Tag Archives: HomeGoods

Design Diary: Girl’s Study by Erin Gates

Elements of Style blogger and interior designer Erin Gates designed this lovely work space for a nine-year-old girl  in Newton, Mass. Gates decorated most of the rooms in the family’s house, which are featured in her book, but recently went back to update this room. I wrote about it in a StyleWatch column for the Boston Globe Magazine, published this past Sunday. More decor details and sourcing links (some of which are StyleCarrot partners) included here. The beautiful photos are by Boston-based photographer Sarah Winchester.


The goal was to create a space sweet enough for a young girl, but modern enough that guests would feel comfortable there (and so she wouldn’t quickly outgrow it). The starting point was the existing purple/grey wall color Benjamin Moore Coastline. The color was a perfect match for the large scale, Arts & Crafts influenced Farrow & Ball Lotus wallpaper, which the client had had her eye on for some time.

A tufted grey velvet daybed from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child anchors the room. She points out, “A daybed is comfortable for reading and doesn’t take up as much room as a bed with a headboard.” (I also like this more streamlined grey velvet daybed from World Market.)

Rather than opting for more obvious silver-toned accents, Gates used gold tones for contrast. Visual Comfort’s French Library wall lamps in antique brass from Circa Lighting provide plenty of reading light and cord covers eliminated the need to hire an electrician to hard wire them.


They found inexpensive butterfly prints, which were under $20 each, on Etsy, which Gates custom framed in gold metal frames. Gates says, “We looked for art in purple tones that we could layer on top of the wallpaper, and these have a nice, girly feel.”

Gates mixed three different pillow patterns against the dramatic pattern of the wallpaper. The European squares are a painterly geometric ikat and the smaller geometric is by Pindler & Pindler. The pairing of these prints provide a nice combination of softness and structure. Kelly Wearstler “Sea Urchin” fabric by Groundworks from Lee Jofa adds an organic element to the mix, while providing some texture.”The secret to mixing,” Gates says, “is to use a monochromatic color palette and play with scale.”


An inexpensive gold side table echoes the finish of the brass sconces. In choosing a table height to work with the swooped arm of the daybed, Gates advises it be somewhere in the middle of the high and low point for ease of use as a nightstand and side table.


It was important that a desk provide enough room for more than one person, so Gates positioned the white lacquer Parsons table from West Elm perpendicular to the wall. The hammered brass table lamp and the gold frame around the linen-covered pinboard from Pavona Interiors on Etsy ties in with the gold accents on the other side of the room.

Gates opted for a grey velvet side chair instead of a rolling desk chair since it would function better on the carpet. The homeowner already owned the purple pagoda pillow from the Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection at JCPenney.


The tall and narrow metal bookshelf on casters from CB2 is the perfect dimension for the space between the windows, leaving a bit of breathing room on each side so the curtains don’t bunch up behind it. The family already owned the Eames rocker.

Makkas Drapery Workroom in Framingham, Mass.made the custom ivory and gray linen curtains. (They made the pillow covers too.)  “Custom drapes look so much more finished, so I always advise going custom if it’s in the budget,” says Gates. She opted for a Parisian pleat, which is the only one she uses, preferring the clean lines that are less fussy look than a traditional pleat, which fans out at the top.

Gates hung the curtain rods as high as possible, right under the crown molding, to add height, which is important in rooms with eight- or nine-foot ceilings. As for the length, she says, “I like them to just kiss the floor. Puddled drapes just collect dust.”

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Shop draperies at Serena & Lily >


Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Design Diary

Shopping Trip: Paying It Forward From TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods

I’m a longtime fan of off price retailers like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods. I suppose it’s the thrill of the hunt and satisfaction of a bargain. While I adore a perfectly curated selection, as a shopper I also think that scavenging racks and bins is fun. So when a marketing exec from these stores asked if I’d participate in its Holiday Blogger Challenge I said sure.

My mission was to shop for presents (using the gift card they sent me) for people who weren’t necessarily on my holiday list. Friends and acquaintances that need extra lift this season; a pay it forward concept. Yesterday I hit the strip malls with the off price retailers, to see what I could find.


First stop, Marshalls. The home section had a some really cute mirrored jewelry boxes, but ultimately I went with these fab faux fur throws. There are lots of different styles, some are gift-boxed already, and most are silky soft. I have a friend who just had a medical procedure and is recuperating at home. When I visit, I’m going to bring one to her as an early Christmas-cum-get-well-soon treat.


Second stop, T.J.Maxx, where I headed to the men’s section to shop for a cousin who just broke up with his girlfriend and is planning a rugged guys adventure. The brightly colored, lightweight nylon toiletry cases caught my eye. To it I added a sports watch (love the yellow), protective iPhone case, and an orange rain poncho, because really, what guy would ever buy a rain poncho?


Last stop, HomeGoods. I was immediately lured by the enameled, cast-iron French cooking pots, but alas, they were just a bit out of my budget. (I may go back and get a cobalt blue one for my mother-in-law though.) I was shopping for a neighbor who recently lost her husband. I remember she had mentioned she was baking a lot. I’ve definitely heard baking can be therapeutic. I often find fun kitchen tools for myself here so I scanned the shelves and spotted this colorful, nested mixing bowl set. They’re even microwave safe and are cute enough to use on the table. Bingo.

Done, done, and done. If you shop at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, share your holiday gift finds on social using #bestgiftever. One winner will receive a $100 gift card.

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Shopping Trip