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Portland Reveal: A Light & Bright Home Office



Welcome to the Portland project office reveal. You may have gotten a peek of it when we showed you guys the entry, but here it is in all its petite glory. It’s a sweet little room right off the entry area and staircase with a big pretty window that lets in tons of natural light and cute barn doors. Sounds like my perfect office space/cocoon. We designed and styled it with a mix of vintage and new, and gave it a sort of executive bent in an eclectic way. It’s simple, but full of pieces that I LOVE and I could absolutely write to my heart’s content in that space, so let’s talk about how we pulled it together.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The desk was the key anchor piece here (it’s an office, after all). We chose a more open style that is “visually lighter” so that it didn’t stop your eye and helped make the room feel larger since the room is on the smaller side. Brady had toyed around with a few different desks in there when he was designing it from LA, but because the space is small, we didn’t want to do anything that felt too heavy or would block a lot of the room off. This desk (from Room & Board) was just the right fit. It’s clean, modern and totally transitional which made it easy to mix with the other pieces. You don’t see the details on the front in this photo but it has three really simple drawers that provide a bit of storage and functionality. The chair is from City Home (and very comfy). Office chairs can be some of the most depressing items to actually have to buy and use. They fall into the functional but “not so pretty” category a lot of the times, especially if you are looking for affordable options. This one was such a great find and is really affordable and high quality. I believe it was just over $200.

Emily Henderson home office decor

Let’s take a second to talk about my favorite piece in the room. That big storage piece from Aurora Mills. As of right now, my brother is buying it but if he can’t find a place for it, I want to ship it down to put it in the mountain house. At first, I didn’t want it because I didn’t see how it could possibly be functional, but then when we were in this room one night, Brady had the genius idea to have it serve as a big “junk” cabinet with each drawer representing a letter. Junk organized alphabetically…sign me up. It would be a catch-all for everything, so batteries would go in the “B” drawer, zip-ties would go in the “Z” drawer, tape measurer would go in the “T” drawer, I could go on and on with this and thinking about trying to find something solely based on the name of it sounds like an organizational lifestyle that I can get behind. It has 30 drawers so it would fit all 26 letters, with doubles for S, T, etc.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The lamp (from Rejuvenation) is a lovely little library-style light that brings in the brass from the pendant (also by Rejuvenation), while the black tones down the glam and also ties in the black hardware on the desk and the black on that globe you see in the corner.

Speaking of the globe, it is vintage and insane. We spotted it on our first trip to Aurora Mills, which is a massive property outside of Portland that is stocked floor to ceiling (in multiple buildings) with vintage and antique treasures. We wrote more about the store and snapped some shots inside for our post on Portland favorites (as well as a ton of other amazing local shots). They have just about anything that you could ever want from hardware to huge furniture pieces. We borrowed quite a bit from them for the house and their pieces truly are one of a kind. If it weren’t $1,200, I probably would snag it, it is so unique and is hand painted. Hand-painted antique metal globes—add that to my list of wants and not needs. But someone needs to give that beauty a good home.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The wood sculpture is from The Good Mod by artist Aleph Geddis and boy is it beautiful. It is simple, graphic and so beautiful in person so I had to take it home with me (there were actually four of them scattered throughout the house). The lamp from Lulu & Georgia helps modernize that big industrial piece and brings the brass over from the tabletop lamp as well as the overhead light. It also is perfect for that corner of the room as the shade diffuses all the light and gives the room a pretty glow. This close up picture of that storage unit really shows the patina on it and man is it good. You just can’t recreate that sort of look. I need that unit in my life.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The windows from Milgard have this lovely thin black profile (more on that later), which we paired with custom shades from Decorview. We went with the Vignette Modern Roman shade in the Brooklyn Tweed in Ivory Trellis because they offered a lot of light filtering and coverage and also have the traditional feel of a Roman shade with a much easier functionality. Like the ones that we used in the master bedroom, these guys just pull up and pull down and can be left at any level without any strings. They really are so simple and pretty and I love them in this space.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The art is this insane collection from MaryAnn Puls that we curated. You may have seen her work elsewhere in the reveals but she is an artist local to Portland that WE FELL IN LOVE WITH. I bought that collection, but please reach out to her to see what she has available because everything she creates is stunning and original. Art is the one thing that if I love it, I hoard it (especially a modern grid like this). We just stuck them into cheap IKEA frames to get them hung up on the wall, but once they arrive in LA, I’ll likely reframe them into some float mount style frames like these that are a bit higher quality.

Emily Henderson home office decor

Because the office is right off the entry, we had to come up with a solution for the doors so they didn’t open out and into the foyer. We decided to do a pair of barn doors that match the rest of the doors in the house (which are all from Metrie). I love that center medallion motif so much. It leans traditional while still feeling modern. We hung them on barn door hardware from Krownlab that allows them to pull closed when you need a little bit of privacy in the office area or to slide open when you don’t have all of your paperwork (who would do that, definitely not me if I had that alphabetical storage unit) all over the desk.

Emily Henderson home office decor

The doors are beautiful enough to leave open and closed and I love this shot above so much even with the doors totally closed.

Emily Henderson home office decor

There you have it, a happy, light-filled office that I would be very pleased to work in every morning. Let us know if you have any questions on the room, the accessories or anything else. Until then, I will be figuring out how to organize my life A to Z for maximum efficiency.

Emily Henderson home office decor

1. Black Frame | 2. College/Drawing by MaryAnn Puls | 3. Desktop Note Roller | 4. Ridge Cup sourced from Mantel | 5. Mellow Bowl Pendant | 6. Roman Shades by Decorview | 7. Windows by Milgard | 8.  Desk | 9. Office Chair | 10. Pepin Table Lamp | 11. Rug | 12. Barn Doors by Metrie | 13. White Vase | 14. Bowl | 15. Table (vintage) | 16. Lelani Table Lamp  | 17. Wood Sculpture by Aleph Geddis | 18. Assemblage by MaryAnn Puls | 19. Vintage Card Catalogue | 20. Door Plate | 21. Crown Moulding by Metrie | 22. Wood Flooring by Hallmark Floors | 23. Barn Door Hardware | 24. Aviation Globe | 25. Window & Door Casing by Metrie 26. Baseboard by Metrie | 27. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams

Emily’s Outfit: Blouse (similar, original from The Great, no longer available) | Pants | Mules

More Portland Reveals:

***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD

***Design and styling by Emily Henderson and Brady Tolbert (and team). JP Macy of Sierra Custom Homes was the General Contractor, and Annie Usher was the architect.

Fin Mark


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Brady. B for BRILLIANT!


My favorite activity in these reveals is watching things move around the room for each shot. Today’s feature: Where’s Globey?
The pocket doors are gorgeous.


So pretty! What is the title of the book on the desk?


I love that you are talking about Aurora Mills! I grew up right down the street and my parents still live (and shop) there. Too funny.

Deb Young

Normally I love your stuff, and this is gorgeous. BUT. Barn doors don’t block enough noise considering the amount of chaos in the average family home (pocket doors would have been far better.) Also, where do you plug in the monitor, laptop, printer, wifi router, etc.? You can do pretty and practical at the same time, that’s mandatory in places like offices.


Pocket doors might block more sound, but there doesn’t appear to be enough wall space to house them (maybe there is – it’s hard to tell exactness in photos). I ran into a similar in my home. We would have done a pocket if possible, but it wasn’t.


Love the office! Could we please see a shot of the barn doors from inside the office? Thanks!

Ha. no room for pocket doors. these were customized really tall and skinny doors. But honestly they look like pocket because the track is on the inside. I love them very much. and we tried to shoot it but it was so tight that we couldn’t get a shot. xx


I am in love with the doors!! They are a great alternative to the beloved pocket doors that aren’t feasible for a lot of us. They don’t look like barn doors AT ALL, and putting them on the inside was brilliant. I also love the card/file cabinet. It gives the room a lot of soul. XOXO


Take a pic through the window from outside. Also agree that an office needs a computer to be real.


I love everything about this house. total style goals. thanks for sharing every single detail!


Hi Emily and Team –

Planning my own office so loving this post!

Idea for the future – would you style a space or two with or without a monitor. Or do a office with monitor roundup when you need a post idea? Like your many comments on styling around a tv… would love to know if it’s possible to do a clean look with monitors and associated cords. (?)

Loving the clean and beautiful Portland project!


I second this request!

Amanda Taylor

I third this request! 🙂


Cords! Just show us what to do with cords!

The cord thing – we’ll try to cover that more. There is an outlet in the middle of the floor so what I would do is put a little hole in the rug and feed the cord down. I’d also buy some sort of pretty power surge and put it on the desk or Velcro it to the underside. obviously for this it feels silly to buy a monitor to put on here. but I think we have done a few so I’ll see if I can find them!


Gorgeous! This whole house is just perfect.
If you decide that filing cabinet doesn’t work for you, hit me up!


I would have liked to see a snap of the doors/tracks from the inside of the office. I also always wonder how to deal with stuff with cords, like printers. I’m going to be redoing my home office and I thought about putting the printer on something behind the desk, with the desk floating in the room, but the room is small and it will look odd. However, I also don’t want to have cords draping across the floor.


Beautiful space. And I love how you can actually see the cord to the desk lamp. Speaking of cords, my desk looks like spaghetti with squid ink spilled onto it. That could be a good (not great since it’s more practical than design : ) post on how to manage power cords. Particularly in offices where some of us do more than write thank you cards. Seriously, how do you deal with them so they aren’t all over the place?


yes please! all. the. cords. they’re eating me alive.


Love everything about this room!! The vintage storage piece is beautiful and genius. And the vintage globe is gorgeous. Beautiful, simple, design for a small space!


What is the slightly nicer (not ikea) frame Emily mentions? I don’t think the link is set up. Thanks!

Oh I would probably do framebridge. But i actually really like those frames. for $20 they are GOOD.


this is lovely. I have a home office that I just can’t figure out so #goals!

burning question – did your brother buy this house, is that why he’s nabbing so many of the staging items????

Anderson Resende

Hi! Can you tell us where the handrail / balusters come from? I’ve been following the Portland house unveil, but have not found any details about that specifically.

They were custom. We designed them and worked with Base Modern. I believe its in the entry reveal. We have a hole post coming out. thank you!


Emily!!!!! I found that drawer on FB Marketplace for $100!!!!


So funny that you alphabetised the drawers I did the same thing! Each drawer had a giant wooden letter carved on its front and I filed movie glasses under M… photography under P etc.. then I needed P for passports but that was used up so I decided to use V for Very Important Documents for them… only the problem came in the one morning at 5am where I was panicking that I couldn’t find our passports under P and the flight was that morning and I couldn’t remember which drawer they were in!!! Needless to say after opening every… Read more »

Kim B

OMG that is so hilarious — but so panic-inducing in the moment!!! And then to be running through the letters and they’re not there until *V*!!!!

Kim B

I hope they’re now filed under “Absolutely Important Documents”!! ????


What a beautiful office! Great job Emily : ) I agree with the other comments of how to untangle the mess of cords! I would love to see how you tackle the problem with unsightly cords in your designs? CUT THE CORD!

Paula Carr

I feel like I’ve been a real Negative Nellie lately (maybe it’s the world situation?) but this room? I love love love LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Everything in it. It’s difficult to pick a second favorite piece, but the storage cabinet has to be number one. This is everything I crave. Patina. Good storage. Great looks. Unique-ish. I’m not surprised at all that either you or your brother will end up with it. That globe. Perfect height for it, and the perfect colors. All the lighting options — awesome. And the art? Art is what gives a room soul, and… Read more »

Thanks, Paula 🙂 Glad we can brighten your day. WE love this room, too. xx

Paula Carr

P.S. Forgot to mention I really like how the office rug rhymes with the entry rug. A good coordination without going all matchy matchy.


Emily, Did you consider any other globes? I love the one you used, but $2,000 is out of my price range. Can you offer any alternatives? : )


There have been a lot of people asking about cord management so I thought I would share a link to a post by Ashley from The Gold Hive – she shares a TON of tricks on how to hide cords. I’ve found it super helpful, so maybe others will too!


Beautiful once again! I love what you did with this house! Is it possible to post a photo of how the doors look from inside the room?


Love everything – especially the light fixtures! BUT that rug under the desk is too small. I know this thanks to the many Emily Henderson ‘how to select the perfect rug size’ posts ;).


I like that this office doesn’t have space to collect too many knick-knacks, since I feel like clutter really hinders my productivity. I would have loved to see a photo of the inside of the barn doors so we could see the hardware in action. Also, I really appreciate that none of the window treatments in this house have had any cords so far. My neighbor’s 4-year old son died after became strangled in one a few years ago, so I will never have blinds with cords in my house in the future. Despite being more beautiful, cordless blinds are… Read more »


My biggest question is–did whomever buy this house buy some/all of the decor items and furniture?!!!!


I have to say that literally the first thing I thought when I saw the room was that it couldn’t possibly be an office as there was no place to plug in a computer. I mean, no one has an office without 4 or 5 electronics to plug in so I am sure lots of potential buyers were just as confused. Are there lots of plugs hiding out of site? I would think it would be necessary, even if it was just for lamps, in case the room was used differently. I actually think that creating a smart electrical plan… Read more »


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh…. drooling ! 😀


Emily! It’s so good!! Thank you for sharing!

Brian Ragsdale

Aint no way, as sung by our dear departed sister, Aretha, queen of soul….that I would pay $1000 plus dollars for a globe….I would have to get a plastic one that I could paint, blow up and hang from the ceiling as an alternative. Just getting my two cents into the mix. BTW, I love the new design of the website, much easier to find what I am looking for. Oh one last thing before I go, I really miss your social justice postings, I still remember the one you wrote about MLK and your journey….please don’t leave that aspect… Read more »

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