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.

Continue Reading

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



Life Unstyled Gets Some Love In The Press

So my book came out. Did you notice? Life Unstyled in all it’s pretty printed glory is out there in bookshops, and judging by all the photos I’m being tagged in on Instagram, also in a lot of people’s homes. If you follow me on any of my social media channels, you’ll know because I’ve been talking about it ad nauseum. Trying not to be a bore about it, but then again, I worked my bum off and I’m going to talk about it for a bit! I’ve had my advance copy for a while and it’s already made its way into my styling kit, above.

The past couple of weeks have been exciting, with Life Unstyled getting lots of great press:  a lovely piece in Stylist magazine; a brilliant three page article in the UK’s Metro newspaper (Life Unstyled Metro);  a nice excerpt in Period Living magazine (Life Unstyled Period Living October 2016-2); a six page spread in Psychologies magazine, to name a few.

There was also a great blog tour, with some of my favourite UK bloggers reviewing the book. Here are links, in case you missed them. Makes for some good weekend reading:

Lobster & Swan//Makelight//Decor Art UK//Heart Home Magazine//My Warehouse Home//Dear Designer

AND…Etsy wrote a great piece on their US blog. I’m really feeling the love!

The most exciting thing about seeing the press for this book is that this isn’t just a book about an interiors trend, like Modern Rustic and Bohemian Modern were. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I loved writing those books! But Life Unstyled is more about a lifestyle choice and it’s an idea I’ve been chirping on about for years, right here on this blog, starting back in about 2009. So to see in print words I wrote and ideas I came up with, is so exciting! And for people to be responding to it in the way I had hoped – saying it brings them relief to look at the images in the book, rather than making them feel bad about their less than perfect homes – well that is just bloody brilliant! That’s all I wanted. If you’ve already received your copy, tag me in a photo on Instagram – I’d love to know what’s your favourite page.

Next week I’ll share pictures from this week’s book launch and workshop at Anthropologie. It was a huge success and I had such a blast. And I’ll also be offering a giveaway of a signed copy from my personal and very prized stash of Life Unstyled. Tomorrow (yes, a Saturday post) I’m sharing how I turn my sketches into a shoot. xoxoLife Unstyled in Stylist magazine

Life Unstyled in Metro

Life Unstyled in Psychologies