Sneak peek into a new house …

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen shots of this house that I’m designing. I’ve been working on it since March when it looked like this:

spanish house before

And now, four months later it’s about 80 percent done:

blue chesterfield

The rug is a stand-in until I find an antique Oushak that we love, though a 10′ x 14′ rug is hard to find and expensive — trust me. Obviously it’s not styled, etc., but it’s totally livable and so pretty. The clients are out of town for another month so I’m scrambling a bit to finish, but secretly loving the freedom of not having them there when we play around and style.

Those sofas are from Dekor in Los Angeles (an awesome vintage store run by a designer who can have anything custom made) and can be made any size, any fabric, etc. Tell Isabelle that you saw it here and she’ll know which sofa you are talking about. We love the sofas — so comfy, cozy, and totally¬†indestructible since they are in performance velvet (great since they have two cats and two dogs — one who apparently likes to lick herself while getting photographed).

It’s really painful for me to show these unfinished, unstyled iPhone process shots, but I also know that I love seeing this kinda stuff on other people’s blogs, so here goes. If you judge me, I’ll sick The Bear on you. It’s all still a work in progress. It’s looking REALLY good, but no, I’m not satisfied yet.

Alright, here’s the hallway which is going to become the library area:

hallway before

And now:

hague blue hallway

Again, not finished, but coming along, and yes, that is my favorite navy blue paint, “Hague Blue” by Farrow and Ball. I’m LOVING where where this room is going. We have the rug ordered and I’m not sure about that green dresser there, but it’s coming right along.


The kitchen was a pretty big challenge. When I came into the picture it looked like this:

kitchen beforeWAIT!!! Actually it had upper cabinets that had all just been installed by a house flipper. Without going into the whole story (which you will get at some point when I go room by room with the total before and afters) we decided that it was just so heavy, dark, and small in there, so we took them out.

But she is looking MUCH more appropriate to her 1920 Spanish roots:

kitchen after

I love that cement floor tile so much. We are having to figure out how to reseal it because it loves dirt, but it also is aging already really beautifully …

When I first arrived the bathroom was already gutted and looked like this. The tile and fixtures the flippers had picked out were unspeakable so I jumped in and frankly saved this house from “Real Housewives of New Jersey” land.

master bathroom before

It’s quickly becoming one of the happiest rooms in the nation:

master bathroom after

OH that floor tile, how I love thee so much.

dining room

The dining room is coming along … well, we need a table and new rug.

dining nook

The dining nook is coming along (sorry, we just installed that chandelier and didn’t sweep before taking these photos).

Overall the house is something that I’m super proud of. It’s 1920′s old world/Spanish revival meets 2013 young Hollywood couple. I apologize for the lack of resources on this post, but when I post about each room I PROMISE you’ll get them. If you have any specific questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to get to them. Meanwhile I’m scrambling to finish this bad boy up …

Adios. :)

  1. Wow. Wow. Wow. That bathroom & kitchen! In love with the tile & the deep blueish grey colors. So looking forward to the complete rundown!

    • Paula

      I’ve been loving that fish scale tile for so long, but this is the first time I’ve seen it used as flooring. Awesome.

  2. The credenza in that dining room is bananas. Love your obsession with navy/green. It is obviously for good reason. =)

  3. Eleanor Huang

    Love it. Can’t wait to see it “styled”. Kitchen tile, killer. Blue walls, love. Nice touch the 2 trees in Living room.

  4. Michelle

    Love the house! I was wondering how to incorporate dark blue throughout my house and you did a beautiful job of balancing the blue !! When you do your big post was wondering what paint the kitchen lower cabinets are and the tile on floors in thr bathroom and possibly the wall in the library . You used a perfect blue !! Thanks again ;)

  5. Dang! So excited to see the final results! Looks so great :)

  6. Ang

    I am drooling over the kitchen and bathroom floors! Love seeing the progress, even if they’re not pro shots. Who cares, we heart you anyway, and they look great!

  7. Wow, awsome iphone photos! I looks amazing, super incredible!! This house and the one at the lake in NY are my favorites so far. I specially love the tilling you chose! Great job!

  8. Joanie

    Such a cozy home! Love the feel! The backsplash tile in the kitchen…oh my! Can’t wait for all the details on that…and oh so perfect with the open shelving. Thanks for the sneek peek :-) looking forward to the final reveal.

  9. tess

    swoon, love all the blues, esp, hague blue, love the Easter/lily painting too

  10. Erin

    So beautiful!! Can you share where I might get velvet upholstery like the ones on the sofa’s in this living room?? Such a pretty color!

    • Emily

      I think its just ‘performance velvet’ which is basically a new version of ultrasuede. we got it through the place that we ordered the sofa but its specifically durable for pets, which they have 4 of. ;)

      • Thanks for the heads up on this. I’ve been debating whether to get a performance velvet on a sofa, but wasn’t sure how it would hold up to my dog…and his tendency to lick the upholstery. Think I might give it a go.

      • nasseem

        To piggyback and clarify on the above comment from Erin…Emily, can you confirm that “performance velvet” won’t attract pet hair any more than other upholstered fabrics? I’ve been dying for a velvet couch, but always thought velvet was terrible for pet owners. Thanks!

        ps this house looks rad!

  11. Love all the vintage pieces mixed with the bright white. Killer way to add the theater seating. How I wish I could hire me some Emily Henderson! I just purchased a log home in Maine on a river, which is just dreamy, but I am slapped in the face with some serious knotty pineage. I refuse to pair lazy boys with dead animals and southwest decor. Hoping to gather some inspiration from your site!

    • Emily

      Oh man, that sounds like an intense, but totally fun project. I would actually love to get my grubby little hands on some knotty pine. I mean, what do you do? Luckily i think there is a lot of log cabin inspiration out there right now. Good luck!

      • Overwhelming! The initial internet reaction is to paint it, but hot damn, that would be some serious paint and the manfriend is a painter. I actually saved an image from Facebook that you posted with the knotty in tact as inspiration not to paint. I’m just waiting for the day Emily Henderson offers remote consults…among all her other projects ;)

        • Sarah


  12. I am LOVING where this is going! I’m not usually a huge Spanish fan, but with your spin it is looking SO good. Can’t wait to see it done!

    • Emily

      That’s kinda why i took the job – i think its normally done SOOOO bad, so it was such a fun challenge to make it look authentic, but updated. Thanks!

  13. Deb

    Wow. You are so talented Emily!! This house looks amazing, your photos always send me chase for what you use but tends to be out of my price range. That does t stop me from looking for a cheaper version. So inspired, Thanm You

  14. Emily

    Can’t wait to see the finished rooms, though I do love seeing the process. I’m not sure I can wait to see the source on those couches. I have been shopping for the perfect, comfy chesterfield for MONTHS now that those are the exact thing I’m going for! Are they custom? I can’t imagine you found the perfect pair of vintage couches. Pretty please give me tips on finding your awesome sofas!

    • Emily

      They were ordered from Dekor in Los Angeles. Tell Isabelle that you saw it on my blog and she’ll probably know which ones you are talking about. Good luck!

      • Emily

        Thanks! I’m going to look into it. I love your blog so very much, most of all because you take so much time and effort to present useful information to your readers along with pretty photos. Thanks for the great content and inspiration! Can’t wait to see this completed house. Those floor tiles are amazeballs.

  15. Robyn

    Love it Emily! Who makes the bathroom and kitchen floor tile?

    • Emily

      Shoot, i have all that info somewhere but not sure where. I got it from imperial tile in the valley, but i don’t have the brand name handy. Don’t worry i will share it but for now you can maybe call them and show them the pic? its on the tip of my tongue but just not sure and need to comb through their file to find… sorry!

  16. jo

    Damn Emily. I love every single solitary thing you touch with your design-wonderful hands. Good gracious. We are moving to LA next year and Ima hire me some Em Hen.
    Also, I wrote this on your facebook page but I would love a post about plants. Especially how you use the gigantic fiddle leaf fig trees. I just love how you use them in your designs. I have no idea how to better incorporate greenery into my home but I sure love how you are able to do it so well.

    Peace love and rock n roll


  17. Eagle Eye

    Would anyone be terribly opposed to me moving into that bathroom? I could seriously just live there full time just staring at those floors, and the wall color and the light fixture…

    • Emily

      I’ll ask the homeowner. They’ll get a newborn and a new roomate all at the same time. Can you babysit?

      • Eagle Eye

        Hah, with the current profusion of babies around me I guess I’ll have to start!

  18. karen

    Emily I love that you are showing us an in progress project! How cool to see the bones in place, and to watch as you add the character. You truly are magic!

  19. amber

    It’s going to be gorgeous! Did you notice the dog licking himself on the sofa? haha!

    • Emily

      I know! Oh, Loretta.

  20. Cassi

    I want to know more about this cement tile! Gorgeous!

  21. Sarah

    I have never said I want that so many times in a row.

  22. Emily,

    First of all let me encourage you to continue posting iPhone pics like these, because they are lovely! I LOVE that navy paint color. Love the floors, cabinet color, and backsplash.

    Another favorite is the painting of the pig. I’m sure I can’t afford it but can you share some info on it? The colors in it are great!

    • Emily

      I think they bought it at Big Daddy’s in LA – which sells very expensive but totally awesome antiques from Europe in the industrial/french vibe. Awesome, right?

  23. Sarah

    Cement tiles? In LOVE. When you share sources, will you please tell your technique for up keep? I have messy kids but need a floor for my kitchen and sun/playroom. …and that would make me so happy.
    I love the balance of old/new (as I do w/all your work). But this house is shaking up to be especially soulful with the old beautiful elements. The Easter lily artwork in the dinning room is especially magnificent.
    Thanks, as always, for sharing!

    • Emily

      Thanks, Sarah.
      We are actually having to get the tiles resealed again with a stronger sealant because, yes they are very porous. I’ll def share info. If you are desperate now you can call imperial tile and show the the pic of it and i’m sure they can.

  24. Rochelle

    Girl, you’re killing it. All of the tile selections are just… awesomesauce. It’s so sophisticated! Oh, and those windows?! Shut up.

  25. mdt

    Love it all – especially the dining room table and chairs. And the bathroom tiles. And the chesterfields :)

    Is that Hague Blue on the kitchen cabinets, too? Or maybe Railings?

  26. Whitney

    Gorgeous! Though I think you’re amazing at styling small details, so I can’t wait to see how it looks finished!!!

  27. the bathroom is amazing! seriously great job!!!

  28. Alicia

    That living room is just… I mean, I can’t even finish my thought it’s that good. But I have a question for you: How long does it take you to gather pieces and accessories for each room? I am so impatient with decorating; I get inspired and then quickly become discouraged when I can’t find what I’m looking for to complete the room. So I end up leaving rooms half finished, which is the most frustrating thing in the world.

  29. Completely obsessed with your two tile choices!

  30. Lindy Crain

    Everything you do is fantastic, why oh why is HGTV not doing more shows with you?! You have such a great knack for doing the different designs that aren’t cookie cutter!!!

  31. jeannette

    so groovy, the bathroom floor tile pulsates as you scroll over it. shagadelic!

  32. elisabeth

    LOVE the black sconces with white shades. Where are they from??

  33. Annie

    At the risk of being redundant, OMG I love those cement tiles so much. I also love the kitchen backsplash – maybe you mentioned it, is it vintage or from the same place as the floor tiles? Also I love that you said Real Housewives of New Jersey because I instantly had the mental picture. Can’t wait to see it all finished!

  34. Stephanie

    Amazing as always. Everything you touch turns to gold! I am especially loving that dining nook chandelier and those dining chairs! Where, where did you find these amazing pieces? Looking forward to the room by room details.

  35. Holly

    OH that bathroom tile!!! Please do source when you post the final pics… I really love seeing the process. You are making this house SO pretty :)

  36. Love it all! I dream of living in a Spanish style home – and I think you nailed the updated, young version. WELL DONE! The floors are all fabulous. Especially that bathroom. Drool…

    One question – Love the kitchen cabinet color – trying to find a shade like this for ours. Can you share paint color?

  37. Bridget

    Love it! Can you give source info on fabulous chandilier in living room. Need something like that to replace hideous dining room fixture I inherited with the house. Love all your work…congrats on the baby too!

  38. You are the designer that is stuck inside of me. Would you be willing to take on a job in the SF Bay area? my rancher would love to have your stamp on it!!

    • Sarah

      Oh yes please!!! One more Bay Area rancher in need! Of only Emily could help us out!

  39. So exciting to start to see completed rooms! I remember the bathroom tile debate on Instagram and boy did that room come together in a major way. Love how you’ve incorporated just a few old Spanish type elements in a modern way.

    On the green cabinet debate ( surprised no one else has weighed in! )– I lurve that cabinet but wonder if perhaps the scale is a bit too small? Everything is coming in at the same height, the theater chairs, green cabinet and the tops of the closed cabinets on the bookcases. Maybe something with a bit more height and width? Just my $.02.
    I have no doubt you’ll figure it out and it will be gorg!

  40. Erin

    I’m obsessed with those chairs in the hallway area. What a punch of style!

  41. Jane

    she’s a productive pregger! <3

  42. sg5785

    The row chairs in the library are to die for! So much character in one move. Quick question: what is the base for wooden table in the living room? I can’t tell from the photo… By the way, I was wondering whether the sofas perpendicular to the window, rather than in front of it, might work better for the view. The table would bring the tree in the house! But I assume you put them this way because of the shape of the room, which we can’t see…

  43. this is exciting stuff. thanks for sharing in between photos!

    that buffet in the dining room is SO INCREDIBLE. where’d you/they find that one?

    loving the kitchen cabinet colors. are you going to do hardware also?

    loving all the blues and teals and greens. what are your tips on color schemes? is it okay to have one palate throughout the entire house/apt? i’m constantly drawn to blues but feel like i need to mix things up. i also don’t really pick a set color palate but just buy things that i’m drawn to and they seem to wind up working out.

    the living room window is amazing. as is the tile in the bathroom…i’m in love.

    can’t wait to see more pics, when do we get to see Joys studio too?!?!

  44. BooBooNinja

    The bathroom floor tiles are dreamy.
    Coincidentally, today I’m wearing a shirt with that exact pattern.

  45. Kirsten

    Do you have a storage space full of fun finds, or do you shop from scratch, specifically for each job? Maybe a bit of both….? I can hardly contain my excitement for when you turn your mind to the styling.

  46. Jenn

    Putting in another vote for the progress photos. Makes us mere mortals feel better about what a hot mess our remodels can be. I’m about to take one on myself and I hope it turns out half as well as this. It is also quite possible I’m going to steal all the tile choices and I love the kitchen which is where I’m struggling.

  47. Michelle

    I love that green dresser and the mirror with it. It’s all in the details which you do so well! Can you remind me where you find the figs? They’re becoming signatures of yours like your brass accents and wooden shoes and I’m loving them. I cannot find the standard ones like you use in my neck of the woods and I love the pop they give. Thanks!

    • Meredith

      I love the green dresser too! Did you paint it and if so, what color is it? I’m considering painting my kitchen cabinets a similar green!

  48. Kimberly

    OMG! It’s so exciting seeing you do a kitchen! I haven’t been able to find any pictures of kitchens you’ve styled and have been hoping to learn from you on how to do this room right. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • Emily

      Thanks! i have two coming out soon. THis one and the lake house kitchen, both of which i want really bad. So stay tuned. :)

  49. Keri

    Looks great! Please let me know what you figure out for the concrete floor tiles – we installed white concrete tiles in our bathroom and are concerned about it yellowing. We installed blue/grey in the other bath and its changing in an awesome manner, but the white…I keep thinking I should just pull it out now before it gets really really bad.

    • Emily

      They are actually cement tiles, not sure if thats different than concrete. So we are having them cleaned and then double sealed, for $800. We want them to age, just not so fast and so dramatically. Hope that helps!

  50. Aimee

    This is lovely! Can you tell me what the plants are in the living room? Thanks!

    • Emily

      Fiddle leaf figs! Just to warn you when they are that size they can be like $200 each.

  51. Steph

    Looooove that chandelier in the dining nook! Can’t wait to see everything finished and styled. Your stuff is always amazing.

  52. Nicole Madison

    What color did you paint the living room? It pairs so well with the floors. I’m having the hardest time finding an off white that doesn’t have too much yellow and this one looks perfect. Thx!

  53. Brittney

    THE KITCHEN AND BATHROOM. WOW. So hard to find good utility rooms that aren’t all shiny and filled with granite. Beautiful.

  54. Beatrice Tannous

    Emily, I love how you transform a space! This house is elegant and comfortable at the same time-just lovely. The tiles in the bathroom are absolutely stunning! I have alway loved your use of navy (I hope you will be sharing your paint choices!)

  55. Hi Emily. I just discovered an AMAZEBALLS rug dealer. They ship out of my hometown (Montreal) and have a great vintage section that isn’t expensive. But there is an embargo on Iranian goods into the US so not 100% is available. Google ecarpet gallery of you want to check it out. I’ve lost hours on it.

  56. Emily! You always blow me away with your incredible style. There is no designer better or that I’d rather learn from! That hallway took my breath away and I love the dining room. Obviously your flooring choices are perfection for this house. Can’t wait for the big reveal!
    Abby M.

  57. casey

    Breathtaking. My dream house – well it’s becoming that. Or rather, you’re my dream designer!! :-) Though I do love the bones of this particular house. The flooring is indeed spectacular.

  58. Chelsey

    Can you tell me where you got the living room coffee table from. I have been looking for some natural options, and that just might be it. Gorgeous!

  59. I know it’s not nice to make fun of people, but I kinda wish you had posted photos of the flippers design choices. I want to see this “unspeakable” bathroom!

  60. Colleen

    Thanks for the sneak peek! Love the coffee table. I’ve been looking fo something similar. Seems like I should be able to find one, but no luck. Sources?

  61. Pingback: Patterns in Design | Wills Casa

  62. Beth

    Hi Emily, what an amazing job on this home. It is obvious all the care and talent that goes into it. I recently came across your blog and really love your designs. My husband and I just got married and are living in a 1920 craftsman bungalow and slowly trying to furnish and decorate it. In looking at this post, I particularly loved the coffee table and the chandelier in the living room so I was wondering who makes them. Thanks, in advance, for your help and all the best!

  63. James

    I just…so many wants/feels. I love loooove looooooovveeee your blog.

  64. JanieP

    Gorgeous!! Can’t wait for the finished views! I always suggest for reproduction hardware for these kinds of projects! They have the best selections and architecturally accurate too! I get the best from them!

  65. Lily

    Please tell me about the buffet/sideboard blue piece of amazingness. I love it. All of what you did but yes, particularly that piece needs to be in my home.

  66. Fabi

    Hi Emily, can you source the COFFEE TABLE PLEASE!PORFAVOR! PORFAVORCITO!!! Its lovely! Thank you and congratulations, everything you do is gorgeous, big fan!

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