Ask The Designer: Erin Gates from Elements of Style

Erin Gates is the founder and principal designer of Erin Gates Design, a Boston based interior, fashion and event styling firm and is also the author and editor of the popular design blog Elements of Style. Erin is the latest in a series of high profile designers to get involved with the Farrow & Ball ‘City Palettes’ project, so The Chromologist caught up with Erin to find out a little about her style and inspiration. 

TC: Describe your personal style

EG: A mix of traditional and modern.  I love to mix things that represent my classic New England upbringing with global and modern influences as I get older.  And I’ve never met a good animal print I didn’t like.


Boston during the holidays must be a magical place. What are some of your must dos around town to really get into the spirit?

The Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll is amazing and in the prettiest neighborhood in the city, walking down the Commonwealth Avenue mall when it’s all lit up is also beyond charming and catching a concert with the Holiday Boston Pops is always a must do!


 How will you decorate your home and/or your table for the holidays this season?

Simply.  Nothing over the top or too crafty- just fabulous natural greenery, some black and white accents and a sparkle of gold.


 If you had to pick one colour to live in forever, what would it be?9781476744872

Tough one- the easy answer would be a nice light grey-beige like Skimming Stone or Cornforth White. But I have to say, nothing makes me happier than a cozy, dramatic black room!

What’s your favorite room to design?

I love doing guest rooms and offices because I feel like people are more apt to take design risks in rooms that they don’t use every day.


If Santa could bring you one thing for the home this year, what would it be?

I really would love a gorgeous pale, faded antique oushak rug for my living room. The jute/cowhide situation I have in there now is worn and quite in need of replacement!


 You just wrapped up a book tour for Elements of Style (congrats!). Where was your favorite place you traveled to?

We had a wonderful time in Chicago, which is a city full of fantastic design, restaurants and people.  We also had an amazing stop in San Francisco in which we got to drive down the coast a bit to stay at the INCREDIBLE Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.  Probably one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed at.


Best part of your 2014?

The book finally coming out was HUGE for me, it’s been a long time coming.  Finding out it made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list in its category was just icing on the cake.  A close second would be the completion of our home renovation- we now have our dream master suite!


Will you be setting any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?

Just to enjoy the success I’ve had in the past year and try to slow down a little bit.  A little more presence and enjoyment, a little less worry and going at a frantic pace.


Winter is here in New England-brrr! Where are you dreaming of traveling to next?

We are planning a getaway in January and I’m dying to go to St. Lucia or Virgin Gorda.


Here is Erin’s city palette for Farrow & Ball:

City Palettes-Boston

The Chromologist


The Chromologist is a colour whisperer. He understands and knows them better than they know themselves, translating their pleas to be used beautifully for humankind. It's unknown from whence he came. Some say the fraction of space between a prism and a spectrum, others say he toiled in the fabled colour mines of Svalbard for years untold, deep underground, speaking only to the reds and blues, cerises and aquas, bronze and golds...

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist