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!

Southlake Home ready for Thanksgiving Guests


Last week we completed a home for a client.  It was an exciting day, especially since their home has been in a mess for the past 6 months.  They started by repainting the entire home this past summer. A 2 hour walk through took place and then while they were out of town, they had the entire home updated with the ideas I presented to them.  They also had hardwood floors and carpet installed, put in new windows, as well as new plantation shutters installed in the front rooms of the home.  Wow, did this ever make a difference to the curb appeal!


After all that work was completed, it was my job to decorate the home. The client hired me to revamp their dining room, formal living, family room and entry. We wanted to use as much of the existing furniture as we could.  The antique dining room table is beautiful but just needed some repair.  We had the chairs reupholstered in a gorgeous blue and off white striped fabric and used an off white leather for the seats so they can be wiped, especially since they do see grandkids in their near future.  The urn on the table was filled with moss for that touch of nature and a pop of green to coordinate with the painting.


The client had the artwork commissioned and we designed the room around it.  They are not real formal people so I wanted to add a bit of fun to the room and knew that a zebra rug would do the trick with the fabrics we used.  Isn't it fabulous?  We chose a chandelier that doesn't hide the painting so I chose this one that has open arms and little fuss, keeping the painting the star in this room.  We moved the existing chandelier into the adjacent piano room because it was too small for the room (see photo below)

Before, the mirrors in the dining room looked very 80's so I had an artist come and make them look aged by antiquing them.  We experimented with several techniques prior to her coming and finally came up with this patina.  I think they turned out beautifully and they now go with this collected look.


I chose these lamps for the console table because they were also open and didn't feel too bulky up against the painting.  We used the clients existing crystal from her family members and their travels, to accessorize the console.


The entry was our next challenge.  The client wanted to use the existing glass round table.  We added a lamp to add some accent lighting.  Of course I wanted one that was interesting and fun.  I then layered a bamboo tray with books and other collections to make an interesting assortment to look at for all those guests that visit.  It is the first thing you see when stepping inside their home, it had to be lovely.


A little bit of wicker, crystal, wood, natural elements and ceramic always makes a nice collection.  Old books that have some history or tell a story about the homeowner is always a good idea.  Don't you just love the silver coral accent piece?


The piano room was next... right across from the dining room.  This room was never used by the client before.  If you know anything about the way I decorate, you know that I want every room in your home to be used.  We decided to make this room more of a sitting room.  Again, we wanted to make it feel approachable and not too stuffy.  You can see that we moved the chandelier above the piano.  The client's grandma would be so happy to see it here.  It is beautiful and much more to scale in this room.   This room can now be used for laptop time or Sunday morning coffee or Friday evening cocktail hour.  Oh, can we also just notice how peaceful the color on the wall is.

Ruthie Tip:  When hanging artwork where there is picture molding, just IGNORE it, it makes it dissappear and is so much easier to work with.


We had these wingback chairs custom made for the client and they really are elegant and have a touch of a masculine flair.  The round ottoman is perfect for extra seating, if needed.  We also had the piano bench reupholstered in a whimsical black and white fabric by Waverly.  I used an antique table the client had between the chairs, and added the lamps and accessories that I found around their house.


I wanted to use a vintage rug in this room with muted tones.  Keeping it peaceful and relaxing.  The artwork was in the home already, I just shopped the house for artwork that I thought looked good together and grouped them together, forming a gallery wall.  The pillows really added a subtle pop of color and interest.


The rest of the accessories were found in the home and reused in a different way.  I took a plant from the kitchen and put it in a blue and white pot to bring in some of the blue and white from the dining room.


I went shopping with the client to find a club chair that he felt comfortable in.  I then had an ottoman made that worked with it and coordinated with the rest of the furniture we either had made or ordered from local furniture stores.  I love this little side table/stool that I found.  Perfect for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.  The rug shag pillow was the perfect touch of the unexpected.

The mantel was very crowded before so I made it look simpler and less cluttered.  The blue and white vases match the small side table but I found them at two different places, yay!


This room had absolutely nothing in it.  The client got rid of all their furniture which was all dark brown leather.  I wanted to mix it up and have a lighter, brighter room that could seat their entire family when they are all gathered together to watch TV or play games.

The room had hardly any lighting so I added two floor lamps to help with ambient light at night when they are watching TV and don't want all the lights on but still want to be able to see a bit.


We met at Weirs to find a couch the family all decided on.  We chose this Navy velvet fabric which is soft and cozy.  I opted not to use the pillows that they usually include (too matchy matchy) and added my own Navy and yellow pillows to the couch.  A blue and gray vintage rug was chosen to pull the room together.


These two chairs were found at a local resale store and I had them redone with new insides and reupholstery.  Swivels were added afterwards with a skirt to hide the swivel mechanism.

Don't you just love the rug?  Oh, and the silver side table?  I'm in love with it all!  Notice that the polka dot fabric was used on the ottoman adjacent to it to pull the two seating areas together.

_dsc1989We spent the entire day placing all the furniture, accessories and details in this home and it was a very exciting reveal.

Just in time for their first grandbaby due any day now as well as family coming into town for Thanksgiving!

I won't be posting until after Thanksgiving!  Until then, I hope you and your family find time to gather around your tables and in your living rooms, not only on Thanksgiving Day but throughout the rest of the year!

Turquoise and Gray Piano Room

decrenew interiors 8

We just finished up this wonderful piano room for a client.

decrenew interiors 29

 To start, we added wood floors and painted the entire space.  The fireplace got a makeover as well.  The client had the two club chairs but we totally transformed them into something more modern by squaring the arms and taking off the skirts.

decrenew interiors 27

decrenew interiors 22

decrenew interiors 20

 The fireplace tile turned out so beautifully!  The artwork was done by a local artist Mary Howe.  We had a consultation together with the fabrics and decided what we thought would look best in the room.  I really love what she created!

decrenew interiors 16

I got so excited about these cute glasses boxes that I found to place fun treasures in. The pillows also really made the room come together combined with the fabulous rug that goes so beautifully with the fireplace.

decrenew interiors 19

This lucite and silver table is AMAZING!  The velvet turquoise fabric is super soft and the pattern is so eye catching.

decrenew interiors 6

The chairs looks so sharp with their new animal print pillow and contrasting piping.

decrenew interiors 14

The client had the console table so we incorporated it into the design.  Because it has a black marble top, it can work for a more transitional style.  We just added accessories that made it look sharper, added an ottoman underneath it to complete the layered look.

decrenew interiors 40

I absolutely love the ottoman with the rug!

decrenew interiors 1

decrenew interiors 12

decrenew interiors 6

We completed her entry as well with this lovely grouping.

Didn't want it to be too cluttered so this is perfect!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I'll post pictures of the other living room we completed that same day next week!

Stay tuned!

Flower Mound Piano Room

Last week we finished a home in Flower Mound.  The client has lived in their home for over 5 years but has a very busy schedule and hadn't done much to her space.

DecRenew Interiors3

She wanted to turn her front formal room into a piano room where they could hang out when they entertain or hang as a family.  We transformed it into a wonderful space for morning coffee, afternoon tea or evenings with a cocktail.

decrenew interiors 17

We had the main living areas painted, added new hardwoods, new carpet and also did a full day installation with new furniture, accessories, rugs and lighting.

decrenew interiors 15






decrenew interiors 33




decrenew interiors 32

decrenew interiors 31

DecRenew Interiors 12

DecRenew Interiors3DecRenew Interiors 27DecRenew Interiors 24

 DecRenew Interiors 4DecRenew Interiors 2DecRenew Interiors 10 DecRenew Interiors 4


My client had 2 leather couches already. Due to her budget, we decided we could work around them.  We added everything else.  The leather benches were included for extra seating.

DecRenew Interiors 13

DecRenew Interiors 19

DecRenew Interiors 21 DecRenew Interiors 16 DecRenew Interiors 9

DecRenew Interiors 22

I'm working on dining room for a client for a Tour of Homes in Las Colinas.  I'll post pictures soon!

Hope you enjoy all the festivities of Halloween this weekend!