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My Book ‘The New Design Rules’ Is Out TODAY And I’m feeling Nervous/Proud/Excited/Anxious/Relieved…

There’s a trite metaphor in the author community that says “writing a book is like having a baby” (…likely penned by a man), which is true to a point and I’m guilty of saying it many times. Because yes, similar to childbirth, you go through so much hell and pain through the process to only quickly forget it all the second it’s out. Today, as my book The New Design Rules comes out, my spirits are high, my dopamine is pumping and I feel very, very happy because this “book baby” is officially in the world. It’s out of my brain, birthed through my fingers, printed into a solid representation of years of work, and into the hands of all of you who pre-ordered it (thank you!). But here’s how this metaphor is different…what if it comes out and the world doesn’t like my book baby? It doesn’t matter if the world thinks your human baby is ugly and annoying because you have these hormone glasses that will convince you that your human baby looks like Giselle and acts like Meryl Streep, and NO ONE would dare tell you otherwise. But with a book baby…people will definitely tell you otherwise. It’s the internet in 2022 and y’all it’s not the same world it was 6 1/2 years ago when I published my first book baby, which makes me far more nervous than before. Ironically and coincidentally, my first book, Styled, came out the week that I birthed my last human baby, Elliot. They were two days apart, so I honestly didn’t even think about the success of the book too much. I had just birthed a baby! I was feeding her milk straight from my nipples into her sweet mushy tummy. Her pink fingers grew from nothing and became fully formed in my very own stomach. That was the miracle. The sales of the book weren’t really a thought until my publisher emailed frantically to tell me, 3 weeks post publishing, that it was a New York Times Bestseller – something that was very hard to achieve in 2015 and 10 times harder now in 2022.

But here’s the absolute truth, regardless of the book’s success – I love this book. I’m so proud of this book. I find this book incredibly useful and inspiring – even more than Styled. I frequently pour over the photos and information, seeing new things each time. It isn’t a vanity coffee table book that you flip through once and leave on the table to impress your friends (which is a proven benefit of owning this book:)). It’s a book that you will earmark and highlight and take notes in (I have) and keep in your car. It’s not perfect and the writing is only from my perspective so there might be some things that people disagree with and I’m ready/not ready for that. But the 28 different creatives’ homes that we shot in are examples of design brilliance, control, education, rule-breaking, and risk-taking.

If you’ve read this far and still haven’t bought it then you, my holdouts, probably want to know what is so great about this book? Why buy this book over other books? So today, on its birthday, I wanted to show you more of what is inside my book baby.

What’s Inside:

The first half is all about “Learning The Language” where I distill down more of the complex renovation lingo so you have informed vocabulary and know your options (and can communicate well with your contractor). I was so sick of feeling dumb and googling vocabulary. You don’t need to know everything but this section will help you feel so much more empowered. This is also where the rules come into place – and I LOVE a rule, mostly so I can figure out how to break it in a way that subverts the whole system. Do it from the inside, amiright?

The second half of the book is about “Putting It Into Practice”. If you read the words and study the photos you’ll see creativity at work in a way that can help bridge your own to the next level. At least that’s been my experience.

What Would I Change About This Book?

Turns out you can’t fit 900 pages of words and 1000 photos into a 330-page approachable design book. I totally overwrote and overshot this book and the editing process to get it down was not easy, fun, or cute. I wish that some of the beautiful photos were bigger, but in order to give the information that was needed, they had to be smaller to allow for the copy. And that’s ok. I guess if I could go back in time I would pitch a design encyclopedia – a series that allowed for equal text and photography. The publishing world didn’t know what to do with Emily Henderson – a lover of visuals and words equally. Which I think tracks as a stylist design blogger. Luckily for all of us, I have a daily blog (hi!) where we can publish what didn’t make it in – which tends to be the more reno-heavy esoteric stuff (like ‘Drywall 101’ and ‘Easy Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid’). You will also get to see all the extra photos! So y’all who come here every day will get some new eye candy.

If you guys haven’t taken a second to look at the book page I’d love to invite you over there to see all the creatives’ homes that we featured – and feel free to follow them all, they are wonderful. And there you’ll also see the incredibly talented crew who devoted time to this book – namely Sara Ligorria-Tramp, Velinda Hellen, Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson, and my editor Angelin Borics (among others).

So I thought I’d show you some of my favorite spreads that represent what you’ll find in the book:

If you like any of these pages snag the book (there is a high likelihood that the first printing will sell out). If you know anyone who is going through a remodel or thinking about updating their home, I personally think this would make a great gift 🙂

Thank you all who bought this book during the pre-sale, it means so much to me. Once you receive it in the mail and if you like it (crossing fingers you do) feel free to review it on Amazon or spread the word. If you put it on your social media at all use the #showemyourstyled (which was launched with Styled and has a huge following) and tag me so we can reshare. I’d be SO GRATEFUL and will absolutely follow you back!

So that’s it. I’m signing off. I need to prepare for Good Morning America in the morning. I’ll be on in the 8 am hour if you are up and want to see me talk kitchen remodel 🙂 I’m extremely nervous and excited.

Once again, you can order your book here or check your local bookstore this week!

xx Emily

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp


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62 thoughts on “My Book ‘The New Design Rules’ Is Out TODAY And I’m feeling Nervous/Proud/Excited/Anxious/Relieved…

  1. Yay!!!!!! Huge congratulations!! It looks so beautiful and so useful! I’m going to request it in my #local bookstore here in Ireland. Can’t wait to read it!

      1. Totally! I popped by to order it today and they said it will be in by next week! Yay!

  2. Congratulations!! I preordered it months ago. It should arrive today. Can’t wait to get my hands on it! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and hard earned wisdom.

  3. Yes, congratulations! As someone who has been following you since the Design Star days, it’s been so inspiring to watch you grow as a designer and business person into the positive force you have become. I can’t wait to read it and see what you will do next!

    1. thank you. that means a lot, seriously. days like today i lean on comments like this and appreciate the heck out of you for writing it. xx

  4. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive today! But I might have to make myself wait to check the mail until I am home for work – I don’t have enough self control to stay away from all of that beautiful content! (Emily, loved your raw description of Birdie but can I respectfully request that you don’t say she was grown in your stomach? Cuz you know, stomach is a digestive organ vs “belly” or uterus. I’m cringing at myself for pointing it out on your big day, but it is fresh in my mind after a conversation with my kiddos on using correct names for body parts to help eliminate the shame associated with them.)

    1. ha. we are big about correct anatomy over here – our kids have been saying penis and vagina publicly since they could talk, which is always hilarious. so funny that I said stomach and not belly. I normally say tummy, does that work? 🙂

  5. Is it not possible to publish an “extended cut” version of this book with more text (and larger font) and more photos? I feel like the concept of an extended cut is so common in movies. I loved your first book (the content, the photos, etc.) but it always hurt my eyes to read it in the same way that reading Real Simple magazine (which I also love) hurts my eyes – it feels like eyesight heavy-lifting for me (turn on all the house lights and hold it right in front of my face), which doesn’t quite mesh with lounging, spread out, in natural light (my preferred reading environment). That all being said, I cannot wait to read your new book baby! Congratulations!🍾

    1. i wish! it was messy, TBH. this book is way more efficient. And the stuff that got cut will be on the blog if its important enough. xx

  6. Emily, I take it you created this book for design enthusiasts renovating their homes. And they are going to LOVE it because the knowledge and experience you share through your words and visuals will be INVALUABLE to them!! It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says about the book. Based on what I read every single day on this blog, you really understand your audience and what they need!
    I can’t wait to get my copy and review it on Amazon! Wishing you success with the book!!

  7. Congratulations! I’ve just placed an order for the book! I can’t wait because I’m in the midst of a big renovation here in England. Looking forward to all the advice 🙂

    1. I am on the front end of a big renovation too and hoping I can absorb the lessons quickly enough to avoid at least a few mistakes. I’m not living at home during the reno and now I have to jump in the car and drive over there bc I got an email from Target that my copy has arrived!

      So excited to see it! There are some who may be critical (haters gonna hate), but this is a tremendous effort on your part to give your readers what they want and need. I know it was done with love and from a place of service, and I hope it will bring you nothing but pride and joy. Thank you for your hard work to get it into my hands! And the timing is perfect so thanks for that too!

  8. Congratulations, Emily, I have just downloaded the book in Kindle store, as I live in Spain, so your book will take a long time to get here, and I am really anxious to start reading, which I am going to do right now.

    I come here every day but if you have enough material for another book, I will buy it the day it is published/available.

    Thanks for this beautiful book and for your wonderful blog that is a crash course on interior design almost everyday.

    I predict you book will be the nr.1 in the important book lists.

  9. Congratulations to you and your team! This blog is my fave so having a physical book that encompasses so much of what y’all do? What a treasure! Thanks for sharing your life’s work and bringing us along with an open heart and brightening each start of the day (I don’t dread waking up anymore because I get to read y’all first!). Can’t wait for my preordered copy to arrive!

  10. My copy arrived a couple days ago and I am loving it!! Thanks so much for this great resource and for all the inspiration. The book is beautiful and informative all at once! Excited to hear we will get to see some of the content that got cut!

  11. OMG, after now getting a sneak peek into your new “baby” I’m even more excited! I’m anxiously awaiting it’s arrival today! I can’t wait to curl up on the couch for a long read… Congratulations!!!

    1. AND, thank you SO much! I absolutely LOVE your blog and appreciate all of the useful information. It’s the first place I “go” to in the morning. 😊

  12. EMILY!!!!! You’ve got this!🤸‍♀️


    You’re a good human with a ridiculously diligent work ethic… we love you for being real, fiercely determined, yet soulful and soft all at once.🥰 xx

    You know my financial situation and I truly cannot afford to buy your beautiful, forged-with-love book (I have to focus on the basics like food n utility bills right now)… but… I will vicariously embrace it through the ‘extras’ in the blog and relish each morsel.

    You can do hard things….you even grew two perfect humans in your womb!

    (Lovely to see Arlyn’s living room featured, too)

      1. Grrrreat idea!!!! Yessss!!!
        Thank you, I kinda forget about my local library these days.🙂

  13. Congratulations Emily!!!
    Ordering today (budget issues) and can’t wait! I ‘ve learned so much from you (your team!) and your blog over the years (since Orlando was with you!) and can’t wait to learn more from your book. AND have your book(baby) as a handy reference guide when design issues/questions occur, AND for quick, pick-me-up inspiration! 🙂
    Very excited for you!!

  14. Hi Emily!

    OMG!!! Your beautiful book arrived! Oh my, it’s lovely! I held it in my hands and smiled! I’ve only just started reading the book and flipping through the pages…but had to stop and send you a quick note to tell you I love it already. Your hard work shines through. I’ve only had it all of 10 minutes and it’s already bringing me so much happiness and joy! I cannot wait to apply these learnings to my own home and others!!!

    Thank you 100x over for being such an inspiration to those of us not formally trained in Interior Design but who have a creative eye and the willingness to learn!

    You and your team are amazing! Cheers!

  15. So many congrats, Emily and Team! Your blog has brought moments of calm and brightness to my day, every day, these past few years. Celebrating your latest creation!

  16. Congratulations! I hope mine is in the mail today, can’t wait to browse through it. Did you announce the winner of the Consultation for those who preordered and entered?

  17. Congratulations — it looks wonderful! Among other things I LOVE that top photo with the navy velvet chairs. Got an email from Target today saying mine will arrive tomorrow, YAY!

  18. Congratulations Emily!!! I can’t wait to receive my copy and put it into practice as we work on renovating our first house! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us 💛

  19. Mine arrived today! It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to do a deep dive. So much great information!!!

  20. I just got my Amazon notification that my copy was delivered today! Can’t wait to get home from work and check it out. Congrats to you and your team on an amazing achievement!

  21. Just received my 4 copies of the book. It is sooo good, Em. Beautiful photos & easy to follow tips for every room in a home. So proud of you. Can’t wait to see you on Good Morning America tomorrow morning. Bravo!👏❤️

  22. I instructed my partner to pre-order your book for my birthday, which was MANY MONTHS AGO, and I have been WAITING am v v excited to finally have it. Styled is one of the only coffee table books that I’ve returned to for advice and inspiration, and I’m expecting the same from this one!

  23. Is there source info on the armed green sofa in first series of book pics? Thanks!

    1. It is the Bowen from Antrhopologie. The green color looks different in other photos: search “Nine Arrows Lake House”

  24. Yaaaayyy!!! My copy arrived this afternoon. I am so excited!! Thank you thank you thank you!,

  25. Awesome. I preordered. I made my husband take the Styled quiz when we bought our house 5 years ago (eek) as newlyweds and it helped me understand how to mesh our differences. He’s 70s (the male hippy carpenter version) and I’m scandi (summer cottage vibe not sleek city)- so it works if we stick to natural materials. I remembered how you worked with couples on Secrets from a Stylist and rediscovered you through your book and blog. In our gradual DIY process I wish for more contractor lingo to explain my wishes to my contractor husband.

  26. Congratulations Emily!!! So grateful for you and the content and community you foster.

  27. Congratulations! It looks beautiful. I’m so excited- a local store where my in-laws live in Napa (Hi Bookmine!) delivered it, wrapped, to their front door yesterday. Their home in a nearby town burned down in the Glass Fire almost two years ago, and they are on the verge of committing to purchase a (quite lovely) mobile home unit that they want to renovate. It’s got just about the best location on the whole Napa Valley (in a community for elders). This book baby couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

  28. Read the first half last night… So much useful information! Beautiful photos! Thanks SO much, Emily!

  29. It arrived last night and I’m hoarding it to dive in later today – my only sadness is that this book arrived midway through a complete home renovation and I so needed this about 9 months ago! Thank you Emily

  30. Building a NEW HOME and ART studio on the same property and even though the foundation hasn’t even been poured, I am getting nervous! This book will hopefully be my guide to making sure that this Nordic modern doesn’t read too minimal and cold! Fingers crossed!

  31. Finally, after successfully (!!) putting my two year old to sleep in her first “big girl bed,” following a week of crib climbing and sleep regression, I can sit down by myself, turn on a candle, enjoy a glass of something nice, eat dinner (impossible for the last 4 days) and….. read your book. Bravo! It is soooo good and I can’t wait to show it to my husband to plan our bathroom renovation and dream big for future work. Just sending you a massive thank you, and hope today’s Reformation event went well! I’m sad I missed it (in nyc)!

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