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Bri Emery’s New Living Room

A good “before and after” is like design porn to me. I’m easy like that.


Finally, my friends, we can post Bri’s house. In case you don’t know the cast members in this story,  Bri Emery is the blogger genius behind DesignLoveFest and Blogshop) and Arian her boyfriend, is the videographer/filmmaker,  Modshift,  who shoots a lot of my, Joy’s and Bri’s videos — plus a lot of high end companies.

They are quite the creative couple and needed a really creatively inspiring space. Bri and I struck a trade; I’d do her living/dining room and she’d re-design my web-site/blog. I started this project in October, finished it in February, and it was published in the LA Times this weekend so we can finally show you.

blogger design emily henderson

Here’s where we started: Move in day where they were barely unpacked. She had gotten rid of any furniture that she felt didn’t represent her anymore because she was ready to invest in some real pieces that would last and really look like “them.”  It was pretty empty but a great blank canvas.


What they wanted: bright, airy, calm, grown up, unique, inspiring, and happy. Oh, and to somehow minimize the importance of all the media — the TV, speakers, stacks of DVDs, etc. All the usual “dude” stuff. Her style is pretty modern and graphic, with big hits of color, some girly lines, but ultimately despite how feminine she seems, she wanted it to be balanced with a lot of masculine lines and colors.


And there you have it. Bri’s house all totally made over.

The space has incredible light, which is why they decided to rent it. And instead of painting the walls or doing some wallpaper, I decided to bring in color in some of the major pieces of furniture to keep it bright, without being busy.


Oh hell yes. There’s just so much to say. We wanted it to be a mix of modern streamlined pieces, with some more custom vintage pieces to throw it off, in a good way; you know, make it unique.

The rug is from RugsUSA and is awesome. I would argue that it’s better than getting a real vintage Moroccan rug because it’s brighter (aka, less yellow) than the real deal and obviously WAY less expensive. The sofa was in a brown tweed that was pretty but felt heavy, so it was reupholstered it in a aqua linen. The fabric cost around $300 and the upholstery job was $700 = $1000. The black chair above was either a real Milo Baughman chair or a vintage reproduction that I had upholstered in that amazing black navajo inspired fabric.


Such a happy room. God I love it. The coffee table, pouf, and shelving unit are all vintage from Craigslist or the flea market.


I’m obsessed with that vintage plycraft chair in the corner. The pops of yellow inject an instant dose of happiness (not that it was lacking) into the space. That huge tree is a fiddle leaf fig, which runs around $150 – $250 just so you know. They are relatively easy to care for, but still an investment for something you can kill (and I have). But they are just so big and graphic and add soooo much life.


The gold pillow is from West Elm, the scalloped pillow I bought in Portland and sadly I don’t remember where I got it, sorry! The yellow task lamp was a vintage find.


The abstract painting is from Michelle Armas, the wood/black vase from A + R. Don’t forget to put art in shelving units. It’s kinda the easiest way to fill up space in non-busy way.


The black and white pillows on the left is from Proud Mary, the vessel on the table that looks HUGE right now is West Elm last year, the tray is from Ladies and Gentlemen Studio and it’s probably the best tray that has ever been made. The gold/porcelain coasters are from HD Buttercup. The gold bowl is from Garde by Tom Dixon.


That Toro leather chair from BluDot was one of the first things we decided on months ago. The lines are incredible. It’s streamlined and modern, but warm since it’s in leather and wood. It’s large scale, but visually very light. We needed a chair/ottoman situation in that corner because it actually angled out (confusing, but basically the architecture of the space was challenging and we needed to really fill that space and engage the corner). The lamp is Arian’s favorite thing in the space. It’s from LampsPlus, by Jonathan Adler. It’s 100 percent awesome.

The credenza was designed by me and I’ll have a full before and after this week — a whole separate post about how to deal with TV/speakers and media in a classy way.


The Strut table that the plants are sitting on is from Blu Dot as well. Technically, it’s a coffee table, but we love how clean and simple it is, and since it’s powder coated metal, it can handle all the water/leaves from the plants. The big face pot was from the flower district downtown, but was all brown and clay, so I painted it a crisp white and Jonathan Adler’d it all up.

The pink ottoman was from the flea market, and I had recovered in the most amazing pint velvet.


The Strut console here is also from BluDot, and the proportions are kinda amazing. It’s the perfect sofa table or entrance table for a smaller space. Bri had purchased those lamps from Mod Pieces and we got new shades for them that were narrow, yet oval. The stool was hers that we recovered in that black/white leopard pattern to keep the same color palette throughout the whole space.

The little stash covered jar is from Jonathan Adler. The dipped vessels are from A + R and look how cute those photobooth strips are there…

The painting was vintage that I already had, but worked perfectly in the space. (Arian is still on the fence about this one, so it might change, but for now it looks awesome).


Oh man, this dining room is killer in every way. Bri bought the dining set at Mid-Century LA and it’s BEAUTIFUL. The rugs are from Lake in Silver Lake and are around $300 a piece. We couldn’t find the right rug to work with the Morrocan shag in the living room, but the second we saw these, Bri was like, “let’s just layer them, ” and I was 100 percent on board. The amazing light fixture is from Brendan Ravenhill and it’s INCREDIBLE. He’s a local LA designer and we were psyched to work with him.

The photo behind the dining table is by the amazing Max Wanger, and it’s called Tulum. I really struggled with this wall. We didn’t want to do a gallery wall because we wanted it to feel more modern and simple, but it needed to have color because that side of the room was feeling kinda sad and less colorful than the other side.


We got the Max Wanger photo framed by Dana at Hotel De Ville. She’s moved her studio downtown and is by appointment only, but I really recommend her for framing. She has lots of options, opinions, and reasonable pricing. The gold birdcage is from A + R and I put a plant in it because I’m cooky like that.


Lastly, the bar cart, naturally. That beauty is from Crate and Barrel. The lamp is a vintage piece I found and got a black shade for. The “Scotch” bottle is a favorite of mine that I finally sold to Bri, but I will be visiting it often. 🙂

So there you have it folks. Bri Emery and Arian’s house, designed by me, Emily Henderson, shot by Laure Joliet. Thank you Danielle Walch for my hair and makeup, per usual (she’s the best in every way; I’m hideous without her), and Erin Cunningham for helping us make it happen.


So, friends, what do you think? Would you live here? Let us know what you think, and meanwhile share it around if you are into it.



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