Behind The Scenes, Interiors

My very own Life Unstyled

One question I get asked a lot is “What’s your house like?” People always assume, as a stylist, that my place must be amazing. And there was a time when it was pretty cool (my old house in LA was quite wild – colourful, eclectic, cluttered with interesting stuff. Have a quick look here to see it when it was in Anthology magazine – it was bonkers! And so different from my style now). But since we moved back to London in 2011 we’ve been renting and you know how hard it can be to make a rented place your own? Especially in the UK where it’s tricky to convince your landlord to let you hang a picture, let alone paint a wall. Combine that with a general busy-ness that’s prevented me from really putting in the time, and the result was a not very exciting home.

We’re now in our second rented place, a modern apartment quite different from the terraced Victorian house we’ve been in for four years, and still a sort of temporary home for me. I thought maybe I would share a few candid shots of my less than perfect home, all in the name of the Life Unstyled ethos of embracing imperfection. As I mentioned here, 2016 was a rough year personally and it had the effect of making me pare things down at home, simplify, declutter (although as a stylist, my version of decluttered is still someone else’s idea of too much shit!) Gone is the colour, pattern and kitsch; in is the neutral, natural and simple.

In my never-ending quest to make you, my lovely readers, feel better about your own less than perfect homes (just a guess…), I’m sharing with you these unedited, unstyled pictures of my own less than perfect, unfinished, and untidy flat. My personal favourite is the one where I stood my vintage side table on my coffee table – a make-shift laptop stand for a day of endless client Skype calls from the sofa. Feel better now? Enjoy!

For more real home interiors inspiration, pick up a copy of my latest book Life Unstyled, filled with eclectic, perfectly imperfect homes from around the world.

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  • Reply Cathy 17 February 2017 at 1:13 AM

    Hi Emily
    Congratulations on your beautiful book. So enjoying reading it. Trying to make it last and not devour it in one go. Love the homes – especially the converted warehouse in North London. Would move in, in an instant!
    Best wishes to you from Australia

    • Reply Emily Henson 20 February 2017 at 9:28 PM

      Thank you so much! It makes me so happy that you like my book! Go ahead and devour it – you can always dip back in when you need some inspiration. I’m desperate to visit Australia. Not sure it’ll happen in 2017, but maybe 2018…

  • Reply A Wörtz 17 February 2017 at 8:21 PM

    I adore your house! I think it’s wonderful finding beauty in the imperfect. My favorite picture was of your bookshelf. Any book suggestions for student designer?

    • Reply Emily Henson 20 February 2017 at 9:23 PM

      Thank you so much! I’m glad I can inspire. Email me your question about books – I’m leaving for a trip tomorrow and I’m worried I’ll forget to answer you here!

  • Reply Fifi McGee 21 February 2017 at 11:37 PM

    Such a fantastic post. I am all about simple and authentic living. I was looking back through archives on my blog thinking “I swear I posted something similar with honest living” and then I remembered this post… oh god why did I share it haha

    I think I’m crazy that I published those pics but somehow you have made me feel better about being honest. Thank you!

    • Reply Emily Henson 10 October 2017 at 11:59 AM

      Thank you Fifi – I’m not sure how I missed your comment but I did!
      You’re not crazy for posting those pics, just honest, and I really believe it’s what people are craving in this overly styled social media world we’re living in. Keep it up!

  • Reply Meiny Vermaas 19 August 2017 at 11:26 PM

    Love your books. Just finished reading Life Unstyled : such creativity is so freeing. Like how it tells the history of the people living there. It has been my approach for our new addition, a special place for our adult son on the autism spectrum: use what we already own, mix and match as if I were designing another quilt but this time in 3-dimension. Find creative solutions for storage, storage and more storage without it being overwhelming.

    • Reply Emily Henson 10 October 2017 at 12:03 PM

      Thank you Meiny for your lovely comments. Please accept m apologies for not replying sooner. I’ve been a bit neglectful of the blog lately…life got the better of me!

      I’m sure the space you’ve created for your son is very special and feels like home to him. Mixing and matching is the best way to create an authentic home.

      Thanks so much for reading and all the best to you and your family xx

  • Reply Edmund 6 October 2017 at 3:24 PM


    I really enjoyed Bohemian Modern – it makes me feel normal! Delighted to know that adapt and adopt rather than purchase is approved.

    Edmund, Singapore

    • Reply Emily Henson 10 October 2017 at 11:57 AM

      Thank you Edmund for your kind comments! I’m so happy that I contributed to making you feel good! That’s really my main goal in all my work.

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