Counter Stool Roundup

Image from the awesome, Pin-worthy Ally Banks Interiors. And no, I do not know where those stools are from but am dying to know myself!

Counter stools seems to be a lot of people’s decorating kryptonite.  Sometimes it’s mine as well!  Its a piece of furniture that is prominent in your home and likely used non-stop so it has to be pretty AND durable while alos coordinating with your kitchen AND any other decor nearby if your space is open concept.  So I find it helpful to do roundups of them often.


  • Make sure you give enough space between each stool- don’t try to cram in too many- they will be uncomfortable and make your kitchen look sloppy.
  • Make sure the distance between the seat of the stool and the bottom of the counter is about 10″- this is ideal for comfort.  Most counter stools will be 26″ because the average kitchen counter is 36″ high- but make sure you measure your counter before buying!
  • Measure the recess the stools push into- you want to give enough room for peoples legs while keeping their backs close enough to the counter itself. I have a shallow overhang so this is an issue- backless stools work best in this instance.
  • Make sure the material suits your lifestyle. Got kids? You’ll want to stick to wood, plastic, outdoor fabric or faux leather- easy cleanup and strong durability. Leather can go either way- its durable, but if someone sits on a blueberry on it- it’s going to stain.
  • If you have upholstered dining chairs in the same space, look for non upholstered counter stools and vice versa. Or instead of upholster look for woven styles.

Here is a group of great looking, slightly more unique counter stools that may peak your interest. Some of the upholstered ones have the ability to be customized with your choice of fabric too!

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Dining Table + Chair Roundup

Hi guys- sorry this is late. I’ve been running on fumes this week! However, I did think a post like this would be pretty interesting as I’ve found that people can find it a bit difficult to pair dining tables and chairs. In the design world its a no-no to buy furniture in sets (of any kind) so pairing a table with chairs that compliment but don’t MATCH is key. Here are a few examples that may help you visualize your own space!

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Roundup: Our Most Used Styling Accessories

One of the things that I find a lot of clients struggle with in decorating their home is that last 10%– the accessories and accents that take a room from good to great. As we continue styling and shooting our projects for book number 2 (it IS coming! Promise!) I thought I would round up the accessories the girls and I here int he office turn to time and time again for putting the finishing touches on a home. From always having birch logs on hand (for an empty fireplace or peeking out of a basket) to the frames and objects we use when styling a bookshelf or built in. Even my favorite books (yup, mine is up there- that striped spine was very much on purpose for this reason!) I hope you find these sections helpful when needing to source some final goodies for your own space! (sorry this post is so late- this too many hours more than I thought it would!)


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Daybed Roundup

The daybed is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture there is. It can be a sofa or a bed- provide an extra place to sleep a guest in a tiny room or act as a workhorse in a studio apartment. They also make GREAT kids beds- especially those transitioning from a crib to a “big kid” bed. They work for boys, girls, old and young.  We’ve used them so much in our work and I think they are an important option to consider when decorating!  So I wanted to do a round up of a ton of different styles and price points for you.

Here is a daybed (Restoration Hardware) we used in an office/ guest room.  With the right style and number of pillows daybeds can easily look like sofas.

This one you’ve seen in my book- we designed a custom canopy to make this daybed (Ballard Designs) into a real dream bed for a lucky little girl.

Erin Gates Bronxville_204

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Cocktail Ottoman Roundup

As Henry becomes more mobile I have started looking for a good cocktail ottoman to replace my brass and glass coffee table a.k.a. The Baby Guillotine.  We use lots of ottomans like this in our designs for homes with children as they are a safer options than coffee tables in spaces where kids play a lot.  But finding the right one can be hard- it’s taken me months to decide on one! So here are a roundup of some of my favorites from all price points- and some tips on what to look for and materials to consider:
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When choosing an ottoman here are some buying tips:

  • Make sure you choose the right size and height for your other furniture- the top should be about the same as the seat height of your sofa and be the same size and shape of a coffee table- if you have a narrow space consider a bench as it may fit better than the wider ottoman options you see.
  • Make sure the material is durable and a different texture than that of the other upholstered furniture.  Leather is a great option for durability if your other pieces are fabric.  Outdoor fabrics in a pattern or weave can look great paired with solid furniture and also stand up to wear and tear.
  • If you want to use a tray on top to store magazines, remotes and such make sure the top is flat not curved so it sits flat- otherwise it will always wobble and make you crazy.
  • If the piece has casters on it, make sure they lock to avoid it rolling when you put your feet up.