Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

What A Year It’s Been (& A Big Announcement!)

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This was one heck of a year for me.  A lot of milestones, both personally and professionally, punctuated 2012 making it one I will not soon forget. We bought our first real house in the burbs and as I write this our kitchen is being demolished making way for a clean, fresh (and stylish) start in 2013 for us in our new home we are working towards making our dream home.  I’m so glad I can share the steps with you on our journey and know that this year will be a big one for Casa Gates! Feeling settled (finally) in one place really is one of the most soothing things for me and leaves me one less thing to worry about this year.  That whole “where are we gonna live” conversation was getting really old.

A shot a few great magazine features in 2012 too- one for Better Homes & Gardens of our last apartment that will come out this spring that’s adorable and let’s not forget Oprah. Bucket list item #2 checked off- I MET OPRAH. I mean, that’s enough for one year right? But on top of that I got to experience an overwhelmingly “big time” photo shoot in NYC for O Magazine and IKEA (I’m in the February 2013 issue too!) and then go to LA for a week to shoot a commercial for IKEA (airing in February 2013 too!)   I will never forget pulling up to the set and seeing all the trailers and people and equipment and shaking my head in amazement.  And then getting to speak at and experience the O You! Conference was another mind-bender! Absolute insanity.

I got to work on some INCREDIBLE homes with even more incredible clients who make doing my job a pleasure.  So many new friends came into my life this way and I hope that they are as happy with their new spaces as I am to have been allowed to be a part of their lives in creating them.  You’ll be seeing more images of my designs for others in 2013 for sure, and I was “someone-please-pinch-me” level excited seeing my name and work in one of my all time favorite magazines, InStyle in January! Craziness!

I also could never have predicted the reaction I got to my post on beauty- nor that it would be bought and published by Ladies Home Journal!  I received so many beautiful, emotional and touching comments and e-mail about my story that it nearly brought me to tears.  I felt so overwhelmed to find out how not alone I am, and that I had the ability to help others feel not alone too.

And that leads me to the big one.  The announcement I’ve been waiting to share with you.

I capped of 2012 with one of the biggest accomplishments of my career thus far.  Something I have always dreamed of doing and something I could never have done without YOU.  My amazing, dedicated, fantastic readers who still surprise me everyday when you take time out of your busy lives to check in with me and see what I have to say.  Even nearly 6 years after starting this blog I am still in awe of that and I could never, ever truly express my gratitude to you fully. So I am beyond excited to tell you that right before Christmas I officially landed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish a book in fall of 2014!!!!!

Can you even believe it? Because I sure can’t.

It’s going to be a new concept in an interior and style book in that it will be combination of inspiration and guidance along with a personal narrative- just like my blog tends to be.  Creating a home is such a reflection of our life stories, I want to make this book a strong reflection of that- approaching the process with humor, humility and a sense of fun.  I’d love to hear what you’d like out of the book as well, so please, PLEASE share!  I’m so thrilled to get working on it, especially with the truly incredible team at Simon & Schuster who are making this possible.

Thank you. All of you. You’ve helped make my dreams come true.

Love and laughter in 2013 to everyone.

Happy New Year,

Erin

 

 

Foodie Crush: Mimi Thorisson

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

As we all pack up and get motivated to spend some time off-line with our families for Thanksgiving, I had to leave you all with these insane images from the incredible French foodie blog Manger by Mimi Thorisson.  She was recently featured on Sous Style and I fell head over heels for her style, family and fact that she has 14 dogs!!!! Hello?!?! Can I please live in the French countryside with a gaggle of puppies? And make food that is this fresh and this GOOD LOOKING? This whole blog makes my Old El Paso taco kit dinners look even worse than they already are. I need to up my game, people.

Take a peek and I know you’ll be in love too.

Oh, and thanks for reading. And being you. And supporting my dream.

Love you guys.

California Love

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Greetings from Los Angeles my dears.  Early this morning I’ll be headed to IKEA to film a little something for the OWN Network (cue NERVES!) and then I’ll have a few days off before my other events for the IKEA Life Improvement Project and appearance at the O You! Conference on Saturday.  So I plan to take that time to do a little work in the sun and explore some of LA’s design superstar stores.  For now I’ll leave you with this adorable California vacation home in Sonoma- a one bedroom wonder in wine country! I love the simple lines, vaulted ceilings and the fact that they have a pool AND chickens. California at it’s best (via Sunset Magazine).

Oprah+IKEA+EOS

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

…And yours truly is flabbergasted to find herself amongst the pages!  As I mentioned a while ago I had a bog shoot in NYC, and this is what it was for!  Oprah and IKEA have partnered together for a year long initiative, The Life Improvement Project aimed at helping people better their lives through their homes, one idea at a time.  Launching October 16th the website www.thelifeimporvementproject.com will be a place where people can share and gather ideas on how to improve their spaces and lives within. With each submitted or shared project, IKEA will make a $1 donation (up to $50,000) to Save the Children’s Early Steps for School Success program and each sumission enters you to win IKEA gift cards to implement MORE great changes in your home.

I was so honored to be asked to be on the Life Improvement Squad as the interior design expert along with entertaining guru Amy Atlas, life coach Susan Hyatt and green designer Cathy Hobbs.  We are going to be giving our own tips on the site as well as appear at O/ IKEA events in different parts of the country, starting with the O You!  Conference in LA next week! I’ll be in LA all week doing shoots for OWN and appearing at the conference and IKEA events and will blog from there all about this amazing experience (and if I get to meet Oprah herself- we shall see!)

I am really excited about this opportunity and hope you guys will pick up a copy of O to check it out. In the meantime, here are some IKEA all-stars I love using in my designs….

This rug has been sold out for months and months, and I just saw that it’s back in stock in my local store and I am tempted to drop everything to go get it! It’s exactly what we’ve wanted for our offices!

Speaking of offices, I’d say 75% of ours is from IKEA.  Our desks are actually dining tables and we have two Expedit units with baskets and bins in them for fabric samples.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used these sturdy shelving units in homes for books, kids toys and the like. I am LOVING the new high gloss gray finish too!

That armoire is from IKEA too! A major face since it’s got such great hardware and is a gorgeous color!

The Malm dresser is one of the most hacked IKEA products out there- whether it’s new hardware to make it look like a campaign chest or O’Verlays to add some decoration to the fronts, I love the flexibility of this piece! Also loving the new mirrored version- so sleek and glamorous.

Another great hack on the Rast dresser- amazing. I may have to try this! Instructions HERE.

For lighting these two are are super stars- the clean modern Brasa and the fun and funky Maskros (now in a smaller size too!)

The Docksta table is now a classic affordable piece of modern design as are the acrylic Tobias chair.

Picking up some cheap art (and frames for that matter) is usually something I do too- check out this vintage  botanical chart print and Matisse print- both fantastic looking for very little money!

So, Monday Rocked.

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Monday morning I woke up and was perusing my Twitter feed when I saw this.

I read and re-read that four or five times before I could comprehend she was talking about MY blog. And then I freaked the FRIG out. Why? Only because I have worshiped Ali Wentworth for years. Her writing has cracked me up beyond words, her every TV appearance has left me in stitches and her homes have graced the pages of Elle Decor and Arch Digest. I mean, if I went to Hogwarts (I wish) and was to conjure my Patronus it would be in the shape of Ali Wentworth. So this tweet from her pretty much rocked my world and then some. So in “I’m Not Worthy” honor here are some of my fave spaces from Ali’s homes in NY (decorated by THE Michael Smith) and D.C. (decorated by Elizabeth Martin).

(Leopard DVF dress? Soul mate much?)

And then later in the day the new issue of Matchbook Magazine came out featuring a story about Two Penny Blue! (P.S. How awesome are our shipping boxes, if I do say so myself??)

Not a bad way to start the week, huh?