I love this time of year, this lingering transition from summer to fall. The weather is still very warm here in Northern California, we’ve had a lot of hot days yet I can see the leaves on the trees are starting to turn. It’s beautiful, that floatation between seasons.
I’ve got a lot of my plate this weekend, soccer games, family get togethers, and in between a little craft project stimulated by an idea I had with a creative burst of energy. Who knows if it will be a success or failure, the point is to try, to execute, when creativity or artistic expression calls to you.
Whenever I discover an impressive designer portfolio, especially one that is new to me, I like to send the designer a note on his or her beautiful work. I discovered Rita Chan Interiors a few weeks ago and had to reach out. Rita went to school for Interior Architecture at UCLA and worked for Waterleaf Interiors in Manhattan Beach for a few years before establishing her own design firm.
I loved the casual coastal vibe of so many of her interiors! Rita was kind enough to answer a few questions, ones I find helpful for anyone decorating their own spaces.
1. You believe in creating a peaceful environment at home that makes every day feel like a vacation. Tell us why that’s important and how it affects your approach to design.
In today’s incredibly fast paced world it’s so easy to get overstimulated, overbooked and stressed out, so I think it’s more important than ever to have our homes feel peaceful and serene, to give our minds a real break from all the noise. My goal when designing homes is to evoke that sense of being on an amazing vacation, where we truly unwind, allow ourselves to be present and enjoy life and our loved ones.
For many, vacations and travel are the happiest times we have, so why not have those feelings everyday? I think our surrounding environment can really affect the way we feel, whether we realize it or not, so when I am designing I am not just thinking about how something will look, but how it will make my client feel. I am all about helping them to feel relaxed, calm and happy.
2. What tricks do you use to warm up a home with all white kitchens or walls?
I like to warm up all white kitchens by bringing in natural elements such as wooden shelves, wooden bowls and cutting boards, rattan trays, potted plants, displays of fruit and of course, fresh flowers always brighten up any space. Another great way to add warmth and personality are through window treatments, such as patterned or textured roman shades.
3. What’s a good tip for decorating a space with a leather sofa?
For a leather sofa I like pillows with a heavier texture or a more worn look, so vintage pillows are always a good call on leather. Since most leather sofas tend to demand attention, I like to keep everything else in the room pretty light and neutral and allow for the sofa to be the center of attention.
4. What are your favorite ways to add texture to a room?
My favorite ways to add texture into a room are through woven upholstery fabrics, and natural materials such as raffia, rattan, jute or sisal rugs, and grasscloth wallpaper… I think my very favorite texture is a patterned grasscloth paper.
5) What advice can you share for those who like the idea of wallpaper but are afraid to commit to anything too bold or permanent.
I always recommend saving bold wallpaper for the less frequented rooms such as the powder and laundry rooms, playrooms or guest bedrooms. If you are interested in wallpaper for the shared living spaces or main bedrooms I typically think grasscloth or a very subtle and neutral patterned wallpaper is the way to go.