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The Evolution of My Extra Space


As you know, the progress of my “extra room”, which is downstairs in my house, has gone through many transformations.

When we bought the house, it was an extra room used completely for storage – with a weird inside room that was fully padded (because they were musicians, right??????). It was a catchall for boxes, storage, and had some very weird quirks to it (see top left photo). But it also was a huge space with decent natural light and a lot of potential which is when I realized that it would make the perfect space for a home office and studio. We had just bought the house and we couldn’t afford an outside studio.

It served many purposes while it was the the home of EHD offices. The space was set up, torn apart, moved around, and reconfigured almost everyday. Because the space was big and open and had lots of natural light we used different corners of the room for all sorts of photoshoots.


One day it was decorated for the Matchbook Magazine photoshoot, or destroyed to shoot our Material Girls posts, not to mention all the times we were constantly tearing it apart for our many DIY projects that we did with Redbook magazine.

Emily Studio Space_Behind the Scenes_Storage and Photoshoots grid

The space evolved with us creatively and it worked for what we needed as we grew and made use of it. There were even times when we were able to keep it clean and organized enough for it to look like a professional working office!

Emily Studio Space_Studio Office

As the business continued to grow so did we. We added some new employees, a whole lot of new props, and some furniture as well. The once big white open space just became too small and stuffed to the brim for it to function as it once did. We moved into our new studio and now the extra room has returned to its original glory as a beautiful big white empty space, minus the fact that it still has a few remaining battle wounds as a studio (half painted walls, paint decks, office chairs) and my newest acquisition an elliptical machine that is unhappily collecting dust.

Emily Studio Space_before after_with copy

Now that we have our new official office space (which we are very quickly outgrowing AGAIN) we haven’t had to use the old office space for photoshoots or prop storage which means I get to make it my next project. We thought about making it Brian’s office, a workout/yoga room (because i’m so hard core????) or just a huge play room. But then I got pregnant again and realized that having an extra bedroom and/or guest quarters is probably the smartest thing to do.  My goal is to make it feel clean and modern but with warm, inviting and comfortable touches. I’m just in the first stages of design – the ‘looking and finding inspiration’ phase:

Green Blue_Rustic Modern Cabin_inspiration

I love the worn leathers, rustic wood, and the juxtaposition of modern and rustic in these. Once I had a game plan for what I wanted the overall atmosphere and feeling of the room to be, I headed over to Chairish to pick out furniture, accessories and art. For those of you who haven’t heard about Chairish before, it is a simple concept – think craigslist, but classier, more well refined, more organized, more curated, less broken ikea furniture, less disgusting contemporary cheap furniture and a lot easier to navigate.

In order for a product to be on Chairish it has to be approved by their staff. They weed through half the junk that some people think are “treasures”, and they update their stock every single day which means they have a constant collection of goods for all our inner hoarders. On top of this, they offer door to door shipping services and make it very easy to not only buy, but sell your goods using their app, (which you can download here)

I did a little digging of my own for the new, more calm, less fussy, and much less crowded ‘extra space’ and i wanted to share some of my favorites.

Green Blue_Rustic Modern Cabin_inspiration_moodboard


1. Green Velvet Couch: It’s a little bit modern, a little bit luxe, and a whole lot of swag. This sofa is like the hot girl in at the bar that commands all the attention. I hate that girl so instead maybe I’ll buy the sofa, sit on the sofa, then become her. A good sofa = social power.

2. Reindeer Hide Rug: Cowhides have been popular for quite some time, but this reindeer hide provides a rustic look and a lot more fluff for your feet. The fur is a lot softer which means cozying up on it in front of the fire on a cold LA night is even better (side note: the cozying would be done with my slanket, whilst watching The Bachelorette and eating spoonfuls of ice cream)

3. Highboy Dresser: The dresser is distinctively mid-century which brings a bit of modern into the space, not to mention it can hold a whole lotta new hoards.

4. Ceramic and Walnut Lamp: Although my country home would be lit with only the glow of the fire and the soft light from candles scattered throughout the house, until then I can definitely get on board with this mid-century beauty. Now I just gotta figure out how to make my neck as graceful as hers.

5. Brass Mug and Tray Set: Serving up some delicious cocktails will ensure that your guests have a good time, just make sure they don’t get too drunk and steal the beautiful brass edifice in their hand on the way out.

6. Brass Side Tables: Think of these twins as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. They instantly bring the celebrity factor without stealing your thunder. These tables add the perfect amount of glamour without taking the attention away from everything else.

7. Deer Shooting Target: I’m not into hunting, decidedly the opposite, actually. But I like how quiet and yet graphic this is. And maybe one less deer will be hurt by me owning it (??).

8. Wood Turned Side Table: The geometric shape makes it modern, while the rough hewn wood makes it rustic. It’s like Robert Redford before he got all the wrinkles.

9. Four Poster Bed: I’ve always wanted a grand bed – either a four poster, a canopy or just a grand tall headboard. This room is big and can totally handle it.

10. Leather Club Chairs: despite what hollywood is trying to tell us, a little age never hurt anyone, including this set of club chairs with matching ottoman. These say they are from the 1990’s which is why they are pretty affordable but they feel pretty 1930’s to me, in such a good way.

11. Wool Blanket: hand-spun wool, pom-poms and a graphic stripe, what else do you need in a blanket, oh and not to mention the fact that it fits a king size bed. I love, love, love this blanket.

12. Burl Wood Coffee Table: Sculptural, organic, and sooo pretty.

There might be some triggers pulled (those leather chairs, the wool blanket) but I’m still pulling everything together and getting pretty darn excited about having another space in my house to design. Meanwhile check out my favorites on Chairish.

*This post was in partnership with Chairish but all those words, ideas, mood boards, etc, are mine 🙂

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9 years ago

I love the pieces you picked out for you new (old) room! I can’t wait to see the final result, and how you transform it again!


9 years ago

I love the deer target for the same reason as yours. But also because venison is our main meat source which we hunt ourselves, making it a slightly ironic choice for our decor!

9 years ago

This font is easier to read than the font from the first day of the new format–thanks! However, it’s still harder to read than a sans serif font. PLEASE consider moving to a sans serif font on your blog. I read the comments on a previous post that while a serif font might be easier to read in print, that a sans serif font is easier to read on the screen. That makes sense because it still hurts to read your blog with this serif font.
Thanks so much!

9 years ago
Reply to  Brady

Thanks so much, Emily! In the meantime, I’m becoming more aware of the serif fonts on other websites, including Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, New York Times, and other websites that I frequently read, yet which I’ve been able to read just fine. So who knows why this adjustment has been difficult for me…. And, as I already mentioned, I’m so thankful that you made this font less ornate and larger.

Thanks for your patience and understanding, Emily, for truly caring for your readers, and for reading and responding to our comments!

Susie Q.
9 years ago
Reply to  Kati

I agree with Kati. I have nothing against serif fonts per se. I think those of us who have commented support you and want to add constructive criticism. Is that not more useful than a boatload of people saying, “Yeah, Emily, whatever you do is perfect, I’m your #1 fan!” …? I mean, some of that is ok, but I don’t think you’re the type who can’t take constructive criticism…and it is of your work, not you…and it is NOT even of YOUR work, because you are not a web designer.
I think one thing to bear in mind is that some people’s monitors aren’t as high-res as others. When I look at your site at home, the font looks better, but here in my office…errr. Of course, yours is not the only site that has that problem. My work monitor is just kinda cruddy, that’s all. Non-serif fonts are better for crud monitors, I guess.
And it is NOT a design thing, it’s a readability thing. There were no computers back when serif fonts were invented (duh).

9 years ago

Welp, still no change on the serif font despite your readers kindly telling you it’s hard to read multiple times now? I guess I won’t be reading your blog anymore then, because it isn’t worth getting a headache to do so. Later.

9 years ago
Reply to  Brady

For what it’s worth, I don’t have any trouble reading the font as is and my eyesight is terrible!

I notice the New York Times uses a serif font and I’ve never seen any complaints in their comments. I’m no typeface expert but I notice the spacing between the letters if narrower on their site, so maybe that makes it easier for people to read.

9 years ago
Reply to  Brady

I would take all the website comments with a grain of salt. I was with an organization that had a major website overhaul and when the design had it’s “soft launch,” there was a major backlash against so many things. Ultimately, there were some things that needed to be changed, but other things were actually no big deal and we just needed some visual adjustment. If it helps, you can always have a few people who did not see the previous iteration of the site take a look and give feedback. As for the font, I don’t think it’s all that bad and it certainly suits you. I would say don’t rule out serif fonts entirely. I could see you with a simple, modern serif or a friendly sans serif. Just please don’t do a chunky-monkey, bland sans serif. While current webdesign trends include many positives (image-focused, clean, straightforward navigation, responsive), many sites look the same, and many are using the same sans serif font. Yawn. I think one of the rising challenges with web 2.0 sites is keeping the positives while also making sites look, well……. unique. Overall, I think the design is beautiful and a great move forward.… Read more »

9 years ago
Reply to  Brady

Thank you for working on the font. I have found the last couple post very hard to read due to the font, size (I know I can increase my settings but that’s a pain) and I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but the ad that is a video on the right hand side is very distracting when trying to read.

9 years ago
Reply to  Thami

RUDE! Things like these are not just overnight changes. Give the team a break!

9 years ago

Those chairs are only $1250??? WTH.

Also, I have no problem reading this font. You’re doing a great job. 🙂

9 years ago

LOL at people getting crazy over the font. I say wave “bye, Felisha” and keep doing you.

Another excellent post! I so want all of these things. This is basically my dream room.

9 years ago

serifs forever. i can’t believe how pissy and entitled some of these comments are. serifs have a long and honorable history in design, as none of these bamas seem to know. wow.

Susie Q.
9 years ago
Reply to  jeannette

So when users comment on usability issues that makes them “entitled?” I agree that we shouldn’t comment in a nasty way, but your anti-comment comment isn’t very nice either.

9 years ago

Thank you for continuing to post (your always great content) during the site tweak. I can’t wait to see how great it’s going to look when everything is revealed. Be patient with yourself and your team while making these changes – and there is no need to apologize for taking time to get it right. No amount of serif could drive me away. xo

Susie Q.
9 years ago

Hmm. If you can make 1, 3, 9, and 10 ALL work in the same room, my hat will be off to you…or I’ll stand up and say, Amen!…or something.

9 years ago

Love all the inspiration photos- wish the couch was teal 🙂 but the green is pretty sexy too.

9 years ago

Also, thank you Emily for making all of the comments open at once (rather than clicking on “read more”)! Appreciate your taking everyone’s opinions into consideration. Ignore the haters – if they are leaving the blog because of a few weeks with a different font, so be it.

9 years ago

It’s so cool to see the way you reconfigured and redesigned spaces within the room for different projects! I never thought of the possibility that ‘rooms’ might not be ‘real rooms’. How cool to see how it happens behind the scenes!

9 years ago

Absolutely drooling over that green velvet couch and brass side tables! So true what you said about them bringing in that luxurious factor in their (especially that royal forest green!). I love the inspirations you have in mind right now, probably because I am such a fan of teal. Very modern decor! And if it means anything, I personally have no problems with the font.
-The Office Stylist

9 years ago

I love your design, but I’m wondering why you wound up deciding you need the dedicated guest room space vs. a big playroom? I have two young kids, close in age (ages 3 and 4), and we so depend on our finished basement as a playroom it’s ridiculous. In fact we’re in the process of adding a bathroom to it and expanding the living space. I live on the east coast (metro DC), where finished basements as playrooms are very common, so maybe this is more of an east coast thing, but still there’s nothing like having a HUGE indoor room for your kiddos to run around in, not to mention an area to contain all the kid stuff. fyi I also have a nice area off my kitchen like you do that I thought would be a great play area, but we’ve wound up almost never using it because my kids basically only want to play in the basement, especially as they’ve gotten older. For what it’s worth I also have no guest room, just a really nice air bed. : )

9 years ago
Reply to  Alison

Alison – I wonder if it’s a west coast thing and very weather related so she is thinking the deck/outdoor area is the play space? We’re in Chicago and there are lots of basement playrooms here and we face the same weather related issues DC does – too hot and muggy in the summer, very rainy in the spring and some falls, snow and muck in the winter (wait… why do I live here again?). Although, as I type this, it may also be a function of only have one fairly little one right now vs two or more crazy 3 – 12 year old kids (and all their stuff) that makes the difference in desire/expectation of needed space?

9 years ago

Gorgeous. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! I love that green velvet sofa.

9 years ago

Dear God do I NEED that green sofa! And thank you for including my deer target! I’m not for hunting either, but I love the graphic design of vintage targets.

9 years ago

FYI I have no real problem with your font but with the moving emily on the right column. She always draws my attention away from the post and I don’t want to be drawn away.

Cheers from Germany!

9 years ago

Never underestimate the power of a green velvet sofa, I always say. It’s literally my dream sofa.

9 years ago

I love the look and moodboard for your extra room. The aged leather is a nice pairing with the luxe leather couch, although, try as I might to see them as 1930 chairs, they still scream 1990’s Park City lodge to me. Maybe because I live in Utah I am more sensitive to that, where modern lines are slowly being added to an over saturated market of rustic overstuffed furniture. But like I said, liking the look of things, have fun!

9 years ago

You’re so smart to make that extra room a bedroom. When the second baby comes you will find yourself/and hubby sleeping all over the house. I don’t know how it happens it just does.

And you never disappoint with your celebrity analogies, keep em coming. Olsen twins, Ha!

Btw, I don’t know if you are aware that your website ( still points to your post from June 10. It must be hardcoded to that page or something because I’m not seeing any of your newer posts unless I go to your instagram page and click on the long URL. Maybe you know this, I’m not sure. 🙂