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A Sneak Peek Into Our Current Design Projects – What The HECK We Are Up To…


Tomorrow’s scheduled post got bumped at the last minute (turns out writing a post about going back to church takes a bit more editing/thought than the 6 months that I’ve spent writing it). So I realized that a lot of you don’t know what we are up to, design-wise and some of you are even calling us out in the comments (I’m actually glad you care). After the mountain house, I promised myself I would take a break from massive renovations to focus on A. the book and B. more relatable content, with a heavy dose of C. extra time with my family. That doesn’t mean that we don’t do design projects as you are clearly about to see in a minute. But meanwhile, two of our design team members went freelance in January so it’s down to Julie and me, the rest of the staff is on the editorial and partnerships duty. So it may look like there are 8 of us on design projects, but it’s just Julie and me these days. But Julie is killing it juggling so many different rooms, styles, and budgets making working at EHD truly a graduate program in design. No two projects are alike and we never ever ever know what I’ll say yes to NEXT. Here goes…

Violet’s Bedroom

My friend’s daughter’s bedroom is THIS CLOSE to being done and it’s looking VERY cute. You may remember this trend/intro post about it. We are simply waiting on the awesome bed from Buildlane to get installed in a week and then we’ll shoot it and show you what a magical mid-century fairy bedroom looks like.

I hesitate to give you too many sneak peeks, but my gosh that wallpaper and swing are already so killer (we’ll link products up in the morning when my team gets in, don’t worry).

Grace’s Bedroom – 7 Years Later

This is another very fun one. Seven years ago I designed Grace’s bedroom with Orlando (remember this video?). Her family has consistently been one of our best clients because they are frankly wonderful people that understand the design process (You know those clients who look at an invoice and say “Thanks for your hard work” then write the check? That’s THEM). So when they reached out for me to update Grace’s now 16-year-old bedroom (which will be a guest room in 2 years) we, of course, said yes (see their whole house here). This is the inspiration they sent through.

design by ben petreath | photo by max burkhalter | via architectural digest

It’s more grown-up, with some old-world refinement, but don’t worry we are adding enough youth to make it still feel cool to a 16-year-old.

Please note we are still using the same antique bed that was her mom’s when she was little. We LOVE IT and those kinds of pieces make a room special. We actually took off a lot of the fun stuff from the mood board as to not give it all away, so trust me it’s going to be amped up (but we wanted to give you a sense of where we are headed).

Suzanne’s Master Bedroom

My sister-wife/neighbor/one of my best friends, Suzanne deserves a properly designed bedroom, and since she is so close and her bedroom has such charm we are of course helping her out. If you are wondering if my friends pay me or not to help them, please check out the post where I outline the “friends and family” program. Here is her inspiration, although it has shifted a bit as we have been designing it.

left: design by colin king | right: design by jake arnold | photo by justin coit | via architectural digest

We are calling it “the big hug” as sometimes that’s all we want from a bedroom.

There is more to it than this (keeping the rest a secret), but we are about 4 weeks from finishing it (and might even lime wash paint it ourselves) and it’s going to be alarmingly soothing…

Chandler’s Living Room

One of my other best friends, Corbett has a brother who just moved into an AMAZING historically preserved apartment in Hollywood and we couldn’t just let it sit there without getting our hands on it.

It’s hard to tell how amazing it is, but to give you more reference here is the exterior. It’s pretty incredible.

It’s full of architectural elements that can make a room. This is our inspiration.

image source

A lot might change, but that’s our first mood board that Corbett is helping us implement.

Emily’s (My) Living Room

Now onto our house in LA which as you know I want to shift more into the “Eclectic English Grandma” vibe. We’ve been toying around for a while and trying to figure out what that looks like for me.

I’ve made some decisions that I’m very excited about. Some floral fabrics are happening, with some pops of red and a lot of eclectic weirdness. It’s building slowly, and yet might be done in 2 months. Stay tuned.

Our Kids Shared Bedroom

The kids moved in together a year ago and mattresses have basically been on the ground since then. As a recap here’s what it looked like before the move:

It was cute, but I never walked in and was like ‘THIS IS IT’. It never felt right. So now that they live together I want to rework it and make it feel better for both of them (as well as myself).

design by grace bonney | photo by lesley unruh | via design sponge

I’m going for it in a way that I didn’t before and there will be a lot more fun elements that take it to another level. Here is a very rough board that gives you an idea without giving it away.

Hopefully, you are confused and excited. I know that I am.

Brian’s Future Office/Guestroom

The basement has become this massive source of stress. We bought this house for many reasons, one of which because it had this space that could be great for guests, as well as Brian. But it kept flooding for reasons we don’t know. It’s pretty cool. So while we are trying to figure out the source of the water damage, we are also redesigning it to function for our future needs… once the mystery is uncovered.

Julie already designed the bathroom, and the second we know how to move forward with the water damage we will implement her design.

Apartment Therapy Small/Cool Event

top left clockwise: photo by brenda van leeuwen, image source | photo by alex yeske, design by ash nyc, nathalie jordi, & studiowta | design by robert kime, photo by simon upton, via house & garden | design by reath design, photo by laure joliet | image source

Meanwhile, we are also doing the “Small/Cool” Apartment Therapy trend project which is so fun and different, based on the trend that we are super into.

You can guess what they are:) #eclecticenglishgrandma

Sara’s Master Bedroom

While Sara’s living/dining and TV room are wrapped and shot (coming to you soon!). Her bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom are in the works. Here’s a peek into the bedroom…

It’s a blank slate and we are going to make it feel old world in the best new world kind of way. Here’s her inspiration. YESSSSSSSS

sources unknown

Ian & Trilby’s House

Lastly, besides the book, we are taking on decorating my friend’s house (maybe you remember Ian’s last home I helped with?) which is pretty much my dream house. They have a great architect that will get them to the decorating phase, and it’s there that we will enter.

It’s INSANE. Every room is special and desirable, so once we are done we’ll have like 24 different reveals for you. I hope you love beautiful rooms with an insane view and lots of old-world personalities, pattern, and color.

Of course, I still have that book to finish and if you are thinking it’s not a big feat know that it is. I asked my editor the other day if it feels like the hardest book she’s ever seen written and she confirmed, without hesitation that this book is more work than she’s ever thought possible. Somehow I pitched the most difficult design book to conceptualize, shoot, produce, write and pull together. Ever. YAY FOR ME. I know it will pay off because it’s a book I’m DYING to own myself, but if you are wondering what I’m doing beyond those projects above and writing and producing daily blog posts, it’s THAT BOOK.

Thanks for supporting and following along. We have a lot to do but I’m supported by such a great team so I know that we can nail it. xx

Fin Mark


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Hahaha…Suzanne’s fig tree….is all of our fig trees 6 months after purchase. Keep it real, Suzanne! I love it!


These all look so inspiring and interesting. Thanks for producing and sharing such beautiful spaces!

Thank you so much Amy, we are very excited to start sharing all these projects that have been in the works for MONTHS now!

I am so excited to see all these amazing projects come to life!

we are just as excited!! 🙂

Same lady, I am so ready to share all my project babies with you all!

Lori L English

I just love and appreciate you so much.


Suzanne’s fig tree is the most relatable thing I’ve ever seen on this blog.


I noticed the tree, but what really did it for me was the laundry basket — empty! — sitting by the closet! So relatable.


Yes! Especially the fallen leaf peeking out of the planter. It’s every fiddle leaf I have ever owned/killed.


I am literally excited about all of these reveals!! Can’t wait!

Yay, all the different styles coming your way soon!


Can’t wait to see all of it. Go team EHD!

Thanks Christa, it has been so fun to design in so many different styles these past months!

Julie is a powerhouse and we are so lucky to have her!!


Ooooh……looks like yummy stuff on the way. Can’t wait!
Exciting stuff!


This is such a great, helpful post! I am ALWAYS curious about what sorts of stuff you’re doing behind the scenes whenever you post a “Here’s a perfect reveal that took us 6 months to do!” I’ve always thought you must have a million projects going on in the background in order to produce reveals 6 months in the future, and this post confirms it! Thank you so much for sharing!

thanks for following along 🙂

So. Many. Projects. Always. We are so excited to share them all with you soon!


It’s all so fantastic and I am psyched! Also, the book – can’t imagine the work but you’re doing a service for the world!


Super excited! From one old house owner to another – thoughts on your basement office/guest area leak. If you haven’t already, you may need to do some (selective) demo to find the source. In a house as old as yours it’s likely a foundation crack, which sounds scary but often is a pretty manageable fix. If you don’t have a sump pump I would advise one. Also lots of hard finishes that can take getting damp just in case the leak comes back 🙂 Sometimes it’s one or two cracks that create the major water sources but you may have hairline fractures that always seep a bit during heavy rains.


Anyone else not getting emails anymore??


SAME! No emails since site relaunch 🙁

They’ll be back tomorrow!!! 🙂

Julie P

Emily has a basement!?! Wha!? Mind blown! So excited to see all these projects.

haha! surprise! 😛

Julie, nice name 😉 I know, I saw it for the first time about a year ago after a year and a half working for her, hahaha.


Thank you for sharing this update! It’s fun to know what’s coming up, and it all sounds really amazing. And like ALOT of hard work.

Oh, it has been but also very fun to design!

Roberta Davis

Holy Cow! You have a lot going on and I am really looking forward to seeing it all, so thanks for the sneak peeks and links to related projects. And oh, how I could use some large and wonderful prints of herons! I love that there are some more-traditional settings and looks in the works, too. However, I don’t know why you’d renovate your basement bathroom; it looks perfect to me as is! (lol I am trying to get into my husband’s mindset as we approach our renovation.)

julie s

bahahaha husband’s mindset!! I so painfully relate.


We’ve had flooding in our basement for YEARS, which has basically made it impossible to do anything down there besides make a storage pit.

But! We haven’t had a flood for almost three years now, and I believe it’s because we closed up the bathroom down there. (The drain for the bathroom was lower than the sump pump, and so whenever we had a lot of rain it would flood in there before triggering the pump). It was awful to lose that bathroom, but now I’m finally hopeful that we can transform the space. Only drawback will be people hanging out down there will have to go up two flights of stairs to get to a bathroom. Oy.

Good luck with your basement flood woes!


I love this ‘eccentric english grandma’ look, but I hate the name. So ageist.


Huh? How is it ageist to mention grandmas? What’s wrong with being a grandma who likes florals and ruffles and stuff? I’m not one but look forward to being one someday….


This is AWESOME! I’m so excited to see all these projects!!

We are so excited to share them:)


Grace’s bedroom was my favorite kid’s bedroom of all time and I’m so sad to see it go! But I guess now that she is 16 it’s time. 🙂 It will live forever in my pins though.

You’ll be happy to know that Grace has kept the room pretty much the same all this time. Seriously, it was like walking into a photograph! We will share more before the reveal 🙂


Exciting! You used to give us planning posts that show existing conditions, inspiration, mood boards, plans, etc. Each one of these projects looks like it could fill several posts! Are you going to do process posts for each, not just final reveals? I love seeing all of these but it’s a shame to jam them all into one “coming soon” post.

Leanna, we will definitely go into more details either in the reveal posts or do a similar approach as the MOTOs where we will do a process post the day before the reveal. We just realized the other day that we have 11 (but it is actually more like 13) projects in the works and wanted to share a little bit of each with you all. Stay tuned for all the details!


The random bat on the bed in your basement randomly cracked me up….all I could think is why? lol. So excited about all the other projects! I love color and rooms that feel like they have history, so I’m thrilled for all the eclectic grandma vibes. Thanks for the sneak peek, Emily!

hahaha, the bat on the bed was definitely something I didn’t realize was there when I was taking the photos and then saw it later. I am glad it amused you as much as it did me! Fun Fact: Brian is actually on a baseball team.


I was definitely amused/delighted….felt very real for a basement photo. I love that Brian is on a team! I grew up with my dad playing all the time and its the best sport to watch on a spring/summer evening.


So exciting and always inspiring!
One question: when is the book coming out?


Can’t wait for some new reveals!

and we cannot wait to share them with you all!


Love everything you guys do, but one request with the new website design, can you please make the menu disappear when we scroll down? The menu stays on screen at the moment and it means as a viewer you can’t see whole photo – they are cropped by the menu. I’m not explaining myself very well! I’d love to be able to see the photos you post in full but they are cropped by the menu on your blog. It can be coded to disappear once you start scrolling and that would be so much better as a viewer! thank you!

Hey HB, so sorry about that. If you click on any of the photos you’ll be able to see them in full view, hope that helps!

Vicki Williams

Wow Miss Emily! You are awesome! A great exciting post, and long, for all you projects and having bumped the other one for now. I get that one requires a lot of thought and appreciate your thoughtfulness! (I am one of your LDS friends :))
Truly. Anyway your upcoming design post will be be waited on with bated breath. Can hardly wait! Sounds like you, I hope, are working hard to keeping in balance.
Two things with your new website: #1 I am so grateful that I can now comment and #2 Is there a specific reason you no longer put in the date of the post. I wish you would.


I’d like the date as well.


The date is right next to the byline!

Julie S

This is so good to hear. I have also been wondering what y’all are doing over there, and I love this preview of coming attractions. They are without exception VERY ATTRACTIVE. I am glad the EHD business has pared down a bit – I am always drawn to “mom and pop” feeling blogs, rather than ever expanding commercial enterprises where the quirk and personality get lost under business and branding. I’m willing to sit through lulls when the cycle of design requires it!

Nice name 😉 We have been VERY busy and glad you will stick with us in this design relationship we have built together! There is a lot of quirk coming your way soon, we promise!

So many lovely projects. I really can’t wait to see the reveals!

Have a good weekend,


Thanks so much, Renaud!

LA Lady

What Hollywood apartment building is THAT?!?!

It actually used to be a hotel and I gotta say, the old lobby is pretty breathtaking!


These are so great! Can’t wait to see the end results. What is the timeframe for the book’s release? We’re in design mode with the architect for our home renovation, and from your description of the book, it sounds just like what we need on this project. I can’t wait to read it!


LOVE LOVE LOVE! I am really into the curtains in Grace’s bedroom. Please link sources soon 🙂


OMG seeing some of these without links is killing me as someone who is moving into an amazing apartment (converted wagon wheel factory in St. Paul!) in a few weeks and planning to purchase lots of new stuff. Thanks for sharing – can’t wait for the posts!

Amy Elizabeth Jones

Ok, so don’t be mad at me Emily. I know you’ve had a few sofas for your living room and you are still not completely satisfied. My question is: why don’t you get an english roll arm sofa (a la George Smith)? It is such a classic shape and and is surely what my eccentric english grandma would have in her home. Almost all my favourite rooms (mostly from old Domino mags) have this sofa…think Jenna Lyons’ bright yellow one, Alison Cayne’s mustard ones, Amanda Peet’s red one, Ulla Johnson’s white one, Rita Konig’s deep wine one….
I think going more classic rather than adding a 70’s inspired one would give you more of the feeling you desire.

Melody Christensen

So agree with this comment. I am really sorry to be a downer, but that sofa you have in the mood board for your living room does not say eccentric english grandma in any way, shape, or form. Honestly, I cannot tell you how much I dislike it. I don’t think this is the living room you’re hoping for. Step back, think about it, research a little maybe. You have a tendency to hang on to stuff that maybe is sentimental, or just stubbornness on your part? It starts to feel really forced. Let it go Emily


What a nasty comment.


Still not getting emails. My friends aren’t either….


Hi Emily! I have kids about the same age as yours (boy – 7, girl -5) who have been sharing a room for the last 2.5 years. I highly recommend getting bunk beds – its another thing that they can play with. Sometimes they’ll drape blankets and make it a fort. My son taped a picture to the ceiling that he looks at when he’s trying to fall asleep, etc. Another friend even added a slide to her bunk bed which I would love to do if I had the space. Just a thought!


Looking at your living room again today after not having seen it for a while, I feel like I have fresh eyes for what feels problematic. I may have said it before, but I say it with more clarity now. I really think the conversation area needs to go more circular. Two chairs lined up straight across from the sofa with coffee table in the middle makes it all feel like a bit of a landing strip to the fireplace. I think changing some of the angles and having mismatched chairs might do the trick.

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