Exclusive: Tour Emily Henderson’s Chic LA Studio
Much like HGTV Design Star—the reality design competition TV show that skyrocketed her career—the story of Emily Henderson’s new office studio in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood was an overnight sensation. “We moved in at the beginning of August in a flash,” she says. “I was on Craigslist on Saturday, found it, and had the keys in hand the next morning. It just felt right.”
In just two months, the HGTV host, designer, stylist, and blogger has already transformed her empty office, a street-level retail space, into a place where we’d want to spend all of our days. “Since we moved in, we’ve only had like three office days where we are all just sitting in there,” she says. “Most of the time it’s the home base for shoots, or we are shooting in there, so we needed a space that was inspiring and full of natural light.”
The main goal for the studio was flexibility, as Henderson is a creative who wears many hats, while her incredible team, Ginny Macdonald and Brady Tolbert, focuses on project management, content creation, product shoots, and everything in between. To that end, the designers made furnishings as mobile as possible. “Everything is on wheels: the desks, the shelving, virtually everything,” Henderson says. Even the inspiration can be moved at a moment’s notice. “We decided to wallpaper a ton of different gator board panels and suspend them from the ceiling. This way, we’re able to be surrounded by inspiring colors and patterns, but the second we need to shoot, we just take them down and have a blank wall.”
Henderson’s bookcases, which are also on wheels (offering her the ability to shoot on the wall behind them), are filled to the brim with accessories, including pillows, vases, bowls, boxes, and all sorts of knickknacks. “I started out as a prop stylist, so it was just in my nature to collect pretty things, knowing that at some point I’d use them,” she says. “I was so excited to have a proper place to finally store and display them. Now I can stare at my pretty things all day long, like a normal person.”
If there’s one current that runs strong throughout Henderson’s accessories, it’s brass. “I’ve been hoarding brass for eight years now,” she says. “If it’s unique and gold and makes me smile, then I tend to pick it up. I just love the idea of something so utilitarian looking so glamorous.” Among Henderson’s collection of brass pieces are a number of items from Target, and it’s no coincidence: She was recently named the new Target Home spokesperson.
The presence of the color blue in the space is also no accident. “Everybody knows I love blue, as every upstanding citizen should. For the record, I like a lot of colors, but yes, I design a lot with blue,” Henderson says. “In the name of being unpredictable, I decided to keep cobalt, but then added blush, pink, and chartreuse. It’s just so happy, light, and bright.”
Henderson also created a massive wall installation with paint swatches adhered onto a wall painted in Dutchboy’s “Coral Echo,” which she and her team reference often for projects. “I kind of wished they were just on white because [the pink] changes the colors slightly. But that room is so warm and happy because of that pink color,” she says.
Beside Henderson’s imperfectly pink wall is another DIY project of hers: a basic white dresser (on casters, of course) with leather handles. “We used leather belts and cut them,” she says. “It’s going to be in Redbook this month, so you’ll be able to get all the info there.” It’s no surprise this woman is everywhere—with a space as inspiring as this one, she’s bursting with creativity.
Do you love blue as much as Henderson? What color can’t you live without? Tell us in the comments below.