Same girl, new look. Emily Henderson 3.0

My blog is KINDA like Emma Stone’s face. Stay with me. Remember how we all used to like Emma Stone when she looked like this:

before

Cute, sweet, but totally underwhelming. Then one day she dyed her hair, whitened her teeth, and she looked like this:

emma stone1

And we were all … Hmmm. I can guess I can get behind that … She looks good, right? Well, at least better … right?

But she doesn’t really look good or right or like herself. She looks way more commercial. Am I wrong?

Then one day she came out looking like Emma Stone really should look:

emma stone beautiful

Yes. That’s her. Sure she’s been a bit “Hollywood-ized,” but as much as we want to say that she was super cute before and that we loved her just as much, she undoubtedly looks better and more like HER now.

That’s how I feel about my blog. The first one I designed and it was called ‘The Brass Petal”:

thebrasspetal

I have such nostalgia for this post and blog. It really was when I decided to make sh*t happen. Three months later, I was on “DesignStar” and then you all know the story after that. But this blog was mine. I had no idea what the hell I was doing, as you’ll see by one of the titles of a post (to the right) being “Art I Want to Make Sweet Love To,” which I love, but obviously wasn’t exactly going after any SEO strategy.

But I loved (love) brass and flowers so much, so it was appropriate. And the idea of calling something my name seemed so god damn self-important.

So a year later, Squarespace approached me and asked if they could redesign my blog if I’d switch to their platform. At the time they had some great bloggers moving to them so I figured, sure.

A few weeks later it turned into this:

squarespace blog

Better, certainly. But still not right. I was so excited to have a facelift that I didn’t really think about whether or not it was “me” — or maybe I did, but I was too busy … I don’t know. Looking at it now (and the past few months), it just feels in a way too “corporate,” but also not nearly serious enough.

So Bri (Designlovefest) and I orchestrated a trade; I design her living/dining room and she redesign my blog. Excellent. My goals for the blog were to look fun, but professional. Vintage, but not old fashion. On trend, but still with a classic element. As much as I love trends, there is something very old-school about me, and my style and my personality. I don’t wear those weird awesome architectural dresses with neon color patches. I wear vintage princess sleeved shirts, high-waisted wide legs, strange equestrian gear,  and a lot of worn leather. I do modern, but with a serious vintage bent.

PLUS my name is a bitch.

“Emily Henderson” does not lend itself well to a lot of logos and fonts. It’s just long and fluid and tricky. So simplicity is where Bri knew we had to go.

So here we are folks;  my new blog and therefore a new ME. And I feel like it finally fits. It’s vintage, yet modern; graphic yet romantic. Happy, yet not annoying.

Me, yet me.

Thank you so much Bri for designing this wonderful site,  Zoe for coding it and Alexis for helping with the whole process. Moving on up, hopefully with you in tow. Thank you everybody for following along the last few years. I can’t possibly express how much I appreciate you. You are the tits.

What do you think?

  1. Michelle

    Blog looks awesome !!! Love your style and now it totally represents you !!

    Ps the leave a comment area name /email is not lined out there’s no box. . ;)

  2. lovely, simple, and you—i really do love the simple balance here. though, i have to say that i liked your squarespace design too…and i was completely unaware of emma stone’s full transformation, but am finally enlightened, haha. only you could create such a smooth metaphorical tie to emma stone’s transformation :) look forward to more on this lovely new site of yours!

  3. Cathy

    I LOVE this new look! Very clean and easy to navigate. Love the brass color accents throughout.

  4. Kimberly

    I love that ‘Pin’ option from the pics – I pin you tons!! I might have to make my screen size a little larger because the font seems smaller..only 38 y/o and I’m already complaining about difficulty seeing…and I wear glasses for that matter! I think the new function you’re getting (reply) out of this new format is going to be great…and how much love will we feel when you reply to us?!! Love the Categories to the right…like little brass buttons;)

  5. The design of the categories section is nail-art-worthy. It all looks lovely. Congratulations!

    • Emily

      I know. i effing love them. thanks!

  6. Bri is kinda amaze-balls, no? This makes me want to makeover everything on my own site, again.

  7. Mary

    Looks beautiful!
    One thing: I think next to your picture, the description of you should read AN HGTV host, not A HGTV host.
    Not trying to nitpick- I love you!

    • Emily

      It’s funny, that’s what i sent in but then they changed it so i figured they were right…… but i agree, it sounds better ‘an hgtv’ instead….maybe i’ll change it….

      • AmyC83

        I think since it’s an acronym and your wouldn’t say “an home”, it should be as it is. But it is weird.

        And the site looks beautiful! Love the little button thingies on the side (not sure what the technical term is).

        • AmyC83

          *you

        • M

          English teacher chiming in here to say that it should absolutely, without question, read “an.” It’s coming before “H,” not the word “home.” Mrs. Henderson, your gut was right!

          • Kate

            This magazine editor agrees with the English teacher!

  8. Joy

    love your new blog!! i have watched your show….love it and have been following your blog for awhile. you are too funny and love your design aesthetic! me and a friend just started a blog and am excited to see what comes of it.
    thanks!!

  9. Kelly

    Love it. Simple and beautiful.

  10. Absolutley LOVE it! Its so chic and exactly what your blog should be. Love the Emma Stone comparison. ;)

  11. Kendra

    Love the new design! So pretty and simple and modern. Cannot wait to see the space you designed for Bri!

  12. I really love the new look, a little sassier but still classy and modern. Also, I really love you for comparing your blog design situation to Emma’s style transformation. Genius. Almost beats Ryan vs. Gray but not quite. I think we can all wholeheartedly agree that blonde on Emma is never a good idea. Reminds me of when my husband dyed his hair blonde in high school for a little while. Just bad man.

  13. Laura

    BEAUTIFUL! Everyone did a fantastic job!
    It looks classic, clean but with your style all over it. Can’t wait to see Bri’s living room now…!

  14. I love how the gold social media buttons turn hot pink when you hover over them. Such a nice touch!

  15. I LOVE the redesign- Bri’s blog is one of my favorites, and I recently found yours, which quickly became another of my favorites- spent a few hours going through your archives and watched a couple episodes of your show- I love your attitude and your style!

  16. Looks Lovely! Sleek, Modern and let’s your content pop. Righto!

  17. I am totally in love with this redesign. I think the category buttons on the side are my favorite.

    I usually read your blog via RSS, but nothing came up this morning. You might want to check Feedburner or whatever you use to manage your RSS feed to make sure everything transferred properly. :)

    • I second this – luckily I’m subscribed to Orlando’s blog too and realized today that I had stopped getting your posts (THE HORROR!). I resubscribed and now it’s all good. But you might want to see if you can put a post up on your old Squarespace site, directing people to resubscribe to your RSS feed.

      One tiny small other comment, because the typographer in me is screaming it – remove the letter-spacing on the paragraph type, or at least reduce it enormously. Generally letter-spacing between lowercase letters is to be avoided, as it makes the type much harder to read. (It IS done with all caps, as that helps legibility, and looks great.) But please, please, not on the paragraphs.

      Okay, graphic design nerd talk over. Loving the 3.0. Gold and navy. Totally you.

  18. Love it! As a graphic designer, I’m especially fond of the italics in your mini-profile. So chic and timeless.

  19. Katy

    I love the new look! I actually just signed up for a Squarespace trail because I saw it at the bottom of your site before. I’m probably about as illiterate as they come, as far as internet/web design/I don’t even know what to call it, so I’m hoping Squarespace will help me get an attractive site without knowing what I’m doing! But your new design is so great! And seems so YOU (which everyone loves)!

  20. Sheila

    The new site is beautiful! I do agree with a couple of others that the font is a little too small. Maybe time for me to get glasses?

  21. nole

    Congrats Emily – the new design looks fantastic (and so much more you)! And welcome to WordPress, you’ll love it!

  22. It’s wonderful–well done and congrats!

  23. Alex

    I think it is perfect for your style. Well done! Font is not too small…just make people wear their glasses :)

  24. Azure

    Nice! I would make the font bigger though. I also would make the titles of each blog post more distinct (bigger? bolder? colorful?).

    • THIS. The look is pretty but everything is very small to read.

  25. Aude

    I LOVE it!! Simple but chic, elegant and subtle… Perfect.

  26. Adriane

    Love the new look and without knowing you personally it does seem more “you.” Congrats!

  27. Lauren

    Looks fabulous! So you. (agree font could be a tad larger)

  28. jamie

    effortlessly you! i noticed right away!

  29. Chris

    Looks great! But I miss your show!

  30. essie

    love the new blog! And you’re totally riiiight that people from LA say that a lot. just realized it as i was reading your post.

  31. hottttttt. your infallible taste/moral sense (yes, i am beginning to equate them!!!!!) reveals itself once more: “way too ‘corporate’ but also not nearly serious enough.”
    eggzackly.
    emily 4eva.

  32. evie

    LOVE your new look and your Emily Stone analogy!

  33. evie

    umm i meant Emma. Emma Stone. oops!

  34. Awesome! I just got a new computer with a gi-mondo monitor, and this is the first place I came– & it’s all new & fresh & pretty, and I thought, wow, best computer EVAAAAR! Makes way more sense that Bri is responsible. ;) She’s awesome.

    I tried out SS for a little while too, but we did not get along. Way too difficult to do super simple stuff that you can do easily on any free platform. Big clunky mess, and did not equal pretty things.

    Your online home is looking much more inviting now, congrats. :)

  35. Jennie

    I would say the new look has pros and cons. Pros: Clean and crisp design, consistent style, no clutter. I think the column on the right is simple and clear, but attractive. I love the nine polka dot buttons. Cons: Really hard to read–I’m finding it painful to read, actually. For the column on the right, the italic text is too light. I think the font in the main blog section is too small and too light. Also, the font style, (Futura?) seems to have too much leading in between the letters for easy reading. Try condensing it a bit? I think Futura may have been designed as a display font for headlines or brief advertisements, not necessarily for a lot of text. (I used to work in the printing business, and there are guidelines about readability with fonts). I like the blue, all-caps headlines, but they could be a little bigger or bolder to catch the eye a bit more. Also, I hope the photos stay nice and large as they were before, and aren’t shrunk to fit into the column width. I think with some tweaking, the new design could be made to work.

  36. Amy

    Love the new blog, but the font (is it futura?) is soooo hard to read. Can’t put my finger on why — seems big enough — but it so is. Otherwise, yay for you! Looks gorge.

  37. Hannah Rose

    LOVE the brass colors in the new blog design!

  38. Beyond your amazing design chops, what I love about your blog so much is that you never fail to crack me up!

  39. I love the new look w/the sophisticated sparkle. The categories section is too cute. Great idea with including the how-to videos along the side. I love your work!

  40. The Emma Stone parallel is amazing. I love the new look. It’s clean & simple yet modern & the gold/brass/whatevermetallicthatis makes it fun. Actually, your face makes it fun. And that’s what you really want to stand out- your fun face. Bravo, Bri. I like reading your shit & looking at the pretty shit that you create. Not your literal shit. I needed to add that for clarification purposes.

  41. Kyle

    Love it! Love. It. Cleaner, softer color pallet, warm to the eyes. I like the font, separates it from so many other sites/blogs and we are here at a *design* blog and it’s your vision. Love the side bar and how well the space is used (especially next to the ad, impressed!). Love the gold swatches for catergories and “featured” areas. Its brills. Blue and gold, so you. Kudos to you and your team!

  42. Julia R

    Font is trickier to read than before. The character-spacing is a bit wide (is this what ‘kearning’ is? idk) Also, the words are spaced out across the line in a strange ‘justified’ way (again, not a graphic designer, obvi, but i know it when i see it). Still love you and Orlando (don’t know you guys, but hey). :)

  43. Jenna

    The new look is great. Very polished, yet fun.

    On a side note, are there any other services you would be willing to trade for your designing? Cause I could totally wash your car or make you dinner (that’s about the extent of my skill set) But seriously, you are awesome! Keep up the inspirational work!

  44. Luisa

    It’s stunning! Love the new design. Fits so much better and is so much easier to read, too. Congratulations!

  45. Aude

    I agree with other people that the writing is too little to read easily (esp. after a long day of work..!)

  46. Emily, a re-design is always a great idea along with a change of banner title from time to time. It reflects how we change too as our lives progress. Like the new look, great colour scheme, no doubt there’ll be more things you’ll want to tweak as you go along!

    Zoe xxx

  47. Michelle H

    It’s fun to see how your blog has evolved, Emily. Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts about it — it’s good info for us wanne-be bloggers. On a side note, that’s a really BIG photo of Emma’s face right there at the top. It’s a tad startling!

  48. nicole

    So pretty, but killing my eyes! Bigger maybe? Darker? Both? No, you know what- I just paged up again and the writing is tiny. It would be impossible to read on a phone.

  49. nicole

    So pretty, but killing my eyes! Bigger maybe? Darker? Both? No, you know what- I just paged up again and the writing is tiny. It would be impossible to read on a phone.

  50. I love all things Emily Henderson, and think this new design fits you well. The brass treatments are perfect for your style. I will echo the others, though, that the font is really really difficult to read. I am only 31, but I really have to strain my eyes to read it. Actually now as I type this comment, my eyes are starting to hurt a bit (maybe that should be a hint for me to keep it brief? Ha.) Maybe bump it up a pixel or two? And decrease the kerning a bit? Maybe bold the titles?

    Also for others who are having trouble with your feed readers. Emily’s posts didn’t show up in my reader anymore either. So I had to click the RSS icon on her site below, copy/paste the feed URL into my reader to update it. I think maybe her feed URL has changed since she updated the blog. Once I did that, I could see the new posts.

    Love your Pin It links – it’s a great way to ensure your work is properly attributed to you. I’m a web developer, so I hope this advice is helpful!

  51. Donna

    Love the new look. The “brass/gold” lettering is totally you!!!

  52. Looks like you already updated the font size — thanks for listening to us whine. :) I just wanted to chime in again to give ye olde “thumbs up.” Much better.

  53. Alicia

    Love your little comparisin to Emma Stone and especially lovin the new Design!! Great job Em &Bri!!

  54. Carrie

    Love the look! But I miss the links to the previous and next posts on the individual blog post pages. Or a list of the most recent posts on the side – something to make navigation easier would be great!

  55. cheryl

    I agree with everything commenter Jennie shared, the pros and the cons. I like the font, but reading it is a booger. Is it the size or the fact it reads grey rather than black? Also sort of wish there was more separation/definition between entries. When scrolling through, the entries sort of blend together. Your content keeps me coming back though–I love how genuine and genuinely goofy you are.

  56. Holly

    Ooooo… clean AND fancy. I like!

  57. Yati Rober

    All the way from Malaysia, I recently discovered your show on Hgtv and admire Your taLent. Love love your inspiration and design style.we have a lot of things in common.Your new blog is modern, clean and really you. Just have to get use to the gold buttons. Love the modern side yet a little touch of vintage would be a perfect abalance. We have a beautiful Bungalow house with modern layout, yet I feel need a bit of peps. Interior is black and white with beige color that dominate the style. I feel that some primary colors or contrast could bring more value to the style. I follow your show and record them. Hope They will air your show for looooong time!Yati Rober

  58. Sara

    I’ve been following your blog for years & I adore your show! I love that you have your own style, and you remain consistent to your personality through your style.

    That being said, (and I feel awful for not being behind the change 100%) while the new design is lovely, and sleek, and modern, it just seems to me to be missing an important part of you. To continue the Emma Stone comparison, I feel this design is like ES in the second picture—sleek, stylized, polished, but not yet really fully her.

    I guess what I’m saying is that this feels like it’s missing some of your best qualities—where’s the quirky, dollhouse making, quilt-loving, unique individual? Where’s the girly, hot-pink loving, Dolly Parton costume wearing, fun fun fun girl? Where’s the extraordinary vintage treasure hunter?

    Wow, I so totally do not intend for this to sound so harsh, because I am thrilled for you! But, if you consider ever tweaking the design, please add just a few elements that reflect the (very you) nightstand styled with the hot pink lampshade & the Bette Midler rug.

    [I'm so sorry if this comes across as unkind because I really mean it to be helpful & obviously my opinion doesn't really mean anything, but I just want the best for you. I am truly a big fan!]

  59. katja

    excellent. classy. i love the glistening feel of the color scheme.
    best of the three.

  60. Lisa

    I simply love the content of your blog and am impressed on many levels. Your wit comes across in your writing. It is apparent you have taken extra steps this past year to up the content, so thank you. I appreciate the thought you put into you posts, humor, comparisons (Emily Stone, genius) and love when you show your world from your point of view (flea market, photo shoots). It’s always intriguing and blogging at it’s best. Thanks!

  61. Lisa

    p.s. The new format looks great. :)

  62. Atiya

    it looks Awesome. polished but still filled with personality. i love it, congratulations!

  63. Jamie

    The colors are definitely “you.” Looks good! :)

  64. katy

    I love the new design in general, but, I agree with some of the other comment-ers that the font is difficult to read. I can read your posts just fine, and like the aesthetic there, but the entire banner on the right side, and everything in italics especially barely shows up! If you could tweak that one little thing, I’ll be a true believer! Congrats on the upgrade!

  65. Vanessa

    Hi Emily,

    Loved your comparison to Emma Stone. Lol. I agree, she started to get washed out by the Hollywood treatment. Now she looks effortlessly lovely.

    Regarding the re-design, the font is not smooth looking. On my screen it looks kind of jagged, like the transition between a straight vertical or horizontal line and a curve is pixel-y. And the kerning(a.k.a. spacing between letters) is a bit too much, which makes me strain my eyes to read. That’s my opinion on the readability. A blog I used to read(joythebaker) had a similar issue when it was redesigned. Now I don’t visit as much because the font kills my eyes.

    As for the overall design, there are alot of stylish touches. I can see your favorite colors represented throughout :) The font used for the blog header really reminds me of a Varsity football/jersey font. Bri is so great, but the font is strangely generic looking. I think the blog could use more special touches without compromising the seriousness of your business. The title of each post, for example, should be a little more fun or elegant. Simplicity is one thing, but it doesn’t look finished.

    Anyway, I love reading your blog and will continue to stop by, whatever the design may look like! Just my two cents because I know how hard you work at designing spaces :)

  66. Vanessa

    *I forgot to mention, the comment I made about the font relates to the font used in the comments section. Sorry!

  67. Observer

    Also, I hear that Emma is a natural blonde.

  68. I love the analogy you used! So perfect! I love Emma, and I am obsessed with your new design (isn’t Bri the BEST!)
    xx

  69. Aly

    Love the new blog layout! The gold & white is fresh. My only critique would be the light gray behind your blog posts … it’s kind of distracting (i.e. the pictures are the same width as it) and it would look a LOT cleaner if it were all white (the same as your main page). Regardless, I’m happy it feels a lot more like “you!” Happy blogging!

  70. belinda

    totally you emily, modern but with a bit of gilt to it!
    Love your work. You need to come and shake up Australia and I need to get to the rose bowl flea!
    thanks for this blog, it is part of my day, everyday

  71. tiffany

    The new font is so SO much easier to read! Thank you love! p.s. I just voted for you, duh.

  72. Ashley

    It looks gorgeous! I love the navy + brass. But I have to agree that I am finding the font insanely hard to read — I have to click away from your blog for the sake of my eyes, not because I am done reading!

  73. LHB

    To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the new look for two reasons. First, I’m another who finds the font difficult to read when on the actual blog. Second, if I view it in Google Reader, the pictures don’t show up. I am assuming it is due to the “Pin It” function. Personally, I’d rather have pics show in reader because I’m perfectly capable of pinning via the Pinterest toolbar app or website. I can pop back and forth between blog and reader to deal with those little annoyances, but in an ideal world, I’d rather just have easy to read font and visible pics in either option. I also don’t like that there’s no post authorship tag, so if Orlando, whose blog I also follow, writes a post on your blog, it’s not immediately apparent.

    Love you and your blog. I’ve been following it for a long time now.

  74. Joseph

    WHOA, no wonder I wasn’t getting your posts on my Google Reader feed anymore. At first I was thinking “Seems like Emily’s taking a little break.” But after 5 days of nothing, I went to go investigate and I find this!

    It’s a great redesign though. Seems a lot more like a blog and a lot more “you.”

  75. Trix

    Love the new design – the blog header is so brassy and so you! Can’t wait to see your redesign of Bri’s house.

  76. Bonnie

    I just got around to checking out your blog after a while away and immediately was so excited by the new design because it just seems so like you! Love it!

  77. Jolene

    SO glad I found you again! My RSS feed didn’t pick up your new website and I was driving home late last night making up things that could’ve happened to you to make you stop blogging for so long. Then I finally remembered that you had said something about a new host and it occurred to me to look for your new site! I like it. I’ve missed you. I’m glad none of the things I came up with are true.

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