Tips to bookshelf styling

I have so many long drafts of 1/2 finished really good posts that just need a couple more hours of work on them, but after I work all day and put Sir. Charles to bed (which is a lovely 3 hour process the last three nights … the little guy is sick and stubborn – we are transitioning out of the swaddle and it sucks) I just stare at the posts with the blankest of thoughts. I simply can’t put so much effort into them and then just hit publish without making them awesome so they just sit there as drafts – taunting me.

So, thank god I remembered that I had another Redbook column from a couple months ago that I never posted. This one is more about styling, less DIY. Its a house that I designed 2 years ago that I still haven’t revealed to you because I wanted to pitch it to a magazine, then I was hoarding it for good maternity leave content, and then writing those posts (before, process, after) are so daunting that I just keep putting them off. But, here’s a sneak peek. The style was french country meets hollywood and its more traditional than I’ve done before and yet I totally still loved it.

emily henderson redbook

The photo is by the lovely Bethany Nauert. Thanks, B. I promise i’ll blog about the rest of the house sometime in the next year or so. I have 3 houses hoarded, ready to post … which leads me to …

The good news is that we found help – after reading through like 120 resumes and interviewing 23 people, (over four days – Ginny did most of them, THANK YOU GINNY!!) we have hired a lovely man named Brady. He is tall, blonde, from Utah, full of skills, creativity, brawn, enthusiasm and very nice necklaces. We are going to get back on our feet, design my house, set up shoots, create some awesome content for you, AND most importantly make all of our wonderful clients and partners even happier. The blog always ends up being last priority because there is no client asking for deadlines and monitoring content (except the sponsored posts, of course) and its solely me writing it (while I do have help with the content and uploading the pics, linking, etc), but its what got me here and you guys are what has literally made it and me a success, so with more help we’ll be able to put it back up to the top of the priority list and blow this sucker out. We have the ideas, just needed  more help .. Welcome to the team, Brady (and thank god for you always, Ginny). xx

Designing with Snoop Dogg and Airbnb for SXSW

Despite being a blonde chick raised mormon in Coos Bay, Oregon, I did my senior college history thesis on the racial appropriation of music via Hip Hop. Actually shocking, I know. I used to be a massive fan of hip hop and its not that i’m not anymore, but i’m just way behind in music in general. So when Airbnb told me that Snoop might be one of the artist I would work with I was PSYCHED because I’ve always loved him. Snoop? He’s legit, not a young wanna be gangsta; he’s classic and current, old school and new school and crazy talented. Plus he has style. You would be shocked at how generic some famous people’s style can be but Snoop’s never is and I knew that we could do something interesting together. We were made for eachother, Snoop and I.

Snoop MOODBOARD

Here’s a bit of background for the project: Airbnb wanted do an experiential marketing campaign where we designed these three Kithaus‘ with three musicians at SXSW. These musicians filled out a questionnaire that helped Ginny and I come up with an initial design plan. We presented it, they approved it and then we installed it where it remained live for 5 days in Austin last week during SXSW.  And the whole event turned out pretty awesome. (Check out the first one we did HERE and look at Moby’s, Lake Bell’s, Molly Sims‘, Anjelica Huston’s and James Franco’s).

For Snoop his questionnaire revealed that he loves the following: Versace (which he says you can’t say just once, you have to say ‘Versace, Versace, Versace’), Jamaica, WEED, prohibition era style, the ’70′s, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, the movie ‘The MACK’, and, again … pot. (FYI it is legal in LA, he has a card, and I will withhold my opinion of the substance even though it was hilarious to have to incorporate it into a design project).

So before we met with him we came up with a rough mood board  to show him based on his likes:

Snoop MOODBOARD

We wanted it to be comfy and lounge-y, with a 70′s club feel, some stoner references but in a luxe (and non-tacky) way. The wallpaper in the upper left hand corner of the board would be a custom cannibus inspired paper in navy and gold – using the word ‘cannibus’ is far more hilarious than pot, btw. He requested blue, and remember he loves Versace so naturally gold was going to be in our color story. But we wanted to give him the option of also having a wallpaper full of quotes of the people that he loves – James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley and some Snoop quotes in there too which is what is running along the bottom. We would have done it where the font is small enough that it would just look like a texture until you got close enough and then you’d realize it was sentences and quotes. We figured it would be a fun stoner party game. The furniture was vintage Danish 70′s which was super loungey and there were some wood, peacock chair and plants to reference Jamaica.

Snoop MOODBOARD

But a few hours before the presentation we got a note from his people that he wanted it to feel more ‘Deco’ and ‘Speakeasy’ like. So we whipped this up real quick – making a few alterations.

Snoop MOODBOARD

We loved how this looked but it wasn’t feeling very Snoop to us. Then we met him and that pretty much changed everything, anyway. He loved both plans, but preferred the luxe high end/Deco one more. He loved that velvet sofa saying that the black leather danish 1970′s piece could have been ‘found on the streets on Inglewood’. Of course I wanted to assure him that no, he couldn’t get that piece on the side of the street but I understood what he was saying – he wanted something more rich and luxurious looking.

But the problem with that is that we just didn’t feel like that would look like him, either. After meeting him we realized that he is an insanely funny, interesting, smart in a way I can’t compete with and yet a totally crazy person. He free-styled constantly and threw out amazing, quotable one-liners every 2 minutes. And while, yes, of course he was stoned at the time, it was clear that his pod needed to feel way more colorful and interesting, and definitely have a sense of humor about it.

Also he had a few requests: He wanted the lights to constantly change colors – red to blue to yellow to green, all day long and he definitely wanted red or blue light bulbs in the lamps. He asked if our custom pot wallpaper could change colors and while I feel like in LA you can do almost everything, that seemed pretty much impossible on our budget. And you should have seen the look on my face – I mean, I’ve never gotten such a weird and terrifying request before … but the point was he wanted the mood to be exiting with lights.

So riddle me this, friends, how do you create a space that has both vintage crystal chandeliers and flashing red/blue/purple LED lights in it? How do you make it look both luxe and kinda gangsta at the same time? Classy and yet, as Snoop says, ballin’?  It was HARD, but such a fun challenge. So after days of us looking at each other like we might be designing the ugliest space on the earth we finally finished the mood board that got approved:

Snoop Dogg Airbnb

And here was my pitch:

“Snoop Dogg’s man cave will be a mix of laid back stoner comfort and Versace luxe… in Jamaica. He loves the 1970’s (and films like The Mack) so some of the furniture will be from that era and be super lounge-y and yet totally stylish. He loves blue, red and purple and wears a lot of black, so the cave will be predominantly these colors with gold (to bring in the Versace) as an accent and wood and natural fibers (to reference Jamaica) as textures.

There will be a stoner inspired custom wallpaper treatment with a deco weed design in navy blue on a mirrored gold back. Snoop loves red and wants a throne so there’ll be a red leather egg chair which is super loungy yet masculine and weird. There’ll be lots of crystal chandeliers with a deco vibe but the white bulbs will be replaced by red and blue bulbs. There is a custom illuminated sign that will read BOSS and have color spectrum flashing lights alla Snoop’s style and request. It will be exciting, interesting, inviting and totally Snoop”.

Snoop Dogg Airbnb

For the outside we would bring in some peacock chairs (inspired by that awesome photo of Snoop and the requested additionally by him) with some plants that looked like weed and other tropical plants. So Tajima, the creative agency we work with who coordinated with Kithaus’ took our mood board and with our direction created this rendering:

Snoop Dogg Airbnb

It took us probably 15 edits to get to that point where we were happy with it. And then still we were secretly ‘is this awesome or hideous???????’ (The exterior color is part of a greater Edward Scissorhand inspired exterior design plan which i’ll explain in tomorrows post).

Snoop Dogg Airbnb

Let me tell you about the sign. We figured that a custom sign (with LED color changing lights) could bring in the feeling that he wanted it was just a matter of coming up with the right word or phrase. Snoop said ‘Boss’ twice in his questionaire. When asked how he would describe himself he said ‘Boss’ and ‘The Mack’. We thought about ‘Dope’ because that has a double meaning, too, but then ‘Boss’ just seemed funnier. Its both an adjective and a noun – he’s super Boss and he’s the Boss. Its just funny. And then at the last minute, while following him on instagram, we realized that obviously BOSS should be BO$$, as he spells it, so we called the sign company and made the change. When we picked it up from the sign company and turned it on, I was totally speechless – either we were genius’ or we had totally lost our minds.

Airbnb Snoop

Once we started styling the space it really started coming together. That wallpaper was insane in a good way. The sofa from ShopClass was beautiful in a lounge-y deco way. The Boss sign was just so BO$$.

Snoop Dog Sign Boss

There she is. Is this pop-up very ‘ME’? Uh, no…. And yet I love it – that wallpaper, sofa, coffee table, side table and most of the accessories actually are me in a weird way, too. But more importantly it is totally Snoop. He loved is so much you wouldn’t believe.

Snoop Dogg

Obviously I didnt hire a photographer (clearly). There were a bunch of professional photographer floating around but its been hard to get my hands on the photos so this is me, using my iphone photos. Not my best work but I figured it was just important to really see what was in the space. That weird box on the upper left is an air conditioner. its mounted almost like a flat screen TV, but we faced it out with wallpaper so it could go away even more.

Resources: Rug from Z Gallerie (and yes, its slightly too small), Coffee table from Organic Modernism, Side table from Target, Tray from Target by Nate Berkus, navy/gold pillows and faux fur throw from Z Gallerie. Marble lamp and geode stash box from West Elm.

red egg chair

Please notice the red lightbulb in the lamp. I’m telling you, if you spend a few hours in a room with only red lightbulbs new white bulbs will make you feel like you are living in an episode of Orange is the New Black. Those things really are warm and inviting, if not totally insane.

Boss Sign

Yes, that is a brick of gold and some gin and juice there in the corner. It’s all about the details. We had his favorite movies, books, games and even installed that flat screen TV and X BOX 360.

snoop-dogg-airbnb

snoop peacock chairs

After we were done Ginny and I were 100% sure that Snoop would like it. We actually LOVED it and strangely so did all of our friends. Brian walked into it and loved it, even Charlie lit up and stared at that sign for minutes. I know it’s really hard to get a sense of it from my stupid iphone photos but trust me that when you were inside of it, you wanted to party and never leave.

So Snoop arrived, checked his custom rhinestone encrusted mailbox (that only took Ginny 9 hours to bedazzle) where he was greeted with an issue of high times – I told you .. the details.

Airbnb Snoop Dogg

And then …. yea … he was into it. He called me in, passed all the paparazzi who had booked interviews with him, and gave me a massive hug with a lot of generous words about how he wants to transport it all to  his house in LA and how we should go there and design it, etc. He was shocked – over and over about all the details and how much it felt like him. Very satisfying indeed.

Airbnb Snoop

So there we are: Me, Snoop and Ginny. One of my favorite projects to date.

snoop dogg ginny emily

Watch this video where you get a way better sense of the space and hear him speak about the pod, Airbnb and probably weed.

And then this is the video of Snoop and  chatting about design where I presented him the ideas. It was 11pm and 80 degrees – it’s not my best work, but it’s not about me, anyway. Snoop carries the video.

So what do you all think about Snoop’s pod? Would you say its BO$$? Was this shocking? Do you think we pulled it off?  Tell me everything …

(Disclaimer: I/we do not condone or promote any drug use but its also not my job to judge my client on liking a legal hobby. It was his request. Had he wanted me to design a heroine or pornographic themed house, I would not have.)

Photo credits: Djstormsblog | Vivien Killilea | Rush Jagoe for Airbnb

Renderings: Tajima Creative Partners | Louis Polidori

Landscape: Big Red Sun Austin

Our baby shower, part 2

Well folks, you can call off the search, take down the posters, hang up your 911 call because you have officially found the best ‘parenting party’ (co-ed shower) that’s ever been given … and it was ours, thrown by Scott, Corbett and Orlando – 3 of my very best friends in LA. Naturally they are also the people who I think have the best style and know me the most, stylistically, too, so thats awesome. Last week I blogged about the party but not the decor  - check out those photos here.

It was totally fantastic and just generally amazing in every way. Let me walk ya through it.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

They chose a triangle theme. Everybody kept trying to guess that the triangle was symbolic for something fertile or infant or something, and while it is the shape of ones, ahem, lower region area, I think they chose it because its super on trend and visually very fun.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Scott hosted the party at his new beautiful house in LA. In case you don’t know this man he is one of my very best friends in the world (like family, this man). We met on set years 12 years ago, both assistant stylists. He went on to work for Martha and has been a freelance (and very sought after) stylist for years.

So he got his DIY on to make some much needed confetti.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

triangle pendants

When I walked up to the house I was shocked at what I first saw. These awesome DIY brass pendants that Corbett just whipped up. Just like that. Leave a comment if you want the DIY – I’ll have her recreate it for the blog. They were awesome.

But that wasn’t good enough, nay. We also got to walk through this threshold of triangle ribbons. This was also around the holidays and could double as SUCH a cute holiday decor idea, too. It’s strangely fun to walk under a bunch of ribbon – it’s like life just turned up the silly and festive on you. And while I would have had a good time if they had just shoved a bunch of themed straws in my face, I have to say that Brian and I  both had so much more fun having it be so decked out.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Then Kristen from Moon Canyon made this awesome triangle wreath that was just stunning. Thanks, Kristen!

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Here’s a sneak peek into Scott’s house which is just ridiculously beautiful.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Even the ceilings had triangle banners … Because ceilings are people, too.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Oh and there was a teepee, naturally. What triangle themed party would be complete without a teepee serving as the bar? So beautiful.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

They even had this pinata custom made for me which of course I’m still hoarding in Charlie’s room for his 4th birthday. And in case you are wondering how much a custom pinata of this size is, the answer is either $18 or $28 … I forget, but definitely not as expensive as I thought it would be.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Check out the other party post to see that triangle light fixture in action. It’s awesome, served as a focal point in the space and drew people to the other side of the pool.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

They painted on these floating candle holders which tended to want to just hang out at the edge of the pool, but looked chic regardless.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

The thought, effort and love that went into this party is truly remarkable. I stayed up til 12 on that Sunday talking with everyone while they kept drinking wine and I wasn’t even jealous this time because I had such a good time.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

I mean, that’s a ridiculously fun, festive and modern baby shower/party. Scott, Orlando and Corbett KILLED IT.

emily baby shower

They are three of my favorite people in the world. Three people who I’ve never gotten sick of no matter how much time I’ve spent with them (which is A LOT) plus they all love each other, thank god. We all go flea marketing, thrifting, shopping and then many a happy hours drinking. Thank you guys so so so so so much. Without sounding too cheesy and hormonal, it truly was one of the best nights ever. Brian and I felt very, VERY, special. I love you. (To see all the party photos,click HERE).

Resources: They rented the majority of the furniture from Yeah Rentals, the food was by Heirloom LA (sorry, we devoured it before the pictures could be taken!) and the rest of the resources are here: 

Floating water lanternsGold triangle pillowPaper garlandTriangle rugTriangle fabricEmbroidered triangle pillowGold fringePyramid light garlandTeepeeGeometry pillowArrow pillowTriangle paper punchLarge triangle paper punch, Happy Habitat Throw.

All photos by  Christian and Reina. Thanks guys for such amazing photos!

Our baby shower …

You can call off the search, fire the detectives, put down the phone, and take the flyers on the street poles because you’ve officially found the best baby shower ever. And by baby shower I do mean a boy/girl party to celebrate parenthood. Baby showers come in all shapes and sizes and they all have different things that I love about them. But I have to admit that sharing the experience with your partner is pretty special. Don’t try this if you are going to have a traditional baby shower, the boys will want to suffocate themselves with cloth diapers if they had to come. But if feel like just making it a party, then there is no reason that fathers shouldn’t be there to celebrate the entrance into parenthood, too.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

It was thrown by three of my best friends in LA, and quite the coincidence that they also have extremely good taste and are all super into DIY-ing such events. So Corbett, Scott, and Orlando, Brian and  I thank you so much for the best shower ever.

emily baby shower

It was at Scott’s house which is stunning. He’s a stylist, his boyfriend is french – the world would crumble if these two didn’t have a pretty house.  I’ve broken this party down to two posts – ‘The Party’ and ‘The Decorations’. There were just so many pretty photos and so much to talk about that I didn’t want to put them all in one. So todays post is just the party and then tomorrow it will be broken down more. (Originally I was going to reverse it but as I was posting it looked like nobody came to the shower and it was just a bunch of empty decor).
Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Not sure how much I LOVE seeing pics of me this pregnant and bloated (below), but I do love how clearly happy I was. It was a Sunday night, I only had 2 or 3 weeks left before the baby, and I think I was in a pretty good mood all the time those days. Plus Christophe, Scott’s boyfriend who is an amazing hair cut/color/stylist, did my hair and I squeezed myself into this red little number.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

So despite packing on 25 pounds, I felt good and I was just so excited to be around all my friends. I was so busy wrapping up The Fig House, the Air bnb project, Cup of Jo’s house and still keeping up with the blog, plus the move and the baby, that I hadn’t really socialized in a while. I was psyched to be around friends and celebrate.

Also they hired a ‘Slight of hand’ magician to rove around and entertain us, in lieu of games. This guy was hilarious and did tricks with fire and made balloon animals and generally acted ridiculous. We laughed and drank and played with fire inside this awesome triangle that my friends made.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Brian was just so adorable and he absolutely LOVED that this was for him, too. I know its tradition to have it be just for the girls and have it be more about the moms pregnancy, etc, but it’s both of us who were entering parenthood and deserve a send off.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

I know you are dying to see the decor, as you should be. But you’ll have to come back tomorrow …

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

My friends also planned a onesie making station. They bought onesies from American Apparel (the outlet so it wasn’t a fortune) and bought fabric paint and iron ons and everybody went to town to create a wardrobe for Charlie that he would never notice, but that I would be pretty psyched about. I love having these in his drawers. They remind me of my friends, the party and what happens when drunk people get a hold of fabric paint.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Commes De Garson, naturally. Thanks, Bri.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

All in all it was really an awesome night. Thank you so much Corbett, Scott and Orlando for everything. You’ll see tomorrow during the post but they put so much time, effort, money and love into the night and I can’t thank them enough. It’s such a treat to have someone else throw a party for you. It’s never happened to me before. And it was one of my favorite nights ever.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

That is the whole group, drunk from Cheer-up Charlies (the signature drink) and magic.

Emily Henderson Baby Shower

And that’s Brian and I practicing our Demi Moore pose (we succeeded, but I decided to not show you those shots).

Thanks, Corbs Scott and Orlando so much for the best parenting party we could ever have been given. It was just so fun and memorable in every way. xx

All photos by the amazing Christian and Reina of Max and Friends. Thanks guys so much!!!!!

The Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Well, folks, The Fig House has opened and its in full swing: currently being rented out for parties, weddings, birthdays, premieres and any occasion where one wants to have a good time in a beautiful space. To celebrate we threw quite the party for family/friends and some press … just a ‘hey guys, here’s what we’ve been doing the past 8 months’. It was pretty satisfying to finally show all my friends (including Brian) the final result of all of our hard work… also to prove that I wasn’t having an affair because I was gone so much.

We are working on the proper design posts with lots of before and after shots, resources, paint colors, etc, but this post is just to show off the party and say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made it out and contributed.

Fig House Opening Party

As you know Danielle Krysa, from The Jealous Curator curated the art and it was pretty darn stunning. That huge painting by Zoe Pawlak is amazing, the portrait by Stephanie Vovas and the weird and controversial (and intensely awesome) string sculptural pieces by Nike Schroeder killed it. Just killed it. I was so excited by how they all looked in the space at night. Sidenote: 1/2 the art sold that night and many more pieces have replaced those … it’s very exciting.

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

This is Mr. Steve Fortunato himself with his pretty adorable family adorning that pretty amazing green sectional sofa. Gosh, what I wouldn’t do for something like that in my new living room – the family and the house.

Fig House Opening Party

Clearly lots of hugs and laugher were had by some of our good friends, Paige from Bash, Please, Joy and Margaux - all the usual suspects showed up. Thanks so much, guys.

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Room Forty catered the food and it was OBVIOUSLY delicious based on that photo above. I would like to slide one of those sliders in my mouth right now. That night was like a wedding to me where I was so busy talking that I think I tasted the food, but would like another shot at it.

Fig House Opening Party

By the way it wasn’t that bright in there, there was just a flash on the camera – don’t worry. RoomForty also had this huge fromaggerie station, which is a station that I would like to be at more often.

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Steve gave a big thank you speech to all the people who had worked really hard on the project – which were A LOT. These included the amazing General Contractor Ken from KD Constuction (my favorite contractor in the world and not to mention such a great person in general), the stained glass artist (who with my art direction created some pretty incredible doors that even the new Ace Hotel Downtown LA hired to help with theirs afterwards), and of course the design team – us.

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Speaking of which … these two ladies (above) saved my life/sanity in this project. Dean Fisher and Ginny Macdonald are two VERY good designers and such incredible collaborators. Every single meeting was fun and we were always on the same page artistically; you have no idea how rare that can be. The chemistry was just so right. I’m lucky enough that Ginny is actually working full-time for me now, and Dean is back in Chicago doing a lot of design work with her company South Social and Home, and working with Home Polish (hire her, she’s AWESOME).  Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

That’s the head chef at Roomforty, Libry and his crew who now have a brand new, state of the art kitchen to work in and get new awesome tattoos in…. Those are some badass chefs, no?

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Ha!!!! This is us cheersing to the success of The Fig House. I was 37 weeks pregnant obviously, but that doesn’t stop me from celebrating. (That dress, by the way is another non-maternity dress from TopShop that is just REALLY elastic-y … its holding on for dear life, but so much better than most maternity dresses … here’s a link to similar dress).

Fig House Opening Party

Michael, Mr. Flashdance himself, spun the music. Do people even say ‘spun’ anymore? I think i’m old.

He was the DJ, you get it. And he’s awesome because he makes people dance and laugh and lose control, as you can see …

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

Fig House Opening Party

That’s the usual crew, Bri, Jen, Steve, Brian (The Sharkpig boys) Tal (PharmacieLA) and probably tons of people who I’m missing but I really, really appreciate coming.

Fig House Opening Party

It rained so we had to have a tent out front but that doesn’t stop you from seeing the intensely beautiful stained glass that Judson Studios did.

All in all it felt like a wedding. Something that we had planned for months  - not necessarily the party but the unveiling of the project. Except I wasn’t drunk. Strangely it was still such an exhilarating high and I had sooo much fun.

Fig House Opening Party

The exterior is getting all landscaped now, ready for all the summer weddings they have booked. Its all just very exciting, indeed.

All in all an incredible project and a pretty dope space. Cheers to Steve Fortunato, Room Forty, PharmacieLA, Our Labor of Love, Woodnote Photography, Flashdance, Sharkpig. All of you are pretty much the best and I want to smother you out of love.

If those photos weren’t enough and you want to watch a video about the night, you are in luck … Thanks, Sharkpig for once again being weird and generally awesome.

Photo Credits | Our Labor of Love and Woodnote Photography