Today we’re excited to Feature Lauren Rosenberg and Elaine Ryan, founders and creators of The Elaine Ryan Home Decorating Kit. For our Decorating on a Dime series, we’ve invited Lauren and Elaine to share their home decorating kit with us as well as some great second hand finds they’ve incorporated into their homes and their tips for finding great deals on items for the home.
Can you share some great second hand finds that you’ve incorporated into your interior decorating projects?
1) Needlepoint Handwoven Wool Rug, Size: 7′ X 9′. Country of Origin: France
I purchased this rug at a church Christmas Auction for $175. The rug was on the floor in a high traffic area and I had walked on it several times. The starting bid was $175. The next day when I returned for the actual auction I saw that only there were no bids on the rug. A minute before the auction began I placed my bid, and therefore, I bought the rug for the starting bid of $175. The conservative value of this rug is $5,000.
2) Standing Pier Mirror — Circa 1930
I saw this Mirror on the Litchfield County Auction online auction. I wanted it for a guest room in my own home, so I placed a bid $120.00 and was awarded the mirror. The value of this mirror in an antique store would be approximately $1,500.
3) Baccarat 6-Arm Chandelier, Size 24″
I bought this chandelier at a Church Christmas Auction. It had a beginning bid of $150.00 and there were no other bids placed, so I was able to purchase the chandelier for only $150. The value of this Baccarat chandelier is approximately $9,000. I installed it above the island in my kitchen where its beauty lights the foods I use every day. Baccarat crystal lights my butter and bacon and eggs! I enjoy and love it more everyday.
4) Sculpture, circa 19th Century
I found this 13″ high, 19th-century terra cotta sculpture, signed by the artist, at a Phoenix Art Museum sale. It was priced at $5.00. It’s conservative value is $750.00. The sculpture’s size and subject was perfect for my own home. She sits on a shelf in my library and I love to look at her.
5) American Empire Table, Circa 1820
The table was in an space that showed used machine tools, old tires and used car parts. I saw it on the owner’s truck and asked him about it. He said “It’s a table.” I asked him if it was for sale and he responded by asking him how much I’d pay for it. I told him $50.00 and he said he wouldn’t sell it for a penny under $65.00. So I thought a moment and then said, “O.K. I’ll buy it for $65.00 – and I did. It was worth much more than $65.00! I use it in my bedroom as a bedside table, and it’s so lovely! Its approximate value is $2,000.00.
What advice do you have for people who buy second hand items and wish to incorporate them into their homes but might have difficulties with coordinating colors/styles?
When you buy a table, a chandelier, or a rug etc., at a church bazaar, estate sale, yard sale, flea market, or furniture consignment store, how do you integrate what you bought with what you already have in your home? Answer: Buy the BEST quality of anything and everything you want for your home. Everything of high quality will immediately integrate beautifully when it’s in a room with things of similar quality.
Why should homeowners purchase your kit and what can they learn from it as they shop for second hand treasures to incorporate into their home?
My daughter, Lauren, and I created the Elaine Ryan® Home Decorating Kit because as professional interior designers we knew that a great majority of people didn’t have interior designers work with them on the decorating of their homes. We also knew that most people wanted to use color in their homes but they didn’t know which colors to use, and that everybody is afraid to make a color matching mistake! We wanted everyone who opened the Elaine Ryan® Home Decorating Kit to know that they are about to have one of the most exciting times of their lives decorating their homes!
As to the color of what you want to buy, or you have bought, and you’re not sure if the color of the upholstered chair (for example) will go with what you already have in your home? Your Elaine Ryan®Color Bars fan of colors will be of invaluable help to you. You’ll be able to easily see how to coordinate what you just bought with what you already have. You’ll immediately see all the color solutions when you use the Elaine Ryan®Color Bars fan of colors!
With our do-it-yourself Kit you’ll find yourself creating a personal relationship with your home. By following our simple steps you will discover your own personal colors – you’ll become your own color expert and you’ll become your own interior designer!
Where are some of your favorite places for finding second hand treasures?
We all know about garage sales, flea markets and estate sales. Many of us don’t know that one of the most overlooked places to find wonderful treasures for your home is at church! Churches with an affluent demographic are likely to have higher quality items available. It’s there for you to buy, bring home, and treasure in your home.
About Elaine Ryan: A nationally recognized Interior Designer and a color advocate, Elaine Ryan is also a founding member of the International Interior Designers Association (IIDA). With her more than 30 years experience, she has designed some of the most beautiful residences and business interiors from coast to coast throughout the country. Elaine has been featured in major publications including the New York Times, for her expertise on interior design and color. She has also been featured on radio shows across the country, as well as numerous guest appearances on network and syndicated television shows. As a journalist and columnist, Elaine’s writing appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Jerusalem Post, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle as well as the American Journal of Psychiatric Medicine. Elaine and her daughter, Lauren Rosenberg, are co-creators of the Elaine Ryan Home Decorating Kit.