Behind The Scenes, Interiors

I want that style: Modern Rustic for Hillarys

A major part of my job as an interior stylist is designing concepts and rooms that reflect not my style, but that of the brands who hire me. Sure, they ask me to style their catalogues and ads because they like my own style, but at the end of the day it’s all about representing their brand and appealing to their customers. I actually love this part of my job – it keeps me on my toes and forces me to get inside someone else’s head instead of just repeating my same old tricks.

That said, I also love the rare occasion when I get to just do my thing. So it was a bit of a treat earlier in the summer when I was asked by Hillarys to design a room for their #IWANTTHATSTYLE campaign, using their new Autumn/Winter blinds and curtains, but based on my own book, Modern Rustic. (My first and I think most popular of the three I’ve written). So much fun to get to design a room based on what I personally like! My taste is constantly evolving and I wouldn’t say I’m purely modern rustic but my own home definitely has elements of it right now, particularly as I begin the nesting process for the colder months ahead. Continue Reading

Behind The Scenes

Addicted to Stress?

This heading looks like it belongs to a sponsored post on your Facebook feed doesn’t it? Click on it and you’ll be linked to an ad for a meditation app or anti-anxiety drugs!

No such luck – it’s just me airing my thoughts on the idea that I might be a bit hooked on the rush of having too much on my plate. (Full disclosure: I’m writing this from a very cosy bed on an overcast Sunday afternoon after a very good night’s sleep, and not much on the agenda today).

For the first time in ages I don’t have a million different projects to juggle. If you’ve followed my career, you’ll know that for the past six years I’ve consistently bitten off more than any sane person should be chewing, saying yes to every opportunity that came along  – books, talks, workshops, travel, interviews – while still styling for all my regular clients (oh and raising kids and sadly, going through a marriage break-up). Continue Reading

Behind The Scenes, Interiors, Travel

Big in Taiwan

If you follow me on Instagram and in particular, if you watch my Insta stories, you’ll know that I recently went to Taiwan to be guest speaker and teach styling workshops at a big design show in Taipei. My face was plastered over their underground/subway trains, banners advertising my event hung from lamp-posts all over the city, I was on the cover of an interiors magazine, and I met the Vice-President of Taiwan! It was a surreal week.

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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. Continue Reading


Giveaway – Signed Copy Of Life Unstyled

Every time I release a new book, my publisher sends me a box of copies – six to be precise – and I treat them like gold. I usually keep a couple for myself and give the others to very close friends and family. However, with Life Unstyled – my third book – so many of my family and friends came to the launch at Anthropologie and bought their own copy that I’m left with a few spares. So rather than leave them on my (messy) bookshelves below to gather dust, I’m giving one away. To you, my lovely readers!Life Unstyled messy bookshelvesSo leave me a comment below and tell me why you need Life Unstyled on your bookshelf. Why do you think it’s the book for you, how will it change your world and inspire you? I’ll choose from the comments and get a copy to the winner in time for Christmas. Good luck!

Life Unstyled book coverThe winner will be chosen on Wednesday December 7th so get on it people! Don’t forget to tell  me where in the world you live!

Behind The Scenes, Interiors

From Sketch To Shoot

I’m no Picasso or Matisse, but I do have to sketch out ideas sometimes to help a client visualise what’s in my head for a shoot. I was always artistic in school, focusing on right brain studies like art, pottery and languages as soon as I had a choice. But I was never a fine artist, unlike my brother Duncan who went to art school in New York and seems to be able to dabble in all media, but can still draw a beautifully realistic body if he has to.

My drawings are more child-like, cartoony almost, but they get the point across. I’m determined to improve my skills over the next few months as there are things I want to create, and ways I want to grow my business, that will rely on me expressing myself through drawing and design. It’s a challenge, but one I’m hoping I can rise to.

In the meantime however, the cartoonish sketches do the job. Here are a few I did for one of my clients, Primark, when planning for a homewares shoot earlier this year. After receiving their brief, I went on the hunt for a suitable location. Once confirmed, I planned each shot, deciding where in the location house it would take place, what furniture I would hire, and what product would be represented in each shot. Then I did some little doodles to present to the client, so we could all be on the same page.

Sometimes things change on the day – maybe the spot I chose to shoot doesn’t work light-wise or the photographer has a better suggestion – it’s really important to be flexible and roll with it. It is a collaboration after all, and the end goal is to make the client happy by creating the best imagery possible to sell their products. This particular shoot went pretty much according to my plan, although the location was tight and quite dark and presented various challenges. We made it work and got there in the end.

I hope you have a great weekend filled with rest, relaxation, and maybe a little sketching?

Doodles and styling by me, photography by Adrian Briscoe, floral garland by Yolanda Chiaramello, product by Primark.

Emily Henson for Primark

Emily Henson for Primark Emily Henson sketch for Primark homeware

Emily Henson sketch for Primark homeware