The time that “Emily Henderson” got (or didn’t get) “Emily Henderson” in a web-quiz

I found this quiz in my inbox two days ago and life imploded in a tiny little meta poof. Its all over. Read my borderline narcissistic, over analyzation of what getting or not getting “Emily Henderson” did to my mental stability. But first take the quiz.

which decorator gets you

Lets go through my thought process when I saw this quiz:

Thought #1: #$%&*@!!! Even if it’s just this authors selection (although the PopSugar site is HUGE) and even if it’s just for this quiz, I am just so flattered to be within spitting distance from Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, the Property Brothers and Nat Berkus. And without getting all J-LAW on you and virtually tripping down my blog stairs, just know that I’m psyched to be up there. Very.

Thought #2: Well, most of these people have influenced my style greatly so even If I do get ‘me’ a lot of it is due to ‘them’, so by getting ‘me’ am I really just getting ‘them’? Its starting to get weirder. I’m uncomfortable but in the same way that I was uncomfortable before my first sloppy kiss in front of a crowd of junior high kids behind the school dance in 7th grade – embarrassed, yet excited enough to go through with it anyway.

Thought #3: What if I don’t get ‘Emily Henderson’?  There was a strong chance that I could get ‘Nate Berkus’ who I love dearly – personally and stylistically. Or ‘Jonathan Adler’  - who I used to work for and whose whimsy definitely influenced me. Or ‘Kelly Wearstler’ whose style is so over the top but I fantasize about it all the time. The ‘Property Brothers’ I know and love (personally) but they are two straight dudes and are way more contemporary, masculine and rustic than I am so I kinda knew that it wouldn’t be them (although ironically that’s who Brian got).

So I started taking the quiz.

(SPOILER ALERT – I analyze  how to get ‘me’ or ‘Nate’ or anyone else in this post, so take the quiz first so you aren’t influenced by my ramblings and then come back and read about how crazy I am).

Here’s the first question:

house options

No problem. I love New York but I’m from a small coastal town. I love Europe but ultimately can’t be away from friends and family. I don’t ski nor am I ever perceived as someone who is super ‘outdoorsy’. So I’m choosing the top right. I’m from the Oregon coast so they might be assuming that I’d choose the bottom right, but the ocean is cold, scary and full of monsters and swallowed up planes, so I’m a river, lake and meadow person. The bottom left might be Oregon but I’m a green grass/sun person not a winter Oregon person. Jonathan Adler and Nate are probably NYC, Kelly is probably Paris and the PB’s are probably  the snowy mountain or the bottom left because they are Canadians. Not sure what is more “Emily Henderson” but I chose the top right.

drink options

Ha. So this is tricky. I think they think “Emily Henderson” drinks either bubbly or margaritas because those drinks are the most”fun”. What they might not predict (or maybe they really do know me) is that for a bar cart on a Saturday night, I’m a whiskey girl – manhattans, old fashions, and many other trendy ‘ye olde-y meets 2012′ drinks out there. So this was one where I was nervous. I chose ‘whiskey’ but knowing that it might not be “Emily Henderson”.

paint options

Alright. So for this question I just had to go with my first impulse  - the top middle gray/blue. Orange and brown were obvious ABSOLUTELY NOTS, and the mint is a great trendy color but ultimately I’ve not been on that trend train in my own house. Are they associating me with gray? That seems VERY unlikely as I generally use a lot more color. Or maybe the baby pink? Out of all the us I would say I’m the most ‘baby pink’ and yet not. at. all. So I chose my top middle gray because it’s what I would put on my walls and it was my first instinct. It’s not what I want on my body (this pink skin looks practically dead in gray) but i don’t think that’s what they are asking. Had there been a navy or teal that would have been obvious so I appreciate them keeping us guessing.

gift options 2

TRICKY TRICKY TRICKY. The new ‘Japanese mid-century Scandinavian with a side of weird’  ”me” chose the bread board. It’s actually what I need. But I know that what ‘Emily Henderson’ would give would be that brass pineapple and they aren’t wrong. But they asked me what I want and right now I want that bread board because its such a happy circle in a pretty tone. Jonathan Adler is the animal coasters (I want), Kelly Dubs is the bottle opener (which I love), the white/black box is from Nate’s collection at Target (which I already own) so I’m assuming that’s ‘him’. I guess the Property Brothers are the rustic jug or the board. Again, I chose the board because its warm and yet graphic and modern … but I could be wrong …

pillow options

Ok, folks. This one is the hardest one because I know what they are thinking that “Emily Henderson” is that heart pillow. And if it were in a different color palette they would not have been wrong, for sure (White with navy? sure, shove it in my mouth). But orange and light blue are tricky for me. I thought to myself, whilst nervously chewing and swallowing my own hair, “if I don’t choose this pillow then I probably won’t get Emily Henderson and then I’m probably a total failure!”  So I panicked and chose it. Keep reading.

wallpaper options

Easy. Hands down the chinoiserie with the birds and butterflies (middle bottom). The rest of them are hard to pinpoint “who” they are, but I’m assuming the property brothers are the wood wallpaper (which is what Brian chose) and the monkey wallpaper is probably supposed to be Jonathan Adler, but the other couple I’m not sure. Maybe the floral is supposed to be ‘me’, but I’m not sure. I’m starting to be very unsure what is me or not.

chair options

For this one I knew it was down to the tufted teal chair and the tall Charlotte Perriand stool. Both are pretty “me” (but are they “Emily”???) I do love some tufting and certainly that color, but I’ve blogged about that leather chair/stool for years and just sold 12 of them on Chairish so they are certainly not off brand. One is my cozy granny side the other is my mid-century dude side. Ultimately I chose the teal because It’s also comfy and classic which takes the win.

Anyway. After all those questions and lots of really meta thoughts, I got “Emily Henderson”. THANK the digital lord.

decorator

BUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTT ….

Then I went through it again and changed up the  teal chair to the leather stool, the heart to the dot pillow (even though I knew that was Nate’s from Target) and got “Nate Berkus”. Happy but immediately paranoid, I got obsessed and took the quiz like 27 times and either got “Emily Henderson” or “Nate Berkus” EVERY OTHER TIME. And then I was like, “Who “am” I? Emily or Nate? What does “am” mean? And is it more ‘me’ to be more Nate or is it more Nate to be more me? Am I more attracted to Nates style than I am my own, or am I more into “my own” than I am into “me”. Is “ME” an orange heart is or that just the perception of me to myself? Am I perceiving myself as a brand or a person or both? Am I half “Emily” and half  ”Nate?”  Do I have a penis? Do I even want to be “Emily Henderson”? Am I more “me” because I like pineapples? Is that what “me” means? PINEAPPLES AND HEARTS!!!!???????

And then I took a bunch of unlabeled pills and slept for 9 days having Fear and Loathing style psychadelic dreams about tropical fruit and meadows and graphic floating hearts. Jonathan Adler called me ‘Petal’ again, Kelly Wearstler drank so many green juices, the Property Brothers playfully argued over who does more work (while we all know its Jonathan), meanwhile Nate and I spooned for hours and I felt like I was just hugging myself, unsure of whose leg was whose but not caring.

….

So … who did you get?

Leave it in the comments, and please, dear god, let there be at least some “Emily Hendersons” out there. Although I hear that she is certifiably N.U.T.S..

Subquestion, and possibly the most important question I’ll ever ask myself: am I, Emily Henderson, actually Nate Berkus?

Sincerely,

Nate Berkus

Stylish Houses Needed for my book

Stylish Houses Needed

Oh folks, its time. I’ve been pushing this book off for years. not because I don’t want to do it but because this book is a BEAST. Without giving too much away know that hopefully, if all goes right, it will be the book that anyone interested in home style feels compelled to pick up. It’s not full of images of castles in Scotland or Moroccan night markets, its more ‘me’ and frankly ‘you’ than that. But that’s all I’ll say for now.

Point is: over the next couple months I need to shoot 30 houses. THIRTY. I have one. My awesome friends have a couple. But I’m looking for 20 more houses either in LA, Portland or Austin (I live in LA, my family is in Portland and I LOVE Austin) that are 90 percent “there”. By that I mean, houses that are architecturally interesting OR houses full of great style. Ideally both :) If there are like 5 houses in New Orleans or Nashville, I’ll totally go there. I just have to cluster them so I’m not traveling around the country staying in hotels and eating up the budget. They can be lofts, apartments, bungalows, mansions .. whatever. Bigger and lots of light is easier, but we can make most spaces work with the magic of photography.

Whats in it for you?  Pictures of your space all styled up. We won’t be furnishing it or really leaving anything behind except for some flowers and a prop as a gift. But you will get pics in a published (and hopefully successful) book that could help your resale or if you are a designer add to your portfolio. Sadly, you won’t get paid nor will you get free design work by me – I just want to be clear on that. But you will get some really beautiful photos of your space and some press if you want it (if you don’t want anyone to know its you, that’s fine, too – this isn’t a book where we do a bio of the home-owners). Also know that you may have the coolest house on the planet but if its similar to another one that we are shooting then it might not work.

Spread the word. Think of your or your friends houses that are really cool. Maybe your uncle DJ has a weird beach bungalow in Montecito. Again, they don’t have to be castles, but they do have to be cool and have style. That is all we are really looking for.  We’ll be shooting in May – July. Let er rip.

Email ehdesignjobs@gmail.com if you have a house that you think think could be a good fit. xx

Flea market finds …

Here’s a lesson to the world – if you only get out of the house once or twice a week (I’m imprisoned by this adorable security guard named Charlie and his hungry {nay, HANGRY} belly) you will most likely really try to make those occasions count. For me, its shopping and therefore doing some damage. I mean, it was as if I was Tom Hanks character in Castaway, going 7 years on an island away from all retail and flea markets. I was like a crazed person panicking that I was missing out on deals that were right next to me at all times.

So, on Sunday I had a girls day with my best friends Corbett and Scott and we went down to the once  a year mid-century only flea market called ‘Downtown Modernism’ and its was GOOOOOOOOOOOD. One can only peruse Craigslist, Ebay, Chairish, Hunters Alley and Etsy for so many hours before they simply must get out there and touch, sit on, pay for and hoard said finds.

So here’s what I found:

brass tray

vintage tray

A pretty amazing solid brass paper tray with a lid. That lid is the most genius thing ever. I ALWAYS have a stack of papers on my dining table that i’m avoiding dealing with – invoices, parking tickets, manuals to some baby toy that I’m hoarding just in case … So this genius thing is my new crap tray

vintage ceramic

That vintage italian ceramic decanter is super necessary for all of my mid-evil themed parties. That pot is just one more of a collection that has no intention of stopping. The two books and the little mini enamel plant stand on the right are all from Poketo, downtown (not vintage). That Calder book is awesome because its a pop-up book, and who doesn’t love a pop-up book? Heathens. Thats who.

vintage poster

A sure sign that you are cultured (and pretentious) is that you own vintage FOREIGN art posters. I love that guy – I have no idea what it means – although probably something about the emptiness of my grasshopper heart relating to the suffering of the human condition. Those other three pieces of pottery were all from the same dealer  - they ranged from $4 to $40. I’m hesitant to put pricing on things because then if I go to sell them to a client they’ll be like, ‘Wait, you said on your blog that you only got it for $14 and now you are charging me $85′, which proves to be an awkward conversation even though i’ve made clear from day one that my vintage items are priced by their worth, not a percentage markup or anything. Look at me getting all defensive to no one.  Anyway, the poster (in the frame) was $20. There, i told you.

vintage game

This vintage backgammon was a total unnecessary hoard (for $10!!). But I know that i’m going to have that one coffee table shot that is dying for a colorful, Jonathan Adler -esque game and BOOM I’m going to whip this sucker out and the styling angels will sing.

vintage backgammon
Its in perfect shape, too, and such good colors.

vintage pottery

octagonal mid-century wood planter ($10), – YES! I need that!  Where else am I supposed to put my plants? Oh one of my 1 million other planters? Shut up.

That teapot with the simple brass detailing was a total find that is going to look beautiful on my stove once my kitchen is finished (and by finished I mean started). I don’t drink tea but will force myself so I can utilize this lovely teapot.

I love that footed ceramic planter thing ($30) and those cute lanterns are going to go wonderfully outside this summer ($10 for the pair). I might change out the traditional glass tube thing for something more round and modern, but that’s not exactly priority number one in my life so I’ll probably get to it in 2016. Maybe it will be a new years resolution that I never accomplish like all of mine from this year.

wire sculpture

And then there is this self-portrait of me in wire, except I didn’t make it. I used to have a ton of wire sculptures but slowly they’ve either been sold to clients or a couple got trashed in the move. But this lady, she is a keeper. Totally weird, borderline creepy but still lovely to look at.

So which one is your favorite? If you could hoard just one of these things what would it be?

Designing With Allen Stone and Airbnb for SXSW

Oh Allen Stone – the most soulful hippie/hipster from Washington State that I know. I know exactly 1, but I like this dude – probably because we both have long, wavy, blonde hair. In case you don’t know who is he, he’s this dude:

allen stone airbnb

Once I saw that picture I knew that I’d probably like him although looks can be very deceiving and he could have been a huge try-hard poser. So once I met him I definitely LIKED him. Throughout the entire process he was so lovely, generous, thankful, gracious and considerate of our time and effort. How very refreshing, indeed. It’s because he’s from the PNW (Pacific NorthWest) and we PNW-ers are generally really nice.

In case you are just stopping by here’s a bit of background on the project: Airbnb wanted do an experiential marketing campaign where we designed these three Kithaus‘ with three musicians at SXSW. These musicians filled out a questionnaire that helped Ginny and I come up with an initial design plan. We presented it, they approved it and then we installed it where it remained live for 5 days in Austin last week during SXSW.  And the whole event turned out pretty awesome. (Check out the first one we did HERE and look at Moby’sLake Bell’sMolly Sims‘, Anjelica Huston’s and James Franco’s, as well as Snoop Dogg’s and Capital Cities).

So we read his questionnaire where it became clear that loves rustic, 70′s, hippie and weird. So here’s what we came up with:

Allen Stone SXSW

And here’s what we pitched to him: “He’s a hippie with soul, and an R and B singer from the PNW. His room will feel a little bit retro 70’s, a little bit rustic hippie and a lot of ‘weird’. We took our main inspiration from his cover photo set in front of this ‘ugly in a good way’ floral wallpaper, with his glasses and hat that show his unpredictable style. It’s masculine and casual, pulled together and beautiful, and yet totally weird. It will be a dudes den that a chick would love, too.”

 

Allen Stone SXSW

We wanted it to feel a little over the top in the 70′s and ‘weird’ styles, but with enough warmth in woods and casual finishes to make it feel grounded.

Allen Stone SXSW

So we presented him with said plan at The Echo before he had a show:

Allen Stone Emily Henderson

emily-henderson-allen-stone

He was into it completely so we got the green light to proceed. He was also absolutely fun, normal, down to earth and totally unaffected. I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities and I promise you that they are normal affected. And there are many times where I know that even I have become affected and have to monitor myself. Fame (and Hollywood) does something to most people and maybe its just a matter of time, but as of now I can tell you that Allen Stone is just such a lovely, down to earth person.

allen stone-emily-henderson-airbnb

After the meeting we shook on it – and by ‘shook’ on it I mean we took a shot of tequila because that’s his drink and I don’t say no to my clients with reasonable requests for celebrating.

allen stone emily henderson

Then we started shopping. The above mood boards are mainly done on a computer, so once we got approval we hit the streets and sourced all the items below.

Allen Stone SXSW Allen Stone SXSW

Meawhile we had our friends at Tajima Creatives do these renderings so our clients could sign off on approval. For the exterior we chose these Pacific NorthWest inspired ferns and hippie plants.

Allen Stone SXSW

Then inside we had this plan – Awesome floral wallpaper on the walls, a custom plaid headboard, macrame everywhere, collection of vintage hats, a wooden stag head, and lots of vintage accessories.

Allen Stone SXSW

After a five-day install (of the entire space) Mr. Stone’s space looked like this:

vintage plaid headboard

photo by me

Airbnb Allen Stone

And I pretty much wanted to move in.  It’s totally cuckoo, but I also want every single thing in here. (and yes, some of these photos are styled by me and some aren’t – you’ll be able to tell the difference, I’m sure). That basket on there is for the winners of the campaign with a bunch of goodies from Allen.

Airbnb Allen Stone

Everything in here is either vintage or rented except for the headboard, denim pillow and green wool blanket which we had custom-made. (I believe it was $450 for all of them).

Airbnb Allen Stone

Oh and that pouf is mine (I bought it from Shopclass, which does have a few more, by the way).  And yes that is a vintage 70′s Jack Hanna calendar hanging under the air conditioner (which we disguised with a cork board and random ephemera).

plaid headboard

photo by me

That elf’s head planter (which may have been the base of a cookie jar that we repurposed) had a big old fern in it which looked weird and awesome, but somehow it went missing so that looks a bit unfinished in that pic. This planter, like many things that i pick up, was considered creepy by most – but not by me. I like me a head, elf or human.

Whats up with the clown pillow you are wondering? Well, its weird, vintage and random and somehow just seemed appropriate. Behind him was a big custom denim pillow we had made because Mr. Stone loves denim so we wanted to bring that in somewhere (it was from a fashion fabric store for $7 a yard).

vintage bentwood chair

photo by me

It rained a bit there – how very appropriate to the PNW vibe, even though my vintage rug was not psyched. The rocker was from Craigslist and Allen actually loved it so much that we shipped it to him afterwards. The hanging macrame table back there has been mine for a couple of years and finally had its moment. The folding leather bench is from ShopClass. 

allen stone house

photo by me

Big Red Sun landscaping in Austin took care of the exterior plants and did such a great job. It felt lush and PNW but with a weird 70′s bent. And then I added a vintage foosball table, pendant light, and of course a whole row of beaded curtains across the back of the pop-up.

Allen stone home

photo by me

Then we added more hanging plants, because I’m addicted.

So, sadly I couldn’t be there when Allen saw the space (schedules got all messed up so we missed each other – physically and emotionally).

Airbnb Allen Stone

But he took this pic and texted it to me with the lots of words of gratefulness and satisfaction.

Airbnb Allen Stone

Here he is looking pensive, thinking about why he has to travel around and sing to sold out crowds and not sleep in this weird pop-up that some random chick designed for him.

Airbnb Allen Stone

And then this dude came – he’s the guy that won the week in the pop-up. (they didn’t stay there but they got to use it as their home base throughout SXSW which is actually awesome because it’s a madhouse down there so to have a space all to your own that you can lock the door to is pretty amazing).

Airbnb Allen Stone

So that’s Allen Stone’s pop-up house. It was groovy, happy and totally weird  - like my alter ego.

Airbnb Allen Stone

I loved Snoop’s, I did. But Allen’s was way more my style in a lot of ways. It was sooo much easier to design, full of so much personality and sourced almost exclusively from vintage stores or prop houses – which is why I didn’t really link anything.

Check out a quick little interview I did on GQ.com about how to get the look.

So my question to you is: Which pop-up house is your favorite? Snoop Dogg? Capital Cities or Allen Stone?

(Meanwhile check out all the past Airbnb pop-up houses, HERE and look at Moby’sLake Bell’sMolly Sims‘, Anjelica Huston’s and James Franco’s)

Photo credits: Vivien Killilea | Rush Jagoe | airbnb

Renderings: Tajima Creative Partners | Louis Polidori

Landscape: Big Red Sun Austin, Pop-up Houses designed/built by KitHaus

Mini-Magazine Feature

kourtney kardashian

In case you haven’t heard of Mini Magazine its a pretty awesome digital magazine about modern parenting. As someone not used to (or inclined to) seek out and read parenting info I was shocked to find myself really into this magazine. Tons of good product recommendations of stuff that I actually like and want, plus great interviews. This issue includes Kourtney Kardashian (and you’d be shocked at how cute her house/playroom is), my friend Joy and Freshly Picked.

emily-henderson-pregnant

mini-magazine

Check out Mini Magazine here if you are interested, expecting or are already a parent. When I filled out this interview I was so busy I could barely breathe, so I, myself, am excited to read it and see what I actually answered. Terrifying, I know. Happy Thursday.

See the rest of my maternity photos, and read my maternity fashion must haves, and then if you are still into it here is my birth plan and my birth story.