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Hands down one of my favorite episodes. (Missed it? Click here for my full episode of Modern Urban Beach: Secrets From a Stylist.) Many of reasons why. First of all, you all didn’t know this, but i am friends with these folks. (They auditioned and got on without any word from me, by the way.) She was 9 months pregos, and I felt so bad for her, because she was tired. Not exactly great timing. And it proved to be extra not great timing by the end of the week. That’s right, she had the baby before we finished shooting the episode. Whoops. They felt so sorry, and i was like, ‘SHUT UP! YOU ARE HAVING A BABY, AND THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ANY OF US’. I was sooo excited for them. Long story short, i designed their new house, they had a baby and it all ended perfectly.

Their combined style is ‘Modern Urban Beach’ and their house (that used to be a guest house) looked a little something like this before:

Secrets From a Stylist

The Before: Well, at least I have a fairly clean slate!

But then i came along, and now it looks like this:

HGTV Design Happens - Secrets From a Stylist Emily Henderson - Modern Urban Beach

Not gonna lie...I love this style!

The words ‘global’ and ‘vintage’ are all i need to get my little brain turning. She loves global beach, and he loves masculine antiques, so yes, please, here i come.

#1 Takeaway: While there are a lot of style lessons to learn from this episode, i think the division of space was the most crucial to making the look work for a brand new family of 3 living in what was once a guest house…aka small home. Using the sofa to divide the living room from the kitchen was easy and the right solution. That’s kinda a no brainer. But putting the desk behind it so it looks into the living room is what bridges the gap between the two rooms and helps them relate to each other.
HGTV Design Happens - Secrets From a Stylist Emily Henderson - Modern Urban Beach

The whole space totally flows and feels like one open room with 3 very different functions. That’s right, three functions. People forget that desks can act as sofa tables. Why put a desk against a wall? It seems very old riche to me to sit in your office with only a wall to look at. I want to feel in the middle of something, get some other visual stimuli when my heads not in my computer or a stack of papers.

HGTV Design Happens - Secrets From a Stylist Emily Henderson - Modern Urban Beach

So by using the desk as the sofa table, you disguise the back of the sofa, so you aren’t staring at it, at the same time making the two rooms relate to each other and providing a much more liberating office area. This space became so pulled together, yet lived in. If i do say so myself.

Bonus Takeaway: And don’t get me started on the twin-bed pull out. It’s the most fun sofa ever. It looked like this before:

Secrest From a Stylist

I had it completely stripped of all fabric and foam and redone (including the mattress). I wanted it to be extra comfortable so i had them fill the bottom cushions with foam wrapped in down feathers instead of regular foam which is why its a bit fluffy.

HGTV Design Happens - Secrets From a Stylist Emily Henderson - Modern Urban Beach
I kinda wish it wasn’t but it was worth it, because every time i sit on that sofa i’m like, ‘My god! This is one comfortable sofa.’ And that’s worth a little fluff. Besides, it will calm down with use, as they always do. Modern Urban Beach. Makes me want to take a weekend trip to Santa Monica to visit my old digs. And maybe babysit, because that little Zachary is as cute as that sofa is comfortable. VERY.

BTW, you can watch the entire episode here – http://www.hgtv.com/video/modern-urban-beach-video/index.html

14 Responses

  1. greylady46 says:

    I love your designs, you really care about your clients and you have so many great ideas. I watched you win design star and I've watched ever since….maybe because you remind me of my youngest daughter. Your style is great and I would love to see what you could do with a studio apartment….since I retired I have scaled down and nothing seems right. Keep up the good work.

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