Distract Yourself With This.

I’m having a hard time this morning. A lot of us are. Writing a blog post about frivolous stuff seems silly and so wasteful to me right now.  But I know that is what I must do. Move forward and do what I do best. Keep my head up and believe that something good will come of all this desperation and discord our nation is suffering through.  I am trying to focus on remaining hopeful that these massive changes will spur growth for us as a people and a country and not damage the work we have done thus far to be one of the greatest countries in the world.

But this I will say. I have a voice. I am a woman of strong opinion and conviction. I am not afraid to share it here or anywhere else.  I may be a design blogger and purveyor of pretty things, but I am not a robot or a giant company who cannot share preferences or beliefs.  If that bothers you, I kindly invite you to find another blogger who suits your sensibilities better because I will keep talking, discussing, arguing and sharing.  For this, I will not apologize and I will not change. Thank you for listening and keeping this space one of tolerance and open-mindedness.  I wish peace and kindness for all of you, no matter what you believe in.

– EG

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(a very nice faux fig tree from NDI)

And speaking of opinions, I’ve had VERY strong ones about the use of fake flowers and plants in decor for a very long time. Those opinions skewed hard towards the “ewwww, so tacky” viewpoint (and still do when it comes to silk/fake flowers- not my bag, baby!)  But then I got a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and promptly killed it. So I bought another one, and studied up on how to take care of it. Aaaaaans cut to it dying almost instantaneously. I bought another. And another. I loved how it looked and so even though my space CLEARLY is not suited for keeping one alive, I kept trying.

And then I buckled. And committed a designer sin. I bought a fake one.

And you know what, it’s not terrible.  The fiddle leaf fig kind of looks fake anyways, so while I know it’s fake, others may not.  And now more than ever, we have amazing choices out there if you, like me, are the equivalent of human Clorox to plants!  Prices range drastically- and usually the more you spend, the more realistic they look.  But some of the more affordable options are looking pretty darn good these days….

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I have found myself also dipping my toe into the “it’s okay to buy faux branches, topiaries and succulents” pool as well.  Succulents especially look fake even when real, so it’s not visually offensive to pop one in a dark powder room or basement to add some greenery!  And preserved greenery, like boxwood and moss, are wonderful ways to add a little life to your space with zero maintenance, because let’s face it #aintnobodygottimeforthat.

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Jury’s still out on fake Christmas trees…. :)

 

 

 

Weekend Green Thumb

On Saturday we had gorgeous weather here so I thought it was high time I got rid of the dead Christmas greenery splayed sadly in my window boxes and plant some colorful stuff for spring. A was able to do our little refresh during one of Henry’s (very quick) naps and now I feel much better about pulling into my driveway.

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I wanted to compliment the chartreuse color of our front door with the plant choices- and also add a complimentary color, in this case a deep plum.  So I came up with a plan (on the fly at the plant store, but we can pretend I was as thoughtful enough to do a Photoshop layout of it beforehand):

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Beautiful Boxwood

As I get used to having a home with a yard that needs landscaping I am starting to become more educated about plants and how to use them properly.  Being a busy person who doesn’t have the greenest of thumbs I constantly am looking for plants that make a big impact with as little maintenance as possible. Enter the boxwood.

I love the sculptural essence of this plant and the modern yet traditional vibe that boxwood can take based on how it’s potted and shaped. From using it in the yard to in pots by a front door, it’s the perfect way to fill your beds and outdoor space with big impact greenery. Here’s some inspiration…

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Dream Outdoor Space + MDD

I was asked by the folks at Bravo’s new hit show Million Dollar Decorators to create a dream outdoor space based on this inspiration image- a city roof deck perfect for lounging and dining. The timing is perfect since it’s finally outdoor weather here in the Northeast! Now, they said I could make it any shape, size, etc. so my layout is based on something similar tot his but with a more rectangular shape….

I immediately knew I wanted something modern but with a hint of tradition, black and white with a bold dash of color.  As most of you know, I’m very inspired by Mary McDOnald’s style and I think this space kind of reflects her glamour with my own personal love of laid back living. So here’s the board I came up with….

And here’s my concept for a layout- dedicated spaces for lounging, sunbathing and dining- what more could you want in a roof deck (well, in previews for this week’s episode, I know Martyn thinks a pool would make it “delicious”!)

Here are the sources and notes for the board above!
1. Hedges planted atop side walls.
2. Back pillows of banquette in white Sunbrella fabric trimmed in Kravet Coral outdoor
fabric.
3. Banquette seat cushions in Perennials Big Stripe in Black Tie.
4. Wally Wall via Design Within Reach.
5. Planter via Design Within Reach.
6. Custom designed banquette by Erin Gates Designs.
7. Banquette pillows in Trina Turk Fronds Outdoor fabric through F. Schumacher.
8. Dining Chairs by Obrien Ironworks.
9. String lights (woven into trellis above dining table) via Restoration Hardware.
10.  Lanterns above dining table via Tazi Designs.
11. Fire table via Restoration Hardware.
12. Stone greyhounds via Restoration Hardware.
13. Dining Table via Restoration Hardware.
14. Chaises via Janus et Cie.
15. Garden stool via Mecox Gardens.
16. Chaise lumbar pillows in Perennials City Kitty.
17. Chaise in coral Kravet outdoor fabric piped in black Kravet outdoor fabric.
18. Retractable awning above banquette.
19. Outdoor rug via Home Decorators Collection.

Terriffic Terrarriums

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I have been admiring the fabulous terrariums scattered through one of my favorite local home shops Hudson for months now.  Made by Lyndsay Maver, who works at the shop (hence, Lynzariums), they are a fantastic combination of succulents, mosses, stones, shells (plucked from the sand on beach vacations by Lyndsay herself) and come in various vessel shapes.

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Lyndsay will also create one in a vessel of your own if you have something particularly awesome- like this large on she did in a vintage trough.

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They would make awesome holiday gifts for those in the area (she doesn’t ship them yet!) Just look at her little ornament terrariums! Super sweet. Check out the blog for updates on freshly made items and to contact her for custom orders!

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medium terrarium

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terrariums 12.11.10 057 I now have on on my coffee table and it’s such an adorable and long lasting alternative to flowers!