5+5: Emily Henderson. Design Star. Moxie Mama. Style Sweetheart. August 20 2015


When we need some interior style inspiration, we turn to LA-based stylist Emily Henderson. Emily’s career blew up when she won season 5 of HGTV’s Design Star. She then went on to produce her own show, Secrets From A Stylist (which we’ve Tivo’d the crap out of), establish her own design and lifestyle enterprise, and become the resident Home Style Expert for that hub of affordable and accessible style, Target. Which brings us to one of our favorite things about this lady. She may be styling some seriously stunning homes, but she recognizes that a lot of people are working on a much tighter budget. Her tips and tricks work for every wallet *and* home size. That’s an approach we can get behind. We’re already all about art for everyone—design for everyone is a natural next step! You can even spot some of our art on Emily’s blog (which is a treasure trove of design insights and pinspiration).

All in all, Emily puts together some of the freshest rooms out there, so it only makes sense that we wanted to wrangle her for a 5+5 and get a look at what goes on in that great design mind. When it comes to sourcing furniture and décor, Emily is a flea market fanatic and prefers pieces that have a story—vintage or antique items are among her essentials. Those kinds of finds feel really genuine and idiosyncratic, and to Emily that’s totally key. Her taste seems to eschew anything too perfect in favor of pieces with a bit more personality. For Emily, a home should look like the person who lives in it—and we couldn’t agree more. Surrounding yourself with the items (and art!) you love is a surefire way to create a space you’ll enjoy being in. This is part of Emily’s appeal, and why so many design devotees turn to her for help. Styling your space should be fun! – Team 20x200


5 Perfect Picks

1) Hatō zu 1 by Uehara Konen
I love a good seascape. I cannot seem to stop myself from buying them when I run into them at the flea markets or online, even though my hoarding is getting a little out of control. The colors, the movement, and the composition of this piece are all winners for me. I also love the abnormal shape of it, which makes it fun and interesting either on its own or in a gallery wall.

2) Powerpuff Girls by Amy Stein
What is not to love about this: the sisters holding hands, the bright colors, the store bought costumes that still have the folds in them, or the fact that neither of the girls seem to be caring what is going on. I love the graphic nature of this print and the colors would brighten up any space.

3) Rockaway Beach, Food Concession, 1940, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I am sure these two lovely ladies spoke just about that many as they walked through the frame of this photo. It takes me back to sunny days on the beach, old Americana, and spending time with my favorite girlfriends during the summer. The black and white makes it graphic, but all the grey tones and the vintage nature keep it soft and not too in your face.

4) My Butt, by Helena Wurzel
If my butt looked half this good in that swimsuit then I would be a happy woman. I love the colors, the patterns, the shadowing and composition of this print. It is youthful and fun and evokes a sense of adventure and playfulness.

5) Baby Camel No. 2, by Sharon Montrose
I have long been a fan of this series of baby animals. The neutral color palette and the negative space make this calming and the perfect addition to a kid's space or nursery. I would hang a collection or grid of them vertically or horizontally to really fill up a wall and create a statement piece.

5 Q's + 5 A's

1) What's your favorite museum?
The MOMA in NYC. It reminds me of being a young little lass in the busy city and running there for not only constant inspiration but refuge from the sprawling concrete jungle. I will always love spending time in there and admiring all the beautiful works of art.

2) Most coveted coffee table book?
Too many to count, sadly to say as I have been a prop stylist for over ten years. I collect coffee table books based on how they look as they are the ultimate tool for styling any surface out. But if we are getting technical then I would have to say my new book, Styled which comes out in October will hold a very fond place in my heart as it has been a long time coming and a true labor of love.

3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
Both. If the piece is powerful enough to command the attention of a wall then i will always use it, but I also have a soft spot in my heart for gallery walls. They are totally accessible to the general public, sometimes much more affordable than having one large piece, and create a curated and custom look for your space.

4) You've got $5m to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
I would have to say I would probably commission something custom from a totally unknown artist. I am constantly inspired by all the art that is coming out from new and upcoming artists. Besides, I love having something that no one else has seen or heard of before, makes me feel a little less old and a little bit more like I am on top of my art game.

5) The spaces you style are more than just beautiful—they're full of personality. Art can be a really personal thing, so tell us: what advice would you give to those selecting art to adorn a space?
Picking art can be one of the hardest and most personal decisions for you house. Why? Because art is so subjective. I could fall in love with a piece that someone else thinks is a total hunk of garbage, so my rule is find something that you truly love and speaks to you. When you see a piece of art ask yourself why you love it, why you like to look at it, and what draws you to it. If you can't answer those questions immediately then move on, because 9 times out of 10 you will get sick of that piece and need a replacement real soon. Have fun with the process and enjoy the journey as you select art.  

The 411 on Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson is the founder and driving force behind Emily Henderson Design, a multifaceted interior design firm and lifestyle brand. Born and raised in Oregon, Emily moved to New York City after graduating from college, where she worked as a freelance stylist whose roster included Martha Stewart, Target, West Elm, and Anthropologie until she eventually relocated to Los Angeles. She is the winner of HGTV Design Star, hosted HGTV’s Secrets from a Stylist, is currently Target's Home Style Expert, and is the creator and writer of the daily design blog, www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com. Her work has been featured on the covers of Domino, Good Housekeeping, Bon Appetit and Coastal Living, amongst others. With clients and projects across the nation, Emily infuses style, function, and a little bit of her iconic personality into everything she works on.

Professional Site: Style by Emily Henderson  Twitter: @em_henderson   Instagram: @em_henderson    Pinterest: @em_henderson 

Read the prior 5+5 with Kurt Andersen »