Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Goats In Trees

Since I last wrote I've been a very busy girl. I've managed to rent out my house in LA again (see the last post), I've helped Anthropologie open another UK store in the lovely city of Bath, and I've been to Morocco to shoot three more houses for my next book. I thought since I can't yet show you any of the houses we photographed, I'd post some of my favourite snapshots from the trip. I've never been anywhere like Morocco before and it was pretty mind-blowing. 
An incredible view in the beautiful but very windy port town of Essaouira.


  My book's photographer, Katya de Grunwald, looking stunning in the crazy warren-like streets of Marrakech, as we tried not to get lost.

 The kitchen of the little house we stayed in.

Rugs! Piles and piles and piles of them.


 After dinner all the ladies gathered along this wall in the town square of Essaouira, while children played and the wind blew in from the sea.

My pretty friend. I befriend cats wherever I go. 
 Katya shielding her lens from the glare of the sun on a rooftop. 


And the best thing ever. Goats in trees! 
At the beginning of the drive to the airport I saw camels on the beach - it was stunning - and I didn't ask the cab driver to pull over so I could take a photo. I regretted it the whole way, so when Katya spotted goats in trees, we asked the cabbie to pull a quick u-turn and we jumped out. An old man, who probably waits there all day for gullible tourists like me, thrust a kid in my arms and asked for money. She was lovely and cuddly and immediately started to eat my shirt. But the goats in trees was something else! The deal is they just can't get enough of the Argan berries that grow in Morocco (you know that Argan oil that's now a big craze in beauty products?) and you know a goat isn't afraid of heights, so up they go to get the berries! It was one of those moments when I was aware of being really lucky to see something so weird and wonderful. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rent My House!

As many of my regular readers will know, three years ago we left LA for London. We moved out of this adorable house in the very cool Los Angeles neighbourbood of Highland Park and headed to the rainy but amazing capital city where I grew up. We held onto the house in case of emergency (i.e. if we could no longer bear the cold of the UK) and have been renting it out ever since. Well the time has come to find new tenants, so I thought I'd share it here in case anyone fancied a cute cottage in northeast LA with it's own separate studio - music room, art room, sewing room, whatever - painted hardwood floors, and a huge three tiered backyard with raised vegetable beds, grapevines, apricot and apple trees, and various patios for sunning and entertaining. It has a sweet vintage style throughout and it's on a lovely street. Available June 5th. Rent available upon request.

If you know anyone who is looking, send me an email at emihenson{at}gmail.com. Serious enquiries only please! Or click over to my listing on Craigslist.









Monday, May 5, 2014

Behind The Scenes: Denmark





I've been having such a fun few weeks. Working full time for Anthropologie and working on my second book is no easy feat, but I have nothing but gratitude. I've worked enough crappy jobs in the past 15 years, so I know when to be grateful and not complain. And this is definitely one of those times. I'm busy, I'm tired, my house is messy, my dog is not getting walked as much as she would like, and my children ate ramen from the corner shop twice last week for dinner (they love it), but it's all good. Life is really good.

Last week I was in Denmark for the first time to shoot two gorgeous homes for the next book. These images are from one of them, owned by an incredibly stylish (check out the shoe/socks combo above!) designer and artist who was so welcoming, kind, and loads of fun. She also had the coolest mohawk - think chic punk.

Both of the houses we visited had these round wooden coat hooks - they seem to be a Scandinavian thing. I found some at Muuto.


I love this little gold/silver stool set against the kilim rugs.


After the first night of shooting, just as we sat down to a late dinner,  I had a frantic call from my teenage daughter asking me to send a selfie ASAP! Luckily I had a photographer with me so no need for the selfie. See below. Apparently I am going to be the subject of an Andy Warhol style painting for a school project...


The super stylish homeowner gave me the sweetest parting gift. One of the unusual things she used to sell at her shop are used ballet slippers from the Royal Danish Ballet. I gushed over them and told her how I used to dream of wearing pointes as a little girl (little did I know how painful they are!) I also had a barbie with tiny pink rubber ballet shoes that tied around the ankle and I loved them so much. Now I have my very own pair. In satin, not rubber. And yes, the whole family - including the dog - has now tried them on. 


Next weekend I'm off to Morocco for the next book shoot. I'm treating it like a holiday since it may be the only bit of sun I see this year. I plan on working very hard during the day and laying in as much sunshine as possible after that. Be sure to follow me on my travels with Instagram and/or Twitter.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Book On The Way



I'm so happy to say that with the success of Modern Rustic, I've been given the opportunity to write another book. The next one is an idea I had when I was making the first book, so when my publisher RPS approached me I knew exactly what it should be. I've been keeping it a secret for a while which is so hard! I'm not going to say what the title is until it comes out next Spring, but I'm really excited about it and it's going to be so much fun to make! 

I was in The Netherlands last week, shooting an amazing home for the book, with photographer Katya de Grunwald. Great name right? Check out her portfolio - she's so good. She's shot for Anthropologie, World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, and Martha Stewart Living to name a few. Sadly, Cath Gratwicke, the photographer for Modern Rustic couldn't do the next book, but I know Katya is going to do an amazing job and we get along really well which is a plus when we have to travel so much together. 

I'm thinking I need to have a pet section in the next one because every home I go to has the sweetest dogs and cats, who always seem to perfectly fit their interiors! Check out Lou Lou, a very clever and sweet Labradoodle who just wanted to play while we worked at this house near Amsterdam.

For more of my travels for the book and for my new job at Anthropologie, follow along on twitter or instagram. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Icelandic Magazine, Home

Today I wanted to share with you a few photos of my house that are featured in the new issue of an Icelandic magazine called Home. I was approached by them because of my book and they did a little interview to accompany the photos. (God knows how well it translated!) I'm never sure about having my house featured these days because it's not really the way I want it to look. It's just a mish-mash of bits I've picked up (ahem, on the street...) since we moved back to London and I am my own worst critic, of course. My style has changed in the past few years and I don't think my home is an accurate reflection of it. But oh well, that's life right? Most of us can't just go out and get everything we want when we want it right? And there are definitely more important things in life to worry about. So I present to you, my mish-mash, jumble of a rented home!





(Remember the story of this bed...?)

The room with the blue wall is technically the dining room and is connected to the one with the red butterfly cabinet and sofa. A lot of old Victorian terraced houses in London have the same set up: two rooms that were once divided by a wall, but are now one big room. As a result there are two doors that go from the hallway into this room. As much as it feels so, so wrong, we did what many people do and blocked one of the doors. If you don't, it makes it really hard to place a sofa!

Photography by the lovely Sarah Hogan.
For the full story and more photos, click here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reunited + It Feels So Good (Did I Really Just Say That?)



It's been an interesting start to the year. LOTS has happened. I'm not going to lie, January was really hard. It's often a difficult month for freelancers, with work being kind of slow. February got a little better with a few interesting projects on the horizon. Now I've made it to March and I think it's going to be flippin' amazing!

Last week I styled my last photo shoot for the next six months...

...because I was offered a six month job by Anthropologie Europe, overseeing the visuals/display/merchandising in all their UK stores. So exciting! I'll be working with the 3 x London, 1x Guildford, and 1 x Edinburgh stores, as well as helping to open new ones (Bath, coming in May!) I actually didn't go after the job and it wasn't a direction I pictured myself taking. The head of Anthro Europe heard about me after Yolly and I did our workshop/book launch at their King's Road store, and she got in touch regarding the position.

I worked for Anthropologie years ago as a display artist in their Pasadena, California store. Click here to see some of my display work. I often forgot to take photos of the displays, so sadly I don't have too many. It was also before I became a stylist so the photos are pretty awful! One of my favourites is the one above, simply because it embodies the essence of 'creativity before consumption' so well. We had no display budget left, and we had this beautiful, expensive found furniture piece on the floor that no-one seemed to want to spend $9,000 on (!!) I had an hour to kill with most of the big display projects already completed, so I scrounged around the art room and with some drinking straws, wire, and hot glue, I made this tiny bicycle to put inside the cabinet, to jazz it up a bit. It was a miniature version of a large display we had in the window at the time and I really loved it.

I'm really looking forward to putting my Anthro hat back on and getting stuck in!

(P.S. Did I mention I'm doing another book.....?)



Monday, February 24, 2014

I Don't Do Manicures

I love the whole manicure/pedicure thing, but the truth is I usually scuff up my nails before I've even paid and left the salon. You know that moment when you reach for your credit card and scrape your pinkie on your purse zipper? Yeah that's me, every time.

But all of this week I'm working on that coffee shoot again and the client asked both me and the food stylist to get our nails done so we can double as hand models. I'm not complaining. No way. There are much worse things to be doing on a Sunday afternoon than having my hands pampered at someone else's expense. But as I type this, I am wearing rubber gloves. That's all I'm saying. 

Clumsiness is an illness and I've got it bad. (I also really need to do something about these dark circles under my eyes...)