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A Modern and Organic Living Room Makeover

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Family Photos 7

Today we have a lovely reveal for you, this time of a living room that most of us can only fantasize about. The view, the architecture, the white sectional (covered in Crypton’s stain and life-resistant fabric, which we will get into later) – are all pretty special. Our best friends in Los Angeles, Leigh and Corbett bought this house over a year ago and while it didn’t need renovation (it was built in 2004), it wasn’t exactly their taste or style (or mine … or likely yours) so they decided to take on the task of renovating a 5k square foot house, while he was in Australia shooting and she was on 5 month bedrest carrying twins (and a 5 year old to care for as well). What they loved about the house was the location, the space, the uber-modernity of it and it had both a pool, yard and view (hard combo in LA). But the architect chose so many finishes that were contemporary (in a bad way) and dated. Black granite in the kitchen, brushed aluminum everywhere. It was COLD and heavy. And now it’s breathtaking. We’ll be revealing this house over the year (it’s not totally done and we can’t shoot it all in one day) but trust me that what Corbett did to it is STUNNING.

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Now the tricky part is that they now have 3 kids, in a CRAZY modern house, and her dreams of a big comfy white modern sectional were not going away. As a multiple-child owner myself, I warned them that comfort and ease were the most important things to me (they had these amazing metal Paul McCobb dining chairs that NO ONE sat in, ever, for instance). Corbett can design the heck out of a house, choosing the most amazing beautiful finishes (you are going to FREAK OUT when you see her kitchen) but she has always struggled with the small stuff – decorating and styling. So obviously that’s where I come in.

A few months ago Domino and Crypton reached out about a couple of makeover posts. I had used Crypton on my dining chairs and LOVE the fabric because it looks like linen and yet is totally stain resistant. Previously the best options had been using outdoor fabric, indoors, but Crypton is changing the game with a pretty weave and so many patterns and textures.

I didn’t have a project at the time in my house, but Corbs had just moved in and this room was totally empty, as she was very busy with newborn twins. While my friends clearly don’t need a charity project, as her best friend I certainly wanted to help her have a more comfortable home. Besides, you bet that I wanted her gorgeous house on my blog.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Family Photos 2

Their success is the normal American story that you hear all the time – Australian man moves to LA, falls in love with the most awesome person ever, writes a super low-budget horror movie about torture (SAW) that turns into one of the highest grossing horror franchises ever (with 8 sequels! at one time it was THE highest grossing franchise) that sort-of launched his career. Leigh also created the Insidious series (see Insidious 4 which just came out!! although I haven’t yet … :)). Corbs is an actress that is taking a break to have kids, but clearly she should be a designer because as you’ll see when we reveal her kitchen and bathroom how insanely talented she is.

I wasn’t going to mention them at first, but I knew you guys would be like Who owns a house like this? And I think it’s SO Interesting that a guy who created this type of movie genre has THIS house, with this kind of furniture, and is such good friends with someone like me who I think is safe to say, is kinda the opposite of the ‘horror’ genre.

Believe me, we avoided meeting these two. His agent is Brian’s cousin and when we first moved to LA 10 years ago he tried to set us up and both couples avoided it for months. We didn’t want to meet ‘The Saw Guy’ for obvious reasons and they didn’t want to meet his cousins because he pitched us as ‘funky’. We finally did when we coincidentally moved down the street from them in Los Feliz and became overnight best friends. Truly. The only reason I wasn’t in her wedding 2 months after we met was because it was too late to get the dress (she invited me to her wedding on our second ‘date’, which I happily accepted :)). Corbs is honestly the #2 reason that we haven’t left LA yet, and over the last 10 years we have seen each other through it all – career ups and downs, marriage ups and down, we’ve traveled all over and of course we are raising our kids together.

So yes, I love helping my friends design their houses because any chance that I can make my favorite thing to do (design and style) mix with my other favorite thing to do (hang out and talk with friends) I JUMP at it. Plus when a sponsor is involved, my time gets paid which reduces any ‘working with friends’ awkwardness.

We created a mood board based on her Pinboard (which is GORGEOUS) and while she was busy feeding two human babies, Brady and I pulled it together.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Living Room 16

Now for the reason we are all here – THAT BEAUTIFUL WHITE SECTIONAL. She wanted one BADLY. I said, “While it will be upholstered in Crypton, which is very stain resistant are you sure you don’t want gray… ?” She said, “NO, white”. I made sure that she was prepared for the comments where every mom in America laughs in her face and tells her she is crazy?? But she had her mind made up. Full disclosure, I don’t really think that the kids will hang out in this room as there is a family room off the kitchen and the location of this room in the house is where this room is kinda off to the side. I’m less worried about the kids and more so worried about us drinking red wine on a Saturday night…

But, you know, of course I wanted a white sectional in my portfolio, so we did it. We went for it. It is Crypton after all and while it isn’t stain proof (you have to clean up after yourself and marinara doesn’t just float away magically) it is VERY stain resistant and wipes up so easily.

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We worked with some of Crypton’s partners and found this gorgeous sectional from Kim Salmela. Kim has a large selection of fabrics from Crypton and any of her pieces can be customized and upholstered in-house with them, which means you don’t need to buy the piece and then have it covered elsewhere with a fabric, which makes the entire process incredibly easy. Since the room is square we customized the length and made sure it was deep enough for lounging. It is like sitting on heaven and could not be more perfect for the room. It’s so comfortable and I love the details like that little bump at the base and of course the brass legs. We wanted something simple, minimal but low and uber comfortable, which is exactly what this sofa is.

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For her birthday last year I gifted her my old coffee table (of which I have waves of regret about) so when we designed this room we kept that in mind. It’s PERFECT in here. I bought it from Anthropologie a few years ago but I don’t think it’s available anymore, sadly.

The black side table is from Rejuvenation and the wood side table is from ShopHorne.

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The rest of the room came together pretty easily – we chose this gorgeous rug from Dash and Albert which we had custom cut to size (it was 10×14 so it was too long for the room, so we had it cut down to a 10×10 – which cost $250 to do by the way and was very easy).

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She already had the amazing leather sling chairs from her old house so that was easy (and lucky). As you can see this living room opens up and has the most amazing views ever.

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While she is going to redo the fireplace eventually (some sort of see-through indoor/outdoor situation) for now we styled it out with wood logs and some art from Block Shop.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Living Room 31

We reached out to some our favorite artists – MQuan and Block Shop – and bought a few perfect large yet special pieces from them for the makeover. MQuan customized that amazing wall hanging for that spot and boy is it perfect. When the doors are open and you get a breeze coming it the beaded strands move in the most beautiful way.

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We added a few Target pieces – that lamp that I love (I have it as well in my living room), the blue throw, the blue candle and the cream vase on the coffee table (all available right now).

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I know what you might be wondering – will the fabric actually hold up? Will dust, stain, and dirt (let alone wine, coffee and pizza sauce) actually wipe off? The answer is that while you do have to physically take a rag to it with some water, it’s pretty darn stain resistant. I used it on my dining chairs and while it isn’t immune to marinara sauce, it generally wipes off WAY more than I thought it was going to.

Below you’ll see our dining chair covered in Crypton before it was wiped down.

Corbette 8514

This is after about a months worth of disgusting toddler food has been on there because we are disgusting people who don’t clean up after ourselves every day. Food spills happen and then stay, linger, soak in and then the next day it happens all over again. We have given both kids their ‘chair’ and I don’t know whose is whose at this point but seeing this in photos publicly is as gross for me as it is for you. So I brought it over to Corbett’s while we were shooting and I used their recommended cleaning method to clean them up. The process is so easy, a bit of water, liquid detergent (like dawn) and then spray the solution on all the spots and work it in until they start to disappear. You can repeat the process as needed but after 5 minutes of wiping (then dryin’) here is what it looks like:

Crypton Chair Before After

I swear on the lives of my children that it’s the exact same chair, just a day later after drying. NOT BAD FOLKS. If what you see above (the slight discoloration) bugs you or if the thought of having to wipe down your upholstery often bums you out, especially if you have small kids, then again go for a vinyl or leather. But as a mom of two kids I still REALLY wanted that linen look and I don’t regret it for one minute. It’s so comfortable and warm and cozy, and wipes up like a dream.

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Here’s my real two cents about this whole thing – if you want something that looks like linen but don’t trust yourself, this is an EXTREMELY good option. I wish so badly that my living room fabric was Crypton. If you are expecting the fabric to act like vinyl, where wine just drips off your fabric and onto the ground then a vinyl or leather is better for you. But they are obviously less soft, warm and pretty. I’ll speak more about on the dining chairs in the next post, but trust me when I say that for those of us who want linen, but want stain-resistant, this product is amazing.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Living Room 25 Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Family Photos 5

Doing this project was an insane amount of fun. Being able to hang out with my best friends in their GORGEOUS house and call it ‘work’ is something I don’t take for granted. The room turned out so beautiful and I can’t wait for many, many nights of drinking dark red wine on that bright white sofa, in confidence.

Well, maybe just one glass.

Thanks to Domino and Crypton for partnering on this post and Brady for helping style and execute the design. All photos by Sara Tramp for EHD.

Emily Henderson Crypton Corbetts Living Room Get The Look 03

1. Sidewinder Woodblock Print | 2. Sunwave Woodblock Print | 3. Balloon Glass Table Lamp | 4. Black Side Table | 5. Sectional with Brass Legs | 6. Sofa Fabric or similar sold here with upholstery services | 7. Calvo Side Table | 8. Live Edge Coffee Table (similar) | 9. Hand Knotted Rug | 10. Safari Chair (similar) | 11. Sheldon Ceramics | 12. Funnel with Stand Planter | 13. Cylinder with Stand Planter | 14. Blue Pipe Back Pillow | 15. Dot Dash Pillow | 16. Chunky Woven Pillow | 17. Mohair Striped Pillow | 18. Blue Graph Check Throw | 19. Terrazzo Coasters | 20. White Earthenware Vase | 21. Brass Tray | 22. Wood Wall Mount | 23. MQuan Wall Hanging (custom) | 24. Black Tripod Floor Lamp | 25. Magnet Woodblock Print | 26. Bengal Woodblock Print | 27. 23″ Bias Pillow | 28. Signal Pillow | 29. Blue Velvet Pillow | 30. Dashed Stripe Pillow | 31. Rattan Ottoman | 32. Wood Stool

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing the photo of your chairs! Just last night I was looking at our toddler food-covered chairs/kitchen/living room/HOUSE and wondering how I became that person. I even started pinning cleaning hacks for working moms. At least I’m not alone! 🙂

    1. SAME! I’m grossed out by the housekeeper I’ve become. So refreshing to see that it isn’t just me!

  2. its gorgeous. can’t wait to see more…

  3. What an incredible place to live, it’s absolutely beautiful. But man, I can’t get over those views! Speaking from rainy Manchester, England, it must really lift your soul to see all that at your feet every morning. Can’t wait to see more!

  4. Wow, this is beautiful! The combination of white, wood, and concrete will never get old to me. I love how modern this is without being cold—it looks so warm and inviting. My only question is…when do we get to see the kitchen?!

    1. oh I know. we shot the dining room (reveal tomorrow) so you’ll get a sneak peek. But she has one last thing to fix in the kitchen -the brass used on the island was meant to be the kind that can age, but instead its super shiny so that is being replaced. THEN we’ll properly shoot it because man, its AWESOME. Its actually a huge inspiration for me at the mountain house.

  5. This is just perfection, I am drooling…

  6. Whatever *this* style is, that is basically my style. This room looks amazing and very livable! Regarding the Crypton fabric, how is it with cats? Specifically, a cat that likes to scratch the arms of my existing sofa, much to my malaise.

    Not for nothing, but I also really like Corbett’s outfit. Perhaps links to the outfits of the people in the shoots might be worth it to do too. 🙂

    1. As long as you don’t pick something that has a really open weave you should be safe with cats!

  7. What a perfect collab, and it couldn’t be more lovely! Love the mix of Target and the rest! and THANK YOU for the reveal of your chairs I have been wondering! I started researching and following Crypton when you first featured the chairs–they have many fabrics that are pet-proof too and now I’m going for it!

  8. Ha!! I see that your children are like our 4 grands – they use the chairs, table, banquet, curtains, their clothes, for napkins!! Love the sectional & really all Kim Salmela’s sofa designs; am trying decide between two of her sofas & another by someone else for our home..

    1. The sofa is SO soft and the fabric makes it so durable, so we would definitely recommend anything from her that is covered in Crypton.

  9. Geez Louise, that is stunning! 😍😍😍

  10. This looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the house!

    On a side note, I’m obsessed with Leigh’s boots. Do you know what brand/style? 😀

  11. This is so gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the rest of the house!

    Regarding Crypton, we’ve had Crypton dog beds for over a decade and they are amazing. They hold up SO well! I always told myself I’d get a couch upholstered with Crypton someday — I’m glad to see their fabric options have come such a long way (used to be mostly dog prints, haha).

  12. One thing to know about performance fabrics that I did not (until after I equipped my rental condo in Siesta Key with a sofa that was covered in a performance fabric to stand up to less-than-careful tenants): some people are very allergic to the chemicals in them. Just FYI as I had NEVER considered the chemicals/health aspect, just the durability.

  13. Omg the last few posts – I was like hmm, this modern Victorian thang is not really for me, but super interesting and helps build my knowledge foundation on “design” – and then this house. It is literally perfection! I wanna move in, stat.

    Btw it was so fun when you did the hairstyle insta post — does Corbett go to the same stylist as you?

    Because besides the fact that every time I see me some Block Shop deliciousness part of me was like oh there’s my absolutely ideal couch? Cause my first reaction was her hair is #GOALS.

  14. House of my dreams! Wow! Have been waiting for this one since the sneak peeks on stories. Thanks for the constant inspiration. We already have both the block shop pics and safari / campaign chairs in our home. Can’t wait to add some of the accessories that go so well with this look!!

  15. Love it!
    Ok this might be a dumb question but where do you get logs to style in a room (you know cut all perfectly to length/not standard jagged edge) and do you have to make sure the wood is treated so there aren’t bugs in it?

    1. We sourced these from a vendor down in the flower market in LA called Oregon Coastal Flowers. They are large birch logs that they cut down for us to a specific size. Hope that helps

    2. I bought birch logs from crate and barrel before.

  16. Soooooo beautiful! You are ROCKING this year already, Emily!

  17. Absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about this space! And that you get to go and hang out there with your besties…cherry on top right? Nice Job Emily.

  18. I didn’t know you could cut down a rug! Did you have Annie Selke cut the rug for you or a rug professional? If you can provide any info on where to have this done in LA that would be AMAZING. I have an RH hand knotted wool that I need smaller for under my bed. Thanks for any help!

    1. We did it locally here in LA. We used Thomas Rug Cleaning in Los Feliz who are wonderful to work with and did it very quickly

  19. I actually bought a white sectional covered in Crypton linen based on an old post of yours! No kids, but two dogs and lots of red wine. Problem is, it somehow got a black line on it (looks like a pen line, BUT THERE WERE NO PENS?!) that won’t come out. Am I doing something wrong, cleaning wise?!

    1. If you haven’t already take a look at their recommended cleaning method online and see if that helps you out.
      https://www.cryptonhomefabric.com/#howtoclean

      1. Yes Emily is right! Check out our cleaning instruction. Use a little detergent and water in a spray bottle, spray the stain and let it sit for about 1-2 minutes and use a old toothbrush to gently agitate the stain. Blot with a clean dry rag and repeat if needed. Then make sure to spray with clean water and then blot! Should come right up!

  20. Wowzers! Can you be my best friend too?

  21. Modern? Organic? Count me in! Love this style (even more when you add more Oregon to it), and it was hilarious to read about your friendship journey with the Saw guy’s family. I would definitely have avoided them for years too. Just goes to show, don’t judge a book etc.

  22. Me and my not-the-creator-of-Saw budget invested in one of those large Block Shop Prints months ago and it is one of my favorite pieces in our home. It’s so validating to see it here. They seem like a lovely family and I’m glad you introduced them. Seeing extravagant homes like this but with no faces or stories behind them makes them feel less real and approachable, this seems more friendly, if that makes any sense. And I love that you threw a Target lamp in there 🙂

  23. Wait, you can cut down rugs??? How!? What kind of service do I look for? Square rugs are so hard to find, this is wonderful news!

  24. let’s be honest our small children (and perhaps my husband) should only be allowed to eat on furniture that can be fully hosed down…because have you looked at the legs of your chairs? where every spilled items that hits the floor bounces back up and attaches with the tenacity of superglue? And also the felt pads on the bottom of my kitchen chairs, so they don’t scratch the floors, which attract gobs of hair and…i don’t even really want to think about it anymore.

    The house is beautiful!

  25. Would love to see a follow up on this in a year or so, to see how cleanable everything is! I love the demo of your dining chairs – so gracious of you to share as I have wondered what it was like to live with Crypton, if it continued to clean up well time after time, and how long it took to do, etc.

    I’m wondering about that gorgeous rug, too – the reviews online say it’s basically not cleanable at all? Curious how this will hold up in their home.

  26. That room is great! And I’m sure that wall hanging wasn’t cheap. I see kids yanking on it for fun and it makes me nervous!!

  27. Love this post so much! The room is gorgeous – the family is adorable and this whole thing feels real.
    The tip on cutting down rugs – genius. The fact that you actually showed your seriously gross chair – amazing (don’t sweat it – kids are just disgusting!). Leaving the lamp cords un-photoshopped – love it.

  28. As a mom with 2 kids and lots of white furniture…dining chairs are all white as are 2 full sized sofas…all are slipcovered and are amazing. I can pull them off and bleach them and they come back out perfect. I have had zero issues with all white. I love how fresh and crisp it is. And this room as well! Definitely an inspirational room. I also sell furniture and have access to the Crypton fabrics and LOVE them. And have had amazing stories from customers saying how great the fabric has cleaned up.

    1. Xoxo glad you are happy with our fabrics 😘

  29. This post makes me so excited to see the rest of the house! The white couch is splendid!

  30. Thank you for sharing the people as well as the house! Always makes the design seem more real somehow! Also satisfies my inner stalker 🙂

    You don’t need to justify having friends who live in a house that is larger than average and have more money than average. 🙂 Sounds like they worked for what they have got!

  31. This room is gorgeous. One of my favorite things about rooms built around a neutral palette is how they let art shine — the Block Shop fabrics, prints and M Quan piece really make this room. (And the views)

  32. Love the room, beautiful. I actually looked up the rug since looking for something similar, but noticed the website was pretty explicit about the rug being for “low traffic areas” and “not suitable for homes with kids and pets” and doesn’t get great feedback – has your experience been otherwise? And love the idea about revisiting in a year that another reader posted!

  33. I have those leather chairs! They were my husband’s grandfather’s chairs and got passed down to us. I love seeing them styled so nicely. I could certainly provide a picture if you want to create a feature on nice furniture styled poorly 🙂

    1. Haha! This made me lol! 😀

  34. SO PRETTY.

  35. When you say it’s really easy to cut a rug down to fit a space.. how exactly do you even go about finding someone to do that? Google “rug cutter?” Haha. I kid. But any direction on that would be stellar, talk about a life saving tip!!

    1. I just did this in Minneapolis by googling “Minneapolis rug cutting and binding.” Worked like a charm and was only $150 🙂

  36. I LOVE the little footed pot that has two succulents on it. It’s
    on a small table between the campaign chairs. Do you have a source? I didn’t see it in the “get the look”. Thanks so much for this one. It’s really a great tour. Can’t wait for the rest of the house!!!

  37. I don’t usually post, but this home took my breath away. Also unexpected career indeed.

  38. Spectacular! Stunning! Swoon-worthy! And the room is pretty frickin perfect too! I dream of white linen seating. All. The. Time. Crypton makes sense for life, not just because I have three boys. I’m saving my pennies!

  39. That coffee table NEEDED this house. It needs to be in exactly that spot. While “Modern – Organic” is not my style, I can certainly see the beauty in it. Great job Emily and Corbett.

  40. Beautiful,so breezy
    light and refreshing . But what about that vase in the block shop photo!!!?? That one took my breath away .
    Can’t wait to see it all!

    1. Yes!!! I scrolled straight down for the source and was sad that it’s not listed… vintage? I neeeeeed it.

  41. Oh, I really loved this living room! So much character combined with those views – WOW, it’s breathtaking! I’m still gasping for air! 🙂

  42. 1. Can we be best friends now? I swear I’m a good candidate.
    2. Your dirty chair confirms you are indeed a real human and not accidentally dropped to terra firma from The Good Place.

  43. Wow, I love this room! It’s clean and modern but feels cozy with the wood and leather and textiles 😍 I think it’s neat how you are friends with Corbett and Leigh…back in the day in high school I was really into the first Saw movie Leigh wrote/started in (yikes, has it really been 15 years? 😬), appreciating it especially for it’s creativity given such a low budget. I remember a few years ago you did their first child’s nursery with that unbelievably gorgeous wallpaper! Thanks for sharing!

  44. I am blown away by how clean that light blue chair looks in the after shot.

  45. Beautiful! I have concrete floors just like this and beams in a similar color. So inspiring! Would you happen to know the white paint brand/color/sheen used on the ceilings and walls? Thank you so much for sharing.

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  47. The room is gorgeous.

    Could someone please tell me how the big glass wall/window opens into the patio?

    I cannot see any border/frame and I love how beautiful it is against that backdrop but have alawys assumed they are just fixed.

  48. What paint color did they use? Their white looks so good — not too yellow!

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  50. I love how modern this is without being cold—it looks so warm and inviting. gmail login

  51. Hi-

    I work for a large East Coast furniture retailer as their product trainer, and I am well familiar with the many selling attributes of Crypton. I am a fan!

    One of the misunderstandings, however, is that you can have a white Crypton sofa or sectional and it won’t stain or get dirty.

    Yes, Crypton is very stain resistant (not stain proof), but people investing thousands of dollars should also know that every white sofa- including Crypton- will get dirty. Soot from fireplaces, heating systems, dust and everyday grime build up. As pretty as white is, no matter which performance fabric you dress it in, your upholstery will show everyday dirt and grime and will require professional cleaning to keep it pristine.

    Sorry to be a Buzzkill, but too many people are misinformed about these fabrics, spend thousands of dollars, and then are disillusioned with the results. It’s a great fabric, but let’s keep it real.

  52. In the late 90s, the ENTIRE female teenage population in Australia had major crushes on Leigh as the very cute and very funny movie reviewer on an indie music show called ‘Recovery’ that everyone watched every weekend. I remember I would always tape his segments on the vcr! So it makes me chuckle that you were apprehensive of meeting him as SAW guy. Anyway I bet you all have a lot of fun together, and my teenage self is very jealous, ha!

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