I Make Emily Henderson Cry

Oh sweet Emily, you recently wrote about the kind of disaster that is your family room. And I gotta tell ya, I really needed to read this. Yes, you might have been sitting on the most perfect vintage blue Persian rug that you bought for $12 that alludes me and wearing the most perfect plaid shirt with the most perfect brown boots not tucked into straight leg jeans that I can never seem to pull off without feeling like I’m stomping around like a tyrannosaurus rex cowgirl…sorry, rambling, I digress, focus…but you taught me that it’s ok to have a room that’s not completely perfect and still showcase it on House Of Hipsters…even if it makes you cry a tiny bit.

Many of you have asked for a house tour. A wider look at the nook of disaster in the living room. I’ve had some emails asking which coffee table I wound up purchasing. Did I add curtains to the living room? Well, this living room makeover even if not quite perfected will answer a few of those unanswered questions.

I Make Emily Henderson Cry Living Room Makeover West Elm

 

MORE AFTER THE JUMP…

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mantle styling — before and after

mantle styling before

this mantle makes emily henderson cry…seriously, it does. it needed a makeover…badly. one of the best features in a home might just be the fireplace and mine was embarrassing. to say the least it was not the fireplace of my dreams. in fact, a large part of me wanted to take a sledge hammer to it. but rather to take things to such extremes (mainly because we have been living in construction zone central for almost 3 years), i chose to dip my toes in the mantle makeover. to keep it quick, clean and easy, i decided to keep the ugly molding and even uglier marble and gave it a simple facelift. (the boy and i discussed painting it white, but since all of our trim was medium wood, we thought it might look weird.)

i’ve tried to place things i love over it to mask it’s ugliness. one of my favorite pieces is the max wanger “tulum” photo. i purchased it two years ago before it made a giant splash in the interior design scene. i thought i had nailed it until i saw my girl crush, emily henderson, frame it in white about 6 months later. my heart sunk…IT LOOKS SOOOOO MUCH BETTER! i also loved the turquoise tea lights from jayson home and garden. they tie in the ocean colors just perfectly! they were to stay.

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new prints in the house

max wanger and his beautiful wife margaux are these insanely talented photographers out of los angeles. i’m unsure how i stumbled upon their work a few years back, but when i fell, i fell hard people. their work is breathtaking, stunning, whimsical, hip…you can see their love of negative space and design in each composition.

i’ve been emailing them (bugging them, yes, super annoying i’m sure) begging them to come to chicago. offering to fly them out for family photos. ever since dean thorsen up and left the chicago area, i’ve been searching for my new photographer go to without much success. but as luck would have it, when i finally found max, he up and decided to start a family of his own…so chicago was a no go. i must fly my family out to LA if i want to hire mr wanger. we are looking to make that happen next summer, but that is for yet another blog post.

anyhoo, i decided if i couldn’t have max photograph my family, i still wanted his work on my walls. he has a fantastic print shop where you can purchase some of his choice art work. let me tell you, it was a very difficult decision to make. every print is so beautiful and if i wasn’t running out of wall space, i’d buy one of each! i first chose the pink balloon in an oversized 30 X 45 print. a splurge yes, but for original artwork of this size, completely affordable.

balloon

originally it was to be hung above the fireplace, but i changed my mind last minute and decided to hang it in the front room (but after purchasing the lani lee work, it was moved again to the guest bedroom). i tend to change my mind a lot. i love how even with all the negative space the print commands the room without being overly loud. fast forward 3 months, i still needed something for the fireplace. i returned to max’s print shop and chose his tulum print also in an oversized 30 X 45 print.

tulum

i really struggle with this room in particular. we have a way oversized sectional and coffee table. everything seems to be a beige beige world here, but after hanging the tulum print, this room breathed life! it is simple but the teals and blues are popping. i wound up framing it in a thin 1-inch black frame, but after seeing how emily henderson framed it in white for bri from designlovefest, i’m second guessing my choice. and for all of you that know my love (insert obsession) for emily, i’ll have you know i was tickled pink to know that i picked artwork that she chose before she even chose it! i guess it made me feel like i did something right.

now i just need to finish this room. it’s slowly coming together, but i get so confused when it comes to pillows and window treatments. not even emily henderson’s video on mixing and matching patterns has helped me. she makes it look so easy! i watch it and think ya, i totally got this, let’s go! i buy a bunch of pillows, get them on my sofa and soon thereafter, i return them…defeated. i have even resorted to purchasing sourced pillows from her portfolio but they never seem to work. one of these days it will happen folks…i promise!

so what are you waiting for? go to max’s print shop and pick out some for your fireplace and why stop there? you can follow his work on twitter/instagram at @maxwanger