Bookcase update

Remember that time I spent a lot of money and time designing and building the built-in bookcase? (See this post for that whole process.) Well, we’ve shot it now what feels like 19 times, although I think it’s just been four – Domino, the book, my living room tour, for the holidays, and again last week (for this post). I was never totally happy with it. Why? Because styling a huge open bookcase in the middle of your house is hard. You want it to be full of fun stuff, but not so busy that it just looks messy (because it makes the whole house feel messy if its messy).

But first, enter memory lane … Here is the wall where we decided to put the bookcase:


And here is a little video of the building of it:


I wish it were only that simple. So many wonky angles in the house that made their EXTREMELY precise measurements kinda a disaster.  So there was a lot of troubleshooting, but Gabriel, our dude is seriously meticulous and did an amazing job. Click through to see how its styled now.


Target Styling Video Chapter #8: Into the bedroom

The Target videos are back! Like the rest of the world we took a break during the holidays but now its time to go into the bedroom and style it out – just like we are doing below. This video is all about bed styling and mixing textiles, but I know that there are also a lot of pretty darn wonderful Target pieces in there for the rest of the room, too, and all the resources are near the end.

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_whiteblue orange casual calm styling

When we started this room it was completely white – a totally blank space. It was our goal to make it look layered and interesting, full of vintage and Target, with lots of textures, pops of color and personality.

Target Emily Henderson_bedroom_white blue orange casual calm bedroom

That blue stripe rug is ridiculously cute, and yes, layering it is never a bad idea. That macrame wall hanging is Target and if you are interested in it I’d suggest you just buy it right now. It’s the ‘brass ball lamp’ of this season, meaning that its going to sell out very fast and then make a lot of people sad. It’s totally impressive. And that pouf is part of Nate’s collection which should be out any day. Salmon is big this season as you all know, so we brought it into the space isn the most non-90’s way possible and I think it worked.


Old world meets modern; The Master Bedroom

There are bedrooms and then there are MASTER bedrooms. This is one of those. Maybe its the size, the amount of windows/light or maybe its the beauty of each antique piece – I don’t know. Maybe its the fact that once it’s obsessively styled and beautifully shot it is forever clean and just so perfect in my mind. I’m sure they don’t style the bed each morning and they probably have clothes laying on the bench at times, etc, but in my mind this bedroom always just feels like a pretty boutique hotel room in the South of France. And I want to go to there.

Shana, my client, has great taste and already had some pretty amazing pieces to work with. We just helped with the execution and pulled it all together (check out their living room and guest room)

When we met this room it looked like this:

shauna feste 1

Could be worse, obviously, but it was just big, blue and intense like 1997 prom dress, with less cleavage. We didn’t have to do anything structural to it – it needed to be painted, the floors need to be refinished and that was pretty much it.

shauna fest bedroom

We painted the walls ‘Swiss Coffee’ (a pretty warm white, that goes beige if you aren’t careful), and we painted the window frames that dark gray called ‘Deep Space’ (by Benjamin Moore). You might be surprised that I did that because generally I’m more of a fan of white frames and often painting window frames just creates big squares in the room. but these frames and mullions were wood and metal, and there were other dark wrought iron accents in the house (namely the living room and the upcoming dining nook) that simply wanted to be dark gray. I actually love how it broke up the space, accentuated the architecture and added drama.

We started decorating, by bringing in the pieces that she already had and supplementing with some new pieces. She makes me look VERY good because in this room in particular she had a lot of these pieces already. The bed is from Restoration hardware, and it is big and soft and jut so incredibly inviting, and the rug is a huge sisal that honestly I don’t remember where we purchased (maybe she already had it?). But everything else here is vintage or antique. So we started playing and playing.

shauna fest bedroom

Ready for a really sunny, bright new master bedroom? I rarely gush about my own work, but we just shot this last friday and going back into that room gave me a such a rush of calmness and pride. It’s just so big, warm, high-end and yet totally comfortable and laid back. It’s not the current style in my house but man, there is a huge part of me that wants to buy an old Hollywood Spanish-style house and get my old world on. Next house. Next house.

Click through to see the after …


Mixing pillows and patterns; 7 different ways

Today we are mixing a bunch of pillows (and patterns) and then you are going to vote for your favorite pillow combo (using our fancy voting poll widget at the bottom). The winning pillow combination will win a helicopter ride to Aruba, and then a chance at one-on-one hot tub date with Prince Farming. They are so excited and have been tanning and highlighting their hair for WEEKS, so please be sure to weigh each combo properly and vote with your heart.

Here’s how it went down: when I was MANIACALLY organizing and cleaning our house over the break I realized that I had approximately 47 decorative pillows, just hanging out in closets, on furniture, etc. That doesn’t even include what is at the studio. So, before I took them all over to the studio (some to keep for future projects, some for our EPIC garage sale that is coming soon) I figured I’d shoot a little pillow post.

We started with two solid 24″x24″ white linen pillows on both sides and just changed out all the smaller pillows. We didn’t have any big solid pillows to help anchor the corners (which is what you need on a bench like this) – but for most sofas you are fine with 20″x20″ or 16″x16″ even, as long as the other pillows vary in sizes.

Lets get into it:

Pillows_ Bench Midcentury Modern Emily Henderson_Blue and Green

This first one is the ‘Grey Gardens meets Steven Alan, with a side of subtle’. Hilariously enough, this might be the most masculine. And by masculine I mean, like Adam Levine, totally muscular but he would rock a floral shirt. And women across America would faint.

Cream Ruffle: vintage | Blue Floral: vintage | Grey and Yellow Geometric (no longer available) | Teal Blue Yellow Striped | Grey and Yellow Cross | Cream Linen


Rustic Spanish California Home – Simple, Eclectic Guest Bedroom

Nothing hurts my soul more than not being able to find a ‘before’ photo. Can you imagine watching The Biggest Loser and the contestant saying ‘Sorry, we forgot to take photos or weigh me at the beginning but trust me, I was a lot bigger!!’

Its just devastating. But I’ve looked through two old computers and 2 old phones and I’m now convinced that I didn’t even take before photos, in fact I’m wondering if this room actually existed before. Did my imagination dream up  this room? Did I use The Secret and produce this room with my brain? Maybe. My brain be very powerful. As I’m writing this my powerful brain is renovating my disgusting bathroom. Finally, I found a (mental) contractor that is in tune with me. (Meanwhile this was all before DropBox, which I realize every single day saves my career).

Luckily this room makeover is the fastest and least dramatic of the whole house (which is why I’m posting it so fast after the living room) so a lot of process photos aren’t totally necessary. It is the guest room and you know how most guest rooms go – no splurging; just pretty and simple. Lets get into it:

guest room before

After the reno was complete we just needed to get this room to be functional and ready for Shana’s family to come and visit her and her newborn (read this post if you don’t know the back story of this situation). She wanted us to focus on the other rooms first to make sure that we weren’t inspired to spend like 15K in this room. Instead we used a rug she already had (I mean, who just has these rugs just lying around in their garage?) and we custom-made a bed, changed out some sconces, dressed the bed and thats pretty much it.

Unfortunately there is really only one angle that Country Living shot, because the rest of the room was just simple – a wardrobe, a bench and that’s kinda it. We are shooting the other rooms in the house tomorrow and if we have time we’ll shoot a pulled back shot of the rest of the room for you, but honestly it wasn’t totally designed so there might not be much to see.



We ordered the bed from Dekor (like the sofas) and chose this more classic, and slightly deco shape to work with the house. We pulled the color from the rug and wanted it to feel seamless with the rest of the house, so that blue was a no brainer.

Shana bought these french antique sconces from a dealer, but as you can see, when Orlando held them up we thought they just didn’t portray the french beauty that they had and went kinda ‘wanna be’ really fast, even though they were the real deal. They were candle sconces and would have had to be rewired to function so we decided that the effort and expense wouldn’t give the result that we wanted. So we nixed those and decided to do something slightly more modern with the sconces seen on the right. They still felt old world (they are aged bronze) but had a simpler shape. We kept her side tables and lamps because they were pretty great. Ready to see it transformed?

Welcome to the new guest room:


eclectic guest room

Yeah. I’d move in. We styled it pretty differently for the style book (I can’t wait to show you) but I love how they styled it, too. Here’s a secret – there is only one of those brass lamps – they must have photoshopped the other one in. How do they do that? They have the camera on a tripod and they take one photo with the lamp on the left, then they move the lamp to the right and take another with the lamp on the right and then they put the two photos together in Photoshop. I would say they were cheating except that for the book we actually made that painting larger over the bed – it’s a bit dinky as is. Magazines are full of lies. Beautiful, wonderful, eye-candy lies.


Don’t you agree that the painting should be about 10″ bigger? And how do you feel about those shades? I still kinda want to modernize them with drum shades but at the same time I think that traditional bell shades like these are coming back in so maybe in a year I’ll feel differently (but maybe not pleated?)


Right outside the guest room is the backyard and the view/light in here is just beautiful. It’s such a happy room which is why we didn’t put too much money or effort into it. It kinda looks good all the time because the light is just so beautiful.


That tassel bedding is just incredibly adorable if not perfect. It’s from Anthropologie and its expensive but you could DIY that pretty easily.


Its simple, happy and totally guest friendly.

guest bedroom

Some quick questions answered: The wall paint is Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore and the window frame color is Deep Space, by Benjamin Moore.


Regardless of the lack of ‘totally before’ photos, this transformation is still pretty satisfying, no?

Here’s a ‘get the look’. (And I read all the love for the ‘look for less’ in yesterdays post so don’t worry more of those will be coming, we just didn’t do one for this because it was just so few things).

Get the Look_Shana Guest Bedroom

1. Kilim Rug | 2. Side Table | 3. Upholstered Headboard | 4. Brass Lamp | 5. Striped Pillow | 6. Tassel Bedding | 7. Grey Blanket | 8. Chinoiserie Vase | 9. Wall Sconce 

Happy Friday. Now go get your guest room ready because Tailor Swift and I are on our way over. We hang like that. xx

*photos c/o Country living Magazine. Photographer Max Kim Bee and stylist Elizabeth Beeler