Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Secrets from a Stylist

If you read my Design Star finale post, you know I love Emily Henderson. I look forward to new episodes of Secrets from a Stylist like a little kid looks forward to new episodes of ... wait, what is it that kids love these days? I was going to say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but them I remembered that was the generation after me. Then I was going to say Smurfs, but that movie really ruined The Smurfs so I hope today's kids aren't watching the redux crap.

Anyhow, slight tangent aside, I wait until I have two or three episodes available and then I sit down at night with a glass of wine and watch 'em in a row. It's how I get my fix. Unfortunately I was such a glutton for new shows when we came back from vacation that all I had was one episode - Exotic Contemporary Comfort. When I saw the preview I was kind of iffy about whether or not I was going to like it. While we've lived in a loft and I loved all that wide open space and look back upon it fondly, I'd be lying if I said I didn't constantly struggle with how to decorate it given the size of the rooms and ceiling. Everything was dwarfed but when we bought big furniture, it just looked massive. It was hard, y'all, and old pictures show that I struggled. Now, I now tend to gravitate toward cozier places that have an inherent warmth to them. This house, from what I could see on my TV screen, had no warmth whatsoever so I was dubious as to the "comfort" portion of the title. Exotic can be warm and comfortable - woods, ethnic art, world pieces, but Contemporary is always a red flag for me because I find it cold.

Throughout the course of the episode I had a hard time seeing how the large space would come together. I'd see bits and pieces that I might have liked, but felt like the editing focused on things I wasn't all that interested in. I loved Orlando's orb for the light fixture. The bubble wool rug from West Elm was a much better choice than the sisal. The stark white walls seemed commercial to me. I just felt like it was a disjointed space and I didn't really love it. Even during the reveal I had a hard time with it (I think that had something to do with my maybe not loving how the homeowner came off on camera). I chalked this one up to an off day for Emily and went about my business.

But today I saw the pictures from the episode on Emily's blog and in these photos the space looks great. It does look warm and inviting in spite of the white walls and tall ceiling. The vignettes mostly work for me (there might be too many decorative-non-functional baskets for my liking). The space planning makes sense. With a few minor edits, this space would totally work for me. I could live there. (I could not, however, live with that horrid bubblegum painting.)

Maybe one of the things I'm really digging about this room - on second look - is all the blue? That couch is pretty amazing, and I love how she pulls that shade into other parts of the space with pillows and other decorative accessories. I do also love all the natural wood in the space, including the coffee table and the dining table.

From photos alone, I'd say this might be one of my favorite spaces designed by Emily. Strange how when watching the episode I had the complete opposite reaction. Another space I really liked this season was Untamed Modern Funk - that new shelving unit was awesome and I really loved the couch. I am a sucker for big comfy oversize couches. For fans of the show, what's been your favorite space so far?