The Curbly Family Dining Room Makeover

Today is the second part of our Curbly family home makeover. In case you missed the background of the whole collaboration and the living room makeover, check it out HERE folks. Its one of my most favorite ever.

And now we have moved on to the dining room. Here she was after they renovated,  but before we got involved (see here for the before befores). Not a bad start, I agree. But the table was too small, the chairs weren’t really ‘them’ and obviously there just wasn’t any color, life, gusto, pizzazz and all those other words that make you want to do unnecessary jazz hands that then make you want to hide yourself in a closet out of shame.

dining room before

Just the fact that it gets good light, its big with pretty flooring and pretty moldings meant that we were nine steps ahead of the game. So when Orlando and I got involved it didn’t take too long to turn it into this:

Emily Henderson + Curbly_diningroom01

Oh, hey there happy dining room. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray SW 6197 and she is VERY pretty and soothing, not aloof at all. It should probably be called ‘inviting gray’ or ‘hey, come hang out, read the new Domino and relax’ gray because there is nothing aloof about it.

For the family photo wall we ordered all those prints from Costco for like $100 (maybe less) online and picked them up in 1 hour. Genius. We got them printed as 5×7’s, 8×10’s, 11×14’s, and 16×20’s. And then we bought the Ikea Ribba frames in all different sizes to deck that hall. But here’s the deal with those – their mattes are yellow and not awesome. The frames are bright white and great, but then the mattes are off white and it just looks dirty. So instead of getting fresh mattes cut like we have before we bought some of their ugly art that comes in mattes the same size as the frames and then just disposed of the ugly art – and used the mattes. These were around $7 – $15 depending on size, which is WAY cheaper than buying new mattes or having new matte board cut – which we would have done. So next time you are there check out their weird art (like of Audrey Hepburn and vintage scenes of paris) because those mattes are good and bright white, yet totally inexpensive.


Win $500 worth of vintage furniture from Chairish

As someone with severe hoarding tendancies I’m constantly looking for new ways to buy and sell used furniture. Craigslist is obviously a great option except for the one million things about it that can be annoying  — namely the spammers, random people coming to your house (who strangely never bring enough cash), and it being only local when often I know I can get so much more for the pieces if I could get more national eyes on them. Normally what I have to sell is worth actual money and Craigslist isn’t really the market for that. But don’t worry, CL, I do love you as you can see by all my trolling craigslist posts.

Well, here comes to rectify this just terrible situation. Chairish is a website where you can list your vintage or just used (but quality) pieces on, upload the pics, dimensions, etc., and sell nationally. Every item is vetted by Anna, their founder, so don’t worry, you aren’t filtering through 289 used 2003 Ikea futons to get to that Milo Baughman chair.

They ship nationally — the shipping quote is calculated upon checkout — and if you are a seller it gives you the option of storing the pieces yourself OR if you live in LA or San Francisco (more to come soon … all info here) they’ll pick up from your house, store them for you, and ship direct from their storage unit — aka, no randoms coming to your house. You can kinda customize the extent of their services and obviously the more you want them to do, the higher the commission they take. It’s up to you. These services range from a 20 percent commission to a 50 percent commission (which is what I did because I’m selling 30 pieces).

Meanwhile, until my sale (September 26th) check out what is on their site right now that I want. Be warned: These are NOT Craigslist prices but they aren’t 1st dibs either. It’s kinda somewhere in the middle.

Chairish Vintage Art Chairs and Lamps

1. 1967 Abstract Painting by Margarita Gibbons: Oh yes, I do love this piece of art — so graphic, modern, and bold.

2. Velvet Mid-Century Palm Beach Chairs: There are 10 of these, folks, and that NEVER happens. I’m very tempted to snag these, but I am without confirmation of a new house so that’s probably not ideal …

3. Gold Bamboo Floor Lamps: Standing lamps are expensive and it’s rare to find good ones; two facts that mostly designers know. So while these are flooring me (pun intended) by being the most stylish things ever, they are just really good for a really pretty and simple pair.

4. Art Deco Swank: I need these for The Fig House project … REAL bad.

5.Vintage Walnut Executive Desk By Jens Risom: What a man’s desk, no? Normally this shape is in the form of a big metal finish, so I love that this one is beautiful wood.

6. 1940’s Italian Lounge Chairs: SO pretty and elegant but with an edge. Grab those suckers.

Chairish Vintage Sofas Art and Table
7. Ligne Roset Pumpkin Sofa: Whoever uploaded this piece wasn’t able to capture the weird and beautiful that is this pumpkin sofa. It’s such a statement piece, totally weird and sculptural, and reeking of amazing Italian design.

8. Mixed Media Art Piece by Sandra Rowe: Large scale weirdness. So pretty.

9. Piano Chair by Max Gottschalk: And now to just buy a piano. So awesome.

10. Blue Velvet Sofa:  In this picture the sofa looks asymmetrical but it actually isn’t (click the link). It’s pretty amazing. It might be ’80s or ’30s — I don’t know, but it’s screaming of art deco style.

11. Arata Isozaki Prints in Gold Frames: These are pretty simple and pretty, especially for the price.

12. Paul McCobb for Calvin Leather Cocktail Table: The picture of this doesn’t do it justice. It’s Paul McCobb and leather. I’ll take four.

To view all of these pieces together and get more info on all of them, go HERE. Careful not to drool on your keyboard.

More importantly, who wants $500 worth of credit towards one of these vintage pieces? I do. They are nice enough to give away a bunch of dough to a reader who can then put it toward anything on the site. You just have to enter the sweepstakes HERE by September 19th (disclosure HERE).

chairish sweepstakes

You can use that $500 toward any of the items on their site now, like those pieces I chose (if they are available) OR save it for the first installment of my moving sale on September 26th, which begs the question, “Emily, Emily WHAT ARE YOU SELLING???”

Good question. Yes, those two leather chairs and my cross flag, above, but also these bad boys below and 23 other pieces:

chairish sneak peek

It’s a lot of good pieces that I really like, nay, LOVE, but for one reason or another probably aren’t going to work in the new space. So a girl’s gotta purge and y’all can witness my hoarding self-intervention on Chairish.

Again, to enter the sweepstakes to win the $500, go HERE …  And to check out all my favorite pieces from Chairish right now, go HERE. Meanwhile put September 26th and October 10th on your calendar — those are my two moving sale dates on the site. These pieces aren’t going to purge themselves … :)

Happy shopping folks and good luck to one lucky winner.

This post is in partnership with but all opinions, thoughts, words, and feelings are totally mine. 

Trolling Craigslist… Chicago

Trolling Craigslist Chicago IL

Well, hello CHICAGO, your garbage is look VERY good to me today. Sure you are a big city, but you are still in the mid-west and therefore full of vintage finds … and architecture and deep dish pizza. Let’s dive in …

Vintage Rocking Chair

Vintage Wingback Chair: OK, this chair can obviously go very granny, but what if you did it in either A. a large scale modern colored floral and put it in your walk-in closet or B. did it in a peacock blue linen, threw a pouf in front of it and stuck it in an oh-so-chic reading corner? Strip the wood raw so it’s all pretty — and whatever you do, don’t stain it with anything that has shine. This lady needs to be toned down, not shined up.

Midcentury shelving unit: This is a pretty great price for such a substantial piece. It’s not BLOWING me away, but it’s very, very pretty for the size, price, and function. Grab this deal, folks.

Retro Rocking Chair: $350 is kinda too much for Craigslist, I admit, but I do love this chair. It’s a classic with such pretty lines. Like Angelica Huston.

Vintage Club Chair: You know how I feel about a scallop backed chair … I love them very much. I’m dying to do each scallop on the back in a different fabric — not stripes, more like a rainbow effect or an ombre if you have slightly less balls. Go for velvet, bright colors. Nothing too safe on this bold lady.

Vintage Table

Dining Table: That’s a pretty beautiful dining table for $250. The lines are so nice and the finish is rich and dark. Go for it.

Campaign Style Desk:  $300 is a lot, but I love this desk and it’s still cheaper than most new desks.  Often when I find these they need to be refinished which normally adds like $300 to the price of the piece. So at least this piece seems in really good condition with beautiful wood.

Side Chairs

Vintage Vanity: I love this vanity. I love the angle of the wood on the front of the dresser. I love the detail on the bottom of the mirror. And just generally anything from the 1930’s I have a thing for. Vanities are decadent and ornate, so when they are pulled back a little bit then I find them even more accessible and easy to mix with modern styles.

Midcentury Side Chair:  You are cute. Oil that sucker and shove him in a corner of Charlie’s room …

Vintage Desk Chair:  This hideous chair just needs some new bright aqua fabric or an awesome bold pattern. The white is great, the wood is pretty, and the shape is totally fun and happy. Such a great desk chair once the fabric is redone.

Pair of Chairs: This pair for $50? Sure. It can handle a bold pattern or do it in a solid with different color tufts … such cute office chairs.

Vintage Sofas


Simple Velvet Sofa: I love that the back and the arms are the same height, but since this sofa needs to be re-upholstered, which could be around $1000, so try to get it for like $125. I know the difference is only $75 but it makes a mental difference to me. And you know me — do it in a bright solid, like coral, peacock, aqua, emerald … yes, Yes YES!!!!

Wingback Chair: Same as the one above — vintage, scallop, cheap and could be either hideous or awesome.

Vintage Tufted Sofa: Now this sofa is more worth the $275 because of the amount of style it has. The alternate piping definitely says, “Hey buddy boy, I’m swanky. Come sit on my lap and drink a Pimms Cup,” but if it’s too stylized for you then keep the piping the same color as the sofa and it will still be super stylish, though maybe less of a ‘piece.’

Where to next, folks? And yes, something is up with my comments. If you don’t see yours immediately don’t worry, they are showing up. It’s just taking a while for some reason …

Mid-Century Texan Outback Baby Shower

It’s a baby shower, folks. Except I’m officially renaming this one to “Send Off to Parenting Party” because that’s more what we decided to do. It’s not that anything is wrong with the more traditional baby showers, truly, but sometimes I think traditions don’t make much sense for everyone in every situation. First off, Leigh (the dad — yes, they both have strangely asexual names) is having a baby, too; he loves a good party; and he deserves a good party before life all changes. Also, Corbett has a lot of close male friends so it’s just kinda weird to make it solely a girl thing and leave all the boys out. Then thirdly, why do they always have to be during the day when people aren’t really ready to get rowdy? So we — myself, and Corbett’s three closest ladies in her life — decided to throw a joint baby shower — er , PARTY, at 5pm, which is an appropriate hour to get your crunk on. And we did.

Corbett Tuck's baby shower

But of course, it had to be a surprise. Not the date or time, but everything else. Leigh and Corbs are very generous and throw awesome parties, sometimes including custom scavenger hunts, magicians, or yachts. And I promise you, being at what you think is a normal party and then having a magician randomly pull a bird out of his pocket next to you is VERY exciting, indeed. So we wanted to go all out and spare no expense for them.

The theme was “MidCentury Texan Outback,” naturally. It’s trending. They both love mid-century, she is from Texas, and he is from Australia, so that is kinda the best we could come up with. Basically it just means a casual desert vibe with delicious beer and BBQ.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

I enlisted help from Yeah! Rentals because even though I’m a stylist you can’t take a backyard that looks like this at 8am …

Image 3

… and turn it into everything you see below without help from an awesome rental company like YEAH!. They provided the furniture, rugs, pillows (except a few of mine), and poufs. Pretty much the whole party. You go to their warehouse, pick out what you want (they’ll help you make decisions based on how many people you have, how big the party area is, etc.), and then they deliver, set up, and remove all in the same day. (And yes, they remove as late as you want — ish. We had them come at 11pm and it was fine). Also, anybody who reads this and books a party before August 1st can get 15 percent off the rental with them, as long as you say “Emily loves Yeah!” in your email.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

For flowers, I vacillated between these Proteus and other desert flowers or doing just succulents. Ultimately I liked the height and color variation of the Proteus, but the succulents would have been less wasteful, so they would have been just as good of an option and not that much more expensive. That awesome fringe situation up there is from Geronimo, which was supposed to be on the balloons that we got from them, BUT, we loved them in the more blank places of the party.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

When it comes to the patterns and colors, we decided to not try to art direct it too much and just mix all of these together, with the main color palette being desert colors, with hits of hot pink and teal (duh). Somehow throwing it all together looks way better and more fun than going through and perfectly picking out all the colors that matched, etc. Stylistically, they all look good together because the they all fell within our mid-century Texan outback theme.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

Oh, and I added Billy Balls because I wanted more texture and something really graphic to contrast against the Proteus. Plus, I love saying and buying “Billy Balls.”

Corbett's baby shower geronimo balloons cake

I enlisted help from my friends at Geronimo Balloons, which are those famous huge and round balloons floating around at parties. They were a massive hit, cut to six hours into the party, and yes, “lollipop kids” may have been sung with the help of some helium, that oh-so-precious resource. That beautiful ‘smores cake is a genius creation by Tara at HeirloomLA and was insanely delicious (and while it looks not that big, it served all 75 people). It has all the elements of ‘smores inside it — chocolate, salty graham cracker and marshmallow. VERY Good. I kept meaning to buy or make a cake topper but the day totally got away from us.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower


corbett tuck baby shower with emily henderson

We stole the name game idea from Bash, Please (only the hippest party planners in town) when they did it for Margaux and Max’s beautiful shower. Basically you guess (or pick) what name you think they should name their baby. Their last name is Whannell so I chose “1L” (get it “One L” Whannell) and I won. I mean, they aren’t going to name her that, but I still kinda “won” if you know what I mean. I apparently think I’m terribly clever at times. Although Orlando also won by choosing “Orlanda,” which never ceases to make us laugh.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

baby shower cake

I mean, look at that cake. HeirloomLA, you killed it. I want it in my cake hole now.

yeah rentals Corbett's baby shower

The party was big, at 75 people, so we obviously had to get a group shot. It was a total success and such a blast. Obviously I didn’t do this alone or even close to it. Corbett’s cousin (who-is-basically-her-sister), Hillary hosted it (Secrets from a Stylist, season one episode one, anyone?), and her best friends Anne and Meredith helped an intense amount as well. We didn’t get any proper shots of the delicious BBQ food because it was served inside after dark where the light was bad and wasn’t styled all pretty (but was delicious). Instead, we focused on shooting more of the party and decor. A big trivia game was played, music spun all night, and a week later this happened:

newborn photo

Baby Sabine was born. Everybody is extremely healthy and totally perfect.

Happy Birthday, Sabine. Your aunts really love you very much already. Now to start planning your first birthday party …  I’m thinking “Vintage Victorian Trojan” …

Thanks so much to Monica Wang who shot those lovely party photos; Yeah! Rentals for the awesome furniture and accessories; Geronimo balloons for the insane balloons; HeirloomLA for that cake; and Tessa Neaustadt for the birth photo. And yes, ALL of those people just mentioned are for hire and I strongly recommend hiring them.  :)

Guest room makeover

Run, don’t walk to your local grocer (or drug store or book store) because right now I have a big ‘ole feature in HGTV Magazine of a house I decorated in L.A. last year.

emily henderson hgtv spread

Its 9 pages of a house that was crazy fun to decorate on with one of the most fun clients in the world.  I’m going to post the whole spread, but that takes some scanning time and i simply must watch The Bachelor Finale right now which requires me to plant myself in front of my TV, so for now i’m going to show a couple of the rooms that didn’t make it into the spread.

When i first started the project the guest room looked like this:

guest room

The space was bright and airy, but everything was just not considered and not decorated yet.  They had just totally gut renovated the house, and totally transformed it beautifully with help by architect Eric Olsen, and as many of you know that takes a lot out of you.  So Rachna was just done making decisions and she needed someone to come in and just finish it, which is  my favorite part

This was Rachna’s mom’s room and she really wanted her to have a really happy place to stay when she came to visit. She wanted it to be bright, happy, cheerful and full of vintage but still feeling fresh.


yellow and navy bedroom

photo by Victoria Pearson

Hell yes, I would visit that bedroom so hard. We decided that the white paint was pretty and fresh, and instead brought color in with everything else. I found the vintage indigo fabric from Tortoise in Venice and wrapped it around a headboard I already had. I wish i had a better picture of it that showed how beautiful that fabric is.  The striped bedding is from West Elm, Ikat bedding from Bed Bath and Beyond, the throw pillow is from Anthropologie, the artwork in the back from Castle in Australia, called Bronze Pop, lamp from H.D. Buttercup, accordion lamp is vintage from Etsy, curtains are from ModCloth, although discontinued, sadly. The Vintage Laurel lamp in the foreground is from Etsy, vintage side table, alarm clock from West Elm.

I love navy and yellow together. They are totally opposite on the color wheel, therefore making them oh so complimentary. You have a really bright happy color mixed with the dark masculine grounding color, which keeps it balanced. The curtains have a lot of hot pink in them, so i peppered it around the room and it became this fun little poppy accent color.

The patterns work well together because the Ikat is large scale and the stripes are small scale. And then on the opposite side of the room, the curtains are more of a large and airy scale, so all three are wildly different and therefore they work together so happily.

mid-century chair, yellow

photo by Bethany Nauert

The mid-century chair from Amsterdam modern for $70, but of course I reupholstered it for $100 in simple white linen. Black and white chevron pillow from Urban Outfitters, glass jug from the flea market, and leaf from god’s green, green world.

And there you have it, friends. A guest room before and after. I’ll be leaking more of the story, all next week, but meanwhile definitely pick up the magazine and read the spread for yourself.