We’ve featured lots of magical rooms designed and styled by Emily Henderson — but here we get to see how she styles her own personal space, which includes a giant Souk shag rug and Parsons Towers




The TV is an eye sore but you know what else it is? My best friend, so it wasn’t going to leave the living room. But I did want it to feel less important than it truly is, so I decided to flank it with these simple white West Elm Parsons shelves and fill those bad boys with my favorite things.



Well, there you have it. Its been styled this way for a month or so now and so far i’m not changing it, which says a lot for me. I can’t tell you how nice it finally is to have a pulled together living room; long time coming. It’s happy and colorful and bright, with enough leather and wood to make Brian happy, and enough crazy to make me happy.


For more pictures and all the specific information on pricing and sourcing that you could ask for, see Emily’s posts: Style by Emily Henderson | Living Room ‘Before’ Photos +
Style by Emily Henderson | Introducing my Living Room.


wool-souk-moroccan-style-shag-rug-ivory-tassel-west-elm kew-dhurrie-blue-pattern-pouf-ottoman-stool-cushion-west-elm parsons-tower-book-shelf-storage-display-

Images: by Zeke Ruelas via Emily Henderson


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June 13, 2013

Love this! Of course Emily always does a great job, but this is gorgeous and livable with lots of character.


June 13, 2013

It looks like someone OD’d on Jonathan Adler. There isn’t a single place to sit in comfort with your feet up and read a good book. Also, there isn’t a good book in sight. I think most of the books in the book cases (which are not for books, it seems) were chosen for the colors of their covers. A ton of dollars spent on meaningless “objets” to fill the shelves.

The TV is the only truly beautiful thing in this room. It’s minimal and it works.

Sorry if this is a mean-spirited review but I am sick of looking at staged, posed, “styled” rooms. Is it too much to ask for a living room in which I can curl up with a good book, or chairs that invite a good friend to loosen up and tell me what’s going on in her life?

What is the purpose of that tan leather pouf with the books oh-so-carefully draped on top? Does the designer secretly operate a maid service? It must be hell to dust this place.

Lora Krouse

June 13, 2013

I guess? Actually before was minimalism beautiful, where now its cluttered and it’s filled up with a bunch of CRAP YOU BOUGHT just to seem cool!


June 13, 2013

I like it. It is really bright and she made it look larger. In the before picture, didn’t you use a flashbulb on your camera.


June 13, 2013

I agree with Jamie and Lora. The space was much better in the “before” picture because it at least had the potential to be comfortable. Now it’s just cluttered with meaningless crap. Okay, I like the rug. Otherwise, no thanks.


June 13, 2013

I really really liked the before much better…


June 13, 2013

Some nice and not-so-nice color pops (props?). White walls a bit stark, though. Too much of the same kind of furniture/stuff–you can tell it was “shopped”–lots of tchotchkes…looks too deliberate.

Sorry Emily–not really into your style.


June 13, 2013

while I agree that it is overly staged, and perhaps heavy handed in intentional quirkiness, some of the objects in it are far to odd to be meaningless. in fact some are so “kitsch” that I assume they are in fact collected, and prob far from meaningless to the designer. while its not my taste, what I am glad about is that west elm isn’t pushing too much of their product into these settings. they aren’t trying to “west-elm-ify” the world by making each entry a carbon copy of their catalog. (though I am really sick of books as props)


June 13, 2013

Nice and personal and seems to reflect the owner’s taste and lifestyle. Love the dog painting. I think the other commenters are simply rude. So you don’t share the same taste. That’s fair. That doesn’t explain your lack of manners.


June 13, 2013

Where are the lights? I don’t see any! I’m always looking for end tables with adequate lighting for reading. HMMM……


June 13, 2013

Don’t like at all! It had great potential, but now it looks like it was decorated by Sponge Bob Squarepants. Almost cartoonish and not at all relaxing or inviting.


June 13, 2013



June 13, 2013

I, for one, love this space and I could totally hang out here. I love how bright and cheerful it is! What I’m saying is please invite me over.
She’s a designer and so I’m sure that the books on her bookshelves appeal to her passions. Just like the books on anyone else’s shelves would do the same. I think it’s great.
I want to know more about that couch. I know, it’s not West Elm but I still wanna know!! (I’ll go check out the links)


June 13, 2013

I’m a huge fan of Emily and LOVE this room! It’s so colorful and fun, and looks like a fun space to hang out or be inspired for creative projects.


June 13, 2013

I love what Emily did with her space! I think it looks very livable and comfortable. I think the negative nelly’s are being unreasonable.


June 13, 2013

Pretty and colorful and alive. Very nice job. 🙂

elissa @ one stone events

June 13, 2013

absolutely beautiful! looks cozy to me…love emily’s style so much! and love everything west elm…
hate the negative comments, it’s getting ridiculous on blogs. i don’t think people realize that real people with real feelings read them and they are hurtful. some people express themselves through design and while you’re entitled to your opinion, there are more constructive ways to express it. just because something is not your style, doesn’t mean you have to express it in such a harsh way.

Lisa Farin

June 13, 2013

I could definitely find a place to be comfortable in this space — but if it was mine, I would take away a few of the “objects,” if only to make the space feel bigger. The person who commented that the books were merely chosen for the colors of their covers obviously didn’t read the titles: they were exactly what an interior designer WOULD be reading. I admire when designers put their own personal spaces out for public review, and am a little sad that 3 people in a row would totally diss it.


June 13, 2013

It’s very beautiful with all the colors and decor, but I have to agree with the majority of the comments…too much clutter and it doesn’t look like a very comfy and inviting space.


June 13, 2013

Too cluttered, too many colors. I like clean and classy with comfort.


June 13, 2013

The before was “wow”! The amazing architecture completely disappeared behind a yard sale shopping spree gone awry. It’s just a bunch of mismatched, ecclectic junk hiding the true beauty of the room.


June 13, 2013

Wow, some rough comments. This is Emily’s style and Emily’s living room. I’m sure the books are design books and other reference material for the job she does which happens to be “stylist.” She has a lot of knick knacks and such because she also needs those types of things to do the amazing job she does, so they may as well be styled in her house so she can see them and love them. I’ve seen too many living rooms that are cold and minimal and also not comfortable so the fact that hers is warm and friendly feeling, and by the way, her furniture looks incredibly comfortable (hello leather armchairs?), is a refreshing change. I love your quirkiness, Emily, and forge ahead…


June 13, 2013

@Kate: You wouldn’t even like the rug after you understood what it takes to clean something like that. And I don’t know, and I used to be a maid. It’s deep and tufted; it would be very hard to clean it down to the core. It’s the sort of thing you need to send out to be cleaned – and even so, it probably comes back just cleaned on the first layers of tuft.

So then you have your rug back, and it’s full of dry cleaning chemicals but still not clean. It will never be clean.


June 13, 2013

Why the venom? This is Emily’s personal space, so presumably the “bunch of crap” in the room is meaningful to her. The books are design-themed books, which may not be the highbrowed tomes that you read, but seem like perfectly reasonable reading material for a designer. You don’t see a “single place to sit in comfort”? What about the blue couch, or is that too bourgeois for you? I guess we should all just give up and sit in empty, rugless rooms devoid of any objects that could possibly collect dust.


June 13, 2013

I’m shocked at such rude comments. If you don’t like a space and can’t give constructive criticism, don’t leave comments. I love the room, and of course it looks overly styled- it was done so purposefully for the shoot I would assume. I see lots of comfortable places to plop down, and I have a similar thick shag rug that is no trouble to vacuum.. And personally, I also keep my “prettier” books in the public spaces, while my real literature lives in my library.

Irma Navarro-Hankins

June 13, 2013

Emily is amazingly talented and by far one amazing designer!

Vintage Renewl

June 13, 2013

I love it!


June 13, 2013

Wow, tough crowd. I love the poufs and the color of the couch. Is there anything on the windows? I can’t tell from the pic. I would have to have something for privacy. And I want that hand chair!


June 13, 2013

I don’t like the new look. I think it is so cluttered and plain


June 13, 2013

I don’t understand the mean-spirited reviews. If this isn’t your cup of tea, who cares? Not something to raise hell about. Sometimes people need to be surrounded by things that are pleasing to the eye. I’m personally one of those people. I don’t see what is so uninviting. Personally, I could imagine getting cozy on that furniture and resting my feet on the leather poof. Emily is a stylist, so of course the room is going to be styled editorially (books and all). Lighten up; interior design is supposed to be fun! I personally love Emily’s mix of mid-century with natural materials, cozy fluff and quirky collected objects. I really miss her show too 🙁


June 13, 2013

@irma navarro-hankins: Could you be more specific about the talent and the design, since most of the initial comments are not positive? Or was your comment a sort of meaningless tweet?


June 13, 2013

@ Jamie, why are you attacking someone for having a different opinion than yours? Does this persons living room have a direct impact on your life? Chill out! I think the design is GORGEOUS!

mellisa otwell

June 13, 2013

Should have kept original light fixtures on the sides of the fire place. Not sure what else was done except add furniture and decor. I guess I expected color added to the walls and window coverings, perhaps? I’m not a fan of all white. I do love the blue couch and shag carpet though.


June 13, 2013

I actually like this room a lot. I understand the complaints above, but I feel like this is a room that is true-to-life. I, too, have a small house/bungalow. I also have a penchant for collecting art and sculptures, and little weird things. It’s hard to find a balance between displaying what you love, and having your house look like an art store that is packed to the gills with knick-knacks. At least, that’s my constant battle. While it may be a little cluttered for some, I think the designer did a notable job of merging her art collections into a room that also has to be man-friendly, and pared down, due to the size. It looks like a room that I would have in my house. I wouldn’t leave the books piled up on the Moroccan pouf, but that’s a pretty small difference. I also don’t think the TV looks terrible–I mean, everyone has one, and we all have to deal with them. I just wish they’d start making TV’s with a white lacquered frame. There has to be a market for that…


June 13, 2013

@Jamie–I’m also guilty of having a shag rug. You are so right. It’s impossible to clean. I love it, but–given the opportunity–I’m not sure I’d buy it, again. It’s a beast. Especially to move.


June 13, 2013

Jamie, this room may be slightly over decorated for your taste, BUT, I’m sure whoever the owner is loves how Emily incorporated color and light in this space.

The great thing about being individuals is that we all have different likes and dislikes. I’m glad you live in a place you love with comfortable decor that you can kickback and read a good book in!

Thanks for giving your opinion, but please try and respect the opinion of others, even if you disagree. It’s about being mature.

Be well!


June 13, 2013

I prefer the BEFORE. It had much more character and charm.

Kristina Cambridge-Upsons

June 13, 2013

It looks a bit too cluttered now (I would have edited the accessories more), you can no longer see the great architecture of the house. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful hardwood flooring, has now been covered up by a rug that looks too large. This is just my 2 cents.


June 13, 2013

Not my style and way too busy for me but my style is “my style” and no one else’s. This room fits her style and has what she loves in it. It does seem well put together and nicely balanced. I really like the zigzag throw on one of the chairs.


June 13, 2013

Wow. This is a tough crowd! I think it looks great.


June 13, 2013

Emily takes into account the couples tastes as she designs room. It’s their taste not yours. Personal I think minimalist is cold looking and without character. But,if you like it go for it. The stuff people collect reflect their trips, memories and personality. The world is made of many different kinds of people with many different ideas of what is beautiful. Find what works for you and enjoy. But, please allow others to do the same. As a design student myself I hate to see someone work get ripped apart online. Remember 1. this is someones home and 2. and many people worked very hard on this. Try to keep that in mind when commenting on this stuff. When in doubt just don’t say anything. It’s a nicer way to go 🙂 Happy decorating everyone.

Sarah Lopez

June 14, 2013

Verna, I agree with your message to Jamie. And I also agree with Jaime that this room is horrific and cluttered. It’s like wearing bright lipstick, glittered eye shadow, and a hot pink blush all together. It’s too much for me, but then again it’s not my home and I only have the luxury of commenting.


June 14, 2013

I agree that the room could feel more intimate, and a bit less styled, but I think the contrast in lighting in the before & after photos is huge. The after photo looks overexposed and washed out. Can’t even see those gorgeous windows. I’d love to see the styled room with the lights dimmed.

And the rug…love the look of the texture, but have personally made the switch to a very similar pattern in indoor/outdoor. A compromise in texture, but way more practical & still a handsome look.


June 14, 2013

^^^ Amen, Verna!


June 14, 2013

Emily, you have done a fabulous job with your space! I love it and the beauty of decorating ” your space” is you can fill it with all the things “YOU” love! I would welcome your design style any time. Missing you on HGTV too.


June 14, 2013

Anyone criticizing me for saying I don’t like the design and stating very clearly why I don’t does not understand the point of criticism.

The stylist agreed to put this photo up for comment. That does not mean “positive comments only.” It doesn’t mean “any reservations should be sugar-coated.” Quite a few people liked it although most are very vague about why, just that the stylist is great. And quite a few people agreed with most of my points on why I didn’t like it.

I’ve never heard of the stylist and have no personal vendetta here. And, Verna? I’m sickeningly mature. Don’t resort to high school tactics when you disagree with a poster who has honest, informed views.

I was criticizing the design, not the designer.


June 16, 2013

someone should make a law against books as props.

The room is staged for photos and advertizing for West Elm. It is most likely more lived in and real now that the cameras are gone. All homes in magazines are newly finished and staged, they are picture purfect, but when the cameras leave real life takes over – dents, scratches, stains, things out of place….a real home!


June 20, 2013

I think Katie got all her friends to attack anyone who had something bad to say about this design. Why do people say it’s mean-spirited to say they don’t like it? I don’t like it either. All the clutter hides the beauty of the windows and floors. Sorry, not being mean just truthful/

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August 28, 2013

I feel sorry for the folks who felt it was necessary to rant all over Emily’s design for her home. This is not the way I would decorate/style my home, but I LOVE seeing rooms that reflect the personality of the people who live in them. I think this room looks extremely comfortable, fun and lived in. Emily is obviously a creative person and I think this is a room that inspires!


September 17, 2013

I love this space and would be very happy to live in it. To me it encapsulates a curated, eclectic look that could reflect the lifestyle, travels, aspirations, loves of the owners. It appears to be lived in and ultimately very functional, comfortable and cosy which must be some of the central tenants for any design (styling) brief. I love the blue velvet sofa, it looks so inviting like a big hug – and the caramel leather armchairs are very retro and stylish. Texture, bright colour and pattern in the form of rugs, throws, cushions and artworks keep the feel modern and youthful. The white walls and bookcases provide a great back drop for all the personal items which really pop and come to life. My personal favorite are the gold hands on the shelf, and the hand stool – add a touch of humour. A beautiful space, congratulations Emily.


October 18, 2015

Hi! I had to rebuild my home after Hurricane Katrina, and I was a pretty new homeowner, at that. I really didn’t have a sense of what my style even was. Now, I want to sell some of my things as I see things that speak to me more. I love these leather chairs. Can you tell me the source?
Thank you!

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