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Staging my Dream Parisian Hotel Suite with Sothebys

A few months ago Sotheby’s International Realty reached out to partner on a post where we style out and stage one of their high end properties in LA to showcase its potential. We toured a bunch of the properties in the LA area and ultimately landed on this beauty in Pasadena that is currently on the market. The quick history of this property is that it’s a 20k square foot mansion built in the 1920’s in Pasadena by a very wealthy and prominent couple, Mr. & Mrs. John S. Cravens. The family lived in it for a period but for the last 30 years it has been occupied by the Red Cross and used as their offices as well as many film/tv shoots. After touring through each and every single room we ended up choosing this room to redesign and style. It had beautiful floor to ceiling windows, original herringbone floors, lots of character and felt big enough to really tell a larger story.

Here’s what it looked like when we first saw it:

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Since this was just for a shoot we could kinda do anything with it, and Sotheby’s International Realty gave us full creative control as long as we took inspiration from some of their other luxury properties. Sounded easy (and fun) enough. We landed on creating my dream Modern Art Deco Parisian Hotel Suite (obviously). I haven’t been to Paris since I was 22 and I’m not necessarily a Francophile, but this mansion is so historic, with such beautiful classic details and molding. We knew we could do something really high end and editorial this time and so we really dove in.

We first created an inspiration board and rough floor plan:

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Neutral with an edge. European but modern. Masculine but with romance.

We had some layout options and stuck most closely to this one, but ultimately we knew that things would change once we got pieces into the room.

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We locked down the major pieces prior to the shoot, but we knew that we were going to mostly shop and borrow accessories a few days prior once the larger pieces were in place.

So without further ado, Chateau Hendo – My dream Fantasy Parisian Hotel, in a Sotheby’s International Realty luxury property.

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We wanted the room to be neutral but full of drama and tension, so we created this plan with a lot of dramatic black lines and graphic circles (a hearken to our art deco theme). These vertical black lines are everywhere, juxtaposed with large scale circles. It started to feel really pulled together, cohesive and stark – but in a comfortable and inviting way. It is a hotel, after all.

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We started by reaching out to some of our favorite vendors that were willing to loan in exchange for us showcasing their items. We were really wanting a tall dark bed, as this room could handle it and we craved the drama that it would bring. Just because I was trying my hand at neutral and minimal didn’t mean that we didn’t want it to be full of drama, contrast and style. We found this one from Noir and checked that box. It was classic and not too fussy, but certainly felt traditional, yet gender neutral.

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The nightstands and lamps are also from Noir. We discovered this company a couple years ago and fell in love with their modern and more edgy silhouettes and finishes. They make super high quality, high end pieces (and they are located in LA so easy for us to borrow from or purchase).

We carried this circle theme from the nightstands, lamps (Noir but not currently on their site), ball fringe, finials, desk lamp and vases.

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The dramatic floor to ceiling curtains created softness and is very on trend according to our recent post about the Parisian Art Deco Trend. We simply bought eight 120″ Ikea panels (4 per window) and added that huge ball fringe onto them (I believe the ball fringe was $16 a yard… not cheap but big impact).

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The chaise in the corner created the most inviting sitting area for my journaling of my romances. I love how its traditional shape is juxtaposed with that skinny modern floor lamp. We added a little cocktail table to round out the vignette.

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The rug was borrowed from Cisco home and I believe it’s still available, and is so versatile and beautiful. It’s a 9×12 and fit the room and style perfectly.

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That might be my favorite shot of the whole room. I love how stark and simple it is, but with these big graphic moments of amazingness. The art is by The Fourth Artist, two incredible artists who work in conjunction to create multi-media art. This series is available for sale at Angel City Brewery from now until Sept. 11th, 2017. The large piece above the desk that I collaborated on with them is on sale for $5000 and will be available at the show as well. During the show email for purchase inquiries. Once the show has closed you can email them directly at

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Black and white circles and stripes everywhere. We added hits of wood to warm it up, and simple branches for drama. That striped vessel is from Kelly Wearstler and my is it intense, yet perfect for the space.

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On the other side of the room we have another corner vignette, this time with the most amazing vintage rocker from Big Daddy’s. The second I saw that piece I died of joy, and then was immediately reborn. It was just so special and dramatic. It carried through our graphic circles and brought warmth to that side of the room.

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We commissioned this huge piece of art also from Patrice and Jackie of The Fourth Artist. We did a whole post about it because they actually created that collage there on site, using our inspiration of the room. I made the first mark, and they worked off that mark and finished the piece. We made a frame for it similar to the one we did for Orlando years ago.

The desk is from Ave home and comes in beautiful raw wood (ready to be painted, or can stay as-is). We had a feeling we were going to need to paint it so we waited till we got it in the space to choose a color. We painted it Satin Black by Behr. It’s such a beautiful classic desk, and I very much considered having it in my office (but not big enough for big conference meetings). The chair is from Kelly Wearstler and we loved the juxtaposition of how modern and 70’s it was with the traditional desk. We needed something relatively solid and light so it wouldn’t get lost against the dark desk. The scale of the desk is fairly wide so we needed a chair that could handle its weight visually.

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We styled it out simply – like a hotel would with a large tray (from Kelly Wearstler) donned with tea, flowers and a water carafe. We added that amazing dot vase (from Consort) and that really dramatic lamp (also from Noir).  This is me doing minimal, folks. I wanted to leave it more bare but it just felt so sad without some styling on top.

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We styled out the bed to be as luxurious and inviting as possible.

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The sheets are sateen from Parachute, the comforter is linen from Target and the blanket is from The Citizenry. (secret – we added another comforter underneath the folded one to make it look extra fluffy). We used four king pillows (even though it was a queen – good tip) and then kept it symmetrical with the two Rebecca Atwood pillows and the middle Cb2 pillows that mimicked our graphic lines elsewhere in the room.

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That piece of art above the bed is by Colin Glasgow, from Consort and I may need to purchase it. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s so simple, but dramatic and it just commands the photos. I finally tried it above my fireplace, but the white in it was so cool that it made my walls look yellow. But someone should invest in that piece because I think it’s really visually powerful (it’s $3k).

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On the opposite side of the room we brought in this vintage deco armoire that I borrowed from a friend. We have these hits of wood or leather peppered around the room, which all tie in with this intensely beautiful piece.

We flanked the armoire with two amazing modern chairs from Consort (that we all freaked out over). We brought in a bit of the color from the larger art piece here (by artist Kristen Georgi which is also from Consort) and these beautiful 1950’s French sconces from Gallery L7.

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We added a dresser from Cisco, lamp from Noir and that KW dish did double duty. That lamp is so graphic and strong, it really pulls your eye over there and adds so much depth to the shot.

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The curved back sofa really softened the lines of the bed. It’s wood frame tied in with the other wood pieces and the simplicity of the upholstery kept it feeling quiet.

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We all loved this room and we were so sad to pack it up the next day. It was such a great opportunity to explore a different style, pull back on color and be more minimal. A huge thanks to Sotheby’s International Realty for partnering on this post and asking us to design a space that shows off our skills and the beauty of this property. They are all about connecting extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives. It might be my favorite makeover of all time and has definitely influenced my style. Someday I will design my dream Parisian Hotel but the one-day staging of this beautiful room was definitely satisfying, in the meantime if you are in the market for a beautiful property and are ready to purchase then the Craven’s Estate just might be the perfect place for you, (if you have the budget for it of course).

Now for those of you interested in this look, here you go:

Emily Henderson Soethbys Staging Real Estate Parisan Hotel Suite Art Deco Get The Look

1. London Arched Table Lamp | 2. Black Polka Dot Bowl | 3. Decanter | 4. Old-Fashioned Glass | 5. Checkered Tray | 6. French Press | 7. Coffee Cup | 8. Fourth Artist Print (similar) | 9. Desk & Paint Color | 10. Desk Chair | 11. Bed Frame | 12. Colin Glasgow ‘Temple 1’ Graphite Oil Painting | 13. Curtains | 14. Arch Lamp | 15. Nightstand | 16. Ceramic Box | 17. Sateen Sheet Set | 18. Linen Duvet Set | 19. Spring Pillow | 20. Noren Pillow | 21. Sentido Blanket | 22. Striped Lumbar Pillow | 23. Sofa (similar) | 24. Urchin Table Lamp | 25. Striped Catch All | 26. Sconce | 27. Chaise Lounge | 28. Side Table | 29. Bud Vase | 30. Collective Studio ‘Kolorblock Nude V’ Painting | 31. Accent Chair | 32. Floor Lamp | 33. Black Pillow (similar) | 34. Striped Gray Cashmere Blanket | 35. ‘Transition 11’ Print | 36. ‘Transition 17’ Print | 37. Luna Table Lamp | 38. Capri White Vase 

*This post is in partnership with Sothebys International Realty, where their distinctive properties around the world.

Thanks to all the our favorite vendors who loaned for this shoot – Ave Home, Big Daddy’s, Cisco Home, Consort, Gallery L7, Kelly Wearstler, Noir and The Fourth Artist.

***Photos by Tessa Neustadt




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90 thoughts on “Staging my Dream Parisian Hotel Suite with Sothebys

  1. The burl wood on that armoire is insanely beautiful. I love how this room mixes wood and painted furniture. It is something I have been struggling with in my own space – how to mix natural wood finished pieces with other media. It is done beautifully here.

    1. It is. I can’t stop looking at it. Dream piece. If I could just have that and the fireplace, I’d be good.

  2. I cant believe how expensive those Ikea curtains look! Did you guys just hang them with the back tabs or did you clip them?!

  3. So out of ALL the rooms that you and your team have designed, this is my favorite, HANDS DOWN!!! I am in awe of this. And also knowing how much you guys had on your plate around the same time, I am even more in awe. I bow down to you all. Bravo!!

  4. This room is beyond gorgoeous! And just when I thought it might be a bit too stark, you turn and see the desk arrea with the just the right amount of color! I love that abstract artwork above the desk.

    Characters & Carry-ons

  5. wow, this is so beautiful! it’s fun to see you do something more editorial! this is not my style at all, but i can appreciate how beautiful it is. i do love the dresser from cisco and the noir urchin lamp, so i wish we had a better shot of that (and that we could get that dresser!!).

  6. This is so beautiful! I love how you have been branching out and exposing us to different styles lately. If you’re going to continue with featuring different styles would you consider doing some posts on achieving a Scandinavian style? The style is so cozy, light, and appealing as Fall and Winter are quickly approaching. Great work as always on this project! 🙂

  7. BEST. POST. EVER. Or, in like a really long time. I LOVE that you stepped out of your (blue) comfort zone to show us your amazing design chops. The space is graphic, layered, and full of texture that it feels alive despite the neutral color scheme. BRAVO!!!

    1. THANK YOU. It was so fun and honestly i’m so much more inspired to branch out. Without a client with needs wants (or kids) or a budget involved, life is so easy, right? thank you 🙂

  8. This may be my favorite room ever. It draws you in without being overwhelming and that black accent throughout is just perfection. Thank you for the design inspiration!

  9. This room is just fabulous. Love the b/w, and how you brought warmth into the room. My living room has similar colors, and this room has inspired me with how to finish it up. I need to find a place for those side chairs from Consort. I also love your outfits for the post. Mind if I ask where the shirt and dress are from?

  10. I really like the colorful art. Maybe I’m too ingrained in MCM and California Cool, but I’m not a fan of this one. I like the style and all of the pieces, but something isn’t coming together, maybe its the monochromatic black and white without strong pops of color throughout. Not sure. It is a nice room though. As always, I’m a big fan of your blog…you are my favorite designer!

  11. This is definitely one of my favorite “makeovers” you’ve ever done. So beautiful!

  12. Nice to see you take on something different. Your style and design approach still comes through in the negative spaces and in the play between curved/soft furnishings and more structured pieces. I can see it. love the art work, particularly the small black and white pieces.

    Thanks for showing this. That this was a staging event and that it was put together so quickly is pretty amazing. Great exposure for your work/team.

    Good luck with your present project, despite the personal challenges.

  13. Oh, you guys!!!! I know you do a ton of accessible price point furniture and I certainly appreciate it. But it’s nice to see this better, more high-end version of a room as it is such a departure form what I usually see on your blog. Yes, it is a hotel suite–so the drama is meant to be temporary. But so, so goood! That chair is so dreamy! No, I’m not going to run out and spend $3,200 on an impulse, but it is so nice to see the tension in style, texture and color… magic. Everything about this room perfection! So much so that I may be able to live in it every day and every night. It’s also great to see Target, Ikea, KW and Sotheby’s side by side–albeit doctored up a bit. Many thanks for doing this; such eye candy! Burled armoire, come home with me…. you can make me so happy!

  14. Wow. That armoire…I had to stop and pray. Stunning. Only a room like this could handle it!

    It’s truly the mark of a talented team that can execute such different styles with aplomb! Well done!

  15. This is perfection. Every detail was attended to and the final product is a little trip to heaven.

  16. I feel so fancy and trendy right now – we did the same curtains in our nursery last summer! IKEA panels plus black pom-poms for the win! Love this room!

  17. PHENOMENAL! I’ve been following this blog daily from Secrets onwards, and this is Emily’s best work hands down (OK, may be the new patio… but no.) Wow. Elle Decor is fuming with jealousy. Well done!!!!

  18. I have HUGE heart eyes for this space! What an excellent opportunity to do something that is remarkable, and high-end. It belongs on the cover of AD! Gorgeous.

  19. What a space! The chemistry between the pieces you have chosen is undeniable – balanced, yet full of joyous moments of juxtaposition. I feel that this room is significant somehow, a new way of seeing perhaps?

    In any event you’ve really made a mark here – and not only through your Fourth collaboration, which I also adore (that bold scarlet…be still heart, be still!). Quite simply, c’était le coup de foudre!

  20. so good. so so friggin good. I really feel you growing on the blog recently. I’ve been reading this inspiring book called Playing Big (for women leaders in their fields) and you seem to be leaning into your “yirah” lately (the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting). Brava to taking chances and big leaps!

  21. This might be one of my favorite rooms that you’ve done EVER. Seriously! I’m swooning! Those pom-pom curtains are such a focal point!

  22. This is absolutely stunning! It isn’t my usual style and yet I am now dreaming of staying/ living in this space. Just amazing!

  23. Stunning and exquisite! I think one of the greatest transformations was in brightening the room with a new paint color. All of the furnishings are gorgeous and you nailed the modern French vibe. Could you possibly share the wall color with your readers. It looks to be a very pale gray neutral, similar to Benjamin Moore Pale Oak.

  24. Wow, I love everything about this room. It is different than your usual “style” but it looks fabulous.

  25. This is a room of my dreams. I love that you were able to pull of mostly black and white but also include a piece of colorful art. This is actually my delima in my current home, that is mostly neautral – whites, blacks and wood. The art we have has some color and I have been feeling like I need to bring in some of that color in pillows or throws or something. This post made me think about it differently… maybe the color in the art can stand on it’s own?

    PS: LOVED seeing a post using a different color palette!

  26. Wonderful, Emily. Loved the curtains, floor rug (so hard to get the right one sometimes) and the layered bed.

    I was at the Showcase House here a few years ago, and I think you did a better job.

  27. I so appreciate that you tell us things like that you used two comforters for the fluff. It makes all these beautiful rooms a little more understandable and relatable.
    Also, my life dream is now to live in that house *swoon*

  28. The chairs by the armoire are designed by a Baltimore design company, everything they do is freak out over worthy.

  29. Emily, thank you! This is my favourite post in ages. This is exactly the vibe I want in my new lounge/ diner 🙂 and it’s exactly the wall treatment and flooring I was picturing! Great timing!

    I love this type inspirational (and aspirational, for sure) images. I find I get more inspiration from seeing high end design (even if I can’t afford it) than I would from a post with a bunch of target products.

    Thank you for posting the pulled back images too, they really help to see how the space ties together.

  30. This room in incredible. Love it! Really love seeing more variety in styles lately. Amazing room!

  31. Ahhhhh!!!! SO beautiful, and tasteful, and chic, and beautiful! Did I mention beautiful?!!

    Not enough times.

  32. Wow! What an absolute breath of fresh air, and just when Cali-cool is reaching max satch for me. I’m so inspired by the desk vignette with the KW chair; I will strive to be as bold in my own space!

  33. What color did you paint the walls? I love it, and I have to update many of my walls and ceilings.

  34. This room is gorgeous. The art, furniture, styling. I’m finding it hard to stop going through this post.

  35. Great post! I love this style and would definitely enjoy a future post about budget-friendly furniture and lighting options in the Parisian Art Deco style.

  36. I find this room beautiful, intriguing, and relaxing. Simply lovely with a soupçon (dash) of quirk!

  37. That’s an amazing house. I took a look at the real estate photos. Those floors. Those walls. That glass ceiling with the stairs!

    This is a very pretty room. If this were a real hotel I’d feel like a queen staying here! 😛 I love the KW desk chair. She can do no wrong. The large 4th artist piece above the desk is very cool. Love the color it brings in. That armoire is so good. I can’t get enough burl wood.

    Crazy how companies who have offices in these mansions make them so drab!! Like…look at all this beauty around you…design a cool office space! It kills me.

  38. Love the entire space. Emily and crew you have done it again. I feel you are really challenging yourself and growing in creativity. I love the break for your signature style, but still still all of the ‘Emily’ crazy in the room!!!! Now i want to spend a week in my dream Parisian art deco hotel room!!!

  39. I’m laughing at myself because this is by far my favorite room I’ve ever seen you do in the 6 years I’ve been following and of course the furniture is all more expensive than usual. Kudos though it is gorgeous

  40. First of all – great job! Love this style. As a Stager myself I am so happy to see there are more and more realtors taking property styling seriously! Great branding strategy! On another note, can someone please explain real estate photographers once and for all – please use daylight and don’t turn on all the lights!!! Yours is an excellent example to show that this works!!!

  41. Seriously this room is AH-MAY-ZING!!! Ever since you put the first photo on Instagram I have been dreaming about this room. The walls, floors, windows, that curved back sofa, the bed + the frame, the bed linens, the curtains with the poofs!!! This room is so beautiful I swear I want to just recreate it! Everyone involved did a fabulous job!!! Congrats!!!

  42. Wowza. That space, few restrictions, and a major budget…now that sounds like a project! Refreshing and beautiful work.

  43. Lovely suite.

    But you know, her name was Mildred Mary Myers Craven. No need to perpetuate the history of erasing women.

  44. Love the space! And also your clothes! Especially the striped blouse + trousers + camel oxfords. Can you also share your outfit info please 🙂

  45. Emily – love this post – beautiful design, accessories, artwork… loved it!

    Can you please share what you wore, especially your shoes? They look like the perfect fall pair of shoes.

  46. WOW, you’ve created a bonafide masterpiece!
    Every single detail is spectacular.
    The mix of styles and periods are brilliant and add such a richness and timelessness.
    It really showcases your versatility as a Designer.

    Congratulations, I’m sure Sotheby’s are ecstatic and will be excited to work with you again and again.

  47. I AM SOOOOO OBSESSED! I CANNOT STOP STARING IN AWE! Literally star struck by that armoire ….the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. Wowza team hendo! Now to try to recreate for mi casa.

  48. I rarely comment on blogs…but this is one of my favorite rooms you’ve done! Congrats, beautiful work. Love the attention to detail and how you explain it to all of us! Thank you!

  49. Do a separate post where you talk about your outfits in the photos. I love your oxfords. You look great!

  50. My heart is warm seeing all these commenters give you so much love – And I’m here to give a bit more! I envy your ability to take a room that could be stark and add moments of warmth (wood, leather, etc.) that don’t feel out of place. It’s powerful, sophisticated, stylish, and sexy all in one. GREAT job!!

  51. Hands down, my favourite EHD studio piece in all the years I’ve been following; well done!

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