glass Tray: Target | Agate Stone Bookends: Target

2nd From Top Shelf: Agate Stone Bookends: Target | Deer Head Figurine: Target | Mercury Glass Owl: Target | Santa Snowglobe: Target | Glitter Tree: Target |

3rd From Top Shelf: Deer Figurine: Target | Bottle Brush Tree: Target | Birch Tree: Target | Cake Stand: Target | Black Candle Stick: Target

Bottom Shelf: White Hurricane: Target | Mercury Glass Mason Jar: Target | Glass Small Tumbler: Target | White Bar Set: Target | Blue Dip Bowl: Target |

As you can see everything is from target – just some pieces can be purchased/found online and some not. Some are discontinued or sold out already. I’m sorry!!!

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Side Table Gold

I already bought a LOT of Target holiday pieces (yes, they give me gift cards) and what Charlie is responding especially enthusiastically to is all the faux fur because it’s so, so, so soft. We are doing a whole ‘white winter wonderland glam’ theme so they are perfect in the house and Charlie is obsessed. He rubs his face on it like a cat rolling around on his back, scratching an itch – just back and forth moaning and smiling. It’s so cute. So I decided to model it for you:

Before you guys ask about the sofa again – it’s a rental and I believe its vintage and unable to be purchased because it’s from a prop house. I’m sorry!

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Fur Pillow

Gold Side Table: Target | Grey Fur Throw Pillow: Target | Gold Chevron Pillow: Target | White Fur Throw: Target | White Throw Pillow: Target | Black Star Tray: Target | Blue Dish: Vintage | Coffee Table: Target 

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Coffee Table Accessories

I love that gold wood grain wallpaper on the coffee table, so cute. Nate Berkus for Target scissors, and all that wallpaper is Target (although I tried to find some of it last week and our Targets didn’t have very much left, so if you find it, grab it). The turquoise bowl is vintage.

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Coffee Table Wrapping Paper

And yes, putting ornaments in a bowl is an acceptable form of pretty and simple decor. It’s like flowers, but will last all month.

Let’s talk mantel (because you know I love to style a mantel – as shown by this video and this video). For above the mantel we found a simple pretty wreath from the Smith and Hawken line at Target and added printed out instagrams of family to it with clips. I wish it were like 6″ bigger but its such a pretty wreath (and one you can use again and again).

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Wreath Instagram

And then we styled the mantel with my favorite silver dollar eucalyptus and those gold and white pedestal candle holders that I’m obsessed with.

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Mantle Overall

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Mantel Deer Stocking

Gold and White Pillar Candle Holder: Target | Fur Stocking: Target | Silver and Black Snowflakes: Target | White Deer Figurines: Target | Gold Candle Holder: Target | Birch Bark Wreath: Target

And there you have it – our first holiday styling video and photos. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions!

Holiday Target Emily Henderson Living Room White Gold Blue

In case you missed the first four videos, you can watch the intro to the series, styling with neutrals, mantel styling,  fall tablescaping, and three easy centerpieces. 

Meanwhile, do you want a sneak peek into the next 4 videos that have yet to come out? Check out this video:

Thanks for watching, guys. I hope you are enjoying watching them as much as I enjoyed making them – although I think that might be impossible. It was VERY fun, indeed.

Here’s a bunch of crediting because the team involved was HUGE: Nick and Todd from Target – I love you guys. Nancy – you are so wonderful to work with. Chris from Partners in Spade -you are my soulmate. Meg, the production designer killed it, while Scott, the official prop stylist on the job, is always indispensable – I literally need him in my life emotionally and feel very lucky that you get hired on so many jobs with me. Plus 65 other people including Ginny, Brady, Danielle Walch (hair and makeup) and Jordan Rudd (wardrobe stylist). 

My affordable white kitchen appliances

You all know I love almost anything vintage. My rules are to skip anything used or vintage that goes in your mouth or touches your private parts. Seems pretty reasonable, right? But then again I love and own mid-century flatware and glassware and I’ve been known to buy pin-up style vintage one piece bathing suits (much to Brian’s sadness), but generally its a good guide.

Oh but, wait, there is another category I stay away from – vintage tech. Any vintage machines, tech and certainly appliances.

As you can see the appliances in our kitchen were original to the house (yeah!! right?), so they were ‘vintage’, but totally busted. And I mean that in the ‘that chick is BUSTED!’ kinda way, not just broken.


The cooktop only had 1 burner that worked and it probably leaked gas constantly regardless. The oven literally shocked you if you touched it, so it was totally unusable since the day we moved in (yes we went 6 months without an oven). And the dishwasher and refrigerator were 1980’s or 1990’s upgrades that functioned but they were ugly and gross. Wait, now that I’m remembering the fridge came from our old rental house, I think we owned it, lucky us.


This is what it looked like when we moved in, as you probably know. The plan with the kitchen was to keep basically the same layout and just paint the cabinets and upgrade everything, which is what we did. But that meant that we had to work with the dimensions that were already there to avoid any demo and rebuilding of the cabinetry. Sometimes that isn’t a big deal but sometimes the little easy things end up being big things and weird nit-picky headaches and I just wasn’t interested in that. I figured I’d try to find appliances that fit the specs that we had, and then if we couldn’t then I would consider some sort of boring task-y reconfiguration. Yes, this is the stylist in me, not the designer. I’m sure this kitchen could be demo’d out and rebuilt to be more functional but I wasn’t interested in spending the dough. I wanted to upgrade, not invest.


Luckily most of the appliances were standard sizes. Well, almost – the oven hole was VERY narrow and the fridge was shallow and on the narrow-er side, too. The dishwasher, cooktop and hood were all standard so those were pretty easy.


Shopping for appliances can be intimidating – you must have priorities because you aren’t going to get fast, cheap, good quality, the right size and really pretty. You just aren’t. So my priorities were pretty (white) and inexpensive while still being durable and high quality enough that it would be good for resale and of course the right size so we could just pop them in.

There are some appliances out there that have crazy tech, wifi controlled, triple burning flux capacitor time travel abilities. If I were some sort of super wealthy crazy master chef I would want that, but I’m not so I decided to put my splurge money into the bookcase and the string art piece and get affordable white appliances.

As we started shopping we realized that all the appliances that we were going to buy were by Maytag. I liked some at Ikea but they didn’t have the exact sizes that we needed and Whirpool had some good options, too, but I kept coming back to Maytag. So, like any good/resourceful blogger, I called up their PR team to see if we could get a press discount since it would surely be on the blog and in Domino. They offered to gift them to me (I guess it’s easier logistically for them to do that rather than offer a discount). Rejecting their offer and saying ‘No thanks, I prefer to pay’ seemed insane, especially since we were purging money on the house. This was not a case of ‘well, guys, we have to choose Maytag because they are the only company that offered’ – I chose all the pieces from them before I emailed them. So yes, I received our appliances for free and I realize I’m a very lucky person. Every job has its perks and this is a big perk that I’m very grateful for and I try to be really honest about. Don’t hate me, pleeeeeeeeese.

So this is what we chose and why;


Emily House_Kitchen Appliances Options_her picks

1. Range Hood: $139 | 2. Cooktop (I guess its discontinued on their site but you can purchase here) | 3. Microwave $249 | 4. Dishwasher $599 | 5. Wall Oven: $1,349 | 6. Refrigerator: $1,599

Click through to see them installed in the kitchen.


Lo and Sons – Whats in my bag?

I have ‘same place disorder’. Its up there with ‘inability to stop watching Bravo syndrome’ and ‘Instagram thumb’. Its nothing to be worried about and yet it actually causes me a lot of stress.  It’s a condition where you are unable to put something back in the same place. I have to consciously stop my hand, daily, from putting my credit card in my back pocket instead of its designated slot in my wallet after a purchase. When it comes to organization I’ll tell you this much – its VERY hard to be me. I’m about as organized in my personal life as Charlie is tan – not very at all. And yet it actually drives me nuts and I get so frustrated with myself constantly and it becomes a huge source of stress in my life.

Whats in my bag?

It’s in all aspects of my home life – my closet, my bills, my files and yes, my bag. I received this OMG (Overnight Medium Bag) from Lo and Sons 6 months ago and have been using it a ton (especially when traveling) because it’s so lightweight and it has pretty supreme packing and organizational abilities. Its been helping me combat my ‘same place disorder’, and it’s getting better. When I have a bag with just one big pouch, it could take me 15 minutes to find my keys – 15 minutes where I’m cursing myself, desperate to be someone else for just a day to see how the other half-lives.

I thought I’d show you what  I put in my bag (and how) because we are all secret voyeurs and all I want is in your bag. Oh and just to be clear, this is me on a good day – showing you my balled up napkins, wads of business cards that i’ll lose and 9,000 bobbie pins just doesn’t seem necessary. You guys get it. And just posting photos seemed boring so here’s a fun little gif/movie that really shows it in action.

It’s a lot of stuff that can turn into a total snow show inside my one big pouch purse, but if I’m good about combatting my ‘same place disorder’ then it makes my life easier.

Whats in my Bag Lo and Sons Emily

Here are all the features that I love about it:

lo and sons favorite features

But here is the real clincher – It slides onto your roller suitcase (and yes, this is the black one, which Ginny has so I could show you both). Since I travel a lot and now have been traveling with a kid you have no idea how much easier this makes it to get around. My purse or small carry-on doesn’t flip over or fall or I don’t have to hold onto two handles. I simply slide it on, and then grin with total satisfaction as it stays upright on its own.

lo and sons_suitcase feature

See? Look how satisfied I look. VERY. Oh and that’s the entrance of my home, which I know y’all haven’t seen them much of. I’m not 100% done with it – I want to change the lucite table to be something more solid, but its the perfect size/scale right now so I’m just waiting til that perfect piece pops up.

lo and sons emily door

lo and sons bags by door

There you have it – the Lo and Sons bag, OG and OMG bags. Right now they are 20% off, y’all. They aren’t cheap, but they are crazy practical because they are so lightweight, have lined pockets (that are coated so yes, it can be a dipaer bag, too), a shoe insert (for your disgusting gym shoes or your back up flip flops, and the sliding on the roller bag thing is a winner.

Now who’s got tips for healing my instagram thumb?

Target Styling Chapter #4; 3 Easy Centerpiece Ideas

The fourth Target Video is up, folks, and its all about really easy centerpiece ideas, co-hosted by my side-braid that I’ve been trying to recreate for 6 weeks now (thanks to Danielle Walch). This video is meaty – with three different ideas, color palettes and styles but they are all super easy, I promise.

About centerpieces – we aren’t really talking about what you do for a dinner party, nay. You can always have flowers and candles for that but these ideas are more about composing simple, affordable things in ways that look fun, pulled together and inviting in between dinners. It doesn’t always have to be a bowl of fruit – or if it is maybe its a more interesting way to display said bowl of fruit.

gold and wood centerpiece

What did we do on this table? Well, just watch the video and then keep reading for some tips, photos and some more gratuitous shots of my side-braid.

We came up with three centerpiece ideas: 1. Earthy and Seasonal. 2. Neutrals and Organic 3. Whites with Greenery…. All using just Target product (or some pieces you might already have)  and some flowers/plants and fruit.


Custom neon sign; Girls, Girls, Girls

We all know neon signs are trending right now – the 80’s are back, neon colors are still hot (in moderation), and neon signs make every room feel like a party. Since this project is actually called ‘The Party House’ it was more than obvious that I wouldn’t have done my job without a custom neon sign.

Two years ago I wanted to do one in my house – a big white cloud to go over my then unborn baby’s crib. Such a hilarious idea and only a fantasy that a mom without children would have because clearly no baby would sleep with it on and the thing about neon signs is that they are actually not so pretty when they are turned off. The magic happens when they are on.


Last year I designed one for the Moby Airbnb pop-up house (up there on the left) so it gave us a little bit of experience on how to do that. Moby gave me that drawing and I gave it to Cosmo’s sign company. It’s actually way more simple than I thought it would be. You give them a drawing with dimensions and color and they give you a price with a mockup of how it will look, etc. The turn around for that one was a week, but we live in LA where turn around time is fast because of the entertainment industry (aka, set designers and production designers rarely design months out so companies are used to it).

For the party house Jen (the founder/creative director) wanted one that felt simple and modern but, you know, with a bit of wink to it. She watched the movie, “Neighbors” and saw the neon sign that Zac Efron had in the house, which was just ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and she thought it was perfect. Totally classic and iconic (old-school seedy strip clubs) but with a new modern twist in this new ultra-feminine women’s accessory design house full of a bunch of hot girly girls. It’s all about the double entendre – she also liked ‘Get Out’ which is both bad ass and kinda hilarious in a valley girl kinda way, too, but ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ won out.

girls girls girls

At first we wanted it to be big because we thought it would go in the hallway, so we sent Los Angeles Sign Co our reference image with the dimensions that each letter is 8″ and the overall is 32″ x 34″. Below is our back and forth with the mockups. The first one they sent back was way too chunky and clunky. We decided to go smaller and thinner.

girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls girls

The last one is the one that we finally settled on. We wanted the G to be more round, like the reference photo on the right so we had to have a custom font (no font to match, they just matched the reference photo) and then that says ‘no acrylic backing’ but we did have it mounted on acrylic after all. The final price was $627, and it would have been $750 for hard wire, but didn’t want to pay an electrician to put in a J box.

We put it in the bar area and it’s just totally magical. We need to still figure out what to do with the cord  – we might wrap it, hide it in a conduit cover, paint it or change it out for a gold cord (which sounds more simple than it is). But either way it’s VERY exciting.




It makes the entire room hot pink, which is undeniably a fantastic thing. Ginny and Brady installed it and sent me these photos afterwards.


Basically you can make any design into a neon sign. It could be a drawing, graphic or words and the price depends on the size. They can also mount it on wood like we did for Moby’s or acrylic like we did for It can be hard-wired or with a chord like ours. And they can do any neon color. Clearly lots of options. We used Los Angeles Sign Co, but most cities have a few different places that make signage for stores/restaurants, etc. Don’t be intimidated. It’s not like they teach you how custom neon signs work in design school – you just call and ask exactly how it works and they’ll walk you through it. Just make sure you ask about every option. This place didn’t have cord options or chain options, but I’m sure if I had brought in a gold cord and gold chain they might have done that for a fee – meanwhile we’ll just address it on our end now. If you don’t want to see the black part in between the letters then you need to mount it like we did for Moby – on a solid surface where that part is hidden behind the wood and all you see is the design. We have a lot of black in the house so it strangely doesn’t bother us at all. Probably because we are too distracted to how wonderful it is.

We are waiting to show you the real ‘afters’ til its shot for a magazine, (pitching out this week!) so stay tuned there.  Happy Monday and Veterans day, y’all.

Click here to read about the beginning of the party house design and here for a sneak peek into the final project.

Any other questions? Do you also have neon sign fantasies?

*Last photo by Kelsey Tucker for EHD.