Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Home Glamour -The Elements of Style Book

Now that the kids are back in school I finally have some bigger chunks of time to actually work on things I've been meaning to get to. One of them is the house. Seems I always have plans to paint, update and purge things we really don't need anymore. In short, a lot to do! One thing that never fails to gets me inspired is home books and my latest favorite is this beauty...

Elements of Style- Designing A Home & A Life, by Erin Gates is filled with pretty photos and ideas that will get you motivated to brighten and modernize. I don't know about you, but now that I am finally have a chance to step back and look at the house, I realize there is so much we don't need and a lot of pieces we have just taken on from family, and also dragged with us from other homes. Some things that worked great in our other home never really worked here, but we kept anyway. I added a few new things when we moved here 5 years ago, then we went through our start-up years and we didn't do much else after that. Now that we once again are to add some home upgrades, I want to  focus on getting our home the way I really would like it. Up to it's potential is how I like to think of it...

Erin's book, like her amazing blog, which you have to visit, is like a breath of fresh decorating air. She has great practical ideas, but a modern sensibility which I really like. Throughout the chapters  Erin weaves little bits of her life story which makes her so likable and relatable. She comes off as a someone who wants to share her knowledge, but also someone you'd love to have a glass of wine with! So far, thanks to Erin and her book, I've added two new pieces to the home...

This wool HomeGoods rug which is modern looking with it's geometric pattern. It makes the family room look a tiny bit hipper with our white couches, leather accents, oversized denim pillows and grey accents.

Please ignore the cat. They tend to crush the tops of the couches into their personal dugouts!

The other purchase, very radical for me, was this acrylic table!

I have to say I am in total love with this piece right now! I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it.  I wasn't sure if I was going to use it as a bar, a vanity table or a desk, but I placed it in the entry while moving it in and it just fit there! It makes the entry look chic, especially with the addition of the gold frames, which I am still filling and the bit of driftwood. Acrylic (or lucite -same thing) makes rooms feel larger and more open as it takes up no visual space. It's also bright, light reflecting and feels glamorous. I need more glamour in this house!

The drawback to adding these modern pieces, is that everything else may look a bit staid. I'm not advocating for everything new. That's not me, I appreciate things with provenance and I don't believe you need to change your your whole home, but you need to edit and refresh occasionally. Adding something like my table may be the impetus you need to do this. Your home can become bland if you are keeping tired accessories and photos in the same frames they have been in for 10 years. Save what you adore, but mix it up, add some color, move the furniture, and perhaps get rid of a few things!

Also on my home to do this for fall is add some turquoise and teal to my living room. I have always loved that color and I am inspired by my grandma who has been a lifelong lover of it. She had a home designed around it in the 1950s and a wardrobe filled with it. Cleaning out her home, as we have been doing over the past months, I am encouraged to be more bold with colors! I think gold accessories add that bit of glam and I am changing a few of my frames out to gold and adding a vintage gold cat to the mix from my grandmother's mid-century home. The gold is a nice foil to the deep aqua blues and the acrylic.

 I hope to get rid of some couches, chairs and old tables I've been hanging onto. It feels like we have too much furniture and I want a more open feel in my rooms. I might just go without for a bit and see how the space feels. Whatever gets added I want to love. Wallpaper is another energizing and refreshing look Erin Gates uses a lot and I plan to take the plunge and wallpaper my entry and possibly my small dining area. Why not? I'm hitting 50 this month and feel like if I don't have fun and do these things now I never will, you know?

Do you change your home up often or do you tend to live with things the same for a long time? You might try experimenting. Check out Erin's terrific book and her Elements of Style blog for daily inspiration! She's a funny writer as well as a talented designer. Adore her. Here's a few of my favorite images from her book below...

Right now Erin is also curating a sale at the home decor site Joss & Main. Her sale goes on until September 6th. You can see more rooms she has done and some super little pieces she has picked for the sale there.


P.S. If you are interested in finding a lucite or acrylic table like mine, I found this one on CB2. The size is closest to mine and the price isn't bad. They can run upwards to the $900s so you have to shop around. I was lucky to get mine at HomeGoods, but haven't seen them since. Look for something thick and sturdy. It should weigh a bit too.

photos Elements of Style book and my own.


  1. LOve this post!!! I just got two new FRESH sofas for my living room- Changed the whole feel-Less comfy Cozy-More sleek- I get this POST! Hard to do,,,,shake things up....But so worth it! Now....the dining room chairs look dated! LOL

    1. Kath, I so know what you are talking about. Feels a little more modern right? Isn't it funny though how everything else looks dated? I want to get rid of one couch I have here which is of the Shabby Chic era and it's got so many cushions...The thing is car size and takes up a whole room..! I love the look of a more sleek looking sofa!

  2. Kim I must get Erin's book now, she is so talented and creative ( so are you of course!)
    It is all in the details! Here's another I think you will love...

    The Arts by Karena
    Featuring Sharon Santoni

    1. Thank you so much Karena. I do want Sharon's book! Yews I so agree the details are everything! xo

  3. I love your new table!!!!! So chic! That book is drool-worthy eye candy! I refer to it all the time!

  4. I so enjoyed the beauty and style of this post, Kim. Isn't it fun to freshen up the look? I've used wall paper in our master bedroom and a small powder room. It definitely adds a touch of style. This book looks gorgeous--must check it out. By the way, fantastic score in the lucite from Homegoods. I've been looking for a lucite coffee table for my home office.
    Thanks for your kind words on the blog. I am so busy with work now that my programs are back in school. :) My sister is on her way up from Newport for the weekend but I wanted to pop by and say 'hi'. Have a wonderful long weekend, dear Kim!
    xx, Heather
    PS-our lifestyle linkup #5 is live again this morning!

    1. Thanks Heather and I adore your wallpaper. I hope you had a great weekend!! xo

  5. Hi Kim,

    I bought Erin's book awhile back and have it displayed in my bedroom...did you read the part in her book about the huge fight she and her husband had over Lucite? I love her blog too, read it every day!

    You really scored...I never see anything like your rug or table at the Home Goods near my house. :( The last thing I bought there was a dog bed! There is another HG store a little further from my house that seems to stock a better selection. Maybe I will try that one again next time.

    Have a good weekend!


    1. Linda isn't it a lovely book? Yes that part about the lucite table was funny! I like how honest she is! I know what you mean about HG..Yes they always have a lot of doggy stuff! I think its just a matter of going a lot.. Know what you want or you can end up with a lot of stuff you may not need! You know?? xoxo

  6. Oh I love your new table! My whole house is feeligs stale to me. Time to purge and refresh. This book looks like a great place to start! Thanks for sharing with us on #stylefocus. I'll be hounding my Home Goods looking for treasures.

    1. Jennifer thanks! I think Home Goods is really hit and miss..Sometimes it's great!! Other times I can see one thing I would want. Guess you have to go regularly.

  7. Kim, you have such style!! Everything at my place seems to be falling apart and needs replacing. I think that my big change this year is getting new sliding glass doors. We have to start somewhere...right?


    1. Kelley I think my things are all on their last legs here too!! I only have the table!! This may be a slow process...I would like new sliders and frankly they let whole lot more light and air in than French doors. I won't ever change my sliders out in my bedroom. Plus now they look modern again! xo