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1 Credenza 4 Ways: Midcentury Coastal and A VOTE!!!!

One Credenza, Four Ways. #4: Midcentury Coastal

It’s the last one in the series. I swear. More info on that at the end (thanks for your feedback). This one is called ‘Mid-century Coastal’. This is both my childhood and my future. I grew up on the Oregon Coast and we did have 1970’s seascape paintings in our living room. In fact when I was home last week I saw a couple of them still up in my parents house and I wanted to go around with a post-it marking ‘Emily has dibs’ on them, but then that seemed, you know, totally weird and morbid as my parents are thank goodness very young and healthy. But let it be known, siblings, that I have dibs on the seascapes … Also I’ll take the handmade 1985 five foot ET costume that is just so terrifying and wonderful, sure to send all the neighborhood kids running in tears.

Anyway. Here is Mid-century Coastal.

This one is more country/coastal and pretty much where I’m headed stylistically, especially once I buy my fantasy Oregon or Ojai house. It’s just so soothing and calm, but with a little bit of an edge to it that says ‘the people here are 35-years-old and kinda cool’.

Here’s why it works:

*Click through to see the rest of the photos and to vote on your favorite credenza …

1. The two lamps flank the credenza adding a bit of formality that contrasts nicely with the organic collection of seascapes. It could have been two different lamps, but with these paintings it can go ‘thrift store’ really fast. Having fresh, white, matching lamps helps it look higher-end and more refined.

2. The manzanita branch fills some of that horizontal space, but in a visually really ‘light’ way. That sounded super technical, but you know what I mean – it’s not this huge bulky thing that makes everything feel really heavy, instead it gives your eye a break from the art and books.

3. The color palette is refrained – blues/whites/woods/some gold (shocking, I know) which keeps it feeling calm, yet warm.

4. That country ladder back chair has simple lines which works so well with the credenza even though they are two drastically different styles.

Credenza_4 Ways_Seascape Blue Natural_Mid Century Modern Coastal 1

Credenza_4 Ways_Seascape Blue Natural_Mid Century Modern Coastal 3

Manzanita can be bought at the flower market and sometimes even stores like West Elm, Michaels and Jo Annes sells it.

Credenza_4 Ways_Seascape Blue Natural_Mid Century Modern Coastal 2

One more gif because if I don’t see at least 1 gif a day I sob.


Credenza: ShopclassLA | Cream Table Lamps | White Ceramic Vase (no longer available) | Blue Ceramic Vase: vintage | Tan Bud Vase: vintage | Ladderback Chair: vintage | Plaid Blanket (similar)| Seascape Art: all vintage

So there you have it, all four credenzas are finished, ready for you, America (and the WORLD!!), to vote. The winning credenza wins 2 tickets to the 50 Shades of Gray Premiere Party. I think pretty sure they are all every excited to win. So, which credenza/room would you want in your home?


Go on then. Remember,  it’s your duty as american/world blog reader to vote and the next credenza that wins could change both you and your children’s future. You don’t have to give any of your info to vote, just click on the one you want below and if a bubble pops up wanting you to share, feel free, but just click the x or cancel if you don’t want to. Once you vote you can see who is winning. It’s VERY fun. If you are just joining the credenza water bucket challenge check out style #1, #2, and #3, too for all the details of the above and then vote.

See the other 3 Credenzas here: Bold Mid-Century Contemporary | California Eclectic | Upper East Side Mid-Century.

*All photos by Tessa Neustadt

These posts are all experiments and I totally appreciate your feedback. At first I was going to do ‘1 credenza, 4 ways’ in one post but then that post was full of SO many photos and so much information/links/tips/gifs that I was like, ‘why not get four days of content out of it, eh?’. But some of you called me out on it saying that by the third post it started to feel ‘thin’. And while I personally think these are still way more substantial than a random photo of balloons saying ‘Happy Friday!’, you aren’t wrong. It’s also good to know that you have high expectations for content. Others said that it would be better back to back, which I agree and was the second plan, but then I felt that it would just be so redundant. Maybe the key is just doing 2 ways and then having them be in the same post. It’s so interesting/fun to have a blog because you get feedback on your product INSTANTLY. It’s not like I spend a year working on a prototype, focus grouping it, manufacturing it, hiring digital strategists to see how and where the product is performing, blah, blah. I shoot, write, push publish and get feedback immediately. It’s actually kind of amazing. The survey did help a lot, but the daily ‘I love this post’ or ‘I’m meh about this post’ really guides everything. xx


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150 thoughts on “1 Credenza 4 Ways: Midcentury Coastal and A VOTE!!!!

  1. I think this series would have been better as a single post with less close-up shots of the accessories. I love a good round up of cool accessories as much as the next design geek, but all the zoomed-in photos of the vases and lamps seems like overkill—especially when the best pieces are vintage or no longer available. Today is the first time I saw a post on your blog and thought, “This again?” The photos of each version are starting to look the same to me.

    1. I agree with Kate that maybe less close-up shots is the key to fitting all four styles into a single post. And also perhaps combining the “why it works” into a single paragraph for each style. I vote for four styles in either one or two posts (as another reader suggested) instead of only two styles total, because it’s so fun to see how different they all are and compare and contrast them. Two ways just wouldn’t be enough! These posts are such great inspiration for how to mix it up and keep it fresh. Thanks so much for your quality content, Emily! Such a pleasure to read. (I can’t believe it’s free! We’re all very lucky readers.)

      1. I agree with this as well. It’s fun to see the four different versions but try to contain them to one or two posts by skipping the close ups and summarizing each version into a paragraph each. Definitely prefer the four ways versus only two. Either way, totally inspirational!

        1. Ditto. I could stare at that credenza for hours, but I didn’t feel the love for these posts. While you changed the style and accessories each time, the compositions remained similar, both in the amount of pieces and where they were placed. I think more variety in the styling or a single condensed post (maybe both?) would have been more satisfying.

          THAT said, I am pretty sure I would visit your blog at least once a week, even if you simply posted your grocery list with a picture of pretty produce. You’re just endearing!

  2. I like #4! I have a similar style seascape painting that my grandfather did hanging in my bedroom. He’s done a ton of paintings and I similarly have to fight the urge to not be the creepy relative running around marking which ones I want some day.

  3. I agree that 1 credenza, 2 ways, single post would be a good compromise. Lucky you to have such lightning feedback. I’m a doula and we usually have to wait about a year (from signing with someone) for ours!

  4. I totally disagree with Kate above, sorry ’bout that! I think having the posts separate gives us time to appreciate the differences between the different styles and I don’t feel like you are dragging it out unnecessarily just to give you an extra 3 days worth of posting! I’ve really enjoyed these ‘4 ways’ posts because it’s made me look at my own style and recognise what I go for, whereas before I thought I liked lots of different styles, but I am beginning to see that what I like and choose has a very definite style which I can pin down and say hey, that’s me! So please don’t stop doing these kind of posts, they do add interest and they do make one think of how to decorate/style in different ways depending on where you are leaning. I absolutely love no 1. but I’m a coastal girl myself, and I love bits of branches and the seascapes, so it’s a tie with no 4…I guess….although my heart is a panting at no 3, but think it’s more to do with the photo on the wall…

    1. Ditto, Sharon. I really enjoyed seeing the more detailed approach to the 4 styles. I especially appreciate the explanation of why objects were chosen and how they complement one another. It’s like having a personal consult with a stylist. 🙂 The descriptions also encouraged me to look at my own home/belongings with a fresh eye. Always love your insight, Emily!

  5. I love #2!!! I want to go recreate it right now, but I have a TV over my mid century credenza. Would love to see some options with a big tv smack dab in the middle. I love this series! I think doing them back to back would be good. Even better, you could do 2 posts of these a day. TWO POSTS A DAY would be SO AWESOME! I know it is hard, but I am just SO ADDICTED to everything you do and say. I guess I could see that less close up pics would be good – then you could smash it all into one post. But, I don’t mind the multiple posts. I will say I was dying to see the next ones, so you kept me on my toes by making me wait!! Maybe when you launch your online store, the items in these posts could be for sale, they would sell out in minutes I bet! LOVE YOU, girl, you are rocking it!

  6. I love # 4. I think I actually prefer the posts split up b/c otherwise you are right that is a lot of content for one. I do love the idea of styling the same piece several ways.

  7. Maybe two ways in each post for two days? I did skim over these a little, but loved them and would totally use the full post of my favorite as reference in decorating 🙂

  8. I’ve loved this whole series, Emily, and think a few days inbetween gives you time for the differences to marinate into which one best strikes your fancy. While I especially liked #3, I’m a beach girl and it’s my dream to one day have a little house on the Oregon coast, so #4 is me to a ‘tee’. Loved that ‘ruffled’ blue ceramic vase, btw. Also, my mom’s dining buffet is still awaiting me @ their home, and it’s about as mid=century as you can get, so I really appreciated all of the styling tips. It’ll soon grace the wall in my apt by my sea-glass dining table and you’ve given me so many ideas that I can’t wait to make it my own! Thx, Emily!

  9. That little blue ceramic vase is this one is SPEAKING to me. I love it! And every single one of these is good for their own reasons, but I think I am leaning toward toward 4 because it’s such a good blend of traditional/classic/sophisticated but still fun/playful/colorful. Keep up the daily inspiration!

  10. I loved this series.. and I loved the 4 separate posts. Can you have a Credenza styles by “Target” etc etc 4 ways!? I love what you do but get so upset when it’s vintage etc..

  11. I liked the series, I don’t mind them drawn out honestly… you still have the best content (in my style) of any of the blogs I read so no complaints

  12. At first I assumed all 4 would be in 1 post, but your reasoning for breaking it into 4 posts also makes sense to me. I appreciated the detailed breakdown of why something works, which would have been hard to fit into 1 post and way too dense even if you could. I guess 1 alternative could be a slideshow, with 1 slide per look that maybe included 1 big pulled-back photo and two smaller close-ups. And each slide could have the “this is why this works.” But that is soooo much work, and would likely require a developer (hire me :D!) What you did is beautiful, informative, and inspiring!

    It was really hard to choose a favorite, cuz I liked them all, but those seascapes put me in a total zen state and I love them for that. Best for last!

  13. I liked the series in the detailed format you went for. I think doing them four days in a row might have been a bit more seamless. I also like Kate’s idea of consolidating it into a single post with less close-up shots. The Target posts are shoppable, these are less so because of all the vintage.. so the close-ups are 50 shades of tease 😉 But I love your posts and the frequency of them so keep on keepin’ on in my opinion.

    1. That’s interesting. These weren’t terribly planned out in the sense that we didn’t shop for them, we just pulled from my vintage shelving. Going forward we are definitely going to shop for them so we can use things that you guys can actually purchase. This was our first one, but not our last.

      1. I buy whatever I can that you recommend. And, I LOVE THE DETAILED PICTURES of the vintage…cuz then I hunt and hunt and find the same vintage pieces. From the White Russian face vase/object to the mustached vase you gave oh joy for her birthday, to the fiber art on the wall in your last home, and so on…they can b found!

    2. I really liked the detailed format also. I just want to say that as someone who lives outside the U.S., an item from Target is the same as a vintage item = not “shoppable.”

  14. I really like the idea of doing 2 styles in 1 post so that we can compare and contrast them, and then you get two posts out of them. One of my favorite things is before/after comparisons, and I think it would really help juice up the posts!
    Love the blog!

  15. I liked that it was four different posts. I even liked that there were posts in between them. The reason is that when I saw each different style I really liked it. My first reaction was “that’s beautiful” and I read about how you made it worked. It was only when I saw all four of them together that I had a distinct preference for number 3. If all 4 had been in a single post, I would have just focused on number 3 and not appreciated the rest or learned how to make them work.

      1. YES YES!! I’m sure it’s hard to have so many dissenting opinions, but I totally agree with Diann. I loved that they were four different posts, and it wasn’t until the end that I realized how much I liked ALL of them, and how I actually learned something from reviewing all of them. I don’t think this would have happened if we hadn’t had the time to really dive into the details of each one (and have a break between them).
        For example:
        #1 – I love the lamp, and I never would have picked out something like that before. Now I’m looking for one. I also realize that after comparing #1 to #2 and #4, I realize that I prefer art that is of the same size and displayed symmetrically (side by side, or three in a line) rather than a gallery wall type of look. If you had asked me before this series, I would have said I prefer a gallery wall, so wow! Thank you.
        #3 – This shows the power of an incredible, large piece of artwork. Amazing. Plus the branches really make it all come together, and I love that you said that most people have them right outside of their house. True.

        #2 and #4 are so beautiful as well, but #1 and #3 may have changed my life. Ha! Too dramatic?
        THANK YOU for sharing and keep trusting your instincts.

        xx Hannah

  16. But I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed that white vase with the weaving pieces through it. More than that gold Target lamp I’ll never find. More than a winning lottery ticket! Ok – that might be over the top.

    1. It was actually still available when she posted this. I hope you checked. Clearance to $5. I got some for gifts.
      I know the feeling when you REALLY want something. I’ll try and check back here. If you leave your contact info, I’ll let you buy one of mine for what I paid.

  17. I really appreciated that in this series you didn’t switch up the walls, floors, etc. I think that’s a little more realistic since many of us want to change the look of pieces we own, but aren’t going to re-paint and wallpaper every time we want to do that. I’d actually like to see more posts like this, although I agree with the above that 4 separate posts felt like a bit of a stretch.

  18. I’m a follower, very occasional commenter. I pretty much skipped over these posts, the second post I actually thought I had already read the day before before I realised it was the second option. The most useful photo for me was the four different styles side by side in this post so I could decide which I liked the best. Just wanted to let you know what a usually silent reader thinks!
    My favourite posts are: your project posts, your own home posts and tips on things like reupholstery, finding good vintage furniture, paint colours etc.

  19. I rarely comment on blogs, but I have to weigh in. I am continually impressed by your content– truly don’t see much (if anything) better out there in the blog world. Even spread out in four posts, I did not find it “thin.” I liked having the time to appreciate the differences between each look, and I looked forward to checking back in to see the next styles.

    1. Thank you thank you thank you. Seriously. For reading and for that comment. Its what keeps us going.

      1. I’m with Heather. I looked forward to each post of this series and was excited to see what you would do next. “Why it works” was my favorite (and the most useful) part of each post, and I appreciated the separate ones because I had time to digest each style. I come here every day (without an email prompt!) because I love your voice and your work. Keep on keepin’ on!

  20. How do you make the old frames look so good without diminishing the character? Every time I find a vintage picture I like, the frame looks dingy and overly aged…not appealing at all. Do you clean them with anything special? or touch them up with paint?

    1. We don’t lean them, these all just happen to be pretty good. Often they can be bad, but in a whole collection I do think you start losing how bad they are and all you see is the ocean colors/collection.

  21. Every day I said this is my favorite, and today was no different. You nailed it on the head with ‘country coastal mid-century.’ All three of my favorite styles blended into one (and one I hope to achieve myself stylistically).

    And a note on the 4 posts. AT FIRST, my gut said, ah, a post stretched out for four days. BUT after reading, I honestly appreciated each and every post. It would have gotten long with 4 in 1. But I’m so grateful for your mini lessons on ‘why it works.’ and I’m glad I got to see if for four completely unique styles. Maybe Post 3 was a bit thin, but as a whole, i liked the series.

    That being said, I’m also a Charlie-post lover so who am I?? 🙂

    1. You are awesome is who you are. I think you are right. I was rushing on #3 because i was traveling. So maybe if all four had been equally entertaining (I think #2 was the best, personally, blog-wise) then maybe by #3 people wouldn’t have been bored.

  22. I like the styled 4 ways, but these aren’t that dramatically different. I think it would have felt less, as someone said ‘thin,’ if the styles were more varied. Very nice though. 3 is definitely my favorite!

    1. This is pretty much how I feel. They are all pretty, though! I’ve been reading this blog for years and wouldn’t keep coming back if there wasn’t something I loved about it, and I routinely comment about how much I think the content rocks. I just think the format/organization could be tweaked in this particular case.

  23. Ohhh this one is just so nice and calming. But my heart is still stuck on #2 and #3 so I’m deciding between those.

    But man I can’t believe those beautiful white lamps are from Target! I must find a reason to buy them immediately.

    Regarding spreading these out over 4 different posts: Although I would have LOVED to see all of these in one post (that’s what I was expecting with the first and felt so disappointed!! Like in a good cliffhanger kind of way though). 4 does seem a bit much, but I like the idea of 3 ways. Thank you so much for taking reader’s comments into consideration. I have to say in all my years of reading blogs, you are hands down the best blogger I have ever seen – I’m serious. I’ve never seen someone crank out so much amazing original content on a daily basis. I’m serious.

  24. I was so torn between number 1 and 4, but because I’m a lover of the sea, 4 had to be the winner!
    I really enjoyed this series as I couldn’t wait to see what you would come up with next, and the comparison at the end. So fun!

  25. Loved #3 most, #4 is more like what I have now – full disclosure, I live in Portland. Maybe I’m moving out of my costal phase?! Who am I?

    I liked the posts the way they were, the information on why things worked was VERY interesting. However, I can see how it would be more user-friendly to combine the posts, maybe 2 posts with 2 set ups? Whatever, I’m a “the more, info the better” kind of girl. Bring it.

      1. I’ll buy your seascapes if you are ready to move on from them. I don’t need them now but someday i’m going to have one whole room of them. in my beach house.

  26. I liked that you strung us along. I agree that putting them all in one post would have been too much and I like checking back to see what the next one is. Although I think keeping them all within one week would be good. Or doing one credenza two ways in a single post (as you mentioned). Also, I hate being nitpicky but in case other people notice you might want to change the folowing: you mentioned the style was “refrained” and I think you mean “restrained”.

  27. Firstly, thank you for all the hard work you do to produce so much original, quality content. I know it must take many hours, and you make so many of us happy every day.

    I personally really like this series and format. You put so much helpful, clearly explained information in each post – the reason I read your blog – that I think it would be too much for one post.

    Thank you!

  28. Thank you for the fine print at the bottom of this post. Definitely overkill on styling the credenza! Usually love your stuff though…!

  29. They really are ALL fabulous, and I could live with any one of them. However,I love #4. I’m a HUGE fan of seascapes AND forestscapes in those mooody blues and greens. Just so easy and relaxed. And I’m 56. Can I still be cool?

  30. What the… my credenza is losing! How is this possible? I guess they’re all great, but I really love #1.

    I dig these posts, Emily, especially because you explain so clearly why each situation works. Giving readers the vocabulary to discuss aesthetics, yay!

  31. Just my 2 cents, but not everything needs to be shopable. I like seeing items that you choose just for the inspiration, even if I can’t purchase them.

  32. I agree that the 4 different designs would be waaaay too much visual content for one post, and I also appreciated the “meatier” before/after posts in between. Plus, it’s so great that you can take criticism from your readers. I hate it when bloggers either erase comments or pretend they aren’t there. I’m sure you know by now you will never please everyone, but it’s so refreshing to see a blogger as popular as you taking reader’s thoughts to heart.
    P.s. #4 is my fave.

  33. I like the format. I kind of scrolled to the 4 credenzas, stopping to admire the gif. But all the shots are pretty little eye snacks in the middle of my day.

  34. Credenza 3 is my favorite because its natural and calming AND packs in some edge which always nice. I do love the floor plant from Credenza number 2 though wish it was somewhere around credenza 3 but Im still smiling and happy from all layouts.
    Emily Henderson youre a rockstar

  35. Hi Emily! I have a question… (or maybe other readers can help too!)

    In my apartment, my dining room and living room are all one big space. I have a similar credenza like the one you are styling on the same long wall as my sofa. How would you style the walls above both differently? Or would you try to incorporate the whole wall into something? Oh, and my favorite look above is #3.


  36. I don’t mind these spaced out even if the post feels light to some. The close-ups and extra shots give you more chances to appreciate it and get a better view of all the pretty details. Some people just need to stop wanking and appreciate that all this content takes time and money so not every post is going to be as robust as others. Simply put we get a glimpse into your styling tricks and world for FREE, and I myself appreciate it very much. I dig your style and find your design much more attainable with livable solutions to decorating. I think for me I would have liked to see these all one after another but that’s because I get excited and like instant gratification but either way it’s cool and keeps me coming back. This series would have been way too long as one post and I loved all the extra pictures and details. You do what works for you!

    Also my vote is #3 however I also like #4 (maybe because I am an ex beach bum via way of Santa Barbara now living in the pacific northwest).

  37. I like all 4 but had a really, really hard time picking between 2 and 3. Ultimately I think 3 meshes the best with my own personal style but 2 is ‘objectively’ my favorite/the best. (Is it strange to have the one I would choose be different than the one I think is the ‘best’?)

    Anyway, I actually really enjoyed this series being spread out over 4 separate posts. I don’t always have time to read super long blog posts and I had something small to look forward to to take a break from work each day.

  38. I appreciated the spacing of these posts. Styling is not easy, and looking at too many variations at once can make your head spin. Better to take it in gradually and THEN compare and contrast.
    As a fellow Oregon girl, I have to vote for #4. And manzanita! How apropos for the Oregon coast.

  39. I loved these posts and loved the amount of detail you provided. I felt like I was getting a lesson from a guru. My boyfriend and I are finishing decorating our bedroom and in styling our nightstands I found myself explaining to him “we need something vertical to bring the eye up, something horizontal to ground, and something geometrical or interesting.” It was so helpful for a novice like me because I now have an idea of what I should be looking for! So, you go Glenn Coco, keep these posts coming!!

    p.s. I do agree that posting them back-to-back would have been more seamless, but it only left me anxiously anticipating the next post!

  40. I love this last one. It feels so calming!

    I love the 1 furniture 4 ways posts and I think it would actually make a good two part post. The reader gets to see two different ways in one post and two different ways in another. That way we can still see a lot of photos and get more explanation, but the two different posts gives us time to absorb and appreciate each style.

  41. Why don’t you have a credenza contest with your followers? Then you pick you favorites. I agree, I like a few close ups but not too many.

  42. I liked the four posts — it allowed for each version to stand apart and for you to explain the style in more detail. However, I am not a fan of overly long posts.

  43. I really liked these posts to see how you compose everything! I think I would have been more satisfied with two or three SEPARATE posts on consecutive days (I like the “to be continued…” aspect) or 4 posts that had DRASTICALLY different styles.

  44. I just bought a mid-century credenza very similar to this one, so I was VERY excited to see these posts to help me style it in my space. I loved the four separate posts because it allowed you to go into detail about why you made the decisions and what made each style work, rather than the quick overview that you probably would have had to do if you put all four into one post. I really benefited from the “why it works” info when I styled mine last night. Thank you!

  45. Hi Emily, repeating what another reader said – it would be great if you could do a post on how to ‘style’ a TV… I know they’re ugly but realistically everyone has one, so it would be good to know how you would make them work. I have mine sitting on a mid century credenza at the moment but am stuck on whether to wall mount it, to hang pictures around it, or put it on an open bookcase. Thanks!

    1. Would also LOVE to see different ways (or any ways) to ‘style’ a TV.

      REALLY liked the Design Mistake//Generic Sofa post, too. Keep these coming! So much easier to see why things are ‘bad’ when they’re side by side with the ‘good’, and vice versa.

  46. I actually really enjoyed these posts — mainly because you explained every detail and that helps me to think through why things look good. I tend to know when something is going to look good — but usually cannot explain why. I get friends asking me how to do stuff in their homes, but I so often fail at being able to convey anything to them verbally. So I love reading all your descriptions of everything and the “whys” because it’s helping me pinpoint the reasons rationally not just visually/emotionally.
    I kinda had to brace myself for the 4 posts of this series, because I love long posts to pour over — so I had to pace myself for the wait on each of these.
    What if you still had one “four ways” but two at at time?

  47. I love that you split these posts up. I had more time to appreciate each style individually before making a comparison, and I got excited each time I saw the new credenza post on my bloglovin feed. Maybe that just means I’m boring and need more to look forward to in life – but I work in a cubicle and these posts really make me smile when I’m supposed to be running a/b testing on landing pages.

    Plus, these look like a lot of work to do, so I don’t blame you for spreading your content out over a few days. I don’t understand how you sleep.

  48. This is my favorite! I’ve been collecting seascapes for years and have a mini-gallery wall of them in my LR behind our TV. (link above) I love the colors in seascapes and I love the sense of time you ‘get’ from vintage seascapes. You can’t imagine my surge of pride when I saw your blog today b/c I consider you the master and to see something in your blog similar to something I’ve done…. Yay! This made my day! As far as this content– I am fine with this content once in awhile. It is less than your usual entry, but, I figured you had something going on in your life such that you needed to do a few lighter entries– sorta like I give myself permission to make tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner sometimes. Most of the time, I cook a bigger more elaborate spread for my husband and kiddos, but sometimes life gets in the way…..Personally, I think that should be ok. Just my two cents worth…..

  49. I really appreciate that you are thinking about — and sharing your thought process about — how to make a series of this type without making your readers feel a little strung along. It’s entirely true that there are lots of lifestyle blogs that publish one pretty photo of a peony and with a one-liner like “happy Friday.” I don’t read those, though. Your readers might not be the same as the ones who devour, say, This is Glamourous. It might be that your readers are more demanding but more rewarding in terms of loyalty, reading through the archives, clicking on your ads — but I don’t really know the numbers on that; we could also be more demanding without being more rewarding. It must be tough trying to calculate: what readers will you lose or gain if you make changes that make your posts quicker to produce? Would it be worth it to your overall business, to your brand or to the blog itself? I don’t know enough about the broad habits of the peony-viewing public to guess. But I want to say that the substance of your posts, the thoroughness of your candor and the wit of your writing make it distinct to me, and I still come to your blog every day even though I’ve left a ton of other “pretty peony” blogs behind.

  50. I think #4 is my absolute favorite, although I do really like #2 as well. Hmm… But for me, the coastal feel and relaxed, warm vibe of #4 is something I could see in my house…or at least in the way I want my house to be, someday, in the future. I gotta hit those vintage stores and flea markets more!

    And as far as the postings go, I didn’t mind the spread-out approach…kinda fun to wait and see what’s coming next. I just really like reading and seeing what you come up with – really good stuff, and so easy to read since you write like you speak (I’m assuming).

  51. What about adding a shopping guide? even for a few key pieces or just quick links to where we can find the items? i like them as four separate posts. Or maybe you could show how you curated these, I imagine you had items in each that you tried and didn’t work… that could be fun to see to. many of us may be doing something wrong/ugly.
    Thanks for all your hard work! Everything on this blog is great, i feel bad being picky. WE love Emily! Can I get a chant going!!!

  52. First of all, you can do no wrong. If you want to space out these posts- go ahead and do so. Of course if you want to do bulkier posts that’s great too! I will literally read anything you write/obsess over everything you post. (I promise I’m not scary, I just love your style and you probably have the best voice on the internet. Except for maybe Orlando, you two are just hilarious). And I totally agree with the other readers- show us how to style a TV! Everyone has one and they are usually the focal point of a room.

  53. alright, I LOVE #3, but I fear I would get tired of seeing that giant face, even though she is gorgeous. #2 is my second fave, but for the sake of this, #3 is my vote!

  54. #4 is definitely my favorite. Also, I really enjoyed this series and liked seeing all four options.

  55. Personally, I LOVE these posts. I like the breakdown of why it works and the pictures are beautiful. Although I would prefer if they were 4 days in a row. When the third one came out I was like ‘wait we’re still doing this…alright I’m down’.

    It would be even better with a ‘get this look’ type of thing at the end. I know almost everything is vintage but links to similar items would be awesome and it would give you another excuse for online shopping(not that one is needed) 😉

  56. I voted for 3, bc while I love several of the items in #2, I prefer the boldness, contrast, and simplicity of #3.

  57. hi! emily – how are you liking your wood floors from build direct? i love the acacia variagated look. thinking about the same floors in our new construction home we’re buildling this spring.

  58. I LOVED LOVED these posts! I am majorly challenged in the “styling” department, so I found these sooooooo wonderful to read, esp the “why this works” part – I love that I can come here to learn AND be inspired!! For whatever it’s worth, I zone out when posts are too long. I liked how short and sweet these were. I wouldn’t have absorbed everything if it was all together.

  59. I think it’s lovely of you to ask for feedback and so here is some feedback. I also expected to see all 4 credenzas in one post when I saw the first headline, but I got over it. I think 2 posts of 2 or just 3 credenzas total may have made it seem a bit less drawn out content-wise, but I also noticed and appreciated that you stuffed a lot of great detail into these! I read every one of these posts and enjoyed them, BUT I noticed so much more in the comparison of all four, and thats the image I’m pinning for future inspiration.

  60. I love these options posts. They are SO educational! I think a series where you use several of the same pieces- maybe 1 large (furniture), 1 medium(lamp), 1 small (vase, knick-knack)- in every one of the 4 options and just add different looks could be really cool. Or inversely you could use the same set of objects (like a set of dishes, a small painting, and some glasswear) styled in a variety of furniture pieces…. More like what I would do at home with my stuff: I’m not going to start from scratch but I still want to switch up the look a couple times a year.
    As to the “break it up or keep the posts together” argument. I think that you should just make everyone unhappy by doing two options at a time, and in the end this will actually make everyone perfectly happy because there will be so much content at once and it will last for more than one day.

  61. I really liked the credenza series as you did it – split into four days, not all in a row. I would have been overwhelmed had it been four days in sequence. I didn’t love all four of the different styles, but that’s kind of the point right? All in all, it was fun and unique. Nice work!

  62. All four together in one post seems fine. or back-to-back. Of course I just read them all back-to-back because I was AFK for a week. I thought the way you did the 4 ways style a dresser with Ginny’s dresser was good, and figured this was more in the same vein (when I first saw it).

    Voted for #3 because I LOVE that Stephanie Vovas piece. Also, I think the middle items of books and shakers? could be removed to have the more minimalist quality to it you mentioned. I almost voted for #1 because I think it’s a more interesting collection … it just couldn’t compete with those beautiful eyes with the shadow matching the pottery.


  63. Love all four of the posts! You’re never going to please all of us, all of the time, so perhaps just continue post in a way that pleases you. I liked having the posts spread out as it gave me time to really think about what appealed to me in each one. It gave me an opportunity to evaluate my own credenza and what lives on top of it now. The close ups of vintage vases etc are lovely. My things aren’t the same as yours but they are unique to me and your styling helps me to look at my things in a fresh light.

  64. I also wanted to cast my vote in favor of 4 different posts, instead of one comprehensive one. I wanted to add one more reason: for those of us trying to learn from you, showing us the little details helps a ton. In a big post, I wouldn’t pay attention, say, to the grass ropes in the small white vase on #4, but now I know that this grass is what made you mark this particular white vase as more coastal, compared to the other ones. Oh, and you can really do no wrong.

  65. I disagree with anyone who said these posts were “thin”. They are definitely not thin and I like that you have posts of varying lengths. You’re generally wordy, which I appreciate because I love reading and love your details but I liked that these with shorter and focused specifically on how you styled them. Another reader mentioned that it allowed us to fully appreciate each style without being distracted by the others. That being said, I love the 3rd style. And I hope you do more posts like these!

  66. Oh this makes me miss Secrets of a Stylist so much. You and Orlando made some good TV. Number 4 ALL THE WAY! I am glad I am not the only one who loves vintage seascapes. My hubs thinks I am crazy. And I love the blue and all that wood; the extra gifs were worth it!.

  67. Hi Emily! I LOVED this series. It may be because I am anxiously waiting for a West Elm credenza that has been back-ordered for forever. It was nice to have a series that helps with a change anyone can make, not a huge renovation project. Please do more like this, maybe for a mantle or bedside table.

  68. I thought these posts were fantastic. I love getting your thought process behind different looks because I am trying to learn. If you only did the credenza 2 ways I feel like I wouldn’t get to see all the different styles and why they work.

  69. I really enjoyed this series. Didn’t feel thin at all – the education aspect of it really was interesting, understanding WHY you pair something. It would have been thin if it was just 4 pictures of “hey, look, pretty!”.

    I find these kinds of vignettes difficult to compile, and you, madam, are the master of the vignette.

  70. I happened to really enjoy this series. As a DIY decorator, I’m always looking to crack the code on why certain designs work. I’ve started looking at my own displays through your lens: something vertical, something horizontal to anchor it, and something soft and/or sculptural. These posts tell us HOW to accomplish this look and WHY it works, rather than just showing us gorgeous rooms that we have no idea how to create. Thank you Emily! I recently culled a LOT of blogs from my feed, and yours made the cut. Now don’t YOU feel special?!

  71. I would also add that I would LOVE to see a similar series on how to style a bed properly. It seems I either have too many or not enough pillows. Show us how to do it!

  72. I really liked the series and didn’t find the content “thin” at all. I think it can be nice to sometimes have shorter reads between longer, more detailed posts.

  73. Credenza 4 is what my dreams are made of! And I absolutely loved this series!!! I disagree with the criticisms about having it broken up into separate posts that were spread apart. I totally agree with your thought process of doing it the way you did. I kind of liked the suspense of waiting for the next one rather than having them in back to back posts. And it would’ve been information overload to have it all in one (in my opinion). I lovedddddd your why this works explanations. I hope to see more series like this in the future!! Thank you!!!

  74. Thank you for these posts, great info on styling vignettes. I sorta agree with the comment that one credenza per post is a little thin, AND from your perspective that one post would be giant (and mountains of work/time)…. but I think divided into 2 posts, so more than one/ comparison etc. would be the right balance. Loving these voting posts with different styling techniques, great idea, and as always thank you (Australia).

  75. I think people should go a little easier on you. It’s your blog and you can make it 1post, 4 posts or 10 posts. The world needs to lighten up.

  76. Hi again, adding that I agree with the above posts. LOVING this series, and you could do so much… bathroom/vanity, kitchen, shelves, bookcase/etigeres… you are so generous with your knowledge/ styling how to’s…. and so DARN GOOD AT IT…

  77. ive said this before in different ways… favorite thing about your content is that you TEACH. I’m more likely to buy if I know how to make a plan and bring everything together.

    That said…I’m not sure how different these tablescapes actually are. There’s a formula – Lamp(s), framed art, little objects. Don’t get me wrong — seeing how to do the formula with one, two, and many pieces of framed art, one or two lamps, etc., is very instructive. Might have been interesting to do one with a mirror, one with fiber art, one with just a single really big sculptural object and not lots of clutter on the surface, one with framed art, etc.. I’d even like to see how to “break the grid” even more., i.e., how to successfully expand art past the sides of the credenza (the grid). The plant and chair help. I have a 15 wide by 15 foot tall wall and a 72″ sideboard, and I’ve been contemplating how to take advantage of a big big wall space and still have the sideboard feel balanced.

    Maybe that’s the point…. It would be really really cool to see how you handle tricky spaces, not just perfect spaces 🙂

  78. Okay – if you get a chance to read this, you are the best, because:
    1. Your creativity if off the charts!
    2. You actually share your ideas, how to’s, mistakes, and how to fix them. Your generosity is immeasurable!
    3. And you do it all in an entertaining, self-confident, but not self-aggrandizing way.

    I love these series! I can learn how better from seeing options not only because you explain them, but because I can see patterns in the comparisons. And again, I’m entertained -daily-not monthly- as I wait for each issue of my design magazines.

    AND one more thing. I was in Anthropologie yesterday and saw that same white/rattan vase on clearance and picked it up. This, I said to myself, is something Emily would value and would look great on the credenza. What are the chances????

  79. Emily, I agree with my fellow readers above: one of the things that sets you apart from other design related blogs -besides your voice/writing & mastery of what you do of course!- is the fact that you are consistently teaching/educating us. We are so lucky to have access to your inspiration, creativity, experience, design process, beautiful images of your final results and EVERYthing else you share with us here -for free.?! So thank you, thank you, thank YOU!!! most sincerely, emily jane PS. I choose #2 -for the art and because I liked how you extended the vignette beyond the credenza- but I loved #3 as well. Also, I quite like the idea of you building on the A Cup of Jo post that so beautifully covered the dilemma of the television (I similarly covered the wall behind my tv with art and absolutely LOVE it! Sometimes when I’m watching a show my eye wanders from the screen to all the lovely behind it…). Thanks again!

  80. My vote is for #1…it’s definitely that one of a kind swan lamp (I have a lamp addiction like some have shoes), but I also really like #4, esp. the paintings. #2 is cool, but I don’t care for #3 ’cause the giant model face..looks like a big screen t.v. to me.

  81. Hi Emily
    I live in Australia and follow many American style blogs. Yours is the first one I go to each morning and the one I love most. I LOVE your style and find your blog sooooo inspiring. Your writing style is perfect and often gives me a laugh – a perfect start to the working day! Re: the credenza posts, I’ve really enjoyed them but agree that it would work better as 2 credenzas each in two consecutive posts rather than spread out over a couple of weeks. Apart from that please keep doing what you do and giving hours of reading/ styling pleasure to so many people each week. You rock!

  82. #3 is my absolute favorite, because THAT PHOTO…but if I’m being realistic about what I’d actually put in my house it would be #4 – #3 would never happen in my house because my husband would be freaked out to have some random woman’s giant face staring at him every day 🙂

  83. We put stickers on the back of things at my grandparents house (my grandmother’s suggestion!) so that she doesn’t accidentally give away things we think we might like. It’s worked great and every once in a while I come back from a trip to their house with a new treasure!

  84. I read through some of the comments and I guess we all just like different things and it would be hard (and probably fruitless) to please everyone. I liked the posts spaced out. If you’re in it for one (pinnable) image I guess it would be better to have them all together but I really like the breakdown, close-ups and gifs. I have no idea how to style my credenza, bedside table, dresser (or many other areas) and for me this post is more than the inspirational photos: it’s informative and instructive. I like learning from a post too. Hey, I need the tips and putting all four together would have been too photo/content heavy for me.

    {I’m probably more likely to have #1 in my house but I had to vote for #3 because I’ve come back to it several times just to stare at it, oh so beautifully done}.

  85. Emily, I have enjoyed your blog for a couple years, and I have really appreciated the quality and quantity of posts in the new year. I love the styled credenzas (though nothing could beat the first one for me). I get excited to see what you are going to post each day. THANK YOU!

  86. I like each of them in their own way but number 4 is my favorite. To weigh in on the number of posts in the series, I liked having them spread out and did not find them to be “thin”. In fact, you consistently deliver informative and entertaining original content that is head and shoulders above so much of what is out there. Thank you!

  87. I’ve loved all 4 posts and it’s nice to have “slim” content somedays. Like, somedays it’s just nice to stare at pretty pictures and get a little bit of educational information to read when you’ve been teaching 23 second graders and have been in meetings on both ends of the school day.

    Also, if I’m in a rush, your blog is the only one I read every day and look forward to it everyday.

    AND I love the Charlie/Motherhood posts.

  88. Hi Emily!! I’ve been a huge fan ever since I saw your first episode of Secrets of a Stylist. And I’ve followed (and loved!) your blog ever since I found out you had one. I just wanted to say I loved this content! It in no way felt “thin” to me. You really dove in, explained the styling, & why it worked. I really enjoyed the different styles. It’s like reading Domino, you get to look at beautiful spaces & learn a ton. I say kudos!

  89. Of course you like the seascapes because you like blue so much. Matching lamps are not my thing. I am afraid you are going to burn out like YHL did. I think I have convinced myself to do a gallery wall because of you. And strangely enough I think I will do a wall like yours where you hang a a bunch of different fabrics or wallpaper up on one wall but on different boards. I know that was for conveniece and not for style but I have decided to do it for style. All 4 styles of the credenza are incredible. I wouldn’t kick any of them out of bed.

  90. Seems like everyone has a different opinon of whether this should be one, two or four posts but the consensus is that everyone loves the way you teach.

  91. Your post are absolutely terrific. I love your writing, I love your styling.
    Wouldn’t dream of suggesting that you do things differently.

  92. Love the idea of these 4-ways posts – all in one would be my preference. Leave out all the close-ups and do a quick description of each. My fave is the coastal look, because of the restrained color scheme (oops, not refrained.)

  93. Love this series (esp the way you name each style) and while I was a bit impatient to see all four at first I think overall the delayed gratification makes it even better. Like number 1 best.

  94. Gosh! There are a lot of comments here, but I will add anyways. I liked number 3 the best, though I would switch out the art for the first one. I agree with the other comments on wanting you to use things that are available for purchase. Even if I wasn’t going to buy the exact same item I love when I can click around on websites that aren’t West Elm and get even more ideas. Though, I imagine that its probably difficult to balance interesting and one of a kind with mass availability. Love your blog, keep up the great work.

  95. Wow – this the first time I’ve voted for the least popular one. I feel like such a hipster rebel. Anywho – if I could have the artwork of #1, and the accessories of #3, that’d be GREAT! {said like the boss from Office Space}

  96. Maybe because down here we are in summer… but defenitely my favorite is #4. I loved this serie and the different ways deco can change a complete space. Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina!

  97. Emily. I love your blog!! It’s become one of my very favorites. And I love it because of your personal voice. Please, please don’t get too caught up trying to please everyone. Let people gripe about what they want, and just go on doing your thing. Surely the compliments far outnumber the complaints! Listening to opinions seems like a slippery slope {lovingly sad side-eye at Young House Love}. At least you have a blog where people are leaving comments, one way or another. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years {though way less frequently and awesomely than you do it} and I am lucky if someone other than my mother comments {and I love her for it!}. 🙂 Keep up the great work, lady!

  98. I loved this series. I found it informative and useful to see simple changes with your specific explanations for why it works. I don’t mind the 4 posts, although I was kinda impatient to see all of them. So maybe you could post them all within a week, or maybe I can learn to wait. I’d love to see this same approach applied to other areas especially entryway, TV/entertainment zone or other small areas that I can tackle myself.

  99. I love these posts! I think they are really helpful as resources to think about how to style, and they do so in a way that allows for a lot of options based on people’s point of view/taste. Or, even more helpful, based on what they have in their home already that they can mix up and make look like one of your examples.

    AND, I think they have a bit of your “Material Girl” series in them, because each have a personality and of course your wonderful writing shows through in how you write about that personality.

    SO, I really like them, and I think your 2 in1 idea is great. I also think YOU are great! You put so much work into this blog, and that is just so wonderful for readers. Bravo to you and your team.

  100. I think creating 4 posts was very generous of you, and I’m going to suggest that you could have stretched it even farther: I wanted to see the midcentury coastal styled “thrift-store” so we could see the difference those Target lamps made to the final style in a before and after kind of way. Although I’m sure you’ve thought of it (and maybe even done it?) before, I’d love to see some style before and afters where changing just one or two items takes it from tacky to EH-styled worthiness.

    I agree with everyone above. I am very grateful to have found your blog, full of joy, fun, and contenty new posts almost daily. If you have to stretch sometimes, please go ahead. This is my first time-sink of the day, and often my only one as your words, ideas, and work keep me pretty enthralled.

  101. Hi Emily I finally subscribe to your blog!! you are so good and funny I really have fun reading you. It’s nice that you ask your readers for feedback I thought is great to have all these 4 posts and so many pics and I agree with you maybe two in one would be better for some impatient readers haha but for me 4 posts was ok.

    I like number 2 the best, it seems happier to me and that big plant speeks to me. I appreciate ALL the artwork in all of the 4 styles, really beautiful!!

  102. I don’t have any real feedback other than #4 would be what I, generally, would pick for my own house, but the art in #1 rocks my world. That quirky lamp in the first one kept me from picking that one. I guess I’m just too safe. But, oh man, I covet those paintings in #1.

  103. So funny, I was thinking as I read this post that I’m loving the content lately. really. It seems like a LOT of work has been going into it and since you asked for feedback at the end, I figured it is my duty to share. This is my fav blog right now. I do see the complaint about four posts being a little much, though. two or three would probably be better.

  104. I am an avid reader of your blog and a huge admirer of your unique & approachable style. However, I do find it a HUGE bummer that you would feature the white/woven vase from Anthropologie that is a direct knock off of local LA designer Tracy Wilkinson. Usually, you are all about promoting small artists/business so this really took me by surprise.

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