Monday, August 30, 2010

Secrets from a Stylist Debut - My Review

First things first - I love Glee. I'm a total Gleek, so this was great for a few reasons: (1) Glee's co-creator Ian Brennan was the client, and (2) my pick for design star winner, Emily Henderson's debut show!

So, right off, was it just my television or were all of the images leading up to the interview with Ian off just a bit? They were blurred in the corner and it looked like someone clicked on sharpen one too many times. Anyway - we meet Ian, and Emily performs her "Style Diagnostic" where we find that Ian is a fan of the aesthetic of the Late 20's, Early 30's, which Emily translates into masculine, sturdy, safe, not at all presumptuous. The before for reference:

After the first set of commercials, when Emily started to put it all together, I couldn't help but to smile. I too put together a mood board for myself and clients, and seeing her paint Ian's living room gray, it made me wish all of our woodwork was painted, and that I could paint my walls gray! But, gotta get rid of that thought - as Scott would literally shoot me! Just like Emily, Scott thinks that painting wood that's older than 50 years takes away it's charm and character. So enough about our house and back to the show. Layer 1: FDR Chic - MY FAVE! (sorry for the poor quality pics!)

The idea of layering things into the room was great! When Ian took a look at "FDR chic" Emily's 1930's inspired modern space he was impressed, but found it to be too "historical", and wasn't sure if it was the "whole me" so - she set out to layer in the second style British Invasion Modern.

As a side note - I could have lived in the FDR chic space all day long! I'm just sayin'! As she layered in the second style, I hated to see that sofa go, loved the new metal trunk! (last poor quality pic!)

When she showed Ian though - and I guess that's who matters seeing as he lives there, he said: "This is totally awesome." Was I the only one who said "Where did she get that HUGE rug for $179??!?!?" I know I sure did - so I did the searching for us. She got it here! Appx 6x8 for $179, 8x12 for $299.

So back to Ian - he gives Emily reason to layer in ONE MORE style, when he says "It's beautiful, but I think I prefer the previous 'vibe' - FDR Chic" YAY IAN! Ok, so then she drops the bomb - "We're restyling the whole house!" I mean, come on! Who else does that on HGTV!?!? Oh, I'm loving this show!

Ok, so she adds in the third and final layer: Backpack Traveller, for the final transformation of the living room and the other rooms in the house.

Ian's final thoughts, he LOVED it! (P.S. I loved it too, but missed that leather sofa tremendously!)Emily completely took everything that was most important to Ian and transformed it into a beautiful, masculine, and sophisticated space perfectly inspiring to me and I hope all of you! And just in case you're listening Emily or HGTV, you're more than welcome to send me the FDR chic items you didn't get to use in Ian's living room! They'll be right at home here at CdlV! Kidding ... ok ... I'm not kidding, in fact I'm shamelessly begging!

Now, What did you think of the show?


  1. I didn't watch the show yet (LOVE THAT DVR!) but I couldn't resist a preview by reading your post. Man, I LOVE the first version...not sure how the show works yet 'cause I didn't see it...but that she can use her own choices and work on her own...I can see that I picked the correct Design Star! She's really good from what I see here. I'll watch tomorrow night and get back to you.
    BTW...enough of the teasers...what's your 'secret'? :-)


  2. She is very good, and I love the look; the trunks really draw me.... both styles.

    Art by Karena

  3. Have not caught this one....but am a big fan of playing and staging with props and moving things around.

  4. YIKES! The entire house. She is really good I think. I am so glad that she won and her presentation is perfect. What a great addition to HGTV.

    Okay, so here are my comments:

    Loved the third and final design.

    She is so good at doing display. Top knotch with the shelves. Frame and antlers...perfection.

    Den is so well done. Love that she hung the art from drop metal brackets.

    The display on the bedroom dresser is so nice and well thought out. Interesting.

    Brilliant installation of the wall lamps in the bedroom.

    In the end the toile is such an unusual addition but it worked. The whole place was just so well pulled together.

    Love this show.

  5. Artie-I couldn't wait to see what you thought of it! I was more impressed than I expected. I liked about 90% of her ideas. Some just seemed really strange--especially the art. I am already over the antlers too. She is definitely high energy. I loved seeing Ian's house redone! Thanks for researching the rug! :)

  6. Love the show! Love that leather sofa too....I want it! What I would give for a room (or whole house) to be done by Emily.

  7. I'm not sure how I feel about the show. However, I think it was me that was not on last night; not Emily. I was a little irritated by her voice; then I couldn't stay awake. I know -- bad me! I love the concept, and will watch again. Sally

  8. We haven't seen it, so thank you for this great post!!


  9. I loved the show - seemed like an EXHAUSTING process to do the room THREE TIMES!!! I loved so many of the pieces - where oh where did she get that metal trunk????!!! If you find out PLEASE POST!!!! Pretty please. Thanks

  10. The Twitter party that went along with the show as great, with Emily giving commentary via tweets. The Chesterfield was something like $6,000 and way out of their budget. It just couldn't stay, though I agree that it was wonderful! The sofa they went with was something like $900. :)

  11. It was great!
    I'm on Team Emily all the way!
    xo xo
    PS She has some great pics and commentary at and is looking for positive feedback for the suits at who rule there.

  12. Love the bed tucked under the nook. Looks so cozy!

  13. I missed the show so I love love that you covered it. Personally, I'm all for the FDR vibe with the leather sofa, but I do really like all three. Oh, and your new blog layout looks great, Artie!

  14. Loved the show, agree that the FDR chic was the best, but in the end every room was beautiful. Hope she gets a weekly show....soon!

  15. I haven't seen the show yet but based on this it looks like it could be really good. Great to have a new design show rather than all those real estate shows! Thanks for sharing.

  16. loved the transformations that took place. I too would have picked that leather sofa. Wow that was a stunning piece. I totally agree with your assessment. I think I love the show.. I hope they can keep up the stamina created in this show. ;-)

  17. OK Artie..
    I watched the show...all I can say is WOW! I love her process...more artful and well thought out. Showing the difference between the 3 styles was really interesting. Love all the choices and the rooms are livable. So many times the rooms on these shows look beautiful, but I'd be afraid to sit back, put my feet up and watch TV...know what I mean? Too much decorator and not enough homeowner. Emily had just the right balance...Yup...I'll look for this show to start! fav look is still the FDR Chic...that would be me...that sofa was to DIE FOR!

  18. Hi Artie - Thanks for stopping by earlier. I LOVE Emily on Design Star and was rooting for her the whole way.
    I didn't want to come and read your preview until I watched the show {totally DVR'ed it}. I just got through watching it and I am stoked!
    Love all the tips and tricks she gave. I want to learn how to style like her {I suck}. She's awesome. I loved each and every room she styled, including the first layer til this last in the living room.
    Glad you're a fan, too.
    Off to read more of your blog to find out more about you. Thanks for inviting me.