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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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!!!!!

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

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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.

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

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Love and laughter in 2013 to everyone.

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Happy New Year,

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Animal Print Shop Giveaway!

Thank you all for your wonderfully thoughtful comments and emails regarding yesterday’s post.  What a brilliant group of readers I have! So grateful for you all. Now to spread some smiles around let’s change things up with…. BABY ANIMALS!

Nothing makes me to grin wider than furry little loves so when photographer Sharon Montrose became a blog sponsor I was beside myself with glee. I think I should make a little room in my house a “happy room” and just put tons of these awesome Animal Print Shop pictures up so I can go in there when I’ve got a bad case of the sads. They are some of my favorite things to use in nurseries and kids rooms and LUCKY YOU, Sharon is giving away a 16″ x 20″ limited edition print of any animal of your choice today!!!! Keep reading for how to enter….

I can’t even DEAL with these faces! Look at them! (I am talking in baby voice to my computer right now)

Can I have her job please?

This one cracks me up.

Check out this gorgeous Palm Springs nursery featured on Sharon’s blog by Morgan Satterfield (see Mr. Camel on the wall?)

Adults can use them too- don’t forget! This buffalo is pretty boss.

Actress Molly Sims used them in her nursery for her new son! See how awesome they look in a grid?

P.S. Her nursery is AMAZE.

Leave a comment below on which animal is your absolute favorite and like the Animal Print Shop Facebook page and we will email the winner next week!

I Want to Go to There: Londolozi

I came across this absolutely drop dread South African game reserve, Londolozi, in this month’s O Magazine and I now have a new goal in life: going HERE.  Not only is going on a safari my top top top travel wishlist item, but the design of this resort is beyond my wildest (pun intended) imagination.  I am so inspired by the interior spaces as much as I am the exterior landscape!

Stop it. Stop it right now with this bathtub scenario. A glass of wine and Ryan Gosling rubbing your shoulders and asking you how your day was and the most perfect moment the earth could conjure up will have just happened.

Modern plus rustic equals fabulous.


Drapes over a tub? Why not. This is heaven after all.

Do you think he’d rip my face off if I snuggled him and put him in bed with me?

Dig this look? Here ya go!

1./2./3./4./5./6./7./8./9./10./11a & 11b./12./13.

The Exquisite Edelmans

Last month’s House Beautiful has a whole section which I happen to have dog-eared enthusiastically. Some pages so full of amazing ideas that I wish I could triple dog-ear it somehow.  What I found so inspiring was the CT home on Bonnie and John Edelman in Connecticut (my home state, hollllaaaa). What a completely amazing, wonderful, insanely awesome example of decorating this place is. A mix of modern, traditional, vintage, new, simple and exquisite!  And would you expect less from the couple- he, the president/CEO of Design Within Reach and she, a very talented photographer?

Zebra? Check. Horns? Check. Sunburst mirror? Check.

Sputnik, I love you.

Amazing gallery wall, obvi.

More tulip tables! Guess that’s a given when you run DWR.

Gorg. Love me an egg chair too.

GAH! I just keeled over dead. This picture is porn for me.

Gallery wall x a gazillion.

I mean, REALLY? This is the OUTDOOR kitchen and dining area? Can I hold my birthday party here for a fee?


Perfection. Absolute perfection. Can you imagine making s’mores and drinking wine here? I can. Just waiting for my invitation…. (crickets)

And how about Bonnie’s gorgeous equestrian photos? Who doesn’t love a large scale print of one of the most beautiful creatures on earth?

I Want to Go To There: Castiglion del Bosco

I wandered through 12 cities in Italy in high school on a very memorable school trip, but have yet to go back.  It’s on the top of my list to revisit that gorgeous country as an adult, particularly Tuscany.  And if I had won the mega-millions I would be sure to book myself a nice little villa at Castiglion del Bosco.  A grand estate renovated by the Ferragamo family (of the famous fashion house) it appears sprawling, lush and perfectly amazing. Of course the style of the interiors is insanely gorgeous- using a mix of natural materials like rustic wood and stone but also luxurious fabrics and furniture of a more tailored measure.  But what’s NOT to like about this kind of destination for vacation? Pasta, wine, sun, spa, golf, more wine and then for good measure, some more wine.

Yes please.