When Emily Henderson Designs Your Home

After seeing her show, the Patel family hired HGTV Design Star Emily Henderson to decorate their home. HGTV Magazine walks you through.
By: Jancee Dunn

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Photo By: Victoria Pearson

Hiring a Design Star

When Rachna Patel and her husband, David, bought their Los Angeles home they embarked on a complete reno. "We loved how it turned out," says Rachna, "but it felt dark and masculine. We needed help bringing in the prettiness." This was exactly the sort of cheery style she'd seen on Emily Henderson's show, Secrets From a Stylist. So she shot the star an email, and Emily was game for the job.

Living Room

To make this room warm and inviting, Emily picked an assortment of pieces with rounded edges. The pouf is from Garnet Hill, and the coffee table and the teal armchairs (a steal at $450 for the already upholstered pair) were flea market finds. The color scheme — a mix of blues with a few pops of yellow — is repeated all around the house. "When I first walked through the house with Rachna, I totally understood what she wanted,” says Emily. “The industrial elements looked awesome, but the house seemed very ‘dude.’”


The key to a great gallery wall is varying frame sizes. "Add one or two really big frames — like 16 inches by 20 inches — and an art wall immediately looks high-end," says Emily. Then mix up the other sizes, and hang some horizontally, some vertically.


Emily hung inexpensive frames that she spray-painted white (Gloss White by Krylon), then gold (Gold Rush by Rust-Oleum Metallic) around the corners. Eli's artwork is taped directly to the wall, so it's easy to switch out. The wall itself is 100% chalkboard (specialty Chalk Board paint by Rust-Oleum). The blue chest has names of Indian spices written on it and filled with crayons and coloring books.

A Display of Mason Jars

One of the pieces Rachna and I found on our own is an old hotel mail cabinet,” says David. “I imagined using it to store glasses in a bar area, but Rachna and Emily had a different idea.” Emily says she came up with the idea to use mason jars because they're inexpensive. “We painted the insides by swirling around two coats of regular house paint. I was going crazy trying to pick five blues, then I thought, 'Why not just take five colors from the same paint strip?'"


The island's base is half wood cabinetry painted dark gray (try Sled by Behr) and half unpainted reclaimed wood from a farm in Wisconsin. The countertops are solid white Caesarstone, and they couldn't be easier to clean: just wipe them down with soap and water. “The kitchen was beautiful, but it had a stark feeling with the white tile, stainless steel and white counters,” says Emily. “My job in this room was more about styling tricks than decorating.”


“The pendants in the room were in place before I started working on the house, and they're pretty great,” says Emily. The black and brass Tom Dixon pendants (try yliving.com) are definitely the stars of the kitchen. "They were our big splurge," says Rachna. "We hung five pendants in three different shapes, which looks less serious than just one. It feels very much like us."

Breakfast Nook

Rachna and Dave got their table's steel base at an antiques store, which bolted on a weathered oak top. A simple glass globe light fixture almost disappears above the table. "I love a good old-fashioned stripe (on the banquet seating cushions), but it is conservative, so I added a mix of pillows, in different shades of blue, to help make it more fun," says Emily. "The shades are cordless, so you just push them up or pull them down." David says the area has become the center of the house.


A simple blue and white palette in a bedroom works every time, and Emily peppered the space with gold accents. Dave's into the old-timey masculine look, so we hung a vintage phone from a thrift store on one wall and put an old doctor's bag under the long bench. For above the bed, I found this "Smile" print on thecalmgallery.com for $56. The little striped bedside rug breaks up the solid wall-to-wall carpet.

Wooden Dresser

The trick to styling a surface is to put out a mix of shapes and sizes. "And never underestimate the power of a horizontal stack of books with a knickknack on top!" says Emily. The "love" sign was a $40 flea market find.

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