Design Diary: Erin Gates At Home

By New York City standards, the 1,400-square foot condo in JP that interior stylist and blogger Erin Gates shares with her husband Andrew and their two little dogs isn’t all that small. Or so points out our dear friend Jen, who lives in a tiny studio in the Village with her husband Luke, just upstairs from her in-laws. However, as my husband constantly reminds me, we’re not in New York. Really?

Erin’s place is quite the showpiece, in a very accessible, Domino magazine sort of way. And, she did everything totally on a budget, with the exception of a little splurge here and there. She did it herself too – painting walls, painting actual paintings, refinishing furniture inherited from Andrew’s grandparents, and scouring estate sales and design-conscious chains.

I loved the trendy but sophisticated hi/low sensibility so much, I hired her to help me with our condo. The piece I wrote about her home, “Small Is the New Black,” is on the cover of today’s Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Both Erin and the interiors look fabulous.

Here are the photos, shot by everyone’s favorite photographer, Eric Roth.

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Above left: The cover shot – Erin and Baxter in the entry. The painting is an Erin Gates original – she was a studio art major at, coincidentally, Connecticut College (I went there too, but graduated sooo much earlier).

Above right: Erin sitting in her brand new, wanted it so badly, Louis Ghost Armchair designed by Philippe Starck. The Kelly green walls were inspired by a page in Domino. The zebra print rug is from West Elm. The blue artwork in the background is a framed piece of wallpaper.

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Above: Erin has inspiration boards hanging in her office, filled with all sorts of fun images. (I took these photos, not Eric.)

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Above: Standing in the living room, looking into the dining room. I can’t even tell you how many inquiries Erin and I received about the bookcases. Listen up people, they’re the Sapien Bookcases from Design Within Reach. They’re actually on sale right now, $168.30 – $253.30. West Elm makes two similar models, the Cadman Spine and Spine Wood bookcases, and CB2 has the Array (in grey and orange). They’re less expensive, but not quite as sturdy.

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Above: A full view of the living room. The sofas and chairs are from Boston Interiors. Who knew they had such clean-lined pieces? The rustic coffee table was a splurge from Crate & Barrel. The white pedestal side table is a Saarienen copy, called the Trumpet from Target, just $24.99. The white vase on it is a Jonathan Adler knock-off – IKEA’s Färm vase, just $1.99. The starburst mirror above the fireplace is from Pier 1. The curtains are from JC Penney – apparently a great source for custom drapery. The luscious Oriental rug was on loan for the shoot from Landry & Arcari, with the expected hefty price tag. Erin’s mom bought it afterwards!

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Above: The dining room table and chairs were hand-me-downs from Erin’s husband’s grandparents, who relocated from Chestnut Hill to Sea Island, Georgia. Erin painted the pretty chairs white, and recovered them in an $8/yard zebra print fabric. When they bought the condo, the paneling in the room was a dark stained wood. Against the advice of their realtor, Erin painted them white. In the background is a glimpse of the glass-fronted pantry, which is what sold Erin on the place.

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Above left: The pantry, Erin’s favorite part of the house. She papered the back in Jonathan Adler’s Bamboo Reverse wallpaper in white and metallic silver. A pricey paper, but she only needed a small amount. Notice the bamboo Roman shades on the window? From Target. Erin and Andrew built the wine storage slots and added the wine fridge – there were cabinets there originally. I love the vintage French opaline glasses as much as Erin does. “I’m literally mad for them,” she told me.

Above right: The bedroom. I adore this room. It’s so pretty and peaceful, and I love the grey accents. The funky grey ikat pillows are from Fabricadabra (did you see them in Daily Candy? Thanks for the tip Erin!) The double prints over the bed are framed pieces of vintage Schumacher wallpaper. (A wallpaper designer left loads of vintage samples to Erin’s dad.) She has French Provincial style dressers that are equally romantic, plucked from the grandparents. The Venetian crystal chandelier is from Great Chandeliers. It was only $100, but a real pain to put together. Here’s a funny little tidbit: When I visited the bedroom was yellow. Erin made her husband paint it blue the weekend before the shoot. What a guy!

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Above left: Here’s Erin and Baxter in the entry again, this time we’re seeing the wall across from the bench. Erin scored the buffet for just $75 at an estate sale in JP that she happened to stumbled across. The interior was originally a sunny yellow, but she repainted the two end interiors turquoise. Atop sits her cherished Fu Dogs, found on Ebay. The arrangement of framed photos and artwork on the wall above includes all sorts of fun memories, like their wedding, the store her grandparents founded when they came here from Ireland, and a fun silhouette of Baxter, that Erin made herself. (See closeup below.)

Above right: The kitchen cabinetry and appliances are not so snazzy, but Erin made the seating area plenty spicy, with the black and white scheme and saffron runner. She loves her plate wall, with $1.99 plates from Home Goods. The blackboard is from Home Goods too; the frame was gold, but she painted it white. This seems to be one of Erin’s favorite pastimes! When I visited the Mandarin orange branches were on the mantle, but they look perfect here.

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Above left: Erin’s handiwork, a silhouette of Baxter on a grassy background. (She sent me this image the weekend before the shoot. I think she made it to give the picture wall some punch.)

Above right: Erin’s brother, Sean Tubridy, who is a graphic designer and photographer, sets up and shoots these very clever Polaroid portraits, using LEGO figures. This one is a bride and groom, posed in the same way as Erin and Andrew’s favorite wedding picture of themselves. Sean also started the artsy and clever website Save Polaroid.

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19 Comments

Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary

19 Responses to Design Diary: Erin Gates At Home

  1. Sheeesh, you are way too kind Marni!! Thank you!

  2. Erin is incredibly talented! I absolutely love her design aesthetic and high/low sensibility. Excellent post!

  3. SO beautiful! I would love to know what the actual name/brand of the green color in the office is- it’s perfect! I cannot say enough about how much I love their home.

  4. Barchbo

    What a great post! I love Erin’s site and love this more intimate look at her home than the GLOBE piece provided (though I loved that, too!) My hub and I are renovating our first home and without well-written and well-photographed style sites I would never have felt educated enough to attempt it. So glad to be able to add your blog to my reader!

  5. How fantastic for Erin that her home – and her interior decor talents – have been highlighted in Boston Globe Sunday Mag!! And how terrific that you’ve hired her to work on your home! I can’t blame you!
    Victoria from EdinDesigns @ DesignTies

  6. stylecarrot

    Hi Barchbo, Thanks for adding a link to Style Carrot! I need to add links here to all the amazing blogs I’ve found. Glad you liked the post about Erin. It’s fun to add stuff that I’m not able to include in the more formal articles.

  7. The wall color in my office is Valspar/Eddie Bauer Bay Laurel- but it looks VERY different in person (much darker) than in that shot. If you like the way the color looks in the picture, try Benjamin Moore’s Kiwi…

  8. Great post! Erin’s style and ingenuity is inspiring and your blog is a great find. Thank you!

  9. Amber

    love the kitchen table/chairs, can anyone tell me where this is from?

    • stylecarrot

      Hi Amber – Erin bought the kitchen table, which actually folds in half, at Boston Interiors. The chairs are from Ikea, and are slipcovered.

  10. Amber

    Great! Thank you so much!

  11. Erin’s place IS gorgeous but your post and the photos really make it shine. Thank you…

  12. stylecarrot

    Annechovie, I love your name and your blog. MUST get going on a blogroll….

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  16. Great and wonderful design at home! Thanks for sharing your ideas on gates design for home.

  17. it’s a shame that a woman who isn’t an accredited interior designer is being featured. please show someone who actually had to work to get to where there are. and really, a real interior design would NEVER be caught dead advertising the Ikea monster.

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