There are a lot of reasons we gravitate to certain bloggers. Some for their style, some for their humor, others who we know will provide us with a happy distraction during our lunch break every day. And then, there are blogs we love because of all of the above AND because of the fact that the blogger is honest, inspiring and we want to be her friend.
Erin Gates of Elements of Style is the latter. She posts on everything from her ongoing home renovations (you guys, just LOOK at these photos), to her beef with the latest Saint Laurent campaign, in a candid, hysterical way that makes you feel like you’re chatting with your sister over coffee.
We got a chance to talk with Erin about all the cool things going on in her life (a book deal, for one), plus how she manages to blog every day (no easy task, we’ll tell ya’), her secret to creating a fab home, and more. If you don’t already love her, we promise you will after this.
YOU’VE GOT A SUCCESSFUL BLOG, A GROWING INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS, A BOOK COMING OUT, AND YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND RECENTLY RENOVATED A HOME. THIS IS A CLICHÉ QUESTION, BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?
I work constantly. Even when I’m home in front of the TV I’m researching things online, writing blog posts and picking stuff for clients. I also have an awesome team that helps me get it all done. But the thing is, it doesn’t FEEL like work because I love it- all of it. Writing the book was the most daunting, scary, awesome thing I’ve ever done. It took up most of this year for me, but I still found time to relax and kick back a little. I am not the kind of person who works until 1 am. I get a lot of sleep so I’m productive during the day. Burning the candle at both ends is not good for creativity.
WHEN DOES YOUR BOOK COME OUT? WHAT’S GOING TO BE IN IT?
It should be about around October 1, 2014. I’ll know for sure in a couple months. We are still in production picking covers and laying it out and such. It’s going to be a new hybrid of design book combining useful tips, pretty pictures (of tons of my work I’ve never shown) and person essays all with the central theme of how our homes tell our life stories. I really hope people “get it.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO GET A BOOK DEAL? THAT’S SO EXCITING!
Absurd! The most exciting thing ever! I couldn’t believe it! I met with a bunch of publishers and the day of the auction for the rights I was just sitting on the couch getting updates from my agent. I really wanted Simon & Schuster to get it because I fell in love with the team there and when their final offer came in at a number I never expected I flipped out. It was so awesome. A major bucket list moment for me.
NOW THAT YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN BUSINESS IS REALLY TAKING OFF, DO YOU FIND IT HARD TO BLOG EVERY DAY? WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED TO WRITE EVERY MORNING?
No, it’s my first love. I will never abandon it or make posting second fiddle to my design work or any other work. Posting for and communicating with my readers is the best part of my day. I operate a little different than most bloggers in that I don’t prepare posts for the whole week. I think about what I want to write about the night before and then write that morning about 6:30-7:30 or 8. It’s become a Pavlovian response- wake up, coffee, blog. Always. Weekends off give me the break I need.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
The flexibility to create your own schedule. It’s very true that you’ll never work harder than for yourself, but it’s awesome when you can choose when you do that work. I cannot imagine working for someone else ever again.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DREAM CLIENTS OR COLLABORATIONS? ARE THERE ANY PROJECTS COMING UP THIS YEAR THAT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT?
Right now I have a great line up of clients for the next year- but I’d love to do a bachelor pad! Also my goal for 2014 is to start a product line- rugs, fabric, accessories….
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE THE GIFT OF DESIGN, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON CREATING A HOME THAT’S BEAUTIFUL AND PERSONAL?
Buy only things you really, really love. Filling your home with stuff that you buy just because you want to fill a space is a waste of money. Also, collect images of spaces you love and look for repeated trends, it can help you hone in on styles you love.
YOU RECENTLY MOVED TO A SUBURB JUST OUTSIDE OF BOSTON AFTER LIVING IN THE CITY FOR A WHILE, AND MOVED YOUR BUSINESS OUT THERE, TOO. WHY THE MOVE, AND WHAT’S THE TRANSITION BEEN LIKE?
We needed more space and I had grown to hate the bull that comes with city living- noisy neighbors, parking, etc. We moved to the closest suburb we could that has T access and a town center we can walk to and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE it. I kept my office in the city for a year but then it became a hassle to commute and park there too so we moved out to the town I live in and it’s SO convenient and nice. I get so much more work done it’s amazing!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOURCES FOR FURNITURE AND DÉCOR IN BOSTON? ANYTHING UNCONVENTIONAL?
I love Liz Caan‘s shop in Newton Center for accessories and Hudson in the South End. I’ve found some awesome stuff at the SoWa Market on weekends in the summer too. For rugs I love Mohr & McPherson and Landry & Arcari. I do think Boston needs some more home stores though….
WHAT’S YOUR PERFECT BOSTON DAY? WHERE WOULD YOU GO? WITH WHO?
It would have to be a nice fall day when our city is at it’s finest, and I’d start it with a yoga class at Sports Club LA, a coffee from Thinking Cup and then a stroll through the Common and Beacon Hill’s Charles Street with my husband. Then a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and lunch in their cafe. An afternoon massage at Etant (not fancy, but the BEST massages in town). A drink with friends at Beehive downstairs and then dinner on the patio at Hammersley’s in the South End under the twinkly lights. Then home to snuggle with my puppies!