I had an amazing opportunity over the weekend to sit down with Emily Henderson, from the HGTV show Secrets from a Stylist, to chat shopping, design, and the future. I hope you’re as excited to hear from her as I was to sit and have a drink with her (she had a sauvignon blanc and me, prosecco).
House of Earnest: You do a lot of vintage shopping, do you feel like an item ‘picks’ you?
Emily: Yes, I get really anxious if a really good piece goes without me buying it. If it’s awesome, I buy it and I find a place for it. So much from the show just comes from my apartment, it’s like a rotating thing. I call it ‘fostering’ and if I buy something that’s amazing and don’t have a need for it, I know that somebody at some point is going to get it.
H of E: Starting out as a prop stylist is a different animal than straight interior design. How was that learning curve?
E: The thing I got wrong the most was scale. I would buy this awesome sofa, then these great chairs and wouldn’t think about how they would fit together. I thought my instinct was good enough, but it’s not. You just have to measure. Also, you have to think about the size of the house in relation to the scale of the furniture. There was one episode that never aired, but you can watch it on HGTV.com; but it was a really big house and I had brought in a sofa and two chairs and you can see throughout the episode that I had gone back to the store and switched out the chairs like three times. I ended up buying two sofas facing each other because it was the only think that worked. After that I was like, big houses need big furniture.
H of E: How do you strike a balance between staying true to your style and aesthetic and still giving the clients what they want?
E: Most of the clients I have come from the blog or the show, so they know my style. There are certain cases where someone has wanted me to do something that is kinda out of my style realm, but it depends on how different it is or how big the project is. For example, I wouldn’t do something super tech-y or something that has a ton of plumbing or electrical work involved. When it feels like work, I don’t want to do it. It feels like anxiety and keeps me up at night.
H of E: We see your process play out on TV, but how do you incorporate your styling aesthetic into your everyday life?
E: I think that my style is pretty consistent through fashion, or how I throw a party. Style is very much across the board. Analyze your outfit, is it fitted or sexy or conservative. Do you love a lot of accessories or none, is your hair loose and messy or tied back into a bun. These things are style indicators. Interior design isn’t just about interior design – it’s about lifestyle and it makes sense that it’s consistent through everything you do.
H of E: What’s Next?
E: Another season of Secrets from a Stylist is starting this spring, but I’d also like to buy a house – we’re saving – and have babies. My house will definitely be a fixer upper…I think it would be fun for HGTV to do a show on that.
I hope you have some new insight and are inspired to go out there and curate your own space. Take the time to check out Emily’s blog Style by Emily Henderson and (of course) watch her show on HGTV! You can watch past episodes on HGTV.com. I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to Emily for taking the time to sit and chat with me for House of Earnest!
Have a FANTASTIC Tuesday!