What Does A Home Mean To You: Emily Henderson

Written by Caley Vanular on March 3, 2016

Meet Emily Henderson, an LA based stylist, T.V. Host, and New York Times Bestselling author of ‘Styled’. She is known for mixing eclectic styles on moderate budgets for her role as Target’s home spokesperson, bringing accessible/stylish design to the masses.

Her iconic aesthetic is influenced by her eclectic taste and love for exploring thrift shops. This convergence of salvage and design has allowed her to carve her own path and share her unique take on a modern day home to a larger audience. As an expert at turning a ‘house’ into a ‘home’ on a budget, we had a conversation with Emily to learn more about what a ‘home’ means to her.

Take a moment to read about Emily’s inspirations and feelings towards creating a home below…

Emily, what was it like moving from the small towns of Oregon to NYC and now LA?
Moving from the comforts of home and family to a whole new world with no set game plan was scary for us but I do not regret it one bit. After years in NYC we made the jump to LA which was again a big transition. Home life changed both in size and in the way that we lived – moving from a shoebox to a decently sized apartment was definitely a perk of moving to LA and it was a fresh new start that we were excited for.

When did you first recognize that home design had a piece of your heart?
I have always been interested in design and the way that we live. When I lived in NYC I worked as a shopgirl for Jonathan Adler (who was much smaller back then) which then led to a job in prop styling for editorial and print campaigns in NYC. I loved finding new treasures on the street and bringing them home and making them my own. I look back now and sometimes wonder what I was thinking but the creative process for me was always something that I loved to explore which I think ultimately led me to where I am today.


Your blog stylebyemilyhenderson.com is an amazing mixture of personality, design, and inspiration. In addition, your book “STYLED” is the perfect motivational piece for those who are looking to update their homes. What can we expect next?
We have a couple of big things in the mix that you will for sure have to stay tuned for as well as some fun new projects that we are working on. As the blog and company have continued to expand so has a reach as far as the amount of projects and content that we are able to do. We are very lucky in the fact that we get to be creative and enjoy the work that we do every single day.

Home for me is about feeling at peace and at ease with the ones that you love.

What does a “home” mean to you?
Home for me is about feeling at peace and at ease with the ones that you love. We have moved around quite a bit in the last ten years and being in different cities and different apartments or homes has made me realize that it isn’t the actual location that you live that makes something home but it is how you create your own haven for you and your family in that space.


What is your favourite room in your own house, and why?
Right now I am very partial to my living room (although in six months that could change). I love the big open space, the huge floor to ceiling windows and how it has become a place for the family to play and enjoy each other’s company.

Is your home your place of comfort? Do you look forward to coming home and taking your shoes off?
Definitely. Life is chaotic and sometimes we forget that home can be a place of refuge for us after a long hard day. Work and career life has gotten busier for me in the last two years and the days that I do go to the office I look forward to coming home and spending time with my kids. It makes what I do even more worth it, and knowing that I have a home and a space that I love to come home to obviously makes me very happy.

What is your biggest enjoyment about turning someone’s house into a home?
Having the opportunity to really change the way someone lives is so rewarding. You wouldn’t think that some paint, a few accessories and rearranging a room could transform someones life but I really can. It is so fun to take spaces that people have long hated and turn them into a room that they now love to spend time in.

What characteristics do you look for when shopping for a new home?
Go with your gut. When you find a home or space that you love it will usually speak to you (obviously not audibly – I am not that crazy). When we finally found our first home, which we currently live in, as soon as I saw it I knew that it would be our new home. I looked past the dated fixtures, the drop in ceiling, and the gross old carpet to a space that had the potential to become our new haven.

What or who inspires you to decorate the way you do?
This is a tough question as everything inspires me. My kids, my friends, restaurants or stores we go to, new trends, art, music. There is inspiration in everything around you, you just have to keep your mind open to it. I love visiting new places though that I have never been whether that be a new city, a new country or just a new little restaurant or store down the street that I haven’t ventured into.

How would you describe your own unique style?
My style has evolved a lot over the years. There was a period where I loved crazy pops of color all over a room, then it went to a lot of blue, brass, and white, and I now find myself wanting to introduce more color into my own space. My style is a unique mix of vintage, mid century, comfort and there will always be something a bit unexpected in there.