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Are You Too Matchy Matchy?

March 28, 2014

Think about your mother’s bedroom furniture. I’d be willing to bet that all the pieces are perfectly matched because she went to the store and bought the set just as it was displayed in the store.

Furniture retailers learned a long time ago to create little room vignettes on their sales floor as a way to sell more furniture. They knew that most consumers don’t know how to put together a room design, so they did it for them by showing furniture complete with rugs, lamps and artwork in little room scenarios.  And it worked.  Customers would buy the whole grouping because they felt like it was a way to avoid making mistakes. It’s the same reasoning that my husband uses when he shops for clothes – he buys whatever the store mannequin is wearing.

As a result, a lot of rooms are very matchy matchy, my phrase for rooms that have matching end tables, matching lamps, matching sofa and chairs, well, you get the idea.  It might seem like a good thing, but the reality is that in the world of good design, “unmatched” has much more personality and are more interesting.

So, how can you incorporate this into your home décor? Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean to go to the other extreme and to think that everything goes together. We’re really talking about an eclectic style of design, which is actually harder to pull off than one might think. This is where working with a good interior decorator comes in handy.

But if you want to give it a try on your own, dining rooms are a great place to mix and match by using a different chair for the host and hostess chair.  It could be a different style entirely from the side chairs or it could be the same style but have a different fabric.  The buffet doesn’t have to be the one from the same set as the table and chairs.

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In your bedroom, try mixing it up by using a round table on one side of the bed and a small chest on the other, instead of the usual matching nightstands.  Use an upholstered headboard on the bed instead of the headboard that comes with the set. Or try small mirrored chests for nightstands in conjunction with a wood dresser.  The idea here is to lessen the amount of wood in the room, especially all the same wood.

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In the living room, there are lots of options for mixing and matching.  Start with new lamps that don’t match each other.  Use unmatched side tables, maybe some in wood and some in metal for a variety of mediums.  Instead of choosing a sofa and matching chairs, look for interesting accent chairs that can compliment rather than match the style of your sofa.  Instead of all leather on the upholstered, mix it up by using leather on just a chair and ottoman with fabric on the sofa. It will look and feel much warmer than a roomful of leather.

So, be brave, get away from lookalike rooms and incorporate a few of these ideas for a more interesting home décor that you won’t tire of so easily.   If you’re not feeling brave enough to do this on your own, call me at 702-914-3741 and I’ll do it for you.

“Radiant Orchid” Is 2014’s Color of the Year for Home Interior Design

January 20, 2014

This year, prepare for soft shades of purple to permeate the interior design market and homes across the country. Pantone Color Institute, a major authority in color forecasts for fashion and design industries, just announced “Radiant Orchid” will be 2014’s color of the year.

Radiant Orchid Area Rug

This area rug’s backdrop is this season’s Radiant Orchid.

Last year, Emerald tones reigned, says Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach. The rich green could be found just about anywhere—from Beyoncé’s fashion-forward earrings as she sang the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration to the sleek furniture pieces seen at last Spring’s N.C. High Point Market for design gurus. But in contrast to 2013’s rich jewel tone or even 2012’s vibrant Tangerine, this year’s chosen color is a perky pastel.

Pantone’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman calls Radiant Orchid “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.” Unlike Orchid’s color relative Mauve, which was widely popular in the 1980s, Orchid stays away from gray tones. Instead, this shade of purple brings a fresh, bright look.

While Radiant Orchid is expected to appear in lipstick shades, celebrity gowns and even kitchen appliances, decorator Christine Ringenbach shares that homeowners have plenty of opportunities to include this color in their home décor.

“I doubt we’ll see many whole rooms painted in this color,” she says, “but it would be a nice paint color for an accent wall in bedrooms and bathrooms, where it creates a soft, romantic feel.”

Contemporary Radiant Orchid Pouf

Radiant Orchid brightens accent pieces, like this pouf.

This color also lends itself to homeowners with limited budgets. Rather than redo whole rooms, Radiant Orchid can be shown through small accent pieces, like area rugs, ottomans and throw pillows. Also, Orchid pairs well with a variety of colors, making it the perfect shade to add to existing room décor.  Try it with olive, hunter green, turquoise or peacock blue.

Homeowners nationwide can easily embrace this trend and freshen their home interiors with a touch of Radiant Orchid. Want to include this new color in your home interior design? Call interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702-914-3791 for a complimentary design consultation.

Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2014

How to Clean and Care for Custom Window Treatments

December 16, 2013

If you’ve just purchased custom drapery, you want to keep them looking as beautiful in ten years as they look today.  To do this, just be sure to care for them properly and regularly. Want to know what kind of cleaning your drapery needs? Homeowners, today take a look at how you can care for your window treatments, no matter what style!

Dining Room Window Treatment

Draperies with soft folds, like these, can be dusted and even be gently vacuumed to preserve their luxurious look.

1.  Don’t Wash Like Laundry: Never wash or launder custom treatments. Fabrics have a sizing that makes them look new and fresh, which will be compromised if laundered.

Cornice Window Treatment

You can vacuum dust from stable drapery surfaces, like this cornice.

2.  Get Rid of Dust: Your biggest enemy is dust. Twice a year, vacuum any accumulated dust from the surface of your treatments. This works especially well for stable, hard surface treatments, like cornices.  Draperies with soft folds can also be vacuumed; it just takes more time to get into all the folds.  Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum, and reduce the suction power slightly.  Then use a soft, slightly damp cleaning cloth to remove accumulated dust on drapery rods and rings.

3.  Air Dry, No Heat: Lightweight draperies, such as sheers, can even be put in the dryer on air only, no heat, tumbled with a slightly damp towel.  Loose dirt and dust will be easily removed and absorbed by the towel.   Be sure to first remove all drapery pins. After the cycle, rehang immediately and dress the draperies back into place.

4.  Dust Always, Dry Clean If Dirty: Dry clean only when draperies are actually soiled. You can keep your window treatments clean and fresh for many years with just regular dusting. Excessive dry cleaning can alter the hang of the draperies and may cause fabrics to lose their luster.

draperies in living room

For draperies difficult to remove, simply hire a trusted professional.

5.  Ask a Professional: When treatments can’t be removed for dry cleaning, call in professional upholstery cleaning service.  But before you hire cleaners, check their references carefully.  You want quality work, not just a good price point.

6.  Choose the Right Fabric For Your Needs: Remember that the beauty of certain fabrics, such as silk, is that they don’t hang and drape the same way as cottons and polyesters.  Resist temptation to iron or heavily steam them.  Linens are inherently softly wrinkled — no amount of steaming will take that away.  Either love the look of linen or choose a different fabric.

With good care, custom drapery looks beautiful for years. So take care, and enjoy!

Also, to have custom window treatments installed in your home, contact Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702-914-3741.

Author: Christine Ringenbach, edited by Allyson Siwajian © 2013

Seven Tips to Get Your Guest Room Holiday Ready

December 9, 2013

With holidays approaching, many of us will be hosting guests overnight.  Is your guest room ready for company?

Homeowners, for a lot of us, the guest bedroom is that catch-all room that is used only sporadically by guests.  But you don’t want to spend the day before guests arrive frantically throwing the room together. Instead, be prepared. Then you can skip the stress and enjoy your guests this holiday season.

Want to ready your guest room? Try these top tips that will make your guests feel welcomed every time!

Contemporary Guest Bedroom in Dark Tones and Metallic Accents

Remember to have good lighting, a comfy chair for reading, and plenty of bedding layers for warmth.

1.  Experience: Spend a night actually sleeping in your own guest room to see what your guest will experience. Then adjust accordingly.

2.  Linens: It’s worth spending a little extra for high thread-count Egyptian cotton.  Then add two pillows per guest: one firm and one soft.

3.  Bedding: Layers work best for guests to customize their sleeping comfort.  Provide a medium-weight blanket and also a duvet (with a polyfill or down insert) that can be folded at the foot of the bed for additional warmth.

Bedside Table with Fresh Flowers and Table Lamp

Small touches make a guest feel welcome, like fresh flowers by the bed.

4.  Lighting: Don’t forget to offer good lighting for those who like to read in bed.  A three-way table lamp is always a good choice.

5.  Seating: Include a comfortable chair or a bench at the foot of the bed where guest can sit to put on shoes.  Add a lamp beside the chair, and it becomes another place to read or enjoy quiet time away from the rest of the household.

6. Window Treatments: Some people find it very hard to sleep after the sun rises in the morning, so have shades or shutters ready for privacy and light control.  Add a pair of side panels, flanking the window, for a pretty look.

7.  Storage: Although you may use this room for extra storage, try to provide at least a drawer and some closet space for guests to put away their clothes.  It’s hard to live out of a suitcase for more than a day or two.

With your guestroom ready for the holidays, relax and enjoy the company!

Looking for help with your guestroom décor this holiday season? Contact Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702-914-3741 and schedule a complimentary consultation for any room in your house.

Authors: Christine Ringenbach with Allyson Siwajian  © 2013

Go Glam with Metallic Gold Lighting Fixtures for Home Interior Design

November 25, 2013

Nickel finishes have been popular lately after past years’ shiny brass fixtures, but the home fashions pendulum is swinging again. This season, metallic gold textures are all the rage.

Although the golden coloring may look strikingly similar to yesterday’s brass, the gold tones and styles of today are distinctly updated. The new metallic gold textures bring elegance, glamor, and even a little bit of bling to brighten up a home.

Why this trend? These days, consumers are taking a step away from strict budget reactions to the earlier economic slump. Instead of always tightnening their financial belts, shoppers now are ready to return to sophistication and glamor in their interior design.

Ready to see the new finish that you can incorporate into your home interior design? Today, Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach is showcasing the latest styles. From formal traditional styles to transitional looks for contemporary homes, the new metallic gold has something for everyone.

MINI BARREL LAMP

This look exudes casual simplicity. Barrel lamp shades are a sheer organza fabric and look beautiful when the lights are on.

Mini barrel lamp shaded chandelier

PENDANT CHANDELIER

This gold leaf pendant chandelier delivers a funky look for those who want something with a “wow factor.”

Gold leaf pendant chandelier

DANGLING CRYSTAL CHANDELIER

This has a feminine side with a softly pleated shade in organza fabric and lots of dangling crystals. A dangling chandelier would look great hanging above a nightstand in a master bedroom, in place of the usual nightstand table lamp.

Dangling crystal chandelier

LEAFED BALL CHANDELIER

This chandelier is a contemporary light fixture with a unique, unusual look. Light bounces off its leaves in fun ways.

Leafed ball chandelier

LEAF LANTERN

This looks like a bouquet of flowers, incorporated into a blend of traditional hurricane lantern meets chandelier.

Gold leaf lantern
HOW TO INSTALL

No matter what light fixture you choose, keep in mind the design principles of balance and proportion when choosing and hanging a new fixture.  For example, for a dining room table, aim to hang the fixture 30” – 32″ above the table. Then check that the diameter of the fixture is roughly 1/2 the width of the dining room table.

Want a professional decorator’s help with your lighting fixture selection and installation? Call interior decorator Christine Ringenbach of Decorating Den Interiors at 702-914-3741 for all of your home interior decorating needs.

Authors: Christine Ringenbach with Allyson Siwajian © 2013

What Style of Bergere Chair Fits You?

November 11, 2013

Jeans may change with the fashion seasons (for example, flared, boot-leg, studded or stonewashed), but this wardrobe staple isn’t going away. The same goes for the classic Bergere Chair, which changes with seasons but remains a popular decorating choice.

Like most classic decorating pieces, it’s stood the test time. Made popular in the era of King Louis XV in France, the Bergere Chair provides comfort with an elegant edge, thanks to its upholstered seatback and armrests, loose seat cushion, and exposed frame. Today, it’s as in vogue as ever, and furniture designers continue to create varied styles of this classic piece.

No matter your home’s style, the Bergere Chair is an excellent accent chair in almost any room. But which one best fits you? Look at these Bergere Chair styles, and find the chair that best suits your home’s interior design!

CLASSIC LOUIS XV BERGERE STYLE

The Louis XV style epitomizes classic Bergere Chair details: an exposed wood frame, lush cushion (often stuffed with down), loose seat cushion, curved back, carved wood detailing, closed arms, and curved cabriole legs.  Although it’s a traditional look, as a classic, it can safely be mixed with many styles.  To give this traditional chair a less formal look, simply change the fabric to a solid, textured chenille.

Bergere Chair_Classic Louis XV

TRADITIONAL BERGERE STYLE: BACK VIEW

This traditional style is a good choice for a chair that will float in the room arrangement. Then instead of being set against a wall, the detailing in the back of the chair will have a chance to show off. It’s a true statement accent piece.

Traditional Bergere Chair_back view

TRANSITIONAL BERGERE STYLE

Transitional style has many of the same features as the classic, such as exposed wood arms and legs and a loose back cushion. But its styling has been updated for a more transitional, contemporary look.  For this style, look for less-detailed carving, straight lines, and less formal fabrics.

Bergere Chair_Transitional styling

BARREL BERGERE STYLE

Barrel style is contemporary and fashion-forward. In the seat back frame and chair legs, the lines are straight and sleek. But it still plays off the features of a traditional Bergere Chair with its exposed wood and loose seat cushion. For added contemporary luxury, choose a check pattern woven into velvet fabric.

Bergere Chair_Barrel Version

CONTEMPORARY BERGERE STYLE

For today’s audience, the designer of this chair has restyled the classic chair’s roots into a contemporary casual version. It features the wedge finish that’s popular in today’s furnishings—still showing exposed wood, but in very straight lines. To take this contemporary look from formal to casual, use a plain chenille fabric.

Bergere Chair_Contemporary

WICKER BERGERE STYLE

Wicker Bergere provides options for interior decorating and outdoor décor. Here, the large splashy print on cotton fabric, cane arm sides, and a weathered, whitewashed finish make this chair perfect for almost any casual setting.

Bergere Chair_Wicker

Would you like to see a Bergere Chair in your home? Then contact Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702-914-3741 for a complimentary decorating consultation.

AUTHORS: Allyson Siwajian with Christine Ringenbach © 2013

To Puddle or Not to Puddle Your Window Treatments?

October 28, 2013

Have you ever wondered: What’s the right drapery length for your comfort zone and design style?

While many homeowners rightly wonder how high to hang their window treatments, it’s also important to consider how long to make your home’s drapery. If you like it to be crisp and contemporary, then aim for a style that barely skims the floor. But if you prefer a luxurious look, then try to puddle your drapery.

With window treatments, “puddling” refers to the amount of extra drapery length that is spilled, or puddled, onto the floor. The more the puddle, the more opulence is added to the look.

When puddles were first used by wealthy classes long ago, this style allowed the rich to show their wealth. Fabric was expensive, and puddled drapery displayed the ability to own fabric that extended more than just to the floor. Today, though, puddled drapery is available to any homeowner.

paddled curtain for luxurious bathroom

The longer the puddle, the more formal it is. While this extra-long style (pictured above) is a little too fussy for most homeowners today, puddling always feels luxurious.

If you’re wondering whether or not to puddle, consider these three points before you buy.

1. Use puddling only for stationary side panels. This style won’t work for drapery that will be opened and closed often because the fabric at the bottom would become very dirty. Keep it clean with stationary treatments.

puddled drapery breaking on the floor

This length “breaks” on the floor with 2” of additional fabric. This puddle is the most popular style today, and it can be customized for any style.

2. Know your personality. If you like things to be precise, neat and clean, then puddles are probably not for you. But if you’re okay with a little extra fabric to amp up the luxury, then you’ll love puddled drapery.

Custom contemporary window treatments not puddled

This length just “kisses” the floor. So it’s not puddled at all.

3. Think about your home’s use. If your household includes cats or small children who would be tempted to play with the extra fabric, then you may not want puddled drapery. But if that’s not a concern, then puddling is a great choice.

Extra drapery fabric creates a puddle.

This length includes about 6” of extra fabric to create a small puddle.

Would you like to try drapery puddling in your home? Call Henderson, Nev. interior decorator Christine Ringenbach at 702-914-3741 for a complimentary consultation.

Authors: Christine Ringenbach and Allyson Siwajian © 2013