Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Style Files: Erin Gates

One of the first style blogs I ever read when I first delved into this blogging world was Elements of Style by Erin Gates. I instantly identified with her style and her love of color and patterns. This was still in the early days of blogging, before the abundance of blogs that we have now, so finding such a fabulous blog that actually spoke to me was like finding a needle in a haystack. Over the past few years, Erin has shared her adventures with us with grace and a sharp sense of humor. From changes in her professional life, making the leap and buying a loft in the city, to her obsession with a certain romantic vampire, she has inspired laughter and a sense of sisterhood from her readers who identify with her experiences. Aside from being one of my favorite bloggers, Erin is a fiercely talented interior and fashion stylist, creating spaces and looks that are at once chic and a bit eclectic without ever taking herself or her profession too seriously. She creates spaces that are beautiful, livable, and fun!

erin profile

Name: Erin Gates
Occupation: Interior, Fashion and Event Stylist. Blogger. Freelance Writer.
Hometown: Pomfret, CT
Current City: Boston, MA


LDV: What inspired you to begin your career in interior and fashion styling?

EG: I was raised in a very creative home.  My father is an architectural designer and my family was involved in fashion for three previous generations so my childhood was made up of clothing, drafting tables, fabric samples and long drives admiring architecture and houses. After college (where I majored in studio art and spent a semester in NYC interning for Jospeh Abboud) I held a few different jobs in creative fields (art gallery, event planner, interior design assistant) but did not know what I wanted to do long term.  While at one job I started my blog as a way to focus some of my creative energy.  I was surprised at how powerful this little decision was, because not long after I was getting asked to help people decorate their homes and was able to quit my job and see if I could make a real career out of it.  Three years later, I have a bustling business and many,many side projects.

erin gates kosmall

LDV: What do you love most about your job? What do you find most challenging?

EG: I love the freedom of self- employment, yet it causes the most stress as well.  I am able to tackle any project that comes my way and create whatever I want for my business and myself, yet my inability to say no leaves me pretty frazzled and without much down time.  Because I do what I love, I am always working- even going shopping on the weekends is kind of work! Not that I’m complaining! :)

erin gates 10

LDV: Where do you turn for inspiration?

EG: I find inspiration everywhere- on the street, on line, from blogs, magazines, movies, people in my life and my incredibly over-active imagination.

{J.Crew’s Fabulus, Jenna Lyons}

LDV: Who are your personal style icons?

EG: Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn. Jenna Lyons, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Aerin Lauder.


LDV: How would you describe your own style?

EG: My own style, both in interiors and fashion, is very much a mix of modern, traditional and vintage.  I think personal style is a wonderful whether you have a definite look or like to change it up.  I personally am always changing, and can never box myself into one style, so one month I might be all about vintage style and the next, sleek modern minimalism!

erin gates office 
LDV: Which personality trait do you most admire?

EG: I most admire people who are fiercely self-confident and don’t care what anyone thinks about them. 

erin gates7 
LDV: What is your principal weakness?

EG: My weakness is my inability to make decisions for myself. I can tell someone what sofa to get or jacket to buy no problem, but when it comes to my own purchases and life choices, I fret over every little decision ad nauseum.

{Erin and her Husband in Paris}

LDV: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

EG: My husband is so full of amazing advice, insight and perspective. I am so grateful to have him as my own personal life coach (he literally goes all Tony Robbins on me all the time). Above all, his influence on me to take more risks in life have paid off immensely.  Life is short, you have to TRY.

erin gates6 
LDV: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

EG: My blog, hands down.  Everything I have professionally, and MANY of the wonderful new friends in my life, all are all due to my blog! I can’t imagine where I’d be had I not started it!

erin gates5 
LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

EG: “La Dolce Vita” to me is doing what you love, feeling a sense of inner peace, being inspired by life itself, traveling to far away places, coveting the lovely things you own but not needing them to survive and really good wine. :)


erin faves

peonies design sponge studio choos {Image Source}

Bloom: Peony
Food: A really mind-blowing pasta bolognese.
Drink: a rich red wine or perfectly made lime basil gimlet.
Thing to Wear: The perfect pair of jeans- with a simple tee or sparkly fun top and heels, they can take you everywhere these days.

{Erin at Goyard during her Trip to Paris Last Year}

Destination: Paris.
Season: I am more and more loving fall in New England (over summer, which used to be my ultimate favorite)
Meal: I love a really great brunch- amazing French toast, bacon, French press coffee....yum.
Musician: If I could only listen to one band it would be Coldplay, but lately have been quite obsessed with Thom Yorke.

kosmall2{This original Amanda Talley painting was commissioned for one of Erin’s clients.}

Artist: I love New Orleans’s artist Amanda Talley’s work
Film: Vicky Christina Barcelona
Television: Mad Men....with Dexter coming in a close second.
Book: Eat, Pray, Love

Magazines: House Beautiful, InStyle, Lucky, Coastal Living, Canadian House & Home, Elle Décor, Elle, Vogue, Bazaar.
Blogs: La Dolce Vita, Urban Grace, Coco & Kelley, Simply Seleta, Mrs. Lilien, My Favorite and My Best, Shelter, Garance Dore, I Suwanee.
Texture: linen

classic{Image Source}

Fabric or Pattern: Currently really obsessed with anything chevron.
Color: black and coral.
Scent: Child perfume

Extravagance: lots and lots of yoga
Quote: “Fall in love or fall in hate. Get inspired or be depressed. Ace a class or flunk a test. Make babies or make art. Speak the truth or lie and cheat. Dance on tables or sit in the corner. Life is divine chaos. Embrace it. Forgive yourself. Breathe. And enjoy the ride." - Solbeam


samantha ramage said...

Love this interview with Erin! She is a true style blog maverick, and it has been amazing to see all of her achievements, which have all sprung from her very own imaginative, truly fabulous blog!! such an inspiration :)!


alison giese Interiors said...

She is so much fun - I love her witty banter, and can certainly identify with her style - great interview!

sarah said...

i love this interview and all of your interviews! i'm a new reader and have been mildly obsessed with your blog ever since i stumbled upon it...

Kathysue said...

Love Erin and her blog, what an amazing sense of style. Her blog was one of the first blogs I started making a daily read for myself also. Always inspiring!! Fun to learn more about her, Kathysue

This Little Nest said...

Love Elements of Style! I just did a post on my own blog about fashion designers moving into the interior design world- Trina Turk in particular! Love this post!

Jamie said...

great post! your blog & erins are my go to interiors blogs:)


Lauren said...

Love the interview & love all of the images!!

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Great post! I love Erin too and her's was one of the first blogs I started reading as well. You nailed it on the head with 'a sense of sisterhood'! Her self-deprecating humor, witty banter and amazing style keep her up there with my daily reads. Love it!

Maria@Live Beautifully said...

Great post! I love Erin too and her blog was one of the first blogs I started reading as well. You nailed it on the head with 'a sense of sisterhood'! Her self-deprecating humor, witty banter and amazing style keep her up there with my daily reads. Love it!

Emily A. Clark said...

Okay, the thing that most impresses me about this post is that she can bend like that :) I really enjoyed reading Erin's interview. She is so stylish and love her blog.

LindsB said...

What a great list, love chevron anything lately too :)

Megan // Honey We're Home said...

LDV and Elements of Style were two of the first blogs I began reading. I've so enjoyed getting to know you both through your blogs. I do love Erin's style and always look forward to Fashion Friday- she puts together the best outfits and does great red carpet commentary.

Faithful Praise said...

Love this interview.. Really must know about the dresses hanging on the door. I must have them. Where do I find them plz.

Lupi said...

she seems such a nice person! her blog is wonderful, one of my favourites!

Sophisticated Home said...

Elements of style has long been one of my favorite reads. I love how Erin shares not only her design ideas but also gives her readers a true sense of her personality and a glimpse into her real life.

Unknown said...

Faithful Praise, they're Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dresses. :)

Unknown said...

Faithful Praise, they're Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dresses. :)

Elisa said...

Nice interview.It's nice to read and get to know another fellow blogger, Erin was wonderful taste and style.

I noticed one of the pictures has a puppy looking out the window, is this Tate?

Now I feel inspired to do something about my white walls.


Unknown said...

Hi Elisa! That is actually one of Erin's dogs in her home. She has two cuties, Baxter and Oliver.

Tate is an apricot color and I think he might be a little bit bigger than Erin's dogs. :)

Anonymous said...

Erin actually inspired me to start my own blog. While in school I often had to search for Interior Design pictures and your blog kept coming up. I was like, who is this girl? Why does she keep popping up? Completely consumed with school, I had no time to go online for fun, so I had no clue Interior Design blogs existed. Once I graduated, I figured out this wonderful world of blogging and again, you popped up. Through you I found Erin, and started my own just six months ago. I don't think I ever thanked you for the inspiration. Thank you!

Lisa S. said...

Great post!!! Elementsofstyle is one of my favs, I check it out daily (as I do this amazing blog!!!). I Love the Style Files feature, it seems like almost everyone picks peony as their flower, right?! I love that Erin does a lot of fashion on her blog in addition to the great homes she features. For me, fashion and interior design are impossible to seperate. She does both very well.

Unknown said...

Fantastic interview & post. I did not know her family background so when I read that i thought, "no wonder!" Her creative spirit was born to the right family obviously. :-)

She's spot on with this: “coveting the lovely things you own but not needing them to survive and really good wine."

She is truly delightful; I really enjoyed reading this!

Samantha Hutchinson said...

love this so much inspiration - such a great quote in the end!

Today Hilary... said...

I love this series! Gracias.

Hello Lover... said...

Love this one - Elements of Style along with Brooklyn Limestone were the first blogs I really came to love and relate to - I scoured through Erin's entire blog in a night!