Shopping With Emily

Dear everyone,

Do you ever find yourself wandering around with your friend Emily, looking at garbage all day, and then occasionally finding treasures? But sometimes you can’t really tell what’s trash and what’s treasure? And then your friend is like, “this thing’s cool!” And you’re thinking, “that is the ugliest effing thing I have ever seen in my life!”? Well that’s pretty much a daily occurrence at Emily Henderson Design, where much of our time is spent terrifying each other by challenging each other to like weird ass things.

Take this gross bar, for example:


Emily was like, “Woah, that thing is int-er-es-ting.” And then my brain exploded because “interesting” wasn’t the word that came to mind. “Barf” is the word that came more quickly to the front of my brain. This thing was $250. I bet someone bought it. And I bet that person is a total lunatic.


We spotted this geometric box at HD Buttercup for $90. It’s very ’80s glam, so I love it.


We found these delightful chairs at St. Vincent’s Thrift Store for $80/pair. We are going to have them reupholstered and then they are going to be the most interesting, gorgeous chairs on the planet.


These awesome (or hideously ugly) chairs were at Goodwill. I think they’d be sweet reupholstered in a bright color. Everyone I showed them to thought I was crazy though. What do you think?


Emily and I saw this at Rose Bowl for $200. Would be super cute in an updated fabric. That’s an undeniable fact.


These black chairs incited much controversy between me and my friends. Mostly because I loved them, found the cool in a Kelly Wearstler way and everyone else thought they were ugly. $400/pair. But check out the back:


Yah Gurl. I know black leather is totally gross, but I think it’s time it came back. In which case these chairs are totally awesome.


These espresso cups make my life worth living. $20/set of four from Rose Bowl.


This ice cream sign would make an awesome addition to a girl’s room, $100 from Santa Monica Antique Market.


This Japanese panel rocked my world, so I bought it. $200 from Rose Bowl.


I wanted this kilim runner but my boyfriend didn’t like it. At which point my brain went from “kilim” to “kill him.” $500.


We all obsessed over this lady portrait at Rose Bowl, but then we didn’t buy it. And that’s why we are terrible, terrible human beings. $50.


Loved this needlepoint ship at Santa Monica, but didn’t want to pay $200 for it. (That flea market can be a bit pricey!)


This owl planter needs a fresh coat of paint. And a few hugs and kisses from me. $250.


This set of dining chairs excited both Emily and I. But at $400 we had to run screaming.


I’m a sucker for seascapes. $150.


I wanted this winter landscape at Rose Bowl. Then I found out it was $500 and that made me kind of want it more. But then I remembered that I was poor and I ran away.


This tea set was $60 at St. Vincent’s. Come to me!


We saw this awesome display at Timoth Oulton’s boutique in HD Buttercup. SO creative and lovely. Like your face.


How cute are these vintage dishes? Sooooooo cute! $300 from Santa Monica. Yeesh!


Finally, I spotted this West Elm vase and was kind of blown away by how original/cool it was. $49 from West Elm.

So that’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of what we’ve been looking at. What ugly things have you been ogling?



  1. sue

    i’m with you orlando, those goodwill chairs had promise (but then i think the bar did too!)… but you guys definitely should have picked up that lovely lady portrait at the rose bowl! i find these post really interesting as i often wonder what other people find potential in that maybe i’m missing & vice versa! happy valentines day kids!

  2. Molly

    I kind of love that bar. Would make for a beautiful display piece for jewelry (after that hideous fabric is stripped off). But that owl planter? No way. Thing gives me nightmares. Hoot hoot.

  3. Tracy

    On Little Green Notebook’s blog today she has a shot of her living room and there is a painting that looks like the sister of that lady painting you found at the Rose Bowl. Weird coincidence?

  4. Stella Rios

    OMG… HAVE to know where that bar was ??? St. Vincents? OMG…..

    • Emily

      St. vincents. Picture it redone and then in a loft…… I can see it in all its glory, but if styled wrong it would be so hideous.

  5. jen

    Oh Orlando,

    I Orloveyou and your posts. Keep up it, champ!



  6. Love this post!! Makes me want to get my flea market hunt on!

  7. Leigh

    Dear Orlando, You are so funny.

    Love, me.

  8. Um, the black leather chairs are amazing! Reupholstered or not I love them! I also reaaalllyyy dig the lady painting.
    Orlando, I thought you were so funny already – but then I read your blog and was dying reading the couples are annoying post.


  9. Those dining chairs are the BEST!!!! Also into the turquoise tea set. We have St. Vincent’s thrift stores in Saint Louis also

  10. Chris

    Oh Orlando – your witty banter and delicious sense of humor tickle me so. Also, I want that tea set.

  11. Kelley

    Thanks for a hilarious post, Orlando! Love to imagine you guys running and screaming from things at flea markets. :)

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  13. Kevin Orlin Johnson

    Yes, those Goodwill chairs, recovered, would look fantastic. Not much of a boy for armless chairs, though–everybody ends up clasping hands above the head, which makes the whole party look like a mugging. But I’d sit in another chair across the room and just look at those.

    Good thing those brass-and-punkin numbers were overpriced.

    The black-leather one isn’t so much Kelly Wearstler as Darth Vader, really–

  14. Kevin Orlin Johnson

    Oh, and the Horrible Bar just needs to be reupholstered in, like, burgundy vinyl. Then its look would be complete.

  15. Kat

    First chair redone in a grey wool flannel, a man’s tailored suit.

  16. Catherine

    That bar is hideous….to me anyway. Love, love, love that turquoise tea set and the winter scape painting. But I cannot get over the ‘flea market’ prices!! Holy moly. Glad things are much more reasonably priced up here in good ol’ Minnesota.

  17. Marilyn

    Orlando, you really make me laugh….you’re very witty and I love what you and Emily dig up and your vision. It’s so refreshing and real, compared to some pretentious blogs. Keep us all laughing and continue showing us cool stuff, or not. It’s all good, to see whats out there.

  18. tammyCA

    The armless chairs and the GW one look promising and very comfortable and I’m sure will look very elegant when recovered. I have a few GW chair/sofa with good bones that desperately need a make-over when I finally decide on the right fabric. I think I have that ‘My Fair Lady’ sentiment regarding old furniture that ends up at the Goodwill.

  19. Bianca

    You could never drink espresso out of those pretty but illogical coffee cups. No ma’am…first it holds too much espresso…and secondly you’d have to tip your head too far back to drain the cup. Not a good look at the corner bistro when you want to swag your elegant coolness while sipping your espresso. And forget about dipping your biscotti…it’d never reach the coffee.

  20. Justin

    (for a set, then re-donated it to St Vincents)

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