NY Inspiration

By Kate Riley September 23, 2010

Greetings friends, I’m back from a whirlwind three day trip!  It was great to be back in one of my favorite places on earth, I love the energy of NYC, and the weather was absolute perfection!

The first two days were spent mostly at media events, but I confess, the highlighted stops for me were our last day spent touring the unbelievably gorgeous ABC Home, and then lunching at Eataly a few blocks away, both in the Flatiron district.  I’ve seen all the big tourist attractions, so these were a new adventure, and I absolutely loved them!

ABC Home is six levels of unbelievable inspiration, ranging from traditional to urban style furniture, plus bedding, rugs, lighting, and accessories ~ it’s a home decorator’s dream!   I want to thank Lana for giving me the scoop on this place, because I left truly inspired. 

 abc home


So many colorful accent pillows . . .

pillows 1

pink pillows


Unique light fixtures . . .

white chandy

 shell chandy 

Beautiful accessories everywhere you turn. 

pottery 2

  napkin rings

I love to browse high end stores stores to study really good design, but then I’m always scheming how to get the look for much less.  Like these Fritz Hansen chairs, priced at $680 each. 

fritz hansen chairs

I found some very similar green versions at Tarjay for $80 for a pair. 

My favorite floor, of course, is Level Five with all the European inspired furniture.  Once the elevator doors opened, it was heaven!  Tons of antique reproduction furniture just waiting to be upholstered in your choice of fabric, all staged around these incredibly huge pillars, all with layers of patina.  Gorgeousness around every turn. 

elevator door 

tufted bed

mirror table

frame 1

settee 1

frame 3

chippy chair

I could have danced all night . . . I could have stayed all day! 

If you’re nowhere near New York, you can get your hands on some ABC goodies by browsing their online store

Another quick stop was Eataly, which has been open less than a month, but judging by the crowds, it’s already a NY favorite.  It’s an Italian marketplace that spreads out over 50,000 square feet.  It’s filled with several restaurants and the finest Italian imports.  It reminded me a bit of the waterfront marketplace at the Ferry Building in San Francisco with its fresh California selections, but Eataly is filled with European delights including  fresh produce, meats, seafood, pasta, gelato, and much more. 



From the moment you enter, you’re struck with all the beautiful produce, some you’ll only find in a gourmet marketplace like this one.

eataly produce

I love to gaze at specialty foods almost as much as home accessories.  It’s just the foodie in me.  These kinds of displays make my heart (or should I say taste buds) go pitter patter.   

Meats . . .

meats 2

Cheeses . .

cheeses 2


Fresh pastas . . .


Eataly is foodie heaven.  You must visit !

By far, the best perk of rearranging my busy schedule to travel to NYC was hanging out with some really amazing ladies who I adore.  I want to give a shout out to Cristin (my awesome roomie), Rhoda, Emily and her friend Katie, Sarah, Beth, Janell, Lakeitha, Jade, and Lana (fellow True Value DIY Squad member) who also met up with us in Manhattan. 

Lastly, let me say I’ve read most of the posts other bloggers have written on The Nate Show experience.   Despite the trash talk uttered by some, I have to disagree with their negative spin.  My experience was mostly positive, and I enjoyed myself very much.  I’ve never sat in a TV show audience, so that alone was so fascinating to me. 


nate show


I found Nate to be warm, engaging, and delightful!  I know many design bloggers have vented that they weren’t given enough recognition for their travels, and while there could have been more acknowledgment, I really don’t blame Nate.  He’s just starting out carrying an entire show, and he’s doing the best he can.  If anything, his production staff needs to work out some kinks and pay more attention to social media.  Overall, he acted very professional throughout the taping of the show, and during the Q&A afterward.

I think Nate’s a doll, and I wish him nothing but success.  His design talent cannot be denied, he is brilliant when it comes to pulling together an amazing space.  It’s a shame others aren’t more encouraging in their reviews.  I’m just a big believer in lifting each other up, not tearing each other down.  I’m so excited for Janell too, she’s actually going to be on the show, did you hear?   She’s a reminder to always be gracious in this business, because only good things can come to you when you act in a professional manner.      

Overall, it was a fantastic trip except for our airplane mishap.  Our plane sat on the runway before takeoff for over three hours because the President landed at JFK, plus there were other delays.  I was tweeting while clicking my imaginary ruby slippers, thinking over and over “There’s no place like home.”    It’s good to be back!



  1. That ABC store is absolutely amazing. My jaw was opened through the entire pictures…thanks so much for sharing!!

    How cool about the Nate Burkus show too! So exciting to see when he’s starting out…I bet if you go back in a few years, you’ll appreciate how far he’s come! He is super talented!

  2. So glad to hear you had a great experience while there and made the best of it and most of all enjoyed meeting a wonderfull group of ladies who’s blogs I love to read (and of course) yours too :)

  3. What a fun trip. How wonderful to be able to go to Nate’s new show! Love the lighting fixtures at the ABC store. I just took a trip to Ikea in Emeryville and saw some chairs that were very similar to the ones in your post {for much less of course}.

  4. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us. ABC Home looks like a DIY-er’s heaven on earth. Wow ~ $680 for one of the chairs? I don’t think so! Eataly reminds me of the North Market in Columbus. I go there just to drool.

    I’m with you – life is hard enough without people dragging us down. I tend to leave negative posts fairly quickly.

    I’m glad you had a fun and safe trip. Welcome back! La

  5. I totally agree…Nate’s staff dropped the ball. They need to get their feet under them before they have an audience full of design bloggers! Martha and Margaret Russell set the bar high when it comes to paying attention to bloggers. :)

  6. I love all of the places you were able to visit! I’m going to visit the ABC online right now! Also, I think you were the only one so far that I’ve read that really put a positive spin on the Nate Show. While I totally understand where the hardworking bloogers and decorators are coming from, I’m glad there was a good time to be had afterwards =) Hopefully the producers of the show take this as a learning experience and maybe they can have the bloggers back for another show and recognize them and they great work you all do!

  7. Kate, I simply adored meeting you and hanging out until late in the night! How often does a mom get to do that in the big city?! Thanks for the shout out and the tips you shared with me!!! Janell

  8. Oh Kate! That looks like such an amazing trip! I soooo wish I could have met you guys there! I am so glad you had a good time. Thanks for sharing all the great pics with us.
    Have a great weekend, sweets!

  9. Everything you pictured is drool worthy!
    I have to say you have just elevated yourself to my favorite blogger. I have been really disappointed to see all the others bloggers getting a bit whinny they did not get the recognition they thought was owed to them. It seems a little narsisstic.
    You took the high road and did it eloquently. Bravo!!

  10. Kate it sounds like you had such a great time, shopping, eating, the NB Show. Most of all meeting up with blog friends….the best!

    Art by Karena

  11. I love your pics from ABC, that place is a sight to see. I spend some time in there back in February. I bet there was tons of stuff you wanted to stuff in your bags and take home with you. Aside from that, you can draw inspiration from all the wonderful images captured in the store! I bet you have a design in mind already!

    Great to have finally met you in person.

  12. Love, love, love NYC! Hubby has never been and I have tried to describe the energy of the city but find it indescribable! Very cool that you attended a show recording! :)

  13. In the 10th picture… that bed, is gorgeous! What do I have to google to buy one like that!?

  14. It was so nice to meet you Kate! You’re such a doll! And thanks for writing a positive review of the show, I felt like I was in the minority. I have to agree with you, I just really enjoyed the experience and took it for what it was worth! The best part was meeting all of my bloggy girls! Glad you made it home safely.

  15. Kate, I am so happy you wrote a positive review about the Nate Show. I didn’t go (but wish I had been able to!) and after reading all those awful reviews, I was really disheartened. I felt really bad for Nate because he does seem like such a nice guy….and not to mention, an amazing designer!

    Loved to see what you were up to in NYC!

  16. What a great time, and how nice to meet all your blogging friends…such a great opportunity!
    Isn’t ABC great? It’s like a museum where you CAN actually buy something (if you can justify the price!). Did you see the dressers and mirrors on a slightly raised platform made up of glass mosaic tiles? (I visit them every now and then) Perhaps that would be a good DIY project for you!

  17. First time to your beautiful blog via Rhoda. Thank you for sharing your adventure in my home away from home. (I’m a native NYer and still commute there)

    You have a wonderful way of looking at life and you clearly ‘get’ what it’s all about.

  18. Fun hanging out with you! Why are your ABC Design pics so much better than mine???

    And, totally agree with your summary of the show. Let’s just count our blessings & enjoy what we did get to do :)

  19. Heather ~ I did see those! I took several pics. Such beautiful mosaic designs. It will take some precision to duplicate those lovely pieces! Very inspired by them.

  20. Thank you for being SO positive about the show! Too many bloggers have said such nasty, spiteful things: it doesn’t help anyone by saying them. The show DOES have a way to go (I went in August), but all good things take time! So glad you enjoyed it.

  21. *sigh* It sounds and looks wonderful. I haven’t read any other reviews of Nate’s show. I do think that you have to allow people to find their way with any new business, television show or otherwise.

  22. Hi Kate…. glad you finally got “lift off” and are safely back home…
    I couldn’t wait to read and see your impressions…. so glad the weather was perfect and that you had a wonderful time-love the pics from the tour of ABC Home….
    Haven’t read anyone else yet…. but as I’ve known from the beginning…. you’re a class act, and as usual,look at the positive side of everything…. your home is a natural result and expression of your joyful and beautiful spirit……
    So appreciate your kind heart… it’s so needed in this cynical, selfabsorbed world…..
    here’s to ya,CG!
    PS… just painted the mouldings for the powder room, and YIPPEE, the vegetable oil as cleanup for oil based enamel works awesome! IOU!

  23. Well you just confirmed for me that I follow the best bloggers around! Not one of the 75 blogs I read every day said anything negative against Nate and their experience, including you. I read blogs for inspiration, insight and uplifting and funny everyday life stories. Evidently, some of those negative bloggers need to remember it is strictly voluntary to read a blog, and it is VERY easy to delete the follow button. I am lovin that ABC Store! Pricey though, but oh so lovely.

  24. Very nicely written, Kate. I think Nate seems like an abosolute doll and very down to earth, as well as being an outstanding and fun designer. I love his energy and enthusiasm. I would have loved to have gone. Don’t you just love ABC Home! I used to spend hours in there when we lived in NYC just looking at everything, drooling and getting lots of inspiration. It’s an amazing place and quite an experience. Glad you had a great trip! Your photos are fabulous. Thanks for sharing them!

  25. Thanks for posting the ABC Home pictures. Such inspirational and stunning images! And I’ll take one of each of those cheeses!

    As for the Nate Show situation, I’ve read other recaps, and I appreciate you taking the high road. From what I gather, his production team totally missed the opportunity to tap into the wonderful resource of the bloggers in attendance. But to be invited in the first place and be afforded the chance to meet fellow blogging homies would be worth it alone.

  26. It was a fantastic opportunity to spontaneously meet-up with you all! Loved this post and seeing all that I missed out on in NYC! Next time :). Thanks girl for the shout out!

  27. Kate – it was so nice meeting you this week!!! Loved seeing your photo recap! You went to some great spots…isn’t Eataly the most amazing place ever?! Now that I’ve found your blog I’ll definitely be following! xo

  28. “I’m just a big believer in lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. ” You are a woman truly after my own heart. I LOVE that you said this. I haven’t read any reviews but have read ABOUT the negative reviews and that makes me sad. It’s a NEW show with a NEW concept, it’s going to take a bit to work it all out. …and your Momma taught you, if you don’t have something nice to say than don’t say anything at all. (But I DID JUST have a rant the other day about school supplies). Anyway, I’m so glad you shared your experience with us! BTW, I’m giving away a $35.00 CSN GC, so I’d love for everyone to stop by!

  29. OHHH and also BTW, I think ABC home looked more like Heaven to me than Ikea, and that’s saying something. I REALLY would love to go there!

  30. I’m a long-time lurker on your blog. I appreciate your ‘review’ of ABC and Eataly. It’s added to my list for my next trip into NYC.

    I hope you have been to Berkeley Bowl in, or course, Berkeley. It isn’t quite as luxurious as Eataly but you can spend hours looking at all the produce, never mind all the other goodies

  31. Oh Kate! It was great meeting you! You are such a fun person, seriously! Like I said in my post, my experience was very positive! Shoot, I already miss you guys!

    I wish I could have taken you and Cristin up on going to ABC Home…But my flight was earlier and I was too afraid of missing it! Hoepfully there will be a next time!

  32. So glad you had a good time. I love ABC Home! It is such a great place for wandering and inspiration…I’m so happy there is a branch down south where I am although the NYC one was always my favorite one for meandering. I always imagine one day being able to buy just one thing there :) but I love creating my own versions based on their pricier inspirations as well :). I am going to have to check out EATALY next time I am back home.

  33. It sounded like a good time – thanks for sharing your experience with us. Could not be happier for Janell; I’ll be looking forward to seeing her segment on an upcoming show.

  34. Rock on! I agree….lift people up…there is enough negative in this world! Love your blog and LOVE your positive attitude!

  35. I have to go check out the online store!! I’m so glad you had such a great time at the show! I have to say I’m a little envious of you and Janell getting to hang out with Nate in the most amazing city :)

  36. That store looked amazing! I’m so jealous of your NY trip! As far as Nate’s show is concerned, there’s no bigger fan then I am and I think he’s beyond amazing and talented but I am disappointed in his show it’s really all over the place and I think the reason I’m most disappointed because I wanted this show to be great for him. I believe in lifting people higher too but lifting them higher might come with some constructive criticism. I hope the producers come together and make this show right because Nate’s a very talented designer!

  37. Kate, I could not wait for your post about your trip to NY. I knew it would be first class with beautiful inspirational images. You did NOT disappoint. Way to go girl, and way to keep it classy!!

  38. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and pictures! I am visiting NYC next week, so I will definitely check out Eataly and the ABC Home store.

  39. You had me at “European inspired furniture.” ;)

    You and Rhoda seem to really have made a great decision to keep an entirely positive attitude in reference to the trip and also the details you incorporate into your blog review! I respect that immensely!

    I just wrote to Rhoda and told her that I think other bloggers are innocent to a certain extent because they believe that as bloggers they should “tell it like it is,” about their Nate experience and they aren’t even aware that what they’re writing can come across more harshly than they intended. So, I think they truly don’t comprehend the negative impact of their words.

    That being said, however, you seem to be proactively making an effort to only uplift and I applaud you for that extra effort. The blog world and, alas, the world as a totality need more proactively positive people, so thank you so much for that!!!

    Lana (the other Lana–I am going to have to go and write to the other Lana since so few folks have our name!)

  40. What an exciting trip! Thanks for sharing the photos. Although I’m rarely in NY, I will definitely try to make stops at both ABC Home (love the pillows in that first pillow photo!) and Eataly (Oh, how I miss living somewhere with an Italian market/deli).

  41. Thank you for such a great, positive and professional review! I don’t understand the others ~ not the way to support Nate or our blogging world. I’m sure you had a blast! I adore NYC and am enthralled with every facet of this great city. Sorry about the plane/airport stuff ~ that’s never fun. So glad you were able to make the trip and again, thanks for sharing!

  42. I got those chairs at Tarjay in espresso for $50 just this past Sunday.. maybe your green ones will be on sale :)

  43. Kate, my dear, what a great post! One of the best highlights for me was getting to hang out with YOU so much and going thru ABC Designs was the perfect finale to our time in NY. Big hugs my friend, thank you for being so kind and a joy to be around! xoxo

  44. I was astonished and disappointed at the outcry among some bloggers that they weren’t the focus on Nate’s show. They are coming across to those of us outside of that world as a big bunch of whiners.

    I’d much rather hear Nate than a blogger who has seen a project on another blog and copied it. It seems like half of the DIY decorating blogs pass around info they’ve found on other blogs; there is not as much new creativity as there should be, given the number of blogs out there; and rarely are there tutorials that give enough info to a raw beginner (like me) to actually DO a project. There are many assumptions made that every reader has read the blog from day 1, that every reader knows what a particular tool is or how to use it, what the difference is between paints, how DOES one spray paint without getting spray all over the floors, the walls if one can’t paint outdoors or in a garage, why do some people sand and prime, and some just start spraying painting away? I love looking at the befores and afters and feel inspired reading these blogs, but really, when it comes down to it, I can rarely use the info to actually do anything because of the details that have been left out.

    Anyway, back to Nate: IMO, the privilege was in being invited, and his staff making the effort to honor the DIY decor blog world by just offering the opportunity and helping to coordinate the effort. If bloggers were the focus and to be featured, their airfares/hotel rooms would have been paid for, they would have been wined & dined, picked up at the airport, transported to the studio, make-up, etc. I assume there was no contract stating anything beyond what was done, would be done. The privilege was in the invite. Icing on the cake was being together, meeting each other. Was there not value in that whether out of each person’s pocket or not?

    I appreciate your grateful attitude on the privilege of being recognized with the invitation you received. I adore Nate and would love to have gone.

  45. Hi Kate-

    It was truly exciting meeting you up in NYC. Wish I had been available to meet up with you, Rhoda, and the others for dinner on Monday eve. It was just a most amazing couple of days and making so many connections was the true highlight of the trip for me. Your photos are wonderful and looking at the ones from Eataly are making me hungry.

    I also wanted to tell you that I know I can always count on you to be my classic movie buff buddy. Can’t get enough of them. My 23 year old daughter is in Africa in the Peace Corps and texted me yesterday to answer a Cary Grant movie question. Seems she was in a debate with some others about him and his movies and she knew I would know the answer. Got a few high fives sent over the Atlantic from her for helping her out. Truly a passion of mine.

    My best-

  46. ahhhh….NYC in the fall. There’s nothing better. My parents live an hour north of the city. One of these days I’m going to head up there w/out kids and spend the weekend doing the city MY way!

  47. Not a blogger but love reading your blog.
    Just love your blog and wanted to let you know your blog is WOW WOW WOW!

  48. HI CG:

    So here I am, a native NYer and have not yet been to Eataly but you had!! So, of course, after reading your blog entry, I grabbed my Mom and off we went into Manhattan to grab my Fashion Institute of Technology son and head on down to 23rd St. I sent you all the NY links a few days back…and you returned the favor by informing me of this wonderful spot! Because of you we had a great afternoon! Turn is around is fair play, so thank you! We ate great cheeses with honey, foccocia bread to die for and the hazelnut gelato I cannot put into words! I also bought Lidia’s artichoke marinara and trekked it all through my Macys shopping…a heavy load but worth it once we came home and ate! YUM!! Glad you enjoyed our city! :0)

  49. NYC is on my bucket list, and now I have moved it up to a higher position. With your delightful details in hand, I will take it by storm. Thanks for the loverly post! It is beautiful!!!

  50. I read your post the other day about being on the Nate Show and I haven’t watched it but maybe once or twice over the past few months and it was completely by accident. But, my husband was in the room with me when I said, “I’ve got to figure out how to find The Nate Show!!!” So, since I’m not a tv person, my husband found it for me and recorded his show on Wednesday! I watched it thinking you may not be on today, because of taping shedules and you weren’t. :( So, I am glad to know that you will be on in Feb. and I can watch it then! It looks like you had a great time. Wonder what those squirrels are doing right now!!!

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