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Our Personal Design Projects – What We Are Designing, Styling Or Redoing In Our Own Homes This Weekend


Just because our bigger design projects are currently halted, does not mean that we aren’t working on personal projects – stuff in our homes. I was so curious about what my team was planning to restyle and/or design and figured if I was curious maybe you would be, too. There is no weekend requirement to design their homes, but as editors and designers for a design site, you can imagine it’s a hobby of all of ours. So here is what the EHD design and editorial team is up to in their homes.

Me. Emily Henderson

At the mountain house there isn’t too much to do design or style-wise (at least not that doesn’t require shopping and its too cold to start the deck or landscaping). All I do is cook, clean, craft, clean, play, clean, etc. But I have been hoarding this chair for a couple of years, so I had Brian bring it up the last time he ran home to get “supplies” (a much needed 5 hours of car time alone). I have a bunch of vintage fabric and while I don’t want to waste the really good stuff on a chair that I don’t even know where it will go, I might do it out of sheer boredom. I’ll story it, don’t worry.


Ok here is my super real, pretty sad “bedroom”. I feel naked on the internet showing it off. Once again, I am one year and one month out from my first reveal. HOW?! Wasn’t it last week? Well, it wasn’t and due to a little self-design burnout, self-imposed expectations and a lack of funds, I have still not designed the other half of my apartment. I know, I broke my promise that it would be done with the year. But guess who has all the time in the world now?? Ya, it’s me. So aside from the potential monetary issue with some likely necessary custom elements (why do I insist on doing this to myself?) I am going full force and letting my creative juices flow. There will be a fun and pretty blog post on what I’ve decided/choosing between. Maybe I’ll do an ask the audience! Lord knows I am indecisive.


FEAST YOUR EYES. This is the first time you’re seeing my MOTO in any form and I could not be more excited to be sharing this little moodboard with you all. As you can maybe tell by this photo of me lovingly staring at my computer screen, this is my baby. Let me give you the backstory for how it was conceived. My boyfriend Chase and I (this isn’t a “birds and bees” conversation, I swear) moved into a small studio apartment located LITERALLY on the walk of fame. It’s aggressive but convenient and there’s something magical about having Michael Buble’s star as your front doormat. This is our first “real” apartment (aka the first apartment we’re ready to invest time and money into), so we’ve detailed out every inch of our apartment via Google Slides and this is a very small sneak peek into that incredibly complex and time-consuming process which I can’t wait to show you more of. 

I know what you’re thinking. A studio apartment? With your boyfriend? How are you going to add TWO different styles/personalities in one place? I know that probably wasn’t actually the first thing that came to mind, but it felt like a good transition sentence for what I wanted to say next. Here’s the great news, we don’t really know WHAT our styles are yet since we’re sort of new to this whole thing, but we do know one thing: we are obsessed with the vibe of Palm Springs. SPECIFICALLY, The Parker Hotel. It’s what set it off for us (Jonathan Adler is my life motto and has been since I was little). Then we saw the Sands Hotel and it was over. We needed to inject this vibe into our space. You’ll see more inspiration photos and my reasoning for all this in my MOTO intro coming soon, but for now, here’s a look into our little escape from Hollyweird wrapped up in a 500 square foot studio apartment. Alright, onto the next project!


Honest truth: NONE of my apartment is designed and it’s kinda overwhelming when I think about how to start (WHERE DO I FIND MY “JUMPING OFF POINT,” YOU GUYS? What if I’m constantly oscillating between “I have great basics” and “I need to burn everything down and start again”???) So I decided to tackle my smallest space with the hopes that I’d get some momentum going. First up is my balcony, which poses a fun (read: awful) challenge because 1. It looks like a prison, 2. I have no privacy (hello, drive-thru!), and 3. I have a screen door that opens outward into the space and leaves about…none inches of clearance. My original dream was to center a lil sofa and face it towards the apartment, but OOF, the door kinda kills that hope. Maybe I should just take it off? Alternatively, I’m thinking about building a shelf like this for my plants OR putting a trellis up to get some privacy, but I’m worried about losing light (and I have super strong eastern sun in the AM, which basically fries all the kinds of plants that would actually work on a trellis). IDK. Please help if you have any balcony experience (especially if yours is also of the 1930s cage persuasion). This one’s about 10’x3′ and I’d appreciate all the guidance I can get.


I can’t tell if I love our front door or absolutely hate it. Part of me loves it because it presents the only architectural charm in our entire space. But the color is this dark almost purple-y wood that I am not a fan of and the stained glass is dated as hell. PLUS, the painters were not very meticulous when painting our place, and did get a decent amount of paint on the door frame and door. So, I talked to my dad about it (he is a contractor and has his own construction business so having him in my back pocket is a real godsend) and he informed me of a few things: 1. We’re renting, so replacing the door would be costly and (perhaps) stupid. Also, the landlord would have to approve. 2. You can’t replace the stained glass in this type of door. Great! Everything is going as planned.

It’s safe to say I am not going to replace the door but I would like to get rid of the paint drips at the very least. My dad ordered me to sand and then stain it with a wood finish. Pft, construction is EASY. But, my other problem still remains unsolved. I really want to somehow update the stained glass. Does anyone know how to do this? Or are there some innovative ways I can cover it up? Do I put another stained glass over it?? Do I put art over it?? Please send help.


current styling on the left, photoshoot styling on the right

If you saw my living room and dining room reveal last week, then you’ll remember these shelves. But they’re looking a little different these days. Why? Well, when Mac (my boyfriend and co-homeowner) first saw the shelves his response was “they’re very… neutral.” YES THEY ARE, AND I LIKE THEM THAT WAY. Apparently, though, when you share a home with someone the styling has to reflect both of you at least a little. So we’ve been incorporating more of “Mac” into the house as we pull more of our old stuff from out of the garage.

current styling on the left, photoshoot styling on the right

Which means our shelves are getting bigger doses of color and personality. We’ve also brought in a console and added Mac’s record player into the living room. Listen, I know a few of you are going to be all “oh, but I actually like them better now! With more color and personality!” *narrow eyes in your direction* How dare you side with Mac. After all our time together? In truth, the shoot and reveal really reflected more of “me” and not a whole lot of Mac, and I want him to love where he lives as much as I do. So compromises must be made, and neutral styling must be sacrificed, and I suppose no one will suffer too much.

Alright, well that’s it from us today. We clearly have a lot of work to do. Hope these projects got you a little excited for some future content and please if you have advice, we want it! Also, we would LOVE to hear what your current plans are. Otherwise, we hope you have a safe and healthy rest of your Sunday and see you all tomorrow. xx

Fin Mark


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Hi Caitlin. I had a similar problem with a street facing balcony in SF. I got this screen from Ikea and it was a cheap/easy fix.

There are similar products available through Amazon, Home Depot, etc. I put mine about halfway up on our railing: we still had some direct light and sky view but it gave us the privacy we needed. Good luck!

Ah yes I have seen these! So good to hear some feedback on them. Can’t beat the price so this may be great along with plants up top!!!


I love the idea of this post 🙂


Me too! Keep ‘me coming!


Caitlin, I feel your pain! Our balcony has almost the same proportions as yours, but we have an AC unit housing sticking out into it! We live in a small city apartment in Mar Vista and chose this place because the balcony overlooked a wall of trees from the property next door. It was like a beautiful, secret garden with loads if squirrels, butterflies and hummingbirds. A few years into enjoying it we came home one day to find that the next door neighbors had hacked down the trees! We now had loads more light but were looking at a dental office, a major street, a bus stop, a laundromat, and a parking lot! Ugh!!! We wanted to cover it up but were loving the sunsets and natural light that we had gained. We also couldn’t actually attach anything since we are renting. We designed and built a free-standing half wall, using dark stained walnut horizontal slats in an alternating pattern, (2″, 1″, 1″, 2″, 1″, 1″, etc), and used brass screws. This gave it a more modern look so now it feels like an extension of the dining room. This extended the stucco wall of the balcony about 19″… Read more »

Ahh I used to live in Mar Vista, on Pacific 🙂 This sounds so beautiful!!! I would love to see a photo!!! Thanks for the advice — so helpful hearing about what other people have done 🙂


Caitlin – First decide whether you actually want to try and sit on your balcony, or have it look good through the window, because I think it’s too small to do both. If focus is look good, then a few large, not too bushy (so as to still allow light through) plants in pots might be good to soften the prison vibe. Look at Dragon tree


This is a great post! And on a Sunday afternoon! Love that you guys are sharing your struggles. Can’t wait to see your progress.


Ryann – Look at window cling film, the peel & stick type. Some online places have funkier patterns than typical home stores. You could also try hanging a wreath or bunch of dried branches over the door glass, if you can find a look you like. Or a mirror, if attached securely.


Also, the look of the stained glass will change DRAMATICALLY if she finds the right shade to repaint that door and gets some decor on the wall nearby to tie it together with the rest of the room. Some of the currently trendy yellows deserve a test because of the colors in the stained glass.

*However, Ryann, if you hate the colors of the stained glass no matter what, or you hate yellow look into the cling film people use to fake having stained glass. You can also cut it to fit not just a box shaped window, but into smaller funky-shaped pieces to cover existing stained glass and make it the color you want (within reason, for example, with the golden brown of your current glass you could never make it look like you have pale pink glass – it’s like painting a wall without priming).


you could also use commando velcro strips to hang artwork or something else entirely over the stained glass… that would keep it from moving when the door opens and closes.


Caitlin – I think you need to decide whether you want to sit on the balcony, or have it look good from inside, as it’s too small to do both. If focus is look good, try large, not too bushy, plants in pots. Maybe Dragon Tree. This will soften the prison vibe, while still allowing light through. Large plants in large pots are easier to maintain, need water less often, and have more visual impact. Often cheap at Home Depot.

TRUE. I def the “eyes bigger than space” syndrome. Dragon tree IS a great idea. I think I’m starting to get on the plant-only train 🙂


Ryann – I had 2 thoughts. One is what if you added 3 trim pieces so the casting was in a solid rectangle, instead of the little rosettes (?) sticking out. And then an acrylic panel insert over the glass in a soft to medium grey. You can keep the design of the lead lines, while neutralizing the mustard color.


Regarding the stained glass window there is a peelable(removable) paint that is really easy to use. It’s kind of like the puffy paint of the 90’s. I used it to cover a front door for privacy and comes in lots of colors and faux “leading” to make any design you want.

Lynn W

What a fun post!!! Love seeing and hearing about your spaces!
Caitlin, plenty of vines will survive your Eastern sun there. Either the Star Jasmine or the Arabian Jasmine would be wonderful. Bonus is the wonderful fragrance ?. Not bee attractors which is good for your balcony since you want to sit out there. Check it out ?

OMG. Never even thought about Jasmine. WHAT A DREAM. I think this may be my angle — one of my local nurseries is doing delivery, so may have to ask them if they have either in stock 🙂


Ryann – Yes, to eliminating paint drips! Would your landlord allow you paint the trim around the door?? If so, I’d paint it a rich charcoal grey color to balance the puple-ish door, AND paint the walls 🙂 The walls are def throwing your palette off…. maybe a pale grey in same hue as the door trim. Have Fun!!


What does MOTO stand for?

Makeover Takeover! It’s when someone on our team documents their design process 🙂


Thank you! I never would have guessed that!


Ryann!!! You NEED these translucent removable window paints! You draw your design on paper, stick some plastic or glass on top, trace & fill the design in the window paint from squeeze bottles, them peel & stick on your window when dry! Peel it all off when you’re ready to move again.


Just here to say I loved reading this and seeing the “other side” of your spaces! Making me feel excited for my own rental projects.

Kate Blakeley

Hi Ryann – for the stained glass, if you are OK with the pattern you can change the color of the pieces to something more fresh

If you want light to come through, you can cut out shapes from theatre lighting gels. (I asked my boyfriend who does theatre tech and theere are some colors you can’t make from the yellow bc it’s already filtering some wavelengths. Apparently this is subtractive color mixing and there are phone apps to help you see the options.).

Or if you are OK with it being opaque just cut out colored card stock and tape it over the stained glass pieces.


Caitlin, We had a similar issue with our screened door. We removed it and made a barn door style mount so that it would slide side to side rather than open and use up valuable space. We needed to keep it due to summer bugs but you may not have that issue and could just remove it. Good luck with your balcony!

Ariel Pittner

Mallory – do you have links to any of the pieces in your moodboard? Thanks!


Jess, Does your bedroom have another window? Those in your photo do not look legal. I would be afraid to go to sleep.



and are you in a wall to wall bed situation? I’m not sure what the solution to that is – but surely there must be something.


The photos are layered over the text for Jess’s story. Just me?


Mallory: do you have a source for the white chair? I am IN LOVE!

Caitlin: is it possible to paint to black ironwork? Right now, your eye locks onto the black but I think with less contrast it would just drop away. Can you switch the door to a barn door style that can be converted back when you move? We have a door to our backyard with no storm or screen door. We found a magnetic screen is velcroed around the door frame. It’s perfect for keeping bugs out but doesn’t encroach on our patio space. It also allows our dogs to go in and out. We found it on amazon for around $30.


Yes to the velcro magnetic screen. We bought one at Aldi for $7 last summer and it worked so well. Great idea Andrea!


Caitlin – this cool faux greenery wall could possibly be adapted for your use:


Caitlin, forget sitting out there and make it a lovely view from inside.
I agree with the Jasmine idea, but make sure you aren’t allergic. It’s also poisonous for pets…but smells luverly.

I’m loving posts like this. I’m on a Lent social media and random internet crap fast, and i made a specific exception for this blog on the daily because I can’t live without it!
1. Emily H. : That chair is everything. I owned the entire full dining set and had those chairs refoamed and reuphostered and it was amazing. I had total sellers remorse because those chairs were sooooooo gorgeous. Never sell it! and I can’t wait to see how it looks when you’re done.
These were them originally:
This is what each chair looked like after reuphostering:
2. Sarah: Please forgive me, but I love the after (more colors – team Mac) I’ve been spending HOURS on reorganizing/restyling our bookshelves because I love looking at them and a well styled bookshelf is something so pleasing to look at (IMHO). Keep posting updates. I love that colorful hand thing that you guys added. Also, I love your home too much.

Happy quarantining 🙂


Caitlin, I highly recommend taking that screen door right off. You live in socal where there’s very few bugs, so you can just leave the door open for breeze. or get one of those little hanging door screens (they like have magnets down the center where they split)


Ryann – Before you strip, sand and re-stain, see if you can find some Methyl Hydrate. Anywhere you can buy paint will probably carry it! If it is latex paint, this will clean it up.
(I’m a painter and this is what we use!)

oh thank you thank you!


Ryann re: your stained glass problem. Why not make it more appealing by changing the colors to something you enjoy but covering it with tissue paper and starch. It won’t make it go away but it can make it look nicer and it’s a temporary (renter friendly) solution.


Love this post but I want to know the brand of Mallory’s jeans. LOVE them.


I love this post but I really want to know the brand of Mallory’s jeans. I LOVE them.

Sara – I was totally inspired by the tarot card art above your bar cart so decided to make my own over the weekend (already had all the materials). Obsessed with how it turned out and it was so great to get my creative juices flowing while stuck inside 🙂


Wait – where exactly is there room for the record player console in sarashs living room?


Before you sand that door frame, try some Goo Gone latex paint cleaner. I got years old overpaint off our beautiful oak floors easily without damage!


Ryann – I am team art over the window! Finding a cool landscape that looks like a view would be quirky/amazing!

Meggan, I am so happy to hear you say that. That is what I really want to do but thought it would be too weird??? But I am gonna try it and will report back 🙂


Your work motto is “let’s get weird”, so you are contractually obligated I believe 😉 My whole house is filled with moments of weird (plants in an antique lamp where the bulbs are supposed to go, dictionary page wallpaper in my office, found objects as art). Guess what?! Those are the things that are memorable and make your space more “you”. Can’t wait to see 🙂


This is great!

Jess — thanks for reminding us of your AWESOME kitchen & living room MOTOs. I had such fun going back and looking at those great DIDs! I’m sure your bedroom will turn out awesome.

Caitlin — I think I agree with all the others that you won’t really ever enjoy sitting out on that balcony, so filling it with plants from top to bottom would probably make it a DREAM. For climbing plants, you could really get some awesome ones — a climbing rose, clematis, star jasmine… it will be great!


Fun post! If you can strip and stain the door, can you paint it and the doorframe? If both were white, that yellow stained glass might just look pretty ok! The door and frame color are so heavy. Thanks for this post!


Caitlin. Two words….potted lavender. Looks amazing, smells amazing, grows like crazy and super low maintenance. I’m new to outdoor gardening and filled up an area with lavender and BOOM. I kind of look like I know what I’m doing.

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