Podcast, Bonus Boston Episode #1 w/ designer Erin Gates

Designer, author, and blogger Erin Gates joins the How to Decorate podcast from Ballard Designs, live from our Boston store at Natick Mall

We’re big fans of interior designer, blogger, and author Erin Gates, so when we headed to our new Boston store at Natick Mall, we knew we had to sit down with this local stylemaker. She joined us for our first live podcast recording in the front window of our brand new store to talk about designing for families, her massive home renovation, and so much more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • We talk about what guys universally love and hate
  • How one finished room can inspire a client to finish the whole house
  • We talk about which room you should invest in and complete first
  • She shares the topic of her new book, decorating for families and why you don’t have to dumb down your decor just because you have kids and pets
  • Why having a well-designed master bedroom is so important
  • The misconceptions many people have about what they can and can’t have in their home if they have families
  • Why white is actually appropriate — if you have bleach on hand!
  • How much Erin’s team has grown and how delighted they all are to have a new, organized office space
  • The color they use in almost every project
  • We talk about Taryn’s color addiction
  • Karen and Erin bond over their love of animal print
  • Erin tells us all about the massive home renovation of her fixer upper
  • Her next big project in her home renovation
  • Her love of real estate and how she’s always browsing houses
  • We talk TVs — what’s too big and should you have one in your bedroom
  • Erin gives everyone a rug lesson
  • I share a story about a ‘rug island’
  • We talk about what you do when your friends asks for decor advice about a home purchase they’ve made
  • Why it’s fun to work on projects that are out of your comfort zone
  • Where people can save in their budget, and where they should in vest most of their dollars

Decorating Dilemmas

Please help save my marriage! I want to paint our 1928 brick Tudor fireplace! My family room walls are taupe but most of the furniture is white and cream. The brick fireplace is between two all white original built ins, would you paint the brick fireplace white? Did I mention it isn’t pretty brick? -Deidre

We all vote for you to paint your brick. In fact, all four of us have painted our own brick fireplaces! Erin also suggests getting a stone remnant from a stoneyard for a sleek, modern look. Go for it, Deidre!


 What is the best solution for a long, dark hallway? -Sarah

Erin suggests good lighting. You need both recessed overhead lighting and also wall sconces. Then add a light paint, brightly colored artwork, and a lighter runner on the floor. Karen also suggests if you have a wide enough hallway, add a console table with lamps. Spread the light down the hallway with multiple light sources.

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.