A Question for You…

As you know, I am hard at work at my book. In fact today we are busy shooting a project I have been working on for TWO YEARS and it’s so very gratifying to get to this place in which I feel things are DONE.  However, this book project is massive. MASSIVE. And although I have a good grasp on the full concept, I still worry that it won’t live up to your expectation (cue the shrink and my unending battle against poor self-esteem).  I lose sleep over this.  So it’s time I helped myself by asking for your help….

Some book shoot sneak peeks via my Instagram:

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I wanted to check in with you guys, whom this book is FOR, and ask- what exactly are you hoping to see and read in this book? What would make my “blog to book” feel valuable to you?  It’s so important to me that my dedicated readers love it, so I appreciate any feedback you can give me.  I can promise that you’ll finally get to see a lot of my work, most I have never shown on this blog.  I also am going to feature designers I love- not big famous ones you’ve seen a zillion times- but rather my peers, many whom have gained popularity through blogs and other forms of social media.

The thing that I hope makes this book different is that I am going to bring a more personal element and sense of humor the design concept.  Homes are a reflection of our lives and I think we need to embrace that and accept that our spaces are never going to be perfect. We have TV’s to deal with, family heirlooms we want to incorporate, kids toys to organize and budgets that leave much to be desired.  I aim to have this serve not only as an aspirational tome but an inspirational one too.  And one that will make you laugh as much as it will fire up your desire to decorate!

So share your thoughts, please!

{Merci!}

 

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127 Responses to “A Question for You…”

  1. Kara says:

    Congratulations! I am so excited. I visit your blog everyday because I feel like I get a little bit of everything I love all in one place. SpecificalluY, I love your miX of fashion and design, and therefore, would love to see your guide to building a tasteful life…with a sense of humor!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I love getting a peek into peoples redos – so a bit of before/after, along with a how to guide, beautiful photography, peppered with your own personality is my suggestion. For what it’s worth, a couple years ago, I read an article about you & your blog in a woman’s magazine (unfortunately, I can’t remember which one). I was inspired by your honesty about who you were as a child/young adult and who you’ve become. In fact, I passed it I on to my husband who’s a therapist and works with college students many of whom are girls struggling with their own value as women. That’s how I found your blog, and I’m a firm believer that your own candor, in addition to your sense of style will sell books. People connect with real life!

  3. Franki Parde says:

    What I personally enjoy is that you “tweak” the “rules.” WHY NOT!! You have this “gene” that resonates…go with it. Don’t be so hard on yourself…there are details and there is perfection…your writings are worth it! franki

  4. Katie says:

    Congratulations about your upcoming book! I’m so excited to purchase & read your book and, as a fellow ‘Ancient’, I’m extra proud of you too!

    I agree with so much of what people have written in the comments…your book description sounds perfect and very helpful for living in a real world!

    I would love to see different color and pattern scheme ideas and how to incorporate a certain palette across an entire room instead of just in a little vignette. I also love the idea of seeing budget and time-friendly ideas since that’s real life. Showing ways to achieve a luxe look without every piece having a luxe price tag, i.e. examples when you’ve mixed high with low, would be fantastic!

    Including an occasional DIY idea might be fun, too!

    Good luck – I’m sure it will turn out great!
     

  5. Marilyn says:

    I would ove to see “the great room” addressed. So many of us, me included have homes that incorprate the kitchen, living and dining room in one area. The dilemma for us pedestrians is how to make it flow and be cozy yet grown up.

  6. Heather says:

    I would like to see your work through the years. I love the little “clips” of what you post but I would like to see more of the entire room.

    Also, I would like to see and hear your advice for living in older homes that have “rooms” and not “open concept” spaces like we see in newer homes and on tv.

  7. Desiree M. Fox says:

    Fabulous photos! Cannot wait until the book is published :D

    Love it!

  8. Sara says:

    Erin,
    Cannot wait for your book, dying to see more pics of your gorgeous kitchen!
    I LOVE the 5 points that Shannon made (especially #4, I have the same problem)!
    Regardless of suggestions, I have followed your blog for years so I already KNOW your book will be amazing!

  9. Megan says:

    Erin,

    It sounds like you are right on track with what you think the book should be. I’m just anxious to see photos of all your work, hear your side of the story and crack up a little. ;o) Everything that your blog is to us readers, we expect in the book. We don’t expect it to be this shiny manifesto of how to lead a perfectly designed life. We love you and we love reading your blog because you are real. I am looking forward to a design book that aspires to be relatable, not pretentious. Can’t wait to see the final product!

    On that note, what kind of designer would you be if you didn’t fret and lose sleep over every last little detail? Don’t worry, you’re doing it right. Trust your gut, trust your team; the book will be fantastic!

  10. gayle p says:

    I love your blog and your voice and the ideas that you share. What i’d love to hear/see is makeovers/renovations of older spaces and how you can transform them into modern living rooms. i also love the idea of your showcasing other designers and concepts that you and your peers are using. It’s nice to see works by other talented designers – we all know the superstars. And the suggestions above about low budget ways to up the design. And i LOVE your stairs – and the photo with those fabulous shoes!

    Can’t wait to see the finished book – thanks for the sneak peeks!

  11. kate says:

    So looking forward to the book!
    I would say the before & after piece is always helpful, it makes it feel attainable.
    It would also be nice to do a bit on cleverly incorporating a television into a room without a million-dollar-custom-made-contraption that moves it into the ceiling or something. I watch TV, I want to have a nice living room, can’t I have both?
    You’ve always done a great job of incorporating the affordable into your spaces, I hope the book keeps that theme and isn’t just a series of aspirational scenes I have no hope of ever being able to do on my sad budget.
    Most of all, is there any way to have rooms that actually look like people live there? So many design mags just don’t look realistic (where on earth could you put a coffee cup on that coffee table, it’s covered in “accessories”? there’s no TV in that room, no remote either? how can anyone dust that many knicknacks and not go crazy? yeah, right that’s a kids room, nobody in their right mind would let a toddler loose in there. etc.) Can you do a ‘photo-shoot’ v. ‘real life’ shot of a room that people are actually using? I realize it’s not as pretty as the “styled” version, but that’s what’s going to happen to these rooms most of the time.
    This is all stuff you do anyway, I guess I’m just asking for your book to be a reflection of real life and not just a series of domino spreads as so many design books are. Keep up the great work, can’t wait to see it!

  12. Lynn says:

    Hi Erin,
    I love your blog as it is part of my morning ritual and am often inspired for the day after reading. I would love to read about how you use the web for research and inspiration. Most of us can’t allocate funds for interior design services but when designing on our own, lack a respected design opinion when making final choices. So frustrating:(( I wish there was an online sounding board to bounce ideas off.
    Can’t wait to read your book!!

  13. Kate says:

    Honestly, I feel like most interior books these days focus only on interiors — I know that sounds funny, but a home is so much more than that. It’s the city you live in and how your home relates to what’s around it. One thing I LOVE about your blog is that I feel like I get that perspective of Boston and how your home life intertwines with your city life. I’d love to see more of that in the homes/people featured.

  14. julie says:

    HI Erin -
    One of the things I like best about your blog is the collection of photos you put together for a post. Some examples are the kitchen chandelier debate and front doors (I think you said you wanted to do a book just on this topic). I do’t have a lot of time to search the web but instead I find great ideas on style blogs. I realize these are other peoples photos so you probably can not put them in your book but this is what I like to see. Best of luck!

  15. I love a good metamorphosis, and I like nothing better than to look into other people’s homes and lives (sounds a little creepy!). But I’m also hoping for more of your candid, humorous writing – it’s something that really distinguishes you from other bloggers. So adding a bit of your personality to the book would be great! I’m sure it’ll be a hit (anxiety can be a great tool!).

  16. Chris Clark says:

    I suggest you use the book to tell the story of your life. Use the pages to touch on your childhood in essay-form while showcasing a child’s room. Your struggles in adolescence as you highlight tips to freshen up a dorm. Your city’s perseverance after a terrorist attack by showing some FABULOUS Boston homes.

    There’s a reason we all keep coming back when there are a BILLION other blogs out there. Your voice. Your taste. Your excitement in the beauty all around us every day. Trust in yourself. And of course, trust in your editors.

    Final bit of advice. IT MUST BE HARDCOVER. Nobody likes a paperback design book. Please fight for this if it’s up for debate.

    And Spell Check! Ha.

  17. JLSG says:

    Hi Erin,

    Good luck with the writing. I have a lot of confidence in you.

    I love your personal essays and insight, and believe that should by all means play a key role in your book. What I find missing in a lot of design books is some of the key logistical information: how to figure out a great furniture layout, where should bedroom sconces be placed (height and distance from the headboard), what to do for window treatments when have heaters below your window… It would be nice to have these topics covered in explaining a design or showing a before/after, inspiring and instructional. I also would love a design book that showed how to truly mix high and low for those of us who are whose high might not be that high. How do we make our homes unique and personal when shopping at major furniture dealers and mass retailers. I really love when House Beautiful does their day makeovers as so much of what they have to buy has to be bought at mass retailers and local boutiques. I find it much more accessible. Accessibility coupled with great design and some instruction would be a perfect recipe. Best of luck.

  18. Linda says:

    Erin, your book will be great. Whatever you write I am more than happy to read. And of course drool over the pics!

  19. Leslie says:

    Hi Erin,

    I tune in to your blog daily, and I know your book will be smashing. What I’d love to see in your book is how we rookie home decorators can translate beautiful rooms into real life. For instance I see sisal and jute rugs all over the place in magazines. They look fantastic but I can’t imagine who would want to step on them in their bare feet!

    One of my challenges in decorating my home is resources. I live in a rural area, and there is no where to shop, so experimenting, especially with large items, like rugs tables, etc. is not an option. Most of what I buy is online, so if an area rug doesn’t work, I’m paying (a lot) to send it back. I always hear…experiment, if you don’t like it you can change it. That’s true, if you have a warehouse of goodies at your disposal, but for the average homeowner it’s at a cost.

    Another thing which bewilders me is the skill of combining colors which would seemingly look bad together, but turn out to be the greatest looking rooms ever.

    Lastly, I know there isn’t a diagram for design, but I think on of the biggest mistakes we amateurs make is not having a plan. I read one of Christian May’s blogs where someone was looking for living room advice and he said “It starts with a plan. As simplistic as that sounds, it’s true. I think it’s important to have a real floor plan to make sure the things you NEED fit, and start with the big things like rugs, furniture and as the one person said above the t.v. It’s very easy to get sidetracked by the seduction of accessories, and before you know it you’re trying to find an area rug to coordinate with a throw pillow!

    I know your book will be a success, and I look forward to reading it.

    Leslie D.

  20. Anna says:

    I would love to see how people live in their homes – beautiful empty rooms are great, but I get inspiration from seeing a dining room set for a party, or a kitchen island in full swing preparing breakfast for the family, or how a quiet corner is perfect for reading with a cup of coffee.

    Also – I love those perfect children’s rooms and offices, but where is the stuff?? I’d love to see storage and organization ideas for keeping toys, etc behind the scenes in kids’ rooms/nurseries – and is it possible to have a cute office when I need a desktop with 2 monitors and lots of wires?? I dream of those adorable offices I see online and in magazines but one tiny little silver laptop just won’t get the job done. :)

    Looking forward to the book!!

  21. Gayle Moore says:

    Erin, your fresh approach is what sets you apart and I love your candor! Having your basic do’s and don’t's and perhaps a room by room guide included would be so helpful and a great reference! So looking forward to this book.

  22. Some really great ideas. I love the idea of showing your first project and your design evolutuon.
    Remember Stuart Smalleys’ Daily Affirmations?
    You are good enough
    You are smart enough
    And doggone it, people like you
    Cheers to the book! It will be amazing!

  23. Erin Gates says:

    Chris Clark- you just wrote EXACTLY what I’m doing in the book- personal essays that relate to spaces!!! I’m so glad you said it. :)

  24. Dana says:

    so excited to see your book, erin! so many great ideas have been posted, but chris clark’s suggestions were perfect. best of luck to you. :)

  25. Suzy Quinn says:

    Great comments, and I am sure the book will be fresh, creative and user-friendly. I’d like to see you also show how certain pieces/furniture etc can be used in more than one way. Sometimes we get antsy to change things in a room and still want to use most of what we have but use it differently. Thank you!

  26. Gray says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Chris Clark. It must be hardcover, it must have your wonderful voice, which I love. I am probably one of you older readers. And at 54, I have gone through some horrible things since I started reading your blog. When these things happened to me, I thought I would probably stop reading fashion and design blogs…..so superficial. But yours is one that I still read. One of the first I found, and probably my favorite.
    You have an authentic voice and you remind me that even though we’re not saving lives here, we have to have enjoyment and appreciation for beautiful things while we are on this earth.
    You also show me that just because your blog and your design work is beautiful, your life isn’t perfect and you persevere.
    I can’t wait for your book.
    Godspeed.

  27. Kat says:

    I would love some more ideas on different resources to purchase affordable furniture, accessories, and art for the homes. For example, most of my adult life I considered crate&barrel, west elm, j. adler, and room&board to be pretty much the sources where I would get over 80% of things for my home. However, my mother in law is a purchasing director for a large hotel chain and she opened up my eyes to SO MANY other vendor resources that dont necessary advertise to us ‘pedestrians’ but are highly utilized by those in the industry. It would be great if you could profile some of the more accessible vendors you use that dont require ordering in bulk.

    Otherwise LOVE your blog and cannot wait for the book.