Tricks of the trade

To say that Cindy Rinfret has a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to creating gorgeous interiors would be the ultimate understatement. A design education at RISD and the University of Copenhagen School of Architecture will give you that, not to mention over twenty years working in the trade with the best architects, upholsterers and stylists.

Here are six of Cindy's best tricks for creating an inviting space.

Got a limited budget? Instead of going broke on an expensive new sofa splurge instead on fabulous throw pillows. Luxurious pillows will bring new life to your sofa and make it look expensive.

We have the most amazing selection of throw pillows in Rinfret Home & Garden right now (as seen above in cheery, spring colors) plus more to be found in our online shop.

If you have low ceilings there is something you can do to give the appearance of height. Never leave your ceiling white. This is a huge pet peeve of Cindy's. Too often people will put time and energy into decorating a room and then stop short with the ceiling. You can choose a complimentary color to your walls but that may be better left to a professional, so to play it safe you can also simply use the same color as your walls but 50% lighter for the ceiling.

In the above dining room the blue ceiling perfectly compliments the hand-painted wall covering.

Be brave in design and think outside the box. Try something new and find inspiration in the unexpected. Cindy often incorporates unusual finds from her travels into her interior design.

In Cindy's master bedroom at Laurel Hill, above, she used an unusual piece that she found in Thailand for her headboard.

Think BIG when it comes to lighting. A common mistake is going too small with light fixtures. It can be hard to visualize how a lantern in a crowded showroom will look in your open entryway. So many times our clients will see the enormous box containing their new light fixture and worry that the scale will be too way big - but once they see it installed they immediately recognize why Cindy chose that size. You want people to notice your beautiful light fixtures (especially since these pieces are often pricey) so don't be afraid to make an impact.

See what we mean?

The beauty is in the details. The fun part of design is in adding the personal touch that says something about you and your family. Whether that be a gorgeous coffee table book that shows off your love of fashion, a map from a favorite city, or a monogrammed pillow, details add personality. Plus, people will notice (and even if they don't, we guarantee that you will, and that's what it's all about).

Even for a decorator show house, Cindy made the extra effort to bring in pieces that referenced the environment of the show house (in this case, the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI).

Last but not least: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Much like the ceiling that is left white, too many projects are left unaccessorized. It's not uncommon to lose steam after spending so much time (and money) finding the perfect rug, furniture and fabrics for your room -- but don't! Accessories are the jewelry of a room. The power of a well placed throw, vase, book or chic tray is not to be underestimated.

The above vignette would be far less interesting without the urn, lantern, frames, art and mirror.

Still feeling greedy for more insider tips? Check out this fantastic interview on the Asmara website (where you will also find the most gorgeous rugs) and hear Cindy describe her process in creating the beautiful design of the Tower Suite at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. (We encourage you to also check out our blog post on this project as well.)