Monday, April 7, 2014

Gates Interior Design

In 2012 I started working with my second business coach, James Roche. It was then that I realized that change was inevitable. Not only was the design industry evolving in a big way, but so was I. Recently single and going through a divorce the things that had mattered most were no longer important to me. While I loved interior design and the transformation it provided my clients, “pretty” was no longer enough for me. I needed more. I wanted to provide transformations that changed peoples lives for the better and to heal their spaces.

As I sat in my own home, surrounded by a junk yard of past life memories I realized that nothing could remain. Everything had a story. Everything had a memory, and it was all attached to an old life that no longer existed. As I would pass a chair I wouldn’t see it’s beauty but rather the memory of emotions that no longer served me. It was then that I realized that many of us go through life surrounded by a junk yard that weighs us down, and holds our energy hostage.


Back when I was in college I studied feng shui. I used it in my own home and became an expert in the Pyramid Philosophy of Feng Shui. It was a style that resonated with me. A style that banishes the need for wacky charms and superstitions but instead focuses on the energy, emotion and feeling of a room. No longer would I surround myself with energy that did not honor my new direction in life. In the spring of 2012 I set out to change everything:
IMG_8990
1) Auction off everything I own
2) Sell my car
3) Move
4) Rebrand
It seems like a simple list but it took an act of god to make it all happen. It took me six months to find an auction house that would take everything in one single swoop. Most companies wanted to pick and choose from my belongings and that just didn’t work for me. It was all or nothing. By the fall of 2012 I found a set decoration company that took everything down to my silverware. It took all day and eight people, and two trucks, but by the end of the day it was me and the two cats. ( those two served me well)
By November of 2012 I was out of my lease and was able to move in with my boyfriend. Looking back, my sane self likely would never have done this. I knew him only three months but at the time I needed a refuge and it just made sense to my chaotic self.
By December of 2012 I sold my car. My checklist was almost complete. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work on this new brand. I had nothing in place, no idea where it was going, but I knew one thing about it’s direction, it would provide professional help for a healing home.
2013 became the year of my divorce. Some days were good, some days were really bad. My own experience proved to me that everyone deserves a space that uplifts them and enhances their mood. No longer a junkyard of random, useless memories, my home became filled with items that made me laugh, uplifted my mood and healed my heart. It became my motto to have Balance, Harmony and a true sense of Home, to enhance my quality of life.
Gates Interior Design is the evolution of this philosophy. When your environment is in harmony, so are you, helping you attract more of the coveted three blessings of health, wealth and happiness. It is my goal to help you transform your life through your home and help you heal your space!
Thank you to those who have supported me through this journey, this is my love letter to you.
XX,
Amanda

Monday, March 12, 2012

4 Fun Facts About Color

Google announced back in December that as of March 1, google friend connect would no longer be allowed on other blogs. So if you have been a trusted follower of my blog you will only see updated posts via blogger. So in an attempt to keep my readers up to date, I will make every effort to post the AB HOME articles here so you see them.
4 Fun Facts About Color
Color is the dominant king when it comes to decorating because it is the single most valuable tool in a home. Think about it, if you leave your walls light and bright bright color accents can bring in excitement. If you paint your walls dark it can quickly add drama and mystique. Over the years my team and I have painted countless hours away in the various offices we have been in. So much so that I think it is safe to say that some of our office walls may be a half inch thicker than they were when we moved it! But I love paint and I love how it can instantly transform a room.
Color is not only exciting but it is a mischievous decorating tool that can instantly transform your space.

1) Color contrast


love the bold paint color.


Play up an architectural detail, or create a pop with that new bold chair by painting the wall a contrasting color. Colors that contrast boldly with their background make details stand out and draw attention to them. These can become the instant “wows” in a home!


2) Similar colors conceal



pale paint and open shelves

Painting everything the same color can conceal imperfections and make a room look seamless. It can also help calm the room down if there is a lot going on. Another trick, paint everything the same color, including trim to create beautiful shadowing details, like the photo above.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remodeling series-Week 16

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Last week Mrs S was on vacation. I wanted to mention this because my inbox was flooded with emails from concerned readers wanting to know what happened to the series! Afraid they had missed something. No need to worry, we are back on schedule!
For those of you following this remodel you know that our latest hiccup was the doors. As the story goes in my line of business:  ”it will be two weeks.” But then two weeks comes and goes and it suddenly becomes another “two weeks.” At any rate our two week turn around for doors turned into almost five. So all of us were thrilled when they got here!
Mrs S and Co. immediately poo-poo’d the idea of the stained doors, but I am not past begging and pleading if I know it is perfect for the design. Ritchie, accustomed to working with me silently raised an eyebrow and just couldn’t envision it. But he trusted my judgement and when they went in today, everyone was thrilled with the idea of staining them! Yay!

Stained walnut doors will be THE epitome of luxury and decadence in this refined bathroom. The perfect solution to grounding the space, warming it up and adding that touch of elegance……………..but then the grim reaper ALWAYS has to play the devils advocate and ruin everything. ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! {Read More}

Monday, September 19, 2011

Entertaining-A guide to proper invitation etiquette with CoryAnne Ettiene

Hello everyone! It has been brought to my attention the google reader is NOT sending my posts to subscribers.
Here is the latest post, and be sure to hop over to the new blog here!



Housewife Bliss — The Finer Points Of Domesticity

Today I sit down with Corryanne Ettiene from Housewife Bliss, to discuss the proper do’s and don’ts of sending an invitation; a true art of entertaining. It is hard to imagine, but just a few short years ago entertaining was considered a socially routine practice, and people actually looked forward to, and made time for such events. GAASP! Entertaining was considered fun a host took pride in sending out invitations and holding a party in her home. (Oh domestic bliss and feminine power how far we have come)…..But now a days it seems that people spend more time crafting the perfect story why they just can’t make it…or worse they assume the host KNOWS that they won’t be coming.(aren’t we all telepathically connected to a USB port to know such things? …Oh wait we are, it’s called a computer)
In an oxymoronic age where people have a justified rationality for disposable everything, but somehow also want to have a green mentality, it’s hard to make sense of proper etiquette in a time with such convaluted rules. Being courteous and polite were once customary practices, however, it seems that in today’s reality driven, hyper-fame paradise we call America, all we know how to do is hide behind our emails, text messages and pessimistic nature. One of my favorite sayings that my grandmother always said is, “A woman’s beauty lasts only as long as her disposition stays sweet”. Although her dynasty was built entirely on class, sophistication and a 1950′s Continental Mark II Lincoln, grandma is the template of domestic perfection. While I don’t strive to be so organized, animated and pulled together, I do feel that every grandma in America could teach our youth a thing or two about manners. Especially when they can’t make up their mind whether to be activist hippies, or reality driven expendables that are dumber than a box of rocks! But I digress, once again.
In a society devoid of many social etiquette practices, I had some very specific questions from the domestic goddess herself, Coryanne Ettiene:


1) Decorative invites or save a tree
Amanda- Is is socially acceptable to send out decorative invites with so many tree-hugging, prius driving hippies that fantasize about a world without decorative tree killing
invitations?



CoryAnne-Ah yes, that old chestnut and a rather hard nut to crack, because you are not going to please everyone all the time.  But  if you are inviting me to a dinner party, please send me a nice pretty invitation that I can put on my mantle and enjoy while I am dusting the living room. Rest assured, I am going to love your invitation, and when I remove it from my mantle it will go in the recycling bin to please my inner eco-warrior.




2) To email or not

Amanda- Are there happy alternatives to invitations that are not tree murderers, but not trendy, non-personal shortcuts like email invites?






Coryanne-Eco-invitations on recycled paper are very popular and nearly every stationary shop has an eco option. Some invitations are made from 100% recycled paper and others are creative combinations of recycling cards to create a new product.  With anything, spending a little money will get you a fabulous product, after all, you get what you pay for.
Forgoing the formal invitation in an envelope, a second option is for a bespoke post card invitation, they require less postage, less paper and still send the  message that you are planning a fabulous evening.

3) Where to shop

Amanda-What are some of the best places to get invitations?

Coryanne-Etsy is full of budding stationary shops that embody the eco-chic image and philosophy.  Like all stationary, your taste and style will navigate you towards a particular company. {Continue reading here!}


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christina Strutt's best tips for the holidays

The holidays are meant to bring family and friends together. It is a time to share warm meals and good conversation, cozy blankets, soft flannels, and warm fires to snuggle up to. Bitter cold days filled with snow, and naked trees are an unmistakable sign to head indoors and secure your spot on the couch with a yummy cup of hot cocoa. Preparing for the holidays can be a hectic task but it doesn’t need to be a chore. Back in October I offered up the Holiday survival guide with my best tips and tricks to get in gear, and recently had the chance to talk with Christina Strutt, of Cabbages and Roses, to find out her best tips on holiday decorating and making your festivities homey.

Friday, November 5, 2010

True design therapy equals getting a Harley

photo
Nike

As most of you know I lost my beloved Nike back in late August. For twelve years he was there through it all. The moves, the up’s and downs, and just a true companion. I could never imagine the loss I would feel until he was gone. I had thought about it and I knew that someday it would come, but I always pushed it to the back of my mind figuring I would worry about it when that day came. Little did I know that day came all too fast and in the blink of an eye his health deteriorated and in a flash he was gone.




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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guest rooms: Your ultimate guide to the essentials


What is it about the word luxury that appeals to us? Does it personifies fulfillment and satiation in all things that satisfy us? Or is it the epitome of magnifigance? I recently started working with a branding company and they asked that very question: What does luxury mean to you? The more I thought about it the more I realized it really has very little to do with money; which is what most people associate with the word luxury. Back in September I wrote a post on this very subject. One of my favortie lines from that post, “Luxury is not about money, it is about the simple pleasures in life that influence your mood.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Festive tablescape: A how-to guide to smart Southern style


Each of us, whether a professional or a homemaker, has our own distinctive style. We all design and arrange our homes to showcase our personalities that are shaped by our lives. These personalities may be subtle or strong, but the backbone of a home’s style is built on experiences and memories. At the heart of all Southern homes is the table, in particular the dining table. Here a family gathers to pray, share a meal and discuss the blessings of each day. When mama assembles the family to eat it is a deeply respected and honored experience. It is also a way to entertain  our closest friends. The South is deeply rooted in tradition, and nothing is more important than friends and family. Nothing. Ask anyone who is a true Southerner and they will agree that the family meal is as sacred as going to church on Sunday.
{Click here to read more} on the new blog!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Artful living through design

Ever wonder why a designer room has that special look? Why a room that we design has bold choices, dramatic paint and risk factor? As designers we definitely take risks that every day people may fear to do, but our biggest weapon is the sources we use. I tell my clients all the time that I am only as good as the people I surround myself with, and the vendors I use. When I travel to Highpoint my goal is to meet with existing vendors and connect with new sources that are charming and special. These sources are not available to everyday people because they are ‘to-the-trade.’ I am sure that every industry has this, but our livelyhood depends on remarkable things that are distinct and exceptional because without them we cannot achieve extrordinary results. Sure we have many tricks up our sleeves to make your space individually yours, but it doesn’t hurt to have product that makes us look like super heros! Here are a few of my favorites from Highpoint on it’s way to our showroom.


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