Need home improvement inspiration, encouragement or just a laugh? Meet energetic interior designer Emily Henderson Thursday at Rejuvenation’s store in Southeast Portland and get ready to make your home your own.
The bestselling author and HGTV’s Design Star says there’s no formula to personalizing your space, but with the tips she’s sharing, she hopes you’ll have the confidence to bend tried-and-true rules to your taste and needs.
A million Instagram followers and those who read her blog Style by Emily Henderson have discovered that she’s a frank, frugal fountain of helpful information. When do you need a general contractor, handyperson or extra DIY elbow grease?
In her latest book, “The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish: An Interior Design Book” ($32.50, Clarkson Potter), she and co-writer Jessica Cumberbatch-Anderson cover hefty home renovation projects as well as light updates, where the structure stays put while paint and new light fixtures come into play.
In the 336-page hardcover book, a color photo of her “clean, fresh and purposeful” living room shows a splurgy blue sofa from Lawson-Fenning, two accent chairs from Target, a reclaimed wood coffee table and a vintage trunk she’s long owned.
The result: Her signature style of simplified traditional that reflects the architecture, location and owner’s personality.
Tickets to the Rejuvenation event are $45 and include a signed copy of Henderson’s just released book, “The New Design Rules.” The event is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at Rejuvenation’s flagship store at 1100 S.E. Grand Ave. in Portland.
Henderson grew up in Coos Bay and Lake Oswego, and graduated from the University of Oregon. She studied industrial design at Pratt Institute in New York City and was well into her career as a photo shoot stylist in Los Angeles when she won HGTV’s Design Star competition in 2010.
Forbes named her a top influencer for her daily blog posts that offer home improvement details to get readers on the right track as well as support for the ups and downs of making an upgrade. Her motto: Perfection is boring, let’s get weird.
In 2018, her blog detailed the work that went into transforming a serviceable 1980s daylight ranch in Dunthorpe into a three-story showstopper.
After traveling to Portland for the successful, ambitious project, she and her husband decided to move their family to Southwest Portland where they’re renovating a century-old farmhouse.
In all of her writing, readers pick up building industry lingo — “MEP” stands for mechanical, electrical and plumbing — and many of her videos include champagne cheers and giggling.
Here’s are eight way to avoid “renovation regret,” writes Henderson in “The New Design Rules”:
Live in it. It takes time to realize how best to utilize different spaces and discover their functionality throughout the day to make good longterm decisions, she says.
Use restraint. It’s more expensive to take away than it is to add along the way. “Overdesigning is easy to do,” she writes. “Calm it down and come back to those flourishes when it’s time to decorate.”
Should you invest in custom? Don’t pay for custom if it’s going to look like you got it off the shelf. It can still be simple, but make it special.
Have a clarified vision. A specific vision allows you to identify the elements you need to achieve that look.
Start with the mood: Decide how you want a room to feel before you decide how you want it to look. Think of words like “calm,” “exciting,” “happy” and “warm” that make you smile.
Think year-round, not seasonally. Well-designed decor looks right at home in the summer as well as the winter. Focus on year-round lighting (planned and natural) and creating a transitional vibe with more permanent textiles.
Don’t chase every trend. You can be risky with furniture, decor, lighting, hardware and wall treatments like wallpaper and paint, but when it comes to hard finishes like tile, cabinets and flooring, stick to a more timeless look that complements the architecture of the house.
Realty check yourself. How do you really live? Don’t make decisions based on aspirational ideas found on Pinterest if they don’t fit your home or lifestyle.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072