9 things we learned from HGTV design star Emily Henderson

get to know the color-happy designer and tv personality!

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

When designer and prop stylist Emily Henderson won HGTV Design Star in 2010, her career took off at lightning speed. Very soon after, she began hosting her own HGTV show, Secrets From A Stylist, and her list of clients grew rapidly. Today, the Los Angeles-based designer is a New York Times-bestselling author, Target style expert, and mother of two adorable blonde kiddos. There’s a lot to learn from the budget-conscious designer, who creates colorful, texture-filled spaces that are both comfortable and seriously chic. Henderson crushes hard on antique and vintage pieces, and it’s rare to find a space she’s designed without them! Here are some of our favorite design tricks from Henderson’s spaces. For starters, we could all learn a little something from her motto, “Perfection is boring; let’s get weird.”

Follow her colorful Instagram account and check out her blog, Style By Emily Henderson.


More is more. Henderson loves styling with statement pieces and pops of color. As is the case in

Bri Emery

’s home. The creator of Design Love Fest tapped Henderson to redesign her light-filled Los Angeles home that she shares with boyfriend Arian, the filmmaker behind Modshift.


Use classic color combinations in contemporary ways. Blue and white, the tried and true color combo, gets a reboot. While throwing down a classic and nautical stripe rug, Henderson chose a graphic framed print, chic velvet sofa, and rattan elephant side table to take blue and white to new places with this lake house living room.


Layer your art. Throughout Henderson’s home makeovers, you’ll notice her affinity for gallery walls and layered art, as seen on this mantle in her own home. The more art you can implement in your home, the more your personality will shine through in your space.


Play with proportion. Henderson loves to mix up her scale and proportions. She pairs a low, mid-century modern sofa and an equally small marble side table with large-scale, vertical-oriented art for major design effect.


It’s all about balance (and off balance!). Mix up the symmetrical with the asymmetrical. At Henderson’s personal home in Commonwealth, she’s put two leather chairs in front of matching white etagere bookcases. The asymmetry comes in the styling: mismatched art above the television, a unique mix metals with her bookshelf accessories, and two different throws on the chairs for additional texture.


Add a pop of color to your neutral space. If you’re partial to an all-white space, we hear you! But take note from this neutral sunroom. Henderson has sprinkled in navy accents to keep the space grounded and introduce graphic pattern.


Embrace the bones of your space. In Oh Joy’s studio, Henderson and fellow designer Samantha Gluck chose to keep the existing brick and wood beams exposed. They add an industrial feel to this bright, pattern-filled workspace and remind us that there’s usually perfection in, well, imperfection!


Don’t chicken out of that DIY. In this family home, also featured in HGTV Magazine, Henderson and her team spent over 15 hours painting the inside of these Mason jars in different shades of blue. Eventually, this built-in will store wine, but for now, this family is using the space as a playroom. For less than $500, this DIY shelf styling is inventive and fresh, and also far less expensive (and expected) than stocking up on accessories and books!


Mix it up! You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) stick to one style of furniture. In this bold wallpapered dining room, Henderson has mixed a traditional, stained wood dining table and sideboard with high-back, country-inspired white dining chairs.