See the Gorgeous Way Emily Henderson Decorates for the Holidays
When stylist and designer Emily Henderson asked if we’d like to see how she decked the halls of her home for the holidays, it took a fraction of a second for us to say “Yes!” As expected, the resulting spaces are a dreamland of chic, California-cool décor perfect for a vibrant family holiday. Come take a tour of the gorgeous spaces and learn Henderson’s tricks for creating your own seasonal design to celebrate the holidays in style.
“It’s 'California Winter Wonderland Glam’ all up in my house this year,” Henderson says. “I was dying to do something quiet but still with big impact. I wanted it to feel happy, but with restraint. Bright but not annoying. Festive but not, HEY IT’S A CRAZY HOUSE FULL OF HOLIDAY HAPPINESS!”
Target Prelit White Glacier Pine Artificial Christmas Tree ($100)
In order to prevent that in-your-face holiday décor feeling, Henderson stuck to a neutral palette and played with texture.
“To be honest, it does get hard to figure out where it should stop—it’s so easy to decorate EVERY surface, but at least with my pulled-back white/neutral color palette it still feels calm,” the stylist says.
“The easiest way to rein it in is to limit the color palette and to style more with neutrals, whites, and soft tones,” she recommends.
Henderson also recommends opting for a holiday color scheme that will harmonize with what you already have. “Since rose gold, blush, nude, and copper are so trendy, and Target had a lot of it, it just felt like the perfect balance to my indigos, whites, and leathers that are in the space already,” she tells us. “I even used these really beautiful brown-toned ornaments which is pretty shocking for me, but they just look so pretty and soft.”
For tree trimming, Henderson has a tried-and-true method. “Pepper colors, textures, and shapes evenly throughout the tree and keep a consistent color palette,” she recommends.
“Your tree’s color palette can be 10 colors; it doesn’t matter, just make sure that it’s evenly distributed,” the designer says. “I kept mine pretty tame this year, which creates a calmer look, but if you are looking to get in touch with your wild side, then go crazy with colors, patterns, and garland.”
We love the use of the dense eucalyptus garlands Henderson hung in her home. Using it in several places helps unify the décor to make the design feel cohesive.
“I love silver dollar eucalyptus. It’s so pretty, drapey, and falls in such a lovely way, plus it smells like winter,” the stylist says. “I ordered 50 feet from my dude at the flower market. It came out to $200, which I thought was reasonable—but certainly not nothing—and they turned it into garland for me.”
When it comes to seasonal entertaining, Henderson recommends making it as easy on yourself as possible so you can be social, not stressed.
“I like to socialize, not host, so I’m all about making a big batch of drinks (like in a drink dispenser) and making food ahead of time, either platters of ham, Swiss, and butter sandwiches or pans of lasagna,” she says.
“I also recommend good lighting with candles everywhere and getting yourself a good holiday playlist (including Mariah Carey and Wham!),” Henderson adds.
Though she may switch up her holiday style every year (she’s a stylist—who can blame her?!) Henderson does have some pieces that return each season. “I always have white, gold, and gray, so I don’t have to start all over,” she adds.