EXISTENTIAL CRISIS

There will be a lot of words in this post, so if you're just in it for the pretty pictures here are crowd pleasing samples from two recently completed projects:

I hope that helped your peepers. If you'd like to talk, read on. If you need more pictures, please mosey over to my portfolio.

As always I struggle with how to begin a post following such a lapse in communication. After eight years of blogging I'd say we are estranged old friends who aren't quite sure if things will be the same when we meet again. Gone are the days when I posted 700 pictures of my house in progress alongside a histrionic running commentary. I don't really have time for personal projects anymore, and I don't think my clients would appreciate me posting pictures of their homes, pleading "HELP!!!! Do I like Farrow and Ball Pointing or New White for the living room wall color?!?!" And besides, I already know the answer is Pointing (it almost always is) because by now I kind of actually know what I'm doing. Where is the fun in that?

To be honest, and I'd like to think I have operated honestly in this space over the years -- that I have come as close to being the real me as possible, that if you were to meet me you'd see that I really do talk like this (insert east Texas accent)  -- I'm not sure how to write about my life in design anymore. But let me back up a little.

2015 was pretty badass. I can't lie, it felt good to win the Wayfair tastemaker award, to get published in Architectural Digest and Elle Decor and Domino (thanks, Loloi!), to feather my cap with Houzz accolades. I can say that I have worked really hard for years, that I have paid my dues, that I have studied and tried my darndest to deserve any opportunity that came my way. But let's face it, sometimes it's luck. Being in the right place at the right time is important.

All of this brings me to a weird transitional place where I feel mildly successful, yet wholly unpolished. I feel... vaguely fraudulent. When I hang around my truly successful friends and acquaintances I am maybe putting on a bit of a show, a masquerade designed to hide the tap dancing spazz inside. Because my guts are still screaming OMG!!! with jazz hands while outside I am pretending that I always move in these circles elegantly and without hesitation. It would be funny if it weren't so terrifying.

Meanwhile I have done probably six reels for TV shows that want me to be everything from an expert home flipper to a sassy bitch who may or may not have a heart of gold. Where is the show with real people doing real design projects? Don't producers know this job is plenty dramatic enough? Doesn't America want to see a tap dancing spazz who can decorate? Also can this show please be located in Austin?

So now I don't know what to make of the blog. Do I create a shiny veneer, designed to market my perfect career and life, brimming with affiliate links and how to posts, staged with beautifully lit photos of the products I am using and things you can buy? You wouldn't believe how much traffic I could generate that way. And the free stuff! There is so much out there for bloggers.

I know it works for other people, and good for them! But for whatever reason I don't think it's good for me.

Unless I could get a new refrigerator or range out of the deal... I would like to remodel my kitchen. I will totally sell my soul, my kidneys, and maybe even my children for free high end appliances. I guess everyone has their price.

Anyway, what should we talk about? The piles of tile stacked up on my washer and dryer, stranded samples that may or may not find their way into the 17 bathrooms and 8 kitchens I am currently designing? Almost everything I am working on right now is under construction, and that makes for some sad sack visuals. Plus all of my clothes are covered in dust, and it's just terribly unglamorous up in here.

Other problems that need solving include: finding a way to get more projects published, finding an office, finding a location for the next Holy Grail pop up shop in April, finding time to shoot multiple completed projects, finding any time at all, and getting my kids to eat better food.

All I'm asking for is total world domination without losing myself.

Can you help? 

I'm listening.

Split Personality Throwdown

Hi, my name is Erin, and I'm two people. Ok, well to be perfectly literal I do in fact have another person growing inside my belly (weird!), but what I'm talking about is the other person inside my brain -- her name is Stacy. You can blame this identity crisis on my mom, who called all three of her darling children by their middle names, thereby ensuring an uphill battle to maintain a consistent persona. Mostly I have learned to answer to any name by which I'm called, but still I cringe when I hear "STACY!" barked out at the Dr's office and know the clueless registrar means none other than Yours Truly. Let me tell you about Stacy -- she's a nutcase. She thought her name was really Anastasia and someone (talking to you, Mom) made a terrible spelling error. Stacy revealed herself in high school, tired of finally fighting the good fight to just be Erin, dammit. Stacy was kinda grungy, dyed her hair purple, got a nose ring, went on to college and did, ahem, the things college kids do -- namely pull in a near 4.0 in between partying. Hard.

She likes a lot of color and for you to feel slightly uncomfortable in her presence.

Because there is a special kind of cognitive dissonance that occurs in the push/pull between organization and entropy.

She's a wild child, but the floors better be clean or she will whip your ass.

And of course you know me, little ol' Erin. My last house was pretty much black, white and gray, with a hefty dose of brown, because that is where I feel safe and comfortable. I am a rational being, and I don't need any overly decorative crap chintzing up my life.

'

That's not to say that Erin, I, whomever, doesn't have a sense of humor.

She just thinks you might feel more comfortable if the lines are clearly drawn, if things are proper and orderly.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Now, if you can't yet tell, there's a hole in my brain and I'm struggling to balance the two personalities within. For a long time, the neutral, sensible side has been in control. But lately the crazy party ho has been yearning to break free.

Don't worry -- no part of me is actually a ho. That was just a little poetic license.

Anyway, I learned long ago that it's better to balance Jeckyll and Hyde, lest a monster break free and run rampant all up in my house, or it get so dreary and overly polite in here that no one feels free to do other than take tea and eat crumpets.

Not that I would kick a crumpet out of bed.

And there you have it, I AM a ho -- a carbohydrate ho.

At least there are some things all my personalities can count on.

Stay tuned to see how the other issues resolve themselves. My house is a battleground.

Advice (both decor and mental health related) is always appreciated.

[little blue deer, Poppytalk, Kriste Michelini Interiors, NYT,Β The Aestate, NYT]

Please go toΒ my Pinterest to visit all the wonderful friends I stole these images from.

Black and White and Mine All Over

As much as I feel daffodil yellow and spring green demanding that I redecorate my entire home in a blaze of screaming color, I am ever so slightly resistant. Actually, I'm totally digging my heels in (today). I think I can handle a little color here and there -- a floral pillow maybe, or perhaps even a fancy new chair (just wait 'til you see my latest thriftacular find) -- but I know what I never tire of is black and white. So cool, so classic. So endlessly versatile. I always like it in really graphic prints so it comes off as op poppy, not tired and droopy. Check it.

Yeah, I know. THE CHAIR.

Two houses, same zebraesque fabric:

If I lived here, I would probably want to redecorate every other day, but right now I kind of love it. Wait, now I'm talking myself back into liking color...

I like all of it. What's happening to me? Am I secretly a waspy sailor with a cottage in the Hamptons? I hate myself already.

This is what I will wear whilst sailing my 500 foot yacht around the world. Actually, I just snagged this suit from Old Navy and it's pretty dope. Now I just need to do 80,000 leg lifts.

Sorry to make you read the most disjointed post in the history of DC. Obviously I am feeling some style conflict. There's this big sea change blowing in and I'm not quite on board. Color scares me. Maybe it's because my adventures in paint colors have often ended badly -- like macaroni schoolbus bathroom of death badly. But other times, not so badly. I did like my red dining room... for about 6 months. And then I was so fatigued by the COLOR that I painted it -- hold your breath -- black and white.

What do you dudes think? Are you prepared to go whole hog colortastic? Am I just being a wuss?

[Elle Decor, Diamond Barratta]