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One of My Favorite Design Resources...

Celebrating Blu Dot’s 20th Anniversary

Henderson/emery
Photo by Laure Joliet

One of my favorite design resources for furniture, Blu Dot, is turning 20 folks and as someone who likes an excuse to celebrate anything, we are joining in on the party and helping them promote a massive giveaway – $5,000 in Blu Dot design. I’ve bought their pieces consistently the last 5 years for projects that need more streamlined, modern, sculptural pieces that are really high quality but not insanely expensive. Blu Dot was founded by 3 college friends – two who studied design and one who studied sculpture. Their approach to design was so fresh then, and continues to feel that way. Modern or “contemporary” design can often feel soul-less, cold and generic but they somehow make it feel warm and special, while being really high quality and extremely functional and comfortable. While our current house is on the more traditional side (what with our fringed velvet 200 year old chaise lounge), the new project that I have coming up is in desperate need for so many of their pieces and doing this post made me VERY excited to shop and pin. You bet I entered that giveaway, too, although since I partnered with them on this post I’m probably exempt. But you aren’t, so after you are done reading this, head over there and give yourself a shot.

To help promote their anniversary and the contest, I thought it would be fun to show you how we’ve used their pieces in different projects, or how some of my friends have. Some of these feel dated now, with their pieces being the only ones that I still really really love in some of these pictures. That says a lot about timelessness, folks. Buckle up, as we go down my style memory lane. I apparently really loved bright colors 4 years ago 🙂

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Photo by Laure Joliet

Four and a half years ago we used that amazing leather chair, the Toro Lounge and white Strut coffee and console table in Bri’s living room. Oh man, it feels like such a long time ago (stylistically, at least) but those three pieces are totally timeless. That chair had just debuted and we were all obsessed with it, and yet it’s something I would absolutely buy again for myself or a client.

Henderson/emery
Photo by Laure Joliet

We used the Strut console as well in her entry and its simplicity let those lamps and that crazy artwork (that her then-boyfriend hated:)) pop.

That leather chair was further popularized by my friend Sara’s Olive And June nail salons, otherwise known as the chicest salons in LA.

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Photo Source

It’s such a beautiful sculptural chair that makes a statement, but in a quiet way (and it comes in a variety of finishes).

Remember this guest bedroom, that was later turned into Elliot’s nursery? I chose the Hush bed and still love it (despite the fact that some of the things in this room make me cringe a teeny tiny bit).

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Modern Furniture Portfolio Projects Design Milk Oh Joy Office 10
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

What’s so great about the bed is that it’s upholstered, but still super modern and sleek. Often upholstered beds are really chunky but not this one. You get the comfort of upholstered with the look of a simple wood bed.  It’s really versatile and the height of the headboard is great because it’s high enough to lean on but low enough that you can put a piece of art above it and it doesn’t overwhelm the room.

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Modern Furniture Portfolio Projects Design Milk Oh Joy Office 8
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

When we turned that room into Elliot’s nursery we brought that bed downstairs into the guest room.

We dyed it gray because I wanted that space to be more neutral. I loved the bed, but just wanted less color down there. (You can see a pattern, right? 4 years ago I used a ton of saturated color, now I’m drawn to more neutrals and muted colors or at least only one bright color).

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Modern Furniture Portfolio Projects Design Milk Oh Joy Office 11

That bed is now in our new guest room which I haven’t designed or revealed yet, so stay tuned on that (that wasn’t the finished room up there, we just moved the bed before we staged it for the final reveal with all Target). I’m using their Nook bed in an upcoming project but I love their Ditto bed so much as well.

Next up – another Strut table, this time the large dining table that we used as desks. When I designed Joy’s office a four years ago we chose these because her style is colorful and bright so we wanted the foundational pieces to be white and simple.

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Modern Furniture Portfolio Projects Design Milk Oh Joy Office 14
Photo by Zeke Ruelas

The Strut silhouette is a classic as far as I’m concerned, and it comes as a coffee table, bench, console and a variety of sized dining tables or desks. The proportions of it are so delicate and the architecture is far more interesting than a standard parsons desk for instance. It’s quiet but impactful. Plus it’s powder-coated so it’s extremely easy to wipe up.

Bludot Joy Desk
Left Photo by Zeke Ruelas & Right Photo by Casey Brodley

Joy was a wonderful model for that desk, and she still uses it a ton in her new studio for different shoots (right photo). I love the white but the pink (called watermelon) is so fun and the new wood versions are beautiful, as well. See? I’m not anti-color, I just like more negative space now and less saturated colors in the same room. Check out the whole Strut collection here. 

My friend, Bri, recently used a BluDot credenza that I want in her new dining room and it looks SO GOOD. Technically I didn’t do this but I’m friends with both Bri and Sara so I figured I could feature it in this roundup. Also it’s so fun to see how you and your friends’ styles change over the years, right?

Bri Dining Room Credenza
Photos by Ivan Solis

The tone of that credenza is beautiful and the modern slats on the front take it from being simple to being special (see the full makeover by Sarah Sherman Samuel here).

Orlando used the Dodu bed in his guest room makeover in Orcondo that we featured on the blog, and while having a bed that low isn’t for everyone, I do love the vibe it gives off and you’d never worry about the typical shin bruises of a chunky platform bed.

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Photo by Tessa Neustadt

In his living room he used their beautiful Shale wood credenza.

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Photo by Tessa Neustadt

I do miss that Orcondo project, but love that we get to see a full new house soon. See full post of his living room here.

Last but not least….

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Modern Furniture Portfolio Projects Design Milk Oh Joy Office 15 Edit
Photo by Tessa Neustadt

We recently used another Blu Dot credenza in Jaime Derringer’s living room above (stay tuned for full reveal) and it is so beautiful and functional. The scale of it is great with a huge TV and its mix of finishes feels fresh and modern, but still warm. More to come on that project.

We are apparently fans of Blu Dot. What I love so much about their collection is that it feels forward, fresh and edgy yet not generic or too try-hard. When people say they like ‘contemporary’ design, that usually congers up generic bachelor pad images full of Jennifer Convertible furniture, but it shouldn’t. Contemporary just means that it’s designed now, by current designers. Blu Dot’s designers (the original 3 college friends plus a team of designers) are creating new original pieces that don’t necessarily reference the past. They are refined, sculptural, extremely functional and comfortable for us, today.

I would own every single piece they make, but I’ve rounded up some of my current favorites so you can see how I might spend my $5k (go enter the giveaway!)

Emily Henderson Bludot 20th Anniversary Get The Look1

1. Sofa | 2. Coffee Table | 3. Coat Rack | 4. Glass Table Lamp | 5. Charcoal Pillow | 6. Wool Pillow | 7. Lounge Chair | 8. Rug | 9. Wood Side Table | 10. Credenza | 11. Circle Mirror | 12. Basket | 13. Print | 14. White Table Lamp | 15. Juice Box | 16. Bed | 17. Shelf | 18. Black Side Table | 19. Wall Mounted Cabinet | 20. Nightstand | 21. Bike | 22. Copper Bowl | 23. Dining Chair | 24. Navy Sofa | 25. Pendant | 26. Mirror | 27. Vessel | 28. Dining Table | 29. Ottoman | 30. Lumbar Pillow

Everything they make is simple, sleek and sculptural in a high quality way with materials that are refined and beautiful and shapes that are edgy but not try-hard. All those pieces above, despite some of them being 5 years old would look just as good in 2017 and 2020. They make simple but special pieces in color options that are trendy or timeless. Hopefully you’ll see some of those pieces in the fixer upper we are tackling soon. Meanwhile head on over to the 20th Anniversary $5k giveaway and cross all of your fingers that you are the winner.

***This post was in partnership with Blu Dot, but all words and opinions are my own.

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  1. Your pre-Elliot guest bedroom is one of my favorites ever. Wondering what you find cringey about it now. (Popping popcorn)

    1. I’d love to know what about that room is cringey too – I searched the pic and couldn’t find anything obvious…

    2. ditto. LOVE that room

  2. We moved into a 1971 contemporary northwest modern home last year and the styles of furniture and decor that work here are really limited. I’ve found that Blu Dot’s aesthetic is perfect here, though. Fresh, modern, minimal, without, as you said, referencing the past. Love them.

  3. Thanks for sharing Emily! BluDot also has their annual sale in October (coming soon) so this post is well timed.

    I am intrigued at your mentions, several times in this post, about your growth as a designer. Both in terms of color, patterns and also shapes. As a long time blog follower I’ve of course seen that… and as a long time fan, my home has replicated that, too! My old living room looks like Bri’s, and now I’m dreaming of an english roll arm! You & the team influence everyone as you grow 🙂

    I would love a post showing your growth, what’s changed, why. Is it the kids? Is it you learning more about design? Is it just getting older?? Would love this insight!

    1. Same! Tell us how your taste has evolved and specifics about what you don’t like in your older designs.

  4. I love this stuff so much. I am new to the Blu Dot brand and can’t wait to go through everything that they have. It is modern but not too cold feeling. Thanks for the into and all the beautiful examples.

  5. I still love Bri’s living room, and it is so fun to see the progression of your design through the years. Can’t wait to enter that giveaway.

  6. Oh I loooove Blu Dot’s stuff! It all feels really honest. I am getting my hopes shamefully high for my entry!

  7. I LOVE that leather chair! It’s so versatile and pretty. I think I may need it:)

  8. This furniture is so pretty! I normally cringe when I hear “modern furniture” like you said but I am on board with this.

  9. I love all these projects and the Blu Dot line, I want it all. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I am so excited to see the rest of the living room reveal! I have been waiting! And that dresser looks awesome in there. THUMBS UP!

  11. I think it’s been so fun to see your style evolve over the years. I can’t wait to see where it takes you next!

  12. Hey Em! This is amazing! So one thing- I shared on facebook, followed on instagram and entered my email- but it only shows that I’ve earned one entry- and thats after numerous times of refreshing and making sure I am a follower and its on my page. Darn- but cheers to whomever wins this amazing give away. Also, love this pos and all the amazing pics you shared for inspiration. Thank you!

  13. Looking great! So simple and versatile! Lovely!
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  14. It’s strange that in reader view the original post about the guest room follows the new one about Bludit.

    1. Sorry, BluDot

  15. I love my blu dot bed that we bought 8 years ago when I was in a “modern” phase — had a 4 poster before that. I’ve transitioned back to traditional in the rest of the house, but still love the bed, and have no intention of trading it in. I think it’s classic enough that it works.

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  18. Those are some great design examples. I especially like Elliot’s nursery model. continue reading