Inside the Bedroom of Emily Henderson’s Editorial Director

Arlyn Hernandez, Editorial Director of Style by Emily Henderson, Shares her Last-Minute Holiday Decor Makeover with Target | Rue

Inside the Bedroom of Emily Henderson’s Editorial Director
Decorating / December 19, 2019

If your home is feeling a little less than festive, don’t fret! Though Christmas is under a week away, there’s more than enough time to bring some holiday cheer to your space.

Target has tons of really stylish (and affordable!) options in their Wondershop — think faux greenery, twinkle lights, and all the trimmings.

Plus, loads of gorgeous wrapping paper and bows for that perfect finishing touch.

To prove you can make a last-minute holiday makeover happen, we’re turning to Arlyn Hernandez, the Editorial Director of Style by Emily Henderson. Arlyn styled a few gorgeous pieces from Target, creating an effortless last-minute holiday look. We wanted to snag her advice so you could achieve something similar this weekend. Get ready to make a list and check it twice:

Hi Arlyn! Tell us about your holiday decor style. What was the vibe you were going for with your home this holiday season?
I’ve traditionally always been a “classic Christmas” type of girl.

Growing up, my mom would sprinkle dancing snowmen and stuffed Santa Clauses around our home and I remember hanging lights around my bedroom. “Chic” holiday decor has never been a goal of mine until this year.

Now that I’m happy with my home’s overall design, I wanted to create a more purposeful holiday look.

First, I kept the main spaces – my living and dining rooms – pretty neutral to avoid visual clutter.

Then, I strategically layered in lots of faux greenery and seasonal touches around my home (such as these adorable Nutcracker figurines and bottle brush trees).

And, to make sure things didn’t feel too sterile, I dried up some fresh oranges to hang on my tree and sprinkle throughout garland in my dining room.

What were some of the pieces you were most excited to include?
Target Home’s holiday assortment is so good this year! I mixed a few larger pieces such as faux wreaths, festive throw pillows and smaller décor pieces with personal mementos I made with my nephews in the past. Those DIY’s are the types of things that make holiday decorating special and unique and you won’t find on Pinterest and Instagram.

What advice would you offer those who still haven’t decorated but want to bring some festive spirit to their space in the next week?
It’s easy to think if you haven’t already decorated that it’s too late, but I am here to tell you that it’s not! Grab a few smaller items such as faux greenery, fairy lights, pillows and candles to instantly add a dose of holiday cheer into any room of your space.

Or, get creative with DIY’s such as creating your own family ornaments (which can eventually become a tradition) or drying out fresh fruit I did for unexpected, but festive décor. Another quick and affordable holiday DIY? Create a festive door hanger by tying together greenery with a piece of wood and twine.


Famous designer flips Dunthorpe estate: The Emily Henderson House is for sale at $2.6 million (before and after photos)

Inside the Bedroom of Emily Henderson’s Editorial Director

If only your smart, witty best friend were a talented designer. Imagine the fun you'd have making your living space into something personal and pretty, and that works for you too? Plush rugs for bare feet. A soaking tub that doesn't make your back stiff. A laundry room that hides the cat box.

Followers of HGTV's Design Star and author Emily Henderson's blog feel as if they're getting solid advice from a friend, along with observations served with humor.

According to Henderson, before you install a rain- shower head, consider if having “water in your eyes for 20 minutes is annoying.” She then suggests other options.

In a Portland home remodel, she installed three types of nozzles, including a handheld one. “I want this shower so badly,” she coos in her blog, Style by Emily Henderson.

For a year, her fans have been reading about her ambitious project to transform a serviceable 1980s daylight ranch in Dunthorpe into a three-story showstopper. The property at 02008 SW Military Road, which Henderson's brother Ken Starke and his wife bought as an investment in January 2017, is now back on the market at $2.6 million.

But don't call this a flip, instructs Henderson, who grew up in Coos Bay and Lake Oswego, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

“I mean, who buys an $850,000 flip?” she wonders, and then who invests in high-end doors and other custom features to create a larger, upscale and livable house on a newly landscaped property.

“Traditionally, flips feel more big box, not custom,” says Henderson, who wrote the New York Times bestselling book, “Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves.”

She wanted the remodel, for a yet-unknown client, to be timeless, classic and worthy of the neighborhood. There would be “splurge-y finishes,” typically beyond her budget, but the end result would be “still 'me,'” she says.

Henderson specializes in coaxing a fresh flavor from formal elements — from edgy marble mosaic tile to lantern sconces. She describes the style that guided her in this project as a combination of simplified traditional and California casual.

A quicker way to say it: Traditional in a modern way.

Walls have been taken away to open up chopped-up interior spaces that now ease into the outdoors. Large, black-framed windows allow people to peer out to lounge chairs near the lawn and sleek glass French doors open to a deck warmed by a fireplace.

Dramatic changes were made on every level: The dreary daylight basement has been updated and integrated into the entire house, prompting it to be renamed the “ground floor” by Henderson and her design team.

Here, people enjoying the media room and wet bar can easily step outside to the new patio. Or they can wander around inside to see two light-filled bedrooms, a white-tile bathroom and a huge, attractive laundry room that Henderson has long fantasized about.

The second floor, which sits at street level, now has a wide covered front porch. Open the double front doors to an enlarged entry. Walls have been removed to step down to the updated living room and a large office has been reconfigured to accommodate stairs to the top floor addition.

The main floor's most used space — the scrunched-up family room, kitchen and breakfast area — has been granted breathing room. A fireplace wall between the family room and the original master suite is gone and the master suite is now an elegant, but not stuffy, dining room with views of the yard.

The third-floor addition has a new master suite with romantic open trusses and a private deck. A sitting area faces a fireplace, one of four in the house.

In the master bathroom, there is a free-standing, Victorian-inspired claw-foot tub with built-in back support. The floor is Ann Sacks' mosaic marble tile designed by Kelly Wearstler, whom Henderson affectionately calls a “crazy genius.”

Although most of the walls in the almost 5,000-square-foot house are painted a warm white, Henderson selected charcoal Dark Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams for accent walls here. It's a cool backdrop to the large glass shower and two vanities: “No more sharing, folks!,” she writes. Keep going to find the handsome walk-in closet with plenty of built-in storage.

Faucets and some fixtures are not classic chrome or brass. “I'm currently having a love affair with polished nickel,” she confesses. “Don't tell brass. She can be very jealous and scary.”

Two more bedrooms also benefit from the view on the top level. For convenience — a big consideration for Henderson — there is also a small laundry room.

Towering trees shade the 0.7-acre lot, which also has a bocce court.

Real estate agents Alex Sand, Christy MacColl and Carrie Gross of Windermere Realty Trust said this was the first time one of their listings was covered in social media while under construction.

“Normally when we help clients with a remodel project it's all happening behind the scenes and not in such a public forum,” says Sand. “This has truly been a front and center project with Emily's followers weighing in on every little detail of the remodel. It's been exciting to get valuable feedback in real time.”

Although the project has her brand name attached to it, Henderson credits product sponsors and the remodel team, including Portland-based general contractor JP Macy of Sierra Custom Construction and architect Annie Usher.

The new owner, writes Henderson, will be buying a well-designed, basically brand new house that can be purchased fully furnished, an idea the busy working mom covets.

“Can you imagine no furniture assembly,” she writes. “No hours shopping to then realize that the piece doesn't fit. No returns. No indecision. No arguments with your partner…. The towels will be perfectly folded and the beds will already be made.”

–Janet Eastman | 503-799-8739


Content Curation Tips and Examples to Fill Your Editorial Calendar

Inside the Bedroom of Emily Henderson’s Editorial Director

No matter how well-stocked your content pipeline may be, it never hurts to have a backup plan to ensure that you never run essential fuel for your audience relationships.

Content curation is a handy technique for accomplishing this – one that all content marketers should have in their skill sets, whether you have a full team of expert content creators or need to find ways to do more with a skeleton crew.

But curating relevant work created by others respected and admired by your brand is a great way to deliver critical insights and information to your audience – without having to build every asset from scratch.

Curating relevant work by respected third parties is a great way to inform your audience, says @joderama via @cmicontent. #contentcuration Click To Tweet

Curating content from credible, authoritative third-party sources yields many benefits, including:

  • A cost-effective way to fill your editorial calendar with quality content from a variety of voices
  • Ability to share with your audience relevant trends and topics that your brand may not have direct expertise in or experience with
  • Connections with influential thought leaders who can help expand your reach and earn the trust of their subscribed audiences
  • Attraction of influencers to link back to your efforts, which is critical for improved SEO rankings

But there’s a big difference between curating others’ content in an ethical and value-added way and simply cribbing their hard work and claiming ownership of it.

To understand the distinction, let’s start with a definition of the term, which I’ve curated from Heidi Cohen’s discussion on the topic:

Content curation is the assembly, selection, categorization, commentary, and presentation of the most relevant quality information. You add your human editorial perspective while integrating your 360-degree brand.

As Heidi points out, don’t just parrot the original information in a cut-and-paste fashion. Getting value from this technique requires your brand’s unique stamp on the curated content.

Give your brand’s unique stamp on #curatedcontent, says @HeidiCohen via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet

Fortunately, you can manage this task in multiple ways. Some are simple and efficient, others more elaborate and artistic. Here are a few approaches, along with some examples from brands that have found ways to elevate their content curation game into a marketing art form all its own.

Curated news and stories

Many professional media organizations cover breaking news for every imaginable industry and business niche. Who has time to search them all – let alone read every story to find the few that might be useful to them?

Publishing a curation of topic snippets and story summaries as an editorialized list or other news-focused collection will help your audience members.

They will spend less time sifting through irrelevant articles and become more informed on need-to-know issues.

By adding explanations and/or brief commentary that contextualizes each story from a relevant point of view, you also reinforce your brand’s value as a go-to resource that provides that credible, useful information.

Publishing a #curation of topic snippets and story summaries as an editorialized list or other news-focused collection will help your audience, says @joderama via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet

The Brainwave newsletter from Brainrider shines in this respect. In each edition Jon Kane, client services director, shares one trend or news item for a number of key topics (marketing, creativity, growth management, and technology among them), along with his thoughts on what makes the full story worth paying attention to.

Membership company theSkimm has built a media empire by curating the news and know-how information their audience of female millennials needs to reach their goals in business and life.

Though it started with a daily newsletter, theSkimm expanded its content curation model to include podcasts, a premium app, and social posts with video and audio breakdowns of the deeper stories behind the big headlines.

.@theSkimm built a media empire by curating the news for millennial women, says @joderama via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet

Multimedia content curation

As theSkimm example illustrates, curation isn’t reserved for text-based content. Some of the most uniquely engaging examples I’ve seen involve video, audio, and interactive content formats used separately or in combination.

For example, the fast-rising popularity of TikTok can, in part, be credited to its function as a platform where brands and consumers curate snippets of their favorite songs and videos and remix them into a new form of self-expressive storytelling.

Chipotle has been rocking around the TikTok with its efforts this one, which turns Adele’s Someone You into a food-focused brand showcase.

@chipotleThe internet is wild ##oneyearoftiktok♬ #Me at the concert – #someoneyou .@ChipotleTweets curated an @Adele song for a #TikTok post, says @joderama via @cmicontent. #examples #contentcuration Click To Tweet

Curated media also can be compiled as collages that deliver a message, set the mood for brand-cultivated experiences, or simply share a moment of joy among followers.

For example, celebrity fundraising platform Omaze recently asked its community and team members to suggest a few of their favorite inspirational tunes.

It curated the responses into a thematically relevant The Omazing Playlist on Spotify that was shared with its email subscribers.

On the other hand, the Smithsonian is approaching the content curation equation from the standpoint of a content supplier. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the organization is releasing 2.

8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from its collections onto an open-access online platform.

Aspiring curators can peruse and download assets to use, remix, and reimagine – free of charge.

Curated research

You may use authoritative research data to support your brand’s assertions in your original content pieces, but consider curating topical data points from multiple sources and publishing them as a separate asset – a fact book, white paper, or infographic, for example. These pieces can be especially useful in a B2B setting, where your target audience might need to support the arguments it presents to management to secure approval for a purchase.

For example, a while back I curated statistics on several key content marketing talking points and compiled them into this buy-in conversation starter kit:

Mastering the Buy-In Conversation on Content Marketing: The Essential Starter Kit from Content Marketing Institute

wise, HubSpot frequently curates relevant industry research into comprehensive directory-style blog posts –  this collection of marketing statistics, which promotes the company’s 2020 State of Marketing Report (gated).

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Free Ways to Get Original Data for Your Content

Curation of examples is another creative option to explore. While the insights, descriptions, and tactical recommendations can be written from the author’s perspective, adding curated third-party examples illustrate how similar ideas were successfully executed. This added proof of principle wields more persuasive power than prescriptive advice alone.

As part of its regular content marketing program, TravelZoo issues a weekly list of Top 20 travel deals curated from airlines, hotels and resorts, and other tour operators.

But as COVID-19 is disrupting most business and vacation voyages, the company has refocused its curation efforts around other ways to help its audience experience the joy of travel.

For example, a recent newsletter curated examples of virtual vacations travel lovers can enjoy from their own homes – complete with original editorialized descriptions, stunning photos, and links to livestreaming experiences, 360-degree video tours, and more.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Brands Getting Email Right During a Crisis [Examples]

For brands open to trading a bit of creative control for increased audience engagement and involvement, marketers can curate user-generated content.

For example, author, stylist, and design influencer Emily Henderson created the hashtag #showemyourstyled to solicit aesthetically pleasing design ideas from her social media followers.

Not only does she share those photos in her Instagram feed, she also turns them into curated style guides that her team publishes as blog posts on home décor inspirations, backyard transformation ideas, and other DIY design topics.

Content Marketing Award finalist, actor, and social marketing mastermind Ryan Reynolds also gives fan- and staff-contributed photos the star treatment by curating them for use in the Instagram feed and stories he posts on behalf of his Aviation Gin brand. Ryan and his team also add a splash of brand personality to each curation-fueled post with captions and commentary written in his distinct comedic style and voice.

Do’s and don’ts

Ultimately, how you creatively execute on your curation strategy will depend on your audience goals, available creative and production resources, and ability to deliver high-quality efforts on a consistent basis. But no matter what approach you take, you’ll want to follow these general guidelines:

  • Add distinct value: Don’t crib from others’ hard work and share it as your own. To demonstrate your brand’s value as a thought leader and credible resource, go deeper into the source material by adding personal commentary, placing the information in a context to your business niche, or including unique insights and analysis absent in the original.
  • Always credit (and link to) your sources: Attribution goes for the content assets you curate, as well as for any original content you create that includes the work of others. It also doesn’t hurt to give those sources some recognition by tagging them or mentioning them by name in any social media updates to promote your curated efforts.
  • Comply with copyrights: In a similar vein, when curating licensed images, audio, or other copyrighted creative, make sure you secure the artist’s permission, compensate them for use of their assets where required, and comply with all terms of use they’ve established under their licensing agreements.
  • Mix and match media and channels to add dimension and depth: Curation efforts are most successful when they capture the essence of the original yet transform it into something new and uniquely valuable to your audience. A great way to manage this is by switching up the media format and/or its distribution channels: If you’re curating from a blog post, don’t just create another blog post. Turn a summary of takeaways into an interactive user quiz, reformat relevant research findings into data visualization charts or infographics that can be shared on social, or take the audio track from a video interview and add voice-over commentary to turn it into a podcast that your audience can listen to when watching a video might be inconvenient.

When it comes to content curation, there’s no limit to your brand’s options. As long as you source your materials ethically, apply them strategically, and add your brand’s unique insights and creativity into the mix, you’ll always have enough fuel to keep your content engine running at peak levels of marketing performance.

Grow your content marketing skills with the 2020 Content Marketing University curriculum led by CMI’s Chief Content Strategy Advisor Robert Rose. Use the discount code FRIEND200 for a $200 discount on access to the courses for an entire year when you register by April 30.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute