Tips to bookshelf styling

I have so many long drafts of 1/2 finished really good posts that just need a couple more hours of work on them, but after I work all day and put Sir. Charles to bed (which is a lovely 3 hour process the last three nights … the little guy is sick and stubborn – we are transitioning out of the swaddle and it sucks) I just stare at the posts with the blankest of thoughts. I simply can’t put so much effort into them and then just hit publish without making them awesome so they just sit there as drafts – taunting me.

So, thank god I remembered that I had another Redbook column from a couple months ago that I never posted. This one is more about styling, less DIY. Its a house that I designed 2 years ago that I still haven’t revealed to you because I wanted to pitch it to a magazine, then I was hoarding it for good maternity leave content, and then writing those posts (before, process, after) are so daunting that I just keep putting them off. But, here’s a sneak peek. The style was french country meets hollywood and its more traditional than I’ve done before and yet I totally still loved it.

emily henderson redbook

The photo is by the lovely Bethany Nauert. Thanks, B. I promise i’ll blog about the rest of the house sometime in the next year or so. I have 3 houses hoarded, ready to post … which leads me to …

The good news is that we found help – after reading through like 120 resumes and interviewing 23 people, (over four days – Ginny did most of them, THANK YOU GINNY!!) we have hired a lovely man named Brady. He is tall, blonde, from Utah, full of skills, creativity, brawn, enthusiasm and very nice necklaces. We are going to get back on our feet, design my house, set up shoots, create some awesome content for you, AND most importantly make all of our wonderful clients and partners even happier. The blog always ends up being last priority because there is no client asking for deadlines and monitoring content (except the sponsored posts, of course) and its solely me writing it (while I do have help with the content and uploading the pics, linking, etc), but its what got me here and you guys are what has literally made it and me a success, so with more help we’ll be able to put it back up to the top of the priority list and blow this sucker out. We have the ideas, just needed  more help .. Welcome to the team, Brady (and thank god for you always, Ginny). xx

Customize It… Entryway Shoe Organizer


Hey mudrooms, entry-ways, and small apartments – this one is for you. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how simple, unoffensive and functional this shoe organizer is. I’m the worst. I wear the same 3 pairs of shoes every day and they are always left by the door. I’m dying for something like this (we installed it at my friends house because I was moving at the time when we shot it, and now i’m very jealous). All you do is slip your shoes in there and boom – they are off the ground, looking all neat and tidy and dare I say even pretty. Thanks again, BNeato for the good organizing tip and DIY –  you anal genius, you.

Here’s what you need:


1. self adhesive felt blankets $2.98 2. keyhole hangers $2.19 3. 2x2x8 wood board $8.81 4. screwdriver 5. high gloss white spray paint $4.98 6. dap adhesive $3.82


1. Pick up your wood piece at your local hardware store and have them cut two, 3 feet pieces and two, two inch pieces. Take your first small piece of wood and some Dap glue and affix to the first long wood piece.

2. Keep going with each of the wood pieces until you have created a rectangle. Let dry overnight.

3. Screw each of the keyhole hangers on the back of the shoe organizer (opposite ends). You’ll next need to hold up the shoe organizer on the wall where you plan on hanging it. On the wall, mark out where the keyhole hangers are located. Place the shoe organizer down and screw two screws into the wall where you made your marks. Leave about a centimeter of room between the wall and the head of the screw so you can slide the keyhole hangers onto the head of each screw.

4. Give the shoe organizer two good coats of white spray paint and let dry. Next, cut out a few strips of felt adhesive and apply to the inside of the shoe organizer.  Next, hang your shoe organizer on the wall and load up with your fanciest flats.


So simple, and doesn’t call out for a lot of attention. Its not like, ‘HAY!!! I’M AN ORGANIZER SO GIVE ME YOUR BIG, RED, SLUTTY, FANCY, FULL OF PERSONALITY SHOES!!!”. Nay. Its like, “Pardon me, ma’am, but if you have some simple shoes to temporarily store, don’t mind me, i’d be happy to store them neatly for you”. I like that lady. She is nice and polite. Not that Snookie impersonating shoe storing slut that said the first quote. She’s the worst.

Thanks, BNeato for the idea and the DIY. Every day of my life I wish to be organized, and with your help we are getting there. Check out the other posts i’ve worked on with BNeatobracelet towers, hanging lucite filing folders, and jewelry blocks. All big hits. xx

Photos by Tessa Neustadt  and thanks Vamp Shoes for loaning us some pretty shoes.

Trolling Craigslist… Detroit!


I have a strange amount of friends from Michigan all living in LA. But you know what is there? Awesome Craigslist finds. I mean considering that last July there were all of these houses starting $1200 then proportionally the furniture has got to be cheap, right?

trolling cl detroit vintage couch and chairs

1. $100  Vintage Sofa I like your shape and lines, but lady, take off that skirt and show us your legs. Not bad for $100 and in the right space (Anthropologie style loft) it could be great as is.

2. $250 Set of  vintage Eames chairs Since it’s the real deal I’ll let it slide that there are only three of them. But hell, maybe you only have three people in your family and you have a silent vow to never let anyone come over. Then you are in luck.

trolling cl detroit vintage barstolls and rocker

3. $250 Pair of retro barstools. Ridiculously cute. I think my lady friends, Bri or Joy would like these two. Super poppy, sherbert colored and looks like they are in great condition.

4. $40 70s whicker chair Its cute. Throw an ikea lambskin over that bad boy, pop a pillow on it and call it a ‘cute moment in the corner’. You can introduce it to your friends like, ‘hi. have you met my cute moment in the corner?’. He’ll be very popular, for such a little squat dude.

5. $310 Set of 4 turquoise chairs I always figure that if I can get dining chairs for $100 then that is as cheap as the best at Ikea. Therefore if there are sets for less than $400 that are even better, then that is a good deal. These are pretty adorable. Maybe spray the base white if they are in good condition (if they are more in ‘vintage’ condition then don’t spray paint them because then you are mixing new with old in the same piece which looks like you just couldn’t afford to reupholster or something. I learned this the hard way. I updated the paint on a piece of furniture, but didn’t replace the lucite that was scratched and it just looked like weird and stupid). It’s like, either update it all or keep it vintage.

6. $225 Vintage bamboo rocker: I don’t really know what to say. Except that i want to ramble on about how amazing this piece is. I’ve seen plenty of bamboo/wicker in my day, but this beauty is


Trolling CL detroit vintage barstools and side tables

7. $100 Set of four barstools If these were counter height and in LA I would snatch them up. I’m DESPERATE for counter stools that are mid-century that I can upholstery in an awesome leather or vinyl (yeah, you read that right).

8. $40 Mirrored nesting tables Either these are awesome or total pieces of garbage. Nice clean lines and interesting nesting capability, but are junk or good? Someone would get on this mission and report back. Stat.

trolling craigslist vintage chair and daybed

9. $65 Lightbulb table lamp. Oh how VERY quirky are you. Funky, even. These types of things can obviously look silly and stupid and try-hard, but in a super modern shelving unit with the right collection of beautiful art books and mid-century pottery and you have yourselves something kinda interesting. Would be cooler if the base was brass.

10. $99  Green leather chair Cute green color, in leather, in an old school style shape. I’m not opposed for $99.

11.  $300 Rattan daybed Whut. I’ve never seen this before. Put that on your porch, thrown with bohemian pillows, STAT. But only if you have the right style house (mid-century, Japanese, regency or super eclectic).

trolling cl detroit vintage thonet and lamp

12. $100 Set of 6 Thonet chairs Steal of the century. These are probably gone by now. Classics, for cheap. A stupidly good deal.

13.  $25 White ceramic lamp Cute little shape for $25. Not going to make a splash debut at ICFF this year, but she is cute. With a black shade? or a colored shade? Cute.

14. $100 Vintage club chair Ok, this may have been a mistake. It’s now looking kinda foreskin-y. Get your foreskin chair for $100 on CL, folks. Pass it down to your children and your children’s children. They’ll tell the one about how their grandma got suckered in by some blogger (by then we’ll be extinct) to buy this foreskin chair. They’ll laugh. It will make good memories. Don’t you want good memories?

Trolling Cl  vintage chairs and twin bed

15. $  Alexander Begge chair Its a classic, but only really looks awesome in the right space.

16. $75  Twin headboard Painted a cute color – emerald? coral? navy? this would be just darling in your kids room – probably your girl kid, otherwise known as ‘daughter’.

Well, Detroit, you certainly did not disappoint. You are up there with Pittsburgh in my CL trolls. Keep it up and i’ll be buying a house and setting up shop.

Handmade | Kitchen Edition



1. Dipper & Jar Honey Set| 2. Cleaver | 3. Made-to-order Mixing Bowl | 4. Herringbone Engraved Cutting Board | 5. Arrow Wooden Spoons | 6. Schmidt Brothers Teak Knife | 7. Pellicano Decanters | 8. Handled Rolling Pin | 9. Hand-Painted Triangle Bowl

1. Dipper & Jar Honey Set : Made by a jewelry designer in Brooklyn NY. Ok, I have no idea what I would actually dip honey on .. cereal, toast, Brian’s throbbing hairy pecks? .. I don’t know. But this guy sure is pretty (but seriously, what do you need one of these for beside photo shoots?) (also they don’t throb … unless provoked).

2. Cleaver : Handcrafted from stainless steel and boxwood in a small town outside of Barcelona. I need this for all the bones I constantly be breaking; I’m hardcore like that. Also I only buy my cleavers from provincial Spanish towns. Or French .. wait, don’t be ridiculous the French are way better at butcher knives.

3. Made-to-order Mixing Bowl : By NelleDesign from Orchard Park, NY. Beautiful. The old me that styled a ton of food shoots would have shoved you into your cart and comically rolled you into that big stack of cereal boxes at the end of the isle  to buy this mixer. Its just so pretty.

4. Herringbone Engraved Cutting Board: hand-crafted by Richwood Creations in Fayetteville, WV. There are a million handmade cutting boards out there right now, and I really appreciate this subtle pattern. Sweet, simple classic but with an edge.  Like Meryl Streep.

5. Arrow Wooden Spoons : This pair of walnut  spoons with arrow detail are hand carved from locally sourced walnut wood by Amelie Mancini in Brooklyn. My only wish is that these were big enough to toss salad. Unless that hand model has a HUGE hand and they are actually really big in which case i’m terrified and yet want to see more pictures.

6. Schmidt Brothers Teak Knife : Yes the creators of Schmidt Brothers are actually brothers. I picture them probably singing masculine musical numbers (like from Sweeny Todd of something). Great knives. I have two and someday will cut something with them. Hopefully intentionally.

7. Pellicano Decanters : by Madrid-born Jaime Hayon. OH you are VERY cute you little copper penguins. I’m going to decant all over those.

8.Handled Rolling Pin : one solid piece, hand turned, no two are alike. Now this is something I would LOVE to get as a gift. So pretty, will last forever, and tells people – ‘Hey, I have time to bake a tart if I want to’, which is a story I’d like to tell.

9. Hand-Painted Triangle Bowl : By Half Light Honey Studio in Ashville, NC. So Organic and happy, like the weeds growing all over my neglected front yard.

Post curated in partnership with Rebecca Zajac and check out Handmade Paper, too.

Our Kitchen Progress …

When we were shopping for a house we were looking for the right combo of  something that can be transformed and designed (not recently flipped) but doesn’t need so much work that we’d be living in dust for a year with a baby. One of the reasons that we bought this house was because it was a project without being a total demo reno. We only needed to paint the walls and redo the flooring in order to live here which was obviously convenient since I gave birth 5 days later (yes i mentioned the birth of my child and yes, i’m ok with it:)). Walls didn’t need to be moved, and the kitchen, while not awesome, was still pretty good. Have a look see:

Kitchen Before Kitchen 07

The layout was great – it was open to the family room so I can watch my stories while I pretend to cook. Plus the cabinets are actually kinda pretty – its a nice wood grain that looks/feels really dry, but just needs a refinish – possibly even just a rub down with some oil. They have a really simple flat front that I’m absolutely on board with.

I’m sitting right there on that counter writing and i’m not bummed at all. Sure, it needs to be properly designed and absolutely updated, but I really like some elements of it. At least it wasn’t a ’2007 that looked like a 1996 redo’ in our rental house (sorry about the broken pics in that post – somehow when i switched platforms that happened and now i’m too busy to fix, but you can still see what our old kitchen looked like and this kitchen looks like an angels pinky compared to that one.)

So here’s what we wanted to do to it:

Kitchen 05

We have already skim coated and painted the walls and ceiling as you can see in the living room and bedroom posts. So that is dunzo. But now we need to figure out how to make this way more functional and attractive. Right now two of the four burners work on that cooktop and neither very well. Luckily every recipe I make requires less than two burners – exactly zero burners to be precise as I don’t cook. So that still works with our “non-meal” plan.

Kitchen 01

The sink is approximately 2 inches deep, which is great to wash around 1 plate at a time; it must be replaced, obviously. And the worktop is a weird formica. I will say one thing about formica – this stuff really does hold up. It is from the 60′s but totally in perfect condition. If only my heart and taste level thought it was in perfect condition then I could just leave it and be done. But sadly the brown faux stone that feels like plastic is fooling no one. Beat it, poser.

Kitchen 04

That oven is shockingly old – literally and figuratively. It shocked my friend Scott so bad that he was buzzing still the next day although he does fancy himself some dramatics. That should be one of the first things to go, but we aren’t totally sure what to do with it; do we put in another small oven or do we put in an oven/stove situation and turn that into storage? If we turn it into storage then do we have to match the existing cabinetry? Do we create open storage? Does Charlie destroy anything in new said open storage? Probably.

Kitchen 06

The hardware is HID(eous), but easily replaceable. I’m thinking something simple and brass – shocking (like the oven) I know.

P.S. Ginny, who is british (someone’s got to sound professional around here), does the graphics/copy on these posts so sometimes you might notice ‘colour’ instead of ‘color’ and I think in this case ‘cooker top’ instead of ‘cook top’. Either that or she just likes saying ‘cooker top’ which I will now find adorable and also make fun of her for. Unless I’m wrong (easily) and its actually not cooktop, but cooker top. I could probably just google that, but i’m rushing as it took us THREE hours to put screaming sir charles to bed so i’m deliriously writing this and can’t digress from my digression long enough to google what that stove thing is actually called.

I’m not totally sure what direction I want to go in. I know that I want it to feel new, fresh, modern, appropriate to 1964 but more colorful and fun with some organic elements:

kitchen Inspiration

And brass. Duh. Wood, white, brass and some blue. Its like the Gwinnie and Chris martin news – SHOCKING to no one, yet surprising to hear. I’m really shaking things up now, I know. But since the house has an open floor plan and I have very specific loves, I want it to feel really cohesive and pulled together, so one of the ways i’m doing that is through a consistent color palette so that each room really flows into another.

But also, now that i’m staring at that inspiration board none of those are quite weird/interesting enough – I still want it to feel edgy and weird so i’m looking for a tile backsplash that really does that – something appropriate to 1964 but nothing too kitchy or retro. Maybe handmade? Maybe I hand make it? Also all those inspiration pics look like they probably cost a fortune and we are on a budget for this job – I don’t want to scimp (is it scrimp? skimp?) but i’m not splurging too hard here as mama wants to put some built-ins in her living room. Also mama should never call herself ‘mama’ again. Maybe it was funny before ‘mama’ became a ‘mama’ but now its just as if she is speaking in the third person … to herself. Bates Motel type of creepiness.

Anyway, that is what is happening up there and we’ll have an update  (we’ve added a roman shade!) – very soon.

Check out our living room progress, master bedroom progress  and deck progress.