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7 Tips For Creating A Unique Home You REALLY Love

If you love vintage things and going to the flea market, you are not alone. Michael, our newest team member is OBSESSED with them. In fact, for years I would run into him at the Rose Bowl, he would stop me and we’d chat all things blog and flea. He has also been showing up at all things EHD for nearly a decade like volunteering at the rummage sale and helping at the shelter holiday decorating event. Naturally, after all those run-ins we became friendly. Every now and again he would tip me off on some new social media app that came out. He was always so supportive and made me feel like someone was actually reading and learning from this blog. Cut to last year when we were desperate for help in all things communication and he texted me saying, ‘how about me?’ Not only did he have a ton of experience (13 years in digital marketing alone, which is basically since the beginning of the internet) but he’s read the blog every single morning for eight years. So as Brian put it after our 2-hour interview, “Woah, that guy is uniquely qualified to work for the blog”. If you think I just hired a yes man, it’s actually often the opposite. He reminds me why people read and have read this blog for years and even shuts down ideas that he thinks are just not what you (the readers) want. He quickly dubbed himself our “Fan Ambassador,” (I like ‘Reader ambassador’ more) telling us what he thinks you want, need, and most importantly how things will be interpreted, or misinterpreted, etc. He’s already campaigned for things like the return of Craigslists finds, DIY projects and more thrift store excursions which I’m so happy we are doing because frankly, it’s all I want to be doing. We’ll get into that in a separate post but boy is it fun to have a one-person-focus-group actually on staff – and I LOVE hearing about what surprises him most being on the inside after watching from the outside for years (hot tip: we make it look really easy). If you want him to write about it, leave it in the comments (maybe we’ll do it on stories?). But for now, it’s time to let Michael take it away. P.S. You should know that Michael is literally the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met, so if you think his excitement is faux, we promise it’s not. Head to insta stories to meet him in person:) Take it away, Michael.

Hi readers! First off—and I’m not joking—this is an ACTUAL BUCKET LIST dream of mine coming true. As Emily mentioned, I’ve read this blog every day for eight years and I couldn’t help but wonder/have daydreams of channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw and writing something for this blog…and now HERE I AM?! Over a year ago, I cooked up the idea (long before I ever worked here) to pen a story about “Everything I Know About Design, I Learned From This Blog.” That’s what I get to write about today in my EHD debut…dreams happen, people. And I bet a lot of you have learned tips, too, that I’m hoping you’ll share in the comments once you hear my seven that I’ve applied to my house over the years. (Sidenote: is it me or do we look like Amish siblings in that photo?) 🙂

vintage living room

Also, I think this is the point where I should mention that showing you all my house is slightly terrifying. How does Emily do this every day? Imagine having thousands and thousands of people peaking in your windows and seeing how you live?! Oh dear, I had never thought of it that way until RIGHT NOW. Don’t get me wrong, the day we styled and shot my living room for this post was one of the best days EVER but now that we are publishing it for you all…I really, really hope you like it as much as I do.

I used to be a picker (as a hobby) so my house is filled with all affordable and thrifty pieces that I’ve found at flea markets, thrift stores and online treasure hunting. I’m proud of my resourcefulness in finding interesting pieces that mean something to me and make me happy and gives any room some soul. Which leads me to my first lesson…

Lesson #1: Flea markets are your new best friend. Hang out with them all the time.

vintage living room

vintage living room

Going to the flea market is an adventure. It’s also how I’ve been able to curate cool furniture, unique doo-dads and original art in a really affordable way. This handsome fella above the fireplace is one of my absolute favorite things in my whole house and I think I only paid around $60 for it. It’s signed and dated 1916 and I was told he was a famous matador in Spain. Half the fun of vintage art is thinking about the provenance (I had to Google how to spell that)…where did this painting come from, who owned it, who was the subject and what kind of life did they have?! I want to be friends with this matador and ask him if I can borrow his hat. The paint is chipping off his face and it makes me love the painting even more.

vintage living room

And since I’ve been to A LOT of flea markets, here are some “insider” tips for you: Have patience; you won’t find everything right away but just keep trying and be the one to get there early, you’ll get first pick at the good stuff. And for those of you without a flea market near you, hit up garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, your grandma’s basement, eBay or Etsy…it’s all a fun treasure hunt. I got the vintage leather ottoman you’ll see a few photos down on eBay for around $80. (I have a habit of wanting to share with everyone how cheap everything I get at the flea market is. I wear my frugalness like a badge of honor). Another one of my all-time favorite finds came from eBay. It’s this English bulldog painting from Great Britain dated back to the 1800s. I mean, how RICH were you in the 1800s to be able to afford a portrait of your dog?! Where did that dog live? Was it a castle, a manor, did they get to sleep inside? What was their name? Buttercup, Mr. Pickles, Dame Judi Dench? I genuinely love it so much. It’s also very fitting because as you can see, life imitates art…I have my own little English bulldog…Dottie.

Lesson #2: Collections aren’t just “clutter.”

vintage living room

I’ve studied Emily’s shelves over the years and she often has little collections (remember the birdcage ladders?). I don’t even know why or how but when you pull a grouping of something together, it all of a sudden looks like a cool, purposeful collection. I have a grouping of long old photos hung and framed on my wall (one is of a circus from the 1930s), a collection of National Geographics from the 1920s. I even have a collection of vintage wooden toy airplane propellers. Why do I need them? I don’t…but they are interesting to me because my dad was a pilot in the military for 25 years, so I think I subconsciously have a lot of nods to him. I think the key is to have a collection of things that are a bit unusual and random. I’m not saying to collect little spoons, although those are fine, but a collection of something unique…yardsticks, croquet balls, globes, antique hotel bells (yes, over the years, I’ve collected them all).

Lesson #3: If at first you don’t succeed, just keep trying and styling.

vintage living room

I think a lot of people, myself included, get intimidated by design because of the fear of “doing something wrong.” But here’s the thing…it’s YOUR house, so you can do no wrong. I witnessed it when she helped me style the house. We just kept styling, playing around, moving furniture, adding more books, taking away books. Then would stare and stare at it. You’ll know when you have it to a place you like. And then a time will come when you won’t like it again and you’ll want to change it. That’s okay! Things are allowed to shift and evolve. I’m going to let you all in on a secret…knowing Emily was coming over to my house to shoot was SO EXCITING but don’t think I wasn’t up until after midnight styling my shelves over and over to get them just right for her. And get this…the amazing thing is when she got there…we KEPT styling the room even more because, simply put, it’s fun. It’s one of our company mottos…Style. Play. Every Day. (and also, styling to camera is a totally different skill I didn’t even know was a thing until that day).

A good tip…having cute pillows and a good throw, in my humble opinion, can “save the styling day” and is the easiest and cheapest way to change up a room. I change these out a few times a year and it gives me my “design fix.” And this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy all new things. Source from your own home….bring out pillows, throws and other decor from bedrooms and do a switcheroo. You’d be surprised how much “fresher” everything will feel without having to spend a penny.

Lesson #4: A coffee table doesn’t have to be boring.

vintage living room

Emily had this coffee table at her previous house that I was gagging over (do you remember it?). I mean…that table gave me palpitations I loved it so much. But I couldn’t find it anywhere. And when I finally found out it was from Anthropologie, it wasn’t being sold anymore. But I didn’t give up. I kept hunting and hunting and found this similar one on Chairish. I love it so much and think it gives off a good vibe in the living room. So don’t panic, take your time, but find a coffee table that makes you happy. It isn’t the sexiest piece of furniture to shop for but the right coffee table is something that can really make a room soar.

Lesson #5: Weird is good…in small doses.

vintage living room

Having a few unique or even wacky things is how you can make a place feel interesting and personal. It is also what separates you from looking like a showroom and makes for great conversation pieces at your next game night. It’s what I think so many of us love about Emily’s work. There’s often a surprisingly weird and unexpected element to it that makes it human. You can see on my shelves that I have an old beat up leather rhino and a strange cast iron monkey that is both a doorstop and a bank (hard to pick out here, but it’s next to the stack of books on the left). I mean, what the heck did someone need a door stop and bank in one for? Not sure but I like it on a shelf. And none of my friends have one, so I feel special.

Lesson #6: If you are gonna splurge, why not do it on a beautiful chair that you’ve wanted forever.

vintage living room

This vintage safari chair is functional AND looks like art! After eight years of daily blog reading, it’s clear to me that Emily has some amazing chairs. The Windsor from Round Top, the Cherner chair, the Paul McCobb. So go find a chair that makes your heart swell, you deserve it. Just keep hunting on Craigslist, you’ll find something special if you keep looking and go get it first before anyone else can! This one is a little beat up, but I’m okay with that, it gives it character and charm. The chair doesn’t have any screws…it’s all dowels and weight suspension. It’s a little scary to sit in but it works, plus I love to look at it. It looks sculptural and makes me feel way cooler than I actually am. So maybe I’m being that one friend (we all have one) but I’m telling you, go splurge…you deserve it. Buy that cool chair!! You won’t regret it.

Lesson #7: Live in your place a little before making any rash decisions.

vintage living room

If you’re anything like me, when I first move into a place, I want to go 120 miles an hour and just get the whole placed finished all at once. Decorate every room, hang every picture. Ironically, I either do that or I do absolutely nothing for two years. But here’s the thing Emily taught me: sometimes you have to live in a space for a while to figure out how you are going to actually…live in the space. Seems obvious but for me it wasn’t. This wallpaper was in the kitchen nook when I moved in and I definitely considered removing it because I didn’t think it was “my style.” But then I was like…sure, it’s out of my comfort zone but it’s pretty and very different than what I normally do, so I think I’ll keep it. I’m so glad I lived with it for a while before ripping that down with my bare hands like I almost did. It really does make that room feel more charming.

Michael Keck Living Room 17

Okay, that’s it. Thanks to all of you who made it to the end of this. (Hi Mom!) This has genuinely been so fun sharing my lessons with you. I’d love to hear what YOU’VE learned from reading Emily’s blog over the years. There have been so many amazing tips and tricks…share them with all of us below and let’s discuss them together.

***photography by Sara Tramp


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265 thoughts on “7 Tips For Creating A Unique Home You REALLY Love

    1. Thank you so much!! This is SO FUN chatting with you all down here in the comments. I’ll bring the snacks next time for us. Chips and Salsa for EVERYONE!!!

  1. Hi Michael! Love your space! Hope that couch is comfortable. You would of loved my mom she had such good collections after a lifetime of picking. I am always scratching my head over the coffee table placement on this blog … it’s almost centered rather than close enough to put a mug down without reaching or getting up. Maybe it’s for the camera idk??

    1. I’ve had the same thought about coffee table placement in blog photos. To me, a coffee table exists to hold mugs, to hold stuff you need like the TV remote, and to put feet on, so if you can’t do that, why have one?

    2. Thank you for bringing up this ongoing coffee table placement situation on EHD!
      I too feel compelled to respond to the EHD mystery coffee placement in nearly every post that has involved a coffee table. I agree – I have never been able to comprehend why a “designer” would place a coffee table in the middle of a room and out of reach of any seating in the room.

    3. Ohhh, this is a juicy one. Looks like a few other people are wondering about this. I can only vouch for my own coffee table experience but I put mine there essentially for 2 reasons…1.) My rug has a very unique pattern where it literally points to the middle, and it drove me nuts to not have it centered with that. 2.) The room is spaced so that when in person, I felt not having it centered made it feel really lopsided. And I just think it looks prettier centered with the fireplace too when you look at it from the other side in my dining room. But here’s what I do when I want to kick my legs up…I pull over that leather ottoman and start binging my shows. Hope that helps. (also, your mom sounds like she was a cool lady). xo

  2. Hi, i’m french so exuse my english … but i really wanted to leave a comment to let you know that this is a GREAT article ! So closed to what i’ve learned from Emily too ! The way I decorate my house is really closed to yours so I an looking forward to read more of your tips !

  3. I have loved all the posts from the last few days but this might be my fave! The home is so beautiful and I moved into my apartment a few months ago so this is exactely what I need to read. Thank you!

    1. Yay! Glad you liked it. Finding and using vintage stuff is fun!! Go get those treasures!!

  4. This is great news! I really enjoyed your writing style, looking forward to hearing more of your voice. Welcome Michael! Also, I love love love your space!

    1. Exactly this! Michael, you are a treasure! I loved this article and your writing voice so much! And, your home is STUNNING! Welcome, and welcome to sweet little Dottie, too! 🙂

      1. Thank you so much, I was so NERVOUS to show everyone my place. I really appreciate the nice feedback! And I’ll tell Dottie you say hi. xo

  5. Beautiful space. I love the shot of the white tv console close up. The blues and terra-cotta shades look so pretty with the painting.

  6. I LOVE the wallpaper. I’m so glad you kept it! Your home is adorable, Michael, and I really enjoyed reading this. 🙂

  7. Hi Michael! So glad to have you as our fan ambassador 🙂 lmao at Brian’s comment – so true.
    LOVE your living room and dining nook and really enjoyed this article. When do we get to see more of your gorgeous home?!

  8. Everything about this is adorable – the back story, the interior, the writing, Michael – and his dog! I feel like this is going back to the old style of EHD blog post, with one gorgeous and potentially achievable space to admire and some great tips that anyone can use. I think it’s brilliant that Emily is doing bigger and more high-end projects but that sort of stuff is like window shopping in designer stores for me – gorgeous and glossy but ultimately irrelevant to my life, and actually pretty hard to wrap my head around. Whereas posts like this genuinely get me really excited for what I could achieve in my own house. You’ve probably heard all that said a million times but, anyway, I love this new mix of content. Yesterday’s Portland post (useful in its own way but more aspirational) juxtaposed with this post today = you’ve hit the sweet spot.

    1. Ohhhhhhhhh…this is a good one!! Thanks for saying all that! Let me know where I can mail you the check. hahaha. xo

  9. Yay Michael! Love seeing a fresh face and someone who comes from the “other side” of being an EHD fan. LOVE your house. Where are those shelves from in your living room. Simple and clean but not your standard Ikea billy bookshelf. Also, if you ever need any hardware, LMK – we would love to have your team use Nest Studio! – have already emailed with Brady about it.

  10. Damn! Your home is so sculptural — aside from the styling and pieces, I love the artistry in the way the lines come together (I compliment the photography for that too!) . I would love to see more like this, thanks!

    1. Thanks!! This is such a nice and fancy compliment! And yes, Sara Tramp is an amazing photographer and all around awesome person!

  11. I really liked Michael’s writing style and his is vintage aesthetic is awesome. Welcome to the club Michael!

  12. You’re a delight and so is your home. It’s clear decorating your home was a labor of love. I’ve also learned from EHD that it’s not as easy as it looks, even design stars have decorating angst, and to not be too hard on myself when I don’t get it right the first time. Like you, I also like changing out the pillows and throws, small throw rugs to breathe fresh air into a room, although it’s taken me some time to learn. I tend to find a place for everything- takes me forever!- and then I don’t want to disturb my new zen. But I’m slowly learning the “art” of refresh and it feels so good when I do! Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  13. Such a great space! I love that’s it’s vintage and uniquely yours! Looking forward to reading and seeing more!

  14. Welcome aboard, Michael. You have a great voice and awesome design skills. Your couch is spectacular. Can’t wait to see more of your house and to hear more from you.

  15. Love your story. Love your house. I’m not great at picking up on design lessons simply by seeing beautiful homes, so I’ve learned the most from Emily explaining her thought process in different spaces.

    I know you have a lot of new readers who have missed out on the great tips published years ago. It might be worthwhile to highlight old gems (but maybe with new spaces/photos).

    1. I agree. All posts need DOGS! It’s a miracle we got that picture of Dottie and I. She normally doesn’t sit still for more than 2 seconds. We had 3 people behind the camera trying to wrangle her. LOL. But look how cuuuuuute she looks.

  16. Hi Michael! Love your place and your post. It did make me curious if I am in some niche oddball group that avoids coffee tables? Or am I like the only one? My living room is narrow and with a footstool for my BOYFs chair I just don’t feel like a coffee table works. But design blogs this breaking the riles means using smaller tables or whatever. I’m like,nooooo breaking the rules (or doing it my way?) means nothing in the center of the seating area except rug, pets and a footstool. Anywho, you asked about what I’ve learned from this blog. So much. But I wanted to do a fan girl gush about the post that introduced me to all of you: the one that explained what California casual is and how to do it. I was RIVETED to learn why I kept liking the same kinds of images on Pinterest and to understand its rules really helped me make a key decision about the fourth chair my living room needed. Those of us in small spaces can’t really collect chairs the way our hearts want. So paralysis by analysis is real. But THAT post helped me understand what style I was working toward and why my decision worked and wouldn’t be a regret. Granted I live in Minneapolis and am blending styles with a more traditional (think brown leather and paintings of historic sail boats) style, but now I know how to work my California dreaming into a cohesive (eventually) design. On top of all that, I love the tone of voice you all use. It is smart and professional without all of the pretense or over seriousness some blogs suffer. The joy and sense of play comes through. Thanks!

  17. Love your style and voice, Michael! You’re going to make a swell Fanbassador. Now I’m feeling extra revved up for thrifting this weekend.

    1. You are brilliant…Fanbassador! I love it! hahaha! I’ll have business cards made with that as my title.

  18. Congratulations Michael on joining the EHD team. Just thought I would let you know that the balls in the bowl on the bottom shelf of your wall unit are cricket balls, which is an interesting thing to collect in the US. Do they even play cricket there?

    1. All I know is that a lot of the British actors (starting waaaaay back in the silent era) who lived in Los Angeles started cricket and lawn bowling clubs for other ex-pats. I have no idea if the clubs still exist, but that could be the source of those balls.

    2. TONS of cricket players in my (small) town. There is even a league. We have a lot of people from India who work in the tech industry and play cricket. I’ve read that it’s popular in many places now.

  19. This was wonderful, thank you for letting me take a peek through the window;) Love what you’ve done, and love Dottie! I’ve always loved Emily’s style, she’s helped me be brave and just try. I enjoy the process now more than the final design:)

  20. I’m mesmerized by your fireplace. I would sit and stare at it all day if I were you. I want it.

  21. Awesome post!! And four more votes for more Michael posts on EHD (my kids are voting too.) Have a lovely Friday folks.

  22. What a lovely space! Thank you for sharing it with us, and for the seven tips. When I saw the photo of the dining room, it was a stop and “wow!” moment. That wallpaper is not immediately my style either, but with the gray of the table top and the warmth of the wood, it looks beautiful all together. From a fellow English Bulldog lover, welcome. 🙂

  23. Hello! Thanks for writing this post I think it does really touch on some highlights from the blog. I’m a relatively new reader here but I actually have a question for you all about how to balance displaying great unique finds with family pictures and memories? I don’t see a lot of family photos in magazines but get sad thinking about keeping all those memories stored on a phone instead of a wall. What are some guidelines or recommendations you have for family pictures? Thanks!!

    1. Yes, please. I’d love a post about styling family photos. (I even have a long photo of all the workers at my grandfather’s textile mill. Michael’s long photo grouping looks marvelous, but what to do with just one? Maybe I should look for more at flea markets!)

    2. Oh man…I swear Emily posted something about this a while back, but I can’t seem to find it. She mentioned that she used to not use family photos for decorating much until she had her children, but now the photos bring her so much joy that she is tempted to put them everywhere.

      The tips I do remember are (paraphrasing):
      1. black and white prints are easier to style, because they automatically look sophisticated and they hide amateur photography flaws
      2. groupings of multiple family photos in similar or identical frames with mats can keep them looking purposeful and cohesive

      Hopefully that helps! Maybe someone else will be able to find the original post for you!

      1. Thank you! Yes I’d love to hear more if anyone can find that post. That will get me started though.

  24. What a lovely post. And I would pretty much kill for that 30-drawer cabinet! Very cool piece. I think I’m still getting my head around the “collections are not clutter” thing. I keep looking at various bits and bobs in my house and thinking “Why is that here?” and “Does that look stupid sitting there?” You have inspired me to spend a couple hours today attempting to style. Cheers!

  25. Can Michael please write about what surprises him here instead of stories?

    Great to meet him and learn what he’s learned! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that if you want your best room, you have to work for it. If it’s something you enjoy, it will be fun for you, but no matter what, it will take time, money, and experience to make a room look great. If you are willing to put the resources in though, there are lots of ways to make a room amazing!

    1. I agree. Sometimes I look at stories, but it’s often with the sound turned down. If there’s just a lot of talking (talking heads), I skip ahead. I’d rather read…!

    2. I agree! I’m really curious about the “behind the scenes” you’ve experienced now working at EHD – full blog post please! 🙂

      And your house is amazing!! Thank you for sharing!!

  26. I’ve loved Emily for years and popped in on the blog on a regular basis but the last two weeks it’s become a daily ritual. This post was good for the soul. Bringing back some of the old eclectic magic. I’m so happy you got a check on your bucket list. Your writing voice is a lot like Emily’s, an enjoyable read. Good save on the wallpaper. It really makes the space. I love that you said hi mom at the end. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  27. LOVE this and LOVE Michael. Your space feels more COLLECTED than DECORATED – personal and welcoming, which is what makes a space special. Can’t wait to hear more from you!

  28. Awesome! Love your vintage-y eclectic, simple, bright space! It’s so well curated. Congratulations and cheers to dreams coming true!

  29. Lovely room and inspiring post! I definitely want a couple of Cherner chairs like in your breakfast nook!!

  30. I love this! Michael’s writing style is super entertaining, gorgeous apartment, cute backstory.

  31. Michael! You are a dream! As another long time reader, Welcome. I love your enthusiasm, your style. 10,10,10! Seriously though, great post. You have taken so many of Emily’s tips over the years, made them real, and reminded us why they really do work. My favorite takeaway? Art in off beat places makes an unexpected statement. 🙂 Looking forward to your next post.

  32. Michael! Congrats on the job. You are precious and I love your voice and your house! Great job.

  33. Michael I am super thrilled you’ve joined the team! It’s like Emily polls the readers and we say “more approachable, more weird, more slow decorating” and poof then you materialize! Go team EHD!!!

  34. My fiance and I have been renovating a complete fixer upper for the last six months, and I have learned EVERYTHING I need to know from this blog. I so appreciate the educational posts about how to avoid design mistakes, how to hang curtains the right way, how to space furniture in the living room, how to find affordable pieces that look beautiful, and so much more! I reference “what Emily taught me” all the time to the point my fiance thinks I know her IRL. The most instructive series for me was Introducing modern Victorian. Our home is 100 years old and I lobbied HARD for rich, dark paint colors and luckily I won that debate! I tell everyone that our home is going to be styled as Modern Victorian and when they look at me with a puzzled face, I direct them to that blog post!

    Our budget is nothing close to the homes that Emily designs, but I am so inspired by this blog that I know I can make our home LOOK like a million bucks. So thank you for sharing how to find gems at flea markets! I live in Washington DC and there aren’t a ton of big fleas here but there are a few in the surrounding area so I will be sure to visit them when our renovation is done and we can FINALLY buy new furniture!

    BTW if you want to follow along on our renovation and design adventures, please visit my blog! I try to channel Emily when I write posts 🙂

  35. Absolutely beautiful home!! And I’d definitely like a post on lessons/surprises about EHD now that you are behind-the-scenes.

  36. Michael, your home is stunning! What an addition to team EHD; your aesthetic, your writing style, your perspective are all a great fit here. I look forward to reading and seeing more from you.

    Strongly agree, the advice to live in one’s space before making big design decisions has been key for me.

    My other big Emily take away is to boldly mix vintage / new / big box. To my eye, it is the key to keep her spaces fresh and interesting and it has worked well in my home.

    1. Yes, that is a GREAT Emily tip! She always finds the BEST stuff, both new and vintage. I thought I was good at treasure hunting but I was at the Rose Bowl with her a few months ago and she legit found the MOST AMAZING lamp on a table amongst a bunch of actual junk. She’s got EAGLE eyes!

  37. I literally teared up reading this post not only because you are living your dream but because I felt like your passionate design “voice” is so clear and shines brightly in each and every word! What a beautiful home you have made and I love your pup! The safari chair, matador painting and kitchen nook wallpaper stories made my day! I’ll take your tips to heart. Can’t wait for the next post from Michael!

  38. Please tell me you will eventually be bold enough to show us your bedroom and kitchen? Perhaps even your bathroom??? I’m so in live with your space and voice. I hope we get to see/hear more from you.

  39. Sooooo good! I am “design challenged” and this gives me an very easy approach to establishing my own style. Love this and keep it coming Michael!!!

  40. Dearest dearest one,
    I knew this was going to a be good post (or a contest) because I saw how many comments there were already….
    But this, this is better than good!
    I haven’t even finished reading it, and am compelled to write something already!!!

    This is the best post!!!!!

    Micheal speaks for all of us, Emily. I’m so glad he’s there!!

    In particular, I too have been hunting for that coffee table since realizing it was from anthro (and sold out). Whenever I see the blog use it they link the world market version as “similar”. No sir, that world market one is not.

    Can Micheal help us kindered spirits by working his magic to find more treasures (like that table) for us to buy with links??!?
    Ps- it’s my birthday so maybe that’s why I’m wishing for this dream!

    1. Wow, thanks for the all the sweet words! You’re making me feel like a million bucks. If I find another one of those coffee tables, I’ll let you know. 🙂 Also…HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  41. Michael, you are a perfect addition to EHD! Your apartment is a delight. Really love your style and I’m dying over the architecture, fireplace and that amazing wallpaper. Gorgeous.

  42. Holy sh** that little dining nook!!!! That bulldog!!

    Also yes, you two look like Amish siblings in that picture 🙂

  43. This isn’t fair, to only give us a peek of your gorgeous, unique house and style: I want more. MORE! Then come and do my house, please.

    Welcome, and your writing style is so fantastic and fun, I can’t wait for your next entries!!

  44. I just wanted to say: I’m so glad you’re a part of EHD, you’re so flipping adorable and I love your house and your writing and your energy and that is all have a good day

  45. I love that the message of this post is that design should be fun and that it can be affordable. Such great inspiration. Sign me up for more Michael!! Maybe a podcast?!!! Xoxo

  46. First let me say, your home is beautiful. The fireplace is spectacular. It feels very warm and welcoming and I could sit in that safari chair and study every square inch of that room. I’d be like a kid in a candy shop. I live in a cowboy town in the Sierra foothills and have been amazed at things I’ve collected from thrifting. We used to have a big warehouse in town full of stuff that an older gentleman would pick and sell from the Waste Management dumps. As I was strolling through the heaps of stuff on the floor I came across a pile of chair legs and a garbage bag full of canvas and ropes. I didn’t know what it was at the time but I asked Gino what he wanted for the heap. He said $15. It took lots of research and many, many hours to get them put together correctly, but after all was said and done, I was/am the proud owner of 5 vintage safari chairs. I believe they are Kaare Klint. How on earth they ended up at the dumps in our little podunk town is beyond me. I love a collected over time look and this blog has taught me so much about how to style my home so it doesn’t look like I just hauled stuff home from the dumps. (even though I did) Looking forward to many more posts from you. Thanks!

  47. What a great post and welcome to the team Michael! I get to go to the Rose Bowl flea once a year and I’m always on the lookout for Emily there too. Now I’ll be on the lookout for you! You know, in a non-creepy, not stalkerish way.

    Did you move a lot growing up? Do you think it has influenced how you decorate and live? I ask as the daughter of a retired career Air Force pilot – we moved every 2 years and I think it’s influenced how I decorate and live in my subsequent homes, for better (raised during the cold war and spent my entire youth in different places in Germany and England and so I tend to go old world in a weird way because that’s what I fell in love with traipsing through all those castles) and for worse (I realized, finally, that my husband – an army brat – and I never made ANY structural changes to our homes because everything still felt temporary and that we’d invested only in what we could pack up and move. And that I still hear my dad in the back of my mind complaining about how heavy my books are and how we were in danger of being over our weight allowance).

    Can’t wait to hear more from you! And I hope we’ll get some great “what I saw and bought at the flea market” posts from you! Professional photos not needed!

  48. I agree with all these positive comments! Congrats and you’re already doing a great job! 🙂

  49. Long time reader, first time commenter and I just want to say this post is so sweet (as are Michael and his dog) and is exactly why I love this blog! 🙂

  50. Michael your space is so goood, I can’t get over how many thrifted pieces you have and how thoughtfully it’s all styled. You totally belong at EHD and I look forward to reading more of your posts. Also that Amish siblings comment made me laugh, I seriously had the same thought.

  51. This post is great! Michael seems like such a delightful person! I’d definitely like to read anything he writes. His advice is spot-on.
    The main thought running through my head (and I do not live in LA, so bear with me) is– how did you score just a huge, gorgeous apartment?!? Are you independently wealthy? Did you inherit the building?
    And of course the space has so much character–the fireplace surround is AMAZING. And there’s the sconces, the beams, the stained glass, the plaster…DANG!!
    Also your dog and dog painting are adorable. Everything you have is so thoughtfully selected. I love the warm, but airy and minimal feeling. Ahhhh!
    But back to reality. Michael mentioned not removing the wallpaper. My question is, what, if anything, DID you change in the space? Did you paint? Replace sconces? Etc.
    I assume we’re going to see the kitchen and bath at some point in the future–I’m looking forward to it.

  52. Really enjoyed reading this post! Your house has so much personality! I love the bulldog picture! And can you talk about the drawers under the picture?! Is it a library catalog?

  53. Woohoo!!! I loved this post! Welcome, Michael! I can’t wait to hear more from you. At some point, will you please do a post on cushionless couches? I bought crazy Danish mcm couch years ago that looks kind of similar to yours, and it’s been in our garage because we can’t figure out whether to have a new back cushion made or just run with its great back spindle lines!

  54. This is probably one of the 1st posts that I read every word Good tips! Love your style and your home–so unique

  55. THIS IS WHAT THE BLOG HAS BEEN MISSING! I’ve been an Emily Henderson fan girl for years but have been frequenting the blog less often, not because the content isn’t quality it just hasn’t been resonating with me (Im all about the thrill of the thrift hunt) so this is such a refreshing post that makes me think of the good ol’ days of arrows in vases. Can’t wait to read more Michael!

  56. Hey Michael!! It’s your friend Moe! I absolutely love this blog. Thank you for sharing some really awesome tips. But most of all thank you for let me know I’m not crazy… Gene and I bought a house in the country exactly 2 years ago and I literally have barely hung anything. Everyone thinks it’s weird but I just didn’t want to ‘settle’ on decorations.

  57. Hi Michael. I love your style…and your dog (please give us more of Dottie in your posts)!

    One thing I’d love to see more of on this blog is styling and decorating in boring, square, tract home rooms that may not have the best lighting. Michael’s home is gorgeous (as are most of the homes featured on this blog), and even though a lot of that is due to his choice of decor, the home itself is a major style element. I know this blog is aspirational, but I feel like I can only adapt so far because I’m not working with a “special” space.

  58. Good morning Michael, this is your mom. As I was reading your blog I could actually feel in my heart and soul what I have seen over the years. Your passion for finding that right “FIND” for your home. Maybe someday Emily will let you show more of your flea market finds. I still use my doilies I found on one of our excursions to the Rose Bowl. Yes, some of us older people use doilies, it is to protect our furniture from scratches children and adults seem to always achieve. Your house is stunning. Dad and I enjoy having our morning coffee looking out the windows in the kitchen nook. Congratulations on your new job. I told you our grand daughter dog, Dottie, would be a hit.
    Love you

    1. Hi Mom! I can’t believe you figured out how to comment! So proud of you! 🙂 Thanks for all the support. Love You! And we are gonna have a talk about those doilies. LOL.

  59. What a cool space! Can we talk about the curved moldings around the doors and windows?! And I need to see more of that door that is in the living room that looks like it has a pattern carved into it? Wow. Also, Michael seems awesome and a great addition to the team at EHD!

  60. You should meet my mom, and talk for hours about how little you paid for things. Caution, you’ll hear a lot about Kohl’s cash.

  61. Best post seen to date!! Michael your breakfast nook is so warm and comforting it is great for morning coffee or reading. You home is lovely. Congratulation!

    1. Hi Dad! You and Mom are cracking me up today!! hahaha. I love that you are commenting on here. See you next week! xo

  62. Yay Michael!!! Well done and so happy to not only get to see your (relatively) new place, but to see you blogging! Emily ain’t lying when she mentions your genuine, upbeat energy – you’ve always been such a positive and SMART guy. So happy to see you using your amazing skills to up Emily’s social game and grab some spotlight for yourself in the process. You both are amazingly talented (as are, I’m sure, Emily’s entire team) and I relish reading the blogs everyday, and looking for inspiration in your photos and tips. Wishing you all continued success. 🙂

  63. I’m absolutely in love with you and your place! I’m old enough to be your mother or grandmother, but I would love to be your companion at the flea market. I too wear my budget friendly items “like a badge of honor”.

  64. Yay! Welcome Michael and thank you for sharing your beautiful space.

    I love getting to know the team members. Yes to a post (rather than insta stories) about what surprised Michael about EHD. Maybe it could be a behind the scenes series?? He has a unique perspective as a long time fan that many of us will relate to! I’m liking hearing from the team members and think it would be very cool to have them each take the lead on particular series…giving some more consistency and structure to the blog overall. Emily you have expressed wanting to add other voices/writers to the blog…I think you have them already on your team and there is so much potential to develop their roles and make them more visible right here on the blog.

  65. That dining room is amazing! the woodwork around the windows with the rounded corners, that table, those chairs, the wallpaper….gahhhhh i love it all!

  66. I pinned the heck out of this place. I love that it has an old-world feel but it’s also eccentric and collected. The tone of the wood floors is PERFECT. So lived-in. (Lived-on??) I agree so much that you should just keep playing and playing and playing. I feel like that is the biggest gift Emily and her blog have given me–permission to just keep styling and not to beat myself up if I don’t nail it the first time.

    Welcome, Michael!

  67. Love this so much! So happy for you and SO JEALOUS of that beautiful home you’ve curated. Keep the Flea Market IG stories coming 🙂

  68. OMG Michael, can you please come over to my place and style it?! Also, can you please do like a day at the Rose Bowl were you take us to find good vintage things?? I love the chair, the ottoman, I love that you kept that kitchen wallpaper! I actually bought the wallpaper Emily did in one of her bedroom posts – some great pink / green flamingo action – but I haven’t had the guts to put it up yet! I don’t know where! I love the meaningful portraits – and the old photos you collect too! While the big pieces are great, I love the little details! I’m obsessed with these plants and vases. I need some color and oxygen in my place. HELP!!! You’re the best. This is so beautiful.

  69. Michael, you give me hope as a hardcore EHD fan that one day I might have this same honor (although getting to work with Brady and Em on a sponsored post came very close to that. (I work in digital marketing)) Anyway, I feel pretty strongly that if you haven’t already watched the show BBC show “Fake or Fortune” you need to ASAP. They have one season on Netflix and the rest is all on YouTube. It’s basically art detectives uncovering provenance and it is a MUST WATCH for ppl like you!!!!!! Also I like this piece and I like your house and I like you on this blog!

  70. Loved this all the way to the end! This gave me such a feeling of promise, resourcefulness, positive positive positive!!! Congratulations ?

  71. Hi Michael! First of all: I love your style and am excited to follow it on EHD! (BTW – thank you for bringing back the craigslist finds! I’d also be curious to learn more about SELLING formally loved vintage goods online. I moved into my place about two years ago and the former owner had expensive taste in sconces and fixtures but the style doesn’t match ours — so I’m trying to sell them!) Anywho…I can totally relate to the tip about living in the space before you make too many decisions. We ended up keeping the grasscloth wallpaper that the former owner had up and absolutely LOVE it now.

    Thanks again for the awesome tips on how to apply what we learn from this blog – while still staying true to our personal, unique and original style. More please!

  72. Nice to meet you Michael and yes you two do look like Amish siblings in that picture. I actually scrolled back up to it a few times wondering what it was about. Lol I’m glad you kept the wallpaper, I am not a huge fan of wallpaper because I think it has a time limit but in that nook it looks timeless. Good choice. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work.

  73. It took me so long to read this because I had to keep stopping to pin the pics!

    I adore the tiles around the fireplace, and the little stained glass window, and the ceiling beams. You have such a great canvas to play with, and you’ve done it proud. I agree the dining nook wallpaper adds the perfect touch…as do the the Cherner chairs (my favs).

    I also love the portrait of Dottie’s relative. As a dachshund mom, I’m always on the hunt for doxie art and have a few flea market/ebay/etsy pieces.

    Still chortling over the Amish cousins!

    My only issue is the settee. It looks like a back breaker.

  74. SO enjoyed reading this! I can relate on so many levels, new home, thrifting-obsessed and love digital marketing. Can’t wait to hear more from you in the future!

  75. Beautiful house, great pics and a nicely-written post! Looking forward to hearing more from Michael.

  76. I enjoyed reading about your frugal boasting. I have the (bad) habit of taking guests on a garage sale find tour of my home.
    Your house is inspirational and I read through to the end!

  77. Okay, can I just say, I love ALL of the EHD team, but damn it, all I want now is more Michael! (and to buy his bulldog painting out from under him)

    1. Thank you so much for the nice words!!! And about that bulldog painting, glad you love it too! Keep hunting online and i bet you can find one and I’ll try and buy it from YOU! 🙂

  78. Love this post and this home, but I was really struck by how gorgeous the photography was on this one. Sara Tramp nailed it.

    I have to admit, at first I was like “Michael, calm the f down.” But, then he totally won me over. His enthusiasm is infectious.

    1. Hahaha!!! I get told that a lot. My mom used to tell me to “turn it down a notch” when I was a hyper little kid running around. But I can’t help it…I just get REALLY excited and can’t hide it. 🙂

  79. I really enjoyed reading this post and look forward to seeing more of Michael’s contributions to the blog!

  80. Ohmygosh! Loved your post and seeing your beautiful home. You’ve done such a great job taking EHD’s style tips and styling your own house! Your post makes me want to just go for it and the-style my home! You make it seem do-able and fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

  81. Read my mind a 1000 times in this post! Obsessed with safari chairs! Haven’t found the right one, but I’m in Saint Louis (now— CA native, not everyone in the Middle-West understands my Scandi-Coastal-OutofAfrica house vibe, Ha) but there are some amazing mid-century items coming out of the original-owner 1950s homes here – I need your picker eye to do a Craigslist post for us in the Middle!

  82. Michael – welcome to the EHD team! Your home is beautifully curated – you can tell everything was so thoughtfully chosen! I look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

    The main thing I’ve learned from Emily’s blog would have to be styling shelves. Thank you for that!

  83. This is so wonderful. You’re right – every piece is individually beautiful and unique, and together it all works so well. It’s SO hard to be patient and persistent with antiques / secondhand, but it can be worth it when the right piece comes along.

  84. Michael – I am very proud of you for following your dreams! I would love to see your bathroom & closet in the future. Your house does architecturally have a style, tips for those in cookie cutter suburb neighborhoods would be helpful. More pics of Dottie, just to make me smile. Love you!

  85. YAYYYY!!! Congratulations! I love that this was your dream and you made it happen. So beautiful.

    Also, the kitchen nook photo. It was one of those things where it didn’t fit entirely on my screen so I only saw the top half and slowly scrolled down to the second half and was like YESSSSssss – the combination of wallpaper and chairs is fantastic. I love the drama of the contrasting styles. Not what you’d expect and yet perfect. Anyway, welcome and congratulations again. Your house is beautiful.

  86. This is my favorite post yet. GREAT JOB MICHAEL! I can feel your excitement through my screen! You have an incredibly curated home. I love your frugality.

  87. What an refreshingly awesome post! Your enthusiasm is contagious! I’m a huge fan of personable spaces and vintage and can’t wait to follow along with your hunts Michael!

  88. This post has me curious about all kinds of topics! Yes to what Michael has been surprised about. Styling for the camera (and does it always produce a better real-life feel?). And if it didn’t have the potential to offend hundreds of people, “Getting Away From Basic Millennial Style”. Staring at my snake plant right now.

  89. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from this blog over the years is not to feel guilty or bad if you try something and it doesn’t work. You’re not “bad” at styling/decorating if despite all of your efforts to pick the right one, your rug ends up bothering you when you get it home. You don’t have to live with something that isn’t working. Return it! Sell it on craigslist! Keep on trying! There’s no embarrassment to be had there, even the pros like Emily don’t always get things right on the first try. What makes them pros is the fact that they recognize that something isn’t working, and they quickly move on to something else. Embrace the process.

    I remember as a new homeowner (or heck, as a teen trying to decorate my bedroom) trying so hard to get something right, and then feeling like I had to live with it even if I wasn’t happy with the end result. Then it would slowly eat away at me, to the point where I felt like I needed to make excuses for the mistake or felt like I “wasn’t good at decorating.”

  90. I would love to have some tips about shopping vintage/at flea markets!! Like do you google “flea market +insert city”??? How do you distinguish the garbage/crap/chotskis from the good stuff?! I live in Atlanta so I’m sure there’s plenty of cool finds I just literally have no idea where to start and don’t want to end up with a bunch of garbage! Any tips would be great!

  91. Congratulations on checking off a bucket list item. Proud of you. Well written article with insightful tips. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
    Question….do you and Emily have different haggling/price negotiating techniques at the flea markets? Or any advice?

  92. Inspired to now paint my living room and highlight the beams like that. Very similar layout. Stunning. Also looks like you’ve kept that place super tidy. Come here and de-knickknack my life!

  93. Michael.. I love you, and I love your beautiful, stunning home. I’ve been here every day since The Brass Petal, so I feel a kinship with you. I too feel like everything I know about decorating my home, I’ve learned from this blog (and maybe a few others). I’m so happy to have your voice on the EHD team. Also, I’m pretty obsesssd with that gorgeous fireplace!!!

  94. That fireplace ???! Similar to mine in my 1932 San Francisco home, but so much more decorative. Welcome to the blog.

  95. Michael!

    Love this post–your style, your voice, your house. That fireplace (surround and mantel), that black chair and the little mirror above it, the push button switches, and so much more. I hope we get to see more of your house soon–and hear more of your voice.

  96. Bravo! The enthusiasm/ encouragement is so contagious/ inspiring! And, my lord, what a gorgeous house. I’m so glad you left that wonderful wallpaper. I bet it was hard to get up on that coved ceiling and it really accentuates the beauty of the architecture.

  97. It’s refreshing to see ALL of these super encouraging comments! Emily and her team have created an environment that brings out the best in people (…or maybe it’s just that the best people read hear blog…tee-hee) but I hope you feel ALL the virtual hugs of welcome!

    1. Yes!! I am feeling all the virtual hugs and it’s SO nice! I was legit nervous (and excited as you can tell) about the post because it’s such a PERSONAL thing…inviting so many people you don’t know to look into your house and see how you live. But you all have been so awesome and supportive! Just like you said, I love that this blog is a community of kind, creative, smart, thoughtful and encouraging people! Yay to nice and supportive people!! xo

  98. Hello!
    Please can we see some more of your place?
    So cute that your mum commented! What a sweetie ?

  99. Great advice. I have been scavenging since I was a little girl (I just turned 65)! I am so bored with what generic looks have taken over…most courtesy of HomeGoods, etc.! The decluttering movement hasn’t helped much either! Keep up the good work. I’ve enjoyed Emily and followed her since her design start days when I guessed she would be a big success! Your style is very similar to hers so I think you will work well together! Good luck and look forward to more article from ou.

  100. So, so good, Michael – you’ve distilled some serious wisdom here. Glad you’re on the team and writing!! I particularly like the reminders to live in the space for a decent amount of time before making major changes, and that getting a thrifted high/low eclectic look does NOT happen in the course of a single year. My own budget may always be limited to bargain hunting and therefore slow but steady. I really do love how the interesting pieces start to come together, and even with bigger furniture pieces that may be from the big box stores, it makes for a very personal home that doesn’t just look like it came out of Pottery Barn or Ikea. Love your vibe! Welcome!

  101. Awww, I love Michael! This post was awesome! <3. This feels like the old blog that I just loved to read.

  102. I love this post! What a beautiful space! I loved Emily’s introduction, and Michael’s post just made me happy in general – in addition to being informative.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad it made you happy! Emily’s blog has made ME so happy over the years too. Thanks for the nice feedback…I hope you have an awesome weekend!! Go find some treasures out there.

  103. “the return of Craigslists finds, DIY projects and more thrift store excursions” Yes, yes and yes! Thanks for helping bring those back, those articles are my favorite! . I have been a fan of Emily’s blog for only a short time now having stumbled across an image from her blog last summer that became my inspiration when redoing the small galley kitchen in my house. The architecture in your place is gorgeous and is complimented very much by your finds. I love your paintings. Tearing down the wall paper would have been a shame. Being patient is a great tip.

  104. Wow, your home looks so amazing! That wooden coffee table I feel like it takes some sort of home for that to fit in and I feel like you have flawlessly done it here. I’m curious about how much that chair cost!

  105. I have always wanted to hit the flea market, but always make excuses so I can stay home and watch movies. But after reading this blog, I’ve got it planned with some friends so looking forward to our outing. Love it and thank you!

  106. Great info. Well done! I so agree with your coffee table thoughts. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  107. Congrats on getting your dream job. Sounds like Emikg made an awesome hire. Your place is gorgeous and I enjoyed this post. As someone who has also read every post for the past 8 years I would love to hear your perspective on what you expected and what you found from being on the inside. And so glad you kept the wallpaper!!! Gorgeous!!

  108. Love your house Keck! Hope you continue writing more, your enthusiasm for life and design permeates! So happy to see your success, it is well deserved!

  109. Michael I loved reading your was like you were in my house having a chat..I have never commented on someone’s blog before but was so excited I cant help but comment! Your advice is so spot on…I love scouring second hand shops and finding things that ‘speak’ to me and like you having momentos from family and travels. I will now look at some of my ‘gaps’ in a new light and let inspiration come ..not push it …and have fun. Thank you also for the comment ..there is no wrong way…it releases one from ‘perfect’. Please write again!!!

  110. Michael! I love love love your place! Plus, I can tell you would be so fun to sit down and chat with. So thankful you shared your lovely home (and sweet pup!) with us! Now, can we go thrifting?!

  111. Loved the post Michael!! I just recently moved into a new apartment and have been so overwhelmed about where to start and like you said afraid to make a “mistake.” Your space is gorgeous and has definitely inspired me to get styling! Do you make house calls??!!?? Excited to read more from you in the future!

  112. You do look like Amish twins, except that I don’t think Amish people are supposed to wear buttons! 🙂 I love your enthusiasm, Michael! I look forward to reading more from you. And your house is perfect.

  113. Such a stunning place! Did you personally upcycle/refurbish any of these pieces? If so, would love to see a tutorial!

  114. Wow!!! Fabulous post! You feel like a new best friend and I just want to say that I am so glad Emily hired you! Reading this was fun, informative, and inspiring! Great work, Michael!

    1. Oh this is an extra fun comment!!! I’ll be your best friend! As long as you can get up at 6am on Sunday’s for the flea market. LOL. xo

      1. OH NO! I really do want to use flea markets as a main source, but getting up early on WEEKENDS? There goes all hope of getting my teenage son to come along. Translating to my local situation makes it seem not so bad–most of the markets seem to open at 10

  115. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. You have an amazing sense of style and a way of making so many vintage finds look cohesive and “effortlessly cool.” Wanna take a stab at my guest bedroom? 😉

  116. I love the collections tip! Definitely food for thought as I begin decorating a new home. Thanks for all the tips. Your home looks beautiful.

  117. Really loved this post and your house! When can we see more of it?! Excited to have you be a part of the blog 🙂

  118. Brian I love this post and your personality shines thorough your design! Can’t wait to see you part of team EHD

  119. OMGAH Michael! This was wonderful! I literally want to start collecting knick knacks now. Please write more, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

    And give Dottie extra pets for being the best model. 🙂

  120. Love this post! Micheal, there’s no doubt your home is beautiful, but what’s even better is your voice! I soaked in every piece of advice and every gorgeous picture. You better not hold out on the rest of your house, can’t wait to read more posts from you!!

  121. You asked what tips I got from this blog. I have said on more than one occasion that Emily’s post on choosing the right size rug for the room CHANGED MY LIFE. Anytime I send a link to this blog to someone, no matter the actual subject of the article, I say “Emily Henderson’s post on rug size changed my life.”

    1. Yes Martha!! That WAS a good post! Finding a rug you feel good about can be SO HARD. I’ve been hunting for one in my dining room for a LONG time. I want to find one that tickles my fancy and gives me all the feels. 🙂

  122. Yaasss to the return of the Craigslist finds!!! I’ve missed them so much! ?
    Thanks for repping us at EHD! Love you already! ?

  123. Beautiful home, Michael! And congratulations on the dream job- you and EHD are a match made in heaven! Love you and your style!

  124. As of today falling back in love with site for the first time in quite a while. THANK YOU !!!

  125. Wow words can’t even describe the perfection on display here….the dining nook is exquisite!!! I am in love with the wallpaper/french bistro table/modern chairs….its amazing. So glad you didn’t tear the wallpaper down! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the house itself is incredible…sigh…I know my house would look about 1000 times better if I could rip up the ugly carpet and put hardwood down and add in skylights…someday!

    Let’s see more of the house please!

  126. Hi Michael! Such a great addition to the team, and your house is beautiful! Favourite post in a long time. Can’t wait to hear more from you!

  127. Michael you are just a darling, I love the way you write – it feels like I’m chatting with an old friend and your house is soo charming! I also love to thrift and you’ve inspired me to search for more “quirk” and interest in the future. I can’t wait to read more from you, Emily your a genius for having a long time reader write for the blog!!

    1. I’m excited you are going to thrift for more “quirk”! It’s fun! And thanks for the sweet note…I think you are a darling too! xo

  128. Something I’d love a post or IG story on is if you haggle at flea markets or resale shops, and if so any tips you have.

  129. Thank you for the article/blog posting, especially that flea markets are you best friends, always surprised by individuals buy all new … Love your space, it seems personal and well designed all at the same time. I love all the tips too. So now I digress. Portland house Metrie V- Groove panelling painted blue, is said in one place on the blog to be 4 inch V- Groove and another place 6 inch V-Groove. I have been on Metrie’s web page and had a lumbar yard look for the wider space paneling. Can you please please share the product number. Working on fixing a 1904 bathroom…. And I am as your would say “Obsessed” with this V-groove paneling, maybe explain this to your audience -as in compared to ship lap or when looking at it in the metrie website what all the dimensions mean and how to figure out how much to order and the differences between MDF, pine , hemlock in your next book maybe… please have someone respond, been loving this blog as of late again got a great mix like the blog post by Micheal, but sometimes you just need more information.
    Thanks !!!

  130. Awesome. Love the sofa and the pup!
    And, I thought you were one of Emily’s 5 siblings!!!!!!!!!!!

  131. We love it because it’s SO relatable and fun and current. 90% thrifted?! I mean YES! And we can see it right now and not 8 months from now?! Double yes. I’m so over the Portland project. I’m not being rude. But it’s very pretty and absolutely unattainable for most of us and it’s so forever ago. Most of us can’t afford that stuff but love design so OF COURSE WE LOVE THE NEW GUY!!!! Bonus that he doesn’t have the couch that literally looks like the poo emoji.

  132. Michael,
    You are adorable! What you did in this post is exactly what so many of us crave from EHD! I agree with each and every lesson. I have also read the blog from almost day one. I found recently that I kind of “skimmed” rather than read. I assure you, I read every word of this post and loved it. Loved Dottie too!

  133. When I saw the IG post early his morning, I knew I wanted to come read the blogs s soon as I got home after work. That spindle bench/sofa of yours is bee-you-tee-ful! (And, I like a bit of whimsy in a room — a point of view, if you will.)

    Also, I want the wallpaper in the nook so hard. I’ve gazed at that photo no less than 4 times in the last 10 minutes.

    Also also, I agree with you totally about #7, but will do absolutely nothing in order to figure out what I want and then get used to the mediocre, and then look around in dismay, and then suffer decor-depression and shame.

  134. Well, I have to say I think you BOTH scored on this collaboration! Emily, you got a first class support person and you, Michael have acquired what seems to be a dream job. Not only that, it seems you like each other! Perfect! ❤?

  135. I’m jumping in to join the club! Michael, I Love this! Really enjoy your voice, fits right in with the Emily vibe and your home is BEAUTIFUL! I love your tips and, as someone who has had so-so luck thrifting and at flea markets, I’m reinspired and will charge ahead now!

    I have a question, I remember back in the day (easily 20 years ago) Flea Markets always felt like they were priced within reach… and yet now when I go I often feel like I may as well be buying a designer piece. Mostly I’ve been to markets in LA… maybe that’s my problem? When I go to thrift stores that are more reasonable, I usually feel I’m just surrounded by junk.

    …Perhaps the answer is simply to reconcile that it’s the hunt and remember your tip that I won’t find everything (or maybe anything) in one trip?

    Thank you again! Looking forward to hearing from you more!


  136. Michael, I hope you’re not sick of hearing it from other commenters, but this was one of my favorite posts ever on EHD! Your place is fantastic and it is so cool to see how you’ve been influenced by Emily while still having your own voice and style in the space. Also I paid watercolor pet portraits so any place with a pup and a pup painting is A+ in my book. I’m also a flea market/antique shopper and a collector, so I can’t wait to see a bit more of that from you on the blog! So excited craigslist finds is back! Welcome- we’re so excited you are our ‘reader ambassador’ at EHD!!

  137. Yes!!! I agree with all of this. Pre- EHD I would never have thought to search for furnishings and decor on craigslist or thrifting. Everything I was buying was new and out of the box, which is just what the rooms looked like, out of the box and very bland. Those unique pieces found along the way give each room soul. It takes longer to decorate, but I wouldn’t do it any other way now.

  138. Michael this is amazing!! Love the blog and the house looks so great!! I want to see every room!!

  139. Love this! Beautiful style and unique pieces. I too am a frugal thrifter and love finding interesting treasures. Would love to see a blog series where Michael shares his recent affordable finds!

  140. Yes – #7 is my biggest pitfall. And between you and me, I recently have discovered my style isn’t really a style at all- there is no vibe – I’m a lady without a style – HALP! I hope you write more and more and more! and I second what Sungmi said – podcast, please!

  141. This post is so awesome! I went with Michael once to the flea market in Paris and he helped me buy this incredible drawing that I was on the fence about but knew I really really wanted. I’m so glad he convinced me to get it because it is one of my most favorite things – it’s beautiful, reminds me of a special time, and I always wonder about its story! Take me to the flea market again – in Paris or the Rosebowl -either way I promise to stay awake the entire time and wear the appropriate shoes. xo

  142. Love, love, LOVE this post 🙂
    Scouring fleamarkets, vintage shops and op shops is my favorit past time. These interiors are so interesting, please mix more of this kind if posts in.
    I really enjoy reading your blog every day. Thanks for all the work you put into it.

  143. I absolutely love this post! I’m a huge fan of vintage and have spent many an early morning at Flee markets here in Melbourne decking out my place slowly. As a design student I read this blog religiously and it was a great recourse as I tried to arrange vintage finds, hand me downs and budget pieces into a warm and aethetic home. This post really resonated with me!! Please keep it up!

  144. This was a fun read. I’m so glad you’re here, Micheal!

    I moved to Berlin last year and after too much time in furnished sublets think I am finally closing in on a place of my own. So exciting! My son remembers doing this 10 years ago. For the first couple weeks, our table–so cliche–was one of those giant spools they use for wires, etc. We got the place feeling pretty comfy, then moved across the ocean; now we are back, starting from scratch again.

    I want to do the whole place from flea markets and second hand stores. (I’m scared of Craig’s list/eBay, etc). Berlin has tons of them. I don’t know where to start. There’s one in funky Kreuzberg where lots of things look wobbly–should I dig through them to find the gem that’s sturdy and low priced? Or should I go to fancy Grünewald, where quality and prices are both likely to be higher?

    How do I get things that go together when I have to buy them one at a time? The first pieces seem hardest, because they will set the tone. When the place is half done, I’ll be able to tell if something I’m looking at is likely to go with the rest. How do I start off with something versatile, without going totally bland?

    I know Emily has posted about this before, but those blogs can be hard to translate from the specific places and markets she talks about to my situation here. Looking forward to more ideas and tips!

  145. Michael,
    I love your writing style and home.. you made me feel like we were hanging out having a home tour and a cup of tea. Also, THANK YOU for the note about taking your time designing and living with your space! When we bought our home six years ago it was our first and I wanted every room painted and we marveled at how much space we had. Fast forward six years later and every room on the main floor has been painted multiple times (my husband is a saint and they know me by name at the local Sherwin Williams ha!) and we’re going through a massive de-clutter. All of this to say, we need to give ourselves the grace NOT to have a blog-worthy home all the time because the beauty is in the process.
    Can’t wait to hear more from you in the future!

  146. Emily and Michael,

    Congrats with being EH Ambassador, your style is brilliant and personal. I was looking for a designer to follow and inspire for quite long time and immediately fell in love with Emily’s personality. You both are inspiring not to copy but try to express one’s personal style.

  147. I watched one story in insta and was immediately in love with Michael! So excited to see what he brings to the blog. And this living room is amazing!!!!

  148. Ok, ok… hello Michael!!! This was the most relatable and fun post to read. There’s something about a home filled with finds and treasures that makes the home feel so much more loved. Your home is beautiful and that bulldog painting is the best.

  149. I LOVE that you are enthusiastic!!(I am too!) And often times enthusiasm gets a bad rap; it’s cool to be cynical, it’s cool to be chill—people rarely think enthusiasm is “cool” but we totally need it in this world and it takes a lot of self love to keep being enthusiastic in a world that tells us to chill! I loved the energy in your post and your enthusiasm for life! Congrats on your awesome and well deserved new job!

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful comment Erin! As my Grandma once said “We are, what we are.” So I’m gonna just keep being enthusiastic (and using as many exclamation points as I can!!!) 🙂

  150. I adore the wallpaper in your kitchen nook. And I adore your enthusiasm……. thanks for a great post!!

  151. also, can I just tell you that your dog is adorable, and I love that you found that painting of the bulldog. I have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and would pounce on a piece of art that represented them. Also, your fireplace is AMAZING! You didn’t say anything about it, but it is truly a work of art….. thanks for this… please post more. Emily is lucky to have you 😉

  152. I love your space and tips and writing style! Is it just me or is there some weird juju in LA that makes for the most amazing places to rent? Each of you that has shown us your places have the coolest architectural details in them!!!!

  153. Tried one of your hints. Stacked some nice books under a world globe. Gives the globe some grounding. Looks great!
    Kisses to you and Dottie from your auntie.

  154. Wow! Your space is so light and bright, love it! The style seems to be a little bit Spanish if I’m not mistaken, but I also like the eclectic design that your place has got, it is interesting and unique without overdoing it. I read another interesting article about creating a unique home design where it says something that it’s true about installing large windows to get much natural light as possible. For me that is already an eye-catching part for a home, just like yours. And your great flea market finds just make it that much more special 🙂

  155. Welcome, Michael!
    Three things stood out to me in your first blog post here.
    1. I am intrigued by the fireplace surround. Was that there when you moved in or is it something you added? I’d love to hear more of its story.
    2. I love the multi-drawer cabinet in the corner, but then I noticed Dottie and painting on the wall. What a wonderful way to style a photo!
    3. As I scrolled down to the kitchen, I was flabbergasted by the black and white wallpaper. I love it! There is something so wonderful about it being paired with the white lower wall so it’s not overwhelming. It’s very intriguing!
    Thank you for sharing part of your home with us! Can’t wait for more!

  156. Michael, you’re fun!!! I love how very personalized your space is. It feels so genuine and very welcoming and fun, stylish and not simply staged. I love seeing people’s personalities reflected in their homes even if it requires breaking a few rules(maybe that IS their personality). Loved reading this, thanks!

  157. What a charming post!

    I am loving this blog having both a picker/DIY/budget-conscious perspective alongside posts with more gut-renovation/high price-point perspective. So educational and helpful to think about both sides of the equation. Well done, EH team!

  158. Thank you for this post! I too am a thrifter and get such a thrill when I find a bargain. Friends are flabbergasted when I tell them things like, “I just bought an Arthur Court Lily glass topped table for $15.00 on Craigslist”. I have found many valuable vintage finds at Estate Sales, salvage yards, thrift stores and Craigslist. You strike out more often than you score, but it’s all in the “thrill of the hunt”! Welcome to EHD. I look forward to your future posts.

  159. Congratulations on your dream job, Michael! Your home is beautiful, the coffee table is perfect just as it’s positioned (“it’s your home!”), and that wallpaper! Those chairs! Bravo.

  160. Welcome and what a wonderful first post! Love your tips and your style and ….MORE DOTTIE PLEASE! I love a house that “safe” enough for our pets to be comfortable too! And I can never resist a bulldog!

  161. these photos are truly amazing. I love the idea of finding cool unique finds to spice up a look and make it unique and personal. This is inspiring me to get to a flea market pronto! Great job Michael, and Emily is very lucky to have you!

  162. Hi – LOVE this post so, so much! And I’m with the others who would love to hear about they mysterious (ummm, odd to me) coffee table placement. Can’t wait to hear back. And to read more! Thank you.

  163. Yes! I don’t have any flea markets near me, but Facebook Marketplace has been a marvel…. I just scored a (reproduction) campaign dresser for $30. SO perfect for my daughters’ bathroom to store ALL THE STUFF. And YES to living in a space before doing anything drastic. You sometimes make very different decisions than you would have at first. Looking forward to seeing more from you, Michael!

  164. It is SO not to my personal taste (modern, minimal, scandi) but that nook is ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! The table! The chairs! That wallpaper!!!!!! I want to perch there with a cup of tea and a crossword puzzle on a Sunday morning <3

  165. Hello my great friend…your writing? Magnifique. Engaging. Honest. Fun. Photos of your home? Breathtaking. Inviting. Warm. Every viewer wants to be invited into your home. The artwork? Let me just say ‘crazy eyes.’ I remember the exact moment you purchased him. Dottie? A girl that took your heart just a breath after Lola left. And so photogenic. And a perfect fit with EHD. Somehow your new boss just can’t say enough good words about you. (reminds me of someone I know) To just say that I loved every word and photo would fall short. So let my heart speak and say it is now warm and glowing. I saw your mom’s post. Please tell Mom and Dad hello from me. I miss you. I adore you.

  166. Your home is stunning, Michael and I love your tips! I read all the way to the end and I’m not even your mom! 🙂
    Your voice is funny and fresh and I will continue to follow. I too am a blogger in design and nothing is better than finding great writing and material to inspire readers and writers, so thank you! Loved this so much! Cheers!

  167. This is so fun that you have run into Michael for years (Rose Bowl, events), and now he’s part of the team!

    I also really enjoyed reading this. I love Michael’s openness in his writing. And his style is spot on for EHD!

    (Love the Amish couple – ha!)

  168. Love this post! Excited to see more of your point of view and to see how you’ve integrated what you’ve read over the years!

  169. OMG, the line about looking like Amish siblings killed me lol!! Good job, you! Great post right out of the gate. 🙂

  170. So I’m going to one up you: on eBay I found a vintage portrait of two cats, a short haired and a long haired Siamese…that look exactly like my long and short haired sibling Siamese rescue cats. Matching one pet is a win, matching two in the same painting is just freaky. That painting is mine now and every time I look at it I get some kind of Twilight Zone time travel vibe which just amuses me to no end. Who owned my cats in 1948 and how did they get reincarnated together? Did they chew on electrical cords in their first life? So many questions!

  171. Hi Michael! This was delightful to read and I adore your home. So well done and just the right amount of quirky. I’m looking forward to seeing/reading more of you in the future.

    Also, yes! You look EXACTLY like Amish siblings!

  172. What a beautiful well curated home! Beautiful objects, but nice and spare. I absolutely love your style! I too am obsessed with flea markets, and everything that is unique vintage… but I struggle with the the curate part. Where do you store or put everything that you decide doesn’t work, but don’t want to to get rid of because it might work later? That’s always been my problem! I can’t wait to see more from you!

  173. Welcome, Michael! Soooo looking forward to Craigslist and thrift store finds… the best is yet to come! X

  174. I love his style and look forward to hearing more from him! I agree with him- more craigslist/thrifting posts!

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