This and That.

I’m currently staying with my parents as all our floors get refinished before our big kitchen install starts in a couple days! It’s moving pretty darn fast! While here we went to check on the progress of the beach house my parent’s are building (designed by my Dad and his firm).  It’s pretty exciting stuff.

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A rendering nailed up in the frame.

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It’s amazing how fast framing happens!

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Looking into the vaulted living room- will have a great stone fireplace between those windows!

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Views to the water and shipyard down the hill.

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We went to one of the local lobster places for lunch (yes, there’s multiple lobster places).  While I don’t like lobster (I know, try to contain your horror- I don’t eat sushi either) it’s a cute place to have some chowder as well!

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Ford’s is kinda famous for their buoys.

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And they go back a ways…. don;t you love the wall color? It reminds me a lot of Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic.

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Love this little painting from a local gallery- too bad it’s sold, would have been a great housewarming gift!

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The town they are building in is a little boating village on the CT shore…. it’s very quaint and cute (P.S. that lighthouse is now a private residence. Oh yeah.)

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I mean, look at the little local store/diner.  How Americana is that?

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While back at my house it looks like THIS.  The Wellbuilt crew is working round the clock to get us back in there!!!

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But our floors are coming out lovely.  I was pretty stressed out about the stain colors.  We tried a few and I wasn’t loving any of them. I wanted them to be dark but not TOO dark, brown but not red. But not grey either.  I actually didn’t sleep one night because I was fretting so about this decision (I know, you don’t want my problems…)  So I researched a bit online and found out that many people, including the DIY expert Jenny from LGN suggested a mix of 50% Minwax Jacobean and 50% Ebony.  I had tested both those on their own and didn’t like them but together- I think we have a winner!

INSPIRATION:

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REALITY!!!!! (Now we just need three coats of poly and we’re golden!)

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How was your long weekend?

My Ad for IKEA and OWN!

I am working feverishly on my Golden Globes fashion post!  In the meantime, a reader tweeted that she saw my ad for IKEA on TV the other night and now that I’ve found it online I wanted to share it.  This is what I filmed in LA a few months ago and was one of the coolest experiences of my life (and scary, as you can probably tell from the nervous tremble in my voice!)  Working on The Life Improvement Project has been so fantastic- and check out my new full page ad in this month’s O Magazine too!

Simple Goals for 2013

1. Keep decorating my house patiently and purposefully with only things I really love.

2. Now that I will have a new kitchen, cook more. And not just Old El Paso taco kit kind of cooking– fresh, good for us food! (Oh, and be more like Gwyneth, obvs).

3. Try a new haircut.

4. Go outside more and take walks. Hikes. Kayaking. Whatever as long as there is blue sky above.

5. Write. A lot. (As you now know I have quite the massive writing goal this year!)

6. Take breaks. Real breaks that don’t involve the computer or TV.  Be still for minute.

7. Entertain more at home and don’t be stressed if everything isn’t PERFECT. Andrew turns 40 this year so I will be planning at least one big bash!

via Karson Butler Events

8. Invest in classics but take some risks. No more crap just because it’s on sale and I want something new.

9. Keep reading a lot. Doesn’t matter if it’s a literary classic or a thriller.

10. Get back to the mat.

11. Curate love, everyday. Be thankful. Take it all in.

 

A Little House Update

As we are preparing to break ground (or, walls) January 2nd for our kitchen I have done a few little things around the house to make it look a bit better- one of which is painting me up some new nightstands! One my amazing clients (whose home I CANNOT wait to show you) offered up her old Williams Sonoma Home nightstands to me when her new ones arrived.  Clearly she remembered me drooling over them and mentioning how I’d coveted them for years- especially since they stopped making them.

They needed a little love though, with some water marks and cracking.  Plus I wanted them in white.  So after getting some quotes to have them refinished ( a small fortune) I decided to try myself first since I had nothing to lose. I could always have them professionally redone if I screwed up (which was likely since I am NO DIY-er).

After sanding and spraying primer on these bad boys I went in for the kill… and made a GREAT choice by going with Valspar’s gloss white spray paint.  AMAZING. No drips, awesome coverage and perfect color. Go get yourself some if you are planning to paint anything- the color selection is fantastic too!

TA-DA! I didn’t care about painting the pavement because we are tearing it up come spring to put in a new paaaaattttiiiiooooo!!!!!! (said in Oprah’s Favorite Things voice). I bought some spray poly to finish them off and made the mistake of not checking with fab DIY ninjas like Jenny Komenda first and bought the wrong kind- even though it said CLEAR, it turned yellow immediately. So i had to sand it off and repaint another coat and then use the LGN approved Polycrylic. Phew.

Now that they are in place I LOVE LOVE them. The tiered structure is perfect for someone like me who has candles, Kindles, books, earrings and lots of crap to place bedside. New mercury glass lamps via Homegoods too.

Man, I need new bedding. And a bigger rug.

Are you so curious about my little tray though?

BAM! The new item for the Erin Gates for Jill Rosenwald line- tiny trays with monograms! :)

**And the picture Andrew posted on Match.com that got me to click on him. Thank you internets.

And fresh outta the kiln the morning, MUGS TOO! Available in tan and black colorways! Email me to order erin@eringatesdesign.com!

Another Maine Weekend…

This past weekend Andrew I went up to Kennebunkport, Maine again, which is now feeling like our second home (minus the whole actually having a second home there thing).  I was part of a holiday workshop at the lovely White Barn Inn and got to craft, bake and drink (a lot) with some lovely ladies all while in the comfort of this historic and cozy place.  Take a peek…

Our lovely room complete with Pretty Woman sized tub and a two sided fireplace.  A gorgeous little welcome from the innkeeper.

We got to go into the famed kitchen of the inn to learn to bake stollen with the sous chef and pastry chef.  Every time we looked up our champagne glasses were refilled- as if there was a sneaky champagne ninja quietly operating.  The day continued with me giving some holiday decorating tips and helping everyone craft preserved moss wreaths… glue guns + 4 glasses of champagne= FUN!

We had an awesome cocktail class to top off the day and learned to make the MOST incredible chocolate martini ever (and I don’t even like chocolate martinis!)  It was seriously delicious and would be the perfect thing to serve as a dessert drink at a party! The recipe is at the bottom of this post so keep scrolling baby. And one of the most wonderful parts of the restaurant at the White Barn (besides the impeccable service and food) is the display they always have done outside the large windows. This season it was particularly awesome.

Back in the room we found MORE CHAMPAGNE. Oh boy. So I thought bubbles and bubbles would be a perfect pre-dinner activity…. and then our four course meal. I don’t think I’ve ever been so full. My DVF dress was straining to keep itself together.

We stopped in town for some coffee and enough time to snap a pic of the cool decor outside a shop and then went to my favorite place in Kennebunk, Snug Harbor Farm to peruse the plants, wares and animals…

The best thing I picked up there for myself was this little fox portrait (wearing a striped tee!!!) done by Juan Estrella framed oh-so-perfectly.  I found he has an Etsy shop with all varieties of animals. ALL WEARING STRIPED SHIRTS!!!

MINI HORSES!!!!!! Oh, and this dog bed I really wanted for the boys.

How pretty are these chickens (roosters?)

OK, now for that drink. Bottoms up!