Emily Henderson

Team Building ...

Las Vegas Winter Market 2016


Sometimes team building means falling backwards into people’s open and confidant arms, and sometimes it means shopping and drinking at the Las Vegas Market in sin city. In case you don’t know what the market is, basically twice a year Atlanta, New York, High Point and Vegas invite all wholesale furniture and accessory makers to come, set up a showroom, and showcase their new wares (or their old staples). Congruently, there are a lot of parties, networking and general hob-nobbing during those four days. Many companies debut new lines, collaborations, and designers, while buyers and retailers place orders, or make relationships for future orders. You can’t really buy anything and leave with it. But, you do a lot of photographing product and exchanging business cards (and, if you are a retailer, you place large orders).


This market is way more geared towards designers or large retailers, not so much the smaller gift stores out there. We arrived early Monday morning of last week, and spend the next two days going showroom to showroom.

So, I figured I’d walk you through some of our favorite pieces and showrooms. The Vegas Market is definitely less about indie makers and small innovative designs companies. It’s more about pretty furniture, fabrics, lighting and accessories that would be sold at most of the home stores we go to in LA.


Some of the pricing is SHOCKINGLY low, but the kicker is that you have to place large orders in order to get the discounted pricing. For instance, that grey sofa below I think is around $500 IF you buy 5 of them (they often have a minimum order). I actually don’t remember if that’s the case for that particular sofa, but the idea is that buying in bulk is cheap, and if you are a designer you get a hefty discount (but not necessarily wholesale).


It’s both sad and wonderful that vintage things we all love so much can become so accessible through mass production. I’ve been collecting brass and wooden fingers/hands for years, and now, looky-loo, here they are. This is not a bad thing, it’s just how things go. But, you know it makes it a bit less special, even though I’m happy that it means it’s way more accessible for folks. It’s kinda the way it works, right?


Speaking of new pieces being inspired by vintage – MidcenturyLA has had this dresser for a while which I LOVE, but it’s $3k, which is a lot to spend on a small dresser (see my thoughts here). The new version of the dresser wasn’t that much cheaper for consumers – although the scale of the new one is bigger and better for most spaces.


Here is where I demonstrate how that lamp knocked off my shirt pattern. Rude.


There were many things that I was confused about how I felt. Take the credenza here for example:


If I had found this piece at the flea market I probably would have freaked out and bought it, but as a new piece I was less sure about my love for it. Now that I’m staring at it out of context, I do think that it could look BEAUTIFUL in the right environment – a large modern, minimalist home full of neutrals and high end accessories.


That there is a miniature tabletop pool table, that I loved. I actually bought a similar one at the flea market a while ago for Brian’s man cave. When I proudly brought it home to show him, he looked at me super confused with a, “why would a grown ass man want to play miniature pool?” look. Which is probably accurate and totally hilarious.

Remember the other day when I mentioned that I might be in the market for a new sofa? Well, I love the current one in our living room, it’s not the kind of sofa you want to lounge around on all day and I think because of that we don’t spend as much time in the living room as I want to. Anyway, this sofa below is insanely comfortable and the kind you don’t ever want to leave. It has a separate pillow top and down back cushions but I don’t think I can do white because while I love our Sunbrella fabric, it isn’t exactly soft washed linen that you wanna curl up on. Which got me thinking – what if this sofa were in indigo???? Then I’d kind of get my blue sofa back??? I feel like my living room is starting to feel a little less exciting without as much color. So, for spring we may need to bring some of that color back into the space to spruce it up.


This coffee table was a standout. It’s super simple, pretty, and looks stunning in person with brass, black and marble details. It’s from a new company, Ave (pronounced like Ave Maria), which had some very pretty things.


While we were there, we were also definitely on the hunt for a vendor that sold pretty washed linen things (and yes, that has been, and will always be a big trend, but right now it feels EXTRA trendy) and we found some pretty awesome options for far below the usual retail price of $200.



You can tell how shocked we were with the wholesale pricing by the look on Brady’s face. Keep it cool Brady… Keep it cool.


I love this finish of furniture (below), hell I love the whole line they have in it. They called it “grey wax” but it looked as light as pine, without the yellow tones. It is a beautiful clean finish without feeling too stark or cold.


Nobody ever disliked a leather and brass chair over here at EHD.


This is going to be my desk chair now. Or should I say throne.

I also loved this simple bench. I don’t need it and it might be annoying for guests to get in and out during dinner, but it could be so pretty. At least on one side of a dining table. What are your thoughts on beautiful furniture that makes you happy but is not exactly the most functional? Yay or Nay?


In case you are wondering what tiny thing is that I put in that tiny backpack of mine, it’s my breast pump. I had to plop down in the middle of the hallway a couple times during our visits (obviously covered and in a very quiet and not busy hallway) to do that milky work. So annoying. And then yes, I had to additionally carry around a tiny cooler for my liquid gold.

I would love to use both of these tables soon:


And then I’ll wear my black and white shirt, and set up that matching lamp, and I’ll look like an insane person.

Speaking of crazy, that night (well, both nights) we went out, Vegas-style. The first night we went to David Copperfield, which is both entertaining and kinda a ripoff.


But, we had a great time, and gambled ’til the wee hours of the night (team building stuff, ya know?!). The second day we scoured the market for what we may have missed the first day, saw some talks about social media (which are always interesting), then had a more chill night which included a lovely dinner at Blue Ribbon.

Back to pillows . . . I loved this pink one from Cisco Brothers. They had some pretty awesome textiles in the softest linens in a variety of muted shades.


Kate Spade has a new collaboration with Jaipur which is pretty awesome. I particularly like the fringed and oversized floor pillows.


You probably know that my friend Justina Blakeney has a pillow and rug collection with Loloi which is wonderful and very bohemian. Here I am modeling my favorite pillow:


I loved this pretty nightstand (below) . . . I still have fantasies of redoing my bedroom, and making it really portfolio worthy. Nightstands like this, with the new bed I’m getting (that’s right, I’m custom making a bed for our master) would look very pretty. Now to get that wallpaper off my stupid wall . . .


Pretty leather desk accessories never hurt anyone . . .



Is color coordinating books still a thing?


How do you feel about this dresser above? I loved the finish, and I like the shape, but is it try-hard or BEAUTIFUL? We were all super intrigued by it, but we all wondered if it was a good thing, or if the shape was weird. I think in the right space it could be beautiful – picture a seascape above it with a bust . . .


A danish company, Bloomingville (below), just came to the US and they have crazy affordable and cute pieces that I’m sure will be popping up all over local design stores and boutiques.


Pretty darn good stuff, no? And very affordable even with a markup.

All in all, the market was so much fun and very useful design-wise. We came back with a ton of new sources, made a lot of new connections, and felt generally inspired to bring that to our clients. I had been MIA since early October with the baby and then traveling all of December and our visit to the market was a good immersion to get my creative juices flowing again. The good news is, that despite having two tiny children, I’m feeling extremely motivated design and business-wise. Even though I know that LA is full of amazing design, sometimes you need to be sent out of town to help find some inspiration.


Here are all of our favorite vendors from the Vegas market. Most of these are wholesale (so you can’t order from them directly), but I still wanted to give them shout-outs and let them know I think they are doing good things.

Our Favorites:

Jaipur: Rugs, Pillows | Global Views: Furniture, Accessories | Safavieh: Lighting, Furniture, Rugs | Blue Ocean Traders: Accessories and Furniture | Chandra: Rugs | Loloi: Rugs and the Justina Blakeney Collaboration | Kravet: beautiful fabrics as always | MadeGoods: Dressers, Mirrors | GoHome: Furniture, Small Accessories | Noir: Everything | HomArt: Small Accessories | PomPom at Home: Linens and Textiles | Renwil: Mirrors. Lighting, Accessories | Selamat: Furniture | Palecek: Furniture and Lighting | Moes: Lighting, Furniture | Ave: Furniture | FourHands: Everything | Natural Curiosities: Large Scale Art | Cisco Brothers: Pillows, Textiles, Furniture | Bloomingville: Everything

Thanks for having us, Vegas. It’s not someplace I could go every weekend, but twice a year it’s absolutely worth the trip and the kidney damage. Until next year Sin City.

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    1. Ha! I was so distracted by those shoes that I could barely pay attention to all of the great show finds. LOVING those shoes.

      And Emily, kudos for traveling with the pump! That’s always such a joy to take along, especially through security lines. I once had a TSA agent who did NOT understand what it was and kept reversing it through the machine over and over. Finally, his counterpart at the other end of the conveyor belt came over to find out what the hold-up was. He took one look at the device, and then winked at me, saying, “He’s clueless. He’s young and single. I’ve got a wife and three kids. Have a nice flight, miss.”

      1. More props for being a working/traveling/pumpin’ mama!! That shit ain’t easy, and you even have it in a cute bag! I love when women share the fact that they are working and breastfeeding–it takes such commitment and prowess (where can I find an outlet in this dank, quiet hall?) Go Mama, Go!

  1. I am curious about the difference between a stylist and an interior designer. You identify yourself as a stylist on this blog but I think of you as an interior designer. Can you elaborate on the difference ?

    1. To be an interior designer, you need a degree and a state license. Most states don’t allow you to use the term interior designer legally unless you have these things as interior designers are qualified to design electrical/plumbing/public safety items and pull permits.

      There are no official qualifications to be a stylist or interior decorator as they can only legally do furniture and finishes, none of the ‘dangerous’ things.

      Again, it varies state to state, but that’s the gist.

  2. emily – i need your help! i’m desperate for end tables for my living room but am trying not to buy all of my furniture at west elm. i’ve looked everywhere and can’t find anything mid-century that doesn’t look cheap (and doesn’t cost a fortune.) any suggestions based on your LV trip?

  3. For all the designers/decorators out there. How often do you recommend for a newbie to go to these markets? Should I be going to all of them every year or try to make at least one? Thanks

    1. I think just one. It’s a lot of the same stuff that moves around market to market with the idea that you go to the one that is closest to you. I’ve been to Atlanta and Highpoint, too, and they are both great. New York has the gift show and ICFF which are more innovative and less decorative.

  4. Tell us more about your bedroom re-do; that end table is so pretty. I’m all for function vs form, having always lived in small spaces. And how I miss your blue couch!!! Glad to hear you’re gonna add more color to your living room, definitely more you. Great posts lately, btw…

  5. I enjoyed this post a lot. Fun to see your view on the interesting products and trends. The textiles look beautiful and I’ve always loved the washed linen too. I’d love to see how you guys could style the ribcage-like dresser and how you’d use the cutouts.

  6. Hi Emily, I’m a frequent reader (ok, every day!) but infrequent commentator. I wanted to say thanks for providing such great content, every day. Even if the post is not 100% my cup of tea – I know you will always have something new and fresh for me to think about or drool over.

    However, the reason for my comment was not to go all ‘fan-girl’ on you. I wanted to comment about your ‘little backpack.’ Thank you for adding your perspective of a working mother and entrepreneur to the internet. I always wonder how breastfeeding moms make it work, and I appreciate your sharing that detail. I think it gives encouragement to those that are struggling to balance a return to work with a new baby. Anywhoo, I guess I am going all ‘fan-girl’ so keep up the great work (and to your great team too).

    1. I had to pump while at a conference in Vegas, too. Luckily my conference was in my hotel, but, it being Vegas, it took 20 minutes to get back to my room for each pumping session. Not ideal, but working moms know how to make it work! Keep it up, Emily!

    2. As a nursing mom who reads Emily’s blog on her pump breaks, I also appreciated this piece of information! Way to go Emily!

      1. Thanks, guys. That honestly makes me feel VERY happy as i’m always unsure who wants to read about ‘pumps’ and other very mom-type content. xx

        1. My kids are 5 and 8 now and I have been a traveling sales rep in this very industry! I would have been a super fan girl if I saw you in Vegas, I was there at the same time. The reason for my note is to pass along a tip for traveling gold milk moms. When I would travel, I would pick up dry ice when I arrived in town and it would keep the liquid gold in my little cooler frozen solid for the entire trip. Going through security was always an adventure, you can only have so much dry ice in a carry on. I carried around an ugly black bag that came with my pump, wish i had such a cute backpack.

  7. That dining bench is super cute but I just can’t see that it would ever work out functionally. Maybe as a banquette that was open on both ends, but in my experience adults don’t like benches. But, I’m also completely over non-functional but pretty furniture after a decade of small-space apartment living. I just sold all mine :)

  8. I haven’t been to the Vegas market for a whole year because I had a tiny baby and now I don’t want to deal with the hassle of pumping at the market (it doesn’t help that I am with my two male bosses- awkward). Anyway, thanks for keeping it real! And showing all of the beautiful pictures so I don’t feel too much like I am missing out :)

  9. Do any of the rest of you find the couch choice interesting? You are always surprising me with what you like. I would have thought this would have made your “generic couch” list – because it just looks like a white slipcover over a generic couch. But I do trust your judgement!
    I have generic dark brown microsuede sofas that I pledge to make work for another decade because with two little boys using them as jungle gyms – they are frankly awesome. I like my kids to be able to make forts out of the cushions, and be able to wash accidents off so easily, so I have chosen my kids happy childhood jungle gym living room over style for now. Sigh. Keeping me on my toes EH, Keeping me on my toes.

    1. In my opinion, the couch is not generic because of its long, low profile, it only has a single thin seat cushion, and the white, washed linen fabric is meant to be wrinkled while still looking high end.

  10. Oh and hi five for the pumping on the go. Best part of 2016 for me is not having the pump be my ball and chain. Yet every time I pumped in some weird dark corner, hooked up to what I call “the ugly baby” I thought to myself, “I’m a mother effing super hero making food for my kid.” It kept me going I guess.

  11. Weighing in on
    1. form v. function – the bench
    Beautiful furniture that is not functional is so cool for our friends to own so we can visit. It becomes so much less beautiful when it’s in your own home and mocking you for your silly superficial choice whenever you try to use it.
    2. the dresser with open spaces between each drawer (try-hard or BEAUTIFUL):
    That item could be used by one’s defense team as the cause for temporary insanity in a murder trial.


  12. Thanks as usual for the insider peek. It’s amazing how many of these new items look like refurbished vintage (and a bit dismaying in the sense of “is everyone’s style the same now?”). It makes me wonder if this is the beginning of the end of mid-century modern… and what will come next.

    About the sofa: love it. However, I once ignored a piece of designer advice I read in a magazine that said if you have young children, get a tight back sofa. Now I think about those wise words every one of the hundreds–nay, thousands!–of times I’ve fluffed and rearranged my comfy down sofa cushions after my boys have jumped on, thrown, smooshed or otherwise messed them up.

  13. Emily. I have been to skillions of gift shows, + there is NO way you would have been able to go up + down the aisles in those shoes. I worry.

  14. The “weird shaped dresser” might be super cool in the right space, still, all I’m thinking about is what a pain it would be to dust.

    Love the green nightstand though.

  15. Brady’s expression is too cute! And I am so onboard with the washed linen trend.

    P.S. Ditto the other readers who liked the tidbit about your little backpack.

  16. I went to High Point University in NC and the school purposefully built fall and spring breaks around furniture market in the hopes that students would work market and learn about it. (especially the interior design students, of which they have many and the program is amazing and ridiculously hard — says the girl who was in it for literally one semester and promptly switched majors) Anywho, I worked a couple markets and they are so amazing! Even though I worked as a menial showroom girl who offered you beverages and snacks when you walk in, It’s so interesting to see what goes on and it really gives you a glimpse into the world of an interior designer/purchaser/insert job title. It was an amazing experience to get to see how the industry works. Somehow, however, I think Vegas would be a ton more fun than High Point, NC……

  17. Would love a linen-y sofa. I was looking at the Perennials fabric for a sofa recover and was curious how it holds up. Would love something in a navy that would hold up with the dogs etc. Any feedback?

  18. Hi Emily! :)

    Can you tell me where that gorgeous quartz + wood monolith sidetable is from?? In the photo, it’s sitting right beside that fantastic leggy green nightstand you say you would love to have for your bedroom.

    Thanks so much! :)