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My Reaction To Seeing Book IRL + More Sneak Peeks (And My Hard Sell On Why This Book Might Be Useful to You :))

This week I received my first physical copy of my new book, The New Design Rules, and it felt real. As I was unwrapping it (video below) I was very nervous. I kept thinking, after so long will I even like it? After working on it for so long, “my second book” had become so nebulous, a mirage in the distance while running the rest of the business/life. It wasn’t until it was in my hands that I thought, “Oh right. It’s here. And this is actually a HUGE deal“. Working on something, anything, for 4 years, to be officially done with it and put it into the world in a very public way is a major feat. Part of me doesn’t want to promote it a lot, I don’t want to over-hype it, instead put it into the world and see how it does. Maybe I’ll give copies to my interior blogger friends, spread the word, but just let natural sales do their thing. The other part of me (the one that is winning today) quickly gives me a pep talk. It goes like this:

“Listen, ma’am. You and others have spent years of your life on this book, researching, writing and rewriting, fact-checking, re-writing it again, over and over and over to give universally useful information distilled into a digestible physical book, making sure that everything in it was not only correct, but easy to understand. You spent months and more money than will ever be calculated shooting original homes of incredible creatives all over the country with a team of hard-working EHD team members/freelancers who also worked their assess off for this book (Sara, Velinda, Erik, Emily Bowser, Hina, Shade – I’m looking at you). You arranged and rearranged the photos over and over to get the most information across in the most efficient ways. You wanted to give up many times because once again you overwrote, over-shot, over-produced the whole thing, buried in your own words, and stayed up until 2-3 am many times to hit deadlines. You did this really big thing, you need to tell people about it.

The final straw in the “YOU GO AND PROMOTE THIS BOOK” camel’s back is reminding myself that it’s not just my book or my work. The EHD team worked so hard, I can’t say this enough – Sara Ligorria Tramp (photographer) and Velinda Hellen (producer/stylist), my editor Angelin Borsics and freelance writer/copy editor Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson worked so hard, our graphic designer La Tricia Watford revised and revised every time I wanted to move a photo or add a caption/tip. AND last but not least all the incredible designers, creatives, and homeowners invited us into their homes for 1-2 days (which is an invasive process) letting us shoot and share their work for you because they were excited to be in a successful, best selling book (Styled did very well and was a NY Times bestseller so there are expectations for this one). It’s not just about me, or the blog, I owe it to these people to not be shy. SO, y’all, THIS IS ME – IMMA SELL THIS BOOK.

top left photo: design and home of jamie haller| styled by velinda hellen | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | bottom left photo: design and home of ashley coelho | styled by velinda hellen & erik kenneth staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | right photo: design and home of sara ruffin costello | styled by velinda hellen & erik kenneth staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

Am I Happy With The Book?

YES. I’m very happy. 🙂 I’m extremely proud of how useful it is and how well my team and I did finding gorgeous houses to represent my vision (not to mention homes that inspired so many more ideas). But, I didn’t open the hard copy of the book on day one. I was nervous. I was scared I would scrutinize it, and at this point not one word can be changed (which is such a relief, also Angelin was going to actually murder me).

For instance, one of the reasons it got pushed past the usual 2 years (besides the constraints of covid and supply/shipping delays) was that during the pandemic I finally realized the importance of green design/sustainability. I feel I have a responsibility to help others do their best when renovating, especially having so many people watch/listen to me. So I begged to shift the date so that I could re-write a lot and wrote a whole chapter on how to renovate in a more responsible way. I, frankly, would have criticized it hard without that information. That chapter then got broken up and dispersed throughout the book into tips and ideas per the corresponding chapter (which is way more effective). I’m so glad that the blog can be a place for additions, updated information, and where I can share the stuff that got cut (let me remind you the first draft was 900 pages haha). While the book is finite, this site is live.

And if you’re interested, here’s a video of me seeing said book for the first time:

At this point, I know and simply have to trust that the right information got into the book. Every time I look at it, I think THERE’S JUST SO MUCH USEFUL INFORMATION.

left photo: design and home of sara ruffin costello | styled by velinda hellen & erik kenneth staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

Who Is This Book For?

  1. Renovators (First-Timers Or Frequent): You might know the difference between casement and double-hung windows for instance, or how high to place sconces in your bathroom – but even I love being reminded of that information, with beautiful photographs attached to the tips.
  2. Homeowners – Future Renovators: Those embarking on their first remodel or thinking about updating after years of indecision, who want to feel more educated and empowered before starting. This book is for you.
  3. DIY-ers and Renter: We made a real effort to call out ways to DIY something and to showcase projects that were renter-friendly or fun hacks. This is not just for renovators with big budgets, I promise.
  4. Design Enthusiasts or Future Designers: If you are super into design you might geek out like I do/did at diving deeper into the facts. I LOVE knowing vocabulary that historically has been hoarded by people “in the industry”. I like knowing what a ‘stringer’, ‘treads’, and ‘risers’ are. I like not being mansplained about the “coursing of tile”. Maybe you want to say confidently how high a chandelier should be over your dining table. If you are into learning about how a house is put together, then you’ll be into this book.
  5. Design “Tweakers” 🙂 You know what I mean. Maybe you don’t want to DIY a headboard or kitchen countertop but you want a new interesting way to hang your art – while this is covered far more in Styled, there is still a LOT of fresh styling inspiration.
  6. Anyone Who Loves Pretty Pictures of Pretty Homes: Skip the words if you are done renovating for life or will never buy another chair. Just flip through and stare at the beautiful homes, captured so well by Sara, Velinda, (assisted by Erik, Emily B., Hina, and Shade.)
home and design by ben medansky | styled by velinda hellen & erik staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

Even though I know every word in this book (because I wrote it) there are so many rooms that are full of good ideas – too many ideas to call out in the text. Sometimes I’ll simply stare at the photos of Ben Mendansky’s living room (above), or Sara Ruffin Costello’s New Orleans converted church and I’ll get inspired with new ideas. It’s like shopping at a flea market – you can’t physically look at everything at the same time so maybe you flip through and focus on what you need to find today (tile layout, for instance) but the next time around you flip through, looking for wall paneling ideas (even outside of that chapter) or to see where others put the hand-shower (next to shower head? Opposite wall? Facing the glass?). While not every call-out was able to make it in, all the photos show endless additional IDEAS. You could read it 50 times and still see something new.

So, yes I LOVE WHAT IS IN THIS BOOK.

The Mom Test

A few months ago my mom was over and I showed her the almost done PDF copy of the book. Being renovation-averse, due to intimidation and cost, she flipped through it and after 30 minutes was like, “Oh. This book is for me. It’s exactly what I need. I feel like I get it”. I felt so relieved. Easy to “get” is a huge compliment when you are trying to combine both creative ideas and technical information. Then last week my mother-in-law was over and she wanted to see it knowing that I had just received it in the mail. But the Rams game was on and we were all hanging/talking so she said, “Well, I’m not going to read it right now, of course, I’ll just flip through.” Then an hour later she was still reading and blurting out, “Ha! I didn’t know that I need 24” seat depth sofas because we do like to sit up straighter”. And then later, “Bob, I think we should take down the shutters to let in more natural light”, which prompted a “well thanks a lot” glare from Bob.

design and home of william hunter collective | styled by velinda hellen, erik kenneth staalberg, emily edith bowser & julie rose | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

It’s not just for newbies or boomers. My friends/colleagues that are super into design (many shot in this book) love it for the inspirational photographs of these incredible homes (some mine, but mostly new homes you haven’t seen). I agree. There are some houses in there (Dee Murphy’s, A craftsman from A 1000 x Better, Rosa Beltrans own home, a gorgeous home by Victoria Sass) that I can’t stare at enough.

I personally love this book because I can bring it to site and show my contractor (instead of trying to pull up a pinboard) and say, “See how they did this? That’s what I like”, or “See how this grout looks seamless with the tile? How did they do that? I want that”. While many people won’t necessarily use it as a field guide, that was what I felt was missing in the world. A visual field guide/handbook that I can bring when I’m window treatment or sofa shopping. A book I can reference when I’m taping out furniture layouts on the floor of the farm living room and then can show Brian the goal. I know this stuff so well, but there is something so comforting about having a book (in addition to other awesome books) that helps remind you and gives you a visual reference to show others instead of trying to explain what you are thinking.

I’m extremely nervous/excited for April 12th to see what you all think. I am so proud of the information, meticulously edited words, and photography of inspirational homes that created this book.

left photo: home and design by corbett tuck| styled by brady tolbert | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | right photo: design and home of scott horne | styled by velinda hellen & erik kenneth staalberg | photo by sara ligorria-tramp

So Now What? If This Sounds Like A Book For You …

Ok. So here’s my pitch – ha, it might seem like that was my pitch, but nope, here is the “call to action” as we like to say in marketing. If you are excited about this book, if the ideas behind it speak to you, and you are going to order it in April, consider pre-ordering it. We would be EXTREMELY grateful. Pre-ordering The New Design Rules will help make the book a huge success.

I’m extremely proud of this book and I know that my compulsion to put it out in the world would have never gone away had I not done it. It was a box I had to check. So again, if you are interested – there are some ways to support early on. Throughout the next few months I’m going to give incentives for purchasing (donating to charity based on sales) so keep track of your receipt (a screenshot is fine) so that when those go up you can retroactively be a part of them should you want to. And for all of you who pre-ordered already, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Seriously. xx

BUY THE NEW DESIGN RULES HERE!

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Prashanti Lyree-jo
9 months ago

Hola- I’m very excited to see your new work. Congratulations 👏🏻 I tried to watch the video of you opening it & it was shots of your old house xxx

9 months ago

Oh boy! Pre-ordered! Of course you should promote it, otherwise those of us casual interior design gawkers who don’t look for new design books would never know! Congratulations!!

Andrea
9 months ago

Reading this had me SO EXCITED about buying the book IMMEDIATELY. But then I see it’s not coming out until April. Gah! I’m about to embark on our first big remodel in March. Is there ANY way to get the book sooner?!

MKP
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrea

SAME! Starting in next few weeks and so sad I’m ahead of this book release.

Leigh H
9 months ago

Congratulations!!! I can’t wait to get it. Order submitted!!

Bo
9 months ago

I have been doing Swedish Death Cleaning (for many years now) but so I won’t be ordering the book but I will be requesting it for my local library and get my name first on the borrowing list. If it’s anything like your first one it will be gorgeous. A thought: maybe as a gift for new home owners. Hmm?

Christa
9 months ago
Reply to  Bo

I never heard of Swedish Death Cleaning, had to look it up. Hahahaha it seems so Swedish! And a good idea. Thanks!

Mary
9 months ago

The book looks beautiful! If we’re loyal followers of the blog, will there be very much in the book that we haven’t already seen?

Karen
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Em mentions they are “mostly new homes you haven’t seen” and that she travelled all over the country to shoot original content. 🙂

Dena
9 months ago

Big congratulations!! Well deserved and you should be proud and promote the hell out of it!!!

Reanna
9 months ago

I don’t doubt that the book is great, but I want to say that I’m preordering because it matters to me how you’ve improved around diversity, access, and inclusion. You’ve leveraged your success to help others get their well-deserved shot, and THAT is compelling. Congratulations!

krkrkrkr
9 months ago
Reply to  Reanna

https://bookshop.org/pages/store_locator

If you click on the link above, you can filter by Black owned bookstores. When you select a specific business, they will receive the profits from your order.

Reanna
9 months ago
Reply to  krkrkrkr

Thanks for that info!

Lavinia
9 months ago

Oh, congratulations! What an achievement. I can’t wait to order a copy. Please do share what you cut from the book! Maybe make it a weekly feature? I want all of that, too.

Tara
9 months ago

Any chance you will have a link to independent bookstores to purchase this?

Ally
9 months ago
Reply to  Tara

I preordered mine through bookshop.org, where you can select an independent bookstore to get some of the money!

🥰 Rusty
9 months ago

THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!!
Promote all you want! Whoo hoo! 1😀

For some reason, I didn’t see anything to click on to watch the vid of you opening it?!

“…during the pandemic I finally realized the importance of green design/sustainability” … I’m sooo happy about this!! 🤗 Yaaay!!!

Congratulations and rest assured that it’ll do well. After all, your readers are already fans, so go figure!
😘

Ally
9 months ago

Excellent pep talk. I can’t wait! It looks wonderful. Is there any place I can pre-order it besides Amazon? (I usually get my books from Target.com but when I tried there a couple days ago, they said pre orders for the book are “sold out.”)
BTW at Amazon I see “New Design Rules” is #1 in its category! Congrats!

Amy
9 months ago
Reply to  Ally

Try bookshop.org 🙂

Melissa
9 months ago
Reply to  Ally

Hi! I was getting the “pre-orders sold out” message at Target for weeks, but then suddenly a couple of weeks ago (after the last time Emily mentioned pre-orders on the blog) it was available again. Maybe keep checking back? (I wanted to order from Target to get the bonus content…)

Ally
9 months ago
Reply to  Melissa

Ooh, thanks! I will keep checking back or else do bookshop.org

Elaine
9 months ago

Congratulations Emily!! 👏👏👏 I can only imagine the blood, sweat and tears that went into making your second book (a second book…how AMAZING is that!). I can’t wait to see the results of all that effort when my copy arrives. I hope it’s a huge success.

Kara
9 months ago

FYI to anyone who doesn’t want to preorder via Amazon like the links above take you to, you can pick from many places via the publisher website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/608127/the-new-design-rules-by-emily-henderson/

Ally
9 months ago
Reply to  Kara

Thanks!!

JenMS
9 months ago

All right, you convinced me! I’ll get a copy from my local bookstore 🙂

Robin
9 months ago

Hi! I am so excited for you and your team! I am also very excited to order your new book! However – I feel really strongly about not supporting Amazon. Can I pre-order it elsewhere? Thank you and good luck!

Cady
9 months ago
Reply to  Robin

Thank you for saying this!

Amy
9 months ago

Just pre-ordered! So Excited! Might I suggest that instead of ordering through the Amazon link, people go to bookshop.org and order there? It supports small, independent bookstores and is usually the same price or only a few dollars more than Amazon. By buying Emily’s book I’m sending $9.75 if that to my local bookstore! Win-win!

Juanita
9 months ago

Yay, congrats Emily and team! Here is the bookshop.org link, for those interested: https://bookshop.org/books/the-new-design-rules-how-to-decorate-and-renovate-from-start-to-finish/9781984826480.

HerselfInDublin
9 months ago

Huge congratulations on the release of your “difficult second album”. And I’m delighted to see you added a Green element to it, as that seems to be an area America is lagging behind in but let’s face it, it’s the only way now. Wishing you lots of sales and another spot on the New York Times Best Seller list!

Shannon
9 months ago

I can’t wait!!!

RachieT
9 months ago

Hi Emily, I’m so excited about this; congrats! But in the previous pre-order post from a couple months ago, you mentioned that the Target version would have an extra chapter. Was this only for the first Target preorder or will it be in all Target versions? I waited a few days thinking “preorders” couldn’t sell out and sadly I missed the boat. Of course I want every word 🙃 I’ll preorder it elsewhere if the extra chapters are no more. Just curious, thanks!

Liz Schaffer
9 months ago

I have read and re-read my copy of Styled and have been eagerly anticipating the release of your new book. I won’t be pre-ordering, however, as I would rather purchase a copy from my local bookseller rather than Amazon. The discounted pre-order price is moot considering the $10 shipping fee, and I really don’t need to give Amazon any more money than I already do. Rest assured that I will be hitting up my local bookstore on release day, though!

hickenack
9 months ago
Reply to  Liz Schaffer

You can totally support local booksellers by ordering online. Try bookshop.org.

Thekk
9 months ago

Pre-ordered! The ROI on all the things not to do before I blunder into them alone makes it worth it. And it’s gorgeous, from a site I love and read daily? Easy. Don’t feel bad promoting yourself—renovation is extremely stressful and if you can save a few people even a little bit of the hassle and disappointment it is worth it. And something tells me this book is going to be very helpful. I’m just bummed I have to wait until April 12th!

Kate
9 months ago

Awwwww yeah!!! Pre-ordered! Congratulations to you all on reaching this milestone. I can’t wait to pore over it when it arrives. It is nice to have something that is mid-range future to look forward to… I almost forgot the feeling of having something nice just a couple months out to count on! 🙌

Liz
9 months ago

Congratulations and Bravo🍾🥂 Just pre-ordered 2 copies: 1 for me, the design obsessive & 1 for my friend with the new fixer who always asks for home advice!

Lisa
9 months ago

Pre-order check! I’m excited to see your new book and it is coming just in time. My DIY wannabe architect husband (child of a hippy builder) who loves using all reclaimed materials just announced he’s tackling our kitchen build this spring. Hooray and Hell for me. He has strong often unconventional options and I need more builder vocabulary to meet him where he’s at with his CAD drawings of interesting configurations and terrible flow. We already had a constructive reimagining of his kitchen design and I’m feeling ready- but just like your quiz in Styled helped us find complementary style- I hope this guidebook will be a helpful third opinion!

Cady
9 months ago

Congratulations! I’m thinking about buying it, but I definitely won’t be buying it from Amazon, and wish your link hadn’t gone to the Amazon site. What about giving a range of options from which to buy it? I appreciate that you’ve been speaking more about sustainability lately — I’m sure you’ve heard all about how unsustainable Amazon’s practices are for the environment and for its workers. Thanks for considering!

Patricia
9 months ago

You didn’t even mention all the free content you deliver every single day! So yes, I pre-ordered. I like drooling over pretty houses.

Leah
9 months ago

Congratulations the book looks amazing! Serious question – is everything in feet and inches or is conversion to mm included? Love your work but I tend to skim through your advice on measurements because of this.

🥰 Rusty
9 months ago
Reply to  Leah

I wondered this too?🥴

Gretchen
9 months ago

Yay! Congratulations! Pre-ordered and excited to dive in in April.

Arthella Starke
9 months ago

I can hardly wait to get my hands on this. I have preordered and ordered extra for Christmas presents for my friends and family. YEA!!! What a great book this will be!

Casey
9 months ago

Pre-ordered! So excited and happy to support, your blog has been a constant bright spot in my day throughout these tough years. Thank you for the inspiration and motivation. <3

Eden Weber
9 months ago

Congratulations! Happy for you and your readers. How about a shout out for independent booksellers through Bookshop.org rather than Amazon. https://bookshop.org/books/the-new-design-rules-how-to-decorate-and-renovate-from-start-to-finish/9781984826480

Kira
9 months ago

My public library already has 4 copies on order! I’m number 3 in line. 🙂

Vicki Williams
9 months ago

I’m so lucky! i just pre-ordered your book with some
B & N gift cards i literally have had for years! Never saw anything i wanted enough to spend them, haha. I am so delighted and happy to be getting your book after following you for over 10 !!! years! I can’t believe it myself! :))

Siel
9 months ago

Does anyone know other order options than Amazon for international interior enthousiasts?

9 months ago

I preordered on Kindle store. I will buy it later on paper. I am anxoiuos to read and I am sure this book will be a reference book for myself. I think it will be a great succes if translated into spanish. If it is, I could offer this book as a present for friends and relatives who don´t speak english

Jeffrey C
9 months ago

Just in case this might help with pre-orders, Dan Pink just offered a live one-hour virtual session for anyone who pre-ordered his new book (The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward) and sent in a receipt to prove it. It was a great enticement and extra benefit.

Interestingly, the subject of the session had nothing to do with his book. Instead he shared the top 10 life lessons he had learned. It basically was him casually talking to the camera with each lesson introduced on a slide. For three of the lessons, he also added pre-recorded short interviews/convos with his special guests: Anne Lamott, Malcolm Gladwell, and Al Gore.

LINDA
9 months ago

Congratulations, EH & Team! To folks who celebrate independent bookstores, you might like to order from Powell’s Books – the world’s largest independent bookstore and our own beloved Portland treasure. Located here in Emily’s new home town! It is available for pre-order: The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish: Emily Henderson: Hardcover: 9781984826480: Powell’s Books (powells.com)

9 months ago

Hooray! It looks amazing. I already pre-ordered and can’t wait to have it in my hands.

9 months ago

YEAH for you!! Congrats you SHOULD took your own horn! All of the hard work you and your team do! I just sent the link to my husband to buy for Valentines Day! To make sure I get something I want rather than flowers that dry up or candy that goes to my waiste! LOL

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