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Style Watch

Tastefully merry

In her own home, designer/blogger Erin Gates gets ready for the holidays with a green, white, and gold decorating scheme.

“It’s possible to find a balance between aesthetically pleasing and festive,” says Erin Gates. “Create a mix of things you really love; everything doesn’t have to be red and green.” Michael J. Lee
Michael J. Lee

“I’ve never been an over-the-top holiday decorator,” says interior designer and Elements of Style blogger Erin Gates. When decking her Newton home for the holidays, she favors a subdued green, white, and gold scheme. Holiday decor should be a reflection of the home’s year-round aesthetic, says Gates. “It’s important to incorporate the stuff you have out every day.” Her own living room is a lovely blend of antiques, affordable off-the-shelf items, and high-end fabrics. The mix, she says, “gives a space individuality and depth and keeps it from feeling formulaic.” Incorporating rustic greenery, traditional accents, and a little modern bling, Gates’s holiday decor echoes the room’s understated-yet-elegant vibe.


1 | A glass-topped coffee table from Worlds Away helps make the small room feel bright and open. The base is brass, a finish Gates favors for its warmth. “It also plays nicely into holiday decorations,” she says.

2 | Year-round, a green velvet pillow provides pop against the neutral Kravet sectional, a splurge that was worth it, says Gates. “We tried and missed on a few other sofas over the years. This one is a perfect blend of tailored lines and comfort.”

3 | Instead of using standard gift paper, Gates often wraps presents in leftover wallpaper like the malachite green covering by Cole & Son.

4 | Wreaths with burlap bows are draped over molded-resin antlers from Ballard Designs that hang on the wall year-round.

5 | A blue and white vase holds an arrangement of feathers, gold glittered twigs, pine, and magnolia branches that feels “seasonal but not too Christmasy,” says Gates.

6 | The black and gold bar was a $75 estate-sale find. Inside, Gates placed vases filled with gold balls and illuminated with string lights — all visible through the woven-wire doors.

7 | To play off the black bar, Gates festooned a bust with black and white plaid ribbon and a long strand of pearls.


8 | The gilded chair was an eBay score Gates had reupholstered. “It makes such a statement and costs far less than a designer chair,” she says.

9 | Candles from a local flower market fashioned out of birch logs are rustic and textural.

10 | A silver bowl received as a wedding gift displays silver-painted walnuts.

11 | Gold spike ornaments are by Crate & Barrel. A cocktail shaker from Target sits in a brass tray from South End shop Hudson.

12 | The striped ceramic tray with gold edging is Gates’s own design from a collection she collaborated on with ceramist Jill Rosenwald.