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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson Book

Over the weekend, I announced on my Instagram that I’m officially starting my second book. If you are like anyone in my family, you might be asking:

A. What took you so long?

B. Why are you adding this to your workload?

The answers are connected. For a few years, my publisher has been politely begging me for another book. Styled was a success so the natural thing to do next is another book. But my answer was always “Listen. I want to in theory but I have no time, too many young kids and more importantly no new ideas.” The amount of work/time/effort/resources/energy and ABSOLUTE PASSION it takes to write and publish a good book is unfathomable. Besides, I write every day! What do I have left in me???

So then why pitch another one? Why, masochistically, add this to my already very, very full plate?

Here’s how it went down: I was taking a shower on a Sunday morning, feeling so overwhelmed by the renovations of 2018 (mountain, Portland) and subsequently feeling really stupid about the mistakes that I had made (and had to pay to fix) and wishing so bad that I had one resource, ONE BOOK that I could reference instead of every single day googling “how do you design a _________.”

And I stopped. and said OH SH*T, THAT’S MY BOOK.

In that second, I knew I had to write it.

I wrote the 3-page pitch that day, sent it off the next day and a couple months later we are OFF.

I’m very excited. I have a pretty clear vision for it that I didn’t even really have with Styled and frankly, I’m just so excited to read this book.

I don’t want to put too much out there because frankly, I don’t want someone to steal my ideas, but I still want to know what you guys would want from a design book, and what you feel is missing out there.

Okay. I’ll say no more. Please send suggestions of some of your biggest questions, struggles, things you literally have no idea about in terms of renovation and design and heck, if they don’t make it into the book, we’ll log them as suggestions for the blog.

Also, we are looking for homes that are interesting and have something special about them. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just special either in architecture or decor, with ideas that people can learn from. We’ll come in and style it out (for some houses, we are adding furniture, but most we are bringing a ton of accessories and pillows) and yes, you’ll have the chance to buy them (unless it happens to be something personal of mine that I can’t bear to sell). You’ll get a copy of the book (duh) and credit on the page of the book (different than Styled). You can be a designer, an architect, a dog walker—I don’t care, we just want pretty spaces, with good light and a lot of ideas that we think others should or could learn from. Some houses might be PERFECTLY designed and others show a good way that they broke the rule and why we all love it.

We went on a scouting mission throughout LA last week to some homes I knew could work for the book, and Sara snapped some shots from the day (you know I love a good sneak peek):

Book Sneak Peek Grid

For house submissions (ideally in the greater LA or SoCal area…we’ve already had a ton of submissions elsewhere), email booktwo@emilyhendersondesign.com with the subject line EHD BOOK 2 HOUSE SUBMISSION + your name and location, with some shots of your home for consideration inside.

And leave all your book tip requests below. Tomorrow, we have a huge 8-hour brainstorming session to finalize the outline and I’d love to integrate as many of your requests that make sense so ASK AND COMMENT AWAY.

  1. I would be excited to hear some strategies for how to create/follow an overall plan when you can’t afford to do it all at once. How to stay on mission and not get caught up in a bunch of impulse choices along the way. And also how to make it keep looking good while you build towards your dream space.

    1. I second this. Also, as a serial renter, I’d love ways I can go bold and make it my own without making it permanent. I LOVE interior design. But depending on the house I can’t make much change past painting walls.

      1. I’m with her. I need rental advice too.

    2. Also this!

    3. Another vote for this!

    4. Yep!!! Agreed!

    5. I second this!!!!! Move to my house 15 years ago and have changed my plans multiple times and have demolished and changed things at least 3 times…. is hard to keep yourself in tuned with what you really want and do it. Example: needed to decorate my family room… nothing… happened to be at Pottery Barn and got pillows, curtains and rug… all coordinated. A few weeks later I realized my huge mistake!

    6. SAME!

    7. Yup, I was going to say this.

      1. Yes! My plans have changed ump-teen times bc I can’t afford to do the project all at once…so I have bits and pieces from every design I was enamoured with at the time.

        1. Totally into this idea, and Korin’s and Irmarie’s!

    8. +1 ! and I would also like tips to create a timeless background (kitchen, bathroom) instead of trendy décors. Thanks !

    9. same here! I’d love advice about a timeframe as well. And please don’t spare us – I’m sooo tired of one more perfect Instagram makeovers that took no time (as if), made no mess (right) and somehow started with a perfect vision that just settled into the space like a cat on a blanket.
      Please give us the version where you have a long list of things you want to change, a limited budget and decision fatigue from day one! So excited about this Emily, congrats to you on your hustle!

    10. Oooh, yes to this for sure. I get paralyzed by the thought of updating a room b/c I don’t have unlimited funds, so I don’t know how to do it gradually, sticking to an end vision, without it looking wonky throughout the process.

  2. So many kitchen island questions! Specifically when you can fit an island and how to size and rotate the island. Plus island seating? Should you put your cook top or sink in the island? I have a million questions!

    1. Ooh good one. yes!

    2. This. But also just general reno measurements: how high should my vanity be, how much space do I need between the island and the cabinets, measurements for getting your faucet right, how big should my light fixture be for the size of my room?, etc

      1. I second this. That discussion about the height of the wall mounted faucets at one of the renovations (can’t remember if it was Portland or Mountain) was weirdly eye-opening for me in terms of understanding how technical design is. I’d love information on things like that.

        1. Seconded!

      2. For this, since you can’t wait for Emily’s book, I liked Vern Yip’s “Design Wise.” There was actual math in it. If Emily wrote the same book but in her voice with her design, it would still be fabulous an unique. But I think she has something more special in mind…

      3. I second this very hard. A page of “Standard Measurements and Distances” would be an incredible resource for people like me, first time-home owner and renovator, to understand as I try to train my eyes into knowing what looks right, wrong and why!

      4. That was brilliant Rachel! Yes yes yes !!

      5. Yes! I struggle with light fixtures– I obsessed over a light for my dining room for so long and ended up with a boring $50 flush mount from Home Depot because I couldn’t figure out what size (both diameter and drop) would work in a fairly small room where it wouldn’t be centered over the dining room table.

        I am currently paralyzed by the thought of renovating my bathroom. I have no idea where to start since I need to move some things around to maximize space. I think I need to hire someone to do the plans, but I don’t have any idea if that is too small of a job for most designers/architects or if it would cost a fortune. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on ‘resale value’. I’d really love to rip out my tub and only have a shower since the one bathroom in my house is too small for a satisfyingly spacious tub, but everyone tells me that would be insane since people want tubs. I don’t care about a tub, and I don’t plan to sell anytime soon, so should it matter?

        I also think I am generally good at picking paint colors, but I find my narrow row house to be a real struggle since you can see many rooms or hallways from different points in the house and I am not sure how to make sure the colors work together if they are all in the same sight line.

    3. Yes ot kitchen island questions!! Do I need a real table if I have an island in the kitchen etc? Perfect height etc.
      Emily, I please please please need a quick answer since I will move in the next month and plan a kitchen island.

      1. Particularly, when to add pendant lighting! And how many? 3? But I have three chairs….too matchy?
        Maybe the ceilings are too low anyway? Maybe just recessed lights?!

    4. Sink, yes. Cooktop, no. haha

  3. -how to decide, prepare and committ to built ins (shelving, closers, ect.) what to look for in a contractir and how to know a space would be good for built ins.)

    A how to section about fixing terrible DIYs in a home done by a previous owner or identifying these mistakes (i.e. bathroom, kitchen, plumbing, tiling.)

    Section about appropriate flooring for different kinds of rooms and what wears well over time

    section about choosing fixtures for bathroom/kitchen (materials-wise what is a good investment or pros/cons of different materials)

    Pros/cons of choosing different materials for different parts of home

      1. @jessica – we are on it. such good questions.

    1. Oh yes for pro con lists since so rarely is there one right answer. Also Pro cons of different types of paint vs wall paper vs tile in different rooms.

      Also cool architecture in rooms is beautiful but sometimes when I see it in magazine it seems unattainable. Even with major Reno most people don’t have space for a grand staircase or two story fireplace

  4. I struggle with making major design changes to my home (structural changes that affect layout) and finding an architect/contractor to validate and quote them. Who do you hire for what job and at what step? If you’re not financially ready, can you still engage in some design feedback? I want to begin discussions on what is an appropriate layout for our home but have NO CLUE on the first steps. I would buy your book if it meant I could learn how to start preparing for a renovation.

    1. I can’t second this enough. We have some major projects that we want to do, both interior and exterior, and I’m stuck in this paralysis mode. Who do I call first? Do I start with an interior designer? An architect? A landscape architect? Do I need all three? How do I make sure I’m not wasting money doing Project A first when it turns out Project B is going to require me ripping out half of Project A?

      1. Yes to these EXACTLY!!! We bought our first (and hopefully forever) home and it needs work but we can’t afford to do it all at once. We can tackle the first project – our master bathroom – but have literally no idea how to begin. Who do we call? Will a designer be enough or do I need an architect? What’s an appropriate budget? What’s a reasonable amount of time for this renovation to take? How long should it take between engaging a designer and beginning construction? Etc etc!

        1. Yes to all of this. I have 2 tiny bathrooms and a kitchen to do and hopefully making our basement a usable space at some point but everything feels like a domino. If I touch one thing, will it disrupt something else in another room and where’s the most logical place to begin. If I knew the correct order of operations for the projects that I want to do to our house one day, I think I would feel a lot more confident talking to a contractor and feeling like I’m going to end up getting what I want without making expensive mistakes that will have to be addressed when I move on to project 2 and 3, etc. If you can figure out how to put that into a book, you’re a genius! (I already think you are though).

          1. Yes to all of these questions and then a sort of side question. How do you know what design styles are appropriate for your home i.e. our home is just a house built in the 1960’s with no obvious house style. How do we create a house style without major renovations and how do we know the smaller renovations will work together?

    2. This is my question too! How do we get started? Do we need to talk to a contractor first or an architect? And should we always use the builder/contractor that the architect recommends (and vice versa) because we can assume they work well together? How do we vet these folks? And when do you know when to fight for your choices and when to compromise? My parents hired the wrong contractor for their huge remodel, and my mom still gets so fired up about some of the things she wanted, but he told her it couldn’t be done. Turns out, IT COULD, but she didn’t know what she didn’t know. Which leads me to: how much do you question and interfere vs. letting the pros do their jobs? Even on smaller things like installing floors, I was told something couldn’t be done and then found out it could, after it was too late. (Doing a herringbone pattern with engineered hardwoods.) And from a design side, is there a good app or website that we civilians can use to see everything together in a room, like how the designers create a board for the space? I bet that most of these issues could be solved by hiring a good interior designer who’s experienced in remodels! 🙂

      Congratulations on the second book–can’t wait to read it!

  5. I would also like to know how you maintain the power of FOCUS and finish a space when you don’t have an unlimited budget. I feel like I’m always trying in my apartment to design different rooms but just end up overwhelmed, with a pile of picture frames shoved in a corner.

  6. So.Much.Stuff. The order of things – why you can’t change your mind on a vanity unit once the tile has been put up (I mean, duh, I know that must be true logically, but would have appreciated an order of things from SOMEONE in the midst of losing my head over our bathroom reno last year); like, you need to have x committed before y can be decided. Why you need to know the way the joists run to see if a certain shower tray is feasible, what relationship there is between the boiler and the water pressure, why certain glass shower screens look exactly the same as others but cost twice as much, whether ceramic tile on the floor is good/not good, is teak ok on the walls or for units or does it really rot, what if your bathroom designer suggests something he’s never done before (is this a flight of fancy on his part or can you really trust him to work it out?), what if you think half way through that you’ve made a mistake (do you hold your nerve or alter it now?), are wet rooms really workable in reality or just a nice Pinterest look …. but mainly just the damned order of things! It doesn’t seem obvious to me that z comes before b which comes before y etc etc. So excited for this book!

    1. Yes! Why does no one have a checklist!

    2. YES YES YES to everything in this comment! “It doesn’t seem obvious to me that z comes before b which comes before y etc etc.”

    3. Another vote for the order of things!

    4. Yes- order of renovations for each room!

    5. Another vote for the order of things!

    6. I am in the heating business. I can answer your question on the pressure on the boiler. The autofeed (the part that controls the water going into the boiler) is rated for a certain amount of pressure. If it is too high from too much pressure from the street it will blow the pressure relief valve (you will find a puddle of water on the floor). If you just change the relief valve and not address the water pressure from the street it will keep blowing the relief valve on the boiler. Have a plumber or a heating person test the pressure from the street. It should be around 80 psi if it is around 100 psi it is too high. If it is too high they need to add a pressure reducer and then you will be all set. To install a pressure reducer it is around $300-$400. Not a sexy way of spending your money. I get it because I love design and tell all my new homeowners I will try to make your heating system last so you can redo the kitchen. 🙂

      I also built my home. You can’t cut a joist. You can’t have the drain line up on top of a joist. You need to know which way they are running so your drain can work properly. If this this a problem tile the bottom of the bathroom more money yes but you want your drain to work.

      Upgrade the glass in the shower! One will protect from hard water spots. Mine does not (technology did not exist) I have to take a hand sander to my shower to get the hard spots off once a year. I would spend double on the glass again.

      Hang in there. Hope you drink because wine helps. Remember you are concentrating on every little detail….you will love the end result. Hope this helped.

      1. God, thank you, Julie – wow! “You can’t cut a joist” – this is exactly the sort of thing I hope Em’s book tells me (assume I know nothing, by the way, Em). We did spring for the super fancy glass in the end and I was wondering if we got conned by our designer, but am reassured by your feedback 🙂

      2. Thank you for the shower glass info!!!

  7. If this does not go in the book, can you blog about it? Chandelier ideas for 2 story foyers!

    1. I second this! How do you measure the current chandelier? How does a new one get hung? Who do you call to do it? So many questions beyond the styling!

      1. Third! Not too fancy but big enough. Blog post would be great!

    2. I vote for this as well. We have 2 separate staircases in our 3-story townhome, that are completely open to the level above it, so suggestions on how to treat this would be super helpful.

  8. LOVS THIS! Congrats and can’t wait! As I move forward on renovations this year, some questions: how to arrange furniture (in big and small rooms – like literally why put a couch there vs somewhere else); what to consider when buying a rug (how do you know it’s nice/well made and worthy of the big bucks); how to select tile in the bathroom (pros and cons of different types like cement vs porcelain, grouts, etc); how to select countertops (pros and cons of different types like marble vs granite); when to splurge and when to save when renovating; what to consider when deciding room paint colors, trim colors, etc; how to make your renovations beautiful but family friendly and practical

  9. Hard-wired lighting placement! In a construction or renovation, you have to choose the location of sconces and pendants way early in the process, before you really know how you’ll furnish or use the space, both of which influence lighting type and location. We’ve had to move and cover up sconce wiring because of making decisions at rough-in that we then changed, and I now am trying to choose bedroom sconces without knowing the height of the bed we’ll eventually get. This is hard!

    1. I second this. Especially for bedrooms and bathrooms. I find myself wishing I had Candice Olsen and Chico – they always seemed to know just what to do. How many watts am I going to need?, etc. Will pot lights help, or will they be a hot mess? How many bathroom sconces? Above or beside the mirror? Ack!

    2. Yes! This is what I was going to say!

  10. I don’t know if these are two small but my questions are: 1) where do you buy good fabric? Ie stylish fabric for curtains or ottomans. We don’t all have a closet full of samples or access to mood and we can’t all afford $150 a yard.

    2) Where do you buy affordable art? Affordable can be up to $1000 for me – it doesn’t have to be a Minted print, but those are nice too.

    3) is it possible to have a seating arrangement that works for conversation and TV? Or is that a pipe dream

    1. Emily (not EHD), as for your first question ……
      I’m totally biased in that I work for Smith & Noble, that said Smith & Noble is great resource for custom drapery. Free samples can be ordered from the website and everything is curated to work together. You can also buy yardage in case you have seats you’d like to cover in the same or coordinating fabric.

    2. Re affordable art, this frustrated me so much for years. One solution I found was to travel to NYC to the “Affordable Art Show”…seriously this exists. We ended up buying two pieces there that allowed us to finish off our foyer and living room. I did not want Minted or a print and that show really helped.

    3. Re art: check out Juniper print shop, created by designer Jenny Komenda. https://juniperprintshop.com/

    4. Affordable art for your walls is easy to find if you broaden your definition of art to include 19th century birds-eye views and maps, of your area or someplace dreamy; silk scarves; blueprints and architectural drawings.

  11. I have such a hard time finding good playroom layouts (and why). So many look the same with the box cubbies, or so sparse that I assume their child owns nothing that’s brightly colored plastic.

    1. Yes. I struggle with this too!!

      My kids playroom is in our living room. Half of the room looks good with the sectional, lights and pictures. The other half with all the toys looks really bad.

    2. Yes!!! This!! I’m totally stymied by the playroom!!

  12. I’m very excited for you and us! Congratulations. I am interested in a section on upkeep / maintenance – for example how to freshen hard wood floors w/o getting new ones, how to freshen cabinets (tips on choosing paint for painting cabinets), cleaning rugs, cleaning upholstery – of course I want all the other stuff you mentioned but I think a section at the end about maintenance and working w/ what you have would be super useful, perhaps some what to DIY and what not to tips. All the best on this journey.

  13. Sconces. Where to place them during construction and WHY especially when you intend to rearrange rooms frequently bc you like rearranging!

  14. Oh my goodness–so excited for this book! Can’t wait to read it!

    1. (Some people have already said it, but it bears repeating) Order of operations and what must be decided when.
    2. Where to save and where to splurge, sometimes the best splurge is behind the walls.
    3. Energy efficiency–building envelope, appliances, HVAC, windows. I know this book wouldn’t be a technical primer on those things, but would be great to see resources and advice from a few experts from Green Building Advisor, or somewhere similar.
    4. Questions to ask a contractor so you seem well informed, knowledgeable and on top of your game, even if you’re not totally there yet. In many towns, it is difficult to find a good, trustworthy contractor. And sad to say, but some jerky contractors prefer dealing with men, and make that fact known by being dismissive of women’s opinions. You have to stand your ground, be proactive and direct, and act like the boss you are!
    5. On that note, a quick cheat sheet for the most often used technical building terms so that people can speak with more knowledge to their contractors.
    6. Jobs that you may be able to hire a handyman/woman for instead of a contractor.
    7. Things you can do yourself–laid out according to time and skill level required
    8. Yes, phasing of long term renovations!
    9. A section on codes that highlights the important elements that affect budget, schedule and aesthetics.

    so excited!

    1. Yes Yes Yes to 4 & 5!

    2. An actual sequential list for say…designing and remodeling a kitchen. We are doing a lot of the work except plumbing and electrical, with help from some friends in construction biz. And of all the things, this would be super helpful.

      Also, maybe a spot in the back of the book that is only for measurements. Like, if you need 2 people to be able to work in an aisle, whatis the measurement for that? How much space do you need around a table in a dining room, what about chairs?

      And…millwork. Some basic, or not so basic stuff on designing millwork. Maybe do a chapter with Metrie or something? (Our 1900 farmhouse had ALL the original millwork taken out and 1980s oak put in. ) Every room is 4 walls, a floor and a ceiling. The windows and millwork can make or break a room.


    4. Yes!! To all the above, this would be amazing!! Also ways to afford the updates! Do banks loan money for renovations? What about a him you are buying and want to update.

    5. Ahh so. many. good. ideas.

  15. Omg SO many things! First, budgeting! How do you lay out your renovation budgets per room (for those of us who have to take it room by room…while maintaining continuity throughout the home. We recently bought a lovely midcentury ranch that has had little renovations throughout…bathroom reno in the 80’s so all the speckled square tile, kitchen in the early 00’s, living rooms still stuck in the 60’s… how do you bring these things all together? Also, and this is a big one… how to deal with a previous renovation that is just fine… super bland, contractor grade fine, but you want to punch it up a notch to make it special. Adding SPECIAL is a big one! And lastly, I’m so interested in exterior changes to our home to add impact. I’d love to see y’all do varying styles of homes in different parts of the country too… we don’t all live in So Cal! So excited for what you have in store!

    1. Yes! I will take all of the tips on creating continuity that EHD cares to provide. Like, I would buy a whole book on this topic.

    2. Yes- I agree!! It would be nice to see how people renovate a typical early 90s home in the middle of the country for example- so many of us have them!

    3. I too would love to see some typical homes renovated, both inside and out. I am starting a remodel of a 60’s ranch and need exterior ideas. I would love to see homes throughout the US at various price points. Can’t wait for the book??

    4. Ditto on continuity! E.g. How far up the stairs/into the hallway do we take the design of our cold and bleak entry room in our 1930’s S.F. house?

  16. When and how to pick a designer vs. architect vs. design-build firm vs. GC.
    And I totally agree with the other comments re: phases/stages, what to do when and how to live with what you’ve got in the meantime would be great!

    1. Yes, I came to say this – how do you find an architect? How much should you budget for an architect?

  17. Yay! Congrats and what a great idea! I don’t know what I’m doing, hence my readership of design blogs, so I think a book like this is definitely needed! I always appreciate lots of photos of inspiration, things done well and most of all: what not to do. I have a difficult time visualizing how finishes/features will work together in a home, but if I see examples of something done “wrong,” I can either immediately spot it or feel in my gut that it’s not right, and then go from there. I live in the Midwest and there are a lot of new developments full of cute little ranches. A builder nearby did a custom home, so my friend and I peeked at the pictures online. The home was nice with pretty modern finishes, but the walls and cabinets were all stark white, with grey accents and grey floors. We immediately thought the home needed some warmth by swapping out those floors for some wood, but had it been my home I was building, I never would’ve thought to “mix it up.” I think maybe all that grey got chosen because it’s a million little decisions at the same time when you’re building. If it were me, I too would probably have chosen too much of the same colors because of a feeling that it all has to “match,” but like you say—that’s so boring!

  18. I would love to hear your approach on the details people don’t necessarily think about. To wit, when we renovated our farmhouse we had to rebuild the front porch and put in new railings. My contractor, who was amazing and does have an eye for design, and I kept talking about it. But I didn’t realize until the railings were up that I never gave any direction to the style of the porch railings. They are basic and work fine, but if I had thought about that detail would I have directed different? Maybe. I would guess this is the kind of thing I would pay a designer to think about but would love to get a perspective on some of the common things people don’t think about it or would realize they care about… until they are installed!

    1. We are getting ready to install a porch too, so thank you for this helpful tip! This project is way more difficult than I thought it was going to be…

  19. We have been renovating our 1905 farm hours for 6 years now, and some decisions we made early on I now wish we had done differently. I would love some advice on how to make long-term decisions in the short term, or how to prioritize what decisions to make first.

  20. I’m interested in distances! Especially in small spaces.

    Living in a small flat / apartment, I want to know how close can the oven go to the fridge and to the sink and when is it better to have a kitchen table vs. an island vs. a peninsular if there is no separate dining area. What is the best layout? L-shape, galley etc.

    In a small bathroom, how much legroom is required for the toilet and how close could say a sink or shower be next to it? In an urban, one bedroom flat is it better to have a bath or a shower or a bath/shower combo if having just a shower provides more space? Should I get a hanging / floating sink because it makes the room look bigger and put my stuff in a medicine cabinet or should I go large under the sink and just have a mirror on the wall instead?

    What is the best layout for furniture and what tip and tricks can be used to make the space look bigger?

  21. I live in a 100-year-old house with plenty of quirks. Our main issues:
    1. Tiny bathroom and renovating it for resale value but also being kid friendly
    2. Electric–we only have one three-prong outlet upstairs. Info about grounding outlets, where to put outlets, where to put TV or phone line acces
    3. How to design around an ugly router that has to be in the center of the home!
    4. What to do when your entire house has literally one closet
    5. Furniture beyond IKEA that can be reassembled to move into places with wonky staircases (this is the second house we can’t move a sofa upstairs or down. We had to saw our box spring in. half.
    6. Decorating around giant pipes that sprout from the middle of the floor into an adjacent room (heat vent) as well as through the ceiling (vent). I want to built a cabinet around them, but they aren’t aligned. WHAT DO I DO WITH THE WEIRD STUFF, EMILY?
    7. I’d love to see a chapter up front about accessibility, for disabled or elderly readers and caregivers. Stylish but accessible bathrooms, kitchens, floorplans, and more!

    1. OMG this. My house was built in ’26 and I SOOOOO feel you!

    2. I second the idea of a section on designing for accessibility! Please do this!

    3. Yes to accessibility! My parents have been discussing redesigning their bathroom, but they want to do it in a way that won’t present obstacles when they’re older and less agile. I think it would be a very useful and interesting topic to cover.

    4. Yes to universal design, which makes houses accessible to all, such as kitchen tables rather than islands, at least one bathroom that is designed to work for a wheelchair – no cabinets under the sink, lower sink, space to pull a wheelchair up to the shower or tub for a transfer from the wheelchair, etc.

  22. Eradicating bad designs from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000s – stuff like refinishing oak floors to make them less orange, addressing dated arch windows, making a choppy house more cohesive, etc. Also, designing homes to compliment the architecture, such as colonials or victorians. I feel like colonials are such a common style in the US but since you are LA based they are not showcased as often. I’m in the northeast and surrounded by colonial homes 🙂

    1. I agree with Jody – How do I get rid of the 90s from my 1991 home? Orange wood flooring, built-in desk with cubbies, medallion “flourishes” on the crown moulding and built-in bookshelves, wet bar cabinet next to the fire place… but *on a budget* (or done in priority). Sure, I could hire someone to revamp and redesign the whole place, but that’s not practical for me. I’m much more likely to take on small projects for a few hundred or thousand. How can I make it the best I can, considering?

  23. What a fantastic book idea!

    A couple requests –

    1) If the title is going to be “How to design a ______”, I would expect a lot of very specific details. For example, “How to design a luxurious-feeling bathroom on a budget.” I would expect to find information on things like: Where to splurge (steam shower? micro-bubble bath? pros/cons of each). Where to buy fun tile. What is going to end up costing the most $$$ (and therefore might be avoided on the “on a budget” plan.) How to live with the builder-grade vanity that is fine and not totally mood-killing because it’s greener to use the materials that are already built in. What steps do you plan the renovation in post-demo (start with flooring? start with tub? how exactly do you measure your doorways & space to make sure a tub will fit through the door before you buy it?) etc. etc. etc.

    2) My other request is a bit counter-intuitive. First of all, MOAR PORTLAND PICTURES! I am drinking up everything you’ve posted on the Portland project. Second, PLEASE more affordable house pictures!! Staring at gorgeously unattainable design is exhilarating and depressing. I think it might be wonderful if you include some aspects of “How to get the look for less” in your book next to pictures of ridiculously expensively (but gorgeously) designed spaces.

    Congrats! Can’t wait to see the finish product!

    1. Yes to “look for less” in your book. Please, please, please showcase high/low design. It’s ok to show cle tile if you have some target and vintage touches around.

    2. Good point re going very specific. I like that 🙂

  24. Small landing areas with like 6 doors leading to other rooms? Why oh why? does that happen and how do you style places with LOTS OF DOORS and no wall space.

    Room Checklists? They motivate people – by people I mean me 🙂

    dark countertops and huge dark tiles in bathrooms that you can’t afford to retile and replace countertops. (cabinets painted creamy white to try to offset)

    But seriously some chapters on problem areas….and how to solve for..

  25. SO excited to read this book!

    I’d love to know how to add character to a house in a way that is timeless. We just bought our forever home, but it’s SUCH a fixer-upper and needs a lot of love. I can think of a million things I want to do to the house but I am terrified that in 10 years it will feel out dated and I’ll want to redo it all again (to which my patient yet practical husband will definitely say no 🙂 ).

    1. This is basically exactly what I was going to say too! We’ll be building in the next couple of years, and we plan to live in that house FOREVER. I’m torn on how to select finishes that are classic and timeless, yet updated and fresh.
      I’d also love recommendations on the best countertop options. There are so many to choose from. But what are the pros/cons of each?

  26. 1) What to (possibly) DIY vs when to (probably) hire a pro

    2) When to save vs splurge

    3) How to make choices that will be more permanent (layout, floors, fixtures, finishes, etc) — how to figure out your personal tastes and preferences and weigh those against what’s timeless or trendy. Is it even possible to create something you will love today, you will love in a decade, and the next buyer will also love?

  27. Your blog so very able-y helped me with 2 full bathroom renovations in our DC row house last year. Truly could not have thought about designing it smartly and ordering everything myself (and executing/overseeing it with a “meh” “award-winning” contractor who checked out after bigger projects came his way). So glad your blog helped truly prepare me when he checked out in so many ways. So, getting smartly prepared to really “own” your project even with a GC on hand could be a helpful part of your next book. Picking through years worth of blog entries on your site certainly helped prep me for what I didn’t think would happen to me- but did.

    Our projects ended up stylistically being a eclectic mix- Wes Anderson meets Stephen Alesch- not so straightforward to easily mimic. So, I had to quickly learn how to mix metals (your blog was so helpful), learn to mix cool colors with warmer room elements (again, your blog was so specifically helpful), pour over websites to find just the right style knobs, pulls, shower curtain, curtain rods, hooks (not towel rods) to pull everything together. Then, to layer with art, plants, trays, to bring it all together. So those topics that you addressed in various entries really helped me understand then actually pull together what I wanted.

    I think another key topic is to really figure out what you want. I asked a friend with amazing interior design chops to help me re-work my living room and dining room. What I thought would just be some surface work: new paint and furniture and styling ended up being way more because what I really wanted/needed (after she pointed it out) was to truly fix the C-grade reno that our 100 year old row house had undergone with previous owners. Great styling to cover the mess underneath wouldn’t cut it. To achieve what I really wanted, I needed to get all new windows (Marvin replacing cheap sad vinyl), a new front door, remove visually distracting dry wall and glass additions previous owner made, remove horrible sconces, replacing chandeliers, etc… So, really getting clear on what you truly want is key so you’re not stuck with a less than result. We’ve had to bump up our budget and extend the timeline for the whole project, but I’m so much happier with the results, even as they’re more slowly and organically coming together.

    As I approach a kitchen renovation, I would love help with: how to think about not using upper cabinets, where to put outlets to minimize the visual clutter they can cause, how to design a well organized pantry in a small kitchen (not like the expansive Portland kitchen) you so beautifully did, think about what kind of stove is really best (why to consider choosing Wolf vs. Viking vs. Blue Star vs. GE vs….can you have a frank discussion about that?), do you need tiles or a back splash at the ends of your counter surface on the side walls?, how to carefully consider drawers that pull out vs. usual cabinets as well as the design of what each area would contain (I loved how deep you went into that with the Mountain Kitchen).

    Lastly, I think that, in the spirit of what so many said about your decorating the Mountain house, show the final shot but also show us how you achieved that finally beloved design. That process is so helpful and can help me get my head further around those key elements of design and styling.

    You’ve made such a difference in my going from not liking my home so much (and having no idea how to start tackling it ) to LOVING it and having it authentically reflect my family’s style. Thanks so much and I can’t wait for your next book.

    1. Please, those of you that are renovating kitchens, consider moving your outlets above your counters to strip outlets that sit flush under your cabinets! So much better than the beautiful backsplash that you splurge on not even being seen because the ugly but functional outlets draw the eye. BUT, both houses that I have done this in we were doing renovations and not all new construction (ie, keeping or only modifying the cabinets not putting in an all new kitchen). So, I had to have the contractor add a trim piece to the bottom of the cabinets to hide the strip outlets. In both cases, the contractor was able to match the stain on the cabinets even though they were years old.

  28. Please include some reno approaches for budget friendly options!!

  29. I know the trend is open concept. I have a three year old home that is open concept with soaring two story ceilings in the main living areas. Lovely right? Sure except its REALLY hard to place furniture when there are essentially no walls. And dont even get me started on how to decorate/adorn two story HUGE walls. I have been looking/scouring for years on how to make it seem cozy. Nada. New modern layouts are wonderful but can be really hard to deal with day to day. Would love tips on layering/styling these new spaces that are ALL OVER.

    1. See, I’ve read the opposite, that open is out – it’s fine for maybe 2 years while you’re watching your baby like a hawk but after that you don’t necessarily want to see/hear every single thing that every person in the home is up to. I had open concept & it was so dang loud with kids in the house. My old home is very broken up with all the traditional spaces & I love it. I don’t have to see the mess in the kitchen when I’m at the dining table, for instance. I also, do not have children in the home anymore so that might be part of it, lol. The other things is that you can really define spaces if you want to, my kitchen/living/dining don’t all need to be designed in a single scheme. My sunroom has pink in it, which I do tie into my living room with a pot here & there, but it’s not like I need splashes of pink everywhere for it to look cohesive. It’s more forgiving.

  30. First of all: can’t wait for this! I love a good styling book as much as the next girl but a real guide that gets into the nitty gritty decision making behind the scenes? Sign me up.
    Some things I would love to read about: how to work with builder-basic homes and make them feel custom (small architectural changes that can then be finished and styled uniquely to make the house feel like yours). High impact changes for all budgets. How to phase a renovation project (prioritizing certain spaces or doing everything to a mid-level of completion and why). Diving into the different people you’ll need to work with on a variety of construction projects; from hiring a plumber for a bathroom reno to building a house with an architect and all the subcontractors that come into play.
    For me, being young and wanting good design now but also thinking about the future, I want a book that I can reference at every stage of life and budget. I feel confident that there are things you can do beyond paint and pillows when you have limited funds, it’s just hard to know where to start and how to get the most bang for your buck. I also want to see more “regular” spaces turned magical. While it’s always inspirational to see a California bungalow with amazing arches and millwork, it’s not reality for most. Seeing how people transform Drees homes built in the early 2000’s would be more relatable and make great design feel more accessible.

    1. I’m seconding the builder-home request. In my (very expensive) town we dropped more than half a million dollars but still could only afford something built by a builder. So many square windows and white walls, so very little character. I love the blog entry you did about adding character to walls. Are there other ways to add character that are more on the ‘takes a few weeks and a few thousand bucks’ end of the spectrum? It honestly feels like every cute home I see elsewhere is relying 75% on their architecture.

  31. I want you to try and explain to everyone how much time and effort and thought actually goes into designing a space/ home/ construction project etc. In our instantaneous culture I feel people really can not comprehend how much research, time, sourcing, talent and pure hard work etc goes into a full design and renovation.

    If during your writing you can somehow convey the actual amount of hours decisions took to make I think that would benefit everyone.

    Excited to read it!

    1. yes! such a good point

  32. Congratulations Emily! I love Styled and I look forward to the next book!

    I live in a 1926 bungalow and the rooms are impossibly tiny. It’s impossible to follow today’s style rules because of this. How can I make my tiny/awkwardly shaped rooms work?

  33. Congratulations on book 2! What I struggle with most is visualizing changes I want to make in my own space. Pinterest and inspiration photos just don’t cut it sometimes – I want to be able to manipulate my space digitally so I can really get a glimpse of what I’m thinking about. I want to see a genuine mock up before I take a leap! Problem is, if you’re not a pro with access to sophisticated apps and programs (that obviously take time and skill to learn), how do you do this?! Is there no app or resource that could help casual consumers like myself? I’d love to know what options are out there and easy to use for this purpose!

    1. Oh, that’s a really cool idea! What if there was an app that you could download with the book that came with a basic layout designing tool? Or if that is too elaborate, maybe paper cutouts in the back of the book for doing a layout on graphing paper?

    2. Yes to this!

    3. I actually used Modsy design service and they send you a 3-d mockup of your space (all to scale) and design it completely. It’s pretty neat!

    4. I use Sweet Home 3D! It’s free and pretty simple to use and it’s super helpful with visualizing the changes you want to make. Lots of furniture options, especially if you download the user-created models from Sweet Home 3D’s website. Been using it for years and can’t recommend it enough!

  34. That line of questioning is what has brought me to your blog and instagram more and more! My husband and I bought a traditional styled semi-Georgian 2 story brick home a year and a half ago and merged our stuff into one household (married 2 years this March). My style has been more mid century eclectic, his more utilitarian contemporary. He’s okay with pretty much whatever I want to do, short of demo’ing or painting the dark wood built-in in the living room or painting the brick fireplace, staircase, kitchen island… oh and did I mention we have 6 kids, ages 11 to 21? I’m trying to merge furniture and decor from two different styles into a traditional house, maintaining functionality, and breaking it down into small enough projects to finish in a weekend or spread out over time to defray the cost. Right now, I’m tackling my bedroom. It has two small windows on either side of the bed, a skylight over the bed, so it has a good bit of natural light. The furniture is more MCM, medium wood tones. I need a place that is a retreat for the two of us, but also handles multiple kids and dogs and chores, like laundry. Multiple times I thought I had what I want but something or other keeps messing up those ideas. I think this post has turned into more of a story and a sigh, rather than a book idea. So, I’ll stop but go ahead and post in case you can see a nugget in here you can use. Thanks for listening!

  35. I’d love to see tips (in the book or on the blog) for how to upgrade a builder-basic home- ways to add architectural features (maybe a sliding scale of expenses- board and batten to built-ins to stone fire place). After living in our home with a very awkward and basic family room for 8 years, I just decided that our bare 20’ long wall behind the TV needs board and batten, and the room is finally starting to make sense to me.

  36. I’d like to know more about lighting plans. Especially if you are going to use can lights and where to place them and where not to place them. I feel like many homes (including my own) where I live use way too many can lights in the ceiling.

    1. SECONDED!!! My house came with only like 3 lights. Same question.

  37. I’ve been working on my new house for six months and I honestly can’t tell what I like and don’t like any more. I can argue either side of anything. The answer is probably to do the style/feeling/palette work you describe up front and then focus on adhering to that when my realtime compass is exhausted. You’ve said that before, but maybe if you put it in another book I will get it through my thick skull. **looks accusingly at new stair runner that may or may not good**

  38. My main questions revolve around labor – how do you know which things to hire a contractor for, how do you even begin the search, will they get offended if you don’t hire them after their initial quote (esp if it’s a small job). I think someone has already said this, but just ALL THE CONTRACTOR QUESTIONS.

    Also – THIS IS A BIG ASK and not ideal for book format, but I have always wanted to find an Excel budget template that has various budgets based on type of renovation, line items to consider, input your square footage and the price of the tile you’re buying, etc etc. Maybe this is something that could be given as an add-on to the book, like submit your proof of order and get the workbook emailed to you?

  39. I’d love tips for rentals — like what can you do if there’s carpet and the landlord won’t let you tear it out? And what if the landlord made terrible decisions like ruining a gorgeous bathroom with vintage tiles with a terrible fake black marble sink? Also, when you’re house hunting & looking for a fixer, what are the “good bones” you should look for? What are the things to stay away from? How much do things cost — when I’m house hunting, I never know what we’re going to be able to afford to do? Do we have to move out while we or can we live there while we renovate? How long do things take? And why does it take long with contractors? Why do you always have to double the time estimate & is there any way around that? How do I find a good contractor? Tips to manage them? How do we know what’s a good investment for resale and what will be a money pit? How do you build a home that can grow with style changes over the years & still feel inspiring for decades?

  40. * How to find and evaluate contractors and designers for these projects!
    * Pros and cons of DIY vs general contractor vs design shop vs architect!

  41. We’re DIYers. We beginning to plan for a kitchen renovation. There are so many things to be done and we need to live in our house during the renovation and, use the kitchen. Every time I sit down to map out the job, it’s a bit overwhelming. I’ve even Googled for a checklist without luck. Where do I begin? What’s the order of operations if you will. Actually, this would be a great blog post for me. I’ll be ready to start the renovation in a couple of months. 🙂 Thanks, can’t wait for the new book!

  42. Where things go that are permanent. For example we just had to gut our bathroom and I thought I had a good design plan in place but then where do the outlets go, how high do we want the scones, how much lighting is needed, how high to make the tile wainscoting. I was able to splurge a little on some of the finishes because we were the overall contractor and managed the different trades people. So something that empowers me as a home owner to stretch my dollar further.

  43. My biggest struggle has been how to decorate my living room. I have hardwood pine paneling (unpainted) and broken teracotta tile terrazzo (think big pieces) that are reds, beiges, and browns. Do I match our furnishings and decor to match the tile? What do you do when your house has very bold features?

  44. How to plan and choose lighting! Including placement, size of the light fixture, and wattage. Ideally with some examples from smaller homes and tricky spaces.

  45. I would include what parts of the process you worked with specialists, such as, architects, structural engineers, kitchen and bathroom designers, etc.

  46. I am in the throes of planning a master bathroom remodel – out with the 90’s jetted tub, 30″ coffin shower stall, and child-height vanity…in with a walk-in tiled shower, functional yet pretty vanity, and updated fixtures. My challenge is doing this with resale value in mind – this is never going to be my dream home, but I’ll live here for another 5-10 years until my kids are grown. So, where can I save money and where do I need to go all-in?

  47. I love this book idea! In 2014, my husband and I took a huge leap of faith and bought a fixer upper in our dream neighborhood. Working with just our contractor, we rehabed the entire home (every wire, pipe and ceiling is new) on a tight budget. It was nuts and also exhilarating but, like you, we had to do a ton of Googling and reading to figure out what the heck we were doing. I feel like what’s missing out there is the guide and confidence boost that people need to feel comfortable taking on big renovation projects. So many of my friends are too intimidated and, thus, end up buying flipped homes with very little charm and that don’t match their taste. I want someone (YOU!) to tell them, you CAN DO THIS.

  48. I’d love to know your thoughts on justifying changing something that is already nice, but not your taste. For instance I just bought a house ( beautiful/ mid century) and the previous owners just paid for a new kitchen. They however chose the worst speckled black and brown granite countertops. I feel terrible thinking of removing them and replacing them, but I walk in everyday and hate them.

    Additionally any guidance or realistic budgeting and tips on where to splurge and save as well as tips / reminders to not price yourself out of your neighborhood worth the renovations and updates you make.

    1. +1 on when to demolish something new but tacky

  49. I would to see how people have worked with non-resident buildings converted into homes like churches, factory conversions, etc. how they’ve incorporated those interesting architectural details and features into their house (or worked around them).

  50. I’d love strategies for adjusting builder grade houses in planned communities. What are things you can ask for (and the builder would actually agree to) during the build, what you should upgrade later, what design choices you should say yes to during the build, what are the best choices to make when you have to choose from a set number of options, where to upgrade, etc…??

  51. Could you set it up like a textbook? So that it could be constantly referenced by “floor plan,” “electrical before lighting,” “kitchen function,” etc. as opposed to having to remember what chapter/house featured a particular concern? Like a much more beautiful handbook or guide. There must be some master version of this for something OTHER than design, that could give inspiration to your book. Excited!

  52. Carpet! I have carpet in the bedrooms, and styling a room with carpet is hardly ever mentioned, despite being such a common thing!

  53. Ah! The first time I wrote this it was deleted. Can this new book be in handbook/textbook/guide format instead of a traditional design book style?That way the reader could easily reference (again and again) “floor plan,” “electrical before lighting,” “family-friendly finishes” (such as floor stain? my kids have RUINED our water-based stain). No need to try and remember which house showcased a particular issue.

    There must a be a “How to” for another subject that is wildly successful, that you could draw inspiration from. And make much more beautiful – the perfect blend of design and practical instruction. Congratulations!!

  54. More things about small spaces, small kitchens with bold dark colors, living room layouts that don’t always involve sectionals, small bathrooms with big impact. I can never find good resources for small spaces.

  55. Can’t wait for the new book!!
    I would like to see a section on lighting design: How to create an effective lighting plan- this feels really daunting, particularly if you don’t know exactly where furniture will go. What do you need to keep in mind to not over or under light a room. What do you do in tricky spaces with sloped ceilings? And how can I emphasise (architectural) features with good lighting?

    1. Yes so many lighting questions to cover. we are on it!

  56. I would like to renovate my kitchen. I have a pinterest board. Now what? Because I honestly have no idea what to do next as a millennial and first-time condo owner.

    Renovating the kitchen will mean changing the layout of the living room and where furniture goes. What do I put where? and who can advise/help on this?

  57. Yay! A polite request that it not all be California houses with perfect lighting and white walls. While it’s pretty to look at, it does NOT translate to my East Coast townhouse! A vote for more vertical, darker houses as well. 🙂

    1. I second this! While California bright and airy is aspirational I think your blog viewing demographics show that many of us are from the easy coast and middle of the country.

      Another thing I’d like featured is flooring options. Maybe more options besides hard wood and carpet. Laminate luxury vinyl?

      I can’t wait! I reference styled constantly for inspiration!

  58. I’m very excited for this book! I’m sure it will be a great succes and something everyone can use. I have 1 request: please use a pretty color for the book again. I LOVE how the STYLE book looks on my side table , it’s awesome on the inside AND the outside (sorry, just something minor but as a visual person I like to also style with the book itself).

  59. I think it would be beneficial to have career professionals who do renovations (e.g., architects, contractors) have commentary throughout as well. This could even just be in the form of pop-out comments reinforcing a point you make or additional follow-up on something you said. I’m excited for the book, I just think the concept would benefit by a few super experts and I’d be more likely to buy if there’s information from people who have done dozens of renos. Thanks!

  60. I’ve never been to design school and have worked on a few homes in my time–renos and new builds–and that frustration is REAL! This book sounds incredible and something my world could have used 14 years ago! A couple things I hope you include in the book is recommended space allowances for appliances in the kitchen (folding out DW or oven door, etc.), and square foot minimum requirements in a powder/ 3/4 bath bathroom. I made that mistake a few times, and it was painful! Also . . . standard distance from the ground for window placement (made that mistake too). Finally–please include some before/after floor plans. I know you mentioned in your post that you would minimize that, but I do love me a good floorplan!
    This book sounds fantastic, and I will look forward to reading it!

  61. How to work around houses with limited windows- I’m currently in a condo with one window in the bedroom and two windows in the living room. It’s not worth it for me to put in more as well as the fact that I share a wall with another condo. So my bathroom has no windows so how to make it as light filled and open feeling as possible.

  62. My biggest struggle in design is making it cat proof. Upholstered headboards, loop rugs, and small breakable objects have all proven disaster when wanting to feel cozy at home instead of micro-managing where the two cats are. I would love to read about how you have handled this in the past!

  63. How to style the TV / fireplace situation. I think its sort of dated, but a lot of people have to live with the combo. I love the sponsored Samsung series and am seriously considering replacing out TV as a result, but it is not trivial. Where do the speakers actually go – and for that matter what speakers? Do you ideally have a mantle under the TV – or not, because you aren’t actually going to want stuff on the mantle that interfere with the view of the TV.

    On a totally different topic – exterior – picking a paint, trim, door, shutter combo is IMPOSSIBLE. The house looks beautiful online and then when I paint the swatch its WAY darker, lighter or just wrong. Any chance you could just give me 5 or 10 combos to chose from that don’t just look good online but in real life.

    1. Agree with the TV/Fireplace issue. We are remodeling an 1895 house with some hideous updates in between. It’s a gut job, but frankly, it’s small. With the allowed addition we’re up to a whopping 1080 sf. So to get a fireplace the TV has to go over it and now i’m realizing like Jane said that do I want a mantel because anything I put there will block the TV. Soooo many questions (and sorry, your book won’t be out in time to help me!!) Like last night I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if the crown molding should stop short of the kitchen cabinets (with their own molding)–should I make it all the same?

      I’ve hired an architect, a designer and a contractor–but right now, when should the contractor chime in with his comments (I hired them all early to have them be able to have input into the design–you know not design something stupid expensive to build)) but the architect doesn’t seem to be anxious to “bring in the outsiders” to his planning. So he’ll get the drawings done and then I’ll have to have him change them for an extra charge–cha-ching. How to get them to play together?

      Aaaargh, we haven’t swung a hammer yet and I want someone to come take charge!!!

  64. For the past two years we have been working on a plan to dramatically renovate our kitchen and put an addition on our bedroom to make it into a master. We also have a ton of infrastructure items to do: seismic, new furnace, instant hot water heater, replace knob and tube, update plumbing… It’s so overwhelming but we couldn’t afford a design build firm so I’m acting as the project manager and go between for the contractor and design group.

    Window placement is a huge question. In particular, how that affects the engineering and framing of walls. We planned for clerestory windows around the perimeter of the room but learned that would require more engineering and money. I also struggled with finding a good large window that opens so it can be used as a pass through when we’re entertaining in the kitchen and on the patio.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about recessed lighting versus installing beautiful fixtures and how that will impact functionality (over an island), impede views through the space and outside, and lock in furniture placement (over the dining table).

    Allowing the right amount of space for walking throughout the house (kitchen, bedroom, master especially) is trickier thank realized. So is seating spacing at an island.

    Bathrooms are a zone I haven’t mentally entered because they intimidate me. I want a custom shower with tile and glass and I don’t know where to start. I’m really afraid it’s going to be too expensive and I’ll be forced to buy a plastic liner shower that I will hate.

    How to make newly constructed parts of the house connect to existing is a big challenge. I don’t like our existing windows but don’t have the budget to replace them now. My plan is to put in windows I like in the new spaces and when the old windows start to have issues, or we have the money to replace them, we’ll take that step.

    A couple other items: deciding on materials for the outside of the house (Hardie???), gas fireplaces and in general approaches to fireplace surrounds, furniture inspiration for storage in a house with limited closets (armoire for the vacuum???), retaining wall options (maybe not your bailiwick), a calculator for making good financial decisions during renovations (if we spent x to buy the house and y to renovate, Will we need to work until we’re 99 to pay off the mortgage?)

  65. I have a great desire to update several spaces in my home (one of which was never really ‘done’ in the first place) but I have no time to do it. I have a sense of what I want but zero time to source and even less time to schedule and install. So, how would I find and hire my own Emily Henderson? What do I look for? What should I ask about? How will I know if that person is a good fit for me? What’s the best way to enjoy that relationship and not just manage it?

  66. A section or chapter on dealing with communications with contractors when a mistake has been made–like actual templates for what to say, who should pay for the fix depending on the mistake. How to decide when it is time to fire a contractor or design professionals, how to get them to listen to what you want even if they think you are making the wrong choice. How to stop worrying about right v. wrong, rules v. being brave, and just designing for how you actually live and want to use a space. Where to go for trustworthy reviews, estimates, etc, when you aren’t in the business and don’t have a built-in rolodex of contacts. What finishes and fixtures ‘go” with what design style/era–why brass works for some house styles and stainless is better for others–like if I have a 1950’s era ranch, what finishes and fixtures are going to look appropriate and why.

  67. I’m doing my own whole house renovation and, like you, am learning in the field and asking everyone and google-ing what to do. I think not only giving sourcing tips, cheap and high-end, but also the actual order of things in which they should be done would be super helpful. Also, the ordering process and planning that all out is like JENGA. Lol. It’s all about getting everything ordered and arriving on time and then organizing all the workers at the right time, like herding cats, that was the key for my own success. That and obsessively calling, texting and sending everyone the exact details and photos and plans over and over to ensure it all went okay. Wow, I must seem like a real crazy person. I’d also add that when we started our renovation we didn’t know anyone up in the mountains, our vacation home where we bought, and asking the locals for recommendations on good workers/companies was key.

    Anyway, thanks for always helping people and being very reliable that’s why I’m a fan.

  68. I would love to have, all in one book, “the rules” for every room. How high should the chandelier be above the table? How how/deep should cabinets be? how far away from the sofa should the coffee table be? How high should you hang the TV and how far away from the main seating area? How high to hang pictures behind the sofa? How far away should the lightbulb be from a seated reader? How to fit a lampshade to a lamp? How high should a bed be? How to cope with designing for a very tall (or very short) person? How large should a dining room rug be? And on and on.

  69. Hooray!! I loved Styled so much (that’s how I first started reading the blog) and 3 years on it is still such a fantastic resource for beautiful inspiration and excellent advice! I absolutely can’t wait to read your next book! Some ideas for topics are: how to make a room look calm and minimalist but still interesting and beautiful; how to plan the look of a house overall, with a break down of the key recurring materials, elements and colours (like the mountain house post on Monday!); dorm room/small space ideas for a chic look on a budget; and also some aspirational homes, architecture, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms for inspiration. Personally, I like seeing both process and final pics and info on the blog, and the same goes for the book. It sounds amazing and I wish you the best of luck writing and creating it!

    1. Hi again, another idea: mood boards of rooms next to the finished spaces would be fab to see how the two compare and to get a better idea of what elements you need to recreate the same look (again, similar to the boards you featured on Monday, which I thought were great!!)

  70. Gray and brown – can they live together in harmony in a living room? Brown chairs; gray-beige sofa ….. what color rug?

  71. Every comment so far listed topics I’d love to see in the book.

    I’ve hesitated to start badly needed renovations because I don’t know enough about legal issues (a neighbor told me my side walkway has an easement — I went to the zoning office and couldn’t find it). I truly wonder if I shouldn’t just demolish this house and rebuild on the lot. Great neighborhood and gorgeous view; but slab foundation and flat roof with Orangeburg drainpipes.

    Going back to the legal issues, my 1949 house is too close to lot lines, but it’s “grandfathered”. If I rebuilt I’d lose 300 square feet.

    This might be outside the scope of your book, but if you made readers aware of regulations we should research before we even start planning, it would be a big help.

    Thanks, and have fun writing!

    1. Yes! Please include a note on zoning restrictions, heights, easements!

  72. How can you design your home so it feels finished and special… like a designer did it?

    When interior designers are involved in a project, you can tell because it has those extra special details (like a small appliance closet or built ins) that add that touch of polish.

    How do ya’ll do that? What are the things an average person can look for when buying a home or thinking about renovating that can give them that designer touch (without being a designer)?

  73. So important to include houses from across the country, the styles and construction can be very different from California. A section on creative options for basements and lower levels would be helpful.

  74. My request would be to do at least one house with nothing architecturally interesting…the blah builder basic oak cabinet house that so many of us suburbanites are stuck in. It’s super easy to style out a house with good architecture, good bones. That’s like throwing clothes on a model…absolutely anything looks good. But how do you make clothes look good on a regular woman, one with wrinkles and sags and a couple extra pounds around the middle. Do that in house form and it would be a huge help to so many of us!!

  75. Please show us creative, budget friendly ways to approach re-design when you can afford to make some changes but do not have the budget for a complete makeover. In other words, what to put the bucks into and where to implement cheaper, more creative alternatives. What works and what doesn’t? For instance, when you can’t do a whole kitchen Reno, maybe don’t skimp on a quality counter top, but paint the existing cabinets and replace the doors/hardware. Maybe use beautiful contact paper for a backsplash? Is there a way to make a kitchen look good without having to spend thousands of dollars on new appliances? If not, ok, but where else can we save money? Because, most of us can’t do it all and don’t want to wait years until it’s finally finished to enjoy it. Those kind of middle of the road ideas that create balanced and practical solutions for every day people wanting an elevated space that feels and looks good. ❤️

  76. Rental tips! Every apartment I’ve lived in in LA has had awkward textured walls, popcorn ceilings, no entry space, boring off white walls that can’t be painted.. so many people rent and can’t afford to buy, especially here, but there has to be a way to inject more personality into a space. Temp wallpaper often isn’t a solution because it chips the cheap paint!

  77. I’d love to see some posts on prioritizing projects. I opted to strip my Brazilian cherry floors when I moved in to save $ and have regretted not replacing them ever since! They’re way too dark and warm and redoing them now, with everything in would be a nightmare.

    I also kept my builder grade baseboards when I tiled my bathroom walls and regret that as well, looks way too traditional!

    I know you won’t have space in the book to cover every possible mistake in detail but it might be helpful to have a reader-submitted mistake section! I’m really looking forward to this book!

  78. How to decide when you should truly be designing for yourself vs potential resale down the road!

  79. Ok Emily, here’s a window into one readers brain. I have great anxiety over home renovations I’m interested in because I have no idea where to start and how to accomplish what I want for the best value possible. One thing (on my list of many) that I would change is my bathroom. It currently has cheap beige floor tiles, a fiberglass shower surround and a cheap vanity sink with zero character. What I’m stumped on is that when you open the bathroom door the toilet is opposite it. So, do I keep the same floor plan and do all new finishes or do I try to re arrange fixtures and do a full remodel? What’s the difference in price? What floor plan will work in my tiny bathroom? If I switch the location of the toilet and sink will it still have enough leg room in front of the toilet/ clearance between the door and the sink. I don’t want to get hit by the door if I’m brushing my teeth and my partner needs to come in to grab a towel etc etc. So long story short I just do nothing because I don’t feel I am knowledgeable enough to make all the decisions necessary to get the job done right.

  80. Emily,

    Please pick at least one small apartment/condo with not much natural light because, you know, some of us are stuck with that and still want to decorate in spite of it. Show us a place that makes the best of it or the mistakes made trying to get to be lighter. Show us your Emily magic dealing with that situation. Thanks.

  81. I LOVED the design series about adding charm to a charmless/contractor grade home. Seriously still reference those posts often. Would love to read more about that in your book or on the blog.

  82. Congrats and can’t wait for the book!

    My question – how do you budget friendly renovate/decorate in a neighborhood of ugly split-level 70’s/80’s houses and 50s/60s ranches which are not cute midcentury, but are actually “once was midcentury that someone tried to 90’s faux-tuscanize” disasters? I love me some gorgeous pre-1930 tudors/craftsman/victorians – but these don’t exist in the school district I want in Northeastern Ohio.

    I don’t know if this is too specific but feel like it could apply to a lot of midwestern neighborhoods. We want beautiful homes with special architectural details too – but are trying to work with what we got!

    1. Yup. Same here (Indiana).

  83. My needs are pretty specific but I’ll put them out there anyway. I am interested in small space design. Multi purpose furniture, fresh storage ideas. Should I get a bed with drawers or put bins underneath? That type of thing. I am practical, but I need to like what I see when I look around my home.

    Also, cat proof design. Beautiful BUT realistic and practical. I would love a tufted headboard, but would not love using a lint roller on it every other day.

    Looking forward to the new book!

  84. Pricing info! Some actual concrete breakdowns on how you should budget for a renovation. Materials, labor, design, etc. Also timing! These are things that HGTV etc. lead you to believe you can do cheap and fast, but we all know that isn’t realistic. I’d love to have a real world guide to how to budget and plan for a renovation.

  85. Very much looking forward to this book!

    -order of operations for a given type of room

    -what should match and what can be mixed (working slowly on a budget, I’m trying to maintain consistency with hardware and lighting finishes throughout the house so it doesn’t look TOTAL thrift/craigslist since I am now in my mid 30s) – and for example in a bathroom, can it all just be, say, mixed chrome & black pieces added in over time or should the items in each color actually come from the same line/manufacturer for that finished look?

    -Finding and maintaining vision over time in the era of pinterest and rapidly changing home trends, and what projects really need to be saved up for and addressed all at once rather than piecemeal.

    – when adding mouldings/architectural detail to a basic box of a house, are you committing to doing every room? i.e. where can you stop once you start. This question is paralyzing me as I contemplate adding wainscoting to a long dark hallway, since I realized when we replace our flat doors down the road that will change the door moulding and screw up the wainscoting, and further, will it look odd to have wall paneling in just the hallway and nowhere else in the house, but I’m exhausted thinking about doing it beyond the one small space at the moment!

  86. How do you design a bathroom situation to accommodate children needing baths (with toys), but also make it a spa-like area I can go to take a relaxing bath? We have a small house with no real master bath, so we share with the kids. How do you design a space where the kids’ bath toys can be out of sight when not in use but not closed up in a spot where their bath residue (water and soap) will cause a moldy, dirty area?

  87. I love following along the trend rollercoatsers on social media, but for actual material choices in a renovation, what are timeless combos that can be styled different ways and have longevity?

  88. Something I’m having an EXTREMELY hard time finding anything about how to work with 70’s-80’s low ceiling (8ft) generic ranch style homes.

    How to I add architectural detail? The house doesn’t really lean towards a style so can I go uber modern? Can I go traditional?

    How can I maximize lighting or work with lower lighting to get one of those cool casual swanky looking rooms?

    These houses often have semi closed square or triangular rooms – it’s hard to find furniture layout options for smaller rooms, rooms with both a fireplace and a sliding door, and awkward corners created by furniture placement.

    1. second this!

  89. I am interested in knowing when you change you home to reflect current styles and when you keep it as is. Like for our kitchen – it is currently a separate room with an open doorway. The house was built in 1947, so no real historical significance. We just kept it as a separate room when we moved in since it was easier and there were like 800 layers of flooring that digging it up was like a glimpse of trends forgotten (flooring is not hardwood like rest of the 1st floor). So as we save up, should we plan to open the wall into the dining room like most of our neighbors have or keep as is and hope the trend swings back?

  90. WIRES!!!! Where do they all go! Our TV setup has wires for the tv itself, Roku, Soundbar, and the router (im probably forgetting more). How do you get a nice clean open shelf console and hide all these damn wires, especially if it’s a wall mounted TV. Especially especially if you’re in an older home with weirdly placed outlets. We currently have a boxier/larger console specifically to hide that mess, but I wish I could have something lighter there..

  91. Pleeeaase give some advice on how to style a two story living room (one- or two-story curtains? will anything other than massive artwork work?). I have scoured the internet, and there are no good suggestions.

  92. Managing small, old homes with no storage. Odd shaped rooms and disorganized flow. Reinvisioning what each space is for and thinking about how it evolves over time, i.e. the family room you need for toddlers is different than the room you need with teenagers. Options to mitigate terrible finishes until you can replace them.

    1. 100% agree with all of this!

    2. This! Along these lines, transforming a kitchen pantry into a second bathroom. Where do you begin when a space is so small? We also have an odd closet (5’x6′) upstairs that also has access to the attic. How do you make odd spaces function to their full potential. Do you higher a contractor or a designer for a project that small?

      1. Yes! How do you make the most of out of what you’ve got by doing small, meaningful remodels.

        Can you help guide readers through a deciding what priorities to choose when remodeling? Example: My house needs new siding, which estimates say will cost 50K. But I’d rather spend 30K on a new kitchen because I cook every damn day in a kitchen with no counters. But one is structural, the other is about enjoyment of my house. How do I decide?

        The “Who do I hire to do this” comes up for me all the time, too. If I want to redo my kitchen and totally redesign it, adding a tiny powder room, who comes up with the plan? My contractor? A special kitchen designer??? Or do I have to already have the plan?

  93. I’m very excited for your second book! I have two requests.

    The first is how to honor a home’s age and architecture (i.e. craftsman, tudor, etc.) while still incorporating personal taste and not making it look “dated.”

    The second is how to have design continuity throughout a house, but still have each room be unique. For example, choosing light fixtures that coordinate, but aren’t too matchy, or choosing hardware finishes (if I do polished nickel fixtures in the kitchen, should I do the same in the bathroom?), etc.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  94. How to maximize space in a small house with 2 growing boys. Small but functional bathrooms, closets, play space storage.

    Also interesting and unique design ideas to feel like a boutique hotel. (I.e. built in headboard wall, wainscot or other).

    Making a functional anc cute closet out of a niche.

    Good luck and so excited!!!

  95. Love the second book idea!

    Here’s some issues I keep running into:
    1. scale– I feel like I end up buying small things, but I know I need bigger items. Lighting, lamps particularly, art, furniture, etc. Buying big seems scary/expensive, but a bunch of small things looks dumb/amateur.
    2. whole house color palette– how to do this well without being boring!

  96. How do you design for a multi-generational home? In Huntington Beach, CA

  97. PLEASE write or blog about how to hide cords/powerpoints/chargers! It seems so simple but can really ruin the look of a space. Good luck!

  98. I’m crossing my fingers that your new book will cover millwork and wall treatments and which make sense together and in what style of house. I’d also love to see you advice and lots of examples of updating fireplaces and again what styles might go best with what type of house. There are so many beautiful inspiration photos available, but how can we update our “ranch” houses in a way that doesn’t seem crazy but still has good style to it? Looking forward to your new book!!!

  99. I want to know about range hood options. Do built-ins have to be so big and heavy looking? Right now it seems like the options are: a really industrial look, a big box on the wall, hang it below a cabinet, or something about a vent that pops up behind the stove and is super expensive?

  100. We have lived in our little suburban saltbox for nearly eight years, and I have no fudging idea what treatments look good on the windows! It’s driving me bananas. Oh, also they are replacement windows and everything has to have an outside mount. I wanted to do the trick with curtains where’s you hang the rod higher to give height to the room, but then no standard size curtains work. Also what color do I use—neutral? Match the wall color? Thankfully a Shade Store just opened nearby, so I feel like they are giving me some hope. But in general I feel like if I could just figure this out, it would be magical. Thank you!

  101. I don’t have time to read through all the comments, so please forgive me if someone has already suggested these:
    – A guide for typical dimensions (e.g. kitchen counter top height, bathroom vanity height, door ground clearance, minimum distance between island and counter top) to consider when designing custom construction
    – Clever ideas for kitchen and bathroom organizational features (e.g. cutting board over trash can, spice drawer, appliance cabinet, hair tools plug in under vanity)
    – Designing a cohesive room around a bold piece of artwork
    – How to choose specific new elements in a room when you can’t afford to gut the whole thing (e.g. your faux terra cotta bathroom floor tile is hideous, but you can’t afford to replace the Travertine on the shower walls, so what floor tile would you put in to make the Travertine less offensive?)
    – How to choose cohesive flooring in adjoining rooms… what tile will look good in my kitchen as it transitions form the wood floors?
    – How to incorporate a cool architectural feature to give your home character (e.g. stained glass window, antique pantry door, corbels, antique dresser turned into a vanity)
    – Different room transition options… designs of archways, columns, exposed brick, exposed header beam

  102. I’ve got one Emily: how to work with contractors!! That’s my biggest challenge. The communication, follow-up, etc. makes me want to pull my hair out! 😂 Tips on best practices for working with tradespeople, in a nutshell. Also items to check off before you start a renovation. (I.e. permits, potential problems, mistakes you’ve made that could’ve been dealt with in the beginning.) Things to consider during a renovation. Scale, size, etc.

    1. yes again from me. yes and yes and yes.

  103. I would love to see how to renovate the OUTSIDE of your house. Stylists and designers mostly focus on the inside of a house when the outside is the real first impression, not the entry way! There’s hardly any content on this. I loved your series on updating the outside of your last house.

    I want new a fence for the front of my house and a new railing for the balcony in the back; however, I haven’t found any good information on how to go about doing this. What materials last the longest? What types of fence designs go with what style of house? How tall a fence? Is a gate necessary? What code issues are there with the railing on the balcony? If you want to help me update a nice cape cod house in Burbank with a ranch fence in the front and a Mediterranean iron railing in the back, I’m your gal!

  104. Can you PLEASE talk about how to use minor renovations to inject character into otherwise totally bland builder houses? Magazine inspiration is great, but so many of us live in houses that are crappily, boringly designed and built. With small budgets ($10K or less) to make significant changes…

    1. You know who did a good one of these? The Makerista. She has a blog post on it. It’s pretty dang good! It was a new build craftsman that she injected so much character in.

  105. Excited for this project: I’d love to hear from experts/professionals outside of the design world about what’s important to them in spaces at home. A chef talks about their kitchen design, differnt child physiologists talks about a nursey, a kids room, tween room, teen room. A green advocate talks about their garbage/recycling/garage/utilities. A director talk about the family room/tv situation. A couple councilor talk about the master bedroom (ha!) You get the idea. It would be so nice to see design ideas that intergrate style with living a thoughtful life and how people with different things on their mind (not just looks) buikd functional and beautiful spaces. As a whole, I’d love to see this blog and your book look outward for expertise (on the non design stuff) that can support a beautifully designed life. Adding interviews or wisdom from different kinds of experts would push what you’re doing to another level.

    1. That’s such an interesting idea!!

    2. Love the idea! You should write your own book on this- I‘d definitely read it!

  106. I know most design books don’t have it…but let’s face it. MANY people have the TV over the fireplace. HOW can I make that look nice and take the focus off of the TV. 🙂 I wish I had the one that is a piece of art when it’s not on!! AND….CONGRATS!!!! I loved your first book!!!

  107. I’ve been slowly renovating my house and here are some of the things I’ve googled:

    – How do you design a vaulted ceiling? Where to put beams, how far apart, types of boards…
    – What types of windows do you use with a vaulted ceiling (that aren’t weird semi-circle ones)?
    – Can you add blinds inside the window if your windows aren’t deep? I haven’t found an answer to this one. Do you need to think of this before you install the windows or build the walls?
    – Floor vs wall air vents? How many air vents do I need for room size?
    – How much space do you need surrounding a kitchen/dining table?
    – Seating arrangements for a living room with fireplace?
    – What types of gutters should I use, water drainage, sumps… – water is a big problem in my area
    – Where do you put the shower head, seat, and hooks in a walk in shower?
    – What height should a medicine cabinet be?
    – Types of interior doors
    – Types of Patio doors?

  108. I’d like a start-to-finish/soup-to-nuts primer on smaller scale renovations.
    When we redid our kitchen last year, I was referred to a local cabinet guy (he’s an intermediary and sells “semi-custom” cabinetry) and he was amazing because he did all of the measuring and layout and designing (with my input) plus ordering and had a referral to a contractor who did all the install as well as another one for the counter tops. It was still a complicated, long process, but that cabinet guy saved me.
    Now we are looking to redo my daughter’s bathroom and I’m paralyzed about how to start. Do I need a designer (who would even take on something so small other than an online option like Homepolish or Havenly, both of which I’ve had very mixed results with on prior decor only projects)? What is in scope for a contractor (again, assuming I find one willing to work on something so small)? Would my contractor help me determine what bath/tile/fixture combo will work or is that designer work? What must be outsourced and what can I realistically do myself in the way of planning and purchasing (I plan to leave all demo/install/plumbing/labor to the experts)? And, as so many others have mentioned, what comes first? Pick a tile? Pick the big pieces (eg, toilet, bathtub, vanity)? I know what looks pretty (or can find it on Pinterest/blogs). I need help getting started!

  109. How about- “Designing and styling a dark bedroom-live plants included”, “designing a room that serves as a playroom/guest room without ruining it for either habitant” “designing around bedroom furniture your husband bought before he met you that iss so ugly but he refuses to part with it” this book would be a great gift for me if It has any of these tips!! I cannot wait for this book!

  110. 1. Fireplace updrades-mine is a sorta ugly red brick with a too small mantel.
    2. Front door/porch upgrades and styling tips. How to pick a front door color to coordinate with your home, screen door or no screen door? Hardware upgrades. planter arrangements?
    3. Creative dining room design that makes the room more useful on a daily basis. I want to have a space for more formal/group dinners occasionally, but I’d like the room to be more inviting for every day use as well.
    4. How to make a space look better by taking stuff out rather than putting stuff in.
    5. Decorating with plants.
    6. How to make an unfinished basement more pretty and functional without finishing it. How to take a big open space with multiple uses (storage, laundry, workshop, water heater/furnace, kitty litter space) and make it actually look clean and orderly rather than like a jumbled disgusting mess.

  111. How do you “renovate” an apartment when you don’t own the property and can’t actually make any *structural* changes to the space? Or potentially even more limiting– when you can’t even paint the walls (which may or may not be painted in the cheapest paint known to man/womankind…).

  112. As one of your older readers, an avid DIYer, and always on a real life budget (no bank loans), I have been constantly remodeling my entire 40 years of marriage. The last 25 years on a house that we moved onto 72 acres of land–constant remodeling. Buying used appliances for a remodel, is one of the areas I seldom see written about. I have had great budget success with this budget friendly option, it may not fit into your “perfection design”, but I buy used, good name brand dishwashers on craigslist that are barely used (big family, high use item at my home) trash compactors, refrigerators and ranges. My range is a vintage chambers because I got tired of the control panel going out on my new appliances……. Many people are paralyzed and can’t do anything unless it is perfect, so nothing ever gets done. Some of us can handle it, some can’t. But buying a dishwasher for $50 can often get a kitchen going and functional instead of waiting for years.

    Doing a remodel project can be very overwhelming and there is a process that can be learned “to get it done”. I have done many additions and remodels while at the same time being mom to a large family. The secret is to make a “process” list of everything that needs to be done in a room and plan to spend at least 30 minutes a day chipping away at the process list. This could be the chapter in a book. It might look like this, fill nail holes, sand trim, prime trim. paint walls, paint cut-in one wall, paint trim, 2nd coat, install face plates…… Some of these only take 10 minutes, others might need to be broken into smaller chunks. It is amazing how much one woman can do without paying for a contractor by dedicating small chunks of time every day. I love to check things off a list. It really adds up and I think this is an important process for young creatives to learn.

  113. I would like to know how to pick timeless decor pieces that will stand the test of time. How to stay away from the trendy but still be up to date. When you renovate a kitchen or bathroom, how to choose tile, flooring and finishes that do not reflect what was on trend that year.

  114. I’d love a blog post on various wall treatments. There could be a whole post on different wood trim layouts to reflect various styles, how to skim coat textured walls in preparation, different ideas on unique paint configurations, wallpapering inside sections, how to modernize it, etc.
    I’d also love to see your take on plaster walls, they seem to be gaining in popularity but I don’t know anything about how it’s done, if the treatment is affordable, or if it’s appropriate for my house.
    Fabric, leather, stenciling, murals. Heck, take it up to the ceiling for some fun ideas.

  115. I would love to read and see photos of how to design a beautiful HOME (meaning a place where people and kids and pets actually live, not just styled for a photo) when you AREN’T an instagram influencer or when you don’t have collaborations with vendors or you don’t live in CA in a multi-million dollar home, or you don’t have a seemingly unlimited budget.

  116. An actual sequential list for say…designing and remodeling a kitchen. We are doing a lot of the work except plumbing and electrical, with help from some friends in construction biz. And of all the things, this would be super helpful.

    Also, maybe a spot in the back of the book that is only for measurements. Like, if you need 2 people to be able to work in an aisle, whatis the measurement for that? How much space do you need around a table in a dining room, what about chairs?

    And…millwork. Some basic, or not so basic stuff on designing millwork. Maybe do a chapter with Metrie or something? (Our 1900 farmhouse had ALL the original millwork taken out and 1980s oak put in. ) Every room is 4 walls, a floor and a ceiling. The windows and millwork can make or break a room.

  117. I’d love tips to how to design something you’ll love for decades vs too trendy and bored with in 5 years. So excited!!

  118. More information about wallpaper, and where to source it, especially AFFORDABLE wallpaper. I love wallpaper in small doses, but have trouble finding fab designs like the ones I see here or in design magazines.

    Another maybe less popular idea: Carpeting. We bought a second-floor condo unit and therefore must have carpeting in most of it because of house rules. We finally found carpeting that we liked, but it wasn’t easy! No one writes about carpeting because it isn’t as sexy as wood floors. But sometimes it’s necessary to have.

  119. I live in a 1200 sf condo. I love styling my space, but it’s quite small and budget is limited. I would like to see pretty, but practical solutions for tighter spaces (and sometimes awkward) that are more or less timeless over a period of years with ideas for refreshing that wouldn’t break the bank or require contractors. I suspect there are many out there like me.

  120. How-to do an addition well. Getting the proportions right and blending an addition with the current structure.

    What are good first steps in planning a kitchen renovation?

  121. I can’t think of a specific question right now but one book that I have turned to repeatedly over the years and has really stood the test of time is Terence Conran’s The Essential House Book published in 1994. That and Ilse Crawford’s The Sensual Home. May be worth a look for some inspiration around how to approach this project. I feel like you have the vision to do a book that combines Conran’s practicality with Crawford’s soul – and that is a book I would buy in a heartbeat.

  122. How do you design a “functional space that’s still stylish?” I’ve been thinking about how my space really functions. (Why am I always moving my kids’ shoes from the back door to the laundry room cabinet, only to go back in there to get them again? Where else could they go? Why do I have a prime space kitchen cabinet full of platters I only use 1-2x per year but walk to the pantry 2x a day to get the cooking spray?) I’m trying to track how I really USE my space, and then make targeted changes that make sense, but don’t want to compromise style, either. How can we maximize style and living in our spaces?

  123. I am excited about this book! I have questions on flooring. Like, is there a certain number of different floorings you can use in your house before it starts looking like a patchwork quilt? Or does it matter as long as they all “go” together? Or how many different floorings should you be able to see at any given angle? Is it ok if all of the bathrooms have different flooring if they are spread out throughout the house? These are the kinds of things I have wondered about.

  124. Designing for old homes – for instance, I have a foursquare built in 1916. Not moving any walls, but the darn front door is right in the center of the room, which is directly across from the staircase that leads upstairs. Beside the staircase, a console width away is the opening to the dining room. To the right of the front door there is a window and the wall at the far end of the room, which is home to the fireplace. Opposite side of the room, across from fireplace is the sunroom. I cannot fit a couch anywhere in this room & have it work. So now my 100″ sofa is in the sunroom, which works fairly well, but allowing all that natural light in doesn’t go so well with watching TV in there. I’d love to be able to have a TV in the main living room along with comfy seating, like a sofa. It’s a conundrum that I think can only be resolved with a loveseat, which really doesn’t work. My style is bohemian traditional because I love all the bamboo/wicker but also want to keep in line with the 1916 foursquare (pre-craftsman) traditional style.

  125. How to combine DIY and a contractor – we bought a fixer upper and we’ve done a lot ourselves and paid somebody to assist too but tips on when we should use a contractor/do it yourself would be helpful. Also, finishes kill me – what finishes should be the same, what can be different – I can’t find an answer to this $1M question of mine……and pictures are all over the place that I can’t figure out the rule. Also, when to put lipstick on a pig or do a remodel and when do you do both even though that seems like a waste of money (but I think I’m going to do that…)

  126. OH MY GOODNESS!! I wish I had this right now. We bought a 7,300 sqft home with excellent bones but is all original from 1980 (they put in excellent quality stuff). Hence it needs a major facelift. I’ve never done a stitch of remodeling and have no idea where to start. I hired an interior designer and started to get bids- but still feel way over my head.

  127. I would be really interested to find out how to style/pick furniture for odd shaped rooms. For example, my living room/tv room is a hexagon haha no joke. It’s a blank wall, wall with a giant window, wall with fireplace, wall with French doors and the other two are open to the entryway and breakfast nook. I’m really struggling with this room!

  128. Ideas:

    *Aesthetically pleasing toy storage areas in the main living room that, when put away, are completely unnoticeable as toy storage.

    *When/if it’s acceptable to style with faux plants/flowers. If so, how to do so appropriately.

    *Hanging pictures – the rules for doing so. What’s too high? What’s too low? When two walls meet, and the art is different, how to make it look cohesive. In a hallway, is it ok to hang on both walls, or should you just stick to one? On a really long wall with 3 different “zones”, how do you hang art so it’s cohesive, yet distinct? In a bedroom with a lot of wall space, if you have already used a stack of 3 or a grid of 4, is it taboo to use that same setup on another wall, or would that be too much of a good thing? Scale of pictures vs. wall size. I swear an entire book could be written on this subject. Size coordination. Frame coordination, etc. This stumps me more than anything else!

    *Rules for chandelier/sconce/pendant sizes, heights, etc. for each room.

  129. I’ve spent countless hours googling images for how to reimagine my 1990’s oak trim/kitchen house into something more updated without painting all the woodwork or gutting the whole thing. Oh, most importantly, it all needs to be done on basically no budget (i.e., $200 here, $50 there, $1,000 there, etc.) Until recently, all searches resulted in “how to paint oak.” I’m finally finding some clever concepts, but it’s taken a long time. Perhaps you could do a “character study” on a somewhat dated home that keeps or tones down original elements, but gives it a fresh feeling on a low budget. I’m not asking too much, am I? (laughs manically) I’m okay with my house not looking like it was built in 2018, because it wasn’t. But I’d rather it not look like builder-grade 1993. I think there are a lot of people like me out there with similar issues.
    And on a somewhat related topic, maybe a chapter on mixing wood and enameled surfaces (e.g., when it okay to have wood window trim, but white baseboards).

  130. I would be interested in knowing what kind of tradesman should do what type of work in renovation/minor home upgrades when you are not hiring a general contractor. My husband and I were renters for years and years and then when we finally owned a home and, as an example, wanted to convert a wood burning fireplace to gas, we realized (too late in the game) that we had to hire other people other than the gas fireplace installation person–we also needed a plumber to move the existing gas line, we needed someone to install new fireplace tile, etc. I know there is probably not one way to do each particular task, but having at least a frame of reference would be wonderful! Now I want to put in a sink in my basement (that also looks stylish) and don’t know who to call other than a plumber….

  131. I have lots of questions that I would love to see addressed in the book, which several other people have already commented about, but what I really want to know is what are the mistakes that you were kicking yourself for? I think we could all really learn from those mistakes and while I think it would be hard to put yourself out there for everyone to read about your failures/mistakes, I think that’s why most of us love your blog: your openness and honesty. Please share so we can commiserrate and encourage you! And so we can feel like less of a failure when we do the same thing!

    I would also like to see more clarity about what is being Photoshopped out of images. I appreciate that it kind of takes away from the pretty picture when there are wires and light switches all over, but I would love it if you would tell us when it is done, just so when I change up something in my own house and it doesn’t look quite so pristine, I would at least be able to consciously assess if it’s just from real life stuff being there, or if there’s other work that needs to be done.

    Love your work!!

  132. Everything you publish is pure gold, as far as I am concerned.
    We bought our first house 2 years ago and you gave me some much inspiration and useful information up until now, as far as the reno process and design, I cannot wait to read your new book.

  133. Love this! Thanks for crowdsourcing.

    My biggest questions are:
    – How do you design with low 8 ft ceilings? Lighting choices, proportion of furniture, not clunky storage, etc.
    – How do you maximize light with older houses with no recessed options? e.g., is 3 drum lights too many…
    – Where can one add a bathroom in an old house with a small footprint and limitations for expansion?
    – How do you make dual use spaces – office + guest + workout space without a murphy bed?
    – How do you choose the best white paint for plaster walls (I tried BM Simply White…fail…)?
    – How do you best maximize outdoor space? Should you build a front concrete patio with a fence?
    – How do you design a living space with no entry to carve out some entry space?
    – To get a tile patio, do you concrete first?
    – What should you DIY vs. not?
    – How do you do all this while being mindful of health (e.g., low VOC paints, what furnitures are safer)?

    My 70 year old home is an interesting situation with 8 ft ceilings, 3 bed 1 bath and 1200 sqft, beautiful light, lovely wood floors and an amazing kitchen I’ve redone on a budget (email me for photos). So dual purpose spaces, finding ways to add light, figuring out how to best max the bathroom, all the while being scandi + minimal + boho. There’s some well designed spaces as well as spaces that could use help. Would love to have you all and I’m in northern California!

  134. Standard measurements for everything. Door widths, minimum shower sizes, spacing between sofa and coffee table, enough room between furniture and walkway, how much space you need behind dining chairs and inbetween them. Etc etc etc.

  135. How to style windows (are standard blinds only option?old school wooden blinds?) in homes that have ELECTRIC BASEBOARD HEATING!!!!! I.e. how to make a design impact and not break the budget without the option of beautiful drapes. 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞

  136. This may have been asked, but I want to know how to make a house cohesive without everything looking and feeling so matchy-matchy.

  137. I would love to know how to design a bathroom with fixtures that won’t look dated but will be modern and timeless. Same thing for kitchens of course. I know white is all the rage now (I painted my kitchen white with quartz countertop…) but is that going to look dated in 5 years the way all the cherry wood and black granite did in the 90s!? ackkkkk

    I would also love to know how to maximize furniture placement for optimal flow. I have a loft in Buckhead Atlanta with amazing arched giant windows set in 12+ ft ceiling wall of brick. It’s south facing so I get sunrise, sunset, and AMAZING light all day. My unit is kind of an L shape though and I wonder if I placed the furniture in a unique and cool way? Or if it’s just basic and boring? Idk but showing how you can rearrange your existing furniture in a room into all different types of layouts would be cool to see.

    I would also love to see some DIYs for updating parts of your house that are like plausible as a weekend project. Lately I’ve been spray painting with matte black paint various hardware because I see it everywhere and I love how chic it looks! Also it’s SUCH a super simple way to “update” parts of your house! More stuff like that 🙂

  138. A chapter on details would be awesome – like how to choose grout widths for different tile selections, how to choose an edging for a custom counter, how to transition from wood to tile floors in the most seamless way, how to choose wall texture (paint v wallpaper), and how to choose trims for doors and windows or choosing base/moulding – are just a few ideas. These are the things home renovators who are trying to do it on their own run into and get really frustrated and confused and hung up on. Details like these can really make a home, but decision fatigue usually kicks in around this time and it gets really hard to see forrest for the trees.

  139. How to recognise quality v shoddy in each material etc that you’re buying, e.g. in an engineered wood floor, what to look out for re wear layer and other features, or in a couch, how to discern whether it’s well made internally, hardwood v softwood frame, springs and so on or in a rug, what are the characteristics that make it hard wearing, how to tell whether it will shed bucketloads or not, etc

  140. I would love to see some ideas for designing/renovating a newer track home….how to make it unique/special, how to add character, etc.

  141. Just purchased “Styled” and can’t wait for your next effort. I want my home to look coordinated without pitching everything. B. Korin said it well. I like neutral tones with lots of texture and some color.

  142. This more of an idea than a question. It looked like a lot of questions were in relation to doing things on a budget. How about creating a $$$$$ scale for ideas in the book, kind of like restaurant guides? It could be a little icon that appears in the sidebar when applicable. Just a thought!

  143. Would like to see a list of resources to help estimate ballpark costs to see if a project is even feasible. I’ve run across websites in the past that give approximate costs based on region of the country and level of finish (e.g. basic, standard, luxury). A list of reliable sites would be very useful to evaluate whether you want to pursue project further and also help in evaluating quotes.

  144. The reality in my renovations is that I often have to choose a cheaper version of items than I might prefer in order to afford them. My question is always about trying to decide where it is worth putting more money towards something because of durability or cost per use or comfort or function or straight out design. It’s usually a trade off of then having less money to spend on something else. While these preferences can be highly personal to each individual and price points will obviously vary, the thought process behind these decisions and considerations to think about could be more universal. Basically the process behind how to thoughtfully allocate your decorating / Reno budgets regarding both macro (big picture, sequencing rooms etc) and mini (very specific decisions within the project) decisions.

  145. I would really like suggestions on ways to add architectural interest to bland/basic homes. You’ve done some posts on this in the past and I’ve found them super helpful.

    I also really like your design rules series and would like to see some of that in the book as well. Things like what type/size moulding to use in your house, where to place light fixtures, etc… Anything about getting proportions and placement of permanent fixtures correct.

    I’m hoping your book isn’t just about full scale renovations, but includes plenty of useful information for those doing smaller upgrades as well.

    And finally, PLEASE have a pretty spine! I hate when design/coffee table books have junky looking spines that don’t look great when displayed on a book shelf. The Styled spine was beautiful 🙂

  146. I hate our house. But I am resigned to the fact that we can’t afford to move, and so I am desperately trying to work with what we’ve got so we can at least feel comfortable in our space, and maybe be a bit more organized….our main floor is long and narrow, open concept, very little natural light and limited storage. I know maybe its been done to death, but I would love to see some clever ideas to brighten a small dark living room, and some storage ideas for small entryways and/or mudrooms. Budget friendly would be a bonus!

  147. I would love guidance on logistical problems, like how to arrange strange-sized rooms with windows and doors that make arrangements difficult. I have a super long living room and it seems like the couch is so far away from other chairs so when we have guests it’s not a cozy spot for conversation.

    Another logistical issue is separating big spaces in open-concept homes.

  148. This is pretty specific, but falls under the heading of adapting salvage/odd structural items to fit into a home (in my case, a ranch-style).
    I decided that I wanted to add a fireplace as a focal point in my living room. After an online search, I fell in love with and purchased . . . (drum roll). . . a salvaged antique Victorian marble fireplace surround, in pieces and missing the mantle. Three years later, I’m still stumped. In photos, these fireplaces always seem to be built into a structural “bump out,” if that’s the correct term. How are these built? Is it a carpenter that I need? How would the extremely heavy marble pieces be safely attached? How can I replace/fake what would have been a curvy marble mantle?

    I’ve assumed that this will be a non-working fireplace, but is there any way to make this a working one without huge expense (I live in Florida, so heating is not necessary). And what would have to be done to satisfy requirements for heat-proofing, safety, etc.

  149. All of my favorite blog posts are the rules ones: rug size, hanging curtains, chandelier height over dining table, etc. can you have a design rules chapter?!?! I would use that so often!

  150. I have a whole house to do and don’t know where to start! Especially with big things like the kitchen and bathrooms. Where do I begin? How much money should I have to begin with?
    And how do I keep my whole house cohesive design wise? I like lots of different styles, but don’t want “themed” rooms — obvi.
    I’m very excited for your next book!

  151. How to design around a limited selection of renovation/product options (not necessarily budget constraints). For example: my laundry room and main floor powder are the same room, and the sink has to fit between the open door and the open dryer door, so when renovating a few year ago there was literally 1 sink that fit the space and I don’t love it, but how can I design around it so I end up loving the room as a whole?

  152. Renovating/decorating/styling naturally darker spaces where increasing the number or size of windows isn’t possible. I have lovely trees around my house but that does affect the amount of natural light we get. How do I maximize light by making the right choices in my renovation/decor?

  153. This is such a great suggestion! My husband wants me to create a “vision” for each room (and frankly the whole house) but we have a limited budget for household items, projects, and decor. It seems silly to me to source furniture to put on this vision board, and then 2 years later it’s no longer available.

  154. I’m in the LA area, but my place is so NOT in your specific wheelhouse.

    Otherwise, you new book sounds great. I love books with pretty pictures, but the ones I tend to hold on to have some thought and design how-to in them.

    Not a huge fan of DIY little projects, though.

  155. Please include how color decisions are made. It is my biggest challenge when designing a room.

  156. •If you’re putting on an addition, what are the ideal dimensions of a living room?
    •What is the appropriate sized couch or sectional for different sizes of rooms.
    •What is the appropriate sized rug for a living room, bedroom, dining room.
    •How to arrange furniture in a square living room vs a rectangular living room.
    •When to use a side table, what is the correct height for different situations, what is the correct size lamp on a side table.

  157. I’d love to see examples of small living rooms that are also functional entryways! My house opens up right into our small living area, with no real entryway. It’s also, therefore, a pass-through to get to the rest of the house.
    There’s no space for coat hooks, etc. until you reach the coat closet in another room, so bags just pile up next to the front door. Life with kids + no entryway + small living room = constantly tripping over things!

  158. How to break the rules – with kitchens, there’s the whole idea of the triangle, and distances between things. What are things that are “you have to do this” and what are things “this is optimal, but you can get away with also this”.

    Few examples;
    – How many steps between stove and fridge – how far is too far?
    – How much room do you have to have between the cabinetry wall and an island, and what can you get away with
    – how much knee space do you really need to sit at a counter
    – do you really need to have enough room to have both the dishwasher open and open cabinets at the same time – or is it more about YOU not fitting into the area to crouch down?
    – how to figure out where everything should go in your kitchen
    – how much cabinet space do you really need? is there a calculation?

  159. We JUST renovated a 1973 farmhouse that had a lovely lady who had saved every last thing in the world lived before she moved in with her daughter and it sat empty for 1.5 years.

    I want to cowrite your book about things I wish I had known.
    1) the order in which I needed things picked out (we added a new bathroom and I mistakenly thought the plumber could plumb it in without having the fixtures picked out and ready to go. Had hoped to plumb it in while the walls were down and finish it later, but by the time I bought all the fixtures, the rest wasn’t that much more to just finish)
    2) how much money you can save using a contractor – we were originally going to DIY most of it but then had to speed it up as our current house sold. Being able to use his discounts, his subs, his guidance saved me way more than it cost to pay him.
    3) How to tie rooms together design-wise, especially when you’re completing them over time.
    4) WHAT COLOR DO I PAINT OUR INTERIOR DOORS??? Do I paint them all the same? Can I do a few differently and it not look weird?
    5) Lighting – how much to use, when to splurge, when to save. (I screwed up with sconces in my bathroom and now put makeup on scrunched over to get the best light).
    6) Kitchen layout for sure – this is my second kitchen to remodel. I lived in the first one I did for 3 years before renovating, and that one ended up so much more functional because I worked in it first and understood what was wrong. This one is bigger and way less functional because I renovated it without living in it and knowing what I needed.
    7) Best budget strategies. I admit it; we lost mojo at the end and I just started spending money to get things done. The best advice I used was someone who kept telling me to be timeless in the hard finishes and trendier in the things that are cheaper and easier to replace. I hope I did that.

    I can’t wait to read your book, but I’m sure I will be sad that I had already renovated because there will be so much I’ll want to duplicate!

  160. Wow so many great questions! I’m looking forward to the new book.

  161. This is so exciting! I need this book.
    Would love a manual for ALL the stages of a major renovation. Like, you want to buy a gut rehab, where do you start? Do you need an architect or just a contractor? What is the order of everything? What are all the beginning and middle stages before you get to the fun finishing details? I feel like there’s so much info available about single room renovations, how to choose tile, countertops, furniture, how to decorate, but less for renovating a whole house start to finish.

  162. So many questions! But if I have to pick one it would be for someone is practical and doesn’t have a ton of time/energy/$ to spend on every detail of a renovation project, what are the absolutely must elements need to be focused on for each room? So excited for you Emily!

  163. My BIGGEST question is how do you design a kid friendly house? And that includes STYLING a kid friendly house with things they won’t break (I’m looking at you books and beautiful vases). This also includes kid friendly rugs, tables that won’t break heads, fabric that withstands crayola markers and crumbs, and pretty/cute stuff that hides toys. And NOT just a kids room or play room – I mean the family room, dining room, etc. PLEASE!

  164. Dear Emily,
    My 3 daughters and I have all been followers and fans since “Design Star”. You are inspiring in so many ways. I am excited about book #2 and what I’d really like to see are some tips on how to make a “non-architecturally blessed” home look more… well, blessed. I get that design books, blogs, magazines and TV shows want to show us the most gorgeous design photos – and believe me, we want to see them. But I’d say the majority of us are not fortunate enough to live in the kind of homes you asked for photos of. Yes, we want to see those homes and be inspired. But we would love to learn any tips and tools we could employ (beyond throw pillows, area rugs and other simple decor items) to make our more generic, more-typical-rather-than-special, architecturally boring American homes look like they have “better bones” – some of that special design “soul”.
    Thank you and best wishes with this new book!
    Kimberly Van Gundy

  165. Well, this is more related to when the house is finished, but how about all the golden rules in one place? For example, the golden rules for choosing an overhead light fixture based on the size of the room. You get the idea.

  166. Please include measurements for everything! I am planing custom built-ins for several rooms in my house and I am always on Google trying to figure out what is normal. I want to look at a picture of a room with custom furniture or built-ins and have you tell me how tall, how wide, and how deep you made everything. I especially would have liked to see measurements with the Portland reveals, since those rooms were custom. For example, I really wished you provided the dimensions for the mudroom seat/coat hook/shelf area. Also, measurements for how high you mounted sconces or how tall the bathroom vanity is. There are just so.many.damn.details when designing from scratch!

    Also, I have been waiting for years for you to finally do a monster blog post on the details of custom window treatments. I recently had a bunch of roman shades made from fabric that I picked out and I’m less than thrilled with the up/down mechanism. I also didn’t realize that depending on the fabric I would have to smooth out the folds every time I raise the shades (definitely less of an issue when I use the shades every day, but still bad with the stiffer fabrics and shades not used every day). I had never had roman shades before and I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d like to see options for mounting, different types of cords, recommended materials, etc.

    Thank you and congrats!

  167. I literally just got home from looking over your book “Styled” at Chapters. I need to design our new build townhome and am searching for a method to help me make decisions. I enjoyed the part on how to define your style. I have too many styles that I like. My personality and tastes go from outdoor rugged to downtown chic so it’s hard for me to nail down my direction. So your book helped. I am going back to buy it !

    For your next book I would love to learn the tricks of working with a designer but not have a designer do all for you. Are there designers who will work with you to dedine your style and direction and hold your hand when you need them, rather than all or nothing? If yes, what should you expect to pay and maybe, what to look for when considering a designer ? What happens when you are disagreeing, or unsure you are on the same page? In other words the nuts and bolts , and ways of working with a designer, and some guidence on how to navigate this sensitive relationship.

    I have just finished a Reno on my small but charming beach house with a million dollar view but I am in Ontario, Canada 😏.
    Come visit !!

  168. Husband vs wife in the decision making processes.
    Take turns winning?
    Who ‘knows’ the most about that topic?
    Does it just boil down to the budget?
    It needs to be a happily ever after for both of them.

  169. Paint undertones and how to match them. Heard about this on the Chris Loves Julia podcast and was like how did I get to be this age without knowing this?! Yes to measurements. Yes to how to create an electrical plan. We are designing our third new build and not many books address starting from scratch! Please address blocking for vanities etc! I’ll preorder this book as soon as it’s done:P

  170. Yay! So exciting….I’d love to know
    About your thoughts/process on m on developing a color/texture/material palette. What are your guidelines on when you really need brass versus brushed nickel? Does a blue dresser or a brown leather couch need one or the other metal finish to work well? When/where do I need a shag rug or linen curtains as it pertains to the overall balance of the mood board as opposed to feeling like you can only use certain things with certain styles…like only teak with mid century mode. Or only iron with industrial etc. what materials and colors work well together and why?

  171. Emily, I think you have enough suggestions here for a whole LIBRARY of future books to write! 😀

  172. I would love a guide on how to paint and style oddly-shaped bedrooms! Our master bedroom is a converted attic with sloped walls and lots of nooks and one big but also sloped closet and another tiny closet across the room. Do I paint the ceilings the same color as the walls? Where do we put the bed? What if there’s an offset window behind the bed? What about the empty area in the middle with a vent on the floor? Ugh, I need so much advice. 🙂

  173. Some one may have said this already but I’m wondering how you have a styled and pretty home with young kids?? Either your stuff gets destroyed (ie area rugs and snacks) or your kids get injured (ie coffee tables and falls). I don’t have a playroom to confine children to and I’ve seen your children on the blog and keep wondering how you have such a beautiful home with young kids?? I know its super specific and your new book may not be the best place for this conversation but wanted to put it out there!

  174. Here’s what I could desperately use in my life right now…
    1) Would love a section dedicated to “what to do in rentals” which could basically be a list of high impact but not permanent suggestions. You could add a tangent of “how to pitch to your landlord”.
    2) Would also love some ideas on how to turn a backyard space into an oasis. We have a small patio that I think could be great but I know will take some strategic choices and just feels like the space we could get a ton out of that that we’ve left as low priority
    Excited for you!!

  175. Oh man, I’d love to know more about how to deal with bulkheads! They seem to be in every condo and townhouse built in the last 8 years……

  176. Wow so many great comments. I would agree with most of them

    I think for me, I am mainly interested in how you do interesting and thoughtful design in a smaller space, how do I know or where do I get a smaller couch, how much furniture is too much in s space. How to make a small space feel warm and welcoming and cohesive. I think I have done great in my bedroom ( maybe too much furniture) But I have an odd shaped and some building constraints on the living room and kitchen. My kitchen feels like a tomb, black granite, dark cherry, weirdly laid out with fluorescent lights. How do you even start to make it a fun space to cook.

    I am working towards redoing the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen in the next 3 years, but I want to make sure I consider how to be thoughtful to the next owners ( downtown condo) but still make it mine.

  177. I am excited about your new book and love the concept. I have a design struggle that I would LOVE to see you address in the book or on the blog.
    I have been searching for ideas to style a “niche” that is above my television (which is next to the fireplace). This niche is large – 5’7″ wide, 2’4″ deep and 3’7″ tall (I can sit and lay down in it). I have googled, searched Pinterest, Houzz, blogs and so far I haven’t seen anything that provides good inspiration. Its prominent in my room and don’t want it to feel like an afterthought. Should the styling tie in with what on the mantle since they are so close together? You can’t put little thing in the there because they look ridiculous, any suggestions you have for styling a space like this would be appreciated!
    I live in a suburb of Atlanta, GA and so many homes in our area have spaces like this.

  178. I would be excited to see ideas on how to make a basic tract house exciting and fun. I’m surrounded by ’80-’90s beige and bland houses with tiny tiny kitchen islands, a front room no one knows what to do with, and weird brick fireplaces. We all love houses with built-in character; however, most of us have to create that illusion and want it to appear as authentic/intentional as possible. I love ‘Styled’ so I’m really looking forward to Book #2!

  179. My question is about fabrics––
    1. Where do you go to pick a good fabric? There are the obvious retailers (calico, etc) but they also seem very basic. I follow so many accounts that have beautiful fabrics but seem to be blocked for purchasing to anyone outside the trade. Where can I go to see the beautiful fabrics that I love on Instagram in person?

    2. How do you know which fabric/weight will work for your purpose? Is there a good rule of thumb for curtains vs. shades or kitchen vs. living room?

  180. How to feel confident that your subs/contractor/tradesman is doing things like they should be, or “how to not become a micromanaging crazed homeowner”. Maybe it’s the questions or specifics to put into the contract that need to be done. Checklists of the “musts” for each trade would be helpful and also how to handle this part of things, because, honestly, we don’t all have the perfect contractors who know how to professionally communicate. And the checklists shouldn’t be unreasonable at all but very very true to actual experience. Like tiling needs proper waterproofing, sealing, caulk at joints not grout, etc. etc.- the non-negotiables. And HOW TO SAY IT so you clearly establish the expectation and that you’re all on the page but not make them loathe the sight of you.

  181. Emily-
    I’m an architect by trade but one thing I’m fascinated by is the ability for an interior designer to develop color palettes that may incorporate current trends, but also have longevity. My question would be “how do I develop a color palette with staying power”. So excited for your new endeavor!

  182. Ok, yes, I want this book already. Here are the things that I struggle with the most:
    – Creating a whole house palate…paint, color, style
    -Choosing textures that go together so the room doesn’t look cluttered
    -How to carry color and style through the house in different rooms (sim to #1)
    -Technical details of bath and kitchen design
    -How to create a look without it being too busy. For example, how to pick rugs/pillows/art that doesn’t look overwhelming or busy.
    -How to design with pets. How to pick rugs, chairs, sofas, etc for “pet wear and tear.”

    1. Yes, yes, yes!!!

  183. I believe others have touched on this, but I really want ideas on how to ADD character/ architectural interest to a home while you’re doing a renovation. We’re at the beginning stages and I don’t want to feel like i’ve missed out on any design opportunities. I feel like too many renovations I see look like “cookie-cutters” when they’re done (not on this site of course, but other places on the internet).

    Furthermore, I feel like traditional homes are easier to add interest or special touches to than mid-century homes (what I have). So how to add character based on the style of your home would be great! Very excited for the new book.

  184. Small things like how do you deal with electric toothbrushes? Buy medicine cabinets with an outlet (expensive) or put a prettier framed mirror in and stash it under the sink? Placement of microwaves and smaller appliances. What works, what doesn’t. How many outlets does your bathroom really need? Vanity lighting.

  185. I feel overwhelmed by the thought of renovating a kitchen or bathroom without a contractor and knowing the order of operations. Like say I have all of my materials and get a design done, how do I know when various sub contractors need to be scheduled and other things to think about.

  186. I would love a checklist or roadmap on how to design a whole house, e.g. how to determine which style fits the house, how to work with weird architecture, how to set a certain atmosphere you‘re striving for in your home, whether you should stick to the same colours throughout the whole house, where to splurge and where to save money etc. Most people I know build or purchase their forever home without having any design knowledge (and no money left to hire a designer), so the whole process can seem overwhelming. I‘m so excited for your new book!!

    1. Yes, room by room info. How do you decide a color scheme in the kitchen and bath when there’s not a pillow or art that you’re starting with?

      Kitchen island rules? Cooktop? Sink? Shelves for book?

      Are medicine cabinets out in bathrooms?

      Flooring for a kitchen? What’s the rules? Wood floor yay or nay?

      Should everything be all matchy in a kitchen or bath? Grey floor, grey shower tile, gray granite?

  187. Help with designing around a corner fireplace would be great! And if you want to come to Alabama and help in my Queen Anne/Victorian farmhouse come on down! I have 2 chimneys and 3 corner fireplaces. One fireplace is along the wall.

  188. Maybe this is more blog content than book content…but more kids bedrooms and bathrooms!!

    Especially a how to design a room that works for a little kid…then later for older kid/tween. This was my favorite:


  189. Would you ever consider doing a books signing?! I absolutely adore you and your style! xo

  190. This sounds so exciting! Would love to know about the order of things and especially if you can’t do the whole house in one go. I loved your detailed tips on the bathroom – the one where you discussed should the step between the shower screen edge match the shower tray or the bathroom floor? And the kitchen faucet. These things are so useful and it helped enormously in my refurb when I was taking to the builder about first fix. Also – I really want to know about how to plan where lights and switches should go. How do you build for a future complete house when you can only do it bit by bit?

  191. Designing a good floor plan is essential to everything in a home. Ceilings, fixtures Decor, lighting, paint can all change but the floor plan determines function. Would love to see some great plans.

  192. This sounds so exciting! Would love to know about the order of things and especially if you can’t do the whole house in one go. I loved your detailed tips on the bathroom – the one where you discussed should the step between the shower screen edge match the shower tray or the bathroom floor? And the kitchen faucet. These things are so useful and it helped enormously in my refurb when I was taking to the builder about first fix. Also – I really want to know about how to plan where lights and switches should go. How do you build for a future complete house when you can only do it bit by bit? And the advice on a kitchen island – should it have sockets and appliances, how big and would you still have a dining table as well?

  193. Yes, I add my voice to those who want a checklist or something so that the planning and doing are in the right order. I am re-doing flooring in our fifty year old house. Basement, giant bedroom and hallway. Realized that re-painting the basement will be required. Realized that re-sanding and staining the wood floors in the main living areas needs to be completed. Finally, trim woodwork in the hallway needs to be replaced.

    They will start laying the new vinyl plank floors in the basement on Monday. I haven’t even begun the other projects. SLAP of forehead! I think doing them in some helpful order might be better than the messy one I have created!

    Also, I inherited a beloved 60″ round dining table ( 2 leaves @ 15″ each). Desparately need 6 new chairs. The cherry table is polished, simple (no apron), top 1″ thick, but the legs are turned to about 8″ off floor. What modern styles might be appropriate. I am at the stage of buying long term items and scared to make a mistake!

  194. I struggle the most with scale- scale of light fixtures, furniture, etc. If you do anything to teach me that, that would be awesome! Beyond that, if you could provide examples of home offices- that would be great. I work from home and have to have 2 monitors, a docking station, etc. could you show me how to make a space pretty that does have a ton of tech ?

  195. Optimal bathroom and kitchen layouts – plus how to juggle your taste in design with your partners when they are different styles!

  196. Please include something about choosing light fixtures that coordinate… like when there are sconces and ceiling fans and chandeliers all in one space, how to create that perfect cohesive look. Also, mixing finishes in bathrooms and kitchens… these things make my head spin!

  197. I would love to know how to choose furniture, rugs and lighting for awkward shaped rooms where attempting too much symmetry ends up looking even more awkward!

  198. Man I thought because I’m good with attention to detail and obsessed with design that managing renovations of our first home would come naturally but holy crap is it overwhelming. Here is a short selection of the ten million questions that sent me down a google hellhole:

    -How do you find/evaluate good contractors? What are the important questions to ask?
    -How do you keep a coherent vision for a kitchen renovation (if you don’t have a designer) since you have to pick material by material. I Pinterested like a mo’ fo’ but it was still really hard to visualize the end result when you’re picking counters one day and tiles the next.
    -How do you estimate materials for a kitchen renovation – some of the quotes we got included material allowances but we had no way to guess if the material allowances suggested were sufficient. It would be cool to break this out based on what your priorities are (i.e. if you’re a huge cook and want to blow it out on appliances/need a shitton of storage vs. design-obsessed that want to have lots of high end finishes, etc. – what percentage of their budget should each type of person expect to spend on each part of the project).
    -Cool person kitchen extras that nobody thinks to add – things like a coffee area, second prep sink etc werent suggested to us and it’s hard to figure out everything you might want need – so maybe a section of “cool bonus ideas you havent thought of”
    -The REALLLL story (pluses/minuses) behind the functionality of all of the hip kitchen trends – open shelving = having to take down and dust all of your crap/scrub grease off of it once a month. Concrete tiles = Several months of mortgage payments + are really hard to install + stain super easily no matter how much you seal them + never look clean if you use them for you floors (but still, god theyre gorgeous). Marble countertops are nearly impossible to keep clean if you’re not the world’s most anal cook (but also, sigh, so pretty).
    -But because I LOVEEEEEE a patterned tile, I’d love to know if there are actually good alternatives to the concrete ones. They seem to be in every awesome design kitchen but only because people apparently have $10,000 just for floor tile (the delivery fees alone are crazy) OR because they get the tile for free? That was the great shocker of our kitchen reno. We ended up doing a much cheaper floor tile and doing the smaller backsplash in a patterned concrete.
    -What to think about when picking cabinets – had I not bugged everyone I know with a grownup kitchen, I wouldnt have thougth to ask for the fancy pull out trash, the pull out spice rack, lots of deep drawers over cabinets
    -A guide to heights – how high to hang a chandelier over a dining room table, pendants above an island, how high/deep breakfast nook seating should be and (we def didnt think through the fact that we’d then have to find the PERFECT sized table to fit in said nook and now it’s looking like we’ll have to have that custom built too).
    -When redoing our electrical, we had a hard time figuring out how much to hard wire in lighting and how much to rely on lamps for a layered look. Also, knowing how much light a room needs. We bought this beautiful Serena & Lily pendant https://www.serenaandlily.com/hermosa-pendant/m11193.html?utm_source=adlucent&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=adlucent&gclid=CjwKCAiAs8XiBRAGEiwAFyQ-ep78B4hrFMvK5IZ_ZQMy7nJg8DDYLsF0KfSEQbYmlXadSbU4Wmzb1RoC7T8QAvD_BwE#fo_c=745&fo_k=2769f2d487c556b7452fa6d6889a873c&fo_s=adlucent and it’s basically a ceiling sculpture – it emits less light than a dollar store nightlight, so then we had to hire the electricians to come back and install more overhead lighting. This is all to say, is there some sort of “if your room is X square feet and has X tall ceilings, this is how much wattage/how many bulbs you need in a pendant/chandelier.”
    -How to manage your contractor – do you have rights if they’re running behind schedule? How to handle hiccups in the project and stay strong to get what you want.
    -How to preserve your marriage when you’ve been eating takeout and washing dishes in the bathroom sink for two months (I have no idea how we made it through…oh wait, wine).
    -Where to locate your hvac so it’s not an eyesore/isnt so loud that it keeps you up at night
    -Projects that are easier than you think and totally DIY-able and shit you should ALLLLLLWAYS hire a contractor for
    -Budget friendly, big bang/little bucks fixes – I just discovered tile reglazing and it’s a gamechanger for old bathrooms that you’re not ready to fully gut yet.
    -Window treatments. Just everything. I’d only ever hung curtains before but we have all these massive oddly shaped beautiful old Spanish windows + antique casement windows and I’m overwhelmed by trying to figure out what coverings for where/hanging above vs. within the frame, custom vs standard roman shades (actually any roman shades that won’t break the bank).

    Yeah, in case you couldnt tell I need this book BAD.

  199. I have floor outlets in my living room. I also have a large area rug, which covers the outlets. So how do I use these outlets to plug in my lamps?

  200. One of the things I have found really helpful is when you talk about the ratios of how big or small items should be in relation to each other in a room. I think this is basically the backbone of a good design and there are probably visual cues that you all know which we don’t. One great example was when you talked about the size of rugs and how to tell if the rug is large enough or not for the room. No matter what size the room, which room or what rug, this basic recipe–not quite the right word — theory? will help me buy rugs in the future. Throw pillows were great and the table lamp/floor lamp match up was good but would love to hear why they worked together in a more basic way. You have included a lot of this kind of info here but to have it in a book, easy to see I think would be a staple in design rather than a reflect of this moment in design. : )

  201. We are just finishing a huge renovation of our entire home, basement to attic. We fell in love with a 100 year old home and the beautiful front staircase and architecture and had big dreams of desiginging a much more efficient layout. Your blog helped so much throughout this process!! We especially loved the tips on adding architectural elements like the v groove paneling and all the inspiration you provide on choosing timeless features. Just wanted to share that I think including some warnings in the book would be helpful too. For example, highlighting typical extra costs that can come up that you don’t plan for (for us, realizing our charming old home did not have any insulation in the walls). I think going into the project we dismissed these contingency costs thinking they wouldn’t apply to us but throughout there have been surprises or changes that cost extra. Knowing more about these up front and when they may be more likely depending on your home and project would help. Also warnings about steps to take when you do need to fire a contractor and even red flags to look out for before hiring. We mistakenly rushed into hiring someone being excited about our new home purchase and ready to get rolling with the renovation and when we realized it wasn’t right and parted ways, we ended up in a lawsuit. So although I love encouraging others to take on projects like this too to create their dream homes, I think some practical warnings should come with it since this is rarely talked about or shown on HGTV. Unfortunately we learned the hard way, but I still would do it all over again!

  202. –I would like some tips about mixing wood types
    –Some tips for upgrades for rentals.
    –Some tips about how to create cabinets that keep things organized.
    — Tips about what plants go well where?
    — Building a cohesive art collection
    — What objects are worth buying new vs. vintage?
    — What parts of a re-design can you cheap out on vs. not?

    1. All these ides are so great for blog posts! We may for may not already be planning some of them. Stay tuned..

  203. Hooray and Congrats! I reference Styled often and so far it has saved many a bookshelf and desk in our home! I’ve somehow found myself in the midst of two very different home projects – one a mountain cabin and one a 50s ranch and my biggest roadblock (and most paralyzing to forward progress) has been choosing and mixing metal finishes throughout the home. Do door knobs all need to match and should they match other hardware in the home? Mixing brushed/satin finishes with polished? Certain finishes that lend themselves to a home style (mid century, farmhouse, etc) more than others? How does matte black or oil rubbed bronze integrate and should those be used sparingly for fear of being too trendy that it later dates the home? Any insight would be monumentally helpful!

  204. How and when to be careful with trends with designing and renovating. How to design around trends when you don’t care for it and your budget restricts you to the big box home stores.

    For example I’d recommend everyone be VERY careful with farmhouse style since that trend hit so hard it will be VERY dated very soon. I think the harder they come on the harder they fall. If I need to renovate my bath or kitchen how do I carefully find those low cost long term items like tile and countertops that minimize the pervasive trends out there.

    Also EXTERIORS! What are some basic things to think about to up the curb appeal of homes in various climates and neighborhoods. In a range of budgets from inexpensive weekend projects to multi-thousand renos.

    3rd idea: developing a good solid basic landscape foundation. Here I’m not talking about designing a big bucks plan as I think that’s best a job for a pro but what are the sort of impacts we as homeowners should consider on a visit to the local nursery with a couple hundo in our pockets.

  205. This is a small design detail, but one that I haven’t had any luck finding guidance for online. When you’re painting your walls white, what should you paint the trim? Same color white, a brighter white, or a white with more of a tone to it? Should it have more of a sheen than the wall, or the same level of sheen as the wall?

  206. Hello! I am so excited to read the new book. I have been a strong supporter of yours since Design Star! My suggestion: I am comfortable with design as long as the floor plan is laid out in a manner I can use. However, we will be renovating our huge attic into a MB suite. We have all sorts of angles and knee walls in the space. I am trying to figure out if I need an architect, contractor, designer, or what. Google really does not make it clear as to what I should do. Having a resource to help figure out how to assemble a team and when you need a team…what they can do…would be helpful. Plus, examples of rooms with strange layouts (ie attic bedrooms and such) would be helpful. Not every home has a nicely center window in a wall with a ceiling at 8-9″ tall, but that is usually the examples that are seen everywhere. Thank you!!!

  207. Another : how to do a big project in stages. Most of us need to do things when we have the money for it in bits and pieces. For example, a kitchen – should I redo the floor first, or focus on adding/moving cabinets? How to make those decisions and break it down.

  208. I’d love advice on dealing with different ceiling heights and/or angles during a renovation – especially where a renovation tears down a wall between two rooms in order to make one bigger/more functional room. We’re trying to enlarge our kitchen into a pantry/mudroom, but the ceilings are different heights and I can’t figure out how to deal with upper cabinet height and window height, let alone structural elements like new beams that may be needed.

    I’m also interested in thoughts on how to renovate and design for an old house and make it modern without taking away all of its character and history, i.e., designing in such a way that it looks fresh but doesn’t scream remodeled in 2019!

  209. Congrats!
    Echoing some of the other comments:
    1. ORDER of renovation, I like the check list/guidelines idea. Perhaps it can also start with 1. You’re starting with dirt. 2. You’re starting with a current home.
    2. Defining roles/jobs for example, contractors job/responsibility vs architect. Etc.
    3. I think it would be helpful to have a glossary? Material types for example, or any common “lingo” regarding the architecture of the house (for example in the Portland house, you spoke specifically about the stair rails etc). 🙂


  210. A checklist of things to consider when remodeling or guideline of some sort. When we did a remodel a few years ago our contractor nor our designer gave us some things to think about adding or re-configuring and now we look back and have a lot of regrets. Another thing is we have such small bedrooms to work with and its difficult trying to figure out what to furniture to put inside to make it look nice but not cluttered and can still move around. A lot of rooms I see being designed are always on the larger side. Also how to design a bedroom/space when theres no solid wall to put a bed up against. Ex: I have a small guest room with two walls each having a wide window, one wall thats the closet, and the last one the door open up to.

  211. When to leave something as it is. My house was built in 1921, with red oak floors in the LR and DR. In my rush to fix up the house before we moved in, I had the floors sanded and poly-ed. OMG. I took 80 years of mellow sandy brown patina off of the floors and wound up with ugly orange floors. I hate them. I did not have the time or the money to fix them way back when. And once we moved in, I still didn’t deal with them, which lead to suggestion #2:

    How to make refinished red oak floors disappear? I’ve read that “November Rain” by Ben Moore works well with them. But I am thinking about painting the darn floors, which I hate to do because they have greek key-ish borders in walnut. But orange is so not my jam…, and creamy floors, walls, and tray ceilings sounds so peaceful….

  212. 1) Renovating is overwhelming. Decision paralysis is real. How do you decide the details like cabinet hardware, cabinet color, etc.?

    2) I worry about decisions not being perfect. How do you address perfectionism when it interferes with creativity?

    3) just a thanks for you being you. I’ve followed your work for years and love it from beginning to end. Your team is talented and always full of engaging writers. Thank you!

  213. Another older reader with 40 years renovating experience. My advice would be to maintain very good relationships with all your contractors and professionals.

    Questions to address
    1. When do you introduce strong contrast in design like the dark tile walls you have used recently?
    2. What are your considerations when choosing light versus medium versus dark flooring tones?
    3. How do you avoid shadow lines when planning lighting? Lighting planning in general. ( I have undercounter strip LED lighting and over island lighting that make a shadow on the floor that bugs me.)
    4. How do you plan to avoid seeing cords?

    I appreciate the reader who made digital 3D planning recommendations.

  214. I’m wondering about lighting – how to choose the best fixtures, where to put them, what style to choose etc.

  215. Living lightly with less in retirement would be interesting for the over 60 group.

  216. I’d love some advice on ADDING a bathroom where one doesn’t exist. I’m thinking about converting a portion of a closet into a bathroom, or even punching into the attic to add a bathroom to my 1917 tudor. My biggest question is how much space do I actually need for a bathroom? Also, how much should I expect it to cost? And, because I want to add the bathroom to the second floor, is that going to complicate things? And similar to the question someone posed with regard to kitchens, do I need an architect and a contractor AND a designer?

    My final — and unrelated — plea is: Please tell me how I can purchase all of those lovely things I see in magazines and online that are “to the trade” only!

  217. I would love a realistic budget breakdown.
    I understand everyone has a different amount that they can spend but it would be helpful to know what a realistic percentage breakdown would be toward different types of projects. This maybe too difficult to do but sometimes I’m complety overwhelmed or scared that I’m not factoring in the entire cost of a project, even a small one like refreshing a bathroom and having a plumber change out the faucet, in addition to the paint, hardware, decor, maybe new vanity, electrical installation for new light, etc.
    I just remember when I was planning a wedding it helped me when I knew my budget and then saw what the typical percentage was allocated for flowers, invites, photography, etc.
    I would love something like this for home projects, if it’s even possible!

  218. Yes! A macro plan with a color palette that is integrated throughout the home, so you don’t end up with a mosh pit of styles and waste a bunch of money. An interior designer, a general contractor; which comes first? What do you do if they don’t get along? And, if you don’t use an interior designer due to budget constraints, what about a schedule on when to order faucets, hardware, light fixtures, sinks, etc.

  219. How to make flex / shared spaces really and truly work for everyone! We have one bonus space in our house that we are so thankful for after living in Manhattan for years. But, it’s our den, my office (I still work 50 hour weeks remote from for my NYC company down there… so it’s no joke, two kids’ playroom AND I’d like to put a Murphy bed along one wall for guests. Oh and it’s also where I want us to start entering the house and there’s entryway furniture down there.

    How do you make it all work, and be beautiful and zen? It’s not bad now. Not cluttered or horrible. But i want it to be smart, functional and beautiful. And an inspiration to work in.

  220. I love grays but I have trouble with making this looks “warm & cozy” any ideas?

  221. Oh, I wish I could buy that book today! Where does one even start when wanting something custom made? For example, it was quick an easy for us to replace a basic bathroom vanity and sink ourselves but the layout of our new bathroom is awkward and I’m finding nothing off the shelf with our ideal dimensions. How do you go from the picture in your head / rough sketch with dimensions to actually getting the vanity made? I’m at a lost! Also, with two bathrooms ready for a remodel I’m going crazy waiting to see the mountain house bathrooms!

  222. Help! My husband gutted our full bathroom and then didn’t know how or where to start reno. Flooring? Plumbing? Mood board? Mostly, I just wander around tile stores getting overwhelmed.

  223. I’m a designer so I know all the basics, but something that I struggle with is tv placement in living rooms. I’m not a fan of the tv over the fireplace, but in my own home I have no obvious location for my tv due to a narrow living room with no full wall across form my tv. No spot that doesn’t leave me at an uncomfortable viewing angle to watch movies/tv. I’d love to see some alternative living room layouts and all the quick references for ideal tv mounting heights, angles, ergonomics, etc. Thanks a million! If anyone can solve this dilemma, you can!

  224. – How do you pair tile (like in a bathroom- floor, shower, accent)?

    – factors to consider when picking out seemingly boring things!! I must have spent about 11 hours researching kitchen sinks- double or single and why? What gauge stainless steel? Did you know some are louder than others? Round or square corners? What kind of slope should you look for? Over mount or under? How far under? Center or off center faucet and why?
    I’ve done the same for tubs, faucets, vent hoods, patios… all those things that you don’t dream about on Pinterest, but there are more choices/ways to screw it up than you’d expect.

    Also, can I say what a relief it is to hear that you also google “how to design_____”!?!

    1. Congrats on the new upcoming book! Tons of great comments already, apologize if these may be repeats:
      1) Interested to see advice on “things to splurge” vs “things to save” when remodeling. This would apply to areas of the home to focus on first as well as specific materials or appliances to really invest in or make custom.
      2) How much of the original home’s character should you keep? There is traditional styling throughout our home but we would like to modernize the style. What is the approach in updating the existing built-in components such as trim, stair rails, fireplace, windows, doors, and even exterior trim, garage, front door etc which are very traditional.

  225. I would like help in what to look for when buying a house, knowing that you’ll need to renovate. Like… how do ppl on tv walk in and know what is a load bearing wall that can’t be moved??? Also pls more exterior renovations with before and afters. I feel like that is hard to find. At any rate, excited for you!

  226. Can you include a section in standard sizes of things? Avg heights of tables, chairs, counters, stools, widths of ovens, refrigerators, sofas? And how to choose the correct scale
    for the size of room? Even things like mirrors and art? I’ve just missed a standard size by an inch before and had to pay THOUSANDS for custom. Knowing scale would just be so helpful!

  227. Oh Emily! I am so excited you are making this book! It’s like a gift from heaven! We are in the baby-making stages (as in, baby hasn’t even been conceived yet) of a gut renovation and I have NO IDEA where to start. AKA: “How do I get my Pinterest ideas (fantasies)translated into real life?” My husband and I have toured every open house in our area to find builders/architects that speak to us but even the high end homes leave something to be desired/look generic. And once we do find someone we like, what are the questions we’re supposed to be asking? What are the things we don’t even know to think and ask about? I mean, I don’t even know how many outlets a room should have for its size! How am I supposed to communicate with these professionals when I don’t even speak their language?

    I like the idea of a textbook format that another reader suggested (if that works for you) for easy reference – and also a checklist for each type of room. Anything specific in terms of measurements or basic placement rules/ratios for fixtures would be great.

    Best of luck and remember when you are in the trenches that there is a whole population of readers rooting you on! Xoxo!

  228. 1. How to design around finishes you cannot change, like earthy floors and counter tops, when all you want to is fresher colors and everyone says, nope, you must do cream walls/trims that you then have to carry through entire house, or you don’t have color cohesion…. I.e. how can you marry your style to what’s already in your house without having to buy a bunch of things you hate but that fit those existing finishes.

    2. How to create a balanced room. This means
    a) especially: balance of color (how much of each; do white trims count? Do built ins? I know the 60/30/10 rule in theory–in practice? Nope. I see spaces that stick to three colors, but those fall into the category of everything-looks-the-same-on-pinterest. The more interesting rooms have balance, but also little hints of unexpected color that don’t fit into 60/30/10 bs.
    b) balance of textures/fabrics,
    c) balance of size and shapes (like when creating vignettes or styling built-ins or bookcases).

    3. How to make a cohesive design throughout a house, where the rooms kind of go together but don’t all match.

    4. Designing for smaller spaces–but not the tiny house craze (though I love them)–something in between perhaps, like an apartment. All the beautiful rooms in the beautiful pictures are large and sunny. Guess what many of us don’t have haha.

    And please give permission, in writing, to not style coffee tables. Because… where do our feet go when we watch TV?

    Excited to see what you come up with in your book.

  229. I’d love a resource for how-to small repairs and upgrades… caulking sinks, switching out light fixtures, hanging art – things the average person could do to freshen up their space. Plus: how to pick the right size rug, selecting the right coffee table (we have a sectional w a chaise that’s a challenge), and dressing bay windows.

  230. Where should backsplash tile begin/end? Should it end at the counter, creating a weird floating square or go down to the floor? If it goes down to the floor, what kind of finish should it get: a fancy tile or baseboard molding?

  231. Id be excited for help with window treatments especially for replacing those horrible vertical and horizontal blinds. Thanks!

  232. Brick fireplace updates, help!! I feel like Pinterest just uses the same whitewashed picture over and over again are there other options?

  233. Hey! Something I find useful for home owners to have language on is how things will meet at 90 degrees and when they transition/meet up. Example: will the baseboard “die into” the stairs? Can we do a schluter edge there to make it clean? A sheet rock return? A square edge corner cap. How does it look when one element stops and the other begins. Really this turns into a vocubalry page with drafted examples. And it is important because I find this is the most common types of decisions made on site and often once you have paid the architect for the drawings and the home owner is meeting with the contractor without help. And they are the details that MATTER!!

    Secondly I think it is so useful for home owners to have a range on ideas for what change orders will cost and at what point. This is tricky because moving a door changes price as each layer is going in so maybe it is laid out as… the best time to make xyz changes. When to decide if you want to move a wall or change a light placement (anytime before Sheetrock goes in). I find SO many times that I wish had made changes earlier because every day of work causes money in the wrong direction.

    Other small items are: how to read a bid from a contractor. Questions to ask when each sub is there. Electrical: what height do the switches go? will you leave me extra room on the wiring to go up or down? Will the outlet be in the baseboard or higher? Is the recessed can LED or halogen? will it have a dimmer? For the tile guy: lay out the direction and pattern first and take pictures. Where do you start the tile? What color grout? How thick of joint lines? How will you seal it?

  234. Soooo many ??????s for you . . .

    If you’re acting as your own GC because you have the ideas but not the know-how and are hiring individual contractors (e.g. plumber, electrician, etc.) to save money, in what order should you proceed with hiring the various trades?


    Where do I find the people who make custom this or that? I want a custom gate. Who do I call? Custom bench? Custom cabinet? Custom chair I want designed? And is it at all affordable?


    Recourse when a job has gone terribly wrong. As in, the contractor screwed up. Not miscommunication. Screwed up. What are my rights? And what paperwork/contracts to have sorted before a job is sorted to protect all involved?


    How to buy a sofa/chair when you can’t sit in it because you don’t live in a big city and have to rely on online reviews.

    Can’t wait for the book!

  235. I get so overwhelmed with the idea of making every hard finish/color work together in a remodel or new build. How do you choose common elements yet still make it flow/cohesive while still making sure it has PERSONALITY?! Thanks!

  236. I wish you had written this book two years ago. After renovating three homes at this point, I still struggle with the first step – the timeline. It is incredibly frustrating to time each element (does the bathtub go in before the wall tile? what about painting? when does the plumber have to come in to demo/rearrange/turn on/turn off the sink/toilet/shower?, etc.). Every room has so many dominos, and I have yet to get them to fall correctly! Please share your secrets to getting all of the pieces in the right order, room by room. My wonderful plumber (who basically lives at my house now) and I will be forever grateful. Thanks!

  237. So many questions! My husband and I are first time homeowners and at the tail end of a kitchen renovation that became kitchen + laundry closet + giant family room + office renovation. If it’s helpful, here are all the things I specifically came to this blog looking for help on:

    – What is a standard size for upper kitchen cabinets? (Um, turns out, NOT 15″ OMG I now have sasquatch cabinets)

    – What do you do with kitchen outlets? I love to cook and have one million appliances, but where do the outlets go? How many is too many?

    – Lights! Again with the “how many is too many?” I have cans, pendants and a statement light over my sink. Is it too cluttered? Am I blinding people? I guess we’ll find out.

    – What is a good, modern width for drawer handles to be? 3″? 5″? 100″?

    – What are your flooring options when you are, say, fixing up a big ol’ family room that used to be a screened-in porch and you have uneven concrete underneath some sweet 90’s carpet? Also – you don’t have millions of dollars to level the sub-floor and then lace in a hardwood floor, much though you would like. Asking for a friend.

    – How do you figure out tile + countertops + cabinets in terms of colors? I am scared of things, so I always choose white, but that seems…ill advised. And also like I am designing a kitchen for polar bears or racists instead of my lovely family.

    If you couldn’t already tell…I needed this book yesterday and I will absolutely buy it! So excited for you!

    1. ALL GREAT IDEAS. Thank you xx

  238. I want your book to be timeless in that it would be a guide to the HOW with beautiful pictures, but not dictating a particular style or material. I would love it if it was arranged by area of renovation with two major chapters:

    (But other spaces as well and the exterior/decks/landscaping)

    But in these kitchen and bathroom big bucks and big investment places I would like:
    Design decisions one must make:
    countertops, cabinets, layouts, tile, flooring, molding, lighting, appliances, built ins
    raw costs for materials
    time estimates for labor/how many people on the job–for this I don’t want costs because it varies dramatically regionally and even by company
    –Recommendations for best practices
    –suggestions of where to spend, where to save, the look for less–
    –tips for customizing big box items for example ikea cabinets with school house knobs and lighting with real calacatta marble with humble subway backsplash but cle tile flooring or hardwoods

    For spaces like living rooms–
    Special projects one can take on to customize and enrich a space–
    An example is the custom bookcase in your midcentury house
    crown moldings, baseboards, window coverings and the labor associated with this

    Good design on a shoestring budget with labor estimates
    Good design on an aspirational budget

    There was one sentence that you wrote about your Glendale home bathroom tile that was something like–the labor is going to cost the same no matter what tile you pick so you should get a special tile. I don’t think I’ve ever been the same since. These jewels of wisdom are what I would like you to impart in a renovation budget.

    I second what a lot of people said about the balance of being true to the age of the home and also your personal style or the trend of the moment and how to still make timeless or easily changeable decisions in that.

    While it has been cool to watch you renovate three homes all at once, many people don’t want to take out construction loans for this or to part with the hard earned cash all at once when it’s not also a business for them like it is for you. Can you give advice on having a whole house vision even if you are going to renovate the kitchen and then save up for the bathroom. Then you live through that before you do the other bathroom. Now you are going to do the floors. Can you get a cohesive design like you have accomplished at these three different places still doing it piece meal? How would you break up those designs into manageable parts/budgets?

    I am so excited for your next venture and I know it will be great. I just Kon-Maried my books for a second time and “Styled” made the cut and stays on my bookshelf again. Orlando’s book didn’t make the cut, but for a weird reason. The book brought me so much joy that I couldn’t wait to pass it on to someone who will also appreciate it and get a great laugh from him. So sometimes something being wonderful can cause a Kon-Marie purge. I’m afraid to comment that to him directly because he might not understand…

  239. I would love to see things like countertop edge details, what to choose for different style home. Same thing with window and door trims. It’s these little details that add up and can change the style of the room.

  240. Hi EHD Team! I love all that you do and so I am quite excited about this book! Brilliant concept and I can’t wait to read. Some thoughts I’d love to read about:

    1.) In your blog posts you always give these great little nuggets of design advice sandwiched in-between really entertaining text. I’d love to be able to reference these tips in an easy (and quick!) way ie: height of mirror above sink, the direction the lighting should face over a vanity, tips on tiling, all the technical stuff that I have to spend hours searching the web to find etc. (and most of the time the answer I find isn’t from someone who I align my style with).

    2.) I’d love to read about more eco ways to renovate and style a home. I think we are all trying to live healthier lives and I’d love to see more of how to do it with great style! Pretty brands that care about their footprint, health to consumer, & design.

    I’m seriously sure whatever content you put out will be fabulous because that’s how you all are! So thoughtful and talented! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  241. ok this is the question I am facing right now as I renovate my home…Ive chosen my surfaces and materials, major pieces of furniture have been delivered (i.e. couch, dining table, etc.) now what? How do I make it look great?

  242. Other than “The Frame,” please show me some ways to hide my TV. My TV viewing area/living area is very small.

    I love plantation shutters but I have beautiful molding around my windows. Shutters can’t go inside the frame, so am I left with covering up my molding with shutter frames?

  243. Color palettes! What are the rules and when can they be broken? For example, can one room (say a bedroom) have a totally different color palette, or do you really need to stick within the same family to make the entire look work?

  244. Electric/ lighting plans, so hard to do but so important for how successful and comfortable the final design is. I would also like advice on how to draw up plans, which programs to use to be able to ‘see’ the design and identify problems. Advice on where to splurge and where to save. Also, advice on how to keep your design coherent over the course of a major renovation or new build- do you commit to a wood floor and then make all woodwork match it? Should choose kitchen cupboards immediately and then make all woodwork match that style?

  245. Functional design that’s not as fun to think about: can lights, where to put outlets, molding style, window size, dry wall texture

  246. What would I like to know how to design? An OPEN kitchen!

    The idea is really simple–put up some shelves, hang a potrack, maybe some pegboard, and Bob’s your uncle.

    But the reality is that some look like a totally broke art student budget was spent for a family of 5, and some look really bespoke and have that beautiful simplicity. How do you do that?

    Taking a step back, how do you do “beautiful simplicity” anywhere, instead of it looking like the lightbulb on a wire got moved from the closet, you could only find/afford one flower, and your shelves look like Mother Hubbard’s?

  247. What about living in suburban sprawl where there is very little architectural interest and every renovation (especially the DIY kind) runs the risk of coming off as a Pinterest fail?!

  248. Would love more information on room layouts and spacial planning. Like what do you do if your room has weird door placement and no symmetry or architectural focal point? How do you make it feel balanced and like a room you want to use and spend tome in. Also, If you want to add trim and architectural interests, how do you know what is appropriate for your home? Especially one that is a hodgepodge of styles – not midcentury, not Fedral, not split level, not ranch. What do you do if your house is none of those things exactly.

  249. So many questions! The biggest ones:
    How do you estimate a project? We always end up spending WAY over what we thought was a reasonable budget. (Example: we renovated our master bathroom and thought we had a good budget of $15,000 since all the fixtures were basically staying in the same place. We ended up spending well over $20,000, partly due to adding things that the contractor suggested, like a pony wall between the shower and toilet instead of a full sheet of glass, and partly due to my choices being over what the contractor had budgeted. Also, the contractor hadn’t added in the glass shower enclosure in his bid since we were in charge of ordering that ourselves. I had no idea how expensive a glass enclosure is! So a list of what to have your contractor include in his budget, room by room, would be great.
    I would also like some ideas on how to carve out a dining space when a house has no dining room and the kitchen is small. Any advice on small kitchens would be great! Actually, any advice on ANY small room would be great!
    Looking forward to reading this book!

  250. I don’t have the budget to do a complete kitchen renovation at once. What I can do, is replace appliances one year, light fixtures the next, counter tops/back splash the next and so on. In what order should I do this? Or this way of updating a kitchen such an awful idea that I should just live with the outdated things until my budget allows for a complete overhaul (which may be never)?

  251. Point out what needs to be in the architectural drawings, vs just left up to the contractor. Our contractor claimed:
    —built in medicine cabinets should be on plans (BUT u need to spec sink, counter, faucet) so I suspect our contractor fibbed—his crew built the holes way too low anyway, even though all bath items were specified.
    —-specify the tile plan for INSIDE the shampoo niche (don’t run the raised chair rail piece in there!)
    —-the architect showed the new location for the staircase, BUT the contractor believed the stairs had full walls on the sides, instead of railings. ? Who would do that? Luckily we explained that one early.
    —-new window placement had standard guideline size dimensions. Our crew made MAJOR mistakes, putting holes in our house (with old fashioned alum siding that cannot be matched) in the wrong spots. If you’re adding a double hung window to a new scissor stair landing, and it specs tempered glass, would you EVER think that window would be at the TOP of the stairwell wall, in horizontal line with second floor windows? Yeah, I’m opening and cleaning that one.

  252. What to do when your style and vision don’t match the style of your house or your location? How hard should you fight it? Also renovating with hindsight and how imagining the feelings of the finished space can help you make smarter choices during the process. While renovating every decision seems SO important, but once the room is finished it quickly becomes the new norm so will I really care that I got the $50 pendant I liked instead of the $250 one. Really important for us renovators for tight budgets. Also some cheat sheets of budget breakdown categories for different kinds of rooms but across a few different price points. I see these kinds of percentages for 200-300k houses but for those under that mark it doesn’t work to apply those same percentages.

  253. What I really want to know is what is what are common mistakes people make when executing a design plan? A friend and I were just talking about how we can buy something (like wall decor for example), hang it or put it somewhere, and it still just doesn’t look like it’s supposed to! Are we hanging at the wrong height? Too close/far from something else? It’s so frustrating when you spend so much time deciding on something and it still doesn’t look nice.

  254. I would love to see something for all the regular middle America houses. I love the mid century architecture of California but in central Kentucky, there are literally zero options like that. How do you take a spec house in the midwest and make it special? As a realtor I’m in houses all day long and they literally all look the same. (Especially when you live in places where you are limited with buying options -Lowes and Home Depot are all some people have available locally.) How can home owners make their home special if it doesn’t have character or anything unique? In my area homes built in the last 5 years have whole neighborhoods that only have 3 different floorpans to choose from!

  255. I am a minimalist – but I know my interiors look too sparse and cold. Would love to know some hacks for how to pull off a killer (but warm) minimalist look with the bare number of items.

  256. Id love to see a tutorial on laundry room dimensions. I’m really baffled by photos where the distance between the depth of the washer/dryer and sink don’t look very different but if you buy a standard depth machine, it’s 34”+ while the sink cabinet is 24”. The 34” makes it really hard to reach things in cabinets above them even if you do extra depth. I’d love a tutorial on tips/tricks and how to ergonomically design this area.

  257. Love all the suggestions! I think yo may need to look into a 6 book series, though, Emily!

  258. My biggest question/need is how to update the style of 1980’s/1990s build suburban homes. So many of us have homes from this era that don’t have great looking windows, high ceilings, interesting trim or gorgeous hardwood floors. If I don’t have the budget to add those things, what will have the biggest impact to upgrade and update our style? I have carpet, I need window treatments for privacy, and I need (gasp) ceilng fans in the summer. Can we see some room makeovers in – frankly – less glamourous settings? Help a Midwestern girl out!

  259. I’m curious on the best/right way to turn daydreams into actual plans.
    Our fairly small house is fabulous for our family of 3 humans/2 dogs, but I can imagine wanting just a little more space when the littlest of us gets into her teen years. We likely won’t have a budget for a big project until then too (HELLO, daycare – I’m looking at you).
    I mentally play around with extending the house into the giant backyard or adding space above the garage, and we have builder friends who we toss ideas around with, but it’s tough to really visualize the change.

    We have the original plans for the house – does one scan these into SketchUp and go to town? Trace them and just start playing with paper-pencil sketches? Is it better to stop daydreaming and wait until we can pay someone to help us create a plan when we’re in a position to actually complete the project? Are there resources to look at to learn how to visualize possible changes without going to architectural school?

  260. Suggestions for coordinating light fixtures in open plan areas – like, my hallway, kitchen, dining area, living room and stairwell to the basement are all open to each other, and multiple fixtures are visible from a single vantage point. I updated my light fixtures in my living room and dining area and those coordinate, but I have three “boob lights” and 4 pot lights left to deal with.

  261. How about the design process starting with a house plan? We are in the process of creating a floor plan for a new home we are building. Would be great to get some design guidelines I can review to make sure we don’t make the mistakes in the first place! Perhaps that’s a book in itself or maybe a new service, i.e., reviewing floor plans. Would love to get your checklist of do’s and don’ts!

  262. Hey Emily, this is kind of a general idea but I’m always looking for ideas for DIY trimwork. I did picture frame molding in my dining room and wainscoting in my entryway. I am always a fan of special moldings and love seeing how much character they add to a room. AND I have a hard time finding resources for them. I don’t need you to tell me how to achieve it (I can figure that out) but love a good inspiration photo.

    I LOVE Styled and reference it often. I just gifted it to a good friend for Christmas. Can’t wait to see the new book!

  263. Very cool book idea!

    – How to handle window treatments in awkward spaces – bay windows come to mind.
    – Childproofing with style
    – Mantel styling tips for all the weird size fireplaces
    – Creating brightness in a home that is fully shaded by lots of trees
    – Styling the front door and the area around it

  264. Okay. How about how not to fight your house’s natural design? We bought a home built in 1990 and have replaced flooring, light fixtures, and kitchen. I knew from the get go that we had to work everything in with the existing wood work and brick fireplace. If I hadn’t kept that as a north star, the result would have been and expensive Franken-design disaster.

  265. I would love to know how to make a room look good if the trim color isn’t great. Lots of people say a coat of paint freshens up a room, but if the trim isn’t a bright white the paint can look awful next to it! It seems all the designers assume all trim everywhere is bright white, but every place I’ve lived in has had cream or light beige-ish trim. If you don’t want to repaint trim/doors/cabinetry/ceilings, what are your tips for freshening up a space while making sure the wall will look good with the trim?

  266. Would love to know what to look for in furniture construction once you’re ready to graduate from starter furniture, including what to look for in vintage furniture. Also, where should you spend money and where is ok to go cheap if you’re on a budget? (Especially helpful if broken down by room, i.e. in your living room, spend on couch and rug but save on lighting, art?) Your Design Mistakes series has been super helpful so more of those would also be great!

  267. Buying new windows? How to decide when it’s best to change size or position of them?

  268. Old homes, specifically duplexes where the homes are truly like house/ apartment space. Space design for various needs- office, kids/baby room/ master bath ( how do you still space to create an en suite). Odd colored woodwork, that you do not paint. Order of needs for major renovations as in kitchen and bath.

  269. Please talk about how high “things” should be. Paintings, bathroom fixtures, shower heads, chandeliers, etc.

    Please talk about lighting and layering it throughout the home.

    Also talk about layering in general: textures, styles. How to keep the eye moving…

    Also, please talk about other resources for design/furniture/renovation (besides your book) for the average layperson/enthusiast.

    Also, please include before and afters, if you can. There is a reason people love this: it’s a visual “aha” moment. A before picture can be as helpful as the after.

    And one last one: please include all types of people/families and styles of houses, sizes of houses, both new and old. Some people have pokey old house ( like me – it’s almost 100!) and are not ripping it up to be open concept.

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

  270. We did a reno of our nyc apartment about 7 years ago- I love it, but I am starting to realize that since it is my primary home and we aren’t going anywhere the kitchen and bathroom, the hardwood floors, some of the work we did is going to get tired and need to be redone someday. I’m starting to see that wear and tear. I think that’s something I’d have liked a better understanding of when I started- longevity, long term planning, and what my expectations should be for what will need another round of renos and when! This is something I bet you are thinking of in your house since you are planning to stick around for the long term. I’d rather plan for that eventuality than be surprised that things are at the end of their lifespan.

  271. I would love to see “real” homes – what would you do with my 1954 950 square foot ranch in suburban Detroit? Like you do with your “Feel Good” and “Weekend” makeovers. Show us how to work magic with basic spaces. Not everyone has beautiful architecture and amazing views.

    Maybe a section with what you would do with varying budgets. if you have a little money, you could do A, a little more money B, and no budget concerns C – like you do with the inspiration rooms. Even renderings are helpful.

    How do you know when to work with what you have or start over? Ex: my kitchen cabinets are FINE, but the countertops are sad laminate with a sad matching laminate backsplash – do I do stone (a bit more expensive), or butcher block and paint the cabinets. Working through those kind of design dilemmas would be VERY helpful

    Excited to see what you come up with!

  272. Key things to look for when buying a home in terms of design features layout ~ light, things to spot in a building that could allow for alteration or rooms to be knocked through, tried and tested room combinations such a lounge dining better than a kitchen dining room etc? Not sure if that makes sense, but essentially how can you adapt a layout of an existing space or see the signs that the layout can be altered
    Also more information on how to deal with entity ways or hall ways

  273. I struggle with the final styling; smalls, throw pillows, vignettes.

  274. For me, one thing I struggle with is trim and the scale of trim, especially for a non-fancy house. Like, I looooove those chunky baseboards you used in the Portland house, but with 8′ ceilings, what should the scale of my crown molding be to go with that? And my door casings, etc? What about scale for wall paneling based on room size, etc?

  275. We are trying to do some renovations, but I can’t even figure out how to get started?! Do I need a contractor? An architect? A draftsperson? How do I know if something is a good price? If the contractor you talked to, who came highly recommended, is a total flake and answers all emails with a single sentence that is not helpful (totally not speaking from experience) can you fire him? Did you even hire him to begin with?

    1. So many good questions here!

  276. I know… how to give a newer, cookie-cutter-style home some style! How do you make these basic and bland homes feel personal, lived-in and unique?

  277. 3 big ones-
    1. Universal design. Please when we build our forever house let it be that. For example for the most dangerous room in the house, the bathroom, it would be lovely to have shower grab bars. You can help create demand for attrative ones and save backs, knees, foreheads, etc.
    2. Green design- sustainable, low environmental impact, non- polluting. We can do it!
    3. Ergonomic design- heights for bathroom counters, clearance for sofa/ottoman/coffeetable, etc. Pullouts in kitchen cabinets people. Etc.

  278. How about alternatives to a popcorn ceiling and designing for high ceilings? We have a 12′ ceiling and the popcorn doesn’t allow it be the architectural feature it should be. Ideally we would cover over it with something else and avoid having to scrape it off. And like any project, it snowballs from there — what type of crown molding is large and chunky enough for the scale of the room? If the ceiling is white, can the crown also be white even if there is stained oak trim throughout the rest of the house? And lighting — can you use recessed lighting that high up, or is it better to use hanging pendant fixtures? And what do you do with all that wall space?

  279. Hi Emily,
    I’d love to have some tips for a new build; to help make it feel not so “new”. My husband and I are building a house this summer…and I’m finding it difficult to find resources on how to design/decorate a brand new modern space so that it doesn’t feel sterile and generic. We gravitate towards modern/rustic/Scandinavian, but it can sometimes come off as cold.

    How do you think of a design plan for the ENTIRE house…so that it flows, makes sense, and feels cohesive.

  280. In our area of California, there is a trend in new homes, where the builder doesn’t put a door on the master bathroom. Ours is an on-suite with an open entryway. How do we add a door in the space? What suggestions do you have for separating and providing privacy (and not the barn doors—we aren’t farmhouse people).

  281. What I want (may not fit in with your vision!)
    1. Affordable kitchen make-over for a small kitchen. So, not custom built, but maybe how to get something that looks custom built but isn’t.
    2. Favorite paint colors and color combinations – especially in full-spectrum colors.
    3. Fung shui type advice: how to make a place feel different ways. For example, I don’t believe in the mystical side of Fung Shui, but some of the layout advice really works to make a space feel more secure, cozy etc.

  282. Hi, Emily. I love your book Styled. Here’s my design problem. We moved from a very traditional house with traditional furniture (“lifetime furniture” my husband says), to a 70’s contemporary town home. Of course, “lifetime furniture” is not something that can be gotten rid of, but I would like to restyle it a bit to fit better in the contemporary space and to update the look. I have found that whenever we move, the old stuff just doesn’t work as well in the new place, but who can afford to completely re-buy all new stuff? Maybe that’s something that you could speak to in your next book.

    Another thing maybe you could provide more detailed advice on is- how do you find great art(where do you look) to fit your existing furniture?


  283. I would love help and ideas for decorating around a corner fireplace. And awkward window layouts. Layouts are tough for me especially area rugs and corner fireplaces. The rug always seems to want to run over the hearth. I second how to crate a dream plan and stick with it when you have to wait for the perfect item either because of budget or availability.

  284. 1) Need your expertise on how to create little seating areas in awkward small corners or places where there is a need for multiple clear paths to pass through 2) Unique window treatments for very funky spaces 3) Multipurpose guest bedroom spaces. Thank you in advance! My boyfriend and I are both obsessed with styled and I can’t wait to devour the new book too 🙂

  285. I know I’m late to the book announcement party, but I would love for someone (anyone!) to mention flow of a room. I have a living room that is in between the front door and the dining room and you have to pass through it to get to the dining room and kitchen. I need someone to talk about flow/furniture arrangement.
    Congratulations on your second book. I love your first one!

  286. My husband and I are currently renovating a school bus and turning it into an RV! It’s my first “renovation” and I have SO many questions. I’m a graphic designer, so making a mood board and setting the overall vibe wasn’t too challenging for me, but now what?? Where do I even start? Where do I look for all of my dream materials (literally googling “flooring” over here). How the heck do you buy cabinets? Where should I put the lighting? Etc, etc, etc. Basically any and all info you can provide for a true novice would be so helpful!

  287. I would love a book that showcases some “un-ideal” layouts (i.e. galley kitchen, low ceilings) it’s hard to be inspired when EVERYTHING you see is open concept with a huge island and vaulted ceilings.

    Also, something that shows one inspiration image and how 3 people executed it in different ways at different price points (like your budget room series but taken even further like different types of rooms and borrowing different items

  288. Hi- I’d really, really love to see a “normal” builder grade tract house, built in the 90’s that doesn’t have good light; boring finishes, small rooms and is less that 2600 square feet talked about. I think the majority of America lives in this scenario. Thanks

  289. I am a realtor and I get this question a lot. With a fixed budget where should people spend their money renovating? (kitchens / bathrooms / flooring?). Most People who buy a builder grade home want to redo and customize everything, but what makes sense from an investment perspective?

    Also, something I am struggling with is modernizing a 10 year old Tuscan style house and whether to square off and raise the arches inside to make it feel modern. Some contractors have said it is a “crime” to take out a beautiful arch because of the work that goes into making it and others say to take arches out it that they look dated. Does leaving some “dated” elements in a home add charm? Or is it better to go with a consistent feel and modernize everything?

  290. I am just starting in the process of demolishing a too-small, falling down home in favor of a slightly larger dream home (modern, simple, light-filled farmhouse on 6 acres in Northern CA), and I’m terrified of the design process for a project of this scale. I would love to find resources for ensuring cohesive, unique looks that complement our personal style but don’t break the bank.

  291. Our current issues:
    – proportions for furniture, rugs, etc. in a space
    – how to float furniture in a large open space
    – dealing with large open spaces in general
    – our builder has been great about the order of things but it would be really nice from you too

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