Interior Design

HCDH + The Guild

Well, HELLO 2017! The last half of 2016 flew by so quickly that it makes me feel dizzy, mostly due to the absolutely incredible project that consumed my life from July through December - becoming the Interior Design Luminary for The Guild

Headquartered in Austin, The Guild provides stylish yet flexible housing & accommodation for those that want a truly Austin experience. While some members (StayGuilders) visit town for just a couple days, others (LiveGuilders) put down roots for a year or longer. The cross-pollination of permanent residents and out-of-town guests is what makes the Guild community so unique and interesting. They truly believe that every person who visits our beautiful city should "Live Like a Local".

The Guild's stylishly-appointed flats are located in a handful of brand-spankin' new residential buildings, each in a uniquely cool part of Austin. They take design seriously, since living spaces should be a reflection of their surrounding neighborhoods. So in July of 2016 they hired me as Interior Design Luminary to create the environments that exude the unique community spirits of these awesome neighborhoods.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to share here what my inspiration was for each location and what my process was in getting there. In the summer and fall of 2016 we took The Guild from seven units to over 60! It's been a wild ride, and we are working now to add more in Austin and beyond...

Until then, let's do this 2017!

Design just for Fun: Playing with Neybers!

I LOVE INTERIOR DESIGN. I live and breathe it. And sometimes when my projects get into the "not as much fun" phase- like yelling at furniture companies for delivering the wrong item or stressing about a deadline - I need to feed the creative beast and remind myself why I love what I do so much by designing something just for the dang fun of it. No pressure, no parameters or budgets and no need for my insane perfectionist tendencies - just having fun being creative and pushing the envelope. 

Luckily, there are awesome apps for your phones and tablets that have "blank" spaces set up to choose from with tons of furniture, finishes, art and objects to play with all day long. One of my favorites is Neybers (which I wrote about a while back here). They have some of my favorite cool European furniture lines and thousands of pieces to choose from. You can play with the color, perspective, shadows, scale...anything to create completely unique spaces.

Here are some of my creations:

While I do this for the sheer pleasure (and usually while sipping some vino), it quite often sparks ideas for current or future projects that I can't wait to use. So do yourself a favor and throw on your pjs, pop open some wine and create some cool stuff just for the fun of it. 

And please share them with me!

ORC Reveals: A Shout-Out to All the Designer Badasses (and Why I'll Rock it Out Next Time)

I have to say, I'm glad I didn't succumb to my tenacious and stubborn side last week when I decided that the One Room Challenge wasn't going to happen for me this time. I HATE not being able to accomplish a goal like this, but with the injury, the skin cancer diagnosis, and my upcoming surgery I knew that I couldn't handle the stress. I needed to pause, breathe and reboot...and I feel so much better.

That being said, I have sure huge respect to all of those that were able to complete their mission and make those rooms amazing in the six week time - it's so much harder than it looks. But I'll be ready for the challenge in the fall, and this is what I've learned:

  1. DON'T DECIDE THE DAY BEFORE THE CHALLENGE STARTS TO PARTICIPATE. Know the start date (I'm looking at you, October 8th), and make a plan way in advance.
  2. CREATE A SCHEDULE AND DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO STICK TO IT. But sometimes life happens, and all you can do is your best.

I'm going to try to complete the High Contrast Design House Headquarters this summer, but I've got a master and guest bedroom that I know I can tackle in October. Until then, I'm obsessing over the finished rooms of so many of the Featured Designers, as well as the Guest Participants. Seriously, click on those links and get lost in all the beauty. Here are a few of my favorites:

Featured Designers:

Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42 and her little sis's fashion-forward bedroom makeover, that is girly but still so cool and edgy...and has AMAZING artwork:

Orlando Soria of Hommemaker, as well as a fellow designer and the West Coast Creative Director at Homepolish, created the coolest treehouse EVER. The yellow just puts a grin on my face and I want one in my backyard NOW!

Gwen Hefner, The Makerista, and her incredible transformation from a sad room with no windows to the coolest media room that is masculine, moody and modern. I want to binge-watch anything on Netflix there all day long.

And now for the real heroes, the ones who dove in all by themselves and rocked it out:

Guest Participants:

Christine Dovey, of Bijou & Boheme, and her insanely luxe Master Bedroom that gives me all the feelings. It's more traditional than I normally slant, but her signature addition of modern pieces and AMAZING art have me swooning.

A Storied Style's Grace Mitchell created the most amazing room for her little boys. The colors, patterns and textures are so magical, and the Lone Ranger and Tonto artwork are unlike anything I've seen. It's just all SO, SO GOOD!

Fresh Crush's Jen created a kid's room too - this one for her girls. The plaid/floral combination of the curtains is genius, and the color combination is so great. And again with the great artwork! She, like many of the designers, used the amazing Minted to dress up her walls with beautiful framed prints.

Well, that's all for this time. I'm a little bummed I didn't get to power through, but I am that much more inspired and determined to rock it out in the fall.

One Room Challenge Week 2: Electric Boogaloo (otherwise known as Week 1.5)


Dear Emily,

First, how's it going? I see you still have trouble getting around after your fall last month. That must make meeting with clients, running errands, and getting anything done in your office really difficult. Such a shame.

Second, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING??? You have a badly sprained ankle, a possibly torn ligament and a ton of projects to work on! You can't even walk up a flight of stairs right now, so how do you think you are going to rip up carpet, paint or tile the floors with vinyl, paint the room, get old furniture sold and new furniture in and put together and pretty much do ANYTHING to the High Contrast Design House Headquarters in the next 4 weeks?

Sorry for the tough love, but wake up and stop being a wack-job with insane expectations.

Love, Emily

P.S. Put more ice on your knee.

Wow - who peed in her Cheerios? Harsh, yes, but she's probably right. As usual, I've bitten off WAY more than can even fit in my mouth, much less chew. But I'm usually a "glass half full" kinda person (unless we're talking about wine, then anything less than full is mostly empty), so I'm going to remain hopeful that I can make SOMETHING happen over the next few weeks, and the One Room Challenge is such a fantastic motivator! I really want to actually be able to work in my office and love the space.

Last week, I kind of over-shared as to what should be this week's post, cuz I'm spastic like that, so this week I'm going to just share some of the original inspiration photos for the space. As a reminder, here's the plan:

And here are some of the photos I used to inspire my design:

black and white graphic floors + white shelves and walls + pops of color (source)

rattan chair + black and white floors + wacky art wall (source)

white walls + touches of warm wood + pops of neon color (source)

painted floor + pop accent stripe + graphic accents (source)

black and white graphic floor + graphic wall moldings - but without the actual wood moldings (source)

Some updates for this week:

  • The floor is possibly going to be painted instead of vinyl tiles. This will allow me to do stripes in a variety of widths, or just larger. Plus I can do that cool color stripe down the wall and on the floor
  • I'm thinking of painting all the baseboards and door trim black, because I already don't have enough on my list that I can't even do....

That's pretty much it. I'm going to try and start on some of the smaller DIY projects ASAP. So wish me luck, say a prayer, light a candle and pass the ice (for my knee).