Shiny Happy Makeover

I have some very serious things to discuss today. One is totally heavy, the other is totally silly. Which shall we begin with?

I think the silly.


I entered this. It was on a whim and I assumed it was a long shot. However, I got a call back and had a nice discussion with a dude from DecorView about setting up a time for the gang to come over to the house, take measurements and do the classic Emily Henderson style diagnostic.

Now for the heavy. I think it will become apparent when you read my entry into the contest. Life has taken a dramatic turn for the dude and I, but we are very grateful to know that it we will be able to get back to Heffe House shenanigans and Vintage Shasta Camper dreams soon enough.


Heffe is awesome. He is such a “dude,” but he is sweet and loving and totally willing to let me make fun of our disparate design sensibilities on my silly little blog. He let me move in and bring all my “weird” art. On a date, about 2 years ago – our relationship ripe enough to discuss potentially living together at some point — he told me that he would NEVER live with my turquoise couch. I legitimately doubted the longevity of our relationship at that moment. First offense, he thought my baby blue couch was turquoise, secondly whatever because now — he lives with it and he loves it.
Score with the couch, however – I’m not expert enough to get Heffe to agree that window treatments are rad. If it weren’t for the need for at least SOME privacy, I’m sure he’d prefer that the windows remain bare altogether – but I have stopped trying to get him to hang curtain rods. Slowly I’m working on showing him that homes feel more finished when properly designed, and that all of his peculiar admonishing is simply waiting for the right opportunity to be better informed.
A little personal background about Heffe… well, he is a single dad, 37 years old and good looking. I’m a lucky girl. His kids are with us every other weekend and they are amazing and way too smart for their age…. Smart like their dad – who is a financial analyst in downtown LA. Recently – as in like, I’m in the hospital room right now, Heffe was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. This is crazy and we are adjusting. I don’t even like typing it – but I know how well these type of human stories play out. I don’t know what your schedule is, but my good looking dude is bound to be bald pretty soon. We just finished up with the part one of the first round of perhaps as many as six or eight rounds of chemo. We’ll be in and out of the hospital for the next 6 months for treatment.
We’ve got the house spic and span for our first homecoming, but if we could come back to a Shiny Happy makeover after one of these hospital stays…. well that would just be too crazy. I don’t think he’d mind… He couldn’t possibly mind right? (Full disclosure, he knows I have a lady crush on Emily Henderson and I asked his permission to enter this. Full compliance.)
Much love,

We await word today. I’ll try not to be too disappointed if the Heffe House isn’t selected. But they just called again while I was preparing this post, and asked for contact info for the landlord. I called the landlord, and he’s stoked. I’m feeling pretty good about this. Thanks for playing,


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  • YOWZ girl that IS some serious news!!! Sounds like he has some great support in you though :) Will be thinking about you guys and hoping he is A-ok and SERIOUSLY pulling for you for the makeover win!!! xx, Stephanie

    • Thank you my friend! Means the world.
      Hopes are high on both accounts, but I’ll be able to get over it if we don’t win that makeover!

  • B- I’ll keep your hunnie in my prayers and thoughts! Be strong girl! It will be a tough road but I’m sure he’s a strong guy and I have no doubt he will kick cancer’s butt!! Please let me know if you guys ever need anything!

    • Kristin. Thank you so much for the encouraging words! It has been amazing what this experience has done in the way of feeling grateful for all that we have. As fun and funny as it is to want to redo a room, buy a perfect sofa, replace an ugly chandelier or buy some wicked cool new Hmong textile throw pillows for $200 a pop — I’m really just content as long as that dude is at home.

      But then, what would we blog about? haha!!
      <3 and thanks for the note. Wishing you and your dude the best too with all your adventures.

  • Thank you Heffe & Betsy for sharing that with TEOT and Emily Henderson. I have so many questions- all design related…what will you do if Emily kicks your baby blue couch to the curb b/c she buys something amazing at the Rose Bowl and reupholsters it into perfection? She’s gonna layer on some affordable linen drapes and Heffe will cringe? You’re an art history major, how harshly will you judge the art picks?

    • Yay! Those are fun questions. I hope that I get the opportunity to find out.
      I came upon the realization at some point that for me art is home decor. Everything else is a critic’s hype. I know that this is brash and perhaps unpopular opinion – yes there is an academic vein and an artist can recognize the process, etc etc etc. It’s not to say that I’d pass if Hendo wants to gift me with an original Frank Stella, Robert Motherwell, Yves Klein, Donald Judd, quite the opposite. (Though it gets a little sticky for me, I’m not sure individuals should own those pieces, I think maybe public institutions like museums should, so that everyone has a chance to see important original works.) So, I’ll take a well crafted knock-off or perhaps more interestingly a worthless thrift shop find or an emerging artist. As long as its pretty. Which has more to do with personal tastes like color palette, and composition. My only criteria is the finish. I just don’t want a janky old framed poster.
      If Emily kicks my blue couch to the curb, I’ll likely gift it to my brother and his growing family. It’s been a great couch and it still has a lot of wear left in it with a new cover (which I happen to have in the garage.) I won’t be mad if she wants to figure out how to work in a roll arm sofa in linen or velvet alongside some re-upholstered mid-century scores… as long at it is still comfortable for me, the tall dude and two little homies to spend all day Sunday in our PJs hanging out watching football and playing on iPads… I trust her judgement. I also won’t be mad if she decided to creatively makeover the Karlstad though. I think a hack job would be interesting. It won’t make for an exciting room change though – the space is kind of limited in that way. There’s ONE place for that couch to go.
      We’ll see what she does about the window treatment. Lord knows thats the start of this show, since its a partnership with a window treatments company. Personally, I think that Heffe will enjoy a linen drape.
      My favorite part of this is that I’m pretty sure there is NO WAY that Hendo is gonna let the adjacent dining room chandelier stay the same. I should probably send her a personal note today with a picture to seal the deal – she couldn’t POSSIBLY let anyone carry on living with that thing.
      We are down to the wire. They got in touch with the landlord and he put the kabosh on any structural changes as well as a no go on changing up the fireplace and the built-ins. Which are the two things that she wanted to change.
      So. there’s that. I’m actually afraid the chances aren’t so great.

      As for Jeff… He passed day one of round two with flying colors! We are swimming along nicely. We need a makeover!

  • Betsy, we follow your lovely blog in our blogroll. It takes courage and strength to put yourself out there and share with the world your most personal experiences. Sending you lots of good vibes and positive thoughts from Seattle. Like you, we share the same appreciation for Emily’s insane style. Amy entered the contest last week too. It will be so fun to watch your place transform into something really spectacular! Take good care.

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