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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson Family

Happy New Year, all. 2018 is DONE and boy was it a big, great year full of so. many. lessons. Working in digital media means that I wake up on a daily basis, shove my hand into a pot of pasta and throw it at the wall, excited to see what will stick. It’s actually really exciting, but also a lot to clean up all the time.

This past year, we tried throwing a new type of pasta on the wall, otherwise known as “content strategy.” We did two big design projects/renovations that we dissected into process-heavy content, but…we found that you guys, despite how thorough and full of solid information the posts were, weren’t as into them as I had predicted. It just didn’t stick and that’s okay. The engagement was high, and at first the “I Design, You Decide” garnered a ton of excitement. My hope with the process posts was that you’d get a solid peek into how and why designers make the choices we do, so that you can be inspired and empowered to make them yourself. I get that renovation-heavy posts are much more niche than say, a pillow combo roundup, but when those design-heavy posts take weeks of work and get immediately squashed by a random roundup, it’s a wakeup call (please remember that this is a business, not just my hobby, so traffic matters, but it’s definitely not the only thing that matters).

Let me be clear, we’re proud to produce those pieces and I feel confident that over time, many of you will find them incredibly useful (they’ll live forever in the Rooms section) when you are, say, doing a window plan in your major renovations, but, many of you said that we were actually showing too much of how the sausage is made. TOO. MUCH. PROCESS?? I would have thought that was impossible. Any blog, Instagram or Pinterest account can show beautiful reveals, hence we thought that one of the things that makes this place a destination is the process and my transparency about mistakes, but the numbers tell a different story. We learned some things about what you do and do not want. BUT WE NEED TO KNOW MORE…

At the same time though, one of the top posts of the year in 2018 was about a haircut. A HAIRCUT. We thought that post, in particular, could just be a fun thing to do for the team, hoping you guys would be moderately into it. Oh, and you were. That post stuck to the wall. To the tune of being top 3 for the year. We had no idea this would happen, which makes us think maybe we don’t know exactly what you want. We can’t keep getting haircuts (but I jokingly looked around the office and said “who wants to get their eyebrows micro-bladed in 2019???” knowing that I would DEFINITELY read/watch that post).

So we need more help for us to figure out what content you want, need, crave this year. Already, our plans are to focus more on styling, using a combination of budget and high-end pieces, more flea market and thrifted posts (YAY!!) and to bring back some older series that I miss (Craigslist) as well as well curated house tours.

But I have more questions…

Why did the Portland reveals lose momentum? Is it because it wasn’t my house? Was it too high end? Were there not enough lessons or mistakes to make the posts interesting? Or was it just too much and you are ready to see inside a new project??

Let’s pretend we’re in a confessional booth…spill the beans (regarding content, no need to tell me you hate the kitchen color, etc). Tell us your innermost thoughts. What do you like? What do you not like? There will be no offense here (plus, we’re sweetening the pot a little to anyone who chooses to help us out):

Emily Henderson Giveaway Jane Denton Gif

We put together a survey that we would love every single one of you to fill out (though we know that won’t happen, and we get it). But what I will say is this survey will be instrumental in helping us put together a content strategy for the year. It’ll be integral to letting us get a peek into all of your brains and your deepest blog desires. It’s like a yearly performance review where you guys are the boss. And just like in a work environment, everyone needs a little incentive, right? We’re giving away THREE limited-edition art pieces from my collaboration with Jane Denton I did back in 2016 at random to anyone who completes the survey and inputs their email address at the end (we gotta know how to find you but of course will not do anything weird or annoying with your email).

I actually kinda forgot about these pieces so when my team mentioned that we had some left over, we thought it was the perfect giveaway. Look, here it is styled in Brady’s living room.

Ehd 181221 Jane Denton0016 Ehd 181221 Jane Denton0021 Compressed

Don’t you want this pretty lady? It comes framed (by Framebridge), is 18″x18″ and retails for $225. All you have to do is fill out our teenie tiny survey (it’s not teenie, but thought it might be more enticing if we pretended it was?).


Again, if you’re a regular reader and invested in the content we create on a daily basis, filling out the above survey is like basically asking for exactly what you want (and not want) to read. We promise to eagerly go through all the results, discuss internally and make immediate shifts to our strategy. As much as we want to write about whatever we want to write about, we also want to make the things YOU want to come here for every single day.

As for what’s happening with the other big project from last year (the mountain house), the good news is that I am not waiting for a print publication to reveal it because that would likely hold it up for 9 months (I would need to have the entire house finished before we shot it and you have to shoot 3 months in advance of when the issue comes out, etc.) I put myself in your shoes and I realized how bummed I would be to wait for so long. So instead, you’ll get the rooms as they are done, starting most likely with the kitchen…OF WHICH I AM OBSESSED.

If you aren’t into the survey, you can always comment—in fact, please do both. What do you want? What do you miss? Do you want us to get team eye-liner tattoos? Do you want me to try my hand at a new build? (not a chance?) Do you want sneak peeks of the mountain house or just big shocking reveals??

We wish we could sit at a big giant table with all of you and have a face-to-face discussion about your thoughts and desires, but obviously, an internet survey is the next best thing. We are starting out the year on a team retreat up at the mountain house to brainstorm and plan content for the year on every platform. The whole EHD team is headed up to join me tomorrow so the more we hear from you the better (and thank you so much for weighing in).

Happy New Year, and here’s to what we know is going to be an amazing, exciting and just plain fun year. xx

  1. I generally find your content the most interesting interior design stuff on the net. I love your voice and tone and that you feel like a real person.

    I think part of the issue of the larger content – eg mountain house is that the posts can start to feel a bit too similar. Understandbly you want each house to be cohesive, but I think this lessons the overall variety and creativity of the posts. If you were doing more, smaller projects, there is more scope for different themes, ideas. I think more variety and risk taking, just naturally would peak my interest more.

    I also like your round ups for different interior design materials – eg wallpaper, affordable art, etc and always find myself going back to these over time when I need them.

    1. This is a great point – I think large renovations might need to be broken into categories of rooms, instead of individually i.e. didn’t love an entire post on the Portland House powder bath. Could have been all rolled into: style and design for Portland bathrooms

    2. I feel the same way about the larger content lately. It feels like it’s so much and that makes me feel way less invested in each makeover

  2. I think you might have accidentally liked to the results document and not to the survey? I get a message that I don’t have access anyway…

    I’m bummed that the renovation posts did not work! Personally I loved them, though I probably did not spend nearly as much time reading them as you did to create them. Or should I say, i get that the shopping roundups have a better ROI. I find the Portland house so inspirational! I’m sure I’ll come back to those if I ever have to renovate a bathroom for example.

    The reveals are great, I especially like the bathroom/kitchen ones where where I can get inspiration for creative tiles/colors etc. I also always appreciate the playful tone of voice.

    I’m not crazy about the “entertaining” posts. Even if you always have a ironic tone (that I appreciate!) they still make me feel a bit like your life is just… out of reach for me. And probably most people.

    The wardrobe posts are okay, I like them as a mix and like your style, but please don’t make this too much like a lifestyle blog! I come for the beautiful designs, not because I want to be you. (Maybe I do, but that’s not the point 😉

    Personally I skip the beauty related posts, but that’s just because I’m super picky and basically only take advise from MakeupAlley when it comes to that.

    I’m really looking forward to the craigslist posts! I think I’d also enjoy a lot of smaller styling posts. “How to style a bookshelf” type of posts (though you already did that one). I would also love to see you style a vignette with objects/art from smaller artists/pottery makers/etc from Etsy for example. Plaza interior does something similar and I love it. Generally anything picture heavy is appreciated:)

    1. +1
      Though I’m more strongly against the fashion and lifestyle posts. I could not have cared less about team ehd haircuts (though yall look great) m.

      I love love love the renovation, how to, reveals and roundups. I never can have too many of those and that’s why I read the blog. I discover so many vendors that way too and learn so much. Appreciate when you include budget vendors and vintage finds as well as high end, because it’s more attainable for me!

      Agree with Ylva’s ideas for smaller styling posts. Those sound great.

      Thank you and long forward to 2019!

      1. Same. I don’t think I even read the hair cut posts, and regularly skip the fashion round ups. Not interesting to me. –Clearly puts us in the minority!

  3. Emily, just to let you know that when I clink the survey link, I’m getting a Google message that I need permission to access the page…?

    1. Same.

    2. Same here.

    3. should all be fixed now!

      1. I just tried to fill it out…instead of a “Submit” button at the bottom, there’s a “Get link” button and nothing seems to happen when I hit it, so I’m not sure if my responses came through or not 🙂

  4. I want to take the survey but don’t want to sign into google docs. I am not very computer savvy so not sure if I am suppose to do that to take it.

  5. I’m going to fill out the survey, but two comments while I’m
    standing waiting for the train:

    1)I love the process posts. And I would suggest that the audience who loves them might be more hardcore than other audiences and therefore more likely to buy products from your sponsors. I assume you’ve looked at link clicks and actual purchases for affiliate links that allow it, but that would be interesting data.

    2) I loved the Portland house, but there are a couple things that tempered my excitement about posts. First it took so long to get any reveals, and there were so many sneak peeks (the biggest one being the real estate listing) that by the time reveal posts came, I’d already seen most of it or stopped caring. I still read them and enjoyed the details but they were very anticlimactic. Second the House was similar in style throughout, as it should be for a flip. So after a couple of rooms, it wasn’t very exciting anymore even though it was all beautiful. I’d love to see more flips but maybe small ones where the timeline is shorter and the style risks are bigger.


    1. Emily really sums up how I felt about the Portland house–it felt like a flip, though it was the most beautiful, special flip I have ever seen. I just couldn’t get excited about it when the choices were made based on selling the house (though I should have been MOST excited to see how the value broke down). Same feeling about the style–the house was beautiful, but not my style. Seeing room after room after room of a lovely house but not having anything you’d translate to your own home was just not thrilling for me. The smaller projects feel more diverse in style and incorporate a bigger variety of ideas a reader could use.

      Finally, the mind boggling amount of money spent in the Portland house just turned me off (personally). Unless I win the lottery, I won’t be spending that kind of money to do anything in my home. I know all the content isn’t going to be accessible to everyone, but at a certain point if you have that kind of money, you’re hiring the designer to do that level of work so you don’t have to. If I ever did have that kind of money, I’d be employing someone skilled to help me make choices, not referring to your site.

      Please push a new post when the survey link is fixed so it shows up in our feed readers. Thanks for everything you do, EHD team!

    2. I agree about the Portland house. There were so many sneak peeks that were more engaging than the actual reveal posts. And I don’t mean to sound dismissive of all the hard work put into them! I just got a lot out of the Instagram stories/stalking the open house/listing photos, and didn’t have to wait as long for those.

      Is a complete house tour coming? I think more content about it could still be interesting, but I honestly got bored with the room-by-room reveals -maybe because I cheated and looked at the rooms already. Also, I have a bad memory, and was like “wait there’s another bathroom?” The time lapse between posts meant a lot of backtracking, and it got tiresome. It’s such an amazing transformation and I realllllly want to be captivated by it and drawn in! I’m surprised by my waning interest, but I think the room-by-room thing got repetitive, and needed a complete tour to tie it all together.

      1. I agree with all of the above. It was so, so lovely, the Portland house, but I could have done with 50% of the content about it. It was interesting to learn about the scale of such a project, but since it wasn’t anyone’s HOME, it felt impersonal, and honestly, a bit boring because of that! Too many sneak peeks and reveals meant by the end of it, I was over it. I WOULD, however, love a walking video tour of the space so I could feel like I was a higher end real estate customer. 🙂 Photos are great, but so few of us get to experience large, professionally designed spaces like that – I think your followers would eat that up.

      2. Agree with this SO much!

    3. I feel the exact same.

      1. Me too. And yes, a video tour would be fun. Hopefully you did one while you were there…or maybe I missed it. I did enjoy the Instories peeks.

    4. I agree. Posts of the reveals took too long and I felt like I had seen it already with the sneek peeks. I think I didn’t even read the reveal posts.

      I feel like the same thing is happening with the mountain fixer upper. At first it was exciting and now I feel like it has been years and there are still not anything finished for us to see. And I understand, of course it takes a long time to renovate such big house, but as a blog content I feel like the waiting time is way too long to really engage the readers.

      That said, I really love this blog and you, Emily. I hope these comments will help you to improve your work in the future.

    5. I also felt confused by it being sold already but still getting revealed to us, especially the Christmas post. When was that done? I thought it was sold already–that’s what was going on in my mind as I saw the new posts come up after the sale. I could adjust, but it felt awkward in my brain the whole time.

    6. SAME.

      Just reiterating what was already said — for me, as soon as the listing went live, I *devoured* every beautiful image of the Portland house MULTIPLE times… then I was done. The reveals then kept coming out and I was like “Oh, I’ve seen all this already!” And I thought it was funny when the tone of the post was always excited, like there was something brand new being revealed, when in reality we had all seen the content *months* ago. It was STUNNING, but definitely impersonal and way out of most readers’ league, design-wise.

      On the flip-side, the mountain house is YOURS, and that means you designed it to live in and enjoy — not sell. I think you’ll see a whole new level of engagement with that one, compared to the Portland house. 🙂

    7. I agree with the comments here about it being beautiful and inspiring but the posts being anticlimactic and redundant.

        1. Completely agree!

    8. Yes, this exactly!

    9. I appreciate styling or renovating posts that are one or two rooms at a time, and all the decisions and process that entails. After all, I believe that most of your readers live in the place they would love to decorate/renovate. The luxury of renovating a place that is not your primary residence can be interesting too, like with Young House Love’s beach house renovations.

      Also, I know it’s so last year, but yours and Brian’s dollhouse video still makes me laugh! So fun!

  6. Your current projects feel way too high end to be relatable. I saved for years to be able to afford a 8K remodel of my bathroom — this isn’t a criticism of your life, but it’s just not helpful to see you remodel on such a large budget. I could never afford anything like that! I think pillow round ups resonate because I can actually afford them and do it in my own house.

    1. Same

    2. Agreed! Everything you design now is sophisticated and gorgeous, but not relatable or achievable for most people. Ive been a reader for years and I will always love you, but I would enjoy more content that is similar to things I can actually do in my own home. Part of OG Emily, in my opinion, was making it work with limited funds, and your rooms were always fun, a little funky, and inspiring! Now your rooms are refined, “fancy”, and just eye candy (but really amazing eye candy). My favorite post of all time was Sylvia’s living room makeover- it was vibrant, comfy-looking, and looked like a place I would want to live. ♥️

      1. I’m with you, I like Emily’s colorful, vibrant, funky decorating style, the one I fell In love with when she was on TV, the way she builds off of her customers and their lives and their homes and not only elevates their living quarters, but amplifies and celebrates their personalities. I’m not as impressed by sophisticated yet vapid makeovers of investment properties, which anyone could do. The projects where EHD shines are those that highlight her own vivacious personality and those of her clients.

      2. YES to all of this!

      3. Totally agree about wanting to see projects with more limited budgets. I find that many of the bloggers I loved years ago have now made a ton of money and do these crazy high end projects that seem normal to them. I’m glad they’ve made big money, but they need to remember that their readers didn’t!

    3. I’ll chime in and say I didn’t think the Portland house was too high end… I LOVED it. I’m not saying I went out and bought all of the items, but I loved the sophisticated style that was used throughout.

      I am curious whether people think it’s too high end because (1) the style is too sophisticated and it doesn’t interest them/wouldn’t work in their own home, or (2) it’s too high end as in they can’t afford the exact pieces?

      My issue with the blog is that I like a sophisticated style and you barely ever see that on blogs. A lot of the makeovers trend toward family-friendly laid back casual or like 20-something hip apartments. I’m not saying everything in my house costs a fortune, but I’m an adult and I don’t have kids and I think my house looks pretty classy – that’s how I want it to look. For example, I am designing my dining room and I found Portland to be a great inspiration for that. Most of the other dining rooms on the page are casual eating nooks/eat in kitchens etc. I also revisit Ginny’s apartment a lot for inspo. It wasn’t expensive stuff but it was classy.

      1. I just wanted to chime in and say that I was turned off by how unattainable and affordable projects like the Portland house are. I love them in terms of style, process, etc. but its frustrating when I can’t go out and replicate something that Emily does because its “too high end”. I loved the Christmas reveal from the Portland house because it was all from Target and I could go out and buy those things myself!

      2. I loved it too. And I want to see a mix. I like Ginny’s, Brady’s, other team members, the readers pics were fun., etc. Different styles and price points.

    4. SAME. I love to admire Emily’s gorgeous work but it doesn’t connect with me personally when I just bought a new Ikea bathroom vanity and it felt like a big deal. Some of my favourite posts are those with Target products. (Though I’m in Canada so it’s hard to get my hands on Target goodies. Boo.)

    5. Haha, amen!!! More regular people’s houses makeovers involving regular home owners and a laughably small budget and like you said, more pillow roundups, that would make me smile in 2019.

    6. Same. I don’t have your bank budget or freebies so it gets kind of boring after a while. I like the target styling since I see those in the stores.

      1. I agree with this so much. I understand that brand partnerships are vital to keep the company alive, but it’s just a bit grating to see so much promotion of all this expensive stuff, when you’re getting it for free. It just feels a bit…distasteful. Especially when it was for a flip property? +1 to having to save for years and years for an 8k kitchen reno, and it being a big deal. It’s depressing to only come on and see stuff that is £££££. Some posts on how to create a high end look with low cost items would be great!

    7. Agreed! Great feedback Liz.

    8. I work in tech, live in the midwest, and am single, so I have a decent amount of disposable income (and very grateful for that fact). But even in my situation, the Portland house and many of the other posts this year, featured items and materials that were out of my spending comfort zone. I’d love to see a better mix of high and low, and not just affordable items from big retailers. Go to a thrift store or estate sale. Walk us through the process of finding diamonds in the rough. Show us how you spot a gem amongst clutter! I love finding vintage items at online auctions, thrift stores, and yard sales, but its not natural/intuitive for everyone and that’s a huge part of your design aesthetic (glad to hear you’ll be returning to that) that people want to be able to recreate.

      Thanks for your work, for always wanting to improve, for being transparent as possible. You’re doing a great job!

    9. While I understand where you and the other posters are coming from (I couldn’t even afford an 8k bathroom reno), THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Everywhere, print and online content is being cheapened and dumbed-down…initially, in the 90’s, this was a great thing…making design attainable to the masses. Now it has gone so far as to almost have nothing aspirational left. The options are disappearing. To those complaining about some posts being not shoppable for them–REALLY? EHD gives us loads of Target posts, and loads of other big box item suggestions. No thanks to making every single post like that.
      EHD—thank you so much for not being like the majority of blogs out there! Please don’t cave!
      Everyone else, join oldhousebeautiful #therevolution on the gram and let’s appreciate good design and keep it alive.

      1. I agree! I’m bummed out by all the negative Nancy’s complaining about Portland or the Mountain Fixer being too expensive. I love seeing the higher end stuff! No one else is giving us the deets on high end design! Amber Interiors doesn’t even share the source for a friggin lamp. EHD is going above and beyond to help us learn how to design more expensive spaces so that if you ever can afford to renovate, you have some actual legit guidance. Go cheaper with your materials if you must, but the lessons are solid.

        Now, I will say I’m completely on board with the comments saying the reveals are stretched WAY too far out. I don’t even click on the posts anymore. It’s over and done, I can’t believe posts are still coming out about that house.

        1. I also love the gorgeous and inspirational high-end content, personally! But it does feel lately like most of your sources are either 1) extremely high-end or 2) extremely cheap (target). Maybe some more mid-range sources would help the balance?

        2. I agree! I love that Emily shares the details on the high-end design! I would just like more of a mix on budget-friendly posts with the high-end posts.
          And I really could care less that the Portland house is over and done–it’s still great content. I just didn’t like the reveals being stretched out so far. It was too hard to keep it all straight and stay interested.
          Thank you, Emily, for a truly great blog. I love your original voice!

        3. I don’t mind the cost either. If the posts are well-written and well-photographed, and the full narrative is well-structured over time, I don’t care if I can’t buy most of the stuff. BTW, I bought an Interior Define chaise because of you guys:).

      2. I agree! Sometimes you need to shoot for the moon and land among the stars! I doubt I will EVER be able to afford even one piece used in the Portland house, but I am definitely inspired by it. In response to commenters asking for content that shows how to find diamonds in the rough I say: you need to know what a diamond looks like to be able to find one. How can you recognize art in a thrift shop if you never look at art any other time because it’s too unattainable? I love DIY and furniture flips, but there are plenty of sources for that, and sometimes DIY’ers loose sight of what makes something good and look high end.

      3. I agree!!! I love the beautiful high end design content and find it inspiring. I do not have a big budget but you can get DIY inspiration from the Portland project. Shop thrift stores and get creative to replicate a room you love. I think inspiration is so much more valuable than a roundup of affordable things.

    10. I am on this boat for this comment.

  7. Hi Emily,

    I LOVE the Portland and Mountain House renovation projects and all posts on these topics! I usually skip anything lifestyle related. I come here for interior design stuff.

    Perhaps, the posts about the renovations are too detailed and long? People have a short attention span and prefer looking at pretty pictures with brief captions rather than a long in-depth analysis about which window frame is best? I love that kind of stuff but I can understand it’s not everyone’s cuppa tea.

    Perhaps also, one of the issues is that there tends to be long gaps between renovation posts followed by a sudden flurry. Maybe a steady drip-drip would be better? For example, it was great to see your decision making about the fireplace and wood ceiling but then there’s nothing for ages. Suddenly there’s a post about bathrooms and kitchens …

    Also – maybe – a roundup post of “where we are now” on everything with photos rather than some grand massive reveal at the end would help? When there’s radio silence I wonder if the project has been abandoned or on hold for some reason.

    So in summary – more frequent and shorter posts on the renovations may well engage more people.

    Anyways… just a couple of thoughts. Hope it helps – but obviously – feel free to completely ignore too!

    1. I agree with ALL of this.

      1. YES YES YES…I really think Bea was reading my mind when she submitted her post!!! I love the idea of more pics with short captions. I really think the previous post sums up what most of us are thinking.

    2. I agree with this. The Portland and Mountain house are reasons I keep coming back. The posts are a little long winded which I don’t mind but the average person might. Also you kind of explain everything in those posts as to why you did things the way you did so there isn’t a lot of reader engagement to be had. You explore all of the options most people would have thought of in the post itself. So I think even if people read it all there isn’t a lot of comments because of how detailed the posts are. In other words I’m not sure engagement is an accurate reflection of how much people like the post every single time.
      People tend to engage when there is an open ended question and or a strong opinion.

    3. I also felt a bit of these frustrations with the posts about the Mountain house as well- It almost felt like I had missed a post (even though I’m a daily reader) because all of a sudden there would be a new post that picks up where we left off.. which was months ago, even though the post gave me the impression you had talked about this just yesterday. It was hard to keep up with what I had read, hadn’t read, and where you were in the design process of each room.

      1. Same. My favorite content is the design and loved both house projects. But sometimes it felt like too much to keep track of. I only have so much time to look at social media and I don’t want to have to think during my quick breaks. Maybe that’s why it’s easy and interesting to skim about a haircut even though I’m more interested in room reveals. I would lose track of the renovations and have to think too much about changes etc. in the process. Thus I found myself skimming more and clicking through pictures. Especially after the pics are available to sale the house.

    4. I agree with this too! More frequent smaller updates with photos and “where you are now” would be great. Maybe with a section on -major decisions you’re making – minor decisions – design convepts you’re thinking of already. Also please do the full financial breakdown for the Portland house! Maybe in a series of days in a row as it seems like it could be a ginormous post.

      I must be an EHD nerd bc I love all of your content — lifestyle, reveals, mothering, travel, finance, staff.

      But both houses felt like overloaded pre-programming meaning you talked so much about them for “content” that it made me think that’s the *only* reason you did those projects (obvi I know it’s not, but just a reflection of how much you talked about them as content creation as part of your *actual* content). Though just to be clear: I LOVE the process posts and even want more of them. Ie what working with a contractor on each piece is like, how you coordinate everything, what percentage of the projects is design oriented, Contractor controlled, and finally the fun decorating part.

      For the mountain house I’d love to see little pieces first: like how you styled the shelves next to the fire place, how you’ve dressed the play room for now. I think there might be a gap between what you’re willing to show and when and what we want to see. I don’t need every room to be magazine ready before I see it. I’d rather them not be actually! I would LOVE to see a mountain house phase 1 decor post — you could do it room based or section of the home based. Ie all bathrooms or all living zones all bedrooms. Then when you have a more complete version a round 2 post etc. Even your process posts would be gorgeous even if you wouldn’t consider them magazine worthy.

      I wonder if people were drawn to the haircut post bc it had been awhile since we’d seen the EHD staff. It also speaks to the power of a Before/After post. Seems like they always kill!

      I’d love to hear more about what it’s like to outfit a second home with kids. How you managed Christmas up there. What kind of staff help that takes. Also, more lifestyle posts about work/life from any staff member would be interesting but Em the most. For example: I can’t wait to see what you’re wearing this new year em. Just leads me to things I’d never notice and keeps my inspiration flowing.

      Also, anytime I’m in target now I pay such close attention to their decor department. They have a killer Windsor bench right now that I couldn’t believe was there. It was stunning. The thought that runs through my head each time I see something cool there is when you said how the target designers you met were so crazy creative and cool you couldn’t believe it. It’s nice to remember that there are real live people designing the things that end up in big box stores too. That’s the insight that I love you most for — and is what OG em feels like — you noticing and sharing and culling treasures from your unique perspective.

      Thanks for asking us to weigh in. You truly over deliver. I can’t wait to see what you share with us this year! Happy new year em and team!

      1. These are really excellent ideas IMO.

      2. I really like this post. Especially the suggestion of breaking up the reveals into smaller posts. I think my problem, for lack of a better word, with the Portland and Mountain House reveals was how random it felt. I felt like I lost the continuity of the project.

        And I read your site for the decorating and design. If there is a post about Hair, I am sure that I would skim thru it. But I like seeing people’s spaces and how they live in them. So a post about how you decorate for Christmas is awesome. I like the entertaining posts because it shows how you are using your house. Same with the personal/parenting posts. And I really like the Flea Market Finds posts. And I cheered your Obama posts

        Things that I tend to skip seem to be the more popular posts. I will skim a Roundup post because a group of objects with no context doesn’t appeal to me.

        As I am typing this, I have realized that my preference really boils down to: Design with a Story, or a Good Story with Design.

        I have added way more than I expected. Let me add just one more thing. Nothing is intended as a criticism. I love your blog and read it daily!

  8. Hey Emily! We don’t have access to the survey.

    But what I can say is I LOVE the blog. My favorite things are obv the big reveals – duh. Design type posts are always the best because those are what will inspire me to bring new ideas to my home.

    My home though – is a rental. Owning a house isn’t in the cards for me right now, renovating a house is also just not on the table. These types of posts I really just glance over or don’t bother reading. I also feel that they can be so high end that I’m just like “lol nope”. Love everything else so much though!

    1. Really enjoy your blog for the most part. I’m also a renter, and found myself glossing over the major reno posts. Especially the multiple bathrooms. How many bathrooms can 2 houses possibly have?

  9. survey isn’t allowing access. Would love to take it.

    1. try now!

  10. Hey! The survey link doesn’t allow us access. I’ll check back later today and try again. I love and appreciate all the work I know you guys are putting into content so in case, I can’t access the survey later, here are my quick thoughts: I prefer the design posts over fashion/hair etc (although I read them all) but that is just personal preference. I struggle with the round-ups a little because it’s less your thoughts/design process and more links to shopping but I know other people love them so I just skip over those days. I love all the mountain house stuff and am so excited for reveals and so so grateful you are not going to make us wait! I have to admit to skimming the Portland house reveals, I think because I love seeing your process/planning/idea phase – floorplans and installs and all that. I understand that the Portland project had to happen on a timeline with a larger group of people making decisions but it felt a lot less personal for me, I guess. The house was gorgeous, I just wasn’t invested the way I was with all your previous house renos. Not so quick after all – sorry!

  11. While I loved the Portland house as, ahem “design porn”, there wasn’t much there that I could directly apply to my own home beyond the general inspiration that comes from admiring beautiful spaces. I really liked the quick makeover you did for that single mother and also some of the roundups because those posts seemed more directly applicable to my home and much more modest budget. Not to say you shouldn’t show the big, splashy projects – they are wonderful eye candy – but I can understand why folks may not be as engaged with them as they would be more modest projects. I mean, most people can afford a haircut.

    One idea for a post – show how you would renovate a space at several different budget points. Example – if your budget is $1,000 you would do XYZ to a kitchen and if your budget is $50,000 you would splurge on these items, etc. Just a thought.

    And I also can’t access the survey 🙂

    1. +1 on the redesigns with budget alternatives. Like when you pick the most beautiful subway tile, could you use regular subway tile and get close?

      1. Yes! Going with the subway tile example – Sometimes when I read an entire post about how you picked the perfect tile and then find out its way out of my price range it makes me feel like any other tile is inadequate. I would love it if you could post about alternatives that look similar, give the same vibe, but are adaptable to other budgets, even if you end up using the most expensive one for your project.

        1. YES! THIS! More budget-friendly alternatives to the high-end choices would be great.

          1. YES, Please.

    2. Agree! His is how I would renovate with $500, $2k, $10k, $20k, etc.

    3. +1 to this! I know you’ve done this option in the past of something along the lines of “living room 4 ways depending on your budget” which I think really resonated with readers because you can get a similar design even if you don’t have a huge budget. I would love to see cheaper options that would be similar to the super expensive options.

    4. YES! I really miss “The Look for Less”!

  12. I love renovation posts but imho you had too much going at the same time. For most impact it would have been better to first finish one house and then the other. I also think that between single reveal posts was too much time so the whole thing lost momentum. Anyway, I still visit the EHD site daily, even when hairstyle posts are not that interesting to me.

    Happy new year.

    1. Second

    2. Agree!

    3. I might be in the minority with the Craigslist posts but maybe if you showed how you end up using the Craigslist finds, it would be more interesting. This was additional feedback as I already posted a longer set 🙂

    4. I agree. It was a bit hard to remember which part of each project was from which house. I would stick to one major project at a time, with some lighter posts mixed in between.

      1. ha. Brittany I will DEFINITELY be sticking to one major project at a time 🙂 And i can’t tell you how confusing it was designing 9 bathrooms at the same house and trying to keep them all straight. SO MANY LESSONS 🙂

        1. 9 bathrooms?? 9? That is why this content didn’t resonate. NINE! That is excess in the excess. It makes me feel a little queasy thinking how much those 9 bathrooms cost for one person’s house.

  13. Like others have said, the survey isn’t working.

    I for one love the process posts. They’re my favourite in fact! I’d be disappointed to see them disappear. I have learnt so much from you by the way you break everything down into small details. Maybe this is because I’m in the process of doing up my house, or maybe it’s because I’m just naturally interested in design, but I find them fascinating. The more detail the better. What I like is that you have a real ability to articulate things that I kind of unconsciously ‘know’ but have been unable to pinpoint – case in point: I’m installing a bathroom at the moment and was going back and forth on the shower niche. Such a small/irrelevant thing to most people, but I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like what I was doing. Your article really helped give me clarity and confidence.

    I come here for interior design, so skip past all the lifestyle/fashion/parenting posts. I’d love to see more quick turnaround room makeovers in varying styles – with a breakdown of your choices and why they work – but understand you may have moved on from that. However, I do feel like the two big projects you’ve been working on have been a bit all-encompassing, and it would be lovely to see more achievable, colourful, whimsical designs take precedence again for a while. And there are some posts I return to over and over, like the one on pastel paint shades. You’re so good with colour, so I’d love to see more posts that showcase unexpected combinations.

    I’m in the UK, so the round-up posts are often frustrating for me because I can rarely get hold of any of the products! They’re nice to look at though.

    1. Design only. Skip parenting, lifestyle posts.

      1. Agree👍

    2. I completely agree with what you said about Emily articulating things I can’t! It’s super helpful to know details when you’re actually in that process and trying to figure out what’s missing, or why something looks “off.” But I think it’s possibly too niche, and therefore uninteresting if you don’t happen to be choosing a mirror for above your wall mount faucet at that very moment. I confess I didn’t spend as much time on the lengthy process posts throughout the last year because they weren’t relevant to me.

      I second that I would love more quick turnaround makeover posts. In addition to pieces feeling unattainable, it also feels unattainable to spend hours, days, weeks agonizing over the perfect rug. I loved the giveaway makeover because the finished product wasn’t perfect— you used what you had just like many of us— but it was still pretty fantastic.

      I adore the Roundups and Rules posts and I reference them constantly! I also love your family/parenting posts (and I’m not a parent!). I pretty much always read the lifestyle posts too. I can’t wait for more styling, more thrifting, and most of all for Trolling Craigslist to return! Thank you for working so hard to bring us valuable content every day. So so so many people can create beautiful rooms these days, but you bring a level of intention, personality, and education that is incredibly rare.

      1. Ah, thanks guys. I think with two less HUGE projects we’ll be able to do more achievable fun styling posts. Lord knows I’d MUCH rather do that 🙂 THANK YOU

  14. Styling is where you stand out and more varied, decorative projects are the most fun. I love that you have been looking to your past for hints of the future. Imagine breaking up Secrets From A Stylist into different content areas. I think your style quizzes are so much fun and I love how you can define a style, no matter how nuanced and niche. I love seeing spaces transformed into those very specific styles without a ton of construction. Your shopping posts and roundups support this theme, and I am SO happy to see you playing and restyling in your own house.

    Also, real talk: I love your voice and the voice of several of the people on you team. Others annoy me. Maybe look at the metrics and see if anyone else feels the same way?

  15. Loved all the process, but maybe two BIG projects was too much at the same time? I know circumstances dictated the Portland house and the Mountain house at the same time, but it was a lot to cover and things may have bled together a bit. I loved the Portland house, but sneak peeking it with the RE listing and otherwise probably took some oomph out of the actual reveals. That’s a situational hazard though — not sure how you could have done otherwise unless you went full-on reveal for a week right after the listing went live…

    Love flea market posts and would definitely love to see the blog get back to some Craigslist posts from cities around the country — very fun and relatable for almost everyone.

  16. I love the process, design, styling posts. Cost makes no difference, it is the imagination and innovation that we can learn from. They can be used at any level. A close friend recently redid her condo with thrift shop and Craig’s list and you would love it! The folks that whine about costs are the same ones who want to know what is on the test!

  17. No access to the survey even though I’d love to take it. 🙁

    I love the design posts and don’t really care for the lifestyle posts. An occasional party post is fun if you are throwing out some new ideas for decor or food for parties, but there seemed to be a lot of those this year. (I love the party posts about the kids’ birthdays or holidays that most folks would consider having a party for. I’m not so into the random-party-without-a-purpose posts.) I’m not a fan of the clothing/beauty posts personally. I’m here for decor content.

    Regarding Portland: I think the downside of the Portland posts is how spread apart they were. They lost their “new”ness. Maybe if all the reveals were released over a week or two that would have been better?

    I love that you are going to develop more content in line with quirky Emily vs polished “corporate” Emily. I’ve felt many of your posts were so sponsored that we had lost your original quirk that brought me here. (I do totally understand the need for some sponsored posts, however. The blog is a business after all.)

    Something I’d love to see more of is incorporating art into the home, but using actual original art (or prints purchased direct from the artist). Art from Etsy, or Fine Art America, etc. As an artist myself, I wish more people understood that there are many artists out there who want to sell to normal people (not just fancy art collector types). Then again, there’s also the fine line of affordability that can be tough to navigate since artists have to sell their art at a livable wage that compensates for their work and knowledge but that normal people can afford. I think that someone with your viewership can help to educate the masses about the value in buying from the artist instead of a big brand box store, especially since there are so many artists from whom purchases can be made at or less than the price at the big box stores. You’ve done posts about this in the past, which I have loved, and I absolutely adored your Portland posts for the inclusion of local artists. I’d be elated to see you continue using original art and pointing your readers to places to find great original art at reasonable prices.

    Also: I’d love to see more design reveals consisting of styling without a major room overhaul. I’m betting room re-styles are more relatable to most readers since the average person can’t really go out and totally replace an entire room on a frequent basis. Seeing the same base (i.e. sofa and tables) updated in a room as trends change can be very helpful to folks who may not be totally comfortable designing for themselves.

    Those are my thoughts off the cuff. I’ll come leave additional comments if I have any more pop into mind. Thanks for all the work you put into this blog. I’ve edited my blog feed down quite a bit, but you are still on it, so you must be doing something right! 🙂

    1. Plus one to more art! I looked into buying something from a Portland house artist but didn’t have any idea how much it might cost and wasn’t sure what the process was.

    2. Adding another vote for more affordable original art and/or prints direct from artists or a direct online source like Minted or Etsy. Better yet, LA/SoCal is full of fantastic galleries but I don’t think you’ve ever featured a gallery in any way (I could be wrong, though!). They are still very important avenues for seeing and purchasing work and I’m sure a few would be thrilled to partner with you in some way. Speaking as an artist, it can be disheartening to see bloggers and designers featuring the same big box prints over and over again or even paying the same amount of money for a flea market vintage painting that could be used to purchase from and promote the work of a living artist. You have fabulous taste in art and artists and I see a passion for art in your designs– would love to see that channeled in a way that really promotes artists. The use of local artists for the Portland house and the Jane Denton print giveaway is a lovely start! You’re already on that right track!

    3. +3 For more art posts. I just purchased my first home a few months ago and have gotten it to a place furniture-wise where I feel like all the major pieces are in but the thing missing is art. And I’m having the biggest struggle wanting to pay my dues to hardworking artists but also finding GOOD art that I can afford.

    4. Plus one to this! I’m always referencing the “affordable large scale art” post, but I would love an update with more varied options! I love Brady’s taste in art and I’m sure each person has different taste. Maybe a flea market post where you each pick up a few art pieces, explain why, and then style them??
      Also I love the room restyling idea above. One of those “a few quick changes can make a big difference” things. I know you do these in your house quite often, but I think I’d like to see different homes and settings.

  18. While your style isn’t always in line with mine, your blog is the one I always come back to – I think it’s the best out there. The posts are long (and sometimes a little TOO detailed), so i do need to have a good chunk of time which means not reading every day and hoarding posts for the weekend.
    I absolutely LOVED the “I design, You decide” – so fun and unique to see multiple designs and follow along with the process. I found myself reading a lot of those comments because everyone was engaged/invested and influencing your choices. More of those, even on a smaller scale, would be great. And speaking to affordability – “get the looks” of some of those rooms would also be helpful.
    My one complaint is I feel like there can be duplication in content (specifically remembering your kitchen reno) where it feels like something is revealed 2-3 times, so it feels like a re-hashing of the same thing in a short timeframe.

  19. Emily,

    First, I LOVE your blog and check in everyday to see what you’ve posted while I get my tea and settle in at my desk.

    I have to admit, I don’t think I looked at a single post on the Portland house except for one of the bathrooms and the post about Christmas decor with Target. I think I felt like everything about the Portland house was out of budget and unattainable. I found myself thinking while looking at the bathroom post “Yeah, I would have a bathroom that pretty, too, if I had a million dollars and could afford a $325 toilet paper holder.” The posts weren’t interesting to me because there wasn’t anything I felt I could use/ borrow for MY life. It’s nice to see the aspirational reveals, but discouraging to think you could never be able to afford or replicate anything in the space. I loved the Target holiday decor post and went out and bought that pretty wreath the same day and hung it in the window in my living room. I love your posts because there is usually something I can use in my own life or at least replicate. The Portland house felt beautiful, but out of reach and therefore irrelevant to me. Still love the blog and check in every day! 😉

    1. Your comment echos everything I feel about the Portland house – Right down to going out and buying that beautiful wreath from the Christmas reveal!

      I love the fixtures that Emily used in the project, but now I’m left wanting doors, windows, faucets, knobs, lighting, etc. that are WAY out of my price range!

      1. Same. I keep trying to figure out how to achieve an Emily bathroom with <<<$

  20. I love and read every post!

    The fashion posts are always a call to action, because 100% of the time I buy things from the links.

    I also return to the hosting posts (4th of July for example) fro reference for my own events.

    Thank you.

  21. The Portland house remodel went on for so long that I had mostly lost interest by the time the reveals came out. I get that renovations like that actually take forever, but maybe we readers should have been left in the dark about it until you were closer to the final reveal. I also agree with other readers who say there were too many sneak peeks. I also miss when you did client work because you showed a greater variety in style and budget. The Portland house looks like a bigger, fancier version of your house.

    I honestly feel used when it comes to the mountain house. I feel like you pulled us all in with “I design you decide”, got us to engage and increase traffic, and then 1) didn’t listen to what we voted for, or 2) went so high end and design crazy that you have to put off some renovations til later. It’s hard to get excited for that reveal when I’m so frustrated with the experience.

    I am super NOT into wardrobe and beauty updates. I follow other blogs for that, but I seem to be in the minority on this topic, so you should probably just keep doing what works.

    1. I agree with this comment. Emily, the Portland house is lovely but I wasn’t super engaged with it at first because of the price. Then you had long delays between design decisions and reveals. I get that the process takes a while but that’s why you should have held back content until you could launch it all. Having a Monday “here’s the design plan”, a Tuesday “what worked, what didn’t”, a Wednesday reveal, a Thursday “this look at your price point” and a Friday non-design content or whatever would have really engaged me more. On top of the delay, every room looked so similar (which I get is part of a cohesive design) that 3 months later I didn’t remember one bedroom from another.

      For the mountain house, I second everything here. If you just want the engagement and interaction without the actual follow-through, it’s insulting. You could have involved readers in more decorating decisions instead of design decisions that had big implications for your family.

  22. Good morning! I would have completed the survey however I don’t have a google account and don’t plan on starting one for a survey. Here are a few overall comments from an everyday reader:

    1. I was beyond impressed with the amount of content you and your team put out for 2018. I’m especially excited for OG Emily and loved the flea market posts. So excited for you to bring by the craigslist posts!

    2. Personally, the Portland house was very anticlimactic. Everything about it was beautiful, but by the time the listing was shared I had seen everything. It was also very unrelatable. I became completely uninterested when I read approximately $250k was spent on staging. I understand this is a business and the clientele you’re marketing too in Portland is high end. It simply felt wasteful and unrelatable.

    3. I loved the posts on your teams homes/rentals. Please keep the reveals and processes in the mix for 2019!

    4. I miss the personal posts on motherhood. I love the style and even sponsored travel posts!

    So excited to see what 2019 brings your team! Thank you for all of the wonderful content!

    1. Just popping in to say that I agree with a lot of the above but do not agree with saying the Portland house was “wasteful” – to say you couldn’t relate is fine, but to judge how someone else spends their money or decorates their house is not really appropriate. It’s all relative and I think we could do better to be less judgmental and more accepting. When people want to spend their money on quality handmade household goods and furniture, more power to them. It is something I cannot currently afford but definitely aspire to.

      1. KP, I totally agree with your sentiment that we should be less judgmental of others’ decisions when it comes to our homes, and I personally prefer fewer, quality items. But I can see where Heather’s original comment was coming from — staging. Staging a house for $250k does seem excessive and wasteful, and it’s interesting to consider where those goods will end up after the home is sold. Maybe that’s something we need a post from Emily on! I know a lot of companies stage homes professionally (renting goods) but it doesn’t seem like that is what EHD did here. Maybe she will use some of those items in future giveaway room makeovers.

  23. I love this blog. Im a loyal, easy going l reader, with no complaints, just thankful to have pretty things to look at daily.

    Ill take the survey too, but in one word, I think follow-up is a good keyword for 2019. Chronology and quick follow-up drive more interest I think. The turn around time between the hair cut intro and hair cut reveal was short! Possibly the Portland engagement was less bc there was a lot of time (so it seemed to me anyway) between intro and reveals. I think smaller projects done more quickly will serve you well this year. Which should be pretty natural since it’s close to time to style the mountain house!

    Now I will say I only engage here, not on Instagram (I’m not on IG) so maybe I don’t have a good view since I don’t also have the ig angle.

    Your Interactions in comments also builds momentum I think….for me anyway. I like to see your responses to the crowd.

    Finally, maybe you could start a series on tying up loose ends. Like, did the ship mural make it into the playroom, or should I not bring that up again 😉😁? And who won the new girl clock? And I’m sure there are other questions people might have. They don’t keep me awake at night but I am curious.

    I hope those are some beneficial thoughts. I’m excited to see what you all do in 2019! This is one of only 2 blogs that I read daily!

    1. JB, love this point. Follow up on some of these things would be awesome. It feels like real life and that the story doesn’t just drop out of existence. As a thorough reader (and Virgo!), I love when loose ends are tied up and when we can click back to a post and see how things were resolved or changed.

  24. I ADORED the Portland project, and LOOOOOVED watching the process, but by the end of it I was tired of it. Between sneak peeks, IG walk-throughs, IG posts, and individual room reveals, my brain got too saturated. You did an amazing job of sharing the process, but it left too little to the imagination, so by the time you shared the room reveals, they weren’t exciting anymore. I’d already basically seen them.

    Also, did you ever sell it??? Or is it still just sitting there with you going up every month or two doing more shoots there? I’m very confused about it. It’s beautiful, but it almost feels like pointless beauty if no one gets to enjoy it. Is that weird to say?

  25. You lost me as a regular reader a while back when the word “content” became so prevalent. Your blog comes across as manufactured “content” compared to the old days. I would think as a design business, you would have enough to share organically, without having to manufacture content. I also cringed at the “I design, you decide.” This is YOUR home, and you and Brian should love every bit of it, rather than compromising for the sake of “content.” I do love to read about why various design decisions were made, down to what finishes and styles were chosen for cabinet hardware, but your posts are so word-heavy that I get bored. I think one of the reasons roundup posts work is that they’re easier to digest. I also had high hopes for the series about the various design styles, but felt that many were completely left off, and the others did not show the true style, but Emily’s version of the style. I get that this is Emily’s blog, but if your readers think “traditional” is what you showed, they’re being misinformed by more Cali/boho/eclectic with a slight traditional influence. Along that line, I know that niching is generally good for a business, but as I’ve aged, my style has moved away from your style, and what you do share just doesn’t resonate with me. I’m not looking for budget/Cali/boho. I was thrilled when you moved into your current home and said you were going to decorate differently. I thought maybe the whole blog would shift, but it really did not. Please take all these thoughts as constructive. I hate being critical, so if posts don’t resonate with me, I just don’t read them. But since you asked, ….

    1. I have the same reaction to any mention of “content.” Maybe it’s hypocritical of me… I know it’s a business and that you have to go in this direction to keep doing what you’re doing, but I guess I don’t want to see how the sausage is made. It started for me with the first post a couple of years ago about how your team creates content every day (which is itself admirable). I miss the days of you being a designer who showcases her work, provides resources, etc. — now you’re just a “content creator” and “style maker,” and that is a turnoff for me.

      It’s possible that my expectations are unrealistic. I have some of the same problems with the Elements of Style blog, which I have also followed since the early days and still do. I kind of miss the days when you (and Erin Gates) were also decorating your homes on a budget. We’re all older now, but you both now have huge decorating budgets — and I’m still buying too much stuff at Target and Home Goods. I’m more settled than I was 10 years ago, but I’m still not buying $1500 light fixtures. I guess I feel a bit left behind, and both of your blogs have lost some of the magic in favor of becoming more corporate/sponsored. I get that those are the realities of blog economics, and of your careers becoming bigger and more successful – but I don’t enjoy your “content” as much as I used to. I can tell the difference between manufactured content and original material.

    2. I agree with everything that H just wrote – well written. Tired of seeing lots of discussion about the content. As they tell writers, show, don’t tell. I also would like to see less of the white with blue and brass accents. I’d hoped to see a lot more of other types of styles (regular victorian, old houses from 1900s, full-on modern, full-on midcentury modern, cape cod style, etc.).

    3. I definitely have to agree regarding style! My style generally does not match yours but I often turned to you because you did the best job of explaining the “why” when it came to design decisions, and I could simply take your “why” and apply it to my own style. I was SO excited when you announced you bought the English Tudor and were going to be a bit more traditional with your design, but for the most part I was pretty disappointed because I don’t get the vibe that the home has a traditional vibe at all (other than the construction of the home itself). I get that you have your own style and I will totally still be a reader if that is the style that you continue to showcase – I just wish I didn’t keep having my hopes up for something different (ie., more traditional) only to find the same Emily style once the reveal is posted.

      P.S. – The Portland Project was more up my alley in terms of style but it seemed so unattainable because of the ridiculous cost. I would love to be able to afford so many of the fixtures, materials, furniture, etc. from that house but it’s just not possible. Perhaps doing a “Get the Look” type post for a budget friendly version would help readers bridge the gap?

      1. Yes, to the “get the look” cost. Though beautiful, the Portland house was so out of my budget I didn’t even want to read about it. That being said, the Christmas with Target post was one of my favorites because I could actually go out and buy it.

    4. Amen. I’m so tired of hearing about ‘content’ that it turns me off of your brand. I do read daily and just skip roundups and haircut posts. Love the design content including your home renovation and the Portland house and the looks into other’s spaces. The mountain house is a turnoff honestly. I think because of the way you are alway tring to explain away the deviation from the original concept. I don’t want to weigh-in on your space. I want to see what a professional designer does in situation X. Long detailed posts are great. Just keep some of the ‘magic’ and be a little less transparent about the behind-the-scenes machinations of a contemporary blog/IG brand.

  26. The entire Portland house things was just too much. Honestly I had to keep trying to remember – was this also the mountain house? Or something completely different? I lost interest in following along – the posts were so. darn. long. I want before and afters not every last detail as to why you spent a crazy amount of money over why you spent a different crazy amount of money. Same with your mountain house – I dont even know where that is now. The house is so big and the posts are so long that I cant keep up. Also, there tends to be a trend with this blog that you write a massive post about something new, something you changed and why you did it, then you just change it completely a couple months after,.
    My wish – is less paragraphs. There is just something about the small font, large paragraphs that loses me,
    I absolutely love your style and also am excited for the changes you have mentioned. It should result in a nice balance.

    1. I agree with all of this. I got confused between the Portland house and the mountain house and eventually just stopped caring and never read those posts. I know they are beautiful and I liked the way you originally gave two different options for the mountain house design, but it seems like you moved away from that? Then I got very confused.

      My mind also doesn’t understand all the blueprint/layout stuff. I know it’s great and takes a ton of work and skill, so not knocking it — but I just can’t connect so typically skip those posts.

  27. First, I’d like to say that I love all of your content, and it really shows how much time and work go behind each detailed post. I enjoy learning your thought process on a lot of the projects, but sometimes things like the Portland house aren’t that interesting because it just isn’t applicable to me right now.

    I live in an older, smaller New England home, and the challenges I face rarely come up in the styles you execute. How do I design around these older radiators, how do I deal with these slanted ceilings in some bedrooms, a small master bathroom, etc. I also would love to see more nurseries and kid content (since I just became a mom). So it’s not that I don’t love everything you post, because I do! – I just love seeing more things that are relate-able and executable. I love your round ups and love the surprise makeover you did! So nice to see an everyday house getting a one day refresh, and how big of an impact it is.

    1. Hi Rose! I just have to put in my 2 cents, as another West Coaster, that we simply don’t HAVE east coast architecture and design out here to work with. What Emily shows is the reality of most California homes in my experience. Tons of one story rectangles with minimal architectural interest and hardly anything older than 80 years, in fact most people I know personally have homes no older than the 1970’s. It’s hard to find radiators or slanted ceilings anywhere! Tiny 1000sq ft Craftsman homes in hipster neighborhoods is the best we can do ;-P What we do have is good light. So yeah 🙂 I would suggest finding a New England based designer or two to follow, though I don’t know of any as quirky boho and fun as Emily, I do like Shine Your Light and Laurel Bern.

      1. Perhaps this is the case if you live in a tract or subdivision, but there are TONS of 100+ year old homes in California and along the west coast.

      2. Emily’s house is over 100 years old…..

  28. I’m also on the love the process posts train. I definitely spent a lot more time reading the process posts than the haircut ones. I agree with many commentators that the Portland house started feeling too similar, in general it felt too drawn out – I didn’t think each bathroom needed its own post. However, I completely appreciate that I get a brand new post every single day I visit this site – so if that means multiple bathroom posts, I’m here for that. The round-ups are my least favorite, I skip over them all the time.

  29. I’d love to take the survey, so I’ll come back when it’s working. Here are my thoughts for now:

    Both the Mountain House and the Portland house are much more high-end than my home could ever be. I enjoyed looking at them, but there was rarely anything in either that I could relate to. Not because they weren’t beautiful, but because my middle class mid-century ranch just isn’t ever going to be the place to implement much of anything from either of those projects.

    I looked back at an old post where you redid a friend’s living room and dining room and remembered how much I loved posts like that. So maybe do one huge expensive renovation project at a time mixed in with some smaller, quicker makeovers more of us could relate and aspire to. I like the roundups but the old makeovers are my favorites. I hope for some of those this year! Thank you for all you do!

  30. I’ve already shared a whole diatribe, but wanted to chime in about my thoughts why the Portland house reveals didn’t snag as high of numbers. I feel like you have pulled your readers in to your mountain house, but you the Portland reno was kept so secret. You talked about hiring someone in Portland to help you, and we knew a reno was going on, but you never shared anything about it along the way. You announced it was happening, then you announced it was done. Or at least that’s how it came across to me as a reader. I think your work there is beautiful and I wish you would have brought us along the whole way. I also think it was a weird time of year for the reveals, when many of us were focused on other things. Maybe you can go back and pick apart some additional things to share.

    1. Yes! This is how I felt about the Portland house too. I mostly read the blog, not IG, so I didn’t see any sneak peeks. Just radio silence and then bam, it’s done. It would have been nice to be involved in more of the process.

  31. i come here every morning for the interior design/styling/renovations and skip the lifestyle stuff as well. I really enjoyed all the renovation posts for Portland and Mountain House because although on a huge/costly scale that I could never do, I DO like learning the process behind it so i can be more informed when doing my own (smaller-scaled) renovation. I do agree w/ others that the posts were really far out and lengthy so maybe that’s why the engagement wasn’t as high?

    I read through ALL your bathroom posts when re-doing my bathrooms last year and i am SO thankful I did so I didn’t sound like a dud when talking to my contractor…Gave me lots of inspo as well!

    i also REALLY enjoy when you do the Budget Room styling posts. It’s so helpful to see rooms pulled together cohesively when thinking about how I can do it in my own home.

    I love starting my day with your blog posts. You are such an inspiration and your voice really comes through in your writing. Makes me feel like were friends in real life! 🙂 Thank you for working so hard to put out such great content for your readers! Will do your survey later tonight – it’s blocked here at work haha

  32. I read for the interior design – haircuts are just fun because they are easy to consume and shed light on your team. An amouse-bouche, not a main course;).

    I enjoy the process posts but I didn’t care for the Portland house itself, it felt cold and uninspired to me. I do think the big renos probably can’t generate as much content as you put out – sneak peaks and full posts and process etc, probably too much of one design project for the layperson.

    I suppose I don’t think you’re going to be able to find any perfect answer. You can’t ever know what else is out there in the blogosphere on any given day, traffic will never be fully predictable. You do you. Me, personally, I don’t care for the shopping roundups, unless they are set in imagery of actual rooms/how-tos etc. See what I mean?

    My favorite series this year were the Mountain House and the Styles posts. There you have it. Love this blog.

  33. I would like to see renovations that are a little more approachable so I can get ideas for my own home. I am renovating my house now but my budget for tile is more like $10 psf for showers and most floors. I could splurge on pricey tile in one or two areas but not all over. I would like to see more of a high low mix. I like the process posts and don’t care for the beauty posts as much. The fashion posts are ok but I mostly like anything interior design related the most. I would love to see more decorating posts next year.

  34. To answer some but not all of the questions posed…

    1. I personally wasn’t as into the Portland House as I could’ve been for many reasons such as: a) it didn’t feel very “Emily” to me, b) I’m a renter, so I can’t go from spectator to participant as I’m not in the position to renovate anything (unlike, say, an Etsy or Budget Room post where I can buy the stuff or similar), c) because no one real had lived there yet, it seemed a bit cold to me, and d) I honestly still miss the old mid-century modern CA house, and that sort of a feel (light, airy, bright, cheerful).

    2. I’d prefer huge reveals of the Mountain House, rather than process posts, unless the process posts have some sort of voting element, because I do quite enjoy voting. I guess you could say that I prefer a good, meaty post, and the process posts aren’t as satiating.

    3. A new build… well, sure! (if you want to) I’m actually curious about how that would go since I only know two people who have actually done it, and both either made choices that they later regretted, or had a lot of difficulty finding something that both spouses liked.

    About the hair post, I found that one inspiring because it reminded me that it’s just hair, and why not go for something extraordinary rather than safe.

  35. I have lost interest in the Portland reveal because it feels like it was years ago, and it seems like all I read is “full reveal coming soon guys!!!”. It’s also honestly hard to get excited about these huge whole house renos. It’s a little out of touch with how most people probably live. More little projects that are relatable.

  36. I’m a long-time reader but won’t be filling out your survey because you have to sign into google to do it.

    1. Hi KD. Thank you for being a long-time reader. You should be able to take it now without logging in. Please let us know if you continue to have issues!

  37. Enjoyed the Portland house reveal but there wasn’t enough before/during pictures , info, story to be invested in the house. The journey /process is the exciting part that inspires.

    Only because you asked……the number one thing I hope you will change this year, “content”.
    Let your last post be last time you use the word content in a post.
    When watching a TV show the actors don’t talk about providing dialog. They just perform.
    At a play….the set enhances the scene. No one stops mid-play to point out a set is required..
    A book doesn’t describe word were necessary to create the book. It’s just understood.
    Obviously, your blog needs content. However, discussing “content” changes the feel of your end product.
    Let “content” be a 2018 thing.

    1. Agree 100%

    2. I really strongly agree with this comment. I don’t mind at all that you are running a business and need to focus on what sells. I don’t mind hearing about it occasionally because I like hearing your real voice, and this is a real part of your life. But to me it does feel like a bit too much of the focus has been here. I feel like that’s up to you and your team to sort through and it kills the fun a bit to hear about it all the time. Like the gym I go to is a business first obviously, but if they constantly talked their numbers it would be a constant reminder that the trainers care about profit and not me as a human reaching my goals. In truth I think they care about both but are better trainers if they only focus their conversation with me on one of those points.

      As to what I like – well, I come here every day so I really like most everything you put out there! I love hearing from you – as a feminist, a mom, a liberal. I love any type of room make-over and seeing the homes of your team. The fashion/beauty/hair stuff doesn’t fit as well for me, but I still really enjoy reading it. I can’t wait for the mountain house reveals and really, really hope you will give a lot of the process rather than making us wait for a big reveal. I love hearing your thought process and working through dilemmas. I think Portland didn’t do it for me quite as much because it was so out of my league budget-wise, it was an all at once house design rather than improving what you already have a bit at a time, and being a flip it just didn’t feel personal. I mean it was BEAUTIFUL, but it didn’t grab me the way seeing you play around with your own living room does.

      1. 100% agree on the content. And generally have the same thoughts as Molly on what I like though I don’t mind the budget piece about portland like everyone else seems to…

    3. oh LAWD, I wish this comment had a “like” button! We GET that content and ads and affiliate links and sponsored posts are necessary — and of course it makes sense that you want to find out the kind of content people are wanting. But your engagement numbers already tell you that. There are ways to incorporate everything you need to in a tasteful and professional way… the consistent reference to “content” sounds basically like you’re trying to justify it to not only the masses, but yourself… and it comes off as amateurish, TBH. Just OWN IN EMILY. You don’t have to make excuses or justify what you post. Yes, consider what readers are clicking on, but otherwise don’t let your anxieties take center stage. You can’t please everyone, so just do your best and let your team do what THEY do best, and you’ll be fine.

      No more “content” talk. Just make content and thrive.

    4. Agreed!! When it comes to renovations it’s great to get behind the scenes, but not when it comes to how you guys strategize about what to post based on eyeballs and revenue. I know it’s simplistic to say ‘post what you like’ but it’s true – some people will love a certain type of post (I do adore the fashiony ones for example but it seems like a lot of people here in these comments don’t) and others won’t and that should be okay. It’s like the Barack Obama post — I know you claimed it’s not about caring about how many followers you lost but rather why you lost them – but it seemed like it was about numbers, and honestly (and not commenting on that photo but just the thought behind what you wrote about it) if you stand by your content it shouldn’t really matter if you gain some, lose some with each post.

    5. Oh my god yes this. No to the word ‘content’! Tee your comparison re dialogue/books etc is spot on.

  38. Survey wouldn’t work when I clicked it, it says I need access.

    I think Portland lost steam because it wasn’t in real time. We basically saw a plan and then a reveal not the fun process/thinking posts that often come in between. I like when you keep a mix, some renovation, some decorating, some entertaining, etc. your style is quite different from mine and I like to see things that are a little out of my comfort zone that I still like.

  39. Initially the reveals for the Portland house went quickly, and I was excited to read them, but then they slowed down and lost momentum. I think the reveals for each project should be released over a short period of time and follow a logical sequence. I loved the content of the Portland house as it is nice to see how the design flows throughout the home. The kitchen and bathroom remodels are less interesting for me as I am in a rental, but I still like to see them and understand the trends. It would be nice to understand the budget of the kitchen and bathrooms, other than saying it is “high end”. I agree with a comment below that remodels at different price points would be interesting, i.e., a 10k bathroom remodel vs. 100k.
    The strategy for content reveal of the mountain house was hard for me to understand. It was very scattered and I still don’t understand what is finished (well I understand it is finished but don’t feel the release of content is clear in my mind), and what is next. The posts that stood out to me about the mountain house were the wood ceiling, the dark bathroom and upstairs kids room plan, but other than that I don’t know what is going on there and don’t understand when the overall reveals will take place.

    I LOVED the flash makeover, as it gives a great example of how to focus on priority items to design a space in a short period of time, which is helpful for me as I have small children and need to prioritize my time.

    I always reference the roundups and love those.

    I like the new shops and rooms sections. If I don’t see exactly what I want on the shops section I can go to the sites listed and find something similar. I used this to buy stuff I needed during black Friday sales.

  40. Hi Emily – I think that your blog stands out because of you and your personality that shines in your writing. For example, in answer to a question posed in a Facebook/podcast group that I belong to, about ‘are there still good/fun blogs to read?’ your blog was listed, along with, for example, Cup of Jo. I do come to your blog for design advice and love the ‘tutorials’ (like how to choose lighting, for example) but mostly I just like your unique voice. Thanks.

  41. I loved the renovation posts, for the most part. I enjoy the detailed content, but they were too long to read. And I’m a big reader! I would say try to edit them down and increase the number of pictures versus words. I love looking at higher-end design. I can always find something that I can include in my home, either a lower-priced version of the product (Homegoods!) or the pictures and details help me to find the right items to splurge on. I don’t read about haircuts, parties, or parenting. (I’m not into fashion, I throw simple parties, and my kids are much older than yours, so it’s irrelevant to me. Please don’t turn to more fashion posts, I’ve stopped reading many decor blogs when they do that.)

    I love your style and your work!

  42. In regards to the Portland reveal—I actually loved watching you all plan the construction and design. However, I think one of the reasons why I found myself less interested in the reveal is because it wasn’t someone’s home. I love seeing your home and inside other spaces that are lived in, but I think seeing a beautiful space without the soul breathed into it by a family living there just lost my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Portland house was impeccably designed and I know someone will be incredibly happy there, but there’s something so much more intimate about seeing a space that’s actually lived in.
    I’ll also say I do enjoy seeing your clothing choices—you know what’s what when it comes to aesthetics!—and, as I said before, I love seeing snippets of your home as well! I’ll take anything I can get when it comes to the mountain house; sneak peaks or full reveals, I’ll take it all!

  43. I can’t access the survey, FYI.

    I personally love the reno posts, as I like to do projects in my own house and like the ideas and insight into the “how”. I thought the Portland house was beautiful and you did a great job, however, we ended up seeing the same stuff in many different posts…I totally get that you’re trying to get all the content you can out of it, but when you showed the “reveal”, we had already seen it many times, in the real estate listing, entertaining posts, holiday posts, etc…so it didn’t feel like a new post by the end. For me, posts on process are great, I definitely reference the “how I put together a design plan” “how I put together a lighting plan” – type posts.

    I also get that you’re trying to present aspirational stuff, but the crazy high budgets are something that sometimes make me not continue reading a post, since it’s completely untranslatable to a middle class (or even upper middle class!) budget…especially when it seems like you redo that room within a few months anyway (I can’t do that, so if I take advice from an initial post, are you going to go back later and say, ‘I never liked that room, so I’m replacing everything’? That is hard to swallow. You’re allowed to change your mind, it’s just hard to apply that to my own home/life.) I definitely appreciate the high-budget stuff, just not ‘exclusively’ high-budget. I know you do the room design board at 3 budgets thing sometimes, which is great, but we don’t see you actually doing that anymore…I know how to shop at target and design a cheap room so I don’t really need your help with that, but you used to do a lot of vintage, DIY, etc for rooms making them more attainable but still super unique. I’ve been reading since the Design Star days, so it’s been quite the transformation…love it all, and happy for your success, but I do miss some of the content where I could actually relate and make similar choices for my own house.

    I like the fashion posts! I don’t care about the beauty stuff, because that is SO specific to a given person, but the clothes posts are good for ideas, especially how you talk about the practicality of each item/how you wear them. I also like the posts about balancing work/family, because who can’t relate to that?

    Thanks so much to all of you! Love reading.

  44. I read your blog all the time but actually the hair one was one I skipped over as it *really* didn’t interest me.

    As somebody else has mentioned, I love your writing voice and there was once or twice when I thought somebody else had done the bulk of the writing (perhaps with you doing an editing pass) and it showed. There are other members of your team whose voices I also love (alas I can’t remember names offhand) but it’s true that your stats may reveal who the stars are.

    Yes your content is high end, but I like aspirational posts so I think that’s a good thing, even if my own bank balance or housing situation wouldn’t allow it for myself.

    I love your family posts, and (I surprise myself) your garden/outdoor reveals.

    I also love anything that involves an altered floorplan, although I know technically that’s the work of an architect rather than yourself.

    I did however get a little bogged down in all the “Here is how we designed a custom sofa/window/shelf” detail.

    One think I find is that when you design spaces for yourself you go a little to the bland side. I understand this, but when you do projects like the Portland House I love seeing you expand out of that box a bit. (Having said that, I agree with others that the Portland house was a bit samey from room to room).

    My favourite of your posts ever, I think, was when you did your Nanny’s apartment. And not just because it was such an emotional post, but because it was truly functional, had real character and was more “designed” than “styled”. I think you even mentioned that you had changed something at the last minute because it wasn’t “them” and it made all the difference. I know you don’t work for clients any more, but if you could find a way to do this more often I for one would be delighted.

    Actually, as I was typing the above paragraph I realised that I don’t enjoy posts that feel “only” styled – like pictures of cocktails or sandwiches on a lunch table. I always go for the ones that are about solid design. Like in your Nanny’s house, when you put up the panelling and painted it in strong colours. (Actually I always go for things in strong colours!)

    Hope all the feedback helps 🙂

    1. That was my favorite post ever too!

    2. I totally agree! Emily I love your blog and I am an avid reader! I will read pretty much anything here, but if you’re asking for feedback I’m really here for design.

      As a concrete suggestion – would you consider renovating a more ‘normal’ home? I know you are super aspiration so don’t change anything about that but maybe throw it in with more homes like your nanny’s or even the super quick makeover you did for someone in need? Or maybe 1 level higher than that and just an ordinary bathroom / living room / kitchen along the way? That way there is something for everyone!

  45. Would prefer a finished reno, like Portland, was shown on consecutive days not scattered about. Did not like you decide I design. What was the point. Would prefer you do the design and then show us. Blog posts sometimes are too long.

  46. I can access the survey, but at the bottom, the button says “Get Link” and then gives me a pop-up message of “Share this link to include pre-filled responses” and then it takes me back to the top of my filled-out form. There is no option to actually submit the form.

    1. Same.

  47. The Portland momentum and frankly even the mountain house lost steam for me because they were sooooooo dragged out, with little to show for it except bathrooms, bathrooms, and more bathrooms. (I love your blog so much but I now just roll my eyes when I see yet another bathroom post.) Also, the “I design you decide” idea was SO cool, but there wasn’t super much variation between the options (which I get – you wanted to like both of them, and for Brian to as well), and it felt kinda’ like you wouldn’t really stick with the outcome anyway. And they were just so spread out (see first line above). I was excited to read about how you’d think about and choose the overall look for the places (the initial posts about each were great and did that), but then the posts were full of endless tiling conversation. I like renovation and look forward to doing my own, but it was less about design and more about the guts, whereas, I wanted most design and some of the guts (the tips are great). I love that you’re frank and have a voice; my favorite posts were yours, though Velinda’s hilarious and I’d like to see more from hers as well. Mostly just…lighten up. Many of these (ahem, bathroom tiling posts) were just so dense and serious. You’re doing well – enjoy it!
    PS: I don’t like the beauty and fashion-related posts – not what I come here for. Of the two, fashion are more preferable. Also don’t love so so many sponsored posts – saw such a noticeable uptick in them the last couple of years and just makes the blog more like a commercial. I now skip the sponsored posts – not just on your blog, by the way, but on others’ as well. If it’s not a super easy tie-in (um no, not buying it w/the water), it just doesn’t make sense to me. I miss your straight up “here’s how I fix an ugly corner and how I think about space” posts.
    PPS: I don’t mind so much as I always look to this for style rather than for the actuals of what I’d buy, but I do think the options you offer are so out of reach for most of us. It would be nice to see, for every “here’s hand-shaped tile made from crushed diamonds” option a one that’s quite similar on the budget end.

  48. Tried to take the survey, it didn’t work.

    You asked what dampened the Portland project…. for me on lots of the projects lately (not just Portland) seeing SO much of it in the design plan or maybe seeing the design plan so disjointed from the reveal of the room made it messy in my mind and hard to follow. With such large projects, maybe waiting to show us the plan for the bathroom until you are ready to reveal the bathroom and making it bathroom week! I would feel so much more invested in seeing the reveal and it would feel more like what smaller blogs are doing, only you have so much more content to show you could be doing it all the time. I feel like your commitment to real time and showing us the plan while you are planning and the waiting so long until the reveal….. because you aren’t a blog that shows the messy in between and generates so much content I forget about the room and am not as invested once you reveal it. I hope that makes sense and is helpful.

  49. I think I will echo what a lot of readers have already said – for me, the Portland project was too spaced out and I lost interest. It was too high end for me and not inspiring since it was a flip and didn’t feel warm to me. Anything I might have clicked would be far too expensive to even consider. And by the time these reveals are coming out, I feel as though I’ve already seen the whole thing. I just skip the reveals now and honestly wouldn’t care or notice if you didn’t do any more reveals. I feel bad to say that because I know you put so much work into it! Maybe in the future, as others have suggested, do fewer sneak peeks and put the reveals closer together.

    My favorites are budget friendly room make-overs, seeing what you do in your own home, and other home tours.

    I will also echo what someone else said about “content”. I think in an effort to be more transparent you’ve gone a little too much into how the sausage gets made. Sometimes I don’t want to know if a party is just done for content and wasn’t real. You don’t have to tell us everything! It changes the feel of you and the blog.

    Overall I enjoy reading and look forward to more in 2019, especially seeing what you do with the mountain house.

  50. Emily, I love most everything on the blog. The one thing I would change is that when you do room reveals you spread them over two days. It loses the surprise that way. I’d like to see the room reveal first, and then the stuff you were putting in the first post, like the things your choosing…. could be the second day. I always feel a little let down when I see the reveal because I already know what’s going to be in the room. Thanks for being interested in our opinions! I’m not sure if the survey worked for me, I filled it out but when I tried to submit it wasn’t clear if it worked. It gave me a link but it didn’t seem to go any where.

  51. I was able to access and fill out the survey, but at the bottom, instead of a “Submit” button, it says “Get Link” and then I got a notification that said “Share this link to include pre-filled responses COPY LINK” so I don’t think my answers were submitted.

  52. I feel survey illiterate… I just filled the whole thing out and the only thing to click is “click link”… does this submit it? In case it doesn’t actually submit, I’ve included some of my comments below:

    More of: I love when you provide options at varying price levels. I’m finally in a place where I’m definitely purchasing higher end furniture items that will last (though the cheapskate in me still cringes at times,) but I’m much less likely to spend a ton on decorative pillows and pieces. (That’s why I love when you’re innovative with Target pieces!) I also LOVE vintage pieces and seeing how to mix them in with more modern stuff. I reference your post about how to search online for vintage ALL the time when looking for specific pieces. (There is something really fun about seeing a vintage piece on your or another blog and going down the rabbit hole until you find it for yourself. This exact experience recently had me using google translate to email back and forth with a French gem shop owner to purchase all of his Claud Caspari gemstone prints for a wall in my home. The hunt is AMAZING!) I actually really love all of your home renovations and the Portland/Mountain/your house stuff. I just think that it’s nice to see other homes/rooms mixed in with those posts to keep them fresh and get our eyes on other styles and inspirations. (I am DYING for your house tour of Ashley’s (gold hive) house!!! Also, I’m currently very obsessed with Deuce City Henhouse if you’re looking for another home tour. Just saying lolol)

    Less of: I’m here for design, and a little personal stuff. I love that you have thoughtful conversations about things from time to time, it’s a nice Friday thing! Beauty and fashion products are occasionally okay, but I generally click through those posts very quickly or not at all. Regarding sponsored content, I think it’s totally understandable that you use it, hey it’s how you make all the monies and I respect that! But when it’s things like life insurance… it feels really inauthentic to the blog. Just my opinion. I’m all for your getting sponsored design stuff, but I really appreciate that you mix it in with other stuff.

  53. The survey kind of worked, but I don’t think my answers went through. It did offer me the ability to copy a link to the survey with my answers filled in, so here are my answers!


  54. I filled out the survey, but it says “Get Link” at the end and doesn’t submit the responses. Instead I get a pop up message saying I can copy a link to all my pre-filled responses?

  55. I honestly like 99% of your content. I love the variety of topics covered (homes, fashion, parenting, “behind the scenes” of being an influencer, etc.) and LOVED this year’s detailed “process” posts. I don’t have an immediate reaction (such as purchasing, pinning, or sharing), because I live in a house that suits my family’s needs right now, but I know I likely won’t live here forever, so I use your blog to help me “store up knowledge” for the future. I feel like I learn more from your blog than from any other blog or magazine I read. I also love the contributors’ posts, especially Orlando’s. I loved seeing his parents’ house progress. It felt more attainable than some of the bigger projects you did this year on your own house, but even the bigger projects you do are still really interesting to me. The dollhouse and a few of the roundups were the only posts that fell a little flat for me this year, but I still like the variety! I also love your audience’s engagement with you and the site. I savor your posts, and usually just read the whole week’s posts on the weekend for a great 30-45 minutes of fun, learning, and relaxation!

    1. I didn’t understand the dollhouse post, at all. But, I absolutely fell in love with the video. You have to go back to that post and watch the video…it’s so funny.

  56. Portland and Mountain House posts started to feel too spread out to me and at times, too contrived. As though things were being held back for later content, which somehow felt less transparent than is your signature. “You Decide” with the MH never really seemed like “audience” was deciding anything, and so it felt gimmicky. For all these reasons, I found myself losing interest. Ironically, I found myself reading the haircut post multiple times because I didn’t understand it at all. I was engaged with it simply because it made me almost angry. I know that is not rational, btw. Just spilling. What was said and what was revealed did not seem to match up at all.

    Having said all of that, most of the content throughout year was great, imo. How it was presented was not necessarily great, also imo. Seemed like the part that is for readers was more of an afterthought, even though the team seemed to be trying hard not to make this so. I still visit site frequently and in general I find the content and the writing itself to be inspiring. I just found myself skimming more, less engaged.

    1. I was totally confused by the haircut post too!

      Also, I agree that the presentation often seems like an afterthought. I know Emily hired new team members for the blog and social media last year, so perhaps it’s just a matter of them all finding their footing.

      I still love the blog, but I’d like to see more attainable, real-life “content.” How many readers are going to purchase a $10,000 range (or be gifted one)? I don’t want to see design-on-a-dime posts, but I also don’t really care that much about lifestyles of the rich and richer. Some balance would be great.

      I love Emily’s voice and enjoy her writing, but the posts are often too long and wordy. Like a beautifully designed room, a well-written blog post needs editing. (I also love reading Orlando, Brady, and Mel.)

  57. Hi, I like that you are asking us what we want to see and love reading all of the comments. It makes me sad though that many are commenting that the posts should be shorter. I think that the detail you put into your posts about how and why you made a decision is what sets you apart from all the other design blogs i read. I learn things reading your site where as other sites just show pretty things and where you can buy them. Please keep the informative nature of your posts! I think many bloggers are posting shorter and shorter content (likely as instagram becomes the main social platform), but I miss the posts of old.

    I visit the site for the interior design content. My fashion is not similar to yours and I definitely don’t come here for beauty or hair related posts. I will say though that i love your parenting posts and i don’t even have children. I like how your convey your thoughts so openly of what it is like to be a parent, the highs and the lows. I’m also good it’s the “here’s where my head is at lately” type personal posts. As others have said, I hope this doesn’t become too lifestyle driven (it worries me that the haircut posts received so much traffic). I come to you daily for design content.

    As others have said, i don’t love every voice you’ve added. Some seem to be trying too hard to sound like you and your quirky voice. It turns me off as i feel they miss the mark. If there are new staff writing posts, i would rather them add their voice to the mix instead of trying to mimic yours. I do like the makeovers at their houses, especially Brady’s.

    I added my comments because when i filled out the survey, instead of a “submit” button, the button was something like “Get Link”, so i don’t know if it submitted or not. But i’m a LONG TIME daily reader through the Bloglovin app. I usually read during my lunch break, so i have never watched a single video you post. Even when i’m not reading at work, i don’t watch the videos as I don’t come to blogs for videos. Maybe I’m alone in that opinion.

    Thank you for asking for our opinions!

  58. I come back to the blog over and over because your voice is so unique and relatable. I love that you share insights into your life and I love hearing from the team. Ex: I am pretty sure Brady can do no wrong and Orlando is magic. I don’t personally relate to the higher-end projects BUT I love seeing them and the process. Should a new build or major renovation be in my future I am going to rely heavily on your projects. In the meantime, I love it all and the reason haircuts were such a hit is that we are all rooting for you and love seeing the team behind the curtain. What I would LOVE is to see something more like my house – 1950s rancher with previously NO character. We used the posts on moulding and girl is looking better but I’d love to see some killer design in tiny spaces without good natural light – you can use my house if you like. 😉

  59. I check your blog most every day. Sometimes I stay, sometimes I leave. I don’t think you are going to keep everyone interested or pleased all of the time and that’s probably good! Most commenters say they love your “voice” and I think that’s what keeps people coming back, maybe more so than content. I think there is much to be said about “relatability” (is that a word). Most people won’t completely renovate a high end home in their lifetime, but seeing Sylvia’s reveal gives us hope that 1) maybe you’ll come to our house! and 2) maybe with some tweaks and redo’s we can be more comfortable and in love with the space we are in. The high end stuff is fun to think and dream about, but the more realistic content makes me want to try some new things in my own space.

  60. I filled out the survey in detail like a big ole nerd, but something I didn’t think of until I read the whole post was sneak peeks vs reveals – I think sneaks should be limited to social media and never used as a blog post. It always feels like the blogger didn’t have enough real content and wanted to make it last for two posts – which is probably exactly the case! 🙂 But, you always have plenty to say and show and it’s not necessary. I’d much rather get the whole thing at once. Also, VIDEO TOURS.

  61. I usually really enjoy the process posts but with Portland Project and Mountain House in the same year, it was confusing to keep track of. I could have done without the Portland Project- too expensive and big and drawn out for me. I can’t get enough Mountain House content, but it was a little odd that you had people vote but then didn’t end up choosing the winning design. The Mountain House and especially the guest written posts can be way too long, too which makes me lose interest fast and not want to click those as much. I Love mountain house, your house and product round ups, how to choose a coffee table that goes with your couch etc type posts. I’m surprised the hair reveal was a top post of 2018- I don’t like reading those or the clothes posts really at all (sorry)! This all sounds so critical but I do love your blog, your honesty, your style and your voice and have been a reader for years! I also love the entertaining, updates and personal posts 🙂

  62. People aren’t psyched about the Portland project???? I am super surprised to hear that. I LOVE it!!! That & the mountain cabin posts are my favorite.
    I never comment because I never have anything to say or add, but I’m here and loving the content!

  63. I said this last year and will say it again because I don’t have much criticism of your content: I want you and your team to do what makes you all feel happiest/most fulfilled/least stressed. Sponsored posts, guest posts, roundups, styling tips, room reveals, Craigslist finds, design mistakes: I love it all!

    The one thing I’d love to see is guest posts on Craigslist/flea market finds from cities other than LA. Or, guest posts from trusted content creators/influencers that provide a style/shopping/dining guide to their city, along the lines of the posts you did for Portland.

  64. Hi there. I have been reading the blog for a long time and really enjoy the mix of content. I love home design, which is the main reason I follow your site, but I like seeing what another busy woman’s life is like, too. I completed the survey, but I am commenting mainly because I had a thought about why the Portland Project posts and the I Design/You Decide posts didn’t hit as well as you’d have thought. For me, it’s fun to see regular updates on a project, but with your content calendar’s regular posts and two major projects going on at the same time (especially the I Design, You Decide, which felt like overload) it was hard to keep the excitement up the way I could as a reader when you were regularly (if not on a schedule) posting about an ongoing project. I like feeling like I am along for the journey and when I don’t have to wait for the reveals to see any details to keep me interested and engaged. The I Design/You Decide seemed like overload to this reader because (1) It’s your house and you have a preference, so I kind of want to pick your preference, (2) It is a big commitment of a read when half of the content won’t actually apply, and (3) it’s fun to know why you ultimately went with a specific direction and chose the details you did, but less fun to read something that isn’t applicable to our lives. Trained by bloggers like you, I would pick a starting point, create a mood board (in my mind) and then go for it. There is enough analysis paralysis we put on ourselves everyday, so maybe this feels like “Ahh, should I now be designing two complete options before making a decision?!”

  65. In your post you write “we gotta know how to find you but of course will not do anything weird or annoying with your email”. And yet giving my email, I’m automatically signed up for your newsletter which is ANNOYING. I can unsubscribe when I get your newsletter but that’s one more step for me.

    Please don’t say you won’t do anything with my email and then go ahead and do something with it anyway.

    1. I agree a lot with what other commenters have said. Love the design and process posts, don’t love the fashion/beauty posts. I don’t mind a good stream of consciousness post but I do think a lot of the process/reveal posts could have been edited down quite a bit. I don’t need to know every single detail about the tile if it’s going to make it a 10-15 minute read.

      I was excited for both the Portland and Mountain house although I got very confused about what was going on with the Portland house since I don’t keep up with IG. I loved the idea of I Design, You Decide but I think it would have worked better on a project like the Portland house where you didn’t have a personal attachment to the end result.

      More than anything I would love to see more styling posts. I don’t mind a good renovation (although if I never see another bathroom post I’d be fine with that haha) but as a renter, that’s not info I can easily use, nor do I really feel like it’s your forte. I’m excited for when you’ll be styling the mountain house and would have loved to see more process posts about that part of the design as opposed to all the kitchen/bath/ceiling saga posts.

      One of the most useful posts this year was actually the one showcasing Target’s fall line. I ended up stalking my Target for one of the wood grain tables based off that post. I love that it showcased something affordable that I actually have access too. It’s the type of sponsored content I don’t mind because it’s useful for both of us.

    2. I agree!

  66. I just took your survey and you failed to have one important salary range! Also, i’m not sure how helpful those salary ranges are. A “well-off” person in Midwest would probably be “poor” in California.
    Meanwhile, it’s easy to explain why Portland didn’t stick. It was boring and bland. Too cookie-cutter and yet expensive.
    Over the years I have most appreciated the cute rooms and how they can be done on variety of budgets.
    But I’ve become less enchanted with items you’ve hawked … once I realized that something you “loved, loved, loved” six months ago is now out the window and you’re on to something else.

  67. My favorite posts you have ever written are the Mountain fixer with all the Pinterest inspired photos. What’s great about it is that you take the best of what Pinterest has to offer and put it in one easy post. So much inspiration. I’ve gone back to the Scandinavian rustic/refined blog post probably 20 times. I’m also very interested and invested in the mountain house because it’s yours and it looks like it’s going to be by far your best yet. LOVED the post where you were trying to figure out what color to paint the outside. Brilliant and very engaging. The Portland posts did not interest me at all and I’ll tell you why. It was beautifully done but it was very clear that it was made to sell. The way it was staged and designed was perfect for a flip, you did a beautiful job, it just wasn’t interesting. As it shouldn’t be. For example, you know when Jersey Ice cream co goes in and does a renovation with a certain style in mind, per the client’s request? Those renovations are SO fun to watch because they’re different, special, unique. Personalized. Doing a flip for the market has to be safe. Of course, it needs to sell. But it’s not interesting. Keep up the mountain fixer posts they are the best you’ve done. I love your house too but I think you’re pretty much finished there as we;be seen it all. The only room I’d like to see finally done is the TV/playroom. I do click on the hair posts purely out of curiousity but they don’t pull me in once I’m there. I think what we want to see is unique, special, interesting designs. For reference I adore Shelter Protects You, Jessica Krause, Jersey Ice cream and you because I get to see something new. I love to see how you can take a bland 70s, 80s, 90s house and make it something new and interesting.

  68. I really like the renovation posts. Loved the Portland house. Loved how you recruited and used local artisans. I’m more of a word person than a visual person so I don’t grab on to floor plan drawings, but I think how you break down all the elements is very instructive. I also saved the drawings for your mountain house bunk beds. They inspire me to make better use of one of my guest rooms. Genius! I also appreciate your political posts. 2018 was a polarizing year so I understand how people might choose to delete. I’ve dropped some of my social media activity for that reason, but I like yours. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  69. Hi!
    I just wanted to say that my favourit post you did this year was the “bathrooms i pinned for the mountain house and why”. You talking about why you liked those pictures and what lessions you can take from them was super intresting!
    That kind of content is the reason yours is my favourit blog. I honestly prefered all the updates from your Projects to the reveles.

  70. Loved the Portland house, but the posts were way too spaced apart. Even now, I don’t know if you’ve shown everything yet? Would love to see you makeover a super basic apartment or townhouse that has zero character to work with. Love the before and after posts the best.

  71. Hi Emily!
    I (almost) never comment but I read all of your posts and most of the comments.
    I don’t engage on instagram if there is just a pretty picture. I “double tap” witty captions or personal photos.
    I never comment but I always take surveys and polls. I skim fashion posts and Portland house posts (your taste is expensive!).
    I don’t like when reveal posts are drawn out. I do like styling/decorating posts and how to work with difficult nooks in your home.
    Full disclosure: I unfollowed you on Instagram earlier in the year because I didn’t care for the photos you posted. But then I started following again because I love Mountain House updates in your stories.
    I love your blog and appreciate your daily posts that are posted EARLY!

  72. I’ve been a longtime fan/reader since your days of Secrets from a Stylist. Thank you for soliciting our feedback! I agree with the other comments regarding all the discussion of “content”. I get that it’s a business but it feels like it’s mentioned a lot and it makes things feel a little more manufactured. In my survey I compared it to TV breaking the 4th wall. When done occasionally it’s really powerful, but if they did it all the time the content they’re producing wouldn’t be as entertaining. We know reality TV isn’t reality but we’d like to believe it’s reality while we’re watching it.

    The mountain house and Portland house were a little too similar in scale of project, feel, and location and I got confused/tired reading about them side by side. You mentioned your Oregon upbringing in your desire for the Mountain House and then the Portland house was in a wooded area of Oregon so they felt similar even if the styles were a little different. I loved seeing the high-end design—please please please don’t listen to the “I could never buy this and therefore I can’t relate to you anymore” people. There are a million other blogs that show how to renovate on a shoestring budget and I like to see high style next to budget furniture picks. The only issue I had with the Portland house materials selections was that the sponsored content meant less variety in sources and that was a little boring for me.

    I personally did not like the “I design, you decide” series. It felt gimmicky. You are an expert in your field. The notion that the readers would make the final decisions diminished your role as the expert. I like when bloggers collaborate with their readers but I prefer to see it happen organically, e.g. “I posted this plan and you guys made some great points that helped me think of things a little differently so we’re actually using some of that feedback” vs. “vote for your favorite design American Idol style”.

    I loved watching the evolution of your own home more towards mid century mix. Defining your own personal style and adapting it to different types of houses is so captivating for me and feels ultra authentic.

    I’m really curious as to how you are determining which proverbial pasta sticks. I’m guessing your’re talking pageviews but is engagement and click-throughs factored into it too? Where is the traffic from your most popular blog posts orginating? Is it through your loyal readers’ typical sources or through places like Pinterest? I would assume that the round-up posts do well because they’re pin-able and allow people to buy your style at multiple price points. I like them and definitely find them helpful but I wouldn’t read the blog regularly if that was all it was. I didn’t even read the haircut post but I’m wondering if that was popular among your reader base or something that had great SEO for people looking for new hairstyles. Did you make the most money off of it? If it’s in the top 3 for pageviews but not engagement is it as valuable? I know the process posts are an investment but I’d hate to see them lost. I think they just need to develop in a more linear way with more focus and consistency, mixed with the fluffier posts.

  73. I have not read all the comments so another reader might have touched on this already buuuuut, I think the posts about the Portland Project -which I saw in person and LOVED- lacked the tension and drama of an ‘in real time’ post..? We could all clearly see the results were beautifully successful which made your description of the behind-the-scenes uncertainties less engaging than if you had written those posts AS you were deciding what to do about those living room doors that now needed to be windows (the ones that ended up being sooo special because they began On The Floor!). I think perhaps more posts on the process of the project would have helped people feel more invested in the reveals..? For my part, I cannot imagine a world where there is such a thing as “too much process” coming from you! Everything I know about creating a space that reflects my personality I learned from you (and the rest of the EHD team here at the blog). These higher end projects remain as educational as they are inspiring even though I have next to no budget. (I recently used a fabric patterned shower curtain as ‘wallpaper’ in my garage and realized belatedly it was inspired by Rebecca Atwood’s ‘Dashes’ wallpaper you chose for the powder bathroom off the kitchen in the Portland House! Maybe I’ll share an #ehdweekendmakeover instagram post ; ). The lessons of design you share apply whether the chair in the living room is an amazing piece of art by Fernweh Woodworking or is something I found for free (most recently an upholstered Marge Carson chair in the EXACT color I was looking for!). I’ve said this before here in the comments but I honestly feel that thru your blog (which I think of as both delicious and nutritional -eye candy + useful information), you offer us all a ‘continuing education’ course in design and rightly or wrongly, I consider myself an alumni.
    I feel as though the failure here could very well be mine -my appreciation and enthusiasm for you, the blog and everything Team EHD are not expressed in ways that are tangible and are thus, uncountable…
    So, let me say Thank You! and then I’m off to do the reader survey : )

  74. Hi! So strangely enough, I don’t decorate in your style whatsoever but I still really enjoy your blog. I tend to be more colorful, cottage, farmhouse and traditional with a quirky twist. I also follow Orlando even though my design style does not align with him either. I think what I enjoy, is the time spent on detailed, process filled design discussions. So I don’t want you to move away from that, as the process is what pulls me in even when I wouldn’t have made the same literal choices. I appreciate the knowledge your team brings to the table. I still clicked on and at least skimmed, all of the Portland House posts. I agree with those saying that the high sticker price turns me off, but I have no issue with it. You are not a DIY crafty, budget blogger and I don’t come here with that expectation so it’s cool. I have other resources for that type of thing. But the “eye candy” is aspirational for me and not a realistic possibility, so I pay less attention to the nuts and bolts of the design process if I have zero chance of needing to catalogue that info for my own use. I recall the discussion about the paneled appliances debate and those of us who could not relate to replacing perfectly new and useful appliances because of a design preference. I am certainly not going anywhere and I enjoy your site and will continue to return but my personal preference is for visually stimulating, accessible content. But you are who you are, and I think no apology is necessary for the current design world you inhabit, which is sophisticated and high end. I think there may be something to the lack of personalization in the Portland House project being a contributing factor to the lessening of enthusiasm compared to other projects. I wonder if pillows posts and other “easy” posts also allow people to check in quickly, like it, and move on with less of a time investment. Although the type of people really sitting down and engaging with your long, process filled renovation posts are just the type of people who may be seeking concrete inspiration for their own projects and therefore are your most invested and engaged readership. Is it still worth it if those arduous, complicated posts really help and inspire your smaller, ride or die group; your most devoted base? I would say yes.

  75. Re Portland, it just felt like too much. I skimmed the reveal posts because I felt like I had already seen it all and it was just the same stuff all over again (since I didn’t really read the posts that could be totally wrong but when I skimmed it, that’s what it seems like)

    I’ve loved the posts about the spaces of the people on your team. They’re frequently in rentals and working on a budget that is more comparable to mine. And creative – Brady’s kitchen is something I still remember!

    I know I just mentioned budget, so about to contradict myself, but I like the high end posts. I used to love the blog peppermint bliss even though there was 0% chance I would ever spend that type of money. Seeing it is still inspirational.

    On jnstagram I’ve enjoyed following ‘theoldhousebeautiful’
    which has debated some of the same issues. The new editor has really changed the mix of the content, more peppermint lattes and lifestyle posts, less quality design.

    While things like haircuts may drive views, they do so at the cost of reader loyalty. The short term pop comes at the expense of long term loyalty. I would encourage you to have the data help inform your decisions, but not be the ultimate truth.

  76. FYI, the income question on the survey is missing the $75-100k bracket.

  77. One of the things I’d really like to see is a Designer 101 series, which would be archived for future reference. It would be full of “practical rules” for each room. For the living room, for example, how far away from the sofa should a coffee table be? (I see them in the middle of the room, far away from everything, meaning no feet on it, no coffee cups on it, and if you can’t do that, why bother? or maybe that’s just my prejudice showing), for a reading lamp how high should it be and the relationship of bulb/shade to a seated person’s eyes, how hight or low to hang pictures….and on and on.

    In the bedroom, how far away from the mattress should the bedside lamp be for easy reading in bed? I see them on the far side of the nightstand and that has to be difficult in daily life! How high should be mattress be off the floor? How wide a walkway between bed and wall? How hard is it to make up a bed that has furniture like a bench or chest at the bottom of it?

    It would be lovely to have all these rules in one spot, for easy reference, so the next time I want to hang a chandelier, I’ll know how high above the table it should be. Or how high to mount a shower head. Or how high to hang a vanity mirror if there is a very tall person in the house.

    Thanks for considering this.

  78. Portland House: by the time you did the reveals I was so over it that I was pretty much in the next county. I’d seen the real estate listing, knew what the pretty flip looked like, so an extended breakdown of the pretty flip was kinda boring. And the house itself was a big suburban monster that I wouldn’t care to own even if I won the Mega jackpot (Parisian pied a terre, sil vous plait) – obviously somebody liked and bought it, but I’ve been under the impression that big suburban monster is pretty passe now.

    Mountain house: I’m enjoying immensely, even though I don’t imagine myself owning a second home in the mountains. The process, the design decisions – all really fun to watch.

    Your house: my sweet spot. I live in an older (different style, but same era) LA home, so your renovations, and your continuing work on your LA home speak directly to me.

    Lifestyle/fashion/kids: I don’t dress like you do, I don’t have kids, so these posts aren’t especially meaningful to me, so I generally skip them.

  79. Honestly, I think your content is really great. It is so well thought out and detailed, which I have found helpful and/or interesting many times.

    But, a few times I found myself feeling like your content had become a little safe (less unique, quirky rooms that people would either love or hate) – perhaps that is why the Portland house didn’t get as much traffic as you had hoped? It is an absolutely beautiful house, and I would live there in a heartbeat, but I didn’t get a lot of design inspiration from it. For instance, I would walk into that house and think “Wow, this house is beautiful” but wouldn’t necessarily say “This house has a lot of style, who designed it?!” I think you going back to your styling happy place will help. You are in a bit of a tough place though, because this is your business, how you support your family, so you need a lot of traffic. But then in seeking approval from the masses, you need to perhaps provide safer, more approachable design, which (to me) can get a little boring on the feed. Maybe spice it up a bit and throw a wackadoo design challenge in there every once in a while?

    I will continue to come to your blog regardless, and I hope whatever direction you go in will help continue to support your beautiful family and fulfill you personally. (Oh and last thing, I felt like I kept seeing Kohler as a sponsor, which is great, but just felt a little one-note after awhile).

  80. Portland fell flat because we essentially watched your crew shoot it (a seemingly never ending process!) and after that, there really is no “big” reveal. It was more like, oh, there it is again. And again. And again.
    Big fan, just adding 2 cents!

  81. We have a “city” home (Texas) and a “mountain house” (CA- same community as yours), so posts on your two homes are particularly relevant to me. I also love the makeovers, and the Portland home. I’m an “older” reader, and realize I’m in the minority (with grown kids). Thus, posts on child-rearing are less interesting to me (although your kiddos are absolutely precious). I did fill out the survey, but just realize I should have suggested more travel-related/destination posts. Hubby is a retired commercial airline pilot, and we have terrific travel opportunities…which I take full advantage of! I would enjoy a few vacation posts or city guides sprinkled throughout! I do a big international trip each year, and while I realize this may be more difficult, domestic points of interest (guide to hiking SoCal, Five top restaurants in Austin, three perfect days in Nashville, etc) would be perfect. I’d be happy to volunteer as your travel ambassador :)…headed to the Middle East and Israel or possibly India next month. Happy New Year!

  82. Emily- I’m glad you asked because I’m not the type of person that would ever make an unsolicited suggestion. <<> I’ve been a long time blog reader and an Emily fan since Design Star. Something felt a little off this year. It doesn’t mean I haven’t continued to read. I found the Portland and Mountain house content rather boring. (Sorry!) I typically enjoy process stuff along the way BUT it was just too much. It wasn’t fun. Also (this might be controversial, so brace yourself) I do not find the Orlando guest posts interesting. Orlando is great and I follow his blog and Instagram. So, when he posts here it often feel repetitive and not original. You guys have a wonderful chemistry together, so maybe work on some joint projects to share. (I’m sorry if I’m being too honest.) One of my most favorite projects was the surprise home makeover for your Nanny. Maybe more of that? I’ll be along for the ride either way. Hope you have a wonderful 2019!

    1. I just have to add – to restore the Orlando balance – that I love love love his posts!! And I also follow him separately, and don’t find the overlap troublesome. On the contrary, he brings a bit og sunshine, humor and interesting design content every time he posts here. Your Norwegian fan club (me) loves you, Orlando!

  83. With regards to the portland and mountain homes. They just stretch out for too long. Which is normal and understandable. However, there’s no momentum for the reader. Sneak peaks from the mountain home are exciting though. I’m more excited for the mountain home. Maybe next time you focus on smaller projects and more sneak peaks along the way? The fixer upper was beautiful, but a bit too classic and safe (too perfect) for my taste. Having said that it was good and very educational. If your content was of one type the blog would be flat and boring. Your lifestyle topic may be fine in smaller qualities. They give us more understanding of the person behind the designs. But ultimately, I’m here to see interiors 🙂 please go with your gut. Sometimes WHAT THE READER ASKS FOR MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE. Sorry for the caps. And just because you see curiosity about your hair, it doesnt mean people would want this blog to be about hair every day. The small peaks, are fine, but too many roundups or style posts, will make it less intetesting.

  84. I completed the survey and read through some comments, but wanted to add one thing for your consideration…

    Often, people don’t know what they want 🙂

    I’ve seen bloggers and podcasters struggle with this… their readers/listeners say they want MORE MORE MORE, and that drives them to produce more (and maybe then a quantity over quality mindset)… and then engagement and readership goes down.

    It’s great that you ask (and listen!), but also trust that you need to do what feels right for you and your team. Young House Love is an example you might be able to reference here…

    Also, I think as a society we’re going to start to go away from the “binge” mentality… people SAY they want entire seasons of shows released at once so they can binge, but I think they shows that have actual staying power have always been the ones that create anticipation and develop a sort of relationship over time by releasing episodes weekly. Just a thought 🙂

  85. I looooooooooooooooooove the process posts! Call me a weirdo if you must, but I totally enjoy the glimpse into how you & your team work through choices and use software and feedback to inform your picks.

  86. I think you’re great and love the work you do. For me personally, I enjoy ‘bite-sized’ pieces of content. (yes- I work in marketing) I don’t have the time for really long posts about design decisions as I want to see what you picked and know where to buy it! I love your holiday decorating ideas, trend posts, best sale stuff posts and the how to design a room on 3 different budgets. Keep up the good work! (ps I’d be happy to join a panel of users to test stuff out on me.)

  87. I treat your blog like a magazine, open, scan and read if interested, move on if not. Most posts are way too long for me. I’d enjoy the info in a condensed post.

    Thank you for the giveaway and keep up the good work.

  88. Love everything about your blog. I think the main reason the Portland Project fell flat was because it was too drawn-out. A week long reveal would have been better.
    My fav part of your blog are the trend-spottings posts. Keep em coming!

  89. Before and afters by room, short down to the point with shopping details!

  90. Personally, I would like some Q+A design dilemma posts with readers sending in their design questions and your team answering the questions with photos showing the answer in action. Stuff like how to choose the right amount of lighting for a room, how tall do the lamps need to be to look properly scaled, how do sconces get in the mix, etc. Or proper sizing for a rug, which you touched on briefly in a recent post and I felt that was helpful. Kind of reviewing “design rules” that you guys are taught but the regular people don’t have insight into WHY those rules are there. Like when I see all the lighting in a kitchen with aged brass but the cabinet hardware and sink fixtures are nickel or chrome. Is that a legit thing? Or does it just look like someone is mixing two different metals by accident… I feel like I am rambling already, but the basic plea is more content that I can apply to MY life, more roundups of smaller project ideas like a powder room makeover, pantry overhaul, etc. I like the flea market finds posts but it would also be nice to see the items worked into your house, so you can put an arrow and say “See, here’s where I hung the picture from the flea market. See how it goes with the piano, etc?” I want to see the Mountain house reveal for sure, and I liked the “I design, you decide” series. Not interested in the fashion or beauty posts; I really come here to hear you talk about the why’s of your decisions, so I can learn from you as a designer! You guys take a lot of abuse in the comments but you keep coming back, so I am thankful for that 🙂 Can’t wait to see if/how things will change in 2019. Have a great retreat! PS – could not access the survey.

  91. My personal thought on why the Portland house posts may not have resonated is that your design of that house is almost TOO safe. I understand that it was done that way because it was being sold, but while beautiful, it was very bland compared to your normal style (and certainly when compared to your old-school designs from a few years back with all the color). I missed the quirkiness in that house.

    1. Agree with this. It was fine, but definitely more bland than I’d expect for the Emily Henderson brand – even for a flip. I think if a person who was familiar with your style but somehow didn’t know you did that house walked in, they wouldn’t be able to peg who designed it.

      Honestly though, I just want you guys to blog what you’re excited/passionate about. I know not everything can be that way, but you can tell when a writer is really into something as opposed to when they just have to write about something. Thanks for a great year of posts overall though!

  92. Just so you know: I love the process and how we make decisions. Keep on doing what you do. Yes, learning what works and what doesn’t is important but the reason we continue to follow your journey is we VALUE how you do it.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  93. I LOVE the process posts!! So informative and – at least for me – very interesting. I could care less about hair posts so I was very surprised to see that come in as a top post. I like anything related to styling, process, reveals, house tours. Also the mountain house and Portland house are some of my favs!! I feel invested in those houses now that it’s been a whole saga haha. I’m sooo excited for the mountain house reveals but have also loved being a part of it along the way.
    Keep up he good work! And I appreciate that you actually care about reader input. Thank you!!

  94. I love all the lifestyle / personal posts and this is why I continue to come back day after day, and watch on IG stories and so on and so on. (I’m skipping design notes bc most everyone has already said it in another comment and I’m a daily reader so I’m here for it all). I like you, Emily. I feel like there are some parallels in our lives (I have a young child, I’m the main money maker in our household, my husband is in the entertainment industry, has worked for me, etc. I have to travel a lot for work and miss the kid, Your open letter to Brian and about therapy a few years ago was something I referenced to several friends who also have husbands in the entertainment industry dealing with similar issues). Anyway, now that I come off like a crazy person, I love seeing how you are navigating it all. In a scrolling IG world where anyone can design a room, I want to follow a real person who has opinions and has struggles and shows vulnerability and strength. It’s refreshing and inspirational.

  95. As a long time follower, who would happily read a post that just linked to old posts, the Portland project just was not as exciting for me and after deep self reflection (over the last five minutes) I think it was because it wasn’t personal. The mountain fixer upper I am SO excited for because it is for you! And your sweet kiddos! And your husband! Maybe the Portland project started to feel cold? That said, I find myself referencing the color scheme of the Portland house because it is so approachable and in a way universally attractive. All this to say, I come here everyday for your voice and personal touch, and I never got those with the Portland project. (I am still hoping for a post on what it’s like to work with family 🙂 PS do a post on parenting books for toddlers because I could use ALL the reference guides.

    1. I agree. The biggest reason I didn’t connect with the Portland house is because I felt like I didn’t understand who lived there or how the design choices addressed this person’s particular interests and needs. I wonder if this is also why the haircut post was so popular: each person got a cut that was based on her particular hair type and face shape. (That post also promised total transformations which worked as click bait for me even though I found the results less dramatic than expected.)

  96. “Perfection is boring. Let’s get weird.”

    My favorite post of the year was “I’m back…” I’ve been hoping for more of the quirky style and less of the “elevated” and sophisticated look that has been increasingly taking over. I was only minimally interested in the Portland house because it was a “flip” and the neutral, perfection of the look was not very exciting. Great for a flip. For me, neither aspirational or useful. I don’t want to live in a house that looks like a catalogue shoot.

    I really like posts that help me create a quirky home with lots of personality and color, that doesn’t look like a chaotic mess or like some grandma went crazy with tchotchkes.

    Definitely not interested in clothes, hair, entertaining… I have other sources for that. And I don’t feel like it plays to your strengths.

  97. I would love to see “Day in the life of Emily/other staff”. Just to see what all your days entail, especially since I’m sure it varies SO much from day to day and also person to person. I also love all your posts about family life and motherhood; your honesty is so refreshing in a world full of filters.

  98. I read your blog daily and really enjoy most of the posts, though agree that some are long winded. One thing I have noticed is there is sometimes a big announcement of something new you’re going to do….and then not so much follow through. For example, I think twice now around the ‘new year’ season you have announced you are going to make a big change and revamp the site to feature a mix of writers and ‘lifestyle’ content, and are seeking new writers…and then this doesn’t happen. It makes it feel like some of your plans aren’t totally thought out and perhaps shouldn’t be announced until they are more fleshed out/actually in the works. It just feels kind of scattered when that happens.

    Similarly, with “I Design, You Decide” it was so exciting at first, but then when the audience voted on the very first overall style and then you immediately retracted/changed what that would be…it just felt like a bit of a letdown that the concept wasn’t going to play out as promised. This happened repeatedly with the voting–I completely understand WHY it went this way (you were designing for your family and have the right to change your mind) but again, with so much hype over the concept it just built up a bit of expectation, so when aspects weren’t followed through (such as pebble floor, etc.) it fell flat. Hard to get as excited about the next “vote” when it all becomes so fluid anyway. I also could never find any announcements of what the final audience votes were for each “decision”…that whole process got lost and started to feel forced.

    I found the endless holiday posts over saturated. Love the fashion, but don’t need ‘more’–it’s at a good pace the way you’re doing it. Love the flash makeover. Love seeing the Mountain House and can’t wait to see styling.

    Overall it feels like you and your team get really excited about stuff and jump the gun sometimes without thinking it through enough to ensure execution. I hope this is helpful! Would love more posts by Brady, Velinda, encouraging their unique voices.

  99. I filled out the survey but here are some extra comments because well you asked for it 😀
    – I would love reading about your hair cuts, week in outfits, favourite recipes etc. when it’s an occasional post (preferably sprinkled with lots of personality) but will quickly get bored if they become a regular feature (oops)
    – Mountain House: as someone who lives in a rental the nit picky details of figuring out what you want to do with a specific aspect of the kitchen discussed throughout several posts isn’t super relevant (although I still read most of these :p ). I would have preferred regular updates discussing every detail from around the house in one post (= not very useful as reference material but interesting for those who want to follow along) + the occasional round up post (how did we decide on the mostly final design of the kitchen, fireplace, etc etc).

  100. For me, I usually looove process posts… but I kind of lost interest in yours because they all seemed to only be about the bathrooms. I started skipping the posts that had anything to do with a bathrooms. Haha 😬 and they also seemed to be way too curated, info heavy, and try-hard… I like when things feel a little more organic; like, show up with a camera and do a walk-through of the house … maybe explain this and that along the way, and what’s coming next, and include more pictures of rooms and materials-in-action (not just floor plans and mood boards), and again, please switch it up (not just bathrooms)! I WAS really excited to follow the process of both renovation homes in the beginning… but ended up feeling like we got left behind in the bathrooms and not REEALLY taken along. 😘 Excited for what’s to come!

  101. I would love to see more ‘real life’ designs. For example, if a reader submitted a photo of their living room – would you look at it and provide design options for it? Low, middle, and high end? I think it would be refreshing to see an ‘average joe’s’ room transformed! Most of us have to work with what we’ve got and can’t afford a huge remodeling project first… just a thought!
    I love reading your blog every day. Thanks!

  102. I love your work, voice, style, and adorable family! I would recommend shortening some of the content of the posts because, girl, we are allll bussssyyy…… also, love the round-ups!! I’d like to see some tips on how we, as “normal” people and not designers with a team, can visualize different options (whether for styling or renovation) before making the leap – like how can we source these materials and start with a color palette, etc.
    It’s very cool to see your and your team’s thought process on designing a bathroom, say, but how do we do that? Just a thought at a way you could connect with readers who can’t afford, or don’t have the opportunity to do, large-scale renovations (or buy all new furniture, etc)….

    Keep it up, I can’t imagine how you do all this and actually sleep!


  103. FWIW, I think the reason why the Portland house reveals didn’t get as much traffic was because of the timing. The final reveals came out in a very drawn out and scattered fashion, often very time-separated from the original ‘in-progress’ discussions, so it was hard to connect everything together.

  104. I love you Emily! You’re the only interior designer whose blog I follow, for years now, and I really enjoy! I think you hit it on the head about the Portland house being too much content and I’d rather see new projects.

    I love when you post about trends and I love a round up — always so helpful for me to get a quick idea of what catches my eye!! The weekend fixers for those who deserve it are also great posts that I really enjoy.

    Happy New Year!!

  105. Your survey did not recognize that some of us may have children grown and gone…in their 20’s, 30’s or…Have you ever looked at your demographics? I know that you and your staff are all young but it may behoove you to pull in a more mature designer for special projects…a suite or granny shed for visiting grandparents, how to design a dual purpose room..office or sewing room and guest room for tiny, tween or teens, etc. Love your work!!

    1. Agree! My lifestyle option wasn’t listed. Grown children out of the home.

      I believe this reflects the demo of your office staff…maybe you need to diversify with some older employees??

  106. I filled out the survey! Thank you for asking for our opinions. I personally loved the Portland project but agree with other reviewers that the lag in between the reveals was frustrating. I am sure there is no perfect way to reveal all that much content, but I would have loved to see a reveal of say the whole first floor so we could have a better sense of the house overall instead of a room by room. And then you could have done a bedroom post to highlight certain aspects in each room and maybe less detail overall to keep it readable. I also think it could have been a before and after with the old before pictures next to the new reveals in the same post. Then we could have really seen how much changed without trying to navigate to an older post. But that is my personal preference, and others may disagree… Thanks again!

  107. I filled out the survey but I’m not sure it sent…? The bottom button says “Get Link” and not “Submit.”

    I tend to grow attached to bloggers, their families, AND their homes. With drawn-out renovation posts on a newly purchased home, since I’m less familiar with it, I’m also less attached and less interested. Although I’ve enjoyed other full house/vacation home renovations from YHL, Jenna Sue, and Chris Loves Julia. Between Portland and your Mtn house, I preferred the classic design of Portland; “editorial” just isn’t something I strive for in my home.

    Among my favorite posts all year were the design “rules” for different rooms! I can apply those concepts within my price point and individual style.

  108. I wrote this in my survey comment, but to expand.

    The mountain house/cabin is tired. Every blogger is updating one right now. It’s unrelateable to my life, unfathomable on my budget, and frankly feels very unoriginal. Cabin design only works in a cabin- where I’d wager most readers don’t live.

    The Portland house was a HUGE budget buster and felt- forced? Sterile? I don’t believe every post needs to be a “budget” makeover, but top to bottom there was nothing relatable in a flip house.

    It feels like many of the established bloggers have moved on from creating a home, to big full scale gut jobs. Which, I do understand you’re established in your home, but gutting a home isn’t in my cards right now. I have started seeking out lesser known or newer “content”.

    I became a reader for your quirky personal style executed in a family friendly, but extremely tasteful way. I miss the old post of client designs where new and different homes and styles (and quirks!) were show cases. I still read almost every post, and love your voice. (TBH I didn’t not get the hair thing though…)

  109. One thing, from a “customer” point of view is with the website and posts. Your videos and graphics and fanciness keep causing my computer and brand spanking new iPhone to freeze. More often than not these days, I don’t read your website AT ALL because it just freezes for me. I keep up to date on Instagram and only click over for something super interesting because I can’t be bothered with the barrage of videos. I know they look good but if you could somehow improve the loading speed/time of the website and calm down the videos, it would make the experience much better. Just my two cents as a former daily reader, current sometimes rarely ever reader.

  110. Hi Emily,
    I have followed your blog for a very long time, but admit I’ve stopped clicking through over the past year because I found the Portland / mountain house makeovers too similar and very drawn out. I still like to check in and use the search function when making design decisions but my main thoughts are below:
    – Many of the posts are very long, in a scrolling world it’s too easy to lose interest with a long set-up and slow reveal. I love that your voice comes through the post but they could easily be trimmed down in terms of pure word count.
    – I used to like the roundup lists of “top lamps” or “top couches on a budget” but I find that there are way too many recommendations. We come to you to help us with clear, pared down ideas, not adding an additional 86 ideas, so I think focusing more on top 10 list style recommendations and then maybe adding detail about why or the style would be so much more helpful – or a splurge steal option for each?

  111. I love the work your team does on their own spaces, specifically renters. My husband and I rent our family home in Australia. We’ve been here for nearly 5 years and have a great relationship with our landlord, so we’ve got more flexibility to improve the house as we see fit. I relate more to working with what you have over full on renos, even though that work is still inspiring. But take this comment, and the stack of others with a grain of salt. I keep coming back to your blog because I love your work and would read anything you post. Thanks for all the great ideas and for all the risks you take with design!

  112. I miss client work because it had the friction of a budget and new styles without seeing Emily’s house over and over. I like Emily’s house! I loved having english Tudor sneak into my life. But seeing her house again and again seemed to fuel the comment section’s distaste for perceived waste. With client work, we could move on from one style without having to just get rid of another and we could still feel like these design decisions were made to last, which is more reflective of our budgets. Hello I bought 2 rugs 2 years ago (one from your link!) but I’m not planning on switching them up. I AM planning on using the money saved from not restyling every year to do some meaningful work around the house. Landscaping, re-tiling the bathroom, maybe adding a skylight! Your latest process posts help make that seem more accessible. I think a lot of us readers just need to ease into the growth of major renovations that came a little more quickly for you.

  113. I’d LOVE to see more “Look for Less” type segments. That might even be a good way to break up the various room by room reveals of the houses. Instead of just “here’s the portland living room”, maybe its more “here are ways you can achieve this look using more accessible resources”. I also love a “one room styled two ways” type segment (doesn’t always have to be high end vs. cheap but could be different styles of decor).

    Also, where I really fell in love with you was on Secrets from a Stylist and would love to see segments where you help people find their design style/voice. I always find that so fascinating. I’m picturing a “What Not to Wear” type series for home decor, but blog/photo based or short videos.

    All of that said, I did enjoy a lot of the process posts this year and shared a lot of them with my Husband as he’s tackling most of our home renos room by room, so we definitely are taking away a lot of good info. I don’t care as much about haircuts (sorry) or fashion because while it’s cute, its just not what I look to the EHD design team for. If used sparingly, i think its fine, though.

    Thank you for asking readers opinion and I won’t be going anywhere regardless 🙂

  114. I think it’s important to keep a balance with content. I feel like this year was too many big renovations. I’m mostly enjoying the Mountain House and the “I Design, You Decide” series (every time one posted I texted my Mom about which she picked and asked my coworker the same thing). I don’t know if I was just out of brain space for the Portland house or what, but I didn’t find it especially engaging.

    In general, I love the in depth process posts, but the window one was requiring way more brain space then I had at that moment. If I’m ever doing a major remodel or home build I’ll remember its here and come back to it, but day of it’s going to get a quick skim (and I work for UPS so anything detailed posted in December doesn’t even get that).

    I don’t get excited about roundups when they are first posted, but I end up revisiting them frequently. Most of us shop for sofa’s more often than windows.

    I loved the Etsy find series this year and the flea market posts. I would love to see more of the Craigslist posts, but I don’t think CL is as good as it used to be thanks to FB marketplace. I love the updates you all do in your own spaces and the smaller updates to other’s spaces as well. The Flash Makeover was really fun (I only just now read/watched that – I’m catching up). My favorite series are probably “Design Mistakes” and when you breakdown a design style like Victorian or California Casual. Even though neither of those are my style and still really enjoy those posts.

    1. I agree on the Etsy series-a great addition (hope it continues with a variety of price ranges)

  115. I agree with much that has already been said. Mainly, the Portland house and the mountain house renovations are just too much and too expensive for me, so they are not interesting to me. I also agree that the posts were too long and referenced posts too far in the past for me to really remember what I had thought before. And I hate to say it, but I also think that unlike the home you live in, these were not only too expensive (in labor and in “stuff”), but they were kind of bland and sterile. I enjoy looking at smaller-scale renovation layouts, but these were must too much to be relevant to my life.

  116. I love the posts of a room makeover at three different price points. I get tons of inspiration and ideas on what items I can splurge on or go cheap on.

    I wasn’t interested in the Portland or Mountain House stuff because the story just took months to tell. I lost interest quickly especially because the style was less whimsical, colorful and fun than your earlier work.

    I do find myself repeatedly going back to your product roundups. A year ago I wasn’t in the market for a daybed, but now I am and super grateful you gave that great daybed roundup I can consult. I’ve looked at it every week for the past month as I get closer to making a decision.

  117. Long time reader. I do like the variety of your posts- from hair cuts to interiors. That being said, when posts are very very detailed and long with lots of info about construction or plumbing, you lose me as I am just not in that zone.
    Also, I have a hard time liking the posts that are full of comped things. I get that companies want to partner with you but it makes me a little crazy. I love when you use that stuff (like from target) to do a design makeover for someone who could use a boost. But when it was for the Portland house, that was clearly for your profit— I don’t know, it just doesnt give me the same feeling. I get that it’s a business, and I don’t know how I would handle it if I were in your shoes.

  118. I can’t believe the Portland reveals fizzled… I LOVED them! They did feel really spread out, though. I love the variety you post and generally click away faster when it’s a non-design post, but apparently those do well! 🙂

  119. I’ve been a reader since the very early days and have always loved your voice, your design and your willingness to lay it all out there – mistakes, regrets, successes and all. I still love your content – and have loved watching you grow your business and find success. I’ll keep reading and being inspired by you and your team.

    I’ve been thinking about your post all day – and here are my thoughts. When I first started to watch shows (back before blogs) about design – they were all ways to fix up a room for $1000 – making your home better on a small budget in a hurry and I was hooked. It seems that over time design shows and blogs as they have gotten successful have tried to top themselves, so the projects and budgets kept getting bigger, fun at first. But eventually it seems every show and blog is about a major renovation or new house. The projects get more and more expensive, again fun at first. But eventually I’ve started missing the little suggestions – examples to inspire me to take on a project in my home, something I can afford and finish in my spare time.

    I’m excited for your new direction and goals as it feels like this is where you are headed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dying to see the Mountain House and will always follow along, but I’m also really looking forward to some styling posts – looking for that bit of daily inspiration.

  120. I think the reason I was bored by the Portland house project is that it didn’t feel like we were going on the journey with you, unlike your previous personal renovations. It felt like a project you were forced to write about. Even the schedule of the posts seems off and like they are an afterthought. The mountain house feels different since you involved us in every aspect, and I think it would have felt the same even if you didn’t do “I Design, You Decide.” Hope this helps.

  121. I have enjoyed reading this blog over the years and really love your style. I also love the fact that you care about your readers enough to ask for our feedback. So here goes: I do feel that over the past year it’s kind of all over the place and I’ve had a hard time keeping up. I can’t remember what half the mountain house and Portland house posts were about and they kind of blend together. I also don’t remember what half the reveals were or if they have been revealed yet? That being said, maybe it’s just where I am at in my life too. I have 4 kids and work part-time and I don’t have time to read long posts about windows. I love short and sweet posts about how to styling and anything budget friendly. Though the Portland house is gorgeous I lost interest in it fast when I saw how expensive it was getting.

  122. I have been reading your blog for the last few years and love your style and your work! Using things I have learned from you has enabled me to make better decisions in making changes in my own home. Yours is one of the few blogs I follow where I read all the comments submitted by readers and feel that your reader community is a strong asset of the blog.

    That said, I come here for interior design, so I skip past all the lifestyle/fashion/parenting posts. Although I enjoy the vast majority of your posts, there were several times in 2018 where I felt my stomach churn. The concept of two huge “gut it and start over with all new” concurrent projects just didn’t feel right. Then there was the paneled appliances debate – I could not relate to replacing perfectly new, beautiful, and useful appliances because of a new design preference. And this issue seemed to be considered because of Instagram, rather than because it was appropriate to the age/style of your English Tudor house.

    Going forward, I would like to see much more focus on smaller spaces/houses/rentals and the challenges they present. Design dilemmas posted by readers would be a huge help. For example, there was a post about draperies and how long they should be. Several readers asked about how to work around radiators underneath the windows but were not given a solution. Flea market/Craigslist finds and how you would improve and use them would be great. Show those items re-used/updated/styled out and it would be a win for your readers and for the planet.

    I also feel like the tone of the blog has shifted to emphasize us buying a lot of everything. All the ads on the site made navigation/loading times, etc. a bad experience. I understand that you need the revenue from the ads but because of the continual jumping around and blinking on your site (and only one other site), I had enough and have installed some ad blocking software. It was frustrating trying to read something when it kept moving out of view due to a different size ad moving into the middle of the screen and re-positioning my text.

    I’m looking forward to 2019 and the return of OG Emily. 😊

    1. I am glad someone else mentioned being bothered by all the ads on the site. They make the page very busy and cluttered, and the way they pop up makes it hard to enjoy my reading experience. I understand that ads are a necessary revenue stream but I hope they can be less obtrusive in 2019. Thank you for all your hard work, Emily and the team! xoxo

  123. I read every day and like everything you do on the blog (I don’t read Instagram) related to interior design, roundups and families. Please go easy on or skip the posts on haircuts, spas, insurance and filtered water.

  124. Just completed the survey! I’d like to add that I found the unpublished post series interesting and would love to see you work with other major retailers a bit more like C+B and West Elm. On the latest faux Christmas Tree roundup I was really shocked you didn’t feature Balsam Hill and thought maybe it was a financial decision. Anyway, there’s products out there that I wished you loved and used just as much as me! When it comes to the fashion posts I just can’t relate to most of it and a POC guest blogger may pique my interest a bit more for those. I really, really enjoy your give back type projects like Sylvia’s home or the women’s shelter or the recent single mom’s refresh. Those cost effective makeovers seem to use so much more color than some of your higher end work and the color resonates with me. All of your party/ event posts are my jam. Looking forward to plenty of awesome blog posts from you all. EHD you make my Mondays brighter!!

  125. I ADORE the round ups. As others have said, I find myself going back to them when I’m looking for something in particular. As a mid-20s woman in a high cost of living city, I’d love to see some smaller-scale renos/design posts. Studio apartments, moving in with a significant other and trying to mesh your styles etc. As much as I love scrolling through the dreamy big projects, I find it difficult (as I’m sure others do) to figure out ways to spruce up my 580 sq ft rental studio! Small space tables, coffee tables, pieces that can be swapped between a living room and a bedroom when you want to mix things up (like rugs, lamps, decor) would be awesome. Cheers to 2019!

  126. Happy New Year, Emily, team, and fellow readers.

    I wish you would add a “like” button for the readers’ comments, so that we can agree with a post without writing a full comment saying that we like it.

    I liked the Portland project results – I see them as “aspirational” rather than “do-able” for me, but the same is true for many design books, publications, and blogs. I received Bobby McAlpine’s newest book for Christmas and I so wish I could afford to have him design a house for me. But I can’t, so instead I study what he does and look for ways to bring some of it into my home. So I don’t see the budget on these projects as an insurmountable issue.

    I found the Portland and Mountain House posts too long and detailed. I just could not plow through all of them, even though I am deeply interested in design. Also sometimes the posts feel very “stream of consciousness,” rather than carefully crafted and edited, especially the long posts.

    I understand the financial reasons for your deal with Target, but I miss the freedom that you used to have to post about finds from Target competitors, like Ikea, CB2, etc. I would like to see a broader variety of cost-conscious “finds.” I am happy that you are going back to the flea market, Craig’s list, etc.

    I’m with the posts above saying “nay” to the use of the word “content.” It makes me feel like a customer and not a friend. I know that I’m not your friend, but part of the magic of a great blog is that readers feel like they are your friend. Along the same line, the posts by your employees are not in your “voice,” so I often am disappointed to find their posts, instead of yours. Sorry to your employees, but I miss the personal connection that you used to have to every post. If someone else must write for you, please get Orlando back – his voice meshed so well with yours that I always was happy to see a post by him.

    I love design books and magazines, as well as blogs. I would love a monthly column on the best new design books and outstanding issues of design magazines. You could do the same with design blogs. I was happy to see that you follow Remodelista, because I do, too. But I’ll bet that you follow other blogs that I don’t know about.

    I love how Remodelista and House Beautiful regularly cover paint colors. I would love to see a regular column on this. I know you did paint rules based on Marian Killian”s (sp?) system, but I actually do not like her sense of color or her rules. Maybe you could have a regular feature that answers specific questions, like “the best whites for southern facing rooms,” or “the best white for the light in LA or SF or NYC, etc.”

    I recall that you plan to rent out the Mountain House for short terms. I wish that you had addressed universal design for your rental property. All it takes is one accessible door; one downstairs bedroom and bath, which you have, designed for use by people with mobility impairments and devices; and one lower counter in the kitchen. I have a 5′ x 5′ “L” in my kitchen with a small bar sink, microwave, bank of drawers, and a large plate rack on the adjacent wall. My daughter, who uses a wheelchair for all of her mobility needs, can make a snack or a meal for herself, which is great. One of the biggest problems with airbnb rentals is the fact that they do not have to comply with disabled access codes, which makes most of their rentals unusable for families like ours.

    I’m still waiting to see your hair after all the posting about the group trip to the hair gurus.

    Sorry to be so wordy, but it’s an expression of my long-time interest in you and your blog.

    1. Addition to my post: the “L” shaped zone in my kitchen is irresistible to my young nieces, nephews and friends. A sink in the kitchen to wash their hands, or get a drink of water! A counter area at their height to help me cook, or decorate Christmas cookies. It works. And you can do the same thing with a smaller counter or table. So wheelchair access also is small child access.

      Still want to see that pretty blue and white vintage dress that you bought at the flea market.

  127. agree with comments of many others. while beautiful, it’s all starting to look the same. there’s nothing ‘weird’ about any of it and i think that’s what drew me to your style in the early days. now i find it more useful for practical advice than actual design inspiration or originality. and agree re: not very relatable. i’d rather see more creative and inspired uses of existing elements than just gutting everything always and starting from scratch.

  128. I agree with a lot of the comments about the Portland house. It was a long process, which is naturally the case, but between IG/stories by the time the posts came out it fell a little flat. Perhaps a delay on releasing the project and subsequent reveals in retrospective fashion would allow you to keep the momentum on the posts?

    I’d love to see a video of you all in Target picking out pillow sets; showcasing the process. Despite all your posts and everything on Pinterest I still can’t get it right when I walk into a store.

  129. I just posted a long post which is not “up” yet. I wanted to add that I would like a way to know when someone has responded to one of my posts, so that I can reply to them. I think the comment section would be more interesting if the conversations could flow in more directions.

    1. I agree with this.

      1. Third the motion.

      2. Thanks!

  130. Portland reveals: they stopped seeming relevant to me. Eh, the house was done weeks/months ago. It’s already sold. So, yeah, pretty and full of great information – but they would have been much more interesting if released as their own series in a more contemporaneous manner. In addition, the planning/progress posts for Portland felt similar in structure to those for the Mountain House, and so even though the houses were different the feeling was of information-rich posts (which I read, really, all of them!) coming out in a haphazard manner. But with the Mountain House still a work in progress, it’s more interesting for me as someone who’s interested in reading about the process. The reveal posts are like ‘cherry on top’ where the process is the actual sundae.

    The thing is, I don’t come here to read about your haircuts or fashion. I come for the house and design content, and those posts – as well as the ones I think of as ‘Emily’s thoughts on life’, which I love – provide the counterbalance and the personal interest that make this blog stand out among its peers.

  131. Hi Emily & Co. — longtime fan here. Your blog is always my go-to spot for inspiration and ideas. I love the updates you’ve been giving to the site, I think the “Rooms” feature is especially slick. Just one comment — I’ll often search the site using a keyword like “curtains” for example, and it use to pull up all your blog entries with curtain mentions. But now when I do it, I get these sorta empty entries that have clickable titles but they’re blank and missing the content and pics. Anyone else having the same issue?

  132. I would love more smaller sized room ideas or how to have a room with multiple functions. Right now I need a bed room(just a bed) and a craft/ storage room. I feel like pretty and functional(closed container storage) would be great. I love everything you do and always look for inspiration! ❤

  133. I love detailed process posts. That said, I didn’t read some of the mountain house and Portland house posts. I am wondering if it was an issue of title and information breakdown? Off the top of my head, I think a lot of them were titles were reveal and it was a lot of info at once and it seemed a little overwhelming. Maybe if the posts revealed but also focused on some specific pArt it would be easier to digest?

    Also, I appreciate your parenting posts where you are talking about things like screen time, etc. mostly I appreciate these because you are so genuine in these posts, and it’s nice to have that voice in the blog. But I don’t particularly care for posts like kids having extreme fancy movie night, as that seems a bit over the top. But also, maybe that’s more normal for California and we don’t have backyards in NYC. 🙂

    I have been reading for around 3 years, and this last year I read less than previous years but I’m not sure exactly why. I did not make any decorating decisions last year, so it’s possible that is also a reason.

  134. I thought this year’s content was great. I loved the in-depth discussion of design issues and options shown for the Portland and Mountain house. My only issue would be how much of it there was. It got overwhelming and I felt bad for you having to come up with two whole concepts for each room that you (and hubby) loved. Phew. Could it have worked just as well with only 3 rooms only, or focus on just floor plans (cuz it’s fun to see you get great ideas from us watchers from the void)and then some design themes for us to think about and vote on? I don’t know, it just got exhausting. Overall, I loved the Portland house which I got to see in person (yippee) and am salivating over the Mountain house…that wood!

  135. Emily, I LOVE your blog — I think I’ve been reading since you were in that rental with the Spanish-style kitchen. Yours is one of the very few blogs I still read every day, and I’ve bought so much stuff at Target based on your recommendation. My front porch decor and furniture are inspired by the reveal of your beautiful patio.

    PLEASE KEEP DOING PROCESS POSTS! I devoured your article about deciding on windows and how many panes they should have, and mentally bookmarked it for when I get new windows. All your process posts are like an education in design — and it’s an education no one else that I know of is offering. Everyone else shows us the finished product, but you show us how you got there, and I LOVE it. I had a busy November and December and wasn’t able to read all those posts, so over the holidays I went back and read every single one in full. I don’t care how long they are — tell us everything!

    I loved the Portland house, but I also found it less useful because the budget and scale were less relatable to me. Here’s the thing: all the great designers are doing big, wealthy suburban houses. Jenny Komenda does them, Amber Interiors does them — I could make a long list of designers doing that right now. It makes sense, because those homeowners can afford to pay for a designer. When I read those posts, I have to do the mental work of figuring out whether it’s possible to make those themes / patterns / colors work in my small home. But one thing that makes you special is your ability to work with quirk! I LOVED your process posts and reveals for your own home, because it’s an old quirky house with weird angles and funny small rooms and you had to work with it, and you pulled it off beautifully. That’s the most inspiring thing to me. I’d love to see more of that.

    Can’t wait to see all the awesomeness in store in 2019!

    1. I’d love to see a post of your hoarded treasures. Or it could be a series, a challenge! Shop the house, and find a new place for something old. We can all relate and it’s fun to breath new life into stale corners of our homes.

  136. This year felt too high-end and pricey, both the Portland house and the mountain house. Just so out of reach for your readers (well, at least for me). I liked when you’ve shared your own house (the old one and the current one)…feels more real life. And the surprise redecorations for deserving people were beautiful!!! And the stuff for Target is so great and so practical…love the Christmas posts. I would love to see more styling/decorating less renovating and more real life. ❤️

  137. Heyyyyyyy!!
    Love your blog and you and your team are so talented and down to earth and it really shows in your post. Great work!

    But it is kind of like the law of deminshing returns (for all you Econ folks)…too much of a good thing! Too many BIG projects going on and some posts were just too long…kind of like a really long resume (ain’t nobody got time for that). Totally busting your chops here, but you catch my drift!
    Keep up the good work but let’s keep these posts tight 😜

  138. I think for me balance is key. The beautiful, expensive renovations are so fun to see, but they need to be tempered with affordable, beautiful renovations too. It’s not that every project must be affordable for the average Jo, there just needs to be more balance. I find the last year has had an over abundance of high end, long drawn out renovations that had anticlimactic ends as many pointed out, that instead of sparking creativity and learning in me, they created discontentment. It’s as if I heard if you don’t do it like this and at this price point it’s not good enough because there wasn’t enough balance of the other voice. Things like the makeover takeover and Sylvia’s home – those things are few and far between, but give great balance to your blog.

    And above all, Emily, you are a designer with a great ability as a teacher. You have taught me for many years through your blog. With the mountain house and Portland I felt like the teaching has faded into the background and it all feels over produced. I will always use your blog as a tool and design resource, I just find that it’s the older posts that provide that and not the newer.

    That said, thank you for your humility and design to learn and grow. Be you and you don’t have to pander entirely to us, but I get that it’s a business, just don’t give up you for the sake of the business. All the best.

  139. I would LOVE to see how you take flea market finds or other purchases and style them in different rooms (and even in different houses/apartments). I think that creativity and flexibility is what really draws me in.

  140. I just found the portland house very conventional and boring… I come to see something different and be inspired and it was a bit too catalogue for me.

  141. Hi! I love your perspective, voice, and style! I have to say though, I am not a fan of the beauty or fashion content. Maybe these could be wrapped into the decor posts (ie showing off how to style a bed and having links to outfits etc).

    As far as the big reno. projects go, it got a bit repetitive and confusing in terms of sequence of posting. For example, it may help to show an overall house bathroom plan for context, then unveil each bathroom. I often caught myself wondering which house we were touring. I was also not a fan of the I Design You Decide project because I felt that the things that got voted on were not necessarily followed (ie the overall house theme). I think the decisions should have been smaller so that they could be easily implemented.

  142. Would LOVE to see an “Ask Emily” feature, or an “Ask the EHD crew” since I know you can’t tackle it all on your own. Or maybe FAQs, but I love that idea that I could write in with a specific question and possible get it answered in a post.

  143. don’t listen to commenters. commenters read. most “readers” probably don’t actually read. based on what you say works/doesn’t, people prefer content that they can consume/understand/appreciate quickly and easily (which means without reading) — before-and-afters, DIYs, HAIRCUTS! couple that with the human nature that people are self-serving; posts that more people can relate to/apply to themselves will always be winners.

    but hey, don’t take content performance personally! unless of course you want to celebrate that the #1 thing people like is you and your team?!! hello, that is awesome!!

    I’m a commenter now, so I guess you can’t listen to me! but most days I check your site, and most days I just don’t have time to read a whole post. but! for what it’s worth, please stay true to design & style! haircuts, momming, politics (big kudos for asking for DIFFERENT points of view) are all wonderful — but keep true to your core. styling is important — and helping people style better is important! the spaces we spend our lives in, and create for our families, are not just an outward self-reflections, but they create inward energy — they bring us joy!

    1. omg I have to troll myself. all that said — don’t change your voice or stop offering long-form content!! I just surmise that it drives comments and engagement — and your question of traffic seems to be correlated with visual or shorter-form content.

  144. I would love to see some more family friendly, lived in, budget friendly designs. As a young family living in a fixer upper, I am constantly looking for fresh, new, and creative ways to make our home work for us. The more we can do it with a real design aesthetic, the better. Obviously this is hyper specific and might not fit everyone’s desires from EHD, but it would be really great to see in addition to everything else!

  145. Please do more quick updates on the homes of others!! I loved the surprise makeover you did. I loved that it was a real space and it wasn’t as high end, it was very attainable. Plus, the whole idea was just awesome!!

    1. I agree with quick updates on the homes of others! So fun, so useful – *Hopefully* not too intense for you all? (Maybe it is still rather intense – I would be intense for me to do – but I imagine easier than accomplishing some of the other types of content?)

  146. I appreciate all of the links you give to specific shoppable items in all different price ranges! The do’s and don’ts to help what items to shop for and then how to present/style them are my favorite.
    I think the big projects may be hard for some to follow over such long periods of time so the content turns into information people will reference back to later instead of continuously engaging with.
    I LOVE what you do, honestly inspiring in all aspects of life. So I’m hoping for more design and less EHD team tattoo reveals or waxing dos and donts 😁

  147. Though I appreciate the absolutely BEAUTIFUL Portland house pictures, it lost me because it was too aspirational. I like the more practical things that Emily and team can give. I have a house; I have been working with it for awhile. I don’t have the cash to gut a brand new house. I don’t have sponsorships to make really high end things free for me. I love it the most when Emily utilizes Target. I like when she mixes Target with flea market and high end. I never liked blue until I read this blog and now I like it.

    Another problem with the Portland reveal house for me is that I kept asking if you guys made any money and I never had that answered. On HGTV, the formula right now is design + real estate. So, the financial side of those shows make it interesting for me. When you put that much money into a property, do you make money on the flip? Or is the money just made with the content and sponsorships? I think if there was more focus on the budget side of Portland, I would have enjoyed it more. I DO like process, but the process posts aren’t working on the blog lately because budget seems to be less of a consideration at this point. “Should I pick this really beautiful high end tile (that is way out of my budget) or this other really beautiful high end tile (that also doesn’t make sense financially because it’s like over improving a pinto car and putting rims on a honda civic if I do)? If my budget looked like Emily’s recents budgets, I wouldn’t spend my time reading/learning from this blog, I would simply hire someone from her team or who used to work for her or some other fabulous high end designer.
    That being said, I know that the mountain cabin is going to be beautiful, but you will probably lose me a bit because I will think about the area and the cost that was put into the house and how if you did not have a blog, it doesn’t make fiscal sense to over improve a house to that degree because you will never get the money out upon resale. For Emily, it makes sense because it is content. But still, if it is too over the top, she loses her true audience.
    What makes this blog different from say House Beautiful magazines or other blogs/instagrams/sites, whatever is the certain je ne said quoi of Emily’s design. That is the flea market find next to the custom expensive sofa with the Target throw pillows. What works is “style.” “Style” cannot be bought. We all know that you can’t just throw a lot of money at something and know it will turn out unique. Emily has style in abundance and we readers want to attain that too (and usually on a budget renovating the amount that makes sense in our individual housing markets).
    I kind of rambled, but I hope my diatribe made sense to y’all.

  148. Completed the survey!

    Can I ask a (random!) question. I read Emily’s post about avoiding hand scraped flooring (thank you!) – is does the same “no go” go for wire brushed flooring? Or is that okay design-wise? About to order white oak engineered hardwoods and FEELING STRESSED. Thanks! xo

    1. I’m not Emily but I just ordered oak engineered hardwoods and mine is wire brushed and I think it’s great. I’m very anti the handscraped look because it looks so unnatural, seems forced and creates such a strong pattern when light hits it. However, the wire brushed look to me is subtle and makes the floor feel more natural than a very smooth surface. Hope that helps! Ordering floors is STRESSFUL. I feel ya!

  149. Happy New Year, Emily and team. Thank you for a great 2018. I really love all your work. I find myself most drawn to post that educate and detail how to obtain a certain style, look or feel. I love to analyze my home for what works or needs changed against the posts. Thanks again! Cheers to a great 2019!

  150. I can’t see any of the other comments, not sure what that means.

    For me, the fact that there was so much time between the I design, you decide posts and the reveal took the momentum and fun out of the process. I am not even sure if the entire Portland house has been posted yet and none of the mountain house has been posted yet. I understand the reasons for the delay, but that made it difficult for me to sustain my interest in these projects.

    I like the person posts and the clothing posts, and have probably mentioned this before in comments, but really don’t care for posts that encourage people to drastically change their appearance. It makes me sad that people need to change their hair and eyebrows so much in order to feel good about themselves. Having said this, I will add that I love the photo at the top of this post. Everyone looks great in it!

    I am not exactly sure which design content I would want but I do think that somehow if you move in the direction of anything that shows us more of what you like and what is distinctly your point of view when it comes to designing, styling, and buying things for the home, that is the better direction to go in, rather than in trying to engineer a content strategy that is too focused on monetization. If you in particular do what you love, I think we will follow, because your readers are clearly interested knowing more about the things you love. I’d also love to read more of your thoughts on serving the community, politics, books, and movies, podcasts, and TV shows.

    Just thought of one more idea–posts on your quasi communal living situation now that your friend is living next door.

  151. The Portland house was boring – design that can be found everywhere – nothing unique. Too big and too expensive

  152. I submitted the survey, but I wanted to add something about the Portland House. I was very excited about it at first, and the fact that it was designed to sell does not bother me at all. But there was a big time gap in your coverage about it. You built up interest at first, and the floorplan phase was very engaging. But from floorplan to reveal it took really long, without anything in particular in between. That’s where momentum got lost. Would it be possible to follow up in room update fashion? Another idea would be to produce update videos. If you were doing your HGTV renovation show, you would film short videos at every turn that you would then stitch together. Can you give us a low-budget version of that, but broken apart into short videos? Especially when you’re laying out a room, videos help a lot.

  153. I really loved the process posts and would like to see more of them. As far as the Portland house, it didn’t bother me in the least that it was a flip. I just didn’t like the long breaks between posts. It was hard to keep it all straight. A final ‘tour’ of the house to wrap it all up would have been nice. Also, I found it interesting how you design differently for an ‘unknown’ client but, on the other hand, I couldn’t really relate since it was so high-end. I would like to see more budget-friendly design posts please!
    I also skip over the fashion and beauty posts. That’s not why I read this blog, (which I love, by the way!). The sponsored posts don’t bother me. I understand that you have to pay the bills and I think you do them in a thoughtful and interesting way so I still learn something from them.
    All in all, I love your blog. Keep up the good work!

    1. Seconded. The more I read these comments the more I think it’s a question of structure and narrative. The big projects needed a different posting structure to communicate their value and impact. Do the room reveals closer together, keep them shorter maybe – with before and after, no during. Then do a series of topic posts about the same project, over time as you do the one, one focused on finishes, another on space planning, and so on. Essentially 3-5 posts organized by theme/concept vs. room.

  154. I would love to see how examples of how to arrange furniture, art, and stuff in small and difficult spaces!

    Maybe taking one space or area of a room and teaching through the different options you design?

    I always look forward to your stories!

  155. Hi Emily! I’m a long time reader. After seeing your post on insta, I wanted to come here and express something that’s been rattling around in my head for a while. For me, I found it really difficult to keep track of which renovation was which. I know for you and your amazing team, it probably seemed really simple and obvious! But for those of us that pop in to read a post, it was confusing. I wasn’t able to keep track of the “plot” of each reno, which is why I think the smaller/quicker posts performed just as well. A reader could easily follow what was happening in that single post. Just my two cents! I hope this is helpful and doesn’t come across as criticism of you guys; you’re all so talented and I *love* the renovation content. (And the styling and budget content! You all have so much to give!)

    1. I agree with this! The two long ongoing renovations, with really long posts for each, definitely confused me.

      1. My issue was with sneak peeks – I mixed them up with reveals and it all began to feel a bit of a muchness. Couldn’t retain the whole narrative in my head.

  156. Survey comment: Some of the questions are mismatched groupings (i.e. 1-2 years, 3-5 years – there’s no 2-3 year option; $50-75,000, $100-150,000 – there’s no $75-100k)

  157. Hi Emily
    As a designer myself, I look forward to your projects and progress posts and truly appreciate the amount of time it takes to create your content. Keep up your amazing work!

  158. Wow, lots of comments! Most of which seem to echo my own thoughts. I’m not that into the “fashion/beauty” posts contrary to your statistics, I read it for the design content. Perhaps those posts get lots of hits but it sure sounds like your loyal followers like your design content best. I enjoy the process posts but I agree with others it took a little too long for the reveals – perhaps one should do the project, then go back and “fast forward” through the process. We are a people of instant gratification these days unfortunately!

  159. I’m commenter number 249 so my comments may be lost but here goes 🙂

    I think the more detailed design posts are actually somewhat hard to read in this format (any blog format I mean). I’m very architecture/design oriented – have always loved to look at blue prints, architectural renderings, etc but I even found that I couldn’t follow ‘the story’ without having to scroll up again and again to review the renderings. This takes a lot of time and even though I do have a long attention span for such things, it exceeded my allotted time to read so I really didn’t spend a lot of time on those posts. Not sure if there is a practical solution for my comment as far as blog design goes but I’m definitely not the one to answer that and I’m sure your experts could chime in.

    I think the Portland design would be really interesting to someone in Portland who is a house flipper (if you were successful :). I know that I could never flip a house in my town with such high end finishes and design and expect a profit. So that project may be of unique interest.

    I am interested in the Mt House mainly because it’s a place you are designing specifically for family life. I do enjoy application and practicality as well as eye candy.

    I loved the design for the single mom. Loved it. Giving to deserving people would be something I wholeheartedly support.

    And yes, I guess I’m on board with more approachable design. Something between Target and high, high end would be much appreciated.

    All that to say, that you are all fantastic! Thanks so much for your thoughtful work!

  160. Yay for Craigslist finds coming back and more vintage/flea finds! Those are always my favorite posts and I can’t wait for more. I admit to sometimes skipping the Portland renovation posts. Honestly, they felt super-long and very inaccessible to me and that’s why I wasn’t into them. Also in the I design you decide decisions, I usually liked some elements from both so it never really made sense to vote, and then when we did, the key elements voted for got changed! So paying attention to those posts started to seem kind of pointless. It reminded me of like an HGTV flip show, but fancy and expensive – part of what I love about the blog is it’s personal, and we see spaces where we know the people who will be living with them – whether you or your staff, or people you have introduced us to (like the always amazing Orlando posts)- so knowing that this was done to be sold just lost that personal touch and appeal. I was also honestly super bothered (and still am) to see that some questions about the molding in that house were deleted from the comments. That felt really weird – it wasn’t just a criticism in the original comment (not mine btw!) but people genuinely wanting to know why decisions were made, because I’m sure there was a lot of thought put into them – and the fact that those questions were ‘curated’ out of the comments – and then when people asked about it no one answered from your team despite lots of responses on other comments – really made me feel disillusioned about the entire blog, and whether the experience here is genuine at all. I know it’s a business, but part of the appeal is feeling like we know a bit about you and your team, Emily, so seeing something like that makes it seem like what we see is just the strict facade that you want to be shown. Usually I feel like the blog is wonderfully transparent, even about mistakes, so that whole thing just struck me as so odd and out of character – hopefully it was just a one-off error.

  161. I just started a full renovation of my house and you’d think I’d be REALLY into the mountain house and Portland house inspiration, but I found them both to be a little over the top in terms of the price point for everything. They did help me hone in on my style and things I know I want vs what I know I don’t want.
    I know that the sponsorships are how you make your money, but it would be more helpful if you had to actually go shop for that stuff like your readers do. I hired an interior designer so that has helped, but the hardest part of this renovation (for me) is being overwhelmed with so many choices. If some brand were sponsoring my reno, then it would be much easier, but they aren’t so I have to wade through 574 bathroom faucets to figure out what I like and don’t like.

  162. Already filled out the survey but just wanted to add that the reason I wasn’t into the portland posts was because I had already seen the photos of the house when you had it for sale. Give me less sneak peaks of the mountain house and just some big fat juicy posts about each room and I’ll be looking at each one!

  163. For me, I wasn’t super into the Portland House style-wise anyway. I might have stayed more engaged with the project if the reveal posts had rolled out more quickly, or closer to “real time” – which I know may have been next to impossible given how much work they were to pull together. But I think we still haven’t seen all the reveals yet? And by now I know the project is way over and I’m just ready to move on from that project. If all the reveals could have been finished up in, like, a month or something I might have been more engaged with it.

    I hope we don’t have to wait that long on the Mountain House reveals – Posts could be shorter, more focused on photos, and roll out over a shorter time frame.

    Re: Contributing writers, I appreciate them occasionally, but, like, really occasionally. Not every week – I really come back to the site every day because I connected to Emily and her voice, home, and family. Like a friendship/relationship with a real person, when that’s not what I get here, I’m less interested. Maybe if they were regularly scheduled, and I knew that Fridays would always be a different writer, I’d be more ready to connect with those new voices.

  164. For the first time reading the comments, I feel like I am not alone in my response to your blog. Of course, I have always shared a love of what you do with other readers. But I often felt as though everyone else had access to an invisible guide to internet commenting that mandated that all commenters be cheerleaders for blog authors. I tend to engage with a critical sensibility. It’s my way of feeling like important issues aren’t being overlooked. But finally, reading the comments, I know that my response to last year’s content was widely shared. I am grateful to you for asking for honest feedback. I am sure that I will stick around no matter what you do, as I have been a reader for a long time now. I have been thinking about how you can resolve your dilemma of balancing the need for financing vs. passion projects. I’ve been wondering if you’d ever consider a TV show again. You are so warm and genuine, it is hard to believe that none of the new streaming money is available to give you carte blanche to create whatever type of programming you like. That way, you’d be free to use the blog for things that are truly special to you. Not that I’d want to lose you as a full-time blogger, but just thinking through options…

  165. Hey Emily –
    I read your blog daily and enjoy most of it.
    I don’t necessarily read thru Portland because it felt dragged out – but I have no issue with the budget thing – I’m ok with seeing designs I can’t afford. That’s part of design. I like to try and figure out styles that could work based off a higher end style. Please don’t stop posting the occasional high end makeovers just because the masses can’t afford it – same way I read architectural digest – certainly can’t afford anything there!
    What bothers me is the constant talk about content. And also how contrived some content is – dear gd. I am NOT drinking culligen water now because of these inane blog posts trying to connect it to design. When a sponsorship doesn’t work with your blog content please please turn them down and move onto another company. It felt super contrived.
    I think We all don’t want to hear how the back end of the business -“content” is Handeled – it reads a little fake.
    But all in all I enjoy your blog. I take what I like and leave the rest. I’m only saying it cuz you asked. Otherwise I would just continue to enjoy the parts I always do.

    1. Seconded.

    2. This all the way. There is way too much exposure to the “back side” of creating content. It makes the whole process less organic to read about.

  166. Haha – Those kids are sooo cute!

  167. I have thoughts both ways about the Portland reveals. On one hand, I definitely got inspired about the furniture/styling/objects in the living room and about the simple yet beautiful entry. Inspired for my own house! But on the other hand, if I missed one of the posts, I was OK, because in general, I felt like the Portland House was out of my budget/reality. I’m just piping up as one of those readers who doesn’t have a very large home design budget. (For one thing, I live in the midwest, and the wages/cost of living here is quite different from LA, making a lot of the renovation or home costs completely unrealistic – even for a family with two working parents in the IT field!)

    I will salivate, however, over a post on pillow combo roundups. (Sad to admit.)

  168. I filled in the survey but there weren’t really any questions on why I prefer one type of content to another, so here it is. I have enjoyed the Portland and Mountain House posts, but the mountain ones more. I think it is because it’s your home and you are more emotionally connected to it–the choices made are for a specific family, not in hopes that an unknown family will like them. And I have kids about the same age as yours so it’s relevant to me. Also, to be frank, the Portland house is just way beyond my reach so there’s a limit to my interest–curious about it as a whole, like the room reveals but don’t need every detail.

    What does interest me about the Portland house is: Did it sell? Was it worth your while? What was your experience with designing to sell vs. for yourself or a client?

    I also like simpler, shorter posts like “design dilemma” (what to do when you have a common design problem, maybe a reader vote to solve it). You used to do these super simple little videos, like “how to style your sofa” that broke it all down for design morons like me and they were really helpful.

    It could be fun to do a series on your personal design heroes (for each of you on the team), how they’ve inspired you and what it is you love about their work, with lots of pretty pictures, of course. And maybe how each of you got into design, or a particular project that meant a lot to you. These would maybe be less work to do and could be really engaging.

    I know I’m in the minority but not interested in haircuts, beauty, etc. I do like the posts on what you’re wearing, though :).

  169. I would like to challenge you to try 2019 as a year with no boomerangs. Just, no more please!

    1. This may well be the best comment on this post! Still photos are great!

  170. Personally, I like shorter bursts of design content. Like many have already said, the large design projects this year were great and contained a lot of useful information, but it some were redundant and impersonal. I also do not enjoy most of the sponsored posts, I know they help to pay the bills and all, but I was cringing through many of them this year and hated how contrived they felt (again, I get “it” but don’t like it…). What has connected me to your blog for years is the spontaneous, less precious nature of many of your posts. Your quirky fun, thrift-loving style. I love vintage and it’s at the core of my personal aesthetic. I really love when I can spot a thrifted vintage portrait in different settings in your posts throughout the years. That feels real and authentic.

    Personally, I don’t really gravitate towards the fashion/hair posts but I have to admit, after all those hefty design posts, the hair post kept me reading! I think it boils down to YOU. What was missing from some of the Portland posts, for example, was you – your quirky style and the fact that it wasn’t your house. So, the hair post felt like I could re-connect to you again as a person again. All and all, your blog is fabulous. It is authentic, thoughtful, and one of my top 3 very favorite blogs to visit. Thank you for all you do to inspire people!

    Happy New Year!

  171. EASY! Less ads and popups in your feed. As I type there is one video running and 2 ads in my field of vision (constantly changing). They are extremely distracting and take away from the content in my opinion. Just reading through a blog post has become annoying because of all the ads. I understand that this is one way you make money but I tend to come to your blog less than I used to because of it.

  172. Hi! I filled out the survey, but wanted to leave a quick comment about how the survey itself was written. Some of the questions were kind of unclear or missing answers. Also, I didn’t see a question about the Portland house, or the hair/makeovers, even though you explicitly mention them in your post. (Like, why did you like the hair post? What did you like about it? Did you like the Portland posts? If so, why? If no, what didn’t you like?)

    Maybe it’s not something most people would notice, but I’ve worked in survey research in the past, and I can tell you that things like this make a difference in quality of your data. You probably already know a social scientist of some kind who can help out with this kind of thing in the future! (There are a lot of us.)

    1. I agree while taking the survey, I wanted to elaborate on things or plainly what I was thinking was not there for a option. As I am reading the comments though, a lot of what I wanted to express is already here in the comments. I hope that counts as better feedback!

  173. I’m just repeating much of what the other readers have already said about the larger projects you’ve done. The Portland project stretched out for waaaaaaay too long. I stopped reading after the 5th “reveal”. While I didn’t think it was too high end, I just didn’t think it was personal. On the flip side the mountain house was almost too personal. While I loved watching you design for first two home buys by the moutian, essentially vacation house, I was burnt out. And I don’t want to sound too harsh but there was a point where I thought all the posts were just efforts to get sponsors to foot there bill for things you wanted in your home (I felt a little of this in your current home as well :/). And I’m sure hat wasn’t the point at all! It just came off as one more vendor plug after another.

    I read through a lot of comments below and I think something that would help is if you started designing other peoples spaces again. Makes it more personal and I like the. Aspect of taking other people’s taste into consideration so that it all looks a little different. Makeover and fashion posts go unread by myself :/

    I think you’re on the right track, excited to see what you all come up with!

  174. For the people complaining about the Portland house and mountain fixer being too high end, I’d like to know where those people shop for their home decor? I personally love the high end inspiration for what it is – inspiration. I love to dive deep into the internet or stores for an item that looks similar, but that’s in my price range. Maybe bring back the old high/low posts? Like how to make over your living room at 4 price points? Or maybe go to some of the larger box stores like pottery barn, west elm, crate and barrel and show how you would use their items in a room? I’m not even sure if those stores are considered too expensive? Then there’s cost plus world market, pier 1, home goods, etc….

  175. I enjoy more when a whole project is being executed from beginning to end, and being revealed when it’s completed; as opposed to showing each individual area once it’s done, but other areas are still being worked on.

  176. I really like the Mountain house posts, but was less engaged by the Portland house posts.

    For me, the difference was that the Portland house was “generic”. Not in your design, but the Portland house was about making pretty rooms that anyone could live in, not designing a house to solve specific problems/make life easier.

    When you talk about how you will USE the Mountain house, and how that drives design decisions- that’s interesting. When you talk about creating spaces for your kids, how you will use the kitchen, and how that drives the layout, the materials, the finishes- that’s relatable, even if you are choosing materials out of my price range. When you talk about how you and Brian compromise on what you want- that’s very relevant for those of us living with partners with opinions. For me, it’s the human side of the design decisions that is the most interesting.

  177. Can we see more room design challenges? Given a (real person’s) blank room, how do you furnish and style it? Or room makeovers would be good too.

    I love how you walk through all your design decisions… It helps me hone my design skills!

  178. Fleamarket, like you mention. Recycle, vintage, retro, things which are better for our environment e.g. Shop second hand, reuse, treatments, insulation and paint.

  179. How to group affordable art together (or unaffordable but at least we could get inspo), I never know what to pair together. ie: Like a buffalo annnnd what go together?

  180. I just completed the survey but forgot to include this thought – I really enjoy the entries about using products from Target, because that stuff is more accessible for me than many other products you post and it’s fun to see how you style the items. In general, the posts where you mix high-end items with budget or used stuff are the most useful and thought-provoking to me because it’s more similar to how I shop for my own house (invest in a few nicer pieces and save on the rest.) Maybe it also gives me some needed encouragement that there are ways to mix items so the less expensive stuff doesn’t scream CHEAP. Also really enjoy your candor on a wide variety of topics – it’s especially interesting to hear you talk about hard-learned lessons or design mistakes. I think that honesty really makes you stand out and keeps people coming back. Even if you get backlash for over-sharing, those people are still coming back to read, now aren’t they? 😉

  181. Just thought of another suggestion – my brain/eyes have a hard time processing the differences between “before” floorpans and “after.” Usually the images are big enough that I can’t see both of them on my computer screen at the same time and I have to rapidly scroll up and down and hope my eyes can scan fast enough to catch the differences. Is it possible to turn these into GIFs instead? Thanks.

    The post about where your teammates went to design school and what they got out of the experience was really fascinating.

    More Orlando Soria!!!!

  182. I’m filling out the survey and noticed you are missing an income bracket on the Annual Household Income Question. 75k-100k is missing.
    Just wanted to let you know.
    Love the blog just how it is!

  183. One of the things I absolutely love is your Target posts because you show how to design on a budget at a store that’s accessible to me. My only frustration with this is that sometimes items are out of stock but I’m not sure there’s much you can do about that! Thanks for asking what I’d like to see 🙂

    1. Yes this exactly! I love the Target posts the most! :)I don’t even read the more high end content at all, but I know that appeals to some of your readers.

      I personally don’t care for the political posts. I can appreciate when celebrities encourage people to vote and learn about the candidates. I just really dislike when they push their own personal views, or a specific candidate on others.

      Thank you for all the hard work you and your team puts into everything!

  184. I’d like to see more focused design tips. Rules for selecting accent pillows for a room. Interesting ways to hang art. Etc..Also, your posts are way too long. Rather than stream of consciousness, edit down. I don’t typically have ten mins to read a post. You could also post a little less. I’m on the verge of unfollowing you on IG because there’s just too much content at times. Lean in to the many facets of interior design and cut the fluff.

  185. What bothered me about the Portland house was how scattered and small the reveals were. There seemed to be no rhym or reason to when / how you revealed, and it took so long between some posts (I felt). One room at a time is painful bc it’s hard to get a big picture feel for the house. It’s disjointed. I think that’s why people like house tours, it’s so much more satisfying. I know it’s less content, but more meaningful. I also feel like it was too many small vignets in the photos and not enough pulled back shots to give a real feeling for what the house / rooms feel like. You designed and built that gorgeous house top to bottom, it’s all good! There is nothing to hide! Haha I want to see it all and understand what it feels like in the room and how they flow from one to the next. More like when you did the photos for when you sold your last house. And for me personally, some of the posts are just too long. I typically read on my phone, or during a break at work or something. I don’t have THAT long and some posts are super wordy. Don’t get me wrong they are funny and well written, but my fav blog posts are when less is more. Also, I feel like most of us aren’t able to check the blog EVERYDAY – so when house reveals are split into rooms, we most definitely miss some! I loved that Portland house so much, and do hope you do a full house tour at some point, and tell us what happened. It sold, I assumed, did they buy it furnished? I was just thinking the other day I was going to try and find the real estate listing again so I could look at all the photos again as a whole. I also like the personal posts, as a fellow mom of two young kids – I am right there with you! 😳 haha!

  186. The design rules and roundups are SO helpful. I reference them regularly when my husband and I are doing small projects here and there.

    We don’t have the budget for anything too big yet, but we like to live in a nice place and make thoughtful choices that we can carry with us once we move to a bigger place.

    Any more guides like this would be much appreciated!

  187. I don’t see anyone who seems to have my thoughts, but I’ll put them out there as a lonely voice :).

    I really don’t get the depth of consumerism. I am not a minimalist, but I am blown away again and again at the amount of “stuff”!

    When Emily goes through her wardrobe, I truly cannot understand the drive to own that amount of clothing and shoes.

    I have things I love decorating my home, and the turnover is gradual and slight.

    Possibly the never ending purchasing and then purging and donating is just necessary for this type of business, but although I love to look at beautiful design the over the top materialism and waste stresses me out

  188. In terms of the Portland project, I agree with other comments about not needing so many individual reveal posts (i.e.: powder bath), & that reveal posts coming after the real estate listing felt anticlimactic. Personally, I also just didn’t really connect to the sponsored posts on that project. I didn’t find the tone engaging and – if I’m being honest – a post about products that are being gifted or discounted for a real estate flip just kind of turned me off. Now, if the Portland house had been more my style, I might not have cared as much! While I can appreciate the design of the Portland house, Emily’s Glendale house is more of the design I gravitate to.

    What I will say is that I love process posts and I like hearing about problems/ dilemmas & the reasoning behind how they end up being addressed. I also *loved* the mock ups that your team labored over & they really helped me appreciate and better understand the design process posts. And – I did really enjoy the staging phase of the Portland house & the mix of art and furniture that you feature.

    I enjoy occasional posts by team members & have appreciated being introduced to new voices this year. And I like the style and beauty posts because they’re relatable! You guys come across as real people & I already trust your blog/ the integrity behind your posts. I prefer posts where you or the team have directly interacted ed with a product or brand (as opposed to random wayfair finds).

  189. I love your styling posts and small renovations!
    I skipped thru the mountain house because it was such a big job, it was difficult for me to follow. I also generally skip the fashion and hair posts. Oh and I do enjoy the parenting posts, too!

  190. I think my issue with the Portland house is that you had everything available to you (I realize that’s not strictly true but it feels like it.) You could move any wall or window, choose any material, borrow any furniture that caught your eye. I really like seeing the challenge of working within some constraints, whether it’s a small space, a tight budget, a certain style, etc. It feels more relatable and is more interesting to read about. If there’s going to be content with an unlimited budget, then I am more interested in super aspirational designs that push the envelope creatively (think Architectural Digest). That stuff is not going to work in my home/life anyway but I can enjoy looking at it nonetheless. The Portland home didn’t fit that criteria because you were still designing it to be more generically palatable, which is understandable but left me feeling “meh.” I come here for posts about where to buy art that’s not boring, how to incorporate vintage finds, and debating about whether you should go with a solid colored rug or a patterned one. Those things are relatable at any price point.

  191. More actual how-tos in dealing with renovations. For example, what do I need to consider, in your opinion, while picking light fixtures or bathroom fixtures? While seeing your renovation details are nice, I scower the articles for practical advice on a renovation we want to embark on and cannot find general information/advice to apply in my situation.

  192. Ok I think I figured it out. Didn’t Cup of Jo include your haircut post on her Friday Link round up? I’m definitely in the please-don’t-turn-this-into-a-lifestyle-blog camp because I come here for interiors and styling specifically. I just can’t get over that being one of your top posts- I SKIP those posts, how did this happen?! Is this going to make you do more posts like that? Gahhhhh.

  193. I find it so interesting that folks are “disappointed” because the Portland project was not something they could “replicate”. I personally don’t want my home or spaces to be the same as 10 other peoples’, and absolutely appreciate the more high end and not-mass Produced items you selected to furnish the Portland home. I am obsessed with the Portland bathroom with the navy walls and blue mix tile! AND the kitchen! Wowza!
    Maybe my perspective is such bc I’m a blogger who doesn’t want to appeal to the masses, and I feel totally ok with that. You,
    Emily, have such great taste and I think it’s still a major success to have the Portland project in your portfolio, because you also have the other fodder posts and round ups to balance out the content and therefore satisfy the general masses.
    I was thinking to round out the Portland project you could do a “look for less” for folks with smaller budgets to recreate the Portland house projects.

  194. I am a loooong-time reader and fan (and I don’t even live in the US), but I rarely visit your blog any more and prefer to just interact with your Instagram stories (maybe because they seem more real and you have to be quick?). But I miss your blog! So I’m really sitting here thinking and thinking about why. I think the answer is this: you over-complicate the blog. The posts are too long, too scattered, too detailed, not detailed enough, etc. You need a good editor on board who can prune your words, plan a content calendar to stretch content with interesting story arcs/different approaches, write snappy subheads, spot repetition, encourage a better editorial mix, etc. (Full disclosure: I’m a magazine editor).

    That’s why the haircut post resonates. It’s simple. I know what I’m going to get when I read the headline – before and after pics and a bit of a story about the reason for the haircut and the feeling after the haircut. Done and done. I wanted to love your soup post, but it just went on and on. A paragraph or two and a hyperlink to a list of “Why I love Soup; including 7 Soup Recipes for 7 Days” would have been great. Instead it reads like War and Peace.

    I loved the idea of your Portland House and Mountain House, but in reality, we drowned in the content. Some posts were sooooooo detailed, but then out of nowhere, the Portland house was done, you styled it in a weekend and it was on the market. I feel you missed the most important stage that your readers love you for: the styling and the fun! This portion of the project felt really rushed and secret. And that was the bit I was waiting for most!

    I also think you missed a massive opportunity: to style the house in a variety of ways. You (and your readers) put all this effort into renovating this house, but then you didn’t play in it enough! I don’t expect full-blown style changes, but perhaps you could have had a post on, “The 4 Different Colour Schemes I Could Use in this House”, “Styling for Selling vs Styling for Living” or visual posts such as “4 Different Ways to Style a Room with a Blue Couch” – then show how blue can change with different woods, cushion colours, lamp colours, rugs, etc – or “Why Does this Foyer Table Work Better Than This One?” Really simple, visual stuff. I don’t love all the professional renderings. I love your posts with arrows saying, “cushion is too big and fluffy” or “scale of couch is off; should be 2 inches lower”.

    And I feel the same way about your Mountain House. I don’t want to have put all this effort into following the design and then be presented with a finished room. I want to see the empty house and the empty room and then see your styling process!! We have gone into the detail of why you chose this tile over that tile; now I want to watch you choose the couch, which way the couch faces, what cushion goes on the couch and why you have a round coffee table and not a rectangle coffee table; why is that cabinet there and what do you put in it, where do you keep toys/linen/boots/winter coats, etc. This seems more relatable to your readers who don’t/can’t do large-scale renovations but still appreciate watching the process and love the detail of room planning.

    I’d also love to see you stretch yourself a bit in regards to style. We know you’re great at blue and brass. What’s your next evolution?

    I love your warts ‘n’ all approach to sharing yourself and your work process. Embrace it, but elevate and edit it!

    Hope this all makes sense!

  195. I will like you to quote for me, my house remodelation, and if you can work it by distance. I am in Guatemala City, Central America .

    Thanks a lot!

    Waiting for your good response!!!

  196. Love the small reveals almost as much as I love the full room reveals! Please keep those coming.

    ALSO I’ve been eagerly awaiting the post you teased about the Portland house and costs of the flip, losses, where you over spent, etc.

  197. I did the survey and said I hadn’t checked out the new Rooms feature yet. I just looked at it now and it’s AWESOME. Such a good idea and so helpful! Thank you!

  198. I guess I’m in the minority because I agree – you can see beautiful reveals all over the place; you can even watch partial processes on HGTV shows, but you uniquely broke down process, decision making, options, and design reasoning and I liked that. The haircut and style posts were actually the least compelling to me… Just my 2 cents. Thanks for your candor and relatability! I learn so much from your blog.

  199. i’ve been a reader since 2013 maybe (?) and i honestly was not into your haircut post, so i hope you don’t interpret the large feedback on it as stepping more into the personal styling/personal care direction. i wonder if you received so much traffic because you put a lot of social energy behind it in the lead up? maybe that’s actually where you should invest more time? who knows – just wanted to share a different perspective since you asked for feedback. 🙂

    i also LOVED the portland project – like, wish i could live there – but maybe it started fizzling since it took so long for full “reveal” posts to make their way to the blog.

    thanks for everything you and the team do – love your design aesthetic and voice!

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