Guest room makeover

Run, don’t walk to your local grocer (or drug store or book store) because right now I have a big ‘ole feature in HGTV Magazine of a house I decorated in L.A. last year.

emily henderson hgtv spread

Its 9 pages of a house that was crazy fun to decorate on with one of the most fun clients in the world.  I’m going to post the whole spread, but that takes some scanning time and i simply must watch The Bachelor Finale right now which requires me to plant myself in front of my TV, so for now i’m going to show a couple of the rooms that didn’t make it into the spread.

When i first started the project the guest room looked like this:

guest room

The space was bright and airy, but everything was just not considered and not decorated yet.  They had just totally gut renovated the house, and totally transformed it beautifully with help by architect Eric Olsen, and as many of you know that takes a lot out of you.  So Rachna was just done making decisions and she needed someone to come in and just finish it, which is  my favorite part

This was Rachna’s mom’s room and she really wanted her to have a really happy place to stay when she came to visit. She wanted it to be bright, happy, cheerful and full of vintage but still feeling fresh.


yellow and navy bedroom

photo by Victoria Pearson

Hell yes, I would visit that bedroom so hard. We decided that the white paint was pretty and fresh, and instead brought color in with everything else. I found the vintage indigo fabric from Tortoise in Venice and wrapped it around a headboard I already had. I wish i had a better picture of it that showed how beautiful that fabric is.  The striped bedding is from West Elm, Ikat bedding from Bed Bath and Beyond, the throw pillow is from Anthropologie, the artwork in the back from Castle in Australia, called Bronze Pop, lamp from H.D. Buttercup, accordion lamp is vintage from Etsy, curtains are from ModCloth, although discontinued, sadly. The Vintage Laurel lamp in the foreground is from Etsy, vintage side table, alarm clock from West Elm.

I love navy and yellow together. They are totally opposite on the color wheel, therefore making them oh so complimentary. You have a really bright happy color mixed with the dark masculine grounding color, which keeps it balanced. The curtains have a lot of hot pink in them, so i peppered it around the room and it became this fun little poppy accent color.

The patterns work well together because the Ikat is large scale and the stripes are small scale. And then on the opposite side of the room, the curtains are more of a large and airy scale, so all three are wildly different and therefore they work together so happily.

mid-century chair, yellow

photo by Bethany Nauert

The mid-century chair from Amsterdam modern for $70, but of course I reupholstered it for $100 in simple white linen. Black and white chevron pillow from Urban Outfitters, glass jug from the flea market, and leaf from god’s green, green world.

And there you have it, friends. A guest room before and after. I’ll be leaking more of the story, all next week, but meanwhile definitely pick up the magazine and read the spread for yourself.

  1. emily jane zarov

    Congratulations Em! I was so excited when I got my HGTV mag in the mail and saw you in the table of contents -I turned immediately to your feature and was, as always, delighted and inspired. You’ve been such a great teacher (my home page on my computer is your lovely blog and I’ve watched all the episodes of your infinitely inspiring tv show multiple times) and one day I shall finish decorating my home, send you fabulous before & after pics and you’ll be so proud… Again, congrats!
    Sincerely, emily jane
    PS. I finally brought home my very own fiddle leaf fig tree and we are oh-so happy together… Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Emily

      AHH, Emily, you just made my day. Thank you so much for that lovely comment. I can’t tell you how much i appreciate it.

      • emily jane zarov

        : ) !

  2. Donna

    WOW! What a gorgeous guest room…I love the curtains, lamps, chair, well I LOVE everything about it. I was happy to see your article in the HGTV magazine too, can’t wait to see more of this beautiful home.

  3. Congrats!!! You designed that room beautifully!! I will definitely grab a copy of the magazine (I love that magazine). Congrats again!

  4. What a gorgeous room! I never would have paired those curtains with the rest of the room but it works!

  5. katy

    Love it! Pinning now, and will head out and buy the magazine asap.

  6. simone


  7. Tara

    Great, other than the white chair for me (lots of kiddos)- I love mixing old and new therefore you are the perfect inspiration. I like how your rooms are accessible and I can take bits and pieces of what you have done and translate them into my own spaces. Thank you!

  8. Emily, what a great guest room. So inspiring! That would have been so hard to keep a secret if I were you. I’d have been so excited to share it with the world. Fantastic job, as usual. Heading out to pick up the magazine, stat. Can’t wait to see more bits of this project. Lots of love (hmmm…that sounds weird and stalker-y), errrr, lots of good energy…? Haha.
    xx, Brittany

  9. Suzane Henderson

    Loved the spread in HGTV and especially loved the navy & yellow bedroom. Well don!

  10. So beautiful and inspiring :) Thanks for sharing!

  11. When I saw the first photo, I said “wooooah” out loud. I love how bright and fresh it is. Did you really get that chair for $70? What a steal!

  12. Katie

    I was so excited when I got my HGTV magazine in the mail and a whole spread on you inside! I love what you did. Congrats!

  13. Jess

    Hey Emily,

    Love your blog! Just wanted to let you know that the curtains are available to the trade from Karma Living (



  14. Christi

    Emily, your work is so lovely – always! Do you know which white is on the walls? I’ve been hoping for a “white paints according to Ryan Gosling”….or some other inspiring hunk to get to you blogging about your “go to” whites!


    • I want to know about go-to whites too! I have to choose a white for my bathroom today (carrara marble tile, white quartz countertop, cherry wood vanity). Which one of the zillion whites is best? Wah! This is way too overwhelming. Plz help!

  15. Kate

    Ok, so I tried to speed read the HGTV mag in the queue at Walmart (please don’t judge!). The one bloody time I pick a quick line, typical! In the cart it went. Just settling in to a cup of tea and some solid Emily inspiration. Congrats!

  16. Okay, I am normally not the super-gushy-fan-girl who posts comments. But holy crap, Emily. I’ve been looking for a perfect balance of masculine and feminine for my master bedroom, in shades of blue (of course). Thank you thank you for the epiphany!

  17. Susan

    Your work is fantastic, as always. Loved watching you on Design Star and, as a new blogger, am so happy to have found your blog! Going out to the newsstand now!

  18. Jodi

    i picked the magazine up for a flight over the weekend and was super excited to see your feature! it was great to see those paint covered jars in the play room again. and the entire space just looks incredible. i would like to move in, please. do you think they would mind?

  19. Jodi

    p.s. loving the blog redesign. looks great!

  20. the massive green leaf…so awesome. and stellar chair! love those modcloth curtains too…so much color in this room but i love that you are keeping it tempered down with white walls. looks awesome emily!

  21. Melissa Merrell Carandang

    What a beautiful space!!

  22. Lynn

    I LOVE this room; it is perfect!
    Question, though: where did you find the navy-blue bedspread/coverlet/quilt?

  23. julie

    Emily, i love how you write – it’s how I think (most people have problems following my train of thought) When are you going to have new shows on?????? I’m missing you! You are truly inspiring!

  24. Angeline

    So so happy to see so many pages of your AWEsome work in HGTV mag (I cancelled my subscription just before this issue arrived in my mail. I am now considering renewing it:) Congratulations, Emily!

  25. Faye

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  26. Love the update! Great work, as always! I wish that alarm clock was still available, it’s just what I’ve been looking for this week.:(

    Quick color wheel clarification though, blue and orange are opposite on the wheel, not blue and yellow. With your use of pink (aka a lighter shade of red) you have used a Triad color palette (3 colors equally spaced on the color wheel), not a Complementary palette (directly opposite on the wheel). I love that you talk about the color wheel in terms of picking a color palette, I just didn’t want people getting confused. :)

  27. It’s inspiring to see you transform a room like this. Love the mid-century chair you found as well – and for such a great deal. Can’t wait to follow your collections more closely and learn what else you’re doing.

    Keep inspiring!

  28. So fabulous! It’s such a fun space :).

  29. Faireden

    Emily, you are the best and such an inspiration to me! I just have to ask, isn’t yellow a split compliment to Navy blue and a compliment to purple? One could argue that there is some purple in that navy blue, or that the yellow is on the orange side. Never mind though cuz I agree yellow and blue are very good together.

  30. Jessica

    Picked up the mag (which I love anyway) and your spread was by far the best. While I’m obviously biased, your style is SO much more approachable and livable than some of the others. In any case, when are you doing a book? I mean…could you just get on that already?! In all of your spare time, of course.

  31. Shannon

    Why oh why am I not finding the mag at my local stores? Is it the April issue? I found the March one, but you and the lovely spread was not to be found! Help! DYING to obsess over it….

  32. Pingback: Before & After: Guest Bedroom by Emily Henderson | Front & Main

  33. christina banda

    Yellow and Blue are NOT complimentary colors BUT they are primary colors on the color wheel. Yes they work well together but yellows complimentary color is violet and blues is orange. As ant art major can tell you this is primary in the color wheel theory.

  34. Karen Ehlers

    Hi Emily,
    I love the side table. Can you tell me which one that is at West Elm? I don’t see any that are round. I’ve been hunting and hunting for side tables and yours is exactly what I’m looking for!

    Thanks for your help.

  35. Pingback: HGTV magazine spread; A lovely house makeover in Studio city | Emily Henderson

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  37. molly

    Love the room! Where is the navy quilt from?

  38. Aidel.K

    Let me join the chorus of positive comments! Wow! Thank you for sharing sources and your process, so I can learn.

  39. Robin

    I always love your designs — so fresh and such a great mix of modern and vintage. I would have been all over that MCM chair at $70. But I know the prices at Amsterdam Modern and I’m pretty sure there needs to be an extra zero on that number, no? :)

  40. Sara

    Beautiful room! I’d also love to know where the navy coverlet/quilt came from?

  41. Pingback: Ask Julia: A Venture Into Painting Walls | Chris Loves Julia

  42. I do not know how I missed this post! I bought these curtains after you posted a ModCloth giveaway and I LOVE them. They even appear to be back in stock! (which is great cause I think I’m going to move them around and I need a couple more!) I thought you were going to use these and line them for a project?

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