Our Most Popular Posts of 2015


Well folks, the end of the year has come and gone as have many, many blog posts. Some that we care to look back on with pride and others that we will just choose to ignore for now  – that’s the good thing about posting every day and not being too precious about it. Some work and some don’t. We thought it might be fun to take a quick walk down 2015’s memory lane and revisit our most popular postsWithout any further ado we present to you the top 5 most popular posts of the last year (according to which had the most traffic and visits from readers).,. and head down below to find out what OUR favorite 5 posts were.


1. Design Mistake: The Generic Sofa

Best Sofas under $600_budget sofa_modern_midcentury_affordable_roundup_emily henderson

I couldn’t believe how popular this post was – hundreds of thousands of views and shares. This was the kickoff to our design mistakes series which is going strong in 2016, too.


2. Design Mistake: Painting A Small Room White

painting a small room white_bad_1 painting a small room white_good GREAT_Neutrals_For_A_Small_Or_Dark_Space_04

Another ‘Design Mistake’ that garnered a ton of attention.


3. My 10 Go To Paint Colors 

Favourite Neutral Paints

I want to do more of these because I know how difficult it is to choose a color and I’ve done so many projects that I have a wealth of colors that I love and don’t love in my brain. Stay tuned for more of these.

Curbly Living Room

4.  Design Mistake: The Too Small Rug

Rugs_too small_examples_1_with copy Rugs_right size_2

America finally learned how bad, exactly, they are messing up on their rug size.


5. Design Mistake: Hanging Curtains All-Wrong

Emily Henderson_Design Mistakes_Curtains Rod Too Low Emily Henderson_Design Mistakes_Curtains not long enough Print

‘The Float’, ‘The Kiss’, ‘The Puddle’. With a roundup of my favorite inexpensive curtains.

Emily Henderson_Best Curtain Panels Under 50_Roundup

Those five are the most popular posts, the ones that got the most traffic and views, but they aren’t necessarily my favorite posts. These five are the posts that I’m the most proud of.


Weekend Crashers: Mid-Century Eclectic Artist

BLUE-LIVING-ROOM before & after living room FIREPLACE GREY SOFA

I loved that makeover very much.


Weekend Crashers: Nicolette Mason’s New Home

Bright_Regency_Green_Pink_Hollywood_Living_Room Regency_Hollywood_Mid_Century_Lamp How_to_Style_a_TV_Emily_Henderson Emily_Henderson_Pink_Dining_Room_Girly_Gold

We got to play in a kookier style for a project and man, that was fun.


San Fernando Valley Mission Makeover: Playroom


A project that I will never tire of thinking about.


Good Housekeeping Feature

Unknown subject Good_Housekeeping_Emily_Living_Room Good_Housekeeping_Emily_Livingroom Good_Housekeeping_Emily_Kitchen Good_Housekeeping_Emily_Playroom

The time that I took all the color out of my house. Ish.


Ban.do Party House Makeover

Emily_Henderson_Refinery_29_Bando_Pink_Front_Door Bando_LA_Office Emily_Henderson_Refinery_29_We_Are_Serious_About_Fun Plexi_Glass_Bulletin_Board

The most insane reveal/project to date.


So those are my five favorite projects and corresponding posts of the year. It was a good year, indeed. Am I missing any that you guys loved?


I’m off til the 4th for some much-needed family time. The blog will be shut down, which is often when I come up with new ideas for series. We are going to blow up the blog next year – more content, more contributors, same amount of personal posts but just more design posts. So let me know any requests you have so we can start brainstorming, conceptualizing and scheduling. I’m very excited.


Happy Holidays, friends. Thank you for such a good year. xxxx


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Traveling with kids

Brian_Charlie_Emily_Brooklyn Bridge

Parenting breeds vulnerability. The more you love, the more you have to lose. So, as a parent of two small amazing children, trust me when I say that I feel vulnerable. Traveling as a family for a month means that you are without a few things: 1.) Your bed (or crib), 2.) Your daily routine, and 3.) Your “people,” meaning your doctors, babysitters, friends – your support group. You may also be without your sanity or sleep, OBVIOUSLY. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t travel, it keeps us young, interesting, cultured and most importantly socially and emotionally flexible. It’s important to shake up your element, but being out of it is also daunting and harrowing on those sleepless nights. So anything that makes traveling with kids feel more secure, and less vulnerable, is a very good thing indeed.


Which brings me to the reason for this post during this traveling season – to you remind you about the ease and usefulness of the Doctor On Demand app, so you have one less thing to worry about while traveling. Yes, they are sponsoring this post, but I’m so happy to say that it is an app that we have come to rely on consistently for our family (and no, I don’t get the service for free).


Back to the setup. We were in New York for work these last couple of weeks (it’s been insane work-wise – I’ll fill you in on that later). The whole family came, including Sylvia (our nanny) so that Brian and I could work during the day, and the kids would have someone familiar to be with. AND, so that we could go out to dinner, and even see the musical Hamilton . . . WHICH IS THE BEST LIVE THING YOU’LL EVER WITNESS, AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

charlie_brooklyn bridge

During the two weeks there we did have an unfortunate incident that had to do with a chin on a marble floor. And no, I didn’t manufacture such an incident because we were doing this post, but yes I was extremely happy to be able to use the service once again.

charlie_bandaid 1

We were eating dinner, I was grabbing Charlie more milk (whilst probably trying to convince him that dinner is just a really big snack – that kid is obsessed with SNACKS), when he stood up on the dining chair in our rental apartment and flipped over the back of it, landing on the marble floor. It was a hard hit, and probably the first fall that made me actually worried that we would need to go to the emergency room. It split his chin open and was bleeding pretty badly, and he was freaking out pretty hard. Brian wasn’t there which SUCKED. Long story short the gash was big enough that I knew stitches were in the realm of possibility. But going to the emergency room to get stitches on a wiggly 2 year old isn’t exactly a walk in Central Park, especially when its 8pm and you have a baby there as well. So we did what we have done now 5 times – used the Doctor On Demand service.

charlie_bandaid 2

Brian came home and neither of us wanted to take our kids to the emergency room. We knew that Charlie was fine because he started eating and begging to watch Bubble Guppies which we happily allowed. But we wanted someone to calm us down, to tell us that we weren’t irresponsible parents if we didn’t take our child to the ER and put our family through however-many-hours of terribleness.


We jumped online and this time we chose the


“right now” option instead of scheduling an appointment for a few hours ahead. Our doctor popped up in the app, asked us all the same questions an in-room physician would – how did it happen, what were the circumstances, how long ago, how badly did it bleed, etc. Then was the tricky part – getting Charlie to sit still long enough to let us look under his chin – as it wasn’t on the front of his face. The doctor said what I was hoping he’d say – that if it were his kid he wouldn’t take them in. That he might have a scar but that a 2 year old won’t sit still long enough to get really good clean stitches so it could scar anyway, and that the emergency room and stitches process is scarring in itself. He made sure that Charlie could move his jaw, etc (as that was what I was most worried about when I heard him fall), but since he had been eating and showed no signs of pain, he was diagnosed as having a bump and a cut, but nothing serious. Thank goodness.


If we hadn’t had that service as an option we would have gone to the emergency room out of paranoia and protectiveness. Brian wanted to, I didn’t, but of course I felt like a TERRIBLE parent for even suggesting that we not take him in. We were both so relieved to get the advice that we didn’t need to do it, but could if we were that worried about a scar (and we aren’t, since it’s not on the front of his face, although even if it were we all have scars, so what?).


I seriously can’t recommend the service enough, and yes they are paying for post but they certainly aren’t paying for every time that we’ve used it, or my gushing about it. I just love having it as professional resource.

Brian_Charlie_Emily_Brooklyn Bridge 1

Charlie has been rocking the bandaid around town. It’s healing just fine and I’m extremely glad that we didn’t put our family through the torture of a middle-of-the-night emergency room session. As a busy mom you want to make sure that you are properly caring for your kids, especially when they take a little tumble and you think a trip to the emergency room is in order. Luckily, Doctor On Demand physicians can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications if needed for 17 of the top 20 conditions that are treated in urgent care or the ER. Both Brian and I get peace of mind and without a discussion where I feel like I’m being neglectful, and he feels like he’s overbearing.


Anyway, no matter what you pack in your 9 bags when traveling with kids, you can’t pack the confidence that nothing will happen to your kids while you are away from home. So, knowing that there is this resource isn’t something I constantly think about, but when we need them it’s just wonderful that they are there.


Happy Traveling this holiday season, folks. Hopefully you don’t get stuck at the airport at 12am (3am our time) with your two kids and frozen credit cards 🙂 But, if in fact you are, our friends over at Doctor On Demand have passed along the code: EMILYHENDERSON to ease the pain (no pun intended) so that you can schedule your first video visit for free and give it a try.


***This post in partnership with Doctor On Demand, although all words, ideas and opinions are mine.


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Going Wood for Christmas Cheer

Everyone knows wood comes from trees, right?


But folks around the world have discovered that trees can come from wood! And just in time for Christmas.


Down under, where Christmas is usually a sunny affair, one can build a tree out by the pool with cool drink in hand.


Or, if you happen to live near the coast, a driftwood Christmas tree can build holiday memories.


Now, if you live in the rolling hills of Italy, where woodworking is truly a lifestyle passion, you can do a wooden tree, first class.


But here in the States, we have an affinity for making good things from old pallets. Why not a Christmas tree?


This last video was made by a US Army veteran in Tennessee, who is using a GoFundMe effort to build a woodshop for fellow veterans to have a place to chill when not on duty.


“So here is the goal. I’m going to open my home and shop to active duty and vets as a past time program to get them out the house or single soldiers living in the barracks some time to unwind. The goal is to keep them from sitting around and being idle and give them a place to escape that is positive. We would like to be able to have a big brother program on the weekend so our vets can help children that need a mentor. I need to replace my temporary garage with a bigger steel building. Upgrade some of my diy tools to a little better ones and stock up on some building supplies. My long term goal is to employ solders and vets as a way to fund the program further an provide job for vets that really need help..”

What a great way to Go Wood…why not get in the spirit of the season and help them out?

UCreate Nativity

Remember when we did those adorable Wooden Owls from the Wood Connection…and they gave a set away. Well, we have teamed up with them again to feature this beautiful silhouette nativity. Wood Connection Nativity

When the Wood Connection sent both of us a wooden nativity, Kari and I each had such different ideas on how to decorate it…such is the case with crafting, right?

I have pretty muted Christmas decor in my home. I tend to lean toward gold and white; not a lot of color and bling. My style is pretty muted…which is weird because I am not a very muted personality. So, with my nativity I wanted to add some color. I decided to make it with my kids and have it be something they can display every christmas and rearrange to their heart’s content.

We got out the glue, paint brushes, and glitter…LOTS of glitter.


DIY Wood Nativity Set 2 different looks

Supplies Needed:


Step #1: Sand and smooth the wood.

Step #2: Make sure to wipe all the dust off before you stain. Using a foam brush, stain all sides.

Step #3: After stain is dry, pour some glue on a paper plate and grab your paint brush.

For Mary, Joseph, the star, and the animals: Paint on a light coat of glue and sprinkle on desired color of glitter.

For the Wisemen: paint glue on the crown piece then add glitter. Next paint glue on the gifts, add glitter. Finally, paint the rest of the wiseman and add glitter. Use your fingers to push glitter up around where the two colors meet up.

For the Shepherd: Paint the glue on the shepherd’s staff first, add the glitter. Then paint the glue above the staff, add glitter. Finally, do below the staff. Remember to use your fingers to spread the glitter where the different colors meet.

For Baby Jesus: Paint the glue on the entire manger and cover with brown glitter. Then add glue to baby Jesus and glitter him white.

Step #4: Spray high gloss sealer on the entire nativity set. This will help keep glitter from getting scatter everywhere when the pieces are played with. :)



Wooden Nativity Tutorial at U Create

I decided to go with something neutral and I wanted the wood grain to show so instead of using paint I decided to try out a wood stain for my nativity. I love the result and it looks great in my living room!

Wooden navity set by U Create


  • Weathered Gray Wood Stain by Rustoleum (small container in the craft section by the paint)
  • sand paper or block
  • foam brush or paint brush
  • rag (to wipe off stain)
  • white acrylic paint


  1. Sand all surfaces and make smooth before staining.
  2. Brush on a thick layer of stain and let sit for about 30 seconds – wipe off stain until you get desired shade. CRAFT TIP: Make sure to do one figure at a time or the stain will dry and you won’t be able to wipe it off.
  3. Paint the star with acrylic paint — I used white.
  4. After completely dry, sand the edges to add texture.

It’s fun to see two very different looks with the same nativity. Now grab one from The Wood Connection store and let’s see what beautiful thing you create. Make sure to send us a photo on our Facebook page or tag us on instagram (@ucreateblog)

Post by Becky @ U Create

U Create Profile Beck

The post UCreate Nativity appeared first on The Wood Connection Blog.

Gift Guide: Scandinavian


“Scandinavian style celebrates minimal decor and functional furnishings with a lot of whites, hits of black, wood tones, and a few pops of color to keep things happy and add a touch of quirky.” excerpt from STYLED.

There’s a reason IKEA is a household name. Everyone loves a crisp Nordic room full of simple, bright, and cheery goodness. Those of you in the Scandinavian camp are like Minimalists without the drama. You know how to take a cold, bare space and warm it up with fun, playful pieces, often inspired by nature. I mean, the Swedes made an entire hotel out of ice that people actually pay real money to sleep in. They put a fur blanket on a bed made of ice, yes ICE. Look…


Full of light and life, Scandinavians-at-heart (hereinafter referred to as “Scandies”) bathe their homes in the natural sunshine as often as possible. Seamlessly transitioning between the indoors and the outdoors, Scandies bring nature inside and themselves outside as much as possible. Light woods like maple, birch, and oak co-mingle with sleek, modern furniture, often made of plastic, or metal. A truly Scandinavian-inspired home is bright, airy, and lighthearted. A truly Scandinavian retail store is bright, airy, and smells of Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns.


[images above from My Scandinavian Home (left) and Jelanie Blog (right)]

They have truly mastered the perfect combination of light, bright, and airy with a touch of rustic, a touch of industrial and a hint of minimal. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t enjoy their morning cup of coffee in any of these sun drenched rooms.


[Images above from Tvoy Designer (left) and The Style Files (right)]

So throw down the fur pelt, light the fire, and open up those curtains to let all that beautiful sunlight in while without any further ado, we give you our bright and cheery choices for that special Scandie in your life…


1. Pastel Angles Vase | 2. Faceted Vase | 3. Nesting Critter Dolls | 4. Wood Slab Accent Table | 5. Poetry Books Collection | 6. White Stag Bust | 7. Robot Rocking Horse | 8. Kelim Cushion | 9. B&W Woven Pillow | 10. Sheepskin Lumbar Pillow | 11. Chunky Knit Blanket | 12. Modernist Scarf | 13. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack | 14. Dansko Clogs | 15. Scandinavian Coasters | 16. Black Coriander Candle | 17. White and Wood Stool | 18. Pink Task Lamp | 19. Peach Modern Danish Print | 20. Studs and Gems Print | 21. Swedish Fish (yes, the candy…hello, stocking stuffer!)

Through painstaking research and precise calculations, we’ve also rounded up the perfect gifts for our SeventiesRustic, and Contemporary/Minimal friends. We’re getting down to the wire…do you demand Zen, Industrial, Mid-Century Modern, Bohemian, Modern Glam, Traditional, or Totally Eighties next?

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the book, and are craving some more interior and style inspiration you can pick up your copy here, and while you’re impatiently waiting for that postman to arrive you can check out some behind the scenes, and a few more peeks inside the pages of the book here: Book Title And Cover Options | The Real Book Cover | Behind The Book – Styling The Perfect Shot | Styled On Shelves Now

***written by Jessica Isaac for EHD


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Sara Jumps Into Bed


Hi everyone, it’s Sara here, back with another Makeover Takeover update about my bedroom makeover. I hope everyone is enjoying the brisker weather – perfect for cuddling, cozy fires, and naps (unless Emily is reading this, in which case we never nap and all we do is work really, really hard).

During LA’s “colder” months my bed becomes a little haven from the chilly weather. My body is trained to believe anything lower than 75 degrees calls for a sweater, so I pile on the blankets, set up my space heater, and spend as much time as possible in bed. Back when I was 21, and bought my first bed for myself, I couldn’t afford the $10,000, memory foam, turbo twin engine, queen size mattress of my dreams, and settled instead for the cheapest option I could find. I’ve been sleeping on that mattress ever since. So when Sleep Innovations asked if  I’d be interested in trying out one of their memory foam mattresses, I was totally down.

Here’s the deal – They have a few different mattresses, so it’s not “one-size-fits-all,” but they have a little quiz you can take online, which helps guide you towards the one that would work best for you. And once you’ve picked out your mattress (I choose the Marley 10″ Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress), you can order it on Amazon. Which means, if you have Amazon prime, you can have a new mattress delivered and unwrapped in your home in two days, with almost zero effort on your part. That is a big plus during the holiday season.

My “Marley” mattress was shipped to me, tightly vacuum packed in a cardboard box, and as soon as I had pulled it out of the box it started to take shape. It happened SO fast (see the gif at the bottom of the post), and it was completely flat and then ready to go in under 5 minutes. But the bigger questions was – how did it feel? It was a little firm at first, but then my body was just absorbed into this soft, cushion of memory foam. It’s pretty great (and if you’re into really cozy mattresses, keep reading for how you can win one at the bottom of the post).

See, I love it. And it loves me.

But what is a great mattress without an equally perfect bed frame, and accessories to go with it? It’s a good thing then, that I have some pretty intense feelings about my new bed frame. It’s a 1960s, vintage, Danish, teak frame from this amazingly wonderful vintage furniture store, appropriately named the Vintage Supply Store, and they’re just generally awesome people. It didn’t hurt that the frame went perfectly with my pair of Mid-Century style nightstands (which are currently out of stock, but keep checking! They were out of stock when I first looked too, and then magically came back).

Now that I had all the essentials, it was time to dress them up. I want to go in a clean, fresh, yet feminine direction with my room. My color palette is whites, woods, pastel pinks, and blues, with hints of brass and gold. But instead of trying to fit all of that into one set up, I decided to try out two different directions, and see what worked best in practice.


First up was a clean and bright bed, with a more mid-century and masculine tone.

I kept this set up limited to whites, blues, and golds, with not a hint of pink in sight (the plan would be to bring in pops of pastel pinks in other areas of my room). I love how fresh and happy this feels. It has clean lines, and minimal color, which makes for a very “zen” kind of vibe that I’m totally into. But that embroidered eye pillow, and the cute bud vase still keep it fun.


That brass lamp from Target is a favorite around the EHD office, and I know it’s been used over and over again (because it’s so good), so I had to try it out myself.

sara_tramp_makeover_takeover_Night_Stand Masculine_Clean_Fresh_Styling

It’s a bit hard to see, but those sheets have the most delicate little navy dot pattern (peek the left side of that photo below), which is the type of tiny detail I’m a big fan of. And the texture from the raw edge quilt kept the bed from feeling “blah” (plus, no one would notice if Lady, my cat, decided to make biscuits on it, and pull up all the threads with her petit, yet destructive, claws).

There was a LOT I loved about this set up, but I also wanted to explore a more feminine direction, considering two girls live in this room. So next I tried out a softer, pinker direction (pink is my favorite color, and now you know everything about me).


This pretty lady was done up with classy whites, rosy hues, and hits of golds and yellows. I can imagine day dreaming here, and spending hours writing profound and romantic insights about modern life in my journal, while a soft summer breeze floats through my open window (but replace the profound writing with serious napping).

Night_Stand_Styling_Feminine_Details Fur_Throw_Pillow_Linen_Sheets_Vintage_Bead

That fur pillow up there is cuddle buddy #1, although Lady doesn’t seem to be into the faux fur. The sheets and duvet are stone-washed linen, which evokes such a sense of timeless simplicity. Plus, they just feel like they make my life simpler (textured linens are supposed to be wrinkled, right?).


I love the idea of having a little display box next to my bed. I hate sleeping with jewelry on, but I always forget to take it off, and end up losing lots of cool things to the vacuum, once I’ve thrown them on the nightstand, and they accidentally fall under my bed. So, having a secure drop point for pretty “I-don’t-want-to-lose-these” things is a solid idea.

Lady is really happy here, I promise. She just has a serious case of “resting b*tch face.” She is in love with that little cat square, though. Wherever I set that thing down, it’s like a kitty magnet. Which works really well when I don’t want her sleeping on folded laundry, or my keyboard.


Overall, I’m drawn to the “clean & bright” bed, but there were elements of the “soft & feminine” that I ended up really liking. So here’s what I decided – I’m keeping the linen bedding, but going to lean towards blue bed accessories. I’m also pretty attached to the brass and marble lamp (versus the brass task lamp, which is probably a little too big in scale for this situation, but still such a winner). The flower print and the yellow accents from the second set up are leaning a little too girly for me, and I like the more mid-century vibe of the the “clean & bright” direction. That being said, I’m thinking that I do want to bring in a few more feminine, soft, and possibly even pink elements, because I ended up loving how dreamy they felt. Now I have to style out TWO nightstands, and find accessories for both of them, so expect to see some new items in the final reveal!

Which bed would you folks pick? Am I making the right choice?!

For now I’m in a serious relationship with my bed, and I’m pretty sure it’s the one. I have separation anxiety when I’m not in it, and I can’t wait to go home to it tonight (we’ve even already had the “exclusive” talk).

Here’s a little video of my bed transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly (and you can see just how fast that mattress unfolded).

Oh, did you think I forgot about the mattress contest? Share a picture of your sleeping situation over the holidays using the hashtag #SInoplacelikehome via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and you’ll be entered to win one of Sleep Innovations memory foam mattresses to help makeover your sleeping situation for the holidays! And, by using their hashtag, #SInoplacelikehome, you’ll be contributing $1 to Stand Up for Kids’ health and wellness program, which provides medical and well-being services to homeless youth across the country, which is pretty awesome.

And incase you want to go in one direction, or the other, yourself, here are “get-the-looks.”

See you all in 2016!

1. Eye Pillow | 2. Ikat Pillow | 3. Diamond Pillow | 4. Nightstand | 5. Drawer Knob | 6. Bud Vase | 7. Dotted Sheets | 8. Raw Edge Quilt | 9. Brass Task Lamp | 10. Decanter | 11. Glass | 12. Blue Throw | 13. Gold Notebook

1. Fur Pillow | 2. Yellow Stripe Pillow | 3. Nightstand | 4. Drawer Knob | 5. Lampshade | 6. Brass And Marble Lamp | 7. Washed Linen Duvet | 8. Washed Linen Sheets | 9. Journals | 10. Basket | 11. Pink Blanket | 12. Cat Square | 13. Heart Pin | 14. Glass Display Box


*Written by Sara Tramp, photos by Jessica Isaac, styled by Sara Tramp, Jessica Isaac, & Brady Tolbert for EHD.
See Sara’s Makeover Takeover from the start: Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom | Sara’s Custom Closets 
Want more Makeover Takeover? Check out these posts from the rest of the EHD crew: Brady Picks A Sofa | Brady Picks A Gray Paint | Ginny’s LA Living Room | Ginny’s English Roll Arm | Jessica’s Living & Dining Room

The post Sara Jumps Into Bed appeared first on Emily Henderson.

Christmas Tree Frames

Hi!  Mindy here from Savvy Sisters.  I’m so excited for Christmas!  One of the things I look forward to most about this season is pulling out my Christmas tree and getting it all decorated.  Ever since last year, when I finally bought a big tree (I use to have just the 3 small trees) I have been adding more ornaments and such to my tree.  Last year I made the burlap snowflake stamped ribbon to put around the tree.  And this year I decided to add some pictures to my tree.  I love these frame overlays from the Wood Connection and they were perfect to put in my tree!  I like that they aren’t too heavy and I love the different shapes.  I decided to go with 3 frames.
Supplies needed:
-grey paint
-red paint
-red glitter
Glitter Frame
The first frame I decided to glitter the whole thing. I gave the frame a first coat of red.  Oh and go ahead and paint the back too!  You may be able to see it from another angle of your tree, I went back and painted mine.  Then get the glitter ready and paint a second layer of red paint and while still wet, place in the glitter.  You can follow these instructions if needed.
Striped Frame
The next frame I decided to paint it gray and do red stripes.  So first give it a light sand then paint it gray, I gave it two coats.  Don’t forget to paint the back also!  Once dry I cut some strips of contact paper for my stripes.  I eye balled this and didn’t do a super great job, but didn’t notice until it was done.  Oops!  After it was all taped off I first painted a light coat of wood glue so that my lines would come out nice and clean.  After that dried I painted 2 coats of red.  When finished, just pull off the tape.
Scrapbook Paper Frame
And my third frame I did scrapbook paper.  First I painted the outer and inner edges and of course the back of the frame red.  Then I traced the shape of the frame onto my paper and cut it out.  Once it was cut, I used wood glue to glue the paper to the frame.  You can click here for a tutorial if needed.  Then the last step is to use your sanding block to sand all the edges of the paper to give it a finished look.
I love the personal touch it added to my tree!  And the kids love seeing pictures of themselves on the tree.  This is my favorite spot in my house at Christmas time!

The post Christmas Tree Frames appeared first on The Wood Connection Blog.

Shelter Reveal – The Bedrooms


The Holidays always seem to make us feel all warm and fuzzy, and to keep that warm fuzzy feeling going, today it’s a big reveal of the shelter, and this time it’s all about the bedrooms.


There are 8 bedrooms total, and to suit the needs of the shelter and the residents each bedroom had to have 2 bunks in them to accommodate up to a family of four. The bunks and the dressers had generously already been donated, so our job was made slightly easier, as we didn’t need to start sourcing a ton of big pieces for these rooms. The bunks were made specifically for the shelter and each have a handy pull out drawer underneath so the families can store their belongings. The shelter encourages them not to hoard too many things (they’d be horrified if they came into our studio!) but to really use this facility as a clean slate to jumpstart them back on their feet.  So we really didn’t need to add much more in the way of storage.


The bedrooms really only serve as what they are – a functional place for the families to sleep in. During the day the rooms get locked up, while the kids are out at school, and the parents are either at work or looking for jobs, so they didn’t need to have areas to lounge or work in. With the shelter being sort of a halfway-house, their main focus is to get the families back on their feet and into apartments of their own.  With that being said, it didn’t deter us from wanting to make these spaces feel as cosy and homey as the rest of the shelter.


Because the kids would be sharing and sleeping in the same room as their parents,​ we wanted to ensure that there was a good balance and that the rooms didn’t feel too child-like, or too adult. We started off by choosing a color palette that consisted of mainly blues, whites and coral tones, which also felt gender neutral and didn’t sway too feminine or too masculine.


We started off by painting the rooms in three different colors: 2 rooms in Moonlight White, 2 rooms in Soft Pumpkin and 4 rooms in Pilgrim Haze, all by Benjamin Moore. The Soft Pumpkin turned​ out ​to be ​a little more pumpkin ​colored ​than we’d anticipated, once we had it on the walls. But, the walls had originally been painted in a neutral beige,​ which was very drab and depressing, so we really wanted to bring some life into the rooms. Unfortunately due to the quick turnaround and deadlines we didn’t have time to swatch colors on the walls, and just had to go with our instincts. Let that be a lesson friends . . . always, always swatch.  Fortunately, with the bunks having an orange tone to them, they blended in well, and we used more navy tones in those rooms so that helped to balance it out.


The lighting was all donated by our good friends at Lamps Plus and we spent time selecting different styles within the same palette of woods, whites and gold. Which meant we had lots of different options​ to play with. The books again were donated by Strand, and I cannot say enough good things about them.  They’ll personalize collections for you by the foot. So all you need to do is tell them how many feet you need, how much you want to spend, and they’ll tailor them to specific genres and even certain color schemes, which is music to a designer’s ears. They’ll pretty much do whatever you want when it comes to books, except maybe read them to you in bed at night.


Most of the curtain fabric was donated by Minted, and we had an awesome set of costume designers donate their time to help sew them together. We brought in some nice florals, graphic prints and water colors, all within the color palette.


We were super fortunate that Serena & Lily and Deny Designs offered to donate bedding to the shelter, and we knew this would be one of the main ways we could bring some personality into the rooms.


​Again, keeping our blue, coral and white color story going, we mixed and matched different patterns and prints to create a varied and eclectic feel​ in each room. We stuck with two different sets of bedding in each room, with at least 1 type of stripe. That way it didn’t look too mismatched.



Although the rooms do have a window, they don’t get a lot of natural light because the windows actually look out onto an enclosed fire escape. But we wanted to still dress the windows properly, to make it feel more like a completed room. We were very pleased at how they turned out and it was so much fun to see the kids enjoy their new spaces.


Brian van der Brug from the LA Times snapped this pic after one family had moved into their new space. You’ll notice that they removed a few of the accessories we added while styling, and also added a pack and play, and a kid’s chair. It is so much fun knowing these kids and their families not only have a place to call home, but a space to really make their own.

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We really couldn’t have pulled these rooms together without the help of some very generous donors.  Serena & Lily, who have just opened an amazing store in LA, which is going to be a great help for us when we recommend products to our private clients.​ As well as a ton for the kid’s area, they also donated all the striped bedding shown here. Deny Design, which is a super fun company that offers lots of different designs that can be printed onto almost anything – pillows, trays, even desks, and where we got all the floral and patterned bedding from. Lamps Plus, who not only have a great range of lighting, but also have a great range of furniture, which you’ll see in the living room reveal – coming soon. And last but not least, Minted, who has an amazing selection of patterns that can be printed in different colorways, onto different weights of fabric. That way you can make your own pillows, curtains and even clothes.


Now go ahead and get that look for your room:


1. Walnut Table Lamp | 2. Books Donated by Strand Books | 3. Oval Mirror | 4. English Garden Curtain | 5. Midnight Floral Curtains | 6. Painterly Splash Curtains | 7. Pink Flower Vase | 8. Task Lamp | 9. Hand Threaded Art by Happy Red Fish | 10. Dresser | 11. California Dreams by Alexandra Nazari | 12. Pink Duvet Cover | 13. Gold Table Lamp | 14. Metallic Diamond Pillow | 15. White Textured Pillow | 16. Floral Duvet Cover | 17. Thick Navy Strip Duvet Cover | 18. Pink Shams | 19. Navy Striped Duvet Cover | 20. Bunk beds originally custom built and donated by Beds Unlimited, but find a similar one here.


***Written by Ginny Macdonald, before photos by Jessica Isaac for EHD. After photos by David Tsay styled by Ginny Macdonald & Brady Tolbert.


A quick word about David Tsay. He volunteered to shoot this shelter without pay which we were obviously PSYCHED about. It’s a tricky place to shoot with a lot of overhead commercial-style lighting, and frankly, we needed someone really good to capture the space. Thank you once again, David, for far exceeding our expectations. This was shot when I was in Spain, and it was the first project of mine EVER that I let my team style without me. They did SUCH a great job. Thanks, everyone.


See the beginning post here, the first update post here, a last little nudge to our indiegogo campaign here, an art roundup of our favorite work from the artists that have donated here, a big thank you to those who donated here, the family room reveal here, and the playroom reveal here. And check out our feature in the Los Angeles Times!


The post Shelter Reveal – The Bedrooms appeared first on Emily Henderson.

Wood Scence 101 (21) – The Mystery of Wood and Water

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is holding their annual Kiln Drying Workshop again next month. While the program is considered one of the premier and must-attend workshops for professional hardwood kiln operators, there might be reasons for you to consider a trip to upstate New York in the dead of winter.


As much love for wood as I find out in the world, I also constantly see a great deal of misunderstanding of the issue of wood, water, weathering, mold, rot, warpage, and other moisture-related wood performance issues. Quick story from this weekend at the Ray mansion…I had been given a small gift-size oak barrel several years ago, designed for seasoning a bottle or two of whiskey. I had used it a few times, but made the mistake of trying it for wine (which didn’t work well, because the wine needs to be consumed shortly after the bottle is uncorked), and the wine residue tainted the barrel enough so that it was no longer good for further use in seasoning whiskey.


My eye landed on the deserted barrel this weekend, and I had the brilliant idea that it would make a great in-tank prop for my aquarium. So, I picked up the barrel, headed outdoors to fill it with sand, brought it back in and sank it in the tank. It looked great.


But then the family questions began, with several of the little wood rats wondering if the barrel wouldn’t “rot away” in the tank. I was aghast, and explained more than once that wood rotting is a function of wet-dry cycles in wood…and that wood that stays saturated with water will last forever, at least until some organism in the water might possibly consume it. In my fish tank, the chances of that happening are very, very small.


That experience got me to thinking about how folks really don’t understand wood relationship with water, and why wood drying, seasoning, and finishing are done improperly so often. Wooden decks, roofs, and siding are the worst case scenarios, as they are constantly exposed to extremes in temperature, ultraviolet light, and temperature…and with improper drying and maintenance, they often disintegrate in short order.


Wooden furniture and crafts also tend to fall apart when improperly dried and stored lumber is used in its construction. The hardwood dry kiln operators job is to ensure that it doesn’t happen…but even in the professional ranks, I find operators who seemed genuinely confused about how to make end-of-kiln-cycle decisions according to how the specific load has responded in the kiln.


I also find that more often that not, persons involved in the sales of wooden furniture give absolutely incorrect information when discussing the qualities and environmental properties of the wooden products they represent.


Crafters at the local fairs often create their works of art under conditions and using techniques and materials that practically guarantee their short life.


And non-woodites routinely make wood products purchasing decisions under misguided assumptions about how that product can be used in application.


All reasons why I would like you to consider attending SUNY’s Kiln Drying Workshop next month. Even if you’re not one of the folks who dry lumber for a living, you’ll find that a few days spent learning the science of how to properly remove moisture from wood will benefit every aspect of your appreciation of it as one of the greatest of raw materials on the planet.


Here are some details on the workshop. Only five days left to take advantage of the early registration rates.


If you truly are one to Go Wood, you’ll find it time and money well spent.

Gift Guide: Contemporary & Minimalist


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Welcome to round 3 of our Gift Guides inspired by STYLED, a home interior design book you may or may not have heard of. Today we bring you a mash up of the Contemporary and Minimal design worlds. Don’t worry — while it may seem ironic that we’ve combined the two most stripped-down, clutter-free categories to make one (kind of) giant gift guide, you should also know that Contemporary Minimalists happen to love irony, so it’s ok.


[photo from Murray Mitchell]

Clean lines, minimal clutter, and streamlined pieces have become synonymous with living in the here and now, which is what our Contemporary Minimalists are all about. Froufrou flourishes and fluffy fabrics of the past are few and far between in the contemporary/minimal home. Rather than hoarding kind-of-cool stuff, these highly sophisticated folks tend to collect just the attractive versions of what they need, and display them in a simple, organized way. White surfaces and limited neutral color palettes take simplicity and organization to the next level.

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[Masculine Clean Modern from 1 Bed 4 Ways]

While sometimes stark and a little on the cold side, contemporary/minimal homes can also be extremely peaceful. Our brains like things to be organized, so with few distractions and everything in it’s right place, these spaces are like a vacation for the brain. There’s something to be said for restraint and discipline, so kudos to those of you achieving a true contemporary/minimal lifestyle. Here are some gift ideas for our favorite pared down pals…

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1. Gesturing Man Print | 2. B&W Spirograph Print | 3. Ben Medansky Ceramic Mug | 4. B&W Speckled Tray | 5. Black Ceramic Mini Bowl | 6. Marble and Silver Candle Holders | 7. Stainless Steel S’well Thermos | 8. Modern Wall Shelf | 9. Specs Chair | 10. Black Table Lamp | 11. Silver Nesting Tables | 12. Geometric Throw | 13.  Brush Striped Pillow | 14. Metallic Lumbar Pillow | 15. Tom Dixon Royalty Candle | 16. Charcoal Hand Soap | 17. White Spa Towels | 18. Top Shop Slim Fit Coat | 19. Marble iPhone Case | 20. Oversized Tote Bag | 21. Mizutori Sandal | 22. White Geo Vessel | 23. Dash Vase

If you missed our last two roundups, we’ve covered Seventies and Rustic so far. Contemporary and Minimal were in high demand last time, so let us know what you want to see next! Is it Scandinavian, Zen, Industrial, Mid-Century Modern, Bohemian, Modern Glam, Traditional, or Totally Eighties?

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the book, and are craving some more interior and style inspiration you can pick up your copy here, and while you’re impatiently waiting for that postman to arrive you can check out some behind the scenes, and a few more peeks inside the pages of the book here: Book Title And Cover Options | The Real Book Cover | Behind The Book – Styling The Perfect Shot | Styled On Shelves Now

*written by Jessica Isaac for EHD

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