Emily Henderson

The Lake House

Lake House Post #5

The say that hair stylist and construction workers have the most ‘job satisfaction’ because every single day they start something new and by the end of the day they see a lot of progress, if not finish the project and they never take their job home with them….Unless they are a hair stylist in west Hollywood and the client is hot and the hair stylist is lonely….and the client is easy… and the hair stylist doesn’t have a room mate….and the client doesn’t have very good self esteem….

Every day stylist make rooms go from geek to chic.  From scrappy to sassy.  From disgust to ‘I trust’.

Satisfying to do, satisfying to watch.  It’s why we watch makeover shows – we, as human racial human being peoples, love us some ‘before and afters’.

But whoever ‘they’ are that deemed stylist and construction workers with the most satisfaction never renovated a house in 4 months.

To go from this:

To this:


From crappy to happy (It took Orlando, Dan and me about 15 minutes to come up with that one and it is totally mediocre I know. ‘Dirty to perdy’ came in second with ‘nasty to rynoplasty’ a close but totally non-sensical third).


We started the installation of all the furniture decor yesterday and by friday we will be about 80% done.

But for now, here are some shots of the clean renovation.  It looks soooooooooooo good. Fresh, white, airy, modern yet classic; casual, yet elegant.  It’s kinda my dream house already – and its still empty.

IMG_0674 IMG_0709

The master bedroom.  Where i’m sleeping right now.  (Gray Owl, Ben Moore on the wall, by the way).

Why yes there is a clawfoot tub in the bedroom.  Because these people are into stuff like ‘relaxing’ and ‘calming down’ and staring out the window whilst reading and drinking wine.  You have no idea how hard it is not to christen this tub.  Its all, ‘Hey E, ya tired? oh…ya want to rest your muscles? ya want to secretly soak for 1/2 hour while Orlando is on his 3rd trip to Home Depot?…No one will know…’ And i don’t do it. I don’t. But i want to.  I do.

But that beautiful Victoria and Albert tub is theirs to de-flower.  And de-flower. And de-flower.

You see we are already sleeping here.  Sounds weird, i know.  We have the week to install and there really aren’t any hotels within 20 miles to stay at so our gracious clients have invited us to stay here whilst working in order to get a ton of work done in a small amount of time.  And in a way this is totally genius and is soon to be a new protocol in Emily Henderson Designs, LLC, INC, ESQ….LOL..

Here’s why:

When you actually live in the space you realize what works and what doesn’t.  For instance, this morning i didn’t have a towel hook to hang my post shower towel on so that went on my list of ‘forgetten things’ to purchase.

Lets face it ‘door hooks’ aren’t the most sexy way to spend the client’s money so it was kinda pushed aside in favor of flea market art and throw pillows. But in two weeks i would have had to buy the door hooks because they were necessary so in a way i’m making my life easier by solving the problems now.

Then i got dressed and realized that there wasn’t a full legnth mirror anywhere for me to admire my totally trashy paint clothes in.  That went on the list.  I noticed some light bulbs were too bright while others were too dim. I noticed that we don’t really need blackout drapery in the master bedroom because even though it has crazy big windows, it faces south and never gets as much light as early as you’d think – so i can return those kinda expensive (and kinda unattractive and thick) drapes and get pretty simple lined white ones.

The list goes on and on.  But the process is actually really interesting.  We stocked their kitchen with their old stuff and after using it for a couple days realized that things needed to shift.

It’s like we are having a test run of their future life. Can’t tell if its creepy, but its happening.


Ebay nautical lights ($50 each, spray painted…although we weren’t finished with them when the electrician showed up so they are now all white and gold and touched up) and blue stairs never hurt anybody.  This greets you the second you walk into the house.

I’ve got a pretty sweet cast of characters with me:

First off is series regular, Orlando Soria.  The Orlando-myster. The Orlandonnaker.  He’s Orlandoriffic. The guy who i don’t let leave my side and probably wants to shove a pillow over my face at night because we are sleeping in the same bed and i have crazy spring New York allergies.

And Lana, who is a recurring character and was the project manager on this job and helped coordinated every single thing that happened and was installed here while i was 3000 miles away (although she is sick today :( )

Guest starring this week is Dan Faires (my friend from Design Star and now real life) that is solving every problem that might involve electrical, hanging of very heavy mirrors and/or chairs, painting, staining, cutting, and just overall giving good advice whilst looking hot.

Things like this are happening:


Why yes, we are painting at 10:30pm.  NOT SMART because you can’t see sh*t. But we touched them up the next day. Look how Orlando and Lana LOOK so happy.  I swear i didn’t make them pose – they simply love painting in the rain and the dark (I was out there, too, don’t worry).

And if you are wondering it absolutely KILLED me to paint that amazing tole chandelier, but it was just not happening for them (or Orlando or Lana or anybody who doesn’t love ‘grandma chic’ as much as i do) – so all kelly green high gloss it is.  Some people (read almost everyone) can’t handle multi-color floral metal chandeliers.  But  I can.  You can count on me.

Back to doing something designer-y inappropriately late at night.



To see the Lake House project from the beginning take a look here: Lake House Post #1 | Lake House Post #2 | Lake House Post #3 | Lake House Post #4 | Lake House Post #6 | Lake House Feature in Country Living | The Lake House Makeover – Kitchen Edition