Studio City Home Makeover, part 2

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments on Monday’s post. After reading them all I made Orlando tell me how untalented, ugly, and annoying I was, over and over again, in order for my head to get back to a normal size. It’s almost like he enjoyed it.

Meanwhile, let’s go into the living room, shall we? This is where they do the majority of their hanging out — TV watching, cuddling, reading, sudoku-ing, etc., as you do. It’s attached to the dining room and kitchen and Eli’s playroom; it’s the central hub of the house. They already had all of the furniture that you see in the space below, and just needed some textiles, accessories, lighting, and “life” in general.

studio city house


madeline weinrib brooke rug

We continued the color palette from the other rooms (as you should with an open floor-plan) and added this indigo Madeline Weinrib indigo rug that clearly I can’t get enough of. For the record, this rug was not my idea, they saw it in Joy’s house, loved it, and couldn’t get it out of their heads. It’s honestly one of my favorite rugs in the world and everyday I wish I owned it. It has so much color variance because it’s vegetable dyed, and it’s strangely neutral even though it’s indigo blue. Plus, it’s kid-friendly since it’s dark. I have to stop myself from buying it for myself and last week another client asked for it WITHOUT ME SUGGESTING IT. It’s so hard, friends. It’s just that good. (Not getting paid, barely get a discount, my comments are a genuine love of a product.)

photo by bethany nauert

photo by bethany nauert

The sofa/ottoman they had was from Cisco Home and is crazy comfortable, but was hard at times to incorporate because it was so neutral and big. The white chair was CB2 and the teal chair from Jonathan Adler. Those fig branches are from HUGE BIG BRANCH WORLD and I totally regret how big I made them. Whoops. Oh hindsight, you annoying self-righteous beast.

cisco home sofa - Version 2

Yes, we move branches around for shots. None of these were in the magazine, though. This whole room didn’t make it in — so these are more behind-the-scenes shots that Bethany Nauert shot for me.

vintage brass trunk

Cute vignette before:

jonathan adler

Good bones (designed by Eric Olsen) and great Jonathan Adler chair.  Here it is after, when we styled it for HGTV magazine:

vintage modern house

photo by Victoria Pearson

Such a happy little corner.

Wanna see the same vignette styled two different ways? This is how we styled it for the scouting shots for the shoot:

jonathan adler niche

photo by Bethany Nauert

I can’t tell which one I like more … thoughts? I can’t tell if the globe and the hanging thing look kinda forced. But I like both a lot for different reasons. The stool was a flea market find but I like how it mimics a Platner side table. The painting behind the chair is Michelle Armas, which I love. I’d like to officially announce that that is the last time I’ll use that West Elm pillow — it’s just so god damn easy to use because it’s texture and color, but doesn’t have a pattern or is too busy. But I’ve realized I’ve used it too much. Lo siento and adios, mi pilletto.

Meanwhile, the back view toward the kitchen, before:

shelving before

And after:

styled bookshelves

We kept the books coordinated by color because they looked the least busy. Rachna loves some whimsy so we had a lot of animal sculptures (yes, also because I do love an animal sculpture as much as Kim Kardashian loves mascara). But you can see how much the accessories and sculptures break up the uniformity of the books in the shelves. (Note the sneak peek into the kitchen.) The weird three prong footed bowl is from A + R, the Italian lamp was sold in my last OKL sale, and the gold paper bowl is from Up In The Air Somewhere.

Meanwhile, this was our corner vignette:


Oh hey, adorable niche. I got that chair for $30 then reupholstered it for $70. Not bad, my friends, not bad. The photographs above are from 20×200 and the custom heart paper art piece is Sara and Bendrix. The sequin chevron pillow was Urban Outfitters, for like 10 bones, but certainly that style has had it’s day since then, and while it photoraphs nicely, it’s 100 percent the most uncomfortable pillow ever. Plus, Dave hated it.

So that’s the living room. I still have the dining room, entry, breakfast nook, kitchen, office, and master bedroom to go.

Meanwhile, for sneak peeks into all of those spaces, watch this behind-the-scenes video that Tessa Neustadt made that shows me sans makeup, and captures all the chaos and laughter that surrounds a photo shoot.

  1. Lee

    I love the video – what song is that?

    • Crystal

      Little Numbers by Boy.

  2. Eagle Eye

    Ok, I have a question (and please excuse me if it is stupid!) There are always these AMAZING finishing touches in all of your photographs, pillows, objet d’art, books. plants and the like. I always wonder, what percentage of these objects are part of your job as the home designer (and therefore remain in the house) and to what degree are these objects from your job as a stylist and go back home with you at the end of a shoot?

    Thanks! The house is lovely of course!

    • Emily

      Good question. When i was styling for magazines virtually all of the decorative accessories were taken at the end of the shoot (often the homeowner could buy them). But now since these are my clients as a designer, too, almost ALL of them stay. They approve the expensive stuff in advance (or things i can’t return) but then i bring a ton of stuff, style it for the shoot and they buy almost all of it from there. its so much easier then getting approval on a million accessories. we show them how it looks good together and they almost always agree and everything remains how i styled it. Does that help?

      • Eagle Eye

        Yes! Thank you so much! It is just so interesting to see the different shots with the different styling, whether its by your photographer (Bethany Nauert) versus HGTV Magazine and I started wondering whats still in the house at the end of the shoot (or in this case shoots)

  3. The room looks wonderful and I NEVER make anything less than nice comments, but am I alone thinking that that elephant needs a rest?

    • Emily

      ha! Her family is from India and elephants (with their trunks up) are considered good luck. I think that photo has floated around for a long time (because i did a sneak peek) but there is only one brass elephant that i’ve ever used – its just moved around in this house a bit. Thanks for commenting!

      • Emily Jane Zarov

        I am in looooove with this particular elephant all cheerful (& lucky!) with his trunk raised (my favorite brass animal of yours so far) and absolutely adore the ‘cute vignette’ as styled for the HGTV mag -I had that image front & center on my computer for days… The video is oh-so-charming (can’t wait to see you folks back on the tele!) but is also a revealing peak behind-the-scenes showing the true enormity of the process which makes me appreciate you, your team and the final outcome even more -which I would not have thought possible..!
        Congratulations to all! Sincerely, emily jane

  4. Katy

    EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING! AHHH!! Love it. I can’t wait to see the rest!

  5. Alexis

    It’s embarrassing to admit but I cheked my blog reader only about…um….once every hour since your last post on this house after that sneak peek into this room and it does NOT disappoint! That first before and after from that sparse room to that gorgeously styled full of life room is like WHOA!

    • Emily

      ahhhh. Thank you so much. The nightstand competition kinda blocked this post, but i’ll have more next week, too.

  6. Kelly Jo Bahry

    OK, let me get this out of the way… a neon pink beret in the video?! Ballsy and amazing!

    And the styling… you light spreader, you! You and O and your entire team just kick ass!

    • Emily

      ha! i’ve been rocking that neon beret to lots of inappropriate places. $7 from the flea market. Thanks!

  7. mary vanzandt

    This room looks like it would’ve been a design challenge. From the pics, it looks quite large without a lot of character. The couch is not my fave but you did well incorporating many warm, eye catching areas around it. I like the niche area with the ‘fuzzy’ pillow way more than the hanging shells mobile. The mobile looks cheap and kind of high school girl bedroomish. I especially love the pic. of the playroom behind the couch….incorporating those two rooms together…pure design magic!

  8. Suz

    Love the behind the scenes video. Such a happy crew!

  9. mary vanzandt

    Not loving the giant coffee table ? Was this your choice, Emily?

  10. Dana

    Emily, I’ve been a fan since day one on Design Star and knew you would win, no matter what. Soooo cute and so much personality! I love your fun, eclectic style.
    Who cares if you used the West Elm gold, fluffy pillow before. It looks great with the turquoise chair, and yes, the rug is Gorgeous! My favorite room on this project is the playroom — wow!! Keep doing what you do!
    Dana H. From St. Louis

  11. Heather

    Emily, Orlando and team,
    Absolutely amazing. Beautifully done. Great job guys!

  12. Lisa


    I vote for the chair vignette with the textured yellow pillow. Both are nice, but this look feels cozier. I’ve noticed that you’ve styled a lot of white rooms lately. Do you have a preference or consideration when you’re painting a room white? Do you have your favorite white paint colors?

    I love your blog, thank you for sharing your adventures and wisdom with us. You too, Orlando!

  13. Nicole

    Absolutely beautiful! You put things together in such an amazing way! Love all the photos.

  14. Naomi

    Oh the space came to life on video! Love.
    -P.s. You haven’t any need for any makeup!

  15. That turquoise Jonathan Adler chair is like a dream come true. GORGEOUS work, as always!

  16. april

    beautifully done, and really enjoyed the video! how much fun you guys must have :)

    ps lee- the song is boy-little numbers

  17. Anna Townsend

    I prefer the pic with the fluffy, West Elm pillow over the one with the globe. I agree with a previous commenter. I think the hanging thing looks a bit juvenile. Great job on adding life to this space!! Love the $100 blue chair too!

  18. Jess

    The wood feature wall & shelf absolutely caught my eye. I LOVE them. I think they look incredibly with the neutral tone of the room — with the dark floors & the white walls. I can’t stop staring at these photographs & wishing I lived in a home as lovely as this.

    I also seriously love the planter in the final photograph.

    Gorgeous job!

  19. I love love love this room. Everything about it screams fun and exciting. I know most people are bored of the brass elephant (commenter above included), but I am obsessed with elephants. Where did you find that one? I know Target currently has a small one available, but I think I need a larger one.

    Also, I’m in love with Michelle Armas thanks to you. I think you’ve used her paintings before but I HAVE to have one soon.

    Love everything you do! Thanks for all of the inspiration to use in my (future) home.

  20. Wow!! The difference accessories make! The space looks happier and so much more colourful. I love the changes.

  21. Angeline

    So great – love the whole magazine spread and the behind the scenes (What!?: “Emily Henderson Without Makeup!”) The video fills my “Secrets from a Stylist” a teensy bit. You & the team make it look like so much fun! (P.S. You can’t overdo big giant branches, blue or elephants;) Great work!

  22. faith echtermeyer

    Wow- the impact of the big green fiddle leaf figs is amazing.
    I could move right into this house and not change a thing
    so fresh and LIVABLE
    Congratulations Fab Emily!

  23. molly

    i love it! could you share the source of the other pillow that was on the adler chair? the non-west elm? is it vintage?
    thank you!!!

  24. Elissa

    Love this. I have a question I wonder from time to time (and I apologize if this is dumb!): when you put lamps on back sofa tables (or really anywhere in the middle of the room), how do you handle cords? Do you have to run them, like, under the floors? Can’t very well have them crossing through the room to find a socket. Or do you just style them that way and they’re never left there because you can’t turn them on? Thanks! (And really, gorgeous!)

  25. Whitney

    fantastic job! i love it all, seriously! i want that jonathan adler chair and i liked the globe and hanging thing.
    two things- first i wish i looked as good as you look sans makeup! how do you get your hair to look so perfect all the time? magical
    second- nailed it on kim k and her mascara! (yes that is one of the things i took away from this whole post) can we also discuss her maternity style? yuck! she needs your help :)

  26. Laurielulu

    Woooohooooo, thems some good bones of a house! LOVE the aged wood wall and niche. Crazy chic!

    I’m going to gush more about you Emily, I can’t stop. Especially since I know handsome Mr. Orlando will bring you back down to earth. You ARE one of the prettiest peeps I’ve seen sans makeup.

    You really are a unique and special artist! You speak my language and I so admire your work. Great job on this on!

    Happy Easter all! Happy Spring!

  27. Tori

    I LOVE the styled sofa table/bookshelf behind the couch. ! I have been trying to accomplish something similar, but have an unbelievably low sofa (Gus Jane Sectional), and am having a hard time finding a functional piece that isn’t taller than the sofa without it being a bench (’cause I want a little more storage than that). What are the rules, if any, regarding height of sofa tables in comparison to the height of the sofa?

  28. Jessica

    Wow! Absolutely love this makeover. I, too, was hoping to find out the source for the other pillow in the Adler chair (not the fuzzy one). Gorgeous!

  29. Hayley

    Am completely in love with this house tour. I am just starting an interior design degree, and everything you do completely inspires me. Thank you!!!

  30. Kim

    Emily, you genius!!! I love everything. These people are so lucky! I can’t wait to see the rest. Also, wanted to ask again if you could share the source for the that teal plaid throw in the living room. I absolutely must have one exactly like it. Thanks for all the generous information and inspiration you provide with this blog. I’m so grateful!

  31. Michele

    Hi Emily, I totally appreciate you, your joyful and whimsical style, and your witty and insightful blog! I’m a total fan. And this gorgeous house has me so inspired, really beautiful!

    I wonder if you have info on the dark gray paint color used on the fireplace wall with the turquoise chair? I see it is used elsewhere in the space, just fell in love with it, have been searching for a dark gray paint for quite some time (this one feels darker and calmer than the infamous gosling grays!).

    Sending a virtual hug from the sf Bay Area!

  32. Cindy

    Your comment about the sofa has been nagging at me all day: neutral and big, and therefore hard to work around. That seems opposite from how I usually think, which is that a neutral sofa is easiest to work around (see: Why Emily is an Award-Winning Designer and I am Not). But for us, our budget allows us to buy and/or recover a sofa once about every 10 years, at the most. So it is very, very tempting to buy the most neutral sofa on the market so that it can withstand 10 years of changing “looks” in my living room. Light teal or apple green is gorgeous today, but what about 7 years from now?

    So what would you suggest in a situation like mine? If I was willing to spend some money for a great sofa, but it had to be great for a decade or so, what would you buy?

  33. Dude. I’m loving the behind the scenes videos… It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that stands back after styling a bookshelf or dresser and gives it the long stinkeye, like I’m on the verge of curing cancer! (“If. I. can. JUST. get. this. gold elephant. to. work.”)

  34. Michelle

    Emily this house is amazing !!! I have never scene a house that is totally my style til now. I love the wood wall but modern ,cozy elements not to mention the playroom with the frames is amazing for kids art !! I had a quick question what style would this be considered ? Modern , cozy , chic , eclectic ? And if you don’t mind what wood type was that wood wall? I’m in love !!!

  35. Holly

    Are those faux fig branches and if so is there an online source for them? Thanks!

  36. Vanessa

    Maybe I missed it, but where is that sofa table from? I must have it! Or something similar …

  37. Melissa Anne

    Hi…maybe I missed this, but where/when is the full article on this shoot? I have to see more.

  38. Lynda

    Brilliant job! Can you share your resource for the fiddle leaf fig trees?

  39. Nani laborde

    Hi!! im from argentina And i really love Your Style!! But why díd you decorate everything in blue?? Ive seen all Your post And there are all in that color. I would like to see something diferent. Anyway you are great!

  40. Pingback: Studio City House tour, part 3 | Emily Henderson

  41. Julie

    I am loving this house!!! Great styling Emily. I love reading your blog (and watching your show) as I feel I am good with the big piece of furniture but when it comes to the details I am pretty useless. Not anymore hopefully with all your tips:) I particularly love your how-to videos:) If you ever want to come to Scotland and style my house you are more than welcome!!

  42. Gidget

    I am so jealous of that blue chair! And for $100 bucks. I wish I could rent you for a vintage/flea market shopping trip!

  43. allison

    LOVE the ethnic pillow with the red cross in the center (featured on the sofa and the adler chair). Where did you get it and where can I find one just like it? Thanks so much!

  44. Pingback: Studio city house, part 4 | Emily Henderson

  45. The house had great bones to start with ( that designer is totally going into my dream house file ), but you gave it so much warmth and color in your choices! For the record, I would keep the fuzzy West Elm pillow and add the white mobile ( love the vertical line & pop of bright it adds ) and the globe. For me, that would have been niche perfection! ;-) I’m catching up on your blog today.. can’t wait to see the rest of the house.

  46. caroline

    Emily – I LOVE your styling, literally cannot get enough. I wish I could snap my fingers and have you appear in my new home and style everything. Dreams aside, I was wondering if you could tell me where the brass/gold floor lamp is from in the “After” shot of the back view toward the kitchen? Thanks, and keep up the gorgeous work!

  47. Pingback: That's Pinteresting | Cape 27

  48. EvY

    I tried but I can’t resist: where did the bookcase behind the sofa come from? It’s so perfectly narrow and long!

  49. Ali R

    Great job – I love the room! Can you tell me where you got the console table behind the sofa? Thanks!!

  50. Pingback: living room inspiration: blue sofas

  51. Pingback: Chicago Project…Inspiration Photos for the Office Guest Room | Tokyo Jinja

  52. Claire

    I noticed in the tear sheet for the magazine that the lights weren’t turned on for the kitchen and the little breakfast nook. Then I started to notice that a lot of the photos, if not all, have the lights not turned on. Is this for a reason? I would think that having the lights turned on add warmth.

    P.S.. I LOVE this blog. I’m learning so much about styling. Thank you.

  53. Jessica

    Love everything! Where did you get the shells mobile?

  54. Pingback: Inspired Designer » Studio City

  55. Amy

    Sorry if this is a silly question! I am in LOVE with those fig branches…When I google “Huge Big Branch World,” nothing comes up. I assume this is not a store with online shopping capabilities? Any other favorite places for buying botanicals online? I’m from MA and can’t really leave my 3 kiddos at home to buy fig branches in Cali, hehe!! Any help would be majorly appreciated!

  56. Pingback: DIY HOME INSPO: SEQUIN CUSHIONS « a pair & a spare

  57. Pingback: DIY HOME INSPO: SEQUIN CUSHIONS | StyleBuzzStyleBuzz

  58. Pingback: Caveat Emptor |

  59. Chloe

    I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at at this place.

  60. Pingback: Fireplace Makeover Inspiration | Casa Stephens Interiors

  61. 3mMst4 Appreciate you sharing, great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  62. By doing this you will make your brain believe
    this has happened, and you will begin to behave in ways beneficial to your
    success. The expression practice makes perfect is used frequently.
    Carry a couple of energy bars or sports gels (around 200-300 calories each) and eat
    or drink one at least every hour to hour and a half.

  63. Pingback: Esquemas de cor – verde azulado/azul esverdeado | arquicarolina

Leave a Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>