She has been teasing us with sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram for months (just type in #ehdportlandproject to see what we mean), but now, finally, Emily Henderson can reveal the master bedroom from her stunning Portland project. The mid-1980s residence comes with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a bar and game room on the ground floor, additional rumpus room, secret playroom (hidden behind the upstairs cabinet), ground-floor deck, and even a second-floor deck.
It might look beautiful now, but Henderson tells us this one-story "builder-basic" home needed a complete rehaul and a "big dose of soul." She adds, "Originally, it had been pretty cheaply done, so it was devoid of character and life." The master bedroom is the first room to be officially revealed with more rooms to come throughout the next few weeks. We're blown away to learn that this entire top floor didn’t even exist when Henderson and her design team, led by Brady Tolbert, got their hands on it. It was a completely new build.
Read on to learn Henderson's thought process and style notes when decorating this dreamy masterpiece.
Since Henderson was designing this house to sell, she was hesitant to do anything "too weird or stylistic" but still wanted it each room to feel new and fresh. "There's a ton of white in here (walls, window treatments), the color palette is neutral, with blacks, whites, and grays punctuated with woods and leathers, so while I didn’t take any crazy design risk, I was surprised at how well it turned out," she tells us. Henderson chose an abstract art piece to shake up the color palette, but overall she says it still feels so easy. "This bedroom should be boring, but it’s not," she adds.
The tagline on Henderson's blog clearly states: "Perfection is boring; Let's get weird" and while she still feels very close to that phrase, she says her direction now is a tad more grown-up and refined, with special vintage and art mixed in. "This house is definitely far on my 'I'm so grown up now and refined' design spectrum, but I still wanted it to feel young yet classic with a Portland vibe (basically, unpretentious and welcoming)," she explains.
Since this investment property was a complete overhaul, she and her design team didn't have any existing pieces to work with. Everything was brought in, and they started completely from scratch. This also allowed for complete freedom of style and design.
While there is so much to love, Henderson's favorite part of the space is the high ceilings. "It just makes the whole thing feel like a fancy boutique hotel (especially with the seating area by the fireplace)," she says. With so much height to work with, Henderson knew she wanted to feature a four-poster bed, which she admits is "something I've wanted to do for a long time (but not every room—or not just any room for that matter—can handle its grandness)." She went with a simple design from Room & Board because its minimal design is very adaptable and can work with different styles and aesthetics.
While there are so many pieces in this space that Henderson adores, she has an open obsession for the Thos. Moser chest of drawers in the bedroom. In fact, she tells me her love affair for the brand's handmade designs has been going on for over a decade, but she fell back in love with the brand while doing this project.
"We used some of its pieces throughout, but that chest of drawers is so special," she says. "Thos. Moser employs highly skilled artisans that make heirloom-quality furniture in the U.S. with so much detailing and craftsmanship. It's timeless."
Every detail of the room is carefully considered and many of the smaller decorative pieces, vessels, and bowls were bought in person at local stores around Portland.
But all furniture and décor aside, some of Henderson's favorite parts of the room are the art. The large piece on the wall to the right of the bed is from MaryAnn Puls who loaned her amazing art for the styling the house. "If it wasn't going to cost several hundred dollars to create and ship it down to L.A. from Portland, I'd absolutely buy it and keep it," says Henderson. "Her work is so, so incredible along all the other artists' work we used throughout." That also includes pieces on this mantel by the talented Arielle Zamora.