Behind The Scenes, Interiors

Fantasy vs Reality: The Entryway

It’s funny writing the first entry on a new blog, wondering if anyone will ever read this. Well if you’ve found Life Unstyled today or more likely, sometime in the future and you’re curious enough that you’ve scrolled back through ALL past entries, then well done and thank you!

The purpose of this blog is simple. I style for a living and I love to make things look pretty. However, I also lead a normal, busy, messy life with kids and pets and work and play. I definitely don’t have the time to keep my home as perfectly styled as it looks in photos of it that have been published on some design blogs. It would literally take up all my time. So in between tidying sessions it gets sort of messy. Clutter piles up on every free surface, legos scatter the floor, baseball bats rest in every corner. Don’t get me wrong, our house is lovely but at 700 square feet, two adults, two kids and three pets accumulate a lot of stuff and make a lot of mess.

A few weeks back I was sitting in my (untidy) living room, looking at the piles of sporting equipment by my front door (everyone but me plays baseball/softball). It struck me how different my entryway looked compared to when I recently styled it for my portfolio. I took a picture. I looked around the rest of my house and took more pictures without styling any of them. And I don’t mean that I styled them to look messy. I just didn’t style them at all. I love, love, love looking at gorgeous homes, but once in a while, isn’t it nice to see a home that’s lovely but lived-in?

So that’s where we’ll start. Side-by-side images of homes looking gorgeous, well-lit, sparklingly clean and let’s face it, unrealistic and one of it looking like people actually live there. Down the line, I hope to share photos of other people’s homes in their styled and unstyled states as well.


So here’s number one above. Our entryway, also known as “part of our living room”. When I said entryway, were you picturing something grand?? I should have said foyer, that would have really thrown you off. You step in the front door and there you are, in the living room. I set up this little shelf for keys and sunglasses, dog leashes etc, stuff we need as we’re heading out the door. Don’t my Frye boots look lovely there, all lined up nicely? And the single dog leash dangling from it’s hook. Nice. And of course I always have fresh flowers and a candle by my front door. Don’t you? I sewed those bags to store all the usual junk that accumulates by front doors. I think one was meant for doggie stuff and one for things like flashlights and bicycle pumps. (My house really is very small, so storage for things like this is non-existent. Oh, to have a closet dedicated to just this stuff!)

And here we have the grand foyer in it’s current state. The pretty hand-sewn bags are gone. Apparently their contents were emptied out and scattered all over the shelf.  The lovely flowers are gone, they’ve been replaced by Netflix to be returned, sunscreen to be applied, a jump rope, more dog leashes. How many do we need? There’s only one dog. And then there’s the mountain of baseball paraphernalia. What can I say? If there was a hall closet, I would put it in there. But since there’s no hall, there’s definitely no closet. So that’s where it shall sit all summer long, making me crazy. I suppose if we hadn’t turned our garage into our office we could store stuff in there. But as you’ll see in my next post, our office is lovely. After I show you how lovely it is I will show you how it really is. Next time.

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  • Reply Aden 12 August 2010 at 11:53 PM

    Hi Emily, I love it! Maybe you can see my place "unstyled", then again maybe it is best you don't…..
    Neda Colyer

  • Reply XOXO Tasha 16 August 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Emily… I just somehow stumbled upon your webpage..which lead me to your blog. You truely have a wonderful talent and your more then a little crafty!

  • Reply bink and boo 16 August 2010 at 3:00 PM

    You have just inspired me to do something with our entryway. Looking forward to more blog posts.

  • Reply Emily Henson 17 August 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Thanks ladies. You are the first ones to comment so yay for you! More posts to come – probably three a week to start with. Thanks so much.

  • Reply foodnerd 15 October 2010 at 4:38 AM

    Was on Design*Sponge and loved the lime tub and white bathroom. Love bright colours that pop on white. Also love your garage turned office! So I got curious and perused more and found your blog which very quickly made me laugh out loud because I seem to struggle with similar issues. My place would be perfect (okay, far from perfect but pretty darn fun to look at) if my family lived elsewhere! Haha! I have 3 girls (you would think girls would be different) and a very creative but messy husband. They wear me out. Like you said though, that's real life and all I have to do is to go to a friend's house to be reminded of that.

  • Reply jor johnson 10 December 2010 at 9:54 PM

    I stumbled across you blog from DesignSponge and I just have to say that I LOVE it! As a mom of 3 young children trying to decorate our small old home it is so refreshing to see your comparison pictures. Sometimes I feel like I"m the only one who can't seem to keep my house looking picture perfect all the time. Thank you!

  • Reply Comfort In Chaos - Life Unstyled 25 January 2016 at 7:15 AM

    […] you’ll know how I feel about showing the more natural and real side of our homes. When I started this blog in 2010 I didn’t call it Life Unstyled for nothing. I’m a big fan of a spice […]

  • Reply Nannette Jackson 28 May 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Love your black staircase design, I have a similar one but not painted, would love the courage to paint black, especially to finish off with that amazing carpet, but what paint and where to find the carpet. You are so talented and courageous with design

    • Reply Emily Henson 14 June 2016 at 9:00 AM

      Thanks so much Nanette!

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