My Book ‘The New Design Rules’ Is Out TODAY And I’m feeling Nervous/Proud/Excited/Anxious/Relieved…


There’s a trite metaphor in the author community that says “writing a book is like having a baby” (…likely penned by a man), which is true to a point and I’m guilty of saying it many times. Because yes, similar to childbirth, you go through so much hell and pain through the process to only quickly forget it all the second it’s out. Today, as my book The New Design Rules comes out, my spirits are high, my dopamine is pumping and I feel very, very happy because this “book baby” is officially in the world. It’s out of my brain, birthed through my fingers, printed into a solid representation of years of work, and into the hands of all of you who pre-ordered it (thank you!). But here’s how this metaphor is different…what if it comes out and the world doesn’t like my book baby? It doesn’t matter if the world thinks your human baby is ugly and annoying because you have these hormone glasses that will convince you that your human baby looks like Giselle and acts like Meryl Streep, and NO ONE would dare tell you otherwise. But with a book baby…people will definitely tell you otherwise. It’s the internet in 2022 and y’all it’s not the same world it was 6 1/2 years ago when I published my first book baby, which makes me far more nervous than before. Ironically and coincidentally, my first book, Styled, came out the week that I birthed my last human baby, Elliot. They were two days apart, so I honestly didn’t even think about the success of the book too much. I had just birthed a baby! I was feeding her milk straight from my nipples into her sweet mushy tummy. Her pink fingers grew from nothing and became fully formed in my very own stomach. That was the miracle. The sales of the book weren’t really a thought until my publisher emailed frantically to tell me, 3 weeks post publishing, that it was a New York Times Bestseller – something that was very hard to achieve in 2015 and 10 times harder now in 2022.

But here’s the absolute truth, regardless of the book’s success – I love this book. I’m so proud of this book. I find this book incredibly useful and inspiring – even more than Styled. I frequently pour over the photos and information, seeing new things each time. It isn’t a vanity coffee table book that you flip through once and leave on the table to impress your friends (which is a proven benefit of owning this book:)). It’s a book that you will earmark and highlight and take notes in (I have) and keep in your car. It’s not perfect and the writing is only from my perspective so there might be some things that people disagree with and I’m ready/not ready for that. But the 28 different creatives’ homes that we shot in are examples of design brilliance, control, education, rule-breaking, and risk-taking.

If you’ve read this far and still haven’t bought it then you, my holdouts, probably want to know what is so great about this book? Why buy this book over other books? So today, on its birthday, I wanted to show you more of what is inside my book baby.

What’s Inside:

The first half is all about “Learning The Language” where I distill down more of the complex renovation lingo so you have informed vocabulary and know your options (and can communicate well with your contractor). I was so sick of feeling dumb and googling vocabulary. You don’t need to know everything but this section will help you feel so much more empowered. This is also where the rules come into place – and I LOVE a rule, mostly so I can figure out how to break it in a way that subverts the whole system. Do it from the inside, amiright?

The second half of the book is about “Putting It Into Practice”. If you read the words and study the photos you’ll see creativity at work in a way that can help bridge your own to the next level. At least that’s been my experience.

What Would I Change About This Book?

Turns out you can’t fit 900 pages of words and 1000 photos into a 330-page approachable design book. I totally overwrote and overshot this book and the editing process to get it down was not easy, fun, or cute. I wish that some of the beautiful photos were bigger, but in order to give the information that was needed, they had to be smaller to allow for the copy. And that’s ok. I guess if I could go back in time I would pitch a design encyclopedia – a series that allowed for equal text and photography. The publishing world didn’t know what to do with Emily Henderson – a lover of visuals and words equally. Which I think tracks as a stylist design blogger. Luckily for all of us, I have a daily blog (hi!) where we can publish what didn’t make it in – which tends to be the more reno-heavy esoteric stuff (like ‘Drywall 101’ and ‘Easy Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid’). You will also get to see all the extra photos! So y’all who come here every day will get some new eye candy.

If you guys haven’t taken a second to look at the book page I’d love to invite you over there to see all the creatives’ homes that we featured – and feel free to follow them all, they are wonderful. And there you’ll also see the incredibly talented crew who devoted time to this book – namely Sara Ligorria-Tramp, Velinda Hellen, Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson, and my editor Angelin Borics (among others).

So I thought I’d show you some of my favorite spreads that represent what you’ll find in the book:

If you like any of these pages snag the book (there is a high likelihood that the first printing will sell out). If you know anyone who is going through a remodel or thinking about updating their home, I personally think this would make a great gift 🙂

Thank you all who bought this book during the pre-sale, it means so much to me. Once you receive it in the mail and if you like it (crossing fingers you do) feel free to review it on Amazon or spread the word. If you put it on your social media at all use the #showemyourstyled (which was launched with Styled and has a huge following) and tag me so we can reshare. I’d be SO GRATEFUL and will absolutely follow you back!

So that’s it. I’m signing off. I need to prepare for Good Morning America in the morning. I’ll be on in the 8 am hour if you are up and want to see me talk kitchen remodel 🙂 I’m extremely nervous and excited.

Once again, you can order your book here or check your local bookstore this week!

xx Emily

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp


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