Ruthie Staalsen - What my design philosophy is and why!

I wanted to share with you a snippet from my book that was published a few months ago. This portion of my chapter truly describes what I am all about.

Ruthie Book

"My main objective is to create environments that are gathering places for families and friends to do life together.

However, I am about more than that.  I believe that the home is a special hub for the best moments in life.

  It is the place where you watch your kids dance around the kitchen.

It is where you and your hubby carry your kids to their bed because they fell asleep on the couch.


It's where your daughter brings a boy home for the first time, and where  your family laughs around the dinner table so hard that you choke on your food.

Home is where real life happens and sometimes real life is a little bit messy.

That is why I want the homes I decorate to be a place for peace and solitude.  Our society is so busy and hurried that spending time AT HOME is almost a lost art.

My goal is to connect these wonderful moments of life to the home through interior design.

  I have a different perspective on design in that it isn't totally about a specific look.  It's more about finding the soul of the people living in the home, and helping the client find the surroundings that makes them feel good. Decorating is about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.

Our homes should reflect what we are about, our beliefs, our experiences and family traditions.  After all, homes are not just about nice things, they are about a place where you want to spend time.

I want to be known as the designer that connects these dots."

I'm working on a project at the moment where I get to do exactly what I've described above. I get up each morning, ready to make lives and homes more beautiful!

What paint and some styling can do to improve your home!

I love it when a client calls and says "we need some updating to our home and we need your help guiding us through the decision making process so we don't make mistakes"

Yes, that's me!  They hired me to assist with remodeling their home within the budget they had set aside.  I helped them prioritize what was important to do right now and what could wait.

I thought I'd show you how it all turned out. Let's start with the stairs.



To update the stairscase, on a budget, we decided to paint the spindals white and we stained the banister a rich espresso.  It transformed it instantly and made their entry so stylish and inviting.

We added a beautiful patterned carpet and that made the staircase the star of the show when you walk in the front door.

Next up is the kitchen which needed a facelift for sure.


We didn't have the budget to do the floors and we figured they can do that at a different time.


The client really wanted new countertops so that was our priority.  We selected a neutral countertop and extended the countertop on the island to give her more prepping room.

 We added a gray subway tile backsplash and removed the overhead lighting and added recessed lighting.  I just love the mercury glass pendants we chose for above the island, it coordinates beautifully with the new flush mount fixture above the sink.

We painted behind some of the open shelving and staged it with some of the items she already had.

Next was the family room.



We painted this entire room to lighten it up and added new carpet. We took down the drapes (they were too short), hung new artwork and added lamps for a touch of color. The client wanted a fresh, clean look so that's what we did for her.

The couch had too many "matchy" pillows.

Ruthie Tip: When you purchase a couch that comes with all the matching pillows, that really cheapens the look.  By taking some of the matching pillows out and adding a few throw pillows to break it up, it gives it an instant makeover and looks more collected, rather than cookie cutter matching set.

Next up was the fireplace.


This fireplace brick was really pink and wasn't modern enough for the client.  We decided to paint it a gorgeous gray to give it a makeover. It worked and turned out beautiful.


We took out the ugly fan and added a stunning chandelier that makes this fireplace come alive.  Paint covers a multitide of sins!  The mantel itself was a little small so we added corbels underneath the mantel and that made it look more to scale.

I absolutely love this kind of transformation.  The client wanted their home updated so they could enjoy it more.  It doesn't always mean you have to gut the entire place. What I love about my job is that I get to give home owners ideas that can update their homes without breaking the bank.

Of course, I have clients that want to gut the entire house and transform it all because they do have the budget to do so and that is awesome!  However, I also love to see families update their homes conservatively too.  Some people choose to do nothing because they can't afford it. Don't do nothing, any home can be turned into something wonderful with some good ideas and creativity.

I'm off to Highpoint tomorrow to be a part of the Design Bloggers Tour.  Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see behind the scenes.  So looking forward to getting to know these fabulous bloggers and seeing all the new trends in design for 2017/2018.

I'm also taking over Interior Design Society's National Instagram account on Friday while I'm at Highpoint. Follow along too for new trends and behind the scenes showroom tours.

Blush, Gray and Navy Girls Bedroom

My oldest daughter just got accepted into nursing school!!!  She is extremely excited and we are so proud of her.

For her 20th birthday, we decided we would redo her bedroom for her since she will living at home next semester while she attends nursing school.

She is not one for change and has had her bedroom this hot pink for years. We sold her bunk beds and started from scratch.  Bittersweet but she was finally ready for change and mama was excited!!

She knew she wanted blush and navy but had no idea what else she wanted.

So, I decided to treat her like a client and put together a design collage. That way she could get a visual of what direction I was heading with the design.


We decided to do a navy and blush stripe on the headboard wall and it turned out so beautifully.  It took a lot of patience for my painter, but he managed and still like me!

I took these photos with my iPhone so they are not as good as I'd like but they are still so pretty.

I purchased the rose pillow cases from Pottery Barn and the duvet cover from Target. The headboard was purchased from Wayfair.

She is elated with her new room and so am I! Excited to have her back home again after two years of her being gone!

Peek into our Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio 2017

We have been working hard on our Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio space. It has been a joy to do this vignette in memory of Dot Greenlee.

Swirl artwork was by Jennifer Ayyed and light blue glass rock artwork by Latoya Jones. Acrylic bases done by E&D Plastics.

Thank you to IDS Dallas Chapter for selecting me, along with Barbara Gilbert and Nicole Arnold to honor Dot in this way.

Artwork by Christi Meril

Dot was known for her use of bright colors, specifically pink.

Art by Artist Mary Howe

We wanted our space to be bright and happy, just like Dot.

Thank you to our main sponsors Robert Allen, Kisabeth Furniture and Nomads Loom. The stunning floral arrangements were donated by Curate Florals (Linda Baker, IDS President).

After we finished the space, the designers that knew her well said the space is a great representation of what she loved.

The lighting in our vignette is spectacular and I want every single light fixture for  my home.  The above fixture is from Currey and Company and it gave our installers fits. Very heavy and lots of sharp edges.  It is the star of the show in our vignette.

One of IDS Members, Josh with Stal Timber donated these unique side tables made from 100 year old beams. They are spectacular!  Paired with the rug from Nomads Loom and the navy velvet chair and sofa donated by Kisabeth Furniture, they are just gorgeous.

Follow me on Instagram to see more behind the scenes clips of our vignette and the event itself.

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek.  This Charity event will be held on April 5th, just in time for my 50th birthday!  You can purchase tickets at It is the event of the year, I promise!

If you can't make it to the party, Thrift Studio 2017 will be open to the public, starting April 6th and will be open for a month.

Stay tuned for more photos after the event is over.  Hope to see you there!

High Point Market Design Bloggers Spring Tour 2017

I just returned home from sunny Los Angeles! I attended the Design Bloggers Conference! It is my favorite conference because I get to spend time with my designer friends and get to meet new designers and bloggers as well.

When you own your own business, it is really hard to make time to get away for conferences like this. What I have learned is that it is crucial that you take time away from your every day work life so you can be inspired, encouraged, and filled up. This conference is that for me.

Dwell by Cheryl and Artful Interiors are two of those great friends that I have made through this conference.

I also got to spend an evening with a few Dallas Designers, which was a treat.

Brooke Giannetti with Velvet and Linen was one of the speakers, and she was so fantastic. Brooke was one of the first blogs that I started following when blogs were just beginning. I latched on to every word she said when I first started blogging and learned so much from her.

She was a true example of a great designer with a casual spirit that connected with her audience. If you haven't had a chance to read her story, do it! Her husband is an architect and they are so lovely together and so incredibly gifted. They are extra special because they too have chickens, just like us!

Another of my favorite speakers was Lord Spencer, Lady Diana's brother. He spoke about his 13 Acre estate in England and it was fascinating to hear his stories!

I got to eat on the patio at the Beverly Hills Hotel and we got a glimpse of Kim Kardashian. Of course, we only got a quick glimpse of her but it was still a fun movie star sighting. Can you believe these gorgeous flowers in their lobby?

One of the awesome things that was announced while I was at the conference was that I was selected to be on the High Point Market Design Bloggers Spring Tour along with these wonderful designers!

Visit High Point Market Design Bloggers Spring Tour 2017 to see each participant.

I am so excited about this because it is yet another opportunity for me to connect with new designers. I also look forward to being introduced to new vendors and contacts during market.

These are the wonderful bloggers I will be on the tour with:

Courtney Allison,
Margot Austin,
Elle Cole,
Nina Magon,
Lisa Mende,
Michiel Perry,
Me, Jana Platina Phipps,
Ruthie Staalsen,
Laura Umansky,
Rhoda Vickers,

Our sponsors for the tour?

Meet the sponsoring companies and showrooms we will be touring.  Thank you sponsors for this opportunity!  See you there!