Design Crush: Gil Schafer

I’ve been buying lots of design books I’ve been eyeing for years lately. I want more of my downtime to be analog, and books are the best accessories in a home, I think.  So really, it’s win/win. One can never have enough books (unless they are cheesy paperback chick-lit or spy thrillers in which case I believe they breed while we are sleeping and/or preparing to move).  One I recently picked up is architect Gil Schafer’s The Great American HouseI’ve flipped through it before at my parents house, but this time I really dug in and my appreciation and awestruck admiration for his work grew tenfold.


Many of his projects have been published in the big glossies, so you may recognize a home or two when flipping through– but what is so wonderful about his work is that it looks so old, so full of the detail and craft of yesteryear, that you may have just assumed it WAS an old home.  Here are two examples- one int he north and one in the south that really exemplify his work:

This Duchess County New York home is seriously dreamy.


So grand and yet perfectly at home in the country.


Every detail just sings, but in such a subtle way (those little windows above the porch! The hudges!)



The crisp hedges give the garden a contemporary edge.


What a property!


I love how streamlined the landscaping is– not fussy or overdone, just a few repeated favorites- boxwood, hydrangea, grass and beautiful stone work.



Just breathtaking.


The interior has that combination of ease and formality that is actually trickly to do without it looking forced.


Those floors! It’s hard to believe this is a newly built home!


This project (which is on the cover of his book) is a renovation of an 1843 Greek Revival home in Charleston, SC.  Combining rustic and grand design, they restored it to its original glory.



Charleston is such a charming city, and the secret gardens are my favorite– this one happens to be pretty darn spectacular!



How insane is this dining room mural?


The lack of furniture here makes you really note just how amazing this building is (those windows!!!)


I die for this bathroom.



A cozy study.


A bold color choice for the halls, but one that works perfectly.





  1. Great post – that bathroom in particular is stunning!

    Just wanted to say that I am a long-time reader and admirer of your blog, Erin. All the way from London. Your posts provide the most wonderful, colourful break from my black and white job as a lawyer! Thank you.

  2. okay, this is a weird thing to say but I feel so lucky you always update during my daughter’s naptime- I get to read your posts and enjoy them with coffee in peace. this was especially good today- so freaking amazing. that picture with the hydrangeas?? like a breath of fresh air. wow.

    thanks erin!

    xo, brittany
    valentine’s day style for mamas and babes on my blog today!

  3. I love your blog and thought for sure you would have a post about Melania Trump as a fashion icon after the inauguration. No matter one’s political affiliation I think the post is warranted. She is a power house of style and grace. As I look at my daily blogs I see that you are not alone in staying away from posting anything about this topic. So sad.

    1. Telling me what I SHOULD be posting, is exactly why I take issue with our current administration and its treatment of the media. I don’t appreciate being told what to cover on my own blog. Her looks were perfectly lovely, but not something I wish to cover at the moment in time. Thank you for respecting that.

      1. Wow. I don’t think Lynda was being offensive and your tone back to her seems way over the top. She has a valid point and should be respected for it in a kinder way.

    2. Lynda, you clearly feel very strongly about this, so why don’t you start your own blog featuring anyone you’d like.

      1. Easy there. I don’t believe Linda said anything out of line and I certainly don’t think bashing the First Lady is the correct way to get your point across. We should all be able to take criticism but there is a right way. I am tired of folks bashing the first family, stop the nonsense! What has happened to our country?

      2. Erin has posted several times asking what her readers want her to write about, ideas for blog posts, etc. It was simply a suggestion it seemed to me. Jeez.

      3. Shelly, while I certainly don’t agree with the “bashing” of any First Lady, I only hope you expressed the same sentiment during the eight years with the Obama’s as first family…

    3. Linda, some are supporting you saying you said nothing offensive but let’s face it, it was underhanded the way you took issue with Erin not posting about Mrs. Trump. IS there no place one can go and get away from politics and its current toxicity…

  4. I don’t usually post any comments about your blogs (although I always read and love them), but I had to tell you how much I enjoyed today’s post. I keep looking at those gorgeous photos again and again!

    We are all lucky that you find such wonderful rooms and places to show us and allow us to dream big! Thanks Erin!

  5. Erin I love that you are continuing your search in learning more and more about your love and career in design. You are so wise to keep growing and to study. I have done this my whole life and love following along with you on your continued journey of knowledge and beauty. We can all learn from each other if we are willing to have an open mind. Thank you for sharing what you are learning and observing. Love seeing it through your eyes.

  6. Loved everything! Usually there are one or two rooms in a renovation that just aren’t “me” (nor should they be!), but I was drooling over every single photo. Oh, to have the money, time and taste! Thank you for sharing; your Style Crush postings are usually some of my favorites.

  7. My jaw dropped when you said that first one was new construction. I love this decor–traditional and timeless but not stuffy. Many things worth pinning! And the perfect idea for an empty niche I’m struggling with: a big urn.

  8. You’ve helped me appreciate the beauty of traditional style … looking for the small details as well as the broader strokes. Education and eye candy. it’s a good thing.

  9. I thought this was Bunny Mellon’s house in CT before I read the captions. So many similar choices – proof that “traditional” and “good taste” go hand in hand.

  10. So so so so beautiful. Wonderful post. I will have to buy this book. I love old homes even if they are just made to look old.

  11. These interiors are simply stunning. Thank you for sharing. I love that you cover different types of interiors and styles. I feel like my mind and tastes expand thanks to you!

  12. Just love all of your inspiration, so relate, and look forward to all your post!! I also would have loved to hear your commments on Inaugeration fashion designs!

  13. I’ve been reading a lot of books on colors since we are starting a renovation of the first floor of our home. Two of my favorites: In The Mood For Color by Hans Blomquist, and Pure Color by Jane Cumberbatch. Beautiful inspirations for color combinations. I also like Terence Conran’s book, Plain Simple Useful.

  14. Gil Shafer’s book is one of my favorites. I have actually been in the home in Charleston and you should see pictures of it before it was redone. It was truly falling down….such love and care were put into the renovation. The raised pool did not even exist. Charleston is such a special place.

    Thank you so much for your blog. Your taste is spectacular and you are so down to earth. Look forward to every post!

  15. WOW! That first house is just gorJ. Thanks, for the post because my smallish house cannot hold ANY MORE coffee table design books….
    PS – is historical fiction considered cheesy? ;)

  16. I love the bold wall colors used in these homes. Any suggestions for easing the flow between rooms? I can’t come up with a palette that has a smooth transition from room to room. The substantial woodwork, high ceilings and large windows break up the color. Unfortunately I don’t have those luxuries in my 1970’s colonial.

Comments are closed.