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Sneak Peek Into STYLED, The Book

STYLED – ON SHELVES NOW!

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My book, STYLED is officially on sale today, friends. We are friends, right? Friends that, say, buy each other’s books, for instance? Friends that promote each others hard work on the interwebs? Friends that tell each other when we have crossed the line from “encouraging” to “TOTALLY NAGGY?

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I’ve stewed, pondered and brainstormed for months about what the most accurate analogy for this book publishing process is and, unfortunately, I can only come up with the old, ‘It’s like giving birth’ analogy. You moms out there are probably thinking impossible,  but trust me. I’m not the first one to make this comparison, nor will I be the last, but it’s so accurate that I can’t help but climb on that proverbial train. It’s such hard work, but so incredibly rewarding.

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You think you are “ready, ” and that it will be “fun.” Ultimately it will help give you the future that you’ve dreamed about. So, while you know it’s going to be a lot of work and really painful you say to yourself, “lets do it!”

The next two years after signing the book deal are both creatively inspiring and pretty harrowing at the same time. I knew it was going to be a lot of work but it was 147x more work than I could have ever predicted. It didn’t help that I had a baby, a design firm with lots of active clients, the blog, major partnerships, blah, blah, to stay on top of. The book was a top priority but all of those things were fighting for first priority, too.

There are a few ancillary reasons why this book was more work (and more worth it AND now WAY MORE FUN) than I thought.

Be prepared to be emotionally manipulated by me:

1. STYLED Is a book FULL of information, tips and original styling content. I recycled nothing from the blog. It’s not just text, nor is it just pretty photos with some intro text per chapter. I used to look at those huge $70 picture filled coffee table books with such envy, as I could see how much easier they would have been to produce being mainly beautiful photo after beautiful photo with nary a ‘tip’ in sight. On the other hand, this book has 412 original photos, over 1000 tips and more words than you can possibly count. All of that had to be written, organized and laid out in a way that was linear and yet unpredictable and interesting. It’s not like it’s ‘Tip #1, Tip #2’ and so on. It’s is a massive resource about how to find your style, hone it, love it and then style every. single. thing. in. your. home. Exhausted yet? Stay with me.

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2. We (myself with Scott and David) shot all original photography (technically there is one photo that was a pickup). That means we had to find, book, style, shoot and edit 25 different homes around the country (we concentrated in LA and Portland). We picked these homes, keeping in mind that each home had to be unique and different from the previous. Every room, every surface,  needed to be presented in a fresh way so I would have something new to talk about in each. If we had already shot a room with simple textural white bedding then we had to change out the bedding on the next house’s bedroom to make sure that I could talk about, say, patterns instead. We didn’t just make the bed, we created the tips as we moved around the house, then we obsessed about every single GD wrinkle on that bed.

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3. We wrote and shot it at the same time in order to meet the deadlines. I say ‘we’ because I ultimately needed (and received) incredible help with the writing, organizing, and laying out text from my editor (who turned into a writer for the book, Angelin Borsics). When I originally got the book deal (I was a naive what-felt-like-25 year old) I really thought that I could shoot all the photos then lay them out in an adorable scrapbook-like manner, and then write the copy for the photos. Not the case, folks. The outline was done first, and then I wrote the content as we shot everything.  STYLED is not a narrative that goes in order by room – it starts with the style diagnostic, moves onto 10 steps to styling anything, then dives into the specifics of each surface, room, etc. It is such a beast to organize and determine which photos go in what chapter – you have no idea (or maybe you do). There are “captions, ” “deep dives, ” “body text, ” “sub-titles, ” “chapter headings” and lots of other book jargon that Angelin helped me understand.

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It was hard, but satisfying work.

Also like having kids, the second you see that baby you are: a.) So incredibly happy that you want to cry, b.) Would do it all over again and, c.) You totally forget the pain.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I’m so insanely proud of this book and It makes me so much happier than I thought it could. Like my own child (soon to be children) I’m sure I am biased, but I think its FULL of quality decorating information which is all illustrated through such beautiful original photos (thanks to everyone who worked on the book – I’m talking to you David and Scott).

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There were a lot of people involved that need to be thanked.

Angelin Borsics – Long story short Angelin was the original editor at Potter Style,  who had been trying to get me to do a book for years. Right after I signed this book deal – knowing that she was the right one to sign with, she left to work elsewhere. I was deflated, at first but then I was assigned another editor, Aliza – who was wonderful, and we moved forward with the book. But I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed Angelin. I was CRAZY busy, she knew this project, the blog and all of the book potential better than anyone else – even better than I did at times. I had all the styling information, but she had all the ‘how-to-make-a-successful-book’ information from years of working in the industry.

So I did what busy people do best – I hired her as my own personal editor and she was highly, HIGHLY involved in the editorial process. We had 2 hour weekly conference calls (while I was on walks with Charlie) where I would ramble out the content and she would write it in the most concise and digestable way possible. She helped determine what tip should be a “deep dive” or a “side bar.” She monitored the photos as they came in, assigning tips to them, and helped create the overall structure of the book. It’s actually impossible for me to overstate how much she did and how valuable she was to this whole process.

She made this all possible and I may have died without her. Having her expertise of the publishing world (i.e. knowing what an audience wants) was priceless. The fact that she had been reading the blog for years meant that when absolutely needed she could even write in my voice. She babysat me with the deadlines, helped me organize all the outlines and filled in as me when I simply couldn’t get back to the publisher in time. Then at the 12th hour, a couple of months ago, she decided to return to Potter Style and she became my editor again.

Angelin, you are a very special, valuable, wonderful person and while I know that I’m getting most of the credit for this book – YOU deserve so much of it. Let the record show – Angelin Borsics is a genius book editor and writer.

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David Tsay – The photographer. I have been working with David now for almost a decade. We’ve travelled all over together and spent so much collaborative time honing our chemistry and process. He is an incredible photographer and can do things to spaces, angles and light that few can. When I signed the book deal my first thought was DAVID!! And my second thought was ‘HOW CAN I AFFORD HIM?!’ In an era where everyone is a photographer (and stylist) there are few who can turn out beautiful, professional interiors photographs with sophisticated lighting and story telling abilities. In short, he’s the real deal. Even more surprising is that he has very little ego. He is full of opinions, suggestions and wants things a certain way but he is extremely easy to work with and open to others opinions and suggestions. He knows that making a beautiful photo is a collaborative process. He’s extremely talented and so enjoyable to be around. We had so much fun together and I hope to work with him for the next 10 years if he’ll have me.

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Scott Horne  Scott is one of my very best friends in the whole world. In fact he was the subject of one of my first blog posts 7 years ago. We met on set, both as assistant stylists, 12 years ago and have been pretty inseperable – emotionally and physically – since. Our careers have both taken off since we were 24, in different ways. Now he styles massive ad campaigns and huge Martha Stewart like lifestyle shoots (he trained at MS). He moved to LA just after I did (thank God). At first I thought I could style this whole book myself – I am a stylist, after all. But…I couldn’t. I was way too busy and couldn’t give each photo the proper attention it needed, while staying on top of the blog and client work. You don’t just go into a house, set up the camera and shoot. You buy/schlep flowers and props beforehand, then completely rearrange the house for each shot you are trying to capture. It’s a total snow show. On top of that someone has to be a.) Making sure that stylistically it looks amazing/interesting/not generic as well as b.) Making sure there aren’t wrinkles, lint, unnecessary cords, etc, trying to creep into the shot. He wasn’t cheap (oh, I tried to get a friends and family discount, I did) but he was worth every. single. penny. We were both there together most days (he missed a few and I missed a few) and I think having both of us styling and babysitting each shot is one of the reasons why every single photo in the book is so beautiful.

I didn’t do it alone – those three people made this book what it is.

Of course I need to thank my agent – Margaret, the designer of the book – La Tricia Watford, my team (Ginny, Brady and Sara) for keeping up the company while I was on set and of course, Brian and Charlie for their general patience while I was either shooting or having mental breakdowns.

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Lastly I want to thank all the designers and homeowners who let us shoot inside their beautiful homes. These aren’t all of them (just the ones who wanted to be credited).

Scott Horne, Sally Breer, Jason Tauritz, Ellen Lacompte of Amsterdam Modern, Corbett Tuck, Mike Andrew of Inheritance, Shanne Feste, Isabelle Dahlin of DekorLA, Noah Riley, Cleo and McShane Murnane of ProjectMPlus, Taylor Jacobson, Brian Faherty of Schoolhouse Electric, Emily Katz and Adam Porterhouse,  Jessica Helgerson, David Peralta of Mid Century LA, and Tomer of Native Content.

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I’ll be posting about each of them, and tagging them on social media the next couple months, so keep an eye out. Thank you so much everyone for creating such pretty, shoot worthy spaces.

All the beautiful photography is done by the talented David Tsay. While I may be leaking some photos here and there, there are hundreds of photos in the book and you simply have to buy it in order to really read it, see it and judge it for yourself.

Just in case this post wasn’t manipulation enough, you can watch this trailer:

Video by Scrunch Media.

I want this book to succeed so hard. Like a child I just want to see it succeed. I’m so proud of it. So much of my creativity, energy, time and heart went into this book.

In fact, I love this book so much that If I had to do it all over again, with the exact same pains and challenges I would in a heartbeat. I may, however, opt for an epidural this time 🙂

If you are up for it, go ahead and buy the book STYLED at Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble.

P.S. If you purchased it and wouldn’t mind reviewing it on Amazon I would be SO grateful. Good reviews help it show up in the purchase recommendations of other shoppers, which boosts sales.

For more about the book, behind the scenes, and a few more peeks inside the pages look here: Book Title And Cover Options | The Real Book Cover | Behind The Book – Styling The Perfect Shot

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  1. #ermahgerd , i preordered this in september. amazon is telling me it’ll be at my door tomorrow! #eep / congrats, i’m so excited for you.

  2. I am eagerly anticipating its arrival in the mail today! Also, I might be able to say ‘no’ to you, but never to your cat…

  3. I have been waiting and waiting for this to come! We move into our new house in two weeks, so this is perfect timing. I will have a chance to read the book and have tons of amazing pointers on how to style my new space. Yay!

  4. I just received my copy from the Amazon delivery man!!!!!! It is gorgeous!!!!! So much more beautiful in person than it looks in pictures on the internet. I can’t stop running my hand over the cover. It’s perfect. I am ordering another copy right now cuz I can tell this baby is going to be well loved and I will need another one just for show. Thank you all for your hard work!!! Checking out now for the rest of the day…..if you need me I will be in a room with the door shut devouring each and every page. Wine may or may not be involved. WOW this is beyond amazing!

  5. OMG. “Litter-ature” I just died. Dude, I dig your quirk.

    SO excited for you! This book cannot get into my hands fast enough. It is SO impressive that you didn’t recycle blog content! No wonder it was so labor intensive! You put an amazing amount of creative content into the world, it must take a lot of coffee. I, for one, am grateful. You’re the ONLY stylist that shows the behind the scenes that we all are interested in. It provides so much meaning! You rock.

  6. I already ordered it, but if I hadn’t I would have bought it just to take the style diagnostic quiz! Eeekk! I have always wanted to have Emily diagnose my style, I was such of fan of your show! I’m so excited to get the book in the mail today! Also, I love it even more now that I know Bearcat is the brains behind this book. I’m a big Bearcat fan too! Congratulations Emily! I hope it sells millions!

  7. I want one! Hope they release it here in the Philippines. I don’t have an Amazon account and custom tax here is absurd. Also, I like the hardbound more than the digital one. I just love, love the smell of a new book. Please release it here in Manila, PH! I’m INLOVE with your talent and all your work!

  8. OK, gonna order it right now. You are having some year, huh? Well deserved, in my opinion.
    As I read this post I didn’t even look at the pictures cuz I only want to see them in the BOOK! It’s kind of like Christmas…

  9. Congratulations, Emily! We have been fans from the start (er, at least since Design Star!). Can’t wait to see the book!! If you’re offering a chance to win a free one, I’m your gal! Happy to knit something for you in return. 😉

    Formerly a beloved resident of L.A. and Portland OR, now residing with my cute family in Essex, MA. 😉

  10. Just ordered my copy! Can’t wait to devour it and then restyle the whole apartment, which already looks so much better after I started reading your blog.

    Congratulations Emily, your work is amazing!

  11. I preordered this what feels like one zillion light years ago (im not very patient) and am so excited its being delivered to me today!!!!! Great work Emily and everyone who helped with it. From the snippets Ive seen in other posts and this one, its gonna be the book I force onto all my friends, especially the ones who actually care about this stuff!

  12. Been waiting this books and definitely worth to buy. From the video itself the book content very interesting. I think this book a bundle of modern house from around the globe with lots of tips. So.. yeah I have to buy it!

  13. Congratulations! I will be purchasing it on Friday and CANNOT WAIT to read it. I’ll also make sure to leave a review on Amazon! 🙂

  14. Congratulations! It looks fabulous and I can’t wait to receive my copy which I ordered from Amazon way back in April, but it only gets here in the UK in November. I love your honesty about your help with the book, having watched the RHNY argue about ghost writers etc, it’s refreshing for an author to admit to not being able to do it all alone and giving some of the credit to those who deserve it! Well done!

  15. My copy arrived on my doorstep from Amazon today!! I was so excited to tear into that package. I have been waiting years for this. I cannot wait to finish my workday and sit down with a good cup of coffee and devour it. Even my husband knows that this day has been long awaited and wouldn’t dare interrupt my reading. Thank you so much for the book Emily!! This will be my design Bible.

  16. I just adore your candid blog posts! I love how excited you are about your work and your honesty about needing help along the way. Makes the rest of us self-employed folks think maybe, just maybe, we can do it, too! The book is on my list to order this afternoon!

  17. I’m even more excited now that I know there are learning tools in your book. I remember the day I first found your blog and I read the very first post, I was like, Wow… this content is amazing…and nothing like I’ve read before…and so funny…and engaging… Then, I read like a hundred past posts, all in one seating. I was binge reading your blog, and I don’t do that, ever. And, I have a feeling this book will do the same for people.. me, but also new readers, etc. I know it takes a village but really, you have to be complimented/celebrated for finding your place/voice in the world…because its so fresh and fun and smart..and creative. You really are something special girl.

    Okay, my delivery guy isn’t here yet and its 2pm- c’mon!!

    1. I have ordered so many of these and are stockpiling them for my Christmas Presents for all my friends.!!!! The book is fantastic! I will admit, I couldn’t wait for Christmas with several friends and they already got them and LOVED it also.

  18. I’m so crazy excited for this day, and for you and your team! You have accomplished SO MUCH within the last couple years, well for like your lifetime, but these last few years, it’s been thrilling to see you grow. My copy is waiting at my doorstep right now. I’ll be ignoring my husband and kid tonight lol

  19. Love it! you have done such a wonderful job 🙂 I live in Australia and the shipping from Amazon is almost as much as the book. Are you planning on selling in Australia at all? xx

  20. The Holy Grail of decor books! I received this today and couldn’t be more thrilled! It is sooooo much more than beautiful images that have been styled to perfection…it’s Emily’s wit and how-to love that really brings it home!!! (Pun intended) Fantastic job and thank you!

  21. I’ve pre-ordered on Amazon. Will gladly leave a review on there after I’ve looked and read through it.

  22. Looks gorgeous! I just ordered my copy online and can’t wait for it to arrive. Kudos to you for getting it done– I work in publishing and know the blood, sweat and tears that go into the making of a book. No easy feat. Giving birth is an excellent analogy!

  23. Congratulations Emily! I got my pre-ordered copy today and it is SO SO beautiful. I love all the new styles, good advice, and your how your personality shines through. Also, the whole time I was browing (too much to read in a single night!), I kept thinking about how much work this book took 🙂

  24. So proud of you, Emily!! Had PLANNED to put your book on my Christmas list – but Ive decided I just can’t wait that long, so Amazon’s getting a visit soon!

  25. I really want to buy your book, but I’m just wonderin if it gets translatet to other languages and if they are even going to sell it in my country. And even if it gets translatet should I still buy the original book written in english, so that it doesn’t lose your fun personal writing style in the translating process. Ou what to do!

  26. preordered mine in September and Amazon is telling me I won’t get it til next week!! ack! but I think I’m gonna mosey down to the bookstore so I can take a look at it hands-on. been looking forward to this all year!!! congrats Emily!

  27. OMG I am such a huge fan of you and your sparkly personality ! and now this book – I can’t wait to get my hands on it ! Congratulations Emily, I don’t know how you manage everything but you are my hero gurl !

  28. My pre-ordered copy arrived in the mail yesterday, I can’t wait to dive into it this weekend. I am taking it to our lake house in Wisconsin and will pour over it with my Mom, who is as obsessed with home style as me, but at 88 years old has never used the internet or read a blog!!!

  29. Emily – I just love your blog, it’s a weekly indulgence (and habit!) that I started a few years back in my home country of Australia, and has continued in my new home of Denmark. Your posts are so charming and full of personality (the wonderful inspiration and helpful tips are almost to obvious to mention!) I can’t wait to read your book – wishing you the greatest of successes. Cara

  30. Mine just came yesterday, and I can’t wait to really dig into it! I did take the quiz, and found I’m a seventies/bohemian. Thanks, Emily and team, for all the hard work you put into it.

  31. Umm, I don’t think you have to worry, Emily. It’s already showing as bestseller and it’s only been 2 days… Congrats

  32. Emily, your book was a gift to me from my son. He knows I love your blog. AH-MAZING book! I love, love, love it! No matter what my day holds, I look forward to getting to my little haven called home…and cuddling up with your book after dinner. My eyes get a feast. My brain gets challenged. My creativity is renewed!
    A BIG THANK YOU to you, Emily Henderson, for this gift!
    Happy Wishes for your day, Kathy

  33. Dear Emily –

    Thank you so much for all that you generously share in your book. I love your blog, loved (and miss your show) and would love to have you decorate my house. Since the last item isn’t meant to be – your book is the next best option. It reads like you are in the room working with me.

    I have already learned so much from your blog – your book is completing my education. Two aspects that are especially appreciated: It is perfect for some one who has to finish a house over time – instead of in one fell swoop. It covers the small detail items that make a room look finished.

    Congratulations on a beautiful book. And thank you again for all of the help you have given me over the years.

    Best regards
    Lisa

  34. I really wish you’d put the first and last name of the designer who laid out the book. She is an artist, too, and probably spent a huge amount of time making your work and words look fantastic.

  35. Emily, I love reading your book, and just like you said, it is not just a book full of beautiful photos, I truly enjoy the flow of your writing. Every morning I get up before my toddler to read read read. Congrats!

  36. Am I missing something with the style quiz? The numbers don’t add up. No one could possibly score traditional or the other high number values since you only answer ten questions, meaning the highest point value is 80, right?
    I mean, I can figure out I’m somewhere between 70’s and bohemian so it isn’t a deal breaker but I think there’s a bit of a mess up.

    1. Well, I hadn’t gotten that far into the numbers game of it all, but I was shocked at my diagnostic. Plan to take it again and play around with the first questions. I am very eclectic so maybe I’m just too all over the map for the quiz.

      Either way, It doesn’t really matter much because I LOVE this book! My daughter and I will ulitmatley fight over who gets to keep it. (I guess I’ll need to get another copy for her for Christmas.) 🙂 Thanks, Emily for sharing your genius with us!

    2. I thought the same thing, it’s impossible to get traditional and you’d have to answer all f’s to get the minimum score for rustic. Are we supposed to do all 20 questions?

  37. I happened to be compiling an order on amazon, so added STYLED to the cart. May as well spend an even $100, right!? I’m ordering the long awaited cookbook from the hilarious gals at theFAMILYlife.com. Their weekly posts kept us updated on the process of creating a book, so I figured that I better support your efforts too. Besides, I need tips for this new rambler we bought. Can’t wait!

  38. Emily – I got my copy of your beautiful book today. Ditto on all the kudos. It’s an impressive, inspiring work. Will you sign it for me next time you’re up in Seattle?!

  39. I have ordered so many of these and are stockpiling them for my Christmas Presents for all my friends.!!!! The book is fantastic! I will admit, I couldn’t wait for Christmas with several friends and they already got them and LOVED it also.

  40. I thought the same thing, it’s impossible to get traditional and you’d have to answer all f’s to get the minimum score for rustic. Are we supposed to do all 20 questions?