by Amber Bouthot
Welcome to our new feature. Each month, we will highlight someone whose style we admire. First up, Erin Erb. Erin is a busy wife, mom and entrepreneur. She owns a container gardening business, which means she is slightly insane and wishes she could clone herself (and her awesome employees) for 3 to 6 weeks every season.
“But then I get to revel in the slow, gentle pace of the off-season,” Erin said, “enjoying friends, family and our home.”
How would you describe your style?
My 1930s house is a traditional colonial with a casual vibe. I have a thing for old homes and architecture from the early 1900s, which I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by in the ’07 neighborhood in Fort Wayne. I love our giant windows that fill the interior with tons of natural light and the large baseboards and crown molding.
Each room is filled with an eclectic mix of styles: I am hopelessly and forever drawn to a bohemian look, and I love my collection of shabby antiques, but also incorporate some rustic farmhouse and industrial touches. I’ve recently fallen in love with browsing the #casualmodernhome hashtag on Instagram, which highlights lots of heavy white millwork and white walls, a mix of natural wood tones and tons of caning and bamboo. Who knew I’d ever revert back to my mother’s decorating tastes from 1983? Another style I stalk is #Chinoiserie (Sheen-wah-zr-ee). It’s not as livable for this stage in my life, but if I’m ever a retiree living in Palm Beach, you can bet I’ll be surrounded by chinoiserie and chintz!
One of my favorite spaces is our sunken screened in back porch. We use it daily, weather permitting. It has a darling Dutch door into my office and a set of French doors into our living room. It’s a small space, but it is light and airy and the perfect quiet spot sit with a cup of coffee and my laptop in the morning or enjoy a glass of wine with my husband at the end of the day.
Another is our deck and backyard. When we bought this house, we knew we wanted a functional outdoor living space, so we overhauled the area between our back door and detached garage with a custom deck and pergola, built by my talented brother-in-law. He installed electric so the steps were lit, and we love the hanging cafe lights. It’s the perfect creative space for me to work on gardening design, and it has a great flow—serving as a natural extension of our kitchen. It has been the venue for countless parties, gatherings and celebrations. With a dining table, our grill and seating area with a small fire pit, we enjoy dinner out here almost nightly in the summer, and we have spent hours upon hours lounging on the deck, watching our kids play in the back yard as they’ve grown.
Lastly, is our kitchen. A couple years ago, we renovated our kitchen and formal dining room and combined it into one large space that fit our causal lifestyle and functioned better for our family of 4 and 100lb dog. Everything was taken down the studs and planned to maximize every fraction of an inch of space. It was a long, messy, overwhelming process, and we had to move out of the house for 6 weeks, but in the end, it was SO worth it! We use this space more than any other in our house, and it has been perfect for entertaining. It has also allowed our family to spend more time together—whether it’s my 13-year-old son making French toast for a weekend breakfast, my 11-year-old daughter baking my husband’s birthday cake, a spirited family game night or a raucous cocktail party, it has become the heart of our home.
What feeling do you hope people have when they visit your home?
I want people feel joy, curiosity and comfort.
What is your favorite color?
While I don’t use it that often decorating indoors, my favorite color is all shades of red, especially reddish-orange. Salmon or coral to be more specific, and persimmon if we are being exact.