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The Portland House

Portland Open House, Party & THANK YOU!!!

After almost a year, the Portland Project is COMPLETE (and on the market!). And the best news of it all? I LOVE IT and we are so proud of how it turned out. My brother Ken and I made it through our first investment property (well, he and his wife invested, I designed) and while it wasn’t easy doing it from LA, working with him was SO much fun. Last week, we had a party and open house to celebrate and I want to take a minute and thank all of you who came. So today, I wanted to give a little recap and sneak peek into the project.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 3

But first, the night before the party, I had an anxiety attack. Like heart-won’t-stop-pounding-rapidly-and-maybe-I-should-go-to-hospital kind of anxiety attack. I think it was a combination of not sleeping (our team stayed up ’til 11pm, 12pm and even 2:30am that week working on the house) and the anticipation of so many people walking through (and potentially judging) our work. It was like a wedding, except I didn’t know who was coming or if they would like my dress/house/me and frankly we hadn’t properly planned the party. My brother asked me who I had invited and I said “uh, everyone.” And then I realized that there could potentially be thousands of people and we weren’t exactly prepped for that kind of volume. My nerves subsided, I slept all night and woke up not nervous, just excited.

Earlier that week, I had hired the team of The Nightwood Society and THANK GOODNESS, because they took over the planning of the party and I can’t recommend them enough.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 8

About them: The Nightwood Society is a collective of women who create experiences—food, drink, music, flowers, etc.—for any kind of event. Ours was last minute (they were hired on that Wednesday, HA) and we didn’t have a firm RSVP list, but regardless, they did such a great job at setting up and creating a beautiful, seamless experience for the open house with delicious food and drink (seriously, people were standing around the food table basically devouring things).

Alex Liegel, the DJ (below), emailed the day before and said “Cool if I bring a mix of ’60s folk and French pop?” and we were like “uh, yes.” It was perfect.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 1

Thank you so much for the beer, wine and liquor sponsors who helped execute this last-minute bash. We had a couple clear cocktails (gotta keep that house pristine) that were delicious and made with liquor by New Deal Distillery and syrups by Portland Syrups, as well as beer from Backwoods Brewing Company, chardonnay from Planet Oregon by Soter Vineyards and rosé from Stoller Family Estate.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 7

So many lovely people came, including Kristine and Amber who had helped out earlier in the week by unpacking boxes and generally doing the most annoying work ever.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 2

Kristine is a stager, so if you are in Portland and need help staging, call her up.

A lot of our local vendors came, too, including the lovely ladies of Aurora Mills (awesome architectural salvage and antiques in Portland and Aurora, OR).

Emily Henderson Portland Party 4

We aren’t sure how many people came through. Our real estate team says “1,400” but I think it was more like 500. I took photos and chatted with readers for hours and it was honestly so much fun. They used the hashtag #ehdportlandproject and #ehdportlandparty and we snagged a bunch to roundup in this post.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 9

GAH. How cute are those cookies by Beth Bakes? Thank you so much to her and the other cookie place (we got some insanely yummy nut-free chocolate chip treats from Dropout Cookie) for sending these our way. Trust me when I saw we DEVOURED them post party.

But the biggest thanks goes to my design and editorial team. While not everyone was involved in the design of the project, I wanted to make sure that everyone got to see it in person because lord knows we will be blogging about it for a while.

Emily Henderson Portland Party 6

Up there you have Priscilla (project manager), Arlyn (editorial director), Velinda (design assistant), Sara (photographer), Brady (design/creative director), Emily (styling assistant), Julie (design assistant) and Grace (design assistant). Jess (our office manager and senior editor) was out of town and we missed her.

Who you don’t see up there is JP Macy of Sierra Custom Construction who was our general contractor and just INCREDIBLE in every way. I can’t say enough good things about him and his subs (and no, this isn’t some sort of discount partnership situation, it was just a lovely professional and high-quality experience). Annie Usher was the architect who was involved at the beginning along with Jenna Sheingold, who helped manage the project at the beginning stages.

Again, thank you to my incredible team for so much hard hard work. Also, thank you to my husband for being so supportive and taking care of the kids for 10 days while I was gone, to and my family—mom, dad, John, Mary, Kendryn and Cameron—who all came to help.

What’s next? We started shooting last week and have a full week of more shooting coming up. We’ll be revealing it room by room and project by project.

Now folks, it’s time to sell this house before my brother decides to move in and sell his house instead (true story) so if you know anyone interested in a 5k-square-foot, acre, fully designed and decorated house in a great school district in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Portland, spread the word…


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5 years ago

So beautiful! I’m seriously digging your skirt with total envy. Where did you find it? And those shoes?

5 years ago

It’s perfection! Outfit details please!!

5 years ago
Reply to  Molly

Same comment, please tell us about this outfit and those TOTAL HEART-EYES shoes!!

5 years ago
Reply to  Emma

Yes yes! This!! I’m excited for the house blahblahblah…but I NEED THOSE SHOES! 😉

5 years ago

That charcoal grey walk-in closet is the stuff that dreams are made of.

5 years ago

It’s so beautiful, I hate it. Seriously, I would leave everything I own behind and live in that house as-is. Damn good.

5 years ago

Absolutely in love with the house, you did a fantastic job!

5 years ago

The house is unreeeeaaaaaal. I live just south of Portland and want you to publicize who buys it so I can befriend them immediately and force them into weekly dinner parties! ?

On another note, because I care, might I suggest that you follow up with your Dr and/or a cardiologist about your anxiety attack? Last year I had an episode of racing heart rate. After 7 hours I went to the ER and was ultimately diagnosed with an arrhyhmia/tachycardia. It’s not life threatening but I definitely have to be more cautious now. Although the Xanax cured you— all well and good— it never hurts to err on the side of caution! Ya know, especially with those vital organs ??‍♀️?

5 years ago

Attended the open house and it was even more beautiful than the pictures! I’m sure it was the first of many more great parties that house could host. Plus Emily was SO nice and gracious to everyone fan-girling. Thanks for putting the party together!

5 years ago
Reply to  Katy

Lucky lucky you!

5 years ago

I really love the house – gorgeous. Also, I’d love it if DJ Alex Liegel provided a playlist – sounds really cool!

5 years ago
Reply to  Meg


5 years ago
Reply to  Mara


5 years ago

It’s beautiful, congrats! Please please also post where you got that skirt!?

5 years ago

I can’t tell if anyone has brought this up yet but- em-can we talk about joe FABULOUS your legs look? Bronzer? Self tanner? Can we talk?

5 years ago
Reply to  Jssatx

I was thinking that, too, as I am of the pale leg tribe, and Emily’s legs looks fab here.

5 years ago

Thanks for inviting us all out to see the beautiful project! It was so fun to tour the home and to meet you! It was really a dream come true, and so so special to be able to gift you cookies and have you share them here too 🙂 can’t wait for the next project!

5 years ago

I LOVE the fact that it’s mostly women who managed this project! The party looks like it was amazing!


Agnes Becker
5 years ago

Hi! I have been reading and loving your blog for a while now!!! I have to know, where did you get your sandals? They are perfect.

5 years ago

It loooks beauuuuuutiful – whoever snags up this beauty is one lucky peep! I’m super excited for all the concept, progress, and reveal posts to come rolling out, so I can ogle it from afar 🙂

On a different note: I appreciate your openness so much – it means a lot to me, and I’m sure to everyone else out there who might be struggling, that your brave enough to share your vulnerabilities. Thank you! I hope you get to feel better soon and have all the support you need!
And also thank you for always publicly appreciating your team and your collaborators so much – it’s truly heart-warming. Wishing you all the best and a fabulous post-project-week Emily and Team!!!

Agnes Becker
5 years ago

Hi! The house is beautiful!!! Please tell us about those shoes!! Also, I noticed you used the Dash and Albert Terry rug in the bedroom. I was thinking of getting that rug for our living room. Is it a bad idea to put cotton in The LR? Should I go with wool?

Nora Stone
5 years ago

Yay!!!! So glad you’re happy with the project and were able to have fun at the party. I love that you brought your whole crew up to see the place, even those who didn’t work on the design. As always, thanks for your transparency about needing help from other people (event planners! bakers! stagers!).

Looking forward to the reveals. It looks so beautiful, and I’m stoked for your take on traditional.

5 years ago

I am in LOVE with the iron rod for the staircase (okay, actually I really really love everything)! We’re looking to update our staircase so do you mind sharing a source for that? Thanks!

5 years ago
Reply to  Kali

I love what she chose for the staircase as well. It’s in a previous post about this house when the stairs are only like half done. I can’t remember what the post is called though!

5 years ago

How generous of heart you are to show and share, love how open you are and how you acknowledge everyone. Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. AND I love the house!! I wish it was in Auckland, New Zealand and I could live in it!!!! Congratulations to all the team.

5 years ago

That looks like such a fun party, who cares about the house?

Just kidding, but everything looks wonderful. People look happy. Food looks delish. The only thing you need is a couple of motivated buyers and a bidding war. 🙂

5 years ago

Oh, I just came back from looking at the listing photos, and, man, you had me at the living room windows that go to the floor. My heart literally skipped a beat. It’s such a well thought out, GORGEOUS house. The only thing I’d need is a few more bookcases. 🙂

I’ve gone to the Pasadena Showcase House of Design a bunch of times, and while it’s a lot of fun, it’s so much more satisfying to see a house done with just one person’s version. I also appreciate the restraint you used in staging the house. The bones were really allowed to shine. Just so beautiful. Sigh………..

5 years ago

Argh, I’ll stop posting. I promise!

I looked at the two “competing” properties to yours in the area (same street) at the same price point, and yours is head-and-shoulders (and probably a torso) better.

No comparison.

5 years ago

Love the house! Sorry if I missed the link but I have to know where you got the indoor basketball hoop! So awesome, I would love to save it for a Christmas gift. Thanks!

طراحی سایت
5 years ago
5 years ago

LOVE Everything about this HOUSE! Oh man! I hope one day the good Lord brings me back to Oregon! I miss it! Can’t wait to see pics of all the rooms in more detail! Man I just LOVE the process and home design! I need to get back into school and do what I want to do DESIGN! You inspire me Emily!!

jennifer briggs
5 years ago

it’s just perfect. love it.

5 years ago

Emily I can’t thank you enough for letting your readers tour the house! You, your family, and your team were so warm and welcoming. It was such a special event! Every room was designed to perfection. I left feeling so inspired!!

Lisa L
5 years ago

So late with this comment, but congratulations Emily!! Congratulations your work in transforming a ranch house into this bold and gorgeous home!! It’s hard to pull all of that together from such a distance, and you and your brother got all the right people to help make it happen. Absolutely beautiful!!