Boston interior designer, stylist, and blogger Erin Gates of Elements of Style is hosting a shopping party next week at Cynthia Rowley on Newbury Street. Unfortunately I’ll be out of town (well, not so unfortunate, I’ll be in NYC) but if you’re interested in attending, let Erin know. You’ll get 20 percent off your purchases that evening. There are some great fall looks. I’m especially loving the prints and fringe.
When the editor of Stuff asked me to come up with a theme for a home design-dedicated issue, I immediately said, “Color.” Unfortunately, the whole theme devoted to interiors idea was ditched, but I was able to salvage some of my work by putting together a page with local designers’ colors of the moment in “New Hues: Boston designers reveal their top color picks for fall“. If you decide to try one, I’d love to see it. Or, perhaps you can reveal specific paint colors you’ve had luck with. I’ll tell mine (tomorrow) if you tell yours. Meanwhile, here are the designers’ picks.
Annsley McAleer, Annsley Interiors, Boston
Her style: Traditional but fresh, using upbeat colors and patterns
Her color pick: Green Blue by Farrow & Ball
“I loved this color so much in my guest bedroom that I used it in my daughter’s bedroom, too. It is an intense color imbued with a sense of calm. It looks great with a strong white trim and other blue accents.”
Andrew Terrat, Terrat Elms Interior Design, Boston
His style: Tailored but not too serious
His color pick: Curry by C2 Paint
“This color is bold and vibrant, but also very warm and cozy, making it the perfect shade for a family room.”
Erin Gates, Element Interiors, Jamaica Plain
Her style: A mix of modern and traditional, new and old, high and low
Her color pick: Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore Historical Colors
“A good neutral is hard to find. This one is fantastic and works anywhere. It is neither too deep nor too light. It reads cool if paired with cooler colors and warm if paired with warmer colors.”
Eric Roseff, Eric Roseff Designs, Boston
His style: Clean and crisp with a graphic sensibility
His color pick: Mahogany by Farrow & Ball
“I’ve used this in a small powder room in a high gloss. The color is rich and sumptuous. The lacquer finish opens up the small space by allowing for wonderful reflections.” Julieann Covino, Jace Interiors, Cambridge
Her style: Affordable design that incorporates pieces you already own
Her color pick: Brilliant Sea by Behr
“This is my new favorite color. A little goes a long way. I would use this as a pop of color on the frame of a mirror (that I will hopefully find at Brimfield this week!)”
Rachel Reider, Rachel Reider Interiors, West Roxbury
Her style: Engaging interiors in a transitional style
Her color pick: Bordeaux Red by Benjamin Moore
“Try this eggplant shade in a dining room to infuse a cozy feeling. The warm tone would create the perfect atmosphere for a dinner party.”
Her style: Classic but fun, with an eye towards the preppy
Her color pick: Bang! by C2 Paint
“Recently, I did a house in which we were able to hide a playhouse for the children under the basement stairs. I used this color for the door, which has a star cutout. It’s very ‘Nantucket red,’ inspired by the fact that that’s where this family spends their summers.”
Kathie Chrisicos, Chrisicos Interiors, Boston
Her style: A sophisticated mix of scales, colors, and styles
Her color pick: Flint by Benjamin Moore Affinity Colors
“I love this deep, dark, rich charcoal from Benjamin Moore’s new eco-friendly line. I’ve used it on a fireplace feature wall as well as at a kitchen desk alcove.”
Shellie Donovan, Shellie Donovan Interiors, Boston
Her style: Multi-textured with a whimsical punch of red, lime, or blue
Her color pick: Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball
“I love Elephant’s Breath not only for its neutral color, but because I love clients’ reaction to its name. The gray really changes in each application, depending on the light. I’ve used it in powder rooms and back splashes, but would use it anywhere.”
Kristen Rivoli, Kristen Rivoli Interior Design, Winchester
Her style: Light, airy, and livable
Her color pick: Glazed Carrot by California Paints
“This is a very versatile color. It is sophisticated when paired with gray, playful when paired with pink or yellow, and vibrant when paired with white. When I use it on walls, I like to paint the doors and frames with it too, sometimes a shade darker or lighter than the wall color. It’s a trick that makes a small room look larger.”
The “Players” issue of Stuff Magazine is out. I haven’t actually seen the print version yet, but I was able to sneak a peek online. I wrote five profiles for it, all related to house and home. I love the photos, edgy, with a hint of whimsy and steam. You can click through to Stuff’s site for the actual text, but I’ve included some additional anecdotes (irrelevant ramblings, really) below.
Ricardo Rodriguez realtor
Ricardo is super cute, charming, and, boo hoo, married. I interviewed him and his husband at their South End apartment last year for an Improper Bostonian piece about what couples hate in their mates’ wardrobes. Ricardo is a suave Barneys shopper while his partner is an adorable prepster. They bickered beautifully : ) (Maybe I can get a PDF of the article to post – it was one of my favorites.)
Meichi Peng interior designer
My first awareness of Meichi Peng came through her butter soft, hand-stitched, pebble leather pouches that I wrote about for pricey handbag site, Lux Couture (hi Sari!). Turns out, Meichi Peng is actually an interior designer. Her style is sleek with a subtle Asian infusion. And she just opened a home furnishings shop, PENG, at 450 Harrison.
Nicole Dalrymple interior designer
Nikki’s North End shop, Acquire, is one of my favorites. (And I’ve written about it twice before, in the Globe mag’s “Best of the New” and for Daily Candy.) As interior stylist, Kara Butterfield put it recently, shopping at Acquire is like going to Brimfield without having to pick through everything. I purchased three milk glass vases there that are on my dining table in Truro. Wish I had a picture.
Stephanie Walker gallerist
I believe I first made the acquaintanc of Stephanie Walker of Walker Contemporary through Kristin Gaughan of the design firm Urban Living Studio, (BTW, stay tuned for a post on one of her spaces.) I first wrote about Stephanie for the Globe’s “Best of the New”, and I recently featured the works of one of her artists, Elisa Johns, in an ARTmonday post.
If you’ve read my wallpaper post, you know I am working on re-doing our bedroom. Wallpaper behind the bed, green paint for the walls, and a new dresser.
Erin Gates, a talented and sweet interior designer, is helping me put things together, make decisions, etc. I’m good at some of this, but not all. One of the things I need help with is mixing different styles of furniture. Erin suggested a vintage dresser in faux bamboo style. It’s not only stylish – once it gets a new paint job anyway – but you can find them on ebay for cheap, cheap, cheap.
I discovered the specimen above on Craig’s List. It was holed up in a not so cute secondhand shop in Brighton. Two hours and $40 delivery charge later it was in my bedroom. Not so fast.
My husband, whose taste and judgement is quite good, though he may lack vision, laughed when he saw it. Okay, the scale was off compared to our other pieces. Okay, it was rickety. (Actually, what he said was, “Let’s take it out to the alley, where it belongs.”) Okay, it wasn’t made out of real wood, though for that price what do you expect? Although he would have happily indulged me, I had to agree it just wasn’t right, at least for our room.
Erin generously posted it on her blog, “Elements of Style” (which you MUST bookmark), and by noon it was sold. There was lots of interest. So there.
P.S. The lucky buyer was Audra Boyle, the co-owner of Looc boutique in the South End, who has impeccable taste.
By New York City standards, the 1,400-square foot condo in JP that interior stylist and bloggerErin 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.
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.
Above: Erin has inspiration boards hanging in her office, filled with all sorts of fun images. (I took these photos, not Eric.)
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.