How To Design A Living Room – Our Go-To Rules (And When It’s Ok To Break Them)

How To Design A Living Room – Our Go-To Rules (And When It’s Ok To Break Them)

It’s pop-quiz time, how many of you are currently sitting in your living room, looking around at things and wondering why something feels off but you can’t totally put your finger on it? If you have to take a second to think about it then this post is for you. And if you are confident that you’ve got everything all together in your living room then this is a good quiz for you to take to see how your living room measures up to “EHD’s Living Room Rules”. Think of these as the 10 Commandments of arranging furniture in your living room although technically there are 22 rules. However, unlike said commandments sometimes design rules can be broken and things can still look good. We get it, it’s confusing, but we pulled these together to act more as guidelines to follow more so than rules. All of these “rules” below should help you answer the basic questions that we get asked every day like, “how tall should my coffee table be in comparison to my couch” or “how big should my rug be if my living room is blank big” or maybe “where should I hang my TV”?

In case you need more design rules, check out: Bedroom Design Rules | Dining Room Rules

Today we are talking living room layout, planning rules, and all the basics so that you and your living room feel pulled together.

Furniture Placement

design by brady tolbert | photo by zeke ruelas | from: brady’s living room reveal

RULE: Give 30″ to 36″ of a walkway between large furniture pieces (if your living room allows for it) if not then at least 18″-24″.

This rule specifically pertains to the large pieces of furniture in your space and is here to help you avoid overcrowding your living room with too many large pieces which will have you and your guests trying to squeeze between pieces. There’s a lot of pretty furniture out there but when designing a room you want to make sure have enough space to walk around it. Bruised shins are a bummer as is having your space feel too crammed with stuff and having to shimmy in between a sofa and another large chair. If your room is on the smaller size then opt for pieces that are more small scale which will give you the negative space you (and your shins) need.

design by melanie burstin | photo by tessa neustadt | from: mel’s living room reveal

RULE: Make sure there is no less than 3.5′ and no more than 10′ of space between seating.

This rule helps you to space out your seating for maximum enjoyment. We’ve all been on that awkward date where said date leans in WAY too close to ask you questions and talk to you during dinner. It’s an invasion of privacy and just too close for comfort. So it goes with your living room layout. This general rule helps make sure you aren’t too cramped or have so much space that you end up shouting at the person across from you.


photo by david tsay for ehd

RULE: If possible sofas should never be flush with a wall. Pull it out 3-5″ and give it some breathing room.

While this rule can be tough when you have a small space since you need to make every inch count and it may sound contrary, it does help the room feel less crammed together if you can spare a few inches to get your sofa off of the wall.

Coffee Table

photo by bethany nauert | from: before & after of glee creator’s Ian brennan’s comfy tv room

RULE: Your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa.

Scale is key in making any space cohesive. Making sure your coffee table is at least half of the size of your sofa will ensure that the two pieces look great and belong together.

photo by ryan liebe | from: cup of jo makeover | the living/dining room

RULE: Your coffee table should be no more than 4″ higher or shorter than the top of your sofa seat cushions.

To avoid the awkward visual of having your coffee table too high or low in relation to your sofa’s seat cushion use the 4-inch rule. There is no reason to have your coffee table feel like a high countertop or have it so short that you hurt your back bending down to grab a drink.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our family room and kitchen to sell

RULE: 16″ to 18” is the ideal distance between the sofa and coffee table.

While every room is sized differently you don’t want to have your coffee table so far from the sofa that you can’t reach your drink or put your feet up after a long day (depending on your house rules, of course). Keep them at least 16″ apart so you can walk around it but not have to get up to walk over to it.

Area Rug

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a modern and organic living room makeover

RULE: Your area rug should be large enough for at least the front legs of the sofa and all chairs to rest on top of it.

Rugs that are too small for a room are like trying to fit into your jeans from high school. Sure, you may be able to squeeze into those pants but wouldn’t you look and feel better in a bigger size than one that doesn’t allow you to properly breathe? The short answer is YES to pants and YES to your rug. Most living rooms need at least an 8×10 with most needing larger. Don’t try and “stretch” a small rug into the room and then have all the furniture floating around it.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our living room to sell

RULE: Allow about 24″ between the wall and the rug in a large living room, and between 10″ to 18″ in a smaller one.

We are talking about the need for negative space and breathing room. Your rug is not wall-to-wall carpet, so don’t make it look like it. If you follow this rule it will immediately make your living feel airy and light while giving a defined seating area to your space. This will also help any furniture (aka console, upright pianos) that are against the wall from being unsteady in a half on half off thick rug scenario.


photo by david tsay | from: rustic modern house tour

RULE: Make sure the shade of your floor lamp is covering the bulb when you are sitting down.

Nothing is worse than trying to have a relaxing evening on the sofa and having a harsh light in your eyes every time you look over at your lamp. It is said that the ideal floor lamp height is 68″ but that all depends on the seat height of the sofa or chair. When you pair a lamp with your seating make sure that the lamp isn’t so tall that a bare bulb is glaring down at you or so short that when you go over to turn it on the light blinds you from below. Ideally, the light should be at around eye level when seated, which brings us to our next rule. Also, porcelian bulbs are a great way to avoid harsh light!

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a modern and organic living room makeover

RULE: For a lamp sitting on a side table the bottom of lamp shade should always be at about eye level.

It’s the same concept as the floor lamp rule. You want to have the light enhance your living room time not make it uncomfortable with harsh light in your eyes. Take the seat height of your cushion, side table height and lamp height to figure out what is going to be the best option for you and your home.

design by brady tolbert | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: brady’s living room refresh with the citizenry

RULE: Place wall sconces between 5′ to 6′ up from the floor.

A sconce hung too low or high not only looks strange and won’t give you the right kind of ambient light you are looking for. Putting them at least 60″ above the floor is a good rule of thumb so you can easily avoid this potential issue, and cast a nice glow into all corners and areas of the room.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the living room update

RULE: There should be 3 – 6″ between a wall sconce and the edge of a mirror or piece of art it’s next to.

Much like how your furniture needs space to breath and looks its best, so does your sconce. By keeping your hanging art and wall decor at least  3″ to 6″ away from the sconce it will give both pieces the space they need to shine…pun intended.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: a spanish living room

RULE: For determining ceiling light width: Multiply your ceiling height by 2.5 – 3 to get the recommended measurement in inches. So if you have a 10 ft ceiling you would multiply it by 2.5 giving you 25″. That should be your approximate hanging ceiling light width.

Another way you can calculate the right size light is by using the room size. Just measure the length and width of the room. Then add those two numbers together and convert the total into inches. For example if your room is 12 feet by 16 feet, your ceiling light should roughly be 28 inches wide.

These handy formulas will give you a starting place for the proper size you will need for your living room ceiling light. Ordering the wrong size is the worst and very annoying so hopefully this will take the guesswork out of light shopping and will help you in the process.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our living room to sell

RULE: In an open space where people are walking, 7 feet is the minimum distance the bottom of a hanging light fixture should be from the floor. But for ceilings over 8 feet just add 3 inches of hanging height per foot. So if your ceilings are 10 feet tall, the light fixture should be about 8.5 feet from the floor.

As we stated before, bruised shins are a bummer but so are head injuries. This rule (unless you live with a VERY tall person) will keep you and your loved ones safe from hitting your heads on a ceiling light. It will also make your home look more spaciously aware and feel proportional.

Side Table

photo by tessa neustadt | from: griffith park sunroom reveal

RULE: Side table shouldn’t be deeper than the depth of sofa they are next to.

This is kinda a no-brainer but just in case, make sure your side table is no deeper than your sofa. It’s an awkward look have a side table that looks too big for a sofa.

photo by david tsay for ehd

RULE: Keep your side table close enough to set down a drink with ease. Which is typically 2-3″ from the height of the arm.

Another no-brainer. A side table is meant to be used by the seat it’s next to. You want to be able to set that glass, book, or whatever else you are holding down with ease.


photo by tessa neustadt | from: 3 steps to styling out your shelves

RULE: 12” is the ideal minimum depth of a bookshelf (or 15” to fit oversize art books).

To easily avoid a “book overhang” crisis make sure any bookshelves purchased or custom made are at least 12′ deep. Your books and “shelfies” will thank you. And if you don’t have a bookshelf that is that deep than try to steer clear of displaying any books or items that will hang out from the shelves.

Accent Chairs

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the living room update

RULE: You want around 42” (size of your room willing) between a set of living room accent chairs to be able to fit a small table (or vintage trunk in this case) in the middle. For a smaller room just place chairs side by side.

Do you sense this theme of giving enough space in between pieces of furniture? 42″ is a great standard to give you the right amount of space between your side chairs.

design by ginny macdonald | photo by zeke ruelas | from: ginny’s living room reveal

RULE: When pairing a sofa and accent chairs choose seat heights that are within 4″ of each other.

It helps to have similar seat heights in a living room so that when your family and friends are all sitting in the same space no one is awkwardly at a very different height. Plus it just visually looks better in the room.

Sofa Console Table

photo by bethany nauert | from: lisa’s house: living room

RULE: Make sure your console is the same height or a few inches shorter than the back of your sofa. It should also ideally have about 6″ of space on either end.

It just looks strange to have a sofa console table that’s taller or wider than your sofa. Keep it a few inches shorter and style away with your favorite keepsakes.


photo by tessa neustadt | from: the design milk family room reveal

RULE: An optimal height for the center of the screen is 30 inches above the lowest seat height in the room.

Give your neck a break and use this rule to avoid hanging your tv being hung too high on the wall.

photo by genevieve garruppo | from: a boathouse makeover with the frame

RULE: The distance between TV and sofa should be about 7′.

We all have different preferences when it comes to how close we like to be to our beloved televisions but a good rule of thumb is 7′. Your eyes will be very happy, and you won’t feel like you are either in the front or back row of the movie theater.

Phew… we made it out alive. As mentioned before these are all guidelines and some of these rules can be broken and the room can still work cohesively together, but hopefully these will give you a good foundation for your living room layout. Let us know if you have any questions below or if there are any rules that we left out that you want answered. Now what room should we tackle next? Let us know your burning questions below.

Check out the rest of our design rules: Bedroom Design Rules | Dining Room Rules

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Tramp | From: My Living Room Update

The post How To Design A Living Room – Our Go-To Rules (And When It’s Ok To Break Them) appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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Ajai’s House Hunting Journey: After Seeing 4 Houses She Might Have Found The One

Ajai’s House Hunting Journey: After Seeing 4 Houses She Might Have Found The One

I am quite curious to know what the housing market is like in other states right now, because in Southern California, a mortgage payment will run you about $5,000 a month for a fixer in a decent neighborhood. This makes me feel a bit apprehensive about moving back. “Then why go back?” you ask. Well, it’s because it’s home. In my last post about house hunting, I shared that all of our family (my husband and mine) are located in Los Angeles county. We’re talking grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins – the whole lot of them. It was amazing being able to grow up with all of my family around, and I want that for my son too. So back to Los Angeles we go! We found a renter for our Las Vegas Condo, which meant it was time for us to turn it up a notch in looking for a home. 

Our budget for a home is $650,000 and we are hoping this will give us a leg up, as we are looking for a fixer. However this time around, interest rates are not as favorable, so what seems to be a good deal on a home at first glance, ends up surprising us as we receive quotes for a monthly mortgage. This has really helped us hone in on what we are comfortable with spending monthly on a home. As for our home requirements, we don’t really have a long list, all we’d like is to live in a safe neighborhood that is located in between both of our mothers (my husband’s and mine). So we hit the ground running.


The first home we looked at was turnkey and gave us hope for what this journey could entail. These were new builds, and we were getting in on them at a good time. They were just about to complete the second of four phases. Also, it’s not often new builds have such character, so of course this is what I loved most about these Spanish-styled townhomes. I never imagined we could be in a situation where I wouldn’t have to update or remodel anything when purchasing a home in this Los Angeles market. The only issue I had with these new builds was the fact they were three stories. With a very curious and climbing toddler, this seemed a bit scary for me. My little one has learned to climb out of the crib (we had to move on to a big boy bed because of it), hop over the baby gates, and make his way onto the top of our dining table (at every chance he can get). I should also mention that after massive google searches, and several talks with our pediatrician, I’ve come to learn that the most common injuries they see for toddlers are those for falling down the stairs. All that to say, the three-story townhomes were a no-go. 


The second home we saw was a huge wake-up call for me. I kept waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out from somewhere and tell me I was being punked. Seeing this home immediately lowered my expectations again. Honestly, I’m still in shock over the fact this home was being sold for over half a million dollars and was burnt to a crisp. There was really only 20% of the home left to sell. Seeing this home really upset me. I couldn’t believe the sellers were not willing to come down on the price given the circumstances. There was so much work that would need to be done to get this place up to basic living standards, and they wanted so much for it. It was also not in the most desirable neighborhood, thus why I was left so confused about the price. 

After riding around and discussing with my dad, the options we’d seen earlier that day, I’d learned from him that my aunt was looking to sell her home. This was news to me and honestly gave me a bit of relief. We’ve purchased a couple of homes before, and we know how stressful the entire process can be, so the idea of purchasing from a family member seemed ideal. 


The third home we saw belonged to my aunt and we’d begun making plans to purchase it before we’d actually seen the home in person. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I went into this particular situation a bit naive. Because this was a family member we’d be purchasing the home from, I thought it would be an easy situation to navigate, when in reality, it was quite the opposite. That said, I was in Las Vegas when I decided to order a home inspection, plumbing inspection, and pest inspection.

When the time came for me to fly down to Los Angeles to meet the inspectors, I had quite the wake-up call as they went through examining the property. The home was currently occupied by a tenant my aunt was renting to, and to say the least – the home was in shambles. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. How about I just make a list of everything that was going on with the home:

  1. Foundation issues 
  2. Termites (lots of them)
  3. Raccoons in the addict 
  4. Mice infestation 
  5. Electrical issues (rewire, new panels, and ground outlets)
  6. New roof
  7. Plumbing issues 
  8. Carbon monoxide seeping from the floor heater 
  9. Flood damage in the kitchen

Need I say more? Now, this could have worked if only my aunt was willing to go down on the price so that we could cover the cost of all of the work that needed to be done. But my aunt said that this was regular wear and tear on the property, and felt that she could get a buyer to purchase it at the market price. Some could argue that it was regular wear and tear, but I’d be on the opposite side of that argument, so it’s safe to say we decided to move on from that property. 


The fourth home we saw, immediately made my heart smile. We drove past it, and it called out to me. I’ve never felt so connected to a place. It was a cute little Spanish-style home tucked away – exactly 12 minutes from my mom and 12 minutes from my mother-in-law. It had the perfect-sized backyard for my little one to run around and play in. A cute little breakfast nook that streamed the most beautiful sunlight, original hardwood floors (that were in great shape), built-in storage throughout, a cozy little fireplace, central air and heat, and a terracotta roof. Not sure if you’ve noticed by now, but Spanish-style homes are my favorite. I adore their architectural details – inside and out.

This was a very charming and quaint little home located on a very quiet street. I got out to look around and was greeted by very friendly neighbors (who were on a walk with their dog at the time). They shared with me that there were other families with young children living in the neighborhood as well, and how they loved living in this neighborhood. I knew almost immediately that this was the one. This home was waiting for us, so we decided to offer what we could and hope that the seller would meet us somewhere on the affordable side. This home was about $35 thousand over our budgeted price, but we loved it and just had to give it a try. So we called up our realtor and told her to go for it! 48 hours later we were told there was another offer on the table, and that it was $75,000 over asking. We knew we couldn’t beat that offer, so we bowed out gracefully. 

A few weeks later, the realtor for that home contacted us and told us that the other offer didn’t go through. Something along the lines of the home being located too close to the LAX airport for the buyer. I guess when visiting the home, the buyer’s dog was experiencing seizures every time an airplane flew over the house, so they had to back out on purchasing the home. This was quite sad to hear (in regards to the dog) and I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before, but I took this as a sign that this just might be the home that was meant for us. So we decided to put in another offer on the home. A couple of days later we were informed that there were a few other offers on the table, so we would need to come back with our strongest and best offer. We decided to play ball on this one. We offered more earnest money, a quicker escrow, and $10,000 from my mother-in-law. She took this money from her retirement savings account. She’s one of the reasons why we want to move back home. She retired three months ago and wants to spend more time with our little guy. 

I should also mention that My mother-in-law saw the home (during its open house) and fell in love with it. My mom and dad also saw the home at the open house. They too felt it was the one for us. So they offered an additional $15,000 from their retirement savings account, to help us win the home. This means so much to Jonathan and I. We can be a bit proud when it comes to asking people for help and have never asked in the past, so the fact that our parents offered really made us feel supported and like we were making the right decision to go for this home. We’ve been looking for a home for so long and never have connected to a place like this one. So here we are, two days in… and the seller will be taking offers for five more days. Then we’ll hear back with whose offer the seller has decided on. I sure do hope that we get this house. I’m a firm believer that what is for us, is for us. So cross your fingers and say some prayers for us friends. We really do want this house!

The post Ajai’s House Hunting Journey: After Seeing 4 Houses She Might Have Found The One appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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The Family Room Update + The Case For A Dark Moody Room

The Family Room Update + The Case For A Dark Moody Room

Well, I think you saw this coming. I really, really tried to avoid repainting this room. I’ve learned SO MUCH about myself and design during this renovation process, and now I get to share that all with you. Listen, I like to choose paint color last (and always have) because there are endless paint colors to choose from, whereas every other piece of decor is rather finite. So I like to choose the sofa, the rug, all the major players, and then decide on the paint color. Usually, I know roughly what color I want but choosing the right tone is based on those other pieces. Also, there is the whole “we don’t know how we are going to live in this room” conundrum, and only time holds that answer. I’m saying this for all of you who have been in this situation (having to make decisions without enough info) and know that I see you and hear you (and join you). If you are wondering if you can just prime all the rooms and then paint them room by room, trust me, I lobbied for that. But the cold hard fact is that the prep work of the paint is so laborious – all that taping and plastic shielding is a beast, so paying for that twice is not only extremely disruptive to your life and home, but also very expensive. Now if you have more basic drywall (not this much wood that requires more specialty painting) you can do it yourself. That’s all to say, I chose the wrong paint color for this room the first time around and have not only lived through the regret but made it to the other side – RELIEF.

I also want to admit that I am not experienced in painting or living in dark rooms, and have historically played paint fairly safe. This is a byproduct of living in SoCal where natural light floods most rooms so light tones are an extremely safe bet. All of you PNW or British folk are nodding with an “I told you so” fever, and you were right:) The light is just different up here so contrast, color, moodiness, and vibe are far more important (and something you design with in mind). So when we originally wanted a dark green, I changed our mind at the last minute. I now know that the green that we had chosen (SW Privilege Green) wasn’t going to be right anyway, but I do think other people have an easier time with bold dark colors than I do.

We originally wanted “moody” and I screwed it all up. We couldn’t decide on the tone so we chose a dark green (the far left above). Now looking back at the photo, the one that we recently repainted was the one that my left shoulder is touching. It was under my nose the whole time! I think we were so afraid of it being a dark cave. So we went “safe” and this is a great example of when “safe” just doesn’t work in a room.

You see, this room has only one source of light and it’s the door to the covered patio (and the glass in the pocket door but that’s pretty minimal). Plus the ceilings are high. So ironically (jokes on me) this paint color which is actually super pretty (SW Ponder) just looked like a non-color because of the lack of natural light. And with the high ceilings, the whole space felt vacuous and cold.

It has purple undertones which I actually liked, but didn’t work with the sofa that we had already selected and it just didn’t have a point of view. I thought I could accessorize it enough to bring life to the room, and I could have. But I knew deep down that the color needed to be darker, richer, deeper, and bolder. So here we are…

Where We Are Now… “Still Water by Sherwin-Williams” FTW

So after staring at the sticker of paint on all four walls for MONTHS I decided that 80% sure was the closest I was going to get to feeling confident. Still Water by Sherwin Williams was the winner – with the same greeny undertones as the sofa, and was dark but “bright” if that makes any sense (still full of color and pigment).

Wait, Is It Super Dark?

I mean, it’s really dark but absolutely wonderful. It’s exciting and calming and moody–making it a really joyful experience to be in here. The color is gorgeous and with the lamps all off (which is how we shot this) it does indeed look and feel very dark, but with the chandelier on (facing the ceiling, not downward) and the lamps on it’s so warm, fun and pure ambiance.

What you may notice is all the wallpaper samples on the ceiling–yes, I want to wallpaper the ceiling with a subtle pattern that makes the high ceilings worth the effort to look up. Nothing bright, bold, or graphic–but more just a secret treat for the eye when you notice it.

That blue and gold/wood combination is EXCELLENT. Imagine that whole wall of seascapes with the lights on them!

This is THE coziest sectional where I can snuggle both kids in that corner.

I need to choose art to go up there (I’m thinking a framed version of my favorite vintage plaid).

The fact that we shot this without the fireplace and lights on was so dumb! It’s so cozy once you get the ambiance going so I’ll shoot it again soon with both so you can see.

We have a long ways to go for sure (but I’m closer than you think). The coffee table might move into the living room (but looks good in here, too). The rug was supposed to be the greener version (Enkay’s Raksha Rug in Aqua) but this indigo version still looks good and is so pretty! (and the greener version is now back-ordered). So we think we are going to mix blues and greens in art and pillows and make it work. So yes, we need art, a bookshelf behind the sofa (to put lamps and drinks/popcorn on), pillows, and to figure out what goes on top of the bench. We are also still adding the door to the hallway so we can shut off the light when we want to (it’s western and blasts in the summer) and then put roman shades over the glass on the patio doors. We are making it more of a dark room, but I suppose that’s what dens were always supposed to feel like – just a dark respite from the rest of life. Embracing a mood is clearly not easy to always execute, but now that I’ve nailed the wall color I’m alllllllll iiiiiinnnnnn. xx

Paint Color: Still Water by Sherwin-Williams
Sectional: Rejuvenation
Chandelier: Rejuvenation

Fireplace: Vermont Castings
Rug: Enkay
Flooring: Oregon White Oak by Zena Forest Products

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

The post The Family Room Update + The Case For A Dark Moody Room appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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The Link Up: Em’s Cute Vacation Windbreaker, Ryann’s Perfect Travel Purse, And Two Books That Are Making Our Lives Better

The Link Up: Em’s Cute Vacation Windbreaker, Ryann’s Perfect Travel Purse, And Two Books That Are Making Our Lives Better

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s been a busy week as we prepare for Em to be out for spring break! You’ll hear more about it in a second but let’s just say we all wish we could fit in her suitcase. So while we dream of beautiful vacations, let’s also check out some links:)

This week’s house tour is a romantic, pattern-filled southern dream. Louisa Pierce of Pierce & Ward outdid herself. Maybe this quote will entice you – “My house is my test lab—I do wacky things all the time. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I want my home to be luxurious and beautiful, but I want anyone who comes in to feel comfortable.” Go check it all out here!

See that kitchen up there?! That’s Orlando’s new LA kitchen that we gave a very pretty facelift to! He talks all about it in his new substack newsletter, The Lost Arrow, so go subscribe. We promise you’ll love it.

From Emily: We are headed out for Spring break soon, somewhere where it could rain a bit (the mountains of Costa Rica!!) so I needed something to layer that would be an extra protective layer but not warm at all. I went to the mall and after trying on so many, found this awesome boxy windbreaker that is so cute and pairs so well with all of my biker shorts that I will inevitably be wearing. It has pockets (cell phone) and is rain resistant (ish… like you wouldn’t wear it in a rain storm but shields you from getting your normal clothes too wet). I love a simple, extremely lightweight spring layer. This is my new favorite.

From Ryann: My husband and I are going to Japan in less than 2 months (EEEEEEEK) and a few weeks ago he surprised me with this super versatile shoulder bag. I love how simple and utilitarian it is and think it is going to be perfect for our travels. Speaking of our travels, I would love any Tokyo recs! Know of any restaurants, shopping, design stores, excursions, or sights we must see?? Let me know!!

From Caitlin: My boyfriend was in town last month (for ~ Valentine’s Day ~, ooooooh) and in true romantic fashion, I dragged him to Hennessey + Ingalls and forced him to stand there while I looked at every book in the shop. (I kid, I kid, he liked it too!!! If you’re in LA, it’s a must-visit – they exclusively carry art and architecture books and it’s SO FUN to explore in there.) To that end, I grabbed this book on Postmodern Design and I could not recommend it more. We had so much fun looking through all the pages (seriously, it’s 480 pages, we made it through every single one) AND it turns out that the dust jacket makes a pretty great impromptu cover for my Samsung Frame receiver. You’ll see the actual photos soon, but DANG DID I FIGURE OUT A FUN HACK OR WHAT? Like killin’ two birds with one link (???? I’ve lost myself here, sorry) – just wanted to share a great book and an easy hack for hiding some unappealing technology.

From Mallory: I found a STEAL over the weekend and snagged this Everlane sweater secondhand (tag still on!!) I immediately grabbed it and went online to find that it’s still available AND on sale!! Because it was secondhand I got it for like $30 (wild) but I easily would have paid full price now knowing how comfy it is. I’m truly living in it and could not recommend it enough!!

From Albie: I don’t know about you, however, sometimes I just need a good word to get me through the day. My best friend mentioned this book to me & I immediately added it to my cart & even got my sister a copy. It’s become one of the many things in my “adulting is hard” toolkit. I don’t actually follow The Daily Stoic daily — I have a completely devotional book that I try to start every day with. It’s more of a mid-day check-in or mental/emotional resource when I feel overwhelmed, unclear in my thoughts, or just off balance.

From Jess: I just got The Brow Glue Laminating Setting Gel from NYX and it’s great! I think it works just as well as any other brow gels I’ve used and it’s only $9! I got the medium brown color.

Thanks for stopping by and see you tomorrow. xx

Opening Image Credits: Design by Orlando Soria | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

The post The Link Up: Em’s Cute Vacation Windbreaker, Ryann’s Perfect Travel Purse, And Two Books That Are Making Our Lives Better appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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Black Tights Are Back BIG TIME – Let’s Explore Our Options

Black Tights Are Back BIG TIME – Let’s Explore Our Options

I thought it was about time I talked about Paris again since it’s been a couple of weeks:) So while I went there to spend time with my dear ole dad and to soak in as much interior design inspiration as I could, I couldn’t help but notice the many chic, young, and cool Parisian ladies that were wearing classic black tights. Sure I had been marketed those indestructible tights last year, but since I live in a pretty warm climate I didn’t pay much attention. Those of you living in colder climates may feel that tights never went away but y’all I am telling you they are bigger than they have been in a minute. A hilarious and wildly specific trend involving tights is the “no pants trend.” I actally just heard about it on Thursday’s Armchair Expert when Monica said she tried it when she was at SXSW the other week. I thought, “wait, people are actually not wearing pants?!” Y’all this is, in fact, true and if I was a much more confident person who knows, maybe I would consider it. FIY Monica said the hack is wearing two layers of tights which makes sense so they are less see-through. My favorite headline I found when researching this topic was, “What Happened to Wearing Pants?” Here are some celebrity examples:

Super long legs are probably very useful if you want to nail this “no pants” trend:)

You could even go do a twist and try them in white! To be fair, Gigi might be wearing shorts or a skirt but regardless this outfit is alllllll legs.

DON’T EXIT OUT YET! I promise I’m not going to attempt to convince you to leave your house pantless (unless you want to). Tights are also being widely worn with actual bottoms (and dresses) which is where I can personally get on board.

Another example of why I feel this trend is HOT was seeing Anne Hathaway in this outfit at the Versace show. It’s chic and powerful and while that exact outfit is out of most of our price range, the inspo is not. So let’s get into some more realistic looks, starting with the most casual.

Denim Shorts + Tights

via anthropologie

I truly love this look and think it’s great for this time of year we’re in where it’s still cold but we’re ready to not be in our long pants anymore. We are trying to summon spring, right?! I also love the billowy blouse but think an oversized sweater or sweatshirt would be equally as cute. As for the shoes, I LOVE these tall boots but as you will see, delicate pumps are very in. A classic 80s/90s duo. Honestly, there are so many shoe types that would look cute!

1. Women’s High-Rise Curvy Cutoff Jean Shorts | 2. Mid-Rise Wow Jean Shorts for Women | 3. The Way-High® Canvas Short

Tailored Shorts + Tights

via & other stories

These shorts above may be a tad short for the workplace but I think this is a very cool yet polished look. The tights completely elevate the look and make it feel powerful.

1. Faux Leather Culottes | 2. Shorts with Belt | 3. Elements Pleated Shorts

Casual Mini Skirt (Or Dress) + Tights

Shorts, however, are just one way people are wearing tights. Naturally, dresses and skirts are just as popular. Look how cute model Jennifer Atilemile’s denim dress is with her tights! It’s a casual and fun look that will also keep her a little warmer.

via & other stories

This look from & Other Stories feels very on-trend right now with that belted mini skirt and off-the-shoulder ruched top. The tights add a nice sophistication, no? 2023 elevated causal?

1. High Waist Denim Miniskirt | 2. English Factory Pleated Mini Skirt | 3. Women’s Mid-Rise Chino Cargo Mini Skirt

1. Deep-V Faux Leather Babydoll Dress | 2. Griffith Dress | 3. Puff-sleeved Dress

Power Suit (Showing Leg) + Tights

Now, earlier this month YSL had a fashion show that almost made you immediately look at your watch to assure yourself you didn’t just time travel back to the 90s. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all! While the looks make you feel nostalgic (hello, tights), they also have awesome modern cuts and sizing (extra large blazers). Oh, and see what I mean about those classic pumps??

Again, Gigi decided to rock some tights (this time gray) with that truly incredible modern power suit.

1. Emalyn Slingback Heels | 2. ‘Tatiana’ Pointy Toe Pump | 3. Pointed Slingback Pumps

Tailored Mini Skirt + Tights

But for us nonprofessional model folk, these three looks above are much more attainable and wearable for everyday life. Sure, a short mini skirt is not always work-appropriate but find a length that works for you, grab a slouchy sweater or oversized button-up and you are good!

1. Margot Skirt | 2. Faux Leather A-Line Mini Skirt | 3. Houndstooth Tweed Mini Skirt

Here is a cool example of a longer skirt from Katie Holmes!

Or if you wanted to go for the mini skirt look but wanted it more of a “going out”look, Thamarr from Musing of a Curvy Lady nailed it with this look. Leather, lace, and a sick pair of heels:)

Short “Dressy” Dress + Tights

I of course wasn’t going to close out this post without talking about dressy dresses and tights. It’s a classic pair! I think what’s important with this trend or the current iteration of it, is to really show off the legs. I’m not saying you need to go mini but also don’t be afraid to get out those limbs! You can even see it with the shoe choices above. It’s all about elongating the leg. On the left, you have a pointed flat (the point helps to keep the leg line going). Then on the right, that extra tall-heeled boot also makes her legs look extra long. But the thing that really helps is that the tights and the shoes are the same color.

1. Virgil Strapless Mini Dress | 2. Endless Rose Mini Sweater Dress | 3. Women’s Plus Size Balloon Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

So now (FINALLY) here are our black tight recs that have great reviews and are at a few different price points. Also if you like colorful tights those are great too!

1. Classic Super Sheer Rip-Resist Tights | 2. Semi Opaque 35 Denier Tights | 3. ASSETS by SPANX Women’s High-Waist Shaping Tights

Remember those indestructible tights I was talking about at the beginning of the post? Well Caitlin actually bought them! Here’s what she had to say about them – “I bought a few different pairs in December 2020 and they are still going strong – they really don’t rip! I can’t see myself buying tights anywhere else now. The sheers are AMAZING buuuuut I’d just want to note that some of the pairs with “briefs” (the technical term for the thicker part of tights, around the top and down the thigh) can run a little low (i.e. if I’m wearing a shorter shirt or dress, you can see that top part of my tights, which I don’t love.). Just something to be mindful of when ordering! But OMG. GET THE SHEERS. You will not regret!!!” She might have even convinced me and right now they are crazy on sale. GO check em out!

Hope this was a fun Saturday fashion post that gave you some ideas (or reminded you) to maybe incorporate black or even colorful tights into your looks. It’s a fun and easy way to spice things up while we wait for the weather to warm up.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credit: From: My New Life (And Closet) Changing Secret

The post Black Tights Are Back BIG TIME – Let’s Explore Our Options appeared first on Emily Henderson.

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You Don’t Want To Miss These 9 Home Projects – Our Personal Must-Follows!

You Don’t Want To Miss These 9 Home Projects – Our Personal Must-Follows!

The internet is full of incredible design content and it constantly keeps me/us inspired. The only downside of the “amount” of content is that it’s easy to miss projects that are really fun and special–ones that maybe even pertain more to you, your home, and your budget (like DIY projects) as opposed to the seemingly budgetless reveals in places like Elle Decor or Architectural Digest. I’m speaking to myself on this one:) It’s not that those aspirational homes don’t serve a purpose. I LOVE them and we all can get A TON of ideas from them. However, there are a few home projects/renovations from fellow designers/content creators that the EHD team and I are very excited to see develop. Some of them are just about to start so we can follow them from the jump! So that’s what these next eight projects are, projects to give you cool, realistic ideas, maybe teach you some new tricks, and ultimately get you inspired. Let’s start with one that we technically have talked about once before.

Bri Emery’s Upstate NY Dream Home

Bri Emery is an old friend of Emily’s (remember this project) and she and her husband have been renovating an A-frame home in Upstate New York in the MOST visually exciting way. I featured her incredible kitchen in our 2023 kitchen trends post under the “whimsical/design your kitchen just for you” category. It may not be a kitchen that everyone would want but boy is it a masterpiece for anyone who loves beautifully made, colorful, original kitchens. Bri has been slowly revealing bits and pieces of the rest of the home as they go and we think it’s a must-follow. Look at that cute corner built-in! Enjoy!

Kim And Scott From Yellow Brick Home’s Red House

Kim and Scott design thoughtful, clean, inviting spaces so when they announced this week that they were starting to slowly renovate a small mid-century modern home with the coolest front door and living room windows I was SO excited. They are DIY experts so this is going to be really fun to follow along!

Elsie Larson’s New Missouri Home

Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess is no stranger to happy, colorful design…or moving:) So while she and her husband (and two young daughters) have lived in Tennesee for eight years total, they are moving back to her hometown in Missouri. Given that their daughters were getting to the age when it becomes harder to move and that they want to be closer to family, it made the most sense to do it now. If you’ve followed along Elsie’s other homes you know you are in store for something very special. I mean, look at this secret kid library!

Amanda From Dellaware’s DIY Kitchen Reno

We got to meet Amanda at the Meridian Experience last year and she was so wonderful. Her DIYs are so inspiring and last year she decided to tackle her kitchen…and pregnant no less! So while this project started towards the end of last year, it went from just a facelift to a full gut job because something unexpected popped up…water damage. But it’s not done quite yet so go back to experience the progress and then we can all celebrate the reveal together!

Arvin Olano’s Mid-Century Modern Dream Home

I mean, if you want to see a dream MCM house then run to Arvin’s account! His home is spectacular and he has been carefully renovating bits and pieces while thoughtfully decorating each space. It’s minimal, natural, and with the perfect amount of vintage. He even did a little DIY removing paint for his wood beam ceiling!

Drew Michael Scott’s New DIY-Filled Home

I think the entire team is in awe of Drew’s wildly creative and ambitious DIYs. So when he bought his house last year all of us couldn’t wait to see what he was going to come up with. So far he has NOT disappointed. They are unique and special and you should start following him now if you don’t already.

Katie Saro’s Childhood Home

So this is not a “brand new project” but I still think that everyone should be following along. Katie got to buy back her beloved family home in Minnesota (built in the 1800s) and it’s such a special story. She seems to mainly document the process on her awesome show The Art of Vintage on the Magnolia Network but it’s still a must Instagram follow as well as a must-watch show. As an artist, she designs freely and has the deepest love for fun vintage treasures. As a reminder, this was the kitchen we featured a few years ago before she moved!

Racheal Jackson’s Murals

Ok, ok so while this reel isn’t exactly the project I was going to talk about you should know first and foremost that Racheal is an INCREDIBLE muralist. These “gummy worms” as she calls them are my favorite. But beyond her mural work, she is designing and renovating her 1970s home and it’s so awesome. Full of color, full of vintage, and full of love. 10/10. Must follow.

Mandi Johnson’s New Early ’00s Beauty

This one happened to pop up on my feed on Wednesday and I thought, “AH I have to add this to the list!” If you know Mandi then you know she too is an insanely talented designer/DIYer. We’ve featured her work before because they are always SO GOOD. So while I’m sad to see her leave her old home, I am more than excited to see where she takes this one. I am ready for the ride.

Now, there are many many more that could be added to this list because like I said at the top there is just so much good content out there! Please comment below any others that you are really excited about. This is the tip of the iceberg and if you like this post we will try to do more:)

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Katie Sarokhanian | Photos by Kelly Christine | From: “The Kitchen Coronavirus Built”: A Jaw-Dropping, DIY Kitchen That Truly Proves The Sky’s The Limit

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