This week’s designer spotlight is a bit different because this week’s designer also runs a showroom and retail shop–and if that wasn’t enough–is launching a second showroom. Please meet Renate Ruby from Adorn | In Real Life, Showroom and retail shop. She answers some questions about Adorn House and herself below!
What is your favorite part about being a part of the design community?
I love being around people who can see and experience the beauty in the world so personally. I’m essentially an optimist, and I believe that all designers are at their core optimists as well. We all believe that things can be made better, and that making things better matters. I love sharing conversations with people who want to make a mark in the world by leaving it better than they found it – and that is what designers do!
Can you tell us about your new showroom opening up?
Sure! We are actually opening a new showroom and re-launching our existing one. Our Georgetown location will feature a Verellen Boutique, the only one in the PNW. Everything we show in that boutique will play well with Verellen and it’s chic Belgian vibe. We will be primarily open to designers, but will welcome retail customers by appointment. Because we are one of the new hybrid showroom/shops that are popping up all over the country, we will take protecting business-to-business designer pricing levels very seriously so that designers never have to worry, like they do at some big stores, that their clients will be offered the same pricing. We are designers. We know the score and we are here to help and support the design community with great products and service.
What are some of your favorite brands?
There are so many! If I could only use one brand in my own design work it would be Verellen. The brand that launched my journey from designer to showroom curator is Libeco, the Belgian Linen mill and manufacturer whose product we also now sell in our shop and on our website. I’m also a big fan of Timorous Beasties, from Scotland (coming soon to DesignerInc). They are at the leading edge of making wallpaper cool again.
If you only have one color and style to design with, what would you choose? And why?
My color is a sort of grey blue that I absolutely love. It goes with everything and I never get tired of it. The style I like is an easy Northern European casual chic with a mix of linen and old wood with found treasures mixed in. It’s like Pacific Northwest modern, but messier and more layered. IMO – No house is complete without a dog, and no house can be happy if the dog can’t sleep on the sofa.
Who or what would you cite as your most important influence?
Ironically, I became a designer because of encouragement I received from Barbara Barry. I went to see her speak with a friend years ago, and I was so inspired by her story, I struck up a conversation with her after the presentation. She helped me see Interior Design as an art form first, and a technical craft second. She gave me the courage to trust myself. I’m also very influenced by Vicente Wolfe. I love how he mixes styles and never loses the sense of play in his work.
If you could travel back, what advice would you give yourself as you start this career?
Honestly, I wouldn’t have listened. I had to take the path I took, as circuitous and difficult as it has been at times. The advice I have always given myself is to be true, be honest, and that fear is no reason to stop doing anything. Failure is a welcome sign that you are reaching far enough to come up short sometimes. I think fear of failure holds too many people back – so why not try? If you fail, you fail. You learn something and you try again.
Fun fact about yourself…
I lived for a year in Brazil between high school and university. I speak Portuguese and definitely absorbed some of the Brazilian attitude about enjoying the life in front of you.