WORDS: Katie Skinner IMAGES: Sara Ligorria Tramp and Tessa Neustadt
A charming family home nestled in the Los Angeles hillside neighbourhood of Los Feliz packs a style punch.
Four years ago, on a fateful Sunday morning, Emily Henderson received an alert from her a real estate app about a new house listed in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Emily and her husband, Brian, had been house hunting by this stage for four months and had highlighted Los Feliz as their dream neighbourhood. Emily took one look at the listing and instantly knew this was the one.
Emily and Brian then set to work renovating the home with their main goal to repair anything too damaged to salvage but retain the soul and charm and as much architectural integrity as possible.
Emily’s background is steeped in design. In her early twenties, she moved to New York City and started working as a shop girl at the style king, Jonathan Adler’s store. Sometime later she met a prop stylist and knew she had found her calling. “I mean, who doesn’t want to shop and play with beautiful things all day whilst getting paid for it?”
Emily goes on to describe her design journey. “The blog, Style by Emily Henderson started as a need to journal my creativity. Then in 2010 I was cast on the HGTV show Design Star and won, which landed me with another show called Secrets from a Stylist. After that I started doing full-service design for clients, while still writing the blog, but eventually ended my design services to give full focus to my home and personal projects which I and my team document on the blog to this day.”
The hillside neighbourhood of Los Feliz has a strong architectural history and this is evident in Emily’s 1930s Tudor home. “It has such good energy, incredible natural light in (almost) every single room, beautiful white oak flooring, custom window treatments, and such special vintage windows and doors throughout. It’s such a charming home for a family, not ostentatious but just beautiful and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – the way it’s laid out makes it so easy to parent.”
Emily, with her team’s help, designed the home combining a mix of styles. Influences of mid-century sit alongside Hollywood Regency combined with a more traditional approach.
As Emily says “You can mix however many styles you want, all of them together as long as you have a consistent colour palette peppered evenly throughout the space. Pretty looks good next to pretty, no matter the price, and having a mixture of new and vintage is key to bringing soul to a space. Style for me has always been an evolution, and I truly love the good parts of every style, but in everything I do I try to make it happy, personal, layered and with something vintage.”
When pressed, Emily mentions the living room as her favourite room because it opens to their patio and backyard which gives it an almost indoor/outdoor feel. The garden was in pretty good shape when the family moved in but any planting that has been done has kept sustainability and the Californian weather in mind.
With close access to restaurants, bars and local shopping, Emily says the home has been a great place to raise her two children. But the true magic of this home really came through during 2020 “Since COVID happened we stopped going out, so it was a blessing to have a home that we loved and having a backyard for the kids to play outside for hours.”