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Meet Amy and Mike’s place. Mike loves all things rustic; Amy loves it clean and simple.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode SixThe Before: No personality and so NOT them


Their style diagnostic wasn’t perfect and I actually totally regretted doing the rulers….and kinda the frames, too. I truly think that it still says something about your style, but after this episode i made sure to have them be a little more design related so we don’t start going down the gimmick hole. I effing hate the gimmick hole, and the style diagnostic is tricky already so i’m always mindful of it making sense.

IN FACT@@@@!!!! NEW IDEAS ARE WELCOME!!!!!!!!! i mean, we do three different visuals per episode and my brain has enough to think about with the designs so any and all help would, well, help (And if you missed this episode, you can catch the whole thing here at Matique Minimalism: Secrets of a Stylist). i love fabrics, fashion, fixtures, finishes…..but then sometimes i run out of ideas and, whoops, ‘RULERS??’, not so much. Any ideas you can think of send my way. And if we do them, i’ll totally give you a shout out (unless we already shot it…in which case i’ll try to remember to anyway)

Here’s their inspiration pic: I love this room a lot. It’s warm, but modern and with a decent amount of contrast in color and shapes, without being crazy busy. I hadn’t done aubergine yet, so i figured it was a good jumping off point.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Six

Anyhoo, Amy got Look 1, which I called ‘cozy minimalism.’

Sometimes (like with joy, episode 4) I push look 1 in one direction to make a clear style point of view. My first priority is for people to watch the show and see two clear transformations and see how simple styling (no renovations) changes a room drastically, and Amy and Mike are pretty similar in style so it wouldn’t have been entertaining enough to do ‘pretty traditional, rustic, warm but uncluttered’ looks.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Six

photos by my iphone

But that first 10 minutes after Amy and Mike saw look 1? Awkward. But funny. Not the worst day of my life, not even close. In fact, in the scheme of things a pretty good day. And since I was confident that the first look room was in fact very pretty i wasn’t like, omg i’m getting fired, it was just more, OK, its’ not quite ‘them’.

I’m pretty sure the diagnostic failed for Amy becasue the rulers and frames were totally conducive to real design styles. She also didn’t like any of the femaile sweaters, she liked this grey and white one that was one of the male ones, which actually made sense for her.

First look stuff: lacquer and chrome table: BluePrint Furniture, i think it was $299 or so, but we bought a slightly damaged floor model for $100 since it wasn’t in the plan for it to stay for the second look.

The sofa was BluePrint as well….although i’m not the biggest fan of the fact that it goes slightly peach. Kinda weird with the coffee table, but they loaned it to us, so that sure was nice. The grey rug is overstock.com and was $400 for an 8×10 100% wool and super dog friendly. Its grey gradiant stripes. The grey drapes are Ikea, and the chrome lamp is vintage. The white side table (which goes ‘store display’ or ‘gallery’ real fast by the way) is from CB2.

The chrome chairs (with the leather sling) are NOT Milo Baughman, my expert friend told me. The lucite nesting tables are CB2, the shelf is BluePrint and all those objects are collected by muah. There is some West Elm, Room and Board and vintage stuff mixed in there. (that white dog is currently being babysat by muah…(and i know thats not how you spell muah by the way, i just don’t know how to do that little accent thing).

White vessel is vintage, mirror box is West Elm, white lamp is Ikea, and the fur, which probably shouldn’t have been there so you can see the beauty of those chairs, are from Ikea. which you all knew, of course. Ok, first look dining table – that cheap thing from Ikea. it was a budget saver cause it was left over from another episode, so it was perfect for first look.

The bertoia chairs came from the Long Beach Flea Market, and they were in the plan to stay for second look, but Mike really didn’t like them. He said they looked like fast food chairs that you could hose down when kids get food on them. I totally appreciated his honesty. And i totally appreciate their chairs, so they couldn’t stay. He has since apologized, and we are all good.

The captain chairs and barcart were from the Cathedral City store…God, i can’t remember what it was called, but its good. On that little strip….sorry… The cow-hide sadly was mine, but whatevs. I find them all the time, so now its theirs. Oh and do you want to know a secret? cow-hides and kerazy durable and stain resistant. Not kidding. Dirt/wine/blood (my kinda party) wipes right off them. That’s why i love them so much (also they are sculptural and affordable.)

The tree (which didn’t make it in the story) was a beautiful drawing that Amy’s mom did for them when they got married. If i’m not mistaken its where they got married. So we blew it up, times 10, and built a frame for it. I thought that they would love how graphic and clean it was, on such a larger scale. Nice job Rebecca and Leo for taking over that project.

The chandelier? first of all here’s a secret, i have a weird problem with lying about how much stuff is, and then immediately apologizing for lyiing and telling the truth. It’s TOTALLY bizarre. I’ll buy a lamp and come home and tell Brian that it was only $12, when really it was $15. I mean, why the lie? and then i’ll IMMEDIATELY say, wait that’s not true it was $15, and he’ll say, you are weird. Which i am. So this chandy was i think more than thirty, maybe $45 but i think i felt bad painting it so i wanted to act like it was worth NOTHING so i could not feel guilty about painting it. Had it been $150 i would have NEVER painted it. It was from the Rose Bowl and yes, i still have it in storage if anybody wants to make an offer.

So now its on to mantique. Rustic Mantique, eh? what, do you not like mantiques? sometimes i get my bro’s together and we hit the mantique mall, then we might hit up the brodeo, go to the reptile store and hold some broaconstrictors. In general we have a lot of, go ahead emily, Brodak moments. Yes, being raised in a ‘clean’ house does mean that humor often lies in the pun. and i like puns. because they are punny…. uh huh.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Six

pretty photo by Laure Joliet

The second look is the combination of both of them. Er, maybe its just more them. Truth is not a lot changed from the plan, despite Amy and Mike’s total disdain for the room. Sure some pieces left that were in the plans to stay (the bertoia chairs and the chandelier) and a few pieces stayed that were supposed to leave, but in general the plan stayed the same. I painted the chair rail which lightened it up A TON. That is such an easy way to change the look of the room completely, and 1/2 the paint work (although you have to you know add the chair rail).

That awesome wall color is Benjamin moore, Vintage Charm. I love it. In the first look it looked really dark and rich, then in the second look (same color) everything seemed brighter with the drapery and white chair-rail.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Six

Nothing actually in the plans changed, EXCEPT those chrome/sling chairs were going to be changed out with a chair and ottamon that was wasn’t nearly as exciting but a better scale (those chairs are kinda out of scale with the second look sofa) but since they loved them so much i wanted them to have at least a few things that they were guaranteed to like. So that’s why they are smallish. The chairs that were planned went back to the store, and no, i’m not going to tell you where. That’s my secret.

secrets from a stylist curtains tree stump table sling chair

What i’m obsessed with is the drapery. It’s Nina Campbell ‘Swan Lake’ and its traditional and beautiful and sophisticated, but the palette is modern and updated. It’s a fortune, at $90 a yard (we got a discount but still it was HANDS DOWN the most expensive thing in the episode….which bummed me out that they loved the grey ikea drapery from look one….). I just love it. And i love those wooden valances, gives a nod to tradition but in a bit of a more modern and yet warm way. And it made everything look more custom and more expensive, which is never a bad thing for a few sticks of wood.

The shelving system was a flea market find for $80 and is NOT traditional, but makes an interesting statement. You have this traditional roll armed sofa and serious drapery, then WHAM a weird piece of furniture that makes guests think, ‘oh, right the people are INTERESTING’. Or so i hope.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Six

The dining table was stained darker so it was made a bit more sophisticated from the pine, but rustic still. And the painting above the dining was a $30 flea market find (true price) that i was sad to see stay because I LOVE IT.

The whole week was an interesting challenge, truly, but shook things up a bit, and that’s ALWAYS a good thing. And knowing how happy they are makes me really happy. Lessons learned.

13 Responses

  1. Audrey Crisp says:

    Loved this one!!

  2. RachyLou says:

    the funny thing about amy and mike's style diagnostic – they *did* look like they could be secretly hip and just really stuck on the home furnishings front. mike's second choice of sweater was pretty flash. amy had a style that was one accessory shy of going big. but as amy put it, they weren't "cool" enough for the first look. they were, in reality, style shy. very better-homes-and-garden and traditional in the american way – which is misleading because "traditional american" is made up of new stuff. the oldest you get with traditional american is little more than a generation old, and the same stuff hipsterdom riffs on. the only giveaway, maybe, was that amy liked the original country coffee table AND the metal picture frames.

  3. [...] think this Emily Henderson-designed space is a perfect example. It has understated rustic flair (note the cowhide rug, antler accessory and [...]

  4. Kelly says:

    About that traditional roll armed sofa…what did that come from? Cause it needs to be in my living room, stat!

  5. Patti says:

    Where does one find tree stump pieces? David Bromstad has used them also, and even tho he advertises we can go to HGTV to learn all his resources, I still have never found this source revealed???
    I love the use of them & Emily nailed it here in this Mantique style, I think. Love your show, Em!

  6. G. Lee says:

    I love your show and you your style! Keep the episodes coming! I love the combo of interesting, function, and fun. :)

  7. Marilyn Emanuel says:

    Emily mentioned about getting our own style diagnostic at your site. Please let us know how/where to go to so that. Thanks!

  8. jamie says:

    You did an awesome job, Emily…I have to say; this couple seemed difficult and resistant…how did they pass the interview??? …Not to be mean, but besides not "getting" it, they were a little insulting.
    I love your show and appreciate your eye and personality. Loved the white bertoia chairs…the ones Mike said looked like fast food chairs…

    Although this was my least favorite show, you managed to make it enjoyable…I had to cringe a few times and peek between slightly parted fingers, because they were the couple with body language and words that made me nervous!

    You nailed it, Emily!

  9. ziza says:

    I am a huge fan of yours
    I love to watch your new shows :D

  10. Amy says:

    "Secrets from a Stylist" uses the same cheesy double descriptions that Kim from "Myles of Style" did. The only different is Emily decorates everything twice!! I must say, I watch HGTV ALL the time and this is one show that could stand to be revamped, as she has decent ideas, but lets find a new one PLEASE! Kim already did the double style designs, she just didnt call it a "style diagnostic". YUCK.

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